Our Anniversary Vacation to Joshua Tree, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas and Route 66

This past March, Scot and I celebrated our 11 year anniversary plus Scot’s 40th birthday by heading out west for an anniversary vacation. We stared our trip in Las Vegas and then headed on an amazing road trip inspired by my love of all things Americana. I love, love, love all things vintage and nostalgia, did you check out my Instagram Story today? And what better way to celebrate such huge milestones than by celebrating with an iconic road trip?

We stayed our first night in Las Vegas at the Luxor and then headed out the very next morning toward Joshua Tree, CA. We drove through the Mojave National Preserve. The desert terrain is so different for this Midwest Momma. I expected stark nothing, sand for miles…like on a Looney Tunes cartoon. But really the desert is filled with life. It was my first time every visiting any desert and I was surprised by how much I loved it. This anniversary vacation was also my big chance to break in my brand new camera, my Fujifilm XT2. Gahhh, I love it so darn much. All of these images were taken with my new Fuji. After shooting Nikon for nearly 9 years, dare I say I might be a convert?! Well not just yet but this year I’m bringing it along to all my weddings.

Hicksville Joshua Tree
Mojave National Preserve Cima Store
Mojave National Preserve Cima Store
Mojave National Preserve Cima Store

We drove all the way down to Joshua Tree, California to an amazing and very hidden little… ‘resort’ called Hicksville. I so wish we could have stayed longer here. It was perfect. It is a collection of unique airstream’s, trailers and cabins surrounding a pool, game room and hot-tub. We stayed in ‘The Sweet’. It came complete with a record player and set of vintage records for us to play. Both Scot and I agreed that we are probably not cool enough to have stayed here but, gosh was it fun to pretend!
Hicksville Joshua Tree
Hicksville Joshua Tree
Hicksville Joshua Tree
Hicksville Joshua Tree
Hicksville Joshua Tree
We had a great time shooting BB guns and bow and arrow together too. I must brag a bit, I was the first to hit the hanging cans with a BB-gun. But truth be told, we would have probably starved to death if I was in charge for bringing home supper back in the day.
Hicksville Joshua TreeMy man was a pretty solid shot with the bow and arrow though…
Hicksville Joshua Tree
Hicksville Joshua Tree

We stayed up playing ping pong and video games… oh and the hot tub on the rooftop was the perfect end to the day. We didn’t get a chance to swim in the pool but next time with more time I’m in for sure.
Hicksville Joshua Tree
Hicksville Joshua Tree
Hicksville is located just outside of Joshua Tree State Park. I have been obsessed with visiting this park for a while now and I basically planned our anniversary vacation around visiting this magical place. We drove over to meet up with an a photographer Alexandria Monnet for an anniversary session. Gosh was it weird to be in front of the camera! It isn’t exactly my comfort zone… But Alex made it so fun, and it was perfect to have such a well versed tour guide to show us all around. I found Alex through Instagram. All of the killer photoshoots she does in the park had me so excited to work with her to help document our anniversary vacation. This park is unbelievable and I really can’t wait to get back again someday.
Joshua Tree Anniversary Session
Joshua Tree Anniversary Session
Joshua Tree Anniversary Session
Joshua Tree Anniversary Session
Alex also didn’t mind me hauling my camera around during our session and I couldn’t help but snap a photo of her in action.
Joshua Tree Anniversary Session
Check out the blog post she created from the highlights of our session. I am having such a hard time choosing one to frame, they are all so darn great. If you are ever in her area, do set up a session with her! These are a few of my favorites by Alex.
Joshua Tree Anniversary Session
The next day we hopped on Route 66 and headed 7 hours to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. I was pretty excited to travel on this iconic road. It is what Americana is all about, RIGHT?! I LOVE the Disney Car’s movie too.

But I feel like I have to be honest, it was a let down. There were a couple of neat spots, but they were few and very far between. I took a few photos but we ended up jumping on the interstate after hour 6 because I couldn’t stand it anymore.
Route 66 Americana Road trip
Route 66 Americana Road trip
Route 66 Americana Road trip
Route 66 Americana Road trip
Route 66 Americana Road trip
Route 66 Americana Road trip
It was a long drive and we were pretty happy to have finally reached our next destination… the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Both of us have never visited before and had plans to hike down the South Kiabab Trail to Cedar’s Ridge. We wanted to be in the canyon when the sun came up and set out the next morning while it was still dark out. It was worth the early morning hour. It was quite at that hour, very few people on the trail. March is the perfect time to visit, I must say. The weather was cool in the early morning hours but warmed up nicely. We were out before it got too hot in the mid-day heat. It took us around 3 hours to hike down to the Cedar Ridge point and back up. After being there, I was bummed we couldn’t go all the way down, but someday it would be great to hike it with the kids too.

Check out that guy… contemplating his last few days of his thirties I bet in the beautiful sunrise light.
Grand Canyon Anniversary Vacation
Grand Canyon Anniversary Vacation
Grand Canyon Anniversary Vacation
Grand Canyon Anniversary Vacation
Grand Canyon Anniversary Vacation
Grand Canyon Anniversary Vacation
We drove back to Las Vegas and spent the rest of our trip having a lot of fun together bopping around town. Most of the time I didn’t trust myself to carry my new camera with me (which was a pretty smart move, EEEK) so I don’t have much to share. However, we did have lots of fun spamming my bestie with snap chats one night…so if you want details you will have to ask her. EEEK!!
Grand Canyon Anniversary Vacation

Have you taken an amazing anniversary vacation? Where to? I love a good adventure and am currently planning a big adventure for us AND our kids, hit me with your ideas!

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