Desert Dream Getaway - Joshua Tree

YES, my life

Every year, since I was about 13 years old. I would plan my birthday months and I mean MONTHS ahead of time. Something about planning for an event or special day just speaks to me and we all love to have something to look forward to right? I think throughout my college years, it would dwindle down to a nice dinner out with my friends ending in bar hopping -that was pretty much all you could do in Reno. Here I was, post-grad, still stuck in the middle of a pandemic in California. I wanted to do something special for my 26th birthday but *safely*.

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I decided to book a very nice airbnb in the middle of the desert out in Twentynine Palms, California and have just a few of us spend a quiet weekend there. I looked through hundreds of properties but landed on one that had a very interesting feature. The main bedroom had these garage doors that had window panes on them. Everything was white and bright with boho interior touches with a little bit of retro style that I absolutely adored. I definitely spent a pretty penny for two nights staying there because it was the minimum nights we had to stay but I would’ve stayed there longer if I could.

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I had all of my guests get tested for COVID a few days before they came over. It ended up being my sister, my best friend and her sister, and I. My boyfriend unfortunately had a mishap with getting his results so he wasn’t able to make it. We all worked our butts off to get our work done early but my sister and I still managed to barely make it there by 9pm after we stopped to buy groceries and my best friend and her sister had already checked in. I had read the previous reviews and the directions to get to the house that halfway through the neighborhood, we would have to go about a mile on unpaved road. Let me tell you, that was not fun in the pitch dark with a small car. Luckily I had screenshotted the directions the host had given us because otherwise we would have gotten lost since the map was leading us a different way and we had no reception out there.

The entire place was spacious with three rooms and two bathrooms. One bedroom became a huge closet for us because my friend had asked me to bring some of my clothes for her to wear so I brought an entire trash bag full of clothes that we had sprawled out everywhere. Talk about a fashion show! It had a hot tub in the back which we still regret not utilizing but it was just way too cold. The living room had huge windows with no curtains so while it was gorgeous and flooded with natural light during the daytime, it was also sort of creepy peering into the dark abyss of the desert at night time. There was an adorable covered patio with string lights hung up and a picnic table for meal time. Next to the house was a platform with two lounge chairs that was beautiful all in itself. The kitchen had everything we needed to cook our meals and had a cute little table for our breakfasts. The entire place just screamed my aesthetic which I appreciated so much.

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Our original plan was to get into the airbnb Friday afternoon, self check in, cook up some pasta, and then do some stargazing (with wine of course) but by the time we got there, my best friend was already passed out from the drive from Vegas. Once she goes to bed, there is no getting her up! The three of us stayed up having some gin and tonics, jack and coke for Tessie of course. We stayed up talking, catching up on things and turned in early for the night.

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I’m one to usually check the weather before any upcoming trips but for this particular weekend, it totally slipped my mind. The next morning we woke up to very gusty winds (The Infamous Santa Ana Winds) which was far too much for us and we cancelled our plan to go to Joshua Tree. We cooked up a breakfast of champions and discussed what we’d do instead. I still had to pick up my berry chantilly cake from Wholefoods and when we mapped it, found out the store was in Palm Springs about 50 minutes away! As you can tell, I was pretty disorganized about this weekend other than the airbnb itself. We decided to just go to Palm Springs to pick up the cake and also do a Target run because my sister kept raving about how she saw on tiktok that they were selling these cute loungewear sets for $30. She was not lying!!! We all grabbed some cute sets and my bestie saw a french bakery in that plaza so we stopped for crepes and yummy french pastries.

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The place was called French Corner Cafe and oh my goodness were the things yummy. The chicken and mushroom crepe there was absolutely divine!!! I also got a few mini desserts such as creme brulee, macarons, and mini tarts to fill up our fancy dinner for that night. We finally got to Wholefoods to pick up my cake and we made our way back to the airbnb to get ready for dinner.

We had a few more mishaps this day with missing the sunset and my cake getting smushed during the bumpy ride. The control freak in me from a few years ago would’ve probably gotten upset but me 2.0 took a deep breath and just let the moment pass. At the end of the day, I was here celebrating my birthday with some of the most important people in my life and I wasn’t going to let a few bad things ruin our entire weekend.

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A balloon arch was one of my musts for decoration for this event because we are allllll about the aesthetics. While I cooked up the steak, my sister set up the charcuterie, Ayesha poured us some wine, and Tessie helped blow up the balloons. Let me tell you, there are about 100 balloons to blow up for the arch and after the last time (we made one for my sister’s graduation party), we were NOT blowing them up with our mouths again. This time I got pumps from Amazon so we were a little bit more prepared. Next time I think I’ll just splurge a bit more for the plug in air pump as I think it would save time. We just started it early because we wanted it ready for the next day for pictures before we had to check out. After making it once, the balloon arch was pretty simple to set up. I chose a sage green, white, and gold set that matched so well with the interior of the airbnb.

Among my purchases for the weekend was this adorable little boho style table runner that we were going to use for the charcuterie. When I received it however, I had not gotten the right size so it covered about two thirds of the middle of the picnic table that the airbnb had outside. It still looked nice regardless and we tried to eat outside as long as we could with it being nicely decorated with lights but alas we were getting way too cold. My sister had Howl’s Moving Castle downloaded to her laptop so we watched it while eating our feast. Bear in mind, we had no wifi at this airbnb with bad reception so essentially unplugged for the whole weekend. It was nice to be away from our phones and tune into each other.

Our dinner was immaculate to say the least. Charcuterie, pasta, wine, and a dessert spread?! I had purchased some bottles from our wine tour a few months before from Castello di Amorosa in Napa. We had gone up north to celebrate my best friend’s birthday in Tahoe and Napa wine country and I had fallen absolutely in love with the La Fantasia wine. I bought myself a few bottles and saved them for special events such as this.

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After dinner, we poured some stronger drinks like soju and gin and tonics. My friend Melodie had gotten me the We’re Not Really Strangers game for my birthday and we decided to crack it open. This game is supposed to help you form deeper relationships with existing friends/partners and maybe even strangers. I think we all felt a little bit closer after playing the game. I’d recommend it if you want to get all deep and simpy with your friends or partner. After watching another movie, we went to bed early because we planned to wake up bright and early to watch the sunrise.

A bajillion alarms went off in the morning from all areas of the house. We got up just in time to watch the sunrise and cooked up some breakfast. We all got dressed up, took tons and tons of photos in every corner of the house. I can say for certain we got enough pictures to justify paying $1.4k for two nights there. Content baby content! We were rushing a little bit since my sister had to fly out of Ontario so we said goodbye to our lovely weekend home and headed off to check out Joshua Tree for a few hours since the other sisters hadn’t been there yet.

Little did I know that the rates to get into the park had increased and I believe I paid $30 or $40 per car to get in. We stayed for about an hour, cracked a few jokes, took some more pictures with a few trees and parted ways as the other girls drove back to Vegas.

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Overall, while things may not have gone everything according to plan, it was nice to get away with my girls and spend a quiet weekend in the middle of nowhere. We still look back and laugh at the little things that went wrong and enjoy our memories there. I truly felt like I was in my mid-twenties since we were in bed by two am and didn’t get crazy drunk like we may have done in our previous birthdays. It was a lovely change of pace and a mini getaway from everything happening in our lives. Joshua Tree is such a relaxing place to get away with so many stylish affordable airbnbs. Maybe I’ll try one of those airstreams I’ve been seeing all over social media. Til next time!

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I am a SoCal-based content creator focusing on travel, petite fashion, and lifestyle content. Here you'll be able to read about the daily life as a content creator, travel tips, beautiful destinations, and lifestyle.

San Bernardino, CA
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