She was nominated for a huge award. Well, not her exactly, it was the song she wrote for a popular film. She couldn’t believe it, but also knew she didn’t have a chance in hell of winning the coveted crown—the actual award itself. Her competition was legendary and she was somewhat new on the scene. Her ego said go for it. Everybody who is anybody will be there rubbing shoulders with the headliners of the world. Her friends and family were already celebrating such a coup. She felt her head getting too big and something inside said go. Away. So she did as that inner voice beckoned and… “…went to the desert on a horse with no name…” to Joshua Tree Oasis.

It wasn’t really a horse that got her there but her trusty 4-wheel jeep and four great pals and they brought loads of champagne and enough food to feed an army of celebrants. They decided to watch the awards in front of a roaring fireplace in one of the most stunning vacation retreats in California—right where the Mojave meets the sleekest cats of all –more of the bobcat ilk and other desert species—mysterious coyote, hundreds of birds, plants, and wildlife that thrive on their sequestered majesty. She and her friends lulled into the magic of it all, luxuriating in this desert decadence where Yucca and moon-like mountains hid them from the world beyond. Joshua Tree Oasis was the ultimate award that centered her better than any headline or red carpet three-second-microphone shoved in her face. Her fellow constituents already awarded her with a nomination. Now she would answer only to herself and this small gathering of besties who laughed and ate and toasted her success in the bubbling Jacuzzi…under the brilliance of the only stars she cared to see. She had chosen a different kind of success and awarded herself…Herself.

– Cara Wilson Granat