california is the holy land!

seriously.  it's unreal here!  the sun is so bright and happy, the temperature is just perfect.

we were going to go to the mojave national preserve the day before yesterday, and go to joshua tree yesterday, but then got realistic and realized we couldn't do both in 2 days!  no way!

instead, friday afternoon we headed straight to joshua tree national park.  the drive here was ridiculous!  deserts and giant purple mountains as far as the eye can see.  and no one around, only a few cars on the road.  pat and i felt like the only people in the world for a little while.

we spent the night friday night at this AMAZING and perfect bed and breakfast in twentynine palms, CA called roughly manor.  as soon as we stepped onto the property our jaws just dropped and we marveled at the gorgeous new england charm in the middle of the desert.

the original owners of the house were from the east coast, and built the house in sort of a colonial style.  we got to hear the whole history of the place- it is both beautiful and sad.

the woman, elizabeth, married a poor man, bill, (she was from a wealthy family) and they moved to the joshua tree area because bill had gotten mustard gas poisoning from world war II. bill's doctor thought the desert air would be good for his lungs.  the doc was right and bill started to heal.  the couple found a lovely property to homestead and built a very small house.  elizabeth's family disapproved of her marriage to someone 'beneath her class' and cut ties with her and her husband for a short while, until they realized how much she loved bill.  they then warmed up to their love.  elizabeth's father died, and left her with 6 million dollars.  bill and elizabeth used that money to build their little house into something more, and fashioned it after homes on the east coast.  the stone house was built by local builders from local stones around the desert.  little cottages were built around the house for the builders to stay in.  bill and elizabeth built the house with 5 bedrooms, including a special nursery with a window in it so they could see into the room from their bedroom. they would have plenty of space for a family.  elizabeth suffered 2 miscarriages, and then one day bill died from hitting his head on the side of their boat and falling into the water and drowning.  how devastating, right?  it really made me think that, no matter how much or little money you have, suffering touches us all, and all the money in the world won't protect us from death.  elizabeth couldn't bare to stay in the house so she sold it to ari wrubel, the writer of dippity doo da and gone with the wind!  clark gable frequented the house, and then it was sold a few more times before gary and jan, the owners of the place now, turned it into a b & b 18 years ago.

this is the lovely room we stayed in- the cottage.

pat, liam, and i had such a great time.  we took liam to a park and ran around with him and played games ;), came back to our room and watched seinfeld, then ordered food from the palm kabob house, ate it and drank wine, sat in the hot tub, and then went peacefully to sleep.  i didn't want the night to end!  after staying at so many generic hotels along our trip, it was such a treat to stay at a sweet and thoughtful b & b.

the great room, where we had breakfast- soft baked potato topped with scrambled eggs and bacon, with fruit on the side and orange juice. mmmmm!

pat really enjoyed playing the old baby grand in the room.

i made a few videos at the b & b, but blogger is being dumb and keeps giving me an error when i try to upload.  so when it works again, i'll be posting those videos plus some videos from the grand canyon.

one thing that i truly loved about roughley manor is the smell of the old house.  it smells just like my grandparents' and great aunt and uncle's houses in VT- like an old fire.  it brought me right back to those days in brattelboro, VT and it kinda made me miss the east coast a lot!  it we settle here i want to build a new england house near the desert :) .

after checking out of our room we headed to joshua tree!!!!  i'll be posting about that tomorrow. :)

we spent the night in redlands, CA last night.. couldn't quite make it to santa barbara.  we were just soo tired from hiking and the desert sun and LA driving is INSANE, so we decided the safest choice would be to get rest and stay at our last motel on our trip.  

we are about to leave now for santa barbara!!!! finally!!  patrick, liam, and i are totally ready to stop traveling and get back to normal life.  

i'll be back tomorrow!  hope y'all have a peaceful sunday.


  1. oh magical and special that you stayed at that sweet old place that was a bit New England there in the desert. I know that sweet musty homey smell of my aunt alison's family home. (she just wrote me the cutest letter..i love her!) I know you'll be soo happy when you reach SB.Love you so much and miss you everyday since you left, but I'm being strong and sending you my heart beams across the miles!
    Mom ma



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