It was a different kind of Christmas this year. For the first time, Charlie and I decided to implement the alternating-family holiday schedule. We spent Thanksgiving in Kansas City with my family, and Christmas in Palm Desert with his folks. Instead of the usual non-stop holiday season with my large (and incredibly loving) family, we had a peaceful week in the desert. It was our first time seeing the McArthur's new home in the desert, and it definitely didn't disappoint. The house is located on a property right along a golf course but up against the rocky hills for privacy. A peanut-shaped pool and hot tub are lit up at night by several fire places and the expansive starry sky. We ate incredible meals, hiked the trails up behind the house where big horn sheep trek, and threw the ball in the pool for Daisy's original BFF, Darby the fox red lab. She was the dog that opened up our former bridge-dwelling rescue pup to playing and roughhousing while we were in Greece.
The desert is a unique kind of pretty that I didn't understand until Charlie first took me on drives through Nevada. It's harsh; but when you really take time to appreciate it, you notice the subtle beauty and appreciate its expansive views. There is something humbling about a landscape that thrives in extreme conditions. I'd take a garden of agave and barrel cacti over a rose-filled one any day.
On Christmas afternoon Charlie and I took his dad's new car for a spin through Joshua Tree. It was much colder than we expected--somewhere around 35 degrees--and much more crowded. Nevertheless, Charlie made it his mission to scare the bejeezus out of me by whipping through the park at ridiculous speeds (I know you're going to read this and tell me for the millionth time it wasn't that fast. I'll save you the trouble...IT WAS. But I still love you.)
I'm writing this from Reno and feeling extremely excited because in thirty short minutes we get to see our best friends who we haven't seen in six months, and tomorrow morning we will be driving with them to the place that makes my soul sing, Lake Tahoe. Tomorrow is also the first night of SnowGlobe Music Festival. You can find us out in the snow with jewels on our faces and light up cat ears over our beanies dancing to keep warm. Life is good.
Happy New Year!