Well, I wanted the middle of nowhere. I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone and, consequently, away from the computer.
And so I escaped to Joshua Tree. So much in the middle of nowhere you'd think it the ideal setting for a serial killer horror movie:
My friends and I took to the web to do research. We were tipped to Joshua Tree when we were originally researching a day trip to Pioneertown. Then suddenly it became a group trip away for a weekend. Relaxation and solitude for everyone dying to run away from work.
We hit the jackpot when we found Joshua Desert Retreats. (And hello! They have a Vegas property, too!) And we had some odd-but-terrific luck when the toilet in our rental house sprung a leak, lightly flooding the bathroom. JDR immediately rectified the situation, sending a rep out to the house and helping us move acorss the road to "Wikiup," which was even nicer, more spacious, with working bathrooms. ;)
You never know how on top of things a landlord is until you test them with a crisis and these guys did not fail us!
Wikiup was equipped with lots of sleeping space, formal and informal dining areas, satellite cable, a stereo, a pool, hot tub and full kitchen. But the best thing about this house is all of its wonderful outdoor space. We had nothing but sprawling, stunning desert views so we spent much of our time outside enjoying them and the house has sitting areas on three sides that allowed us to do so. Not to mention a hammock. Who doesn't love a hammock?
We did not leave the house until it was time to head home - which is what I wanted - but we did fianlly get to Pioneertown. We stopped there on the way home. The town started as a live-in Old West motion picture set, built in the 1940s. The movie set was designed to provide a place for the actors to live, and at the same time to have their homes used as part of the movie set. I don't know that it's still used as a set now, but people still live there! And you can visit, take pictures, and check out their reenactments, which are a hokey, fun time. We had lunch at the famous restaurant there, Pappy & Harriet's, which was delicious. I wish it were closer - I wanted to try everything on the menu!
On the Saturday night there, I was sitting alone in the living room. The TV was on but I wasn't watching it. I was reading and sipping a cocktail. And suddenly, I realized how relaxed and content I felt. And I smiled. It had been so long since I'd felt that rested. It was a really lovely moment. And as I already feel like I need another vacation, I am clinging to that moment! Being in that place was magical and I really recommend it. We all need to step away and just rest.
Joshua Desert Retreats on the web:
I must disclose that while we paid for our stay at the house, we did receive a discounted rate in part to this post and in part to my meeting with the property manager for a PR consult.