joshua tree.

I got back from my magical trip through the Southwest over a week ago now and life just hasn't been the same. It's been a rough adjustment period and by that I mean as soon as I got home from the airport I started feeling itchy, uncomfortable -- like my life wasn't fitting the same way it used to. Clearly the only difference was in myself and this deserves an entirely separate blog post altogether -- and so for now I'll just work my way through photos as happily as I dare.

We split the trip up into three different segments: Joshua Tree, Sedona, and Santa Fe, and then looped back around through those same places a second time. Three states I had never even stepped foot in and three states that I fell pretty hard for. My total photo count was something ridiculously high (not including all those handy iPhone pics) so I'm dutifully paring them down and choosing which ones to keep forever.

First stop, Joshua Tree.

Let me say something about the desert. When Carmella told me about how much her soul felt at home in the desert, I was pretty certain that I'd feel the opposite. I love trees and mountains and ocean, not arid flatland of cacti. You know? It just probably wouldn't feel like home to me.

I'm so opinionated.

But I fell in love in Joshua Tree like I didn't expect to. Fell hard, hard, hard.

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(That awesome white building up there is the Integratron, where we went for a sound bath. Jason Mraz loves it there, so I figured it must be cool.)

For both economical and exploratory reasons, we decided to use Airbnb exclusively for this trip. Neither of us had ever done it before and were a little nervous. And let me just say -- when you stay open and choose your hosts based purely on intuition and are up for the challenge, Airbnb won't disappoint. I can't even tell you how much we loved our hosts and felt right at home.

We drove straight from LAX to Joshua Tree and didn't arrive until after dark -- which meant pulling up to a little house in the pitch black in the middle of the desert. This particular host didn't have any reviews but we felt like it might be a good match and went for it. She ended up being totally lovely -- a sweet woman named Stella who had snacks out for us and made us green juice in fancy glasses in the morning. She even sent us with a big jug of her water for the rest of our road trip in case we got stuck. It ended up being her first Airbnb experience too and we all decided it was just perfect.


Up next: Sedona and the Grand Canyon!