Sunday, November 25, 2018

Travel lately - Joshua Tree

At the end of September, the husband's brother got married, so we flew back over to California for the festivities. They live very close to my family, so that made it convenient in terms of being able to kill two birds with one stone and see both families while we were there. Though, the actual wedding was in Joshua Tree about 1-2 hours away from my family. I had never been to Joshua Tree and honestly had no idea what to expect! It was a quick couple of days there, but we enjoyed it very much!

Cap: from Woodford Reserve distillery | Tank: from Warner Bros Studio | Shorts: American Eagle (similar) | Sneakers: Nike

You will start seeing these photos of me every time we travel now. I've started making it my own little souvenir of our trips - finding a place that I can do the "open leg rocker" exercise. Though, I don't actually do the rocking part, I just hold the starting position of the exercise!

We arrived on a Wednesday around lunch time, which gave us the day to spend with my family. My dad was super excited to take us to this buffet he frequents at the San Manuel Casino not too far from his house. He was legit super excited to take us, so who am I to deprive him of that joy?!

We napped at his house for a bit and then met up with my sister and my cousins later that night for some Dim Sum. My sister picked up some Din Tai Fung take-out and brought it to one of my cousin's houses so we could all visit for a couple of hours.

Warner Bros Studio Tour, Pretty Little Liars Main Street
Sunnies: Ray Ban | Top: American Eagle | Belt bag: Hustle and Hide (now called Teddi Joelle) | Shorts: American Eagle | Sandals: Sam Edelman

Wednesday and Thursday evenings we stayed at his brother's house. My now-sister-in-law and I got early morning pedicures on Thursday, then she was off doing last minute wedding stuff and the husband and I decided to go back and do another Warner Bros Studio tour. We did this last summer and you can see all the details here. Since then though, I've watched all 7 seasons of Pretty Little Liars and I've been missing the series and wanted to go back and do the tour one more time now that I had all the show history. We just did a basic tour, not the longer VIP tour we did last year. I was bummed that their main street was closed during our tour, but I still got to see a lot of PLL goodies and at least snap the pic above with Main Street in the background.

Friday morning, we grabbed some brunch near his brother's house. It was a place called The Black Cow Cafe in Montrose. Nothing super fancy, but it was really good and came recommended by his brother. I ordered the Original Joe's Scramble and it was quite delicious. I used to make something just like that but haven't in quite some time. It was great!

Mojave Sands Motel Suite in Joshua Tree, CA

Mojave Sands Motel, Joshua Tree

Mojave Sands Motel

It took about 2 hours or so to get to Joshua Tree thanks to traffic. The wedding and reception were both being held at the Mojave Sands Motel. It's a very unsuspecting property and honestly looked a little sketch as we were driving up. It's fully gated though, and as soon as we pulled in, the views totally changed and it was gorgeous. There were only 5 or 6 rooms on the property, and since the husband was a groomsman, we were able to get a room ourselves. This was super convenient during the reception, let me tell ya!

The rehearsal dinner was at a Mexican restaurant in Yucca Valley called La Casita. The food was much of what you would expect from a typical Mexican restaurant, but they weren't quite prepared for such a big group of people even though we did have reservations and my sister in law had been working with their event coordinator ahead of time (it's not like we just arrived unannounced.) Anyway, service was extremely slow and I would venture to say it took us a good half hour to get our drinks and then another hour to get our food.... which, if you know anything about Mexican restaurants, food comes out hella fast regardless of how big parties are... I hate giving bad reviews on the blog, but I also don't want to paint the picture that it was wonderful. The husband and I were a bit frustrated, but at least we had good company. 

The wedding was Saturday at 4pm, so we were up early so we could spend a couple of quick hours in the morning to explore the Joshua Tree national park. We could have definitely spent an entire day there. We were with his cousin's family and they have three small kids, so we certainly couldn't do any heavy hiking. Regardless, the views were amazing and the weather was not scorchingly hot either. It was perfect.

Dress: Nordstrom | Clutch: Clare V. (shop current options here) | Heels: Valentino (other colors here, budget options here)

I rented a couple of dresses from Rent the Runway, but unfortunately, neither of them worked out, so I spent the weekend before the wedding last minute dress shopping. I was lucky to find a dressing room's worth of options at Nordstrom and I had it narrowed down to the dress above and this Eliza J dress that was more fit and flared. I'm definitely more comfortable in a fit and flare dress, but when I polled some friends, the fitted dress ended up winning. I was worried that it was going to get super cold as the sun went down, but I was perfectly comfortable all night without the use of a cover up.

Once the reception was finished, a few of us extended the party by going down the road to the Joshua tree Saloon. The husband and I had grabbed some lunch there when we arrived Friday afternoon. Typical bar with good food and good drinks and the convenience to our motel was an added bonus.

And that catches you up on Joshua Tree! I have a few more trips to share with you - Chicago, Louisville, and Miami. As far as future trips - we will be going to California again for Christmas. Then February we will be in Cancun for his sister's wedding. And then! In April we are going to Europe for 10 days! Paris, Normandy, Amsterdam, and Rome. Super excited for that! It's going to be busy the next few months for travel, but I cannot complain!


  1. I loved your wedding look and would love to go to Joshua tree as well.


    1. I think it’s worth seeing at some point! It’s a different kind of beautiful than mountains and oceans!

  2. You look gorgeous in that blue dress! One of these days we need to make it a point to visit Joshua Tree. It has always sounded a little boring to me but if you thought it was worth a full day it can't be that bad! LOL! Can't wait for the rest of your travel recaps!
    Gina || On the Daily Express

    1. There were definitely more complex routes you could explore that would take more time! Depending on how much the boys can handle, it may not be a full day activity for you guys. Like- if you saw what we saw, then no definitely not. But even the simple route we took- it was only 2 hours worth and we weren’t even one third of the way into the park!

      We stopped at the visitor’s center before we began, told them our goals and time limits, and they mapped out where we should go and stop. That was great! I would not have known where to start!