Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Star-Studded, Desert Wedding

For someone who hates to be hot, it makes very little sense that I am absolutely wild about the desert.  

Until one sees the stunning vistas, then it makes all the sense in the world.

Also, people aren't kidding when they talk about "dry heat" versus humid/sticky heat; there is a noticeable difference - like clinical-strength antiperspirant not being a necessity, for example.  More importantly, there is an atmosphere in the desert that is so uniquely serene and magical that I always jump at the chance to go out and explore its many wonders.  When we received an invitation to a wedding in the desert, we were excited.  When we saw that it was to be the wedding of our friends, Jodi and Swimmy, we were thrilled.

Our journey necessitated us passing through Cabazon.
It will be a cold day in hell Death Valley when Mr. Tiny doesn't
stop to commune with the Cabazon Dinosaurs.

If you've never been to see The Cabazon Dinosaurs, you need to change your schedule and go; it is a wacky tacky must!  The area around them has been built up since the filming of Pee Wee's Big Adventure, but fortunately the Wheel Inn, the truck stop diner that is also featured in the film is still serving great food and homemade salad dressings.

The staff at the Wheel Inn is very nice.
Is it strange that every time we come in, they know why we are there?
"He sat in that stool," they say as we make our way to the bar to plant
ourselves where Pee Wee sat.

I always want to take a souvenir home with me but they're not selling
the spaghetti globe lamps that hang over the counter.

There is no end to great photo-ops out that way.
Mary wore a two-piece squaw dress that looked cool
 against the desert brown stripes and it picked up the
colors of the totem pole. 

We met up with Nick and Cynthia at the Wheel Inn so we could caravan out to the wedding site.  We tried to test out the old TESTO machine but...

...it wouldn't take Nick's nickel.
Our next stop was the site of the wedding, The Shangri-La Cabin, in Joshua Tree.  Have you ever been on the Indian Jones ride at Disneyland?  That is nothing compared to the rutted, uneven, unpaved, dirt road we had to take out to the wedding.  I had never realized the level to which I had taken paved roads for granted until that night.  Driving past spooky hillbillies along the way, the wacky wagon nearly shook itself apart.  In the blackness of the desert past sundown, we were convinced that we were unintentionally cast in a horror movie.  When we finally found the Shangri-La Cabin, I knew the blessed relief the Israelites must've felt after those forty years.

The wedding site was awesome and the ceremony didn't disappoint.  Really, it was everything a wedding should be - romantic, funny, intimate, personal, and fun.  

The gorgeous bride in her custom-made gown.

Jodi and Swimmy were hoisted on chairs as the guests danced the Hora.

The ceremony and reception were held outside under a firmament filled with the brightest stars.  Living in an area suffering from the worst in light pollution, I had forgotten all about stars (seriously, we can see one or two on a good night).  The night sky was beautiful, the music was awesome ( I spent the entire night dancing), and there was a swing set!!!

The desert sky was so big and so close, it felt like we
were "Swingin' on a Star."

We even got to meet our blogging buddy,
Crystal Lee, of Nakedcowgirl Vintage.

I was having so much fun that I failed to get a picture of the delicious wedding cake - a giant corndog!

Cynthia, Mr. Tiny, Jodi, and Nick
Of course I waited to get a picture until the end of the night
when we were untucked, tired from dancing, and stuffed with cake,
 but that doesn't matter because...

Congratulations to Jodi and Swimmy!  You guys are a perfect couple (notice I didn't say a couple of what).  Thank you for including us in your special night and your awesome party!  We expect to be on the guest list for the 50th Anniversary party!


Mr. Tiny


  1. I have never been to the Wheel Inn! I’m gonna go asap. It looks amazing inside. I'm enjoying your photographs of the wedding, and I’m glad you found time to take some between all your dancin.

    1. You just gotta go next time you're out that way...if only to sit where Pee Wee once sat and to tell them "Large Marge sent me."

  2. Oooh looks like a fun adventure and a fun wedding! Funny you should post this, as I am just about to post about a wedding too....*spooky*! :)

    On a lighter note, I love those dinosaurs! I've been once, years ago, and I want to go back again!

    1. That is spooky. Who knew October was the month for weddings? Next time you guys are in town, you must go back to the dinosaurs - it is wacky tacky mecca!!!

  3. This looks like my kinda wedding. How fun!

    And I'm with you on the dry heat. I much prefer it. I thought I was going to die in New Orleans, and it wasn't even really hot when we were there.

    1. It was definitely my kind of wedding - small, not too formal, and a heck of a good time! Plus, as I mentioned, the DJ was top notch and didn't play a stinker the whole time. I am a DANCER, it is hard to keep me still when good tunes are playing! As far as humidity goes, nothing makes me grumpier...dry heat is the only way to go!

  4. i have never even seen the dessert. the farthest west i've been is st. louis, but i would love to see those dinos and sit where pee wee sat! i love that second picture down! it is pretty perfect.

    1. If you guys ever make it out this way, we will show you the desert as it is meant to be seen. I LOVE the desert! My birthday is next week and I think we're going back out there. We really have nothing to complain about (although it doesn't stop us), we live within minutes of the beach and are an hour away from desert, mountains, and farmlands. I think about living other places (real estate is unbelievably expensive here) but I'm not sure I could trade the lifestyle and climate. Also, thank you!!!

  5. Next time you stop by the wagon wheel you have to get one of there shirts they sell....it has the T-Rex eating a truck and says "grab a bite"....I love cabazon so much..it was the first drive I took when I got my license.....its sad that they put a Median on the freeway so now you cant see them heading east bound :(

  6. I am in love with this Desert Wedding. All your photos are superb. Thanks a lot for sharing these photos. I am going to attend a destination wedding at one of popular wedding venues NYC. Feeling quite excited for wedding and NYC trip!