I have a deep love affair with the Southern California desert. Maybe it's because most of the happiest times of my childhood were spent living there, maybe it's something on a deeper, more spiritual level. Whatever it is, it's a place where I can truly escape my everyday world and feel re-imagined. I suppose people have been moving West for that very reason for centuries. I love the starkness, the dry heat, the plants that survive under some of the harshest conditions on earth. I love the sleepy old towns (which remind me of what the Palm Springs of my youth used to look like). I love the expansiveness of it, that you can see the horizon in every direction.

Matt and I took a little escape to Palm Springs and Joshua Tree without the boys for a night, this past weekend. Every now and then, two or three times a year, we really need it. We sat by the pool under the giant San Jacinto Mountains, ate some sinfully good Mexican food for dinner, then made our way to Joshua Tree the next day for a hike through Hidden Valley. Each time I pull into the national park there, the trees never cease to make me feel as though I've been transported to some alien, Dr. Seuss-like place. All barren, poky and gnarled. We left feeling wind-blown and re-invigorated. It was just enough so we could go back to LA, scoop up our sweet little boys, and begin a very promising week.