As promised, I’m sharing a tour and recap of our Joshua Tree getaway for Emmett’s birthday! Last week we spent time with our friends (Laurie Anne & her husband) in the desert to celebrate and recharge. We stayed at a really beautiful, mid century Airbnb tucked away in the Mojave. Click through to check it out and catch some scenes from our trip!
I appreciate all types of architecture and design aesthetics! While mid mod isn’t my personal preference for our current home, I certainly appreciated the details, furnishings, architectural elements, vintage pieces, and design elements that went into this rental. It also felt very private, and the location was one of my favorite things about this charming spot.
This cute little place was really well done, and best of all? It’s dog friendly! Every time we travel with Laurie Anne, we bring our dogs. They love playing together and it is just as much a vacation for them as it is for us. It can be tricky to find nice, well-designed vacation rentals that also allows pets, while feeling clean. That’s a tall order!
Emmett and I stayed in the primary bedroom, pictured below, with our two dogs. It was really bright, had amazing natural light, and was very comfortable. I immediately recognized and appreciated the luxe, higher-end bedding… Brooklinen, one of my favorites that we use in our own home.
This bedroom also had a charming walk out porch, complete with a hanging hammock that I spent a fair amount of time sitting in…
Laurie Anne & her husband stayed in the bedroom at the back of the house, down a beautiful long hallway. It was actually really nice to be on opposite ends of the house, so we couldn’t hear each other. We have different routines and wake up at different times, so we never had to worry about disturbing one another.
The smaller bedroom in the back has an adjacent show stopping bathroom, so it felt like a nice tradeoff. One of us could take the larger bedroom with the attached bath, and the other family would get this gorgeous space with the picturesque soaking tub…
There were plenty of notable vintage pieces that I enjoyed seeing throughout the home (from lighting to furniture and decor). It was obvious to me that the hosts or their designer really considered the design details throughout this entire space.
There was also a small third bedroom in the home that we didn’t use, as well as a detached pool casita that could accommodate another family… plenty of room!
We didn’t rent the casita or pool house since it was just the four of us, so it stayed empty… but this place would be great for more families or additional couples- a larger vacation or getaway with more people.
Speaking of the pool, we were pretty bummed we didn’t get to swim because it was cold and windy, but it was nice to sit near the pool, listen to the water, and take in the view. We did make some poolside cocktails under the pergola, that had a little kitchenette…
The dogs enjoyed hanging out here during the day because it was shaded and the entire pool area is fenced in, so they were able to roam, run, and play off leash. Although we did have two minor incidents with cactus needles… our two aren’t used to the desert environment like Laurie Anne’s dog, Hazel. I think they quickly learned to steer clear of the “prickly trees”. Ha! I mean, look at those big smiles…
The property itself was really cool- boulders and rocks everywhere, with lots to see and explore. A change of scenery and a different view than what you’re accustomed to is always nice.
We also celebrated the birthday guy by eating cake every single day (that definitely happened!). I ran out of time and slacked on baking a homemade cake for the first time in as long as I can remember. I ordered a couple small cakes (that would travel well) from LGO Bake Shop in Phoenix, and Laurie Anne saved the day, picked them up, and brought them along. If you’re in the Phoenix area, all four of us would HIGHLY recommend that bakery. The host also left us a generous welcome gift… a nice bottle of champagne! I’m pretty sure this is the welcome gift for all of the guests, because I didn’t note that we were celebrating anything in particular. Regardless, it was very appreciated!
You’re not going to believe this, but during our second day… Emmett was making breakfast and we were about to put biscuits into the oven (that we’d successfully used the day prior), and as luck would have it- the igniter went out! The SAME problem that happened a couple weeks ago to our own oven at home. Emmett quickly recognized the issue, I messaged the host (sharing his oven diagnosis- which ended up being spot on), and she sent a handyman right away to fix it while we ventured into the National Park. Isn’t that crazy though? What are the odds? I checked the brand of the range (to pass the info along to you), which was a Samsung (ours is a GE). I’m just happy the host was so amazing and quickly took care of the issue- I didn’t want Emmett to have to work during his birthday trip. All of that to say- we cooked some pretty amazing meals and didn’t go out to eat during this trip, so sadly- I have no food recommendations this time around.
The dining room contained a hand-carved horse that I really wanted to bring home with me. I’m telling you… the details in this place weren’t lost on us.
We did venture out of the house to explore the desert and take in the surrounding landscape. This was our first time in Joshua Tree, and we were excited to cross another National Park off our bucket list.
I can’t wait to see what Laurie Anne paints from our park visits! I might have to try to score another original, or at the very least- carry a few of her Joshua Tree works in the shop to commemorate our trip.
Per usual, Emmett & I found some adventurous things to do in Joshua Tree. Living in Utah, we do these sort of things often, but if you’re not experienced- I’d pass on the difficult 4WD or rock crawling trails… especially in the remote desert. Bottom line, be careful out there!
We ended up doing some off-roading and hiking, which was a great substitute for the pool time we had planned, since the weather turned chilly and windy. We took this trail and drove by some old mines.
I’m not quite sure how I managed to miss taking evening photos of the gas fire pit in action, but I did (sorry!). Believe me when I say it was more magical under the stars! We kept the dogs on their leashes because the coyotes come out in the evening (we only encountered one on the property), but the host gave us a warning in advance. Just FYI- if you plan to visit and take your pets. We appreciated the heads up.
All in all, it was a really nice getaway and a fun place to visit that we had never been! I think Emmett had a good birthday. I’d definitely recommend this house if you’re planning a Joshua Tree trip. Have you ever been? Where did you stay? What did you do? Do you have any trips planned this year?
Ale CretulMarch 31, 2021 at 4:13 am
Ahh! What a wonderful celebration trip and Airbnb rental. We were there 2 weeks ago as well and fell in love with the desert landscape. Will have to keep an eye out for Laurie Anne’s new paintings :)
SarahMarch 31, 2021 at 9:14 am
It was really nice! It’s such a beautiful area. I know Laurie Anne has already started painting! :)
PeggiMarch 31, 2021 at 4:49 am
Ugh. So spectacular! These pics make me pine for the desert. It’s a bummer that the weather didn’t allow for swimming; that pool looks dreamy! I well remember drooling over the listing for this home. It was beyond our budget, but your images certainly make it compelling. I’ve been researching vacation rentals for a summer trip (Memphis? Savannah? We’ve never visited most of the South.) So far I’m finding the homes themselves to be uninspiring design-wise. Granted, some of the problem could be the terrible photos, or maybe it’s my price parameters.😉 Possibly most travelers care more about location, comfort and cost? (Okay, when I type that…it seems obvious.) I also want a space that’s unique and beautiful! Maybe my search techniques need improving? Any tips? I’d also welcome any insider information you could offer on the South! I’m sooooooo ready for some travel!
PS Laurie Anne desert paintings are always amazing!
SarahMarch 31, 2021 at 9:13 am
It was really gorgeous and relaxing! The pool was beautiful, but Hazel (Laurie Anne’s dog), was the only one who braved the cold water to take a dip. Hah! It really is so tough to find well designed, clean homes that fit the budget AND allow dogs. The pet rule is the tricky part. The four of us decided we were willing to pay more to get both… and it’s helps splitting the cost with friends. We also justified our stay since we had so much travel planned the past year and a half that got cancelled (which we had already budgeted for). I feel like if I’m looking for all the amenities, I’m expecting to pay more for it (unfortunately). I wish I had an easy search hack (I usually filter by Superhost, pets, entire home, design, etc), but on Airbnb, that has been my experience! I love visiting the South! You can’t go wrong with Memphis or Savannah! We also love Charlotte, Charleston, Nashville (in the non touristy spots), and Louisville (our home city). Now I’m itching to plan another trip. Haha! Spoiler alert- Laurie Anne has already started painting some stunning Joshua Tree landscapes and I got a sneak peek (they’re amazing!!).
Anne HApril 1, 2021 at 12:57 pm
I’m with you and Sarah, Peggi. Definitely want the place to be beautiful and you’re right about the poor quality of photos in some of the listings. What are they thinking?! In regards to searching on Airbnb, I’ve had good luck filtering via Airbnb Plus when it’s available. Airbnb apparently visits those places and approves them so the design, amenities and host contact are usually the best. Enjoy your Southern trip planning – I can highly recommend adding New Orleans if you’ve never been, too. But if you go in the heat of Summer, just know you’ll be in THE HEAT OF SUMMER there. In addition to great seafood, sweet tea and southern charm, know that Humidity will also very likely be on the menu! 😂
SarahApril 4, 2021 at 6:05 pm
Yes!! I second all of this :) I do not missing living in the southern humidity. Phew! It’s no joke.
Jennifer LauraMarch 31, 2021 at 8:28 am
Beautiful spot! My favorite little getaway spot was this little treehouse in Spicewood, Texas, it had multiple sections of the house in multiple trees, connected by rope ladders, a rock waterfall shower, and a wraparound balcony all the way around the treehouse. It was kind of incredible!
SarahMarch 31, 2021 at 9:04 am
A treehouse?! That sounds incredible. I’ve always wanted to stay in a treehouse! I might need the name of that Airbnb ;) Have a great Wednesday!
LaurenMarch 31, 2021 at 9:42 am
Your trip photos never disappoint! Such a cute air bnb- I love the attention to design detail throughout. I saw that you have a dedicated post to finding air bnb’s; I’m definitely going to have to refer back to that one in the future! I’ve never been to Joshua Tree (bad Californian 😜), but there’s an air bnb called “The Joshua Tree House”, that I would love to stay at! Hopefully we can plan a trip there for spring break next year. This year Jeff was traveling pretty heavily for work, so we couldn’t plan anything.
We are looking forward to summer traveling though. We actually sat down and made a bucket list of trips, from day trips all the way up to 14 day trips, that we want to experience with the kids (plus a few adults only), and are hoping to cross quite a few off over the summer. I look forward to seeing what Laurie Anne creates from this trip-her paintings are always so beautiful. It looks like you had an amazing week celebrating Emmett- cake everyday?? Yes please! I’m sad you missed the awesome weather though! This week has been a typical spring weather week, with that crisp morning air, clear skies and zero wind. I hope your spring weather arrives soon. Have a happy Wednesday! Xo
SarahMarch 31, 2021 at 1:46 pm
Definitely check that post out! Much like scrolling Zillow, I waste a lot of time saving Airbnb houses and destinations. haha! I actually know of The Joshua Tree House! I think I have it saved on a list. It seems like a beautiful spot! Fingers crossed you can make it there for spring break. That would be super fun! Here’s to more travel this summer and later this year :) I’m looking forward to it! I think I gained my weight in birthday cake, ha. It was delicious though. I’m glad you’re having an awesome weather week. Enjoy it, my friend!! xo
Anne HApril 1, 2021 at 12:51 pm
Lauren, you definitely need to go! We actually got to stay at the smaller Joshua Tree House, their Casita last Feb and it was perfect for us with two bedrooms because we too were visiting with friends. (Only one bath though, so not super ideal when you’re traveling with non-family members). I believe the casita is actually next to the hosts residence, The Hacienda, which they sometimes rent out, as well. Would LOVE to stay there next time – absolutely stunning! We chose the Casita over the larger JTH primarily because that location wasn’t as isolated and some of the reviewers had mentioned traffic noise, which was no bueno when you’re going to the desert to get away from that! We’d probably return to the Casita in hopes they’ve been able to refresh it as it was showing some wear & tear from being so popular – the bathroom and the kitchen, both had some issues that unfortunately, weren’t addressed while we were there. Anyway, feel free to get my email from Sarah or DM through Insta @anneandbill if you have any questions. We were able to visit some of the restaurants, as well as nearby Pioneer Town and would be happy to share.
LaurenApril 1, 2021 at 2:29 pm
Thank you Anne! I love that you have stayed there and have all the insider info!! Ps-I’m definitely going to follow you on Instagram because I’ve long wanted to!
Anne HApril 2, 2021 at 2:20 pm
SarahApril 4, 2021 at 6:06 pm
I love that you two are connecting!! This is super helpful info. Thank you, Anne! xo
CarrieJMarch 31, 2021 at 10:01 am
Beautiful! I’m in LOVE with the tasseled blanket on the bed in third bedroom (or maybe casita?) – any idea where to find something similar?
SarahMarch 31, 2021 at 1:44 pm
That was a really pretty throw! Here is a similar one I found: https://rstyle.me/+D_8wXR2k4_2RgMKdwnvV8Q
CarrieJMarch 31, 2021 at 3:35 pm
Nice, thank you so much!
Anne HApril 1, 2021 at 12:40 pm
Oh, my gosh – have I been waiting for this post and it did not disappoint. Firstly, we’re so thrilled you and E got to enjoy a fun (& beautiful) vacation getaway with Laurie Anne, her hubby AND your fur balls! Trying to find a pet-friendly Airbnb that’s also designed beautifully, is a tall order indeed especially when you’re looking for one that’s CAT friendly! When we traveled to Nola for my surgeries, as well as when we were nomads when our new build condo building was delayed, if there was a rental home I was especially excited about and it wasn’t listed as “pets allowed”, I often contacted the host to see if it they’d consider allowing it. Some didn’t, but some did so I think it’s definitely worth asking about and convincing them how awesome, well behaved, clean your pet is.
Secondly, you really do find the best places! I’ve spent way too many hours, like Peggi, searching in vain for beautiful AND in budget. In addition to searching via Superhosts, I have found some of the best places filtering by Airbnb Plus, when the location is large enough to support them. When the Luxe filter is available, I sometimes search those and add them to my vision board for someday. That listing just looks amazing, although definitely a bummer about not being able to use the pool. Were you at least able to use that HUGE hot tub though, I hope??
Lastly, I cannot wait to see what Laurie Anne creates from her time there. When we visited JT for the first time last Feb (JUST slid in before the world turned upside down) I found the landscape so incredibly inspiring. (Did you, as well? Would love to see what might come out of that!) Way more than I thought I would, but there was just something so special about it and all I wanted to do was write, sketch, dream and write some more. Part of it is where we stayed, too – the Casita at The Joshua Tree House! Nestled amongst the boulders, not only was it beautifully done (although it was showing a bit of wear & tear from the high frequency of guests, unfortunately), it was quieter than quieter. Pretty much my perfect environment. Friends were able to join us, too as we celebrated B’s birthday and it was so fun. Even though I don’t know if I could live there, it’s definitely a must return! (I actually blogged about our stay, as well-my profile link will take you to it if you’re interested.) So envious it’s within driving distance of a day for you guys, too! ❤️
Anne HApril 1, 2021 at 12:42 pm
Opps, maybe clicking on my photo won’t take you to my blog? Sorry! If I’m allowed to share a link here, it’s at https://asecondchapter.com/2020/05/01/u2-may-heart-joshua-tree/
SarahApril 4, 2021 at 6:07 pm
Links are definitely allowed! I’m working on a new platform as we speak, that will make the community portion of the blog SO much better (we can share photos, videos, links, etc). More to come soon!
Anne HApril 5, 2021 at 2:37 pm
Yea! Can’t wait to see!
SarahApril 4, 2021 at 6:15 pm
It was such a nice, much needed getaway! I loved reading all about your Joshua Tree experience, too. Thank you for sharing that- what an amazing bday trip for B! It’s definitely a tall order finding a good spot that allows dogs. I imagine cats is infinitely more difficult. Great search tips! I also like filtering by Airbnb Plus, but those are usually more expensive (though the design is usually really nice)! I definitely save the Luxe options in hopes of planning a splurge worthy trip someday. We were able to use that giant hot tub, which was a nice trade off since the pool was cold. I’m thinking Laurie Anne will probably start launching her Joshua Tree stuff this coming week or next. It’s all so beautiful! In terms of my thoughts on the landscape… I thought it was really cool and beautiful, BUT I’m spoiled living here in Utah with such a varied landscape and parks galore. I feel like the hype made it feel a bit overrated. I really liked our trip and the house though! Hope you had a wonderful weekend :) xo
Anne HApril 5, 2021 at 2:41 pm
Thank you! We had such great weather when we were there and as photographers, were in landscape heaven. :) Can’t wait to see Laurie Anne’s work from it.
Can I just say, I for one would LOVE to see some of the homes on your Airbnb wish list sometime! 😍
SarahApril 5, 2021 at 6:25 pm
I’d be happy to share my Airbnb list with you! :)