My first trip to California was about three years ago when Garrett and I traveled to his hometown in Huntington Beach. Since that first trip, I have been five or six times, so I feel like I am becoming a California expert (just kidding)! But every time I venture out west, I do like to compile a list of places I really enjoyed. One of my favorite places in California is Joshua Tree. It's a gorgeous desert with an endless view of the mountains. Also, it just so happens to be where Garrett’s grandmother lives. She lives on five acres of desert land with an airstream just yards away from her front door. It’s actually very common for residents to own airstreams. I've added a silver airstream to my Christmas list but Santa hasn't come through just yet!
In true Gemini fashion, I think both the desert and beach oasis are paradise in my book. There is something about the desert that feels perfect. Maybe it's the open space, dry sand, and beautiful plant life. I like to think I am a minimalist of sorts, and the desert really gives me beautiful minimal vibes. The desert also is indescribably peaceful. I love feeling so present without the lights and noises of the city. But on the other hand, the crystal clear waters and white sand of the beach are just as amazing! I feel like when I am at the beach I also feel a sense of peace and relaxation. There is no way I could pick between the two, which is saying a lot, because in the past I would have always picked a beach vacay over anything! Both have their own characteristics that I am drawn to, and luckily, in California, I can experience both!
During my trip to Joshua Tree, I made a list of the places we visited so I could share them with you (and remember for my next trip):
First and foremost, Joshua Tree National Park is an absolute must! It looks exactly like my photos but you HAVE to experience it for yourself in person. It stretches for miles, and the views are just out of this world. For me, I felt so lucky to experience this natural, unadulterated space. It is such a beautiful part of the country unlike anywhere else. And maybe you are thinking a desert doesn’t interest you, but trust me, you will enjoy and appreciate it. I want to go every time I'm in California, and y’all know that I love traveling to a new location every time I leave NOLA.
There are so many great, unique places to visit in Joshua Tree, so here is a run down of my faves. We visit Crossroads Cafe for breakfast every time we're in Joshua Tree. Both the food and the coffee are delish. We have only had excellent service and amazing food. Joshua Tree Saloon is one of the only night life venues in the city, and it is super fun! There’s usually live music, in addition to amazing burgers and a fully stocked bar. They also have a pool table for those wanting to play a game while sipping on a drink or while waiting for a table. The atmosphere is upbeat and fun, and the staff is friendly. We were looking for something fun to do on a Friday night and went to Yucca Bowl. It is several decades old, with true vintage decor. I've heard it's being renovated, but it’s the perfect place to spend the evening and have some friendly competition. I love a good, old school bowling alley and Yuca Bowl is definitely that! If you visit and see the new renovations, let me know what it’s like! I can’t wait to see the new look when I go back.
If you end up staying the night in Joshua Tree, you have to take a moment and look up at the sky. The stars are so big and bright, it truly is beautiful. Living in the city, I don’t get to see a “true” night sky, and all I can say is that it is breathtakingly beautiful. Getting to see a sky lit up by stars is another reason why Joshua Tree is one of my favorite places in California. To wrap this all up, being able to experience a desert oasis and all it has to offer during the day and at night is incredible, and you won’t be disappointed. I'll link where we stayed. If you want to see more, visit my Instagram Story Highlights!
All selections and opinions in this post are my own.
When thinking about the Mississippi gulf coast, most people might picture the shining neon lights of casinos along Beach Boulevard. But about 10 minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the casinos is the city of Ocean Springs. I had been eyeing The Roost, a boutique hotel in the city for months, trying to decide when Garrett and I could pay it a visit. What drew me to it was the gorgeous interiors, amazing price point, and the tucked away, charming aesthetic.
The stars aligned for me, and a friend of mine sent a save the date for her wedding in Ocean Springs! I hurried up and booked a room almost 5 months in advance. I know that might be a little extreme, but I had been dying to stay there and experience it for myself. A blogger “co-worker” of mine stayed there, and I was basically drooling over her stunning shared content.
When we pulled up to the hotel, my eyes lit up! The beach-side colors of the building were perfectly fitting for its proximity to the coast, while the porch and rocking chairs matched the southern charm of the large oak trees. The room itself was just as gorgeous! From the bedding to the shiplap and sliding glass shower doors, I was in LOVE! The room’s layout was unique and refreshing. There was a small hallway to the bathroom complete with a wet bar, making the room feel much more spacious.
Did I mention there is a restaurant?! Eat Drink Love is a casual, farm to table eatery with items like a seasonal charcuterie board, pimento grilled cheese, and a power salad, yum! Right down the street, is downtown Ocean Springs. Talk about the cutest downtown area! The boutiques, shops, restaurants, and bars were shaded by the canopy of oak trees. We ventured to The Office bar for a night cap, and we could not stop talking about how picturesque the city was!
While the hotel and all of its amenities and design had me swooning, the hospitality really was top notch. My favorite part was receiving updates via text. We received a message one day prior to arriving, when our room was ready, and at checkout. I’ve done a good bit of traveling, especially recently, and have yet to experience any hotel go above and beyond like this.
All selections and opinions in this post are my own. Special thanks to The Roost Hotel for sponsoring this post.
Our friend group decided to take it up a notch and do a staycation to celebrate Erin, Holly, and Kurt's birthdays! We didn't want to stay in New Orleans but also knew we wanted to be somewhat close to home. The Southern Hotel in Covington, LA was the perfect choice.
There were so many of us that we ended up renting out the entire Garden House Suites. If you haven't seen the Garden House, you're going to want to click here! Each room is uniquely decorated by the owner of the hotel. There are so many vibrant prints and colors that catch your eye immediately; it was hard to look away!
In addition to being decorated to perfection, each room also has it's own record player. So whether you want to layout by the pool or open a window, music is always an option at the Southern. The pool is somewhat small, but I think that's why I liked it so much (lol). It's not big enough for cannonballs but is big enough for an adult "swim"!
Once we all checked-in, we either headed to the pool or grabbed a bike from Brook's Bike Shop. If you're staying at the Southern Hotel, you get a special discount when you rent bikes! It was a fun way for us to enjoy the gorgeous weather and explore the surrounding area. Later that night we grabbed drinks at the bar and then had dinner at Oxlot9. Dinner was super special because not only were we in the private diner room, but Head Chef Jeffery curated an exclusive dinner menu just for us! It was a five course meal with drink pairings for each individual course. Everyone agreed that Oxlot9 rolled out the red carpet for us! I was so happy that we could celebrate three of my favorite people that night. The Southern Hotel really made our weekend incredibly special.
The next morning, they set up a special brunch spot for us to relax and chit chat about all of the previous night’s laughs! The fresh blooms were compliments from Covington Bloomery! If you're looking for a local boutique hotel to check out, make sure the Southern Hotel is on your list! Besides the decor, their staff was top notch and I couldn't think of a better place to celebrate three of my closest friends.