CHILLING IN THE CALIFORNIA DESERT
The couple: Erin and Matthew Land, married March 14, 2015, on Mercer Island, Washington. The plan: The Seattlearea couple—he’s an event photographer; she works in marketing— had two requirements for their honeymoon locale. It had to be a) warm, and b) drivable. “We wanted the freedom of getting around ourselves,” says Matthew. They flew into Palm Springs, California, rented a car, and drove to Joshua Tree National Park and back. Urban oasis: Despite being close to downtown Palm Springs, the Korakia Pensione (from $229 per night, korakia.com) proved to be quiet and romantic. “It felt like a retreat in the middle of nowhere,” Erin says. Among the amenities: a fire pit next to the pool, where they sat together as newlyweds, “letting it all sink in,” she says. Desert dream: During their six nights in Joshua Tree, the pair divided their time between two Airbnb rentals. “We picked them because we loved the architecture and their privacy,” Matthew says. As it turns out, one—called the Boulder House—has been featured on architectural websites. Grand finale: On their last evening, the two had dinner at the Purple Palm Restaurant in the Colony Palms Hotel (colony palmshotel.com). “It was very old school, with a lot of candle- light,” Erin says. On the menu: scallops and octopus, with brioche brulée for dessert. Trip tunes: Music can make or break a long car ride, and Erin and Matthew came prepared. “We had a Spotify playlist with our favorite songs—the same one we sent to the band for our wedding,” Erin says. A few days into the trip, they added one more tune to the rotation: a recording from their big day, which the bandleader sent them, of a soul/R&B rendition of “How Long Will I Love You,” by About Time.