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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, ko­ 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 “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.

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