Joshua Tree, CA // Dogs on Dogs on Dogs on Floats
Who knew that going to the desert for 4th of July was a good idea? I sure didn't, but boy was I corrected!
From the second we got out of LA traffic (thanks, Waze!), it was like an enormous weight was lifted out of the car. Yucca Valley and Pioneer town were pretty much empty and our rental house was extremely isolated, which helped to make this a very relaxing weekend. I seriously never thought going to the desert in summer was a good idea but as long as there's a pool and blender to make margaritas it's pure bliss.
You lose service as you arrive at our gem of a property, keeping true to the "no paparazzi" word in the listing ;). For reals though, several times we thought we were probably going the wrong way and we saw tons of jack rabbits and assorted animals, but Baby Velociraptor (aka my car) stayed tough and got us there. The house is super funky with an awesome outdoor poolside gazebo and amazing looking cacti all over the place. I would have liked the cacti more had I not had to brush Watson every day as they tried to attack him for peeing on them.... But hey, that's nature!
The house used to have a large garage but they converted that into 2 extra bedrooms, which made for stellar privacy for Rahim and I. There were 5 in total with a bathroom attached to each - how amazing is that?! Plus tons of comfy couch space and general just space to hang out. So nice to get out of cramped LA every once in a while (I love you LA, sorry!)
Cacti aside this is dog HEAVEN. Watson ran around like a crazy dog the whole weekend, sniffing everything and getting as dirty as he possibly could. Throughout the weekend we had 6 dogs in different shifts - 4 small and 2 large - so this house really is perfect for all your furry friends.
I could watch that boomerang all day...
Anyway, we spent most of our time in the pool, in the gazebo by the pool or making drinks inside with AC to bring out to the pool, because duh it's FLIPPING HOT OUT. The pool isn't heated though so it's a tad bit nipply when you first get in, but then it feels great - especially with a float or two. We had so much fun getting Watson on the float and he really seemed to enjoy it too. See, DOG HEAVEN!
Rahim was finally like "ENOUGH NO MORE PICTURES" (hahaha sorry I'm a tiger mom!) so I went on to taking pictures of Watson by all the awesome cacti hehehehe
One of the other coolest things about the property was our ability to hike pretty much anywhere from there! The second morning a few folks made it up to the top of that ride below - you can kind of see the tiny dots on top! And then of course we took out every binoculars and telescope in the house to pretend we were spies. Do you think we had a few too many for a random weekend in J Tree? Probably, but I loved it.
Us spies were pretty jelly of the morning hikers, so we took a magic hour/sunset hike that evening. This was by far my favorite part of the weekend. The hike was definitely a lot steeper and higher than it looked, but the views were breathtaking and I really enjoyed jumping around on the rocks. Not as much as Fidel or Rahim though, of course.
Fidel was the only dog we trusted on this hike, sorry Watson & Brodawgy.
Rahim made it to one of the highest rocks up top! He said it was super windy up there, which I can only imagine considering how windy it was where I was standing too.
The sunset was absolutely stunning and it seemed like everywhere I looked, there was something else unique and gorgeous to look at. I could have sat up there all day if I didn't have a pooch and a dinner to get back to #priorities.
For the most part we ate in the house - Chris is an extremely organized and thorough food planner - but we did venture outward to grab some drinks at Pappy & Harriet's. There was a country band playing that was actually quite fun, and the place was just buzzing with excitement. If you haven't been this is a must-see, and if you can catch a concert here absolutely do!
The other time we left the house was to go to the Swap Meet! I have no photos for this because I literally woke up 10 minutes before departure time and left my phone in the room, but this place was funky and totally overwhelming. Both Amber and Christa got some good finds - pins, jewelry etc. - but I was personally too hot, hungry, under-caffeinated and overwhelmed to purchase anything. If you're into thrifting this is definitely a fun outing in Yucca Valley.
There were two other stores that I wanted to check out but didn't have time to, so please report back if you go to either of these places! The first being The End: a super cute looking clothing and home accessory store. The second would be the Cactus Mart! You can dig up your own cactus or purchase one that they've already potted. Both of these spots are right of the 29 Palms Hwy road, so you can't miss 'em!
I couldn't have asked for a more relaxing, chill 4th of July! Until next time, wayyyy East of LA.