Joshua Tree National Park Engagements | California Photographer

A story of Andrea + Zed and the time that I almost had to pay $783.

After spending an amazing week with these two in LA, the final request I had was a trip to Joshua Tree National Park. I’m currently working on a National Park bucket list + since I hadn't been to J Tree before, I was determined to make it happen + these two were kind enough to go along with my location request for their photos. On the last day of my trip, we road tripped out to Joshua Tree, jamming to good tunes + playing random car games to pass the time. We spent the afternoon climbing rocks, snapping photos, and soaking in the desert even though it was freezing (who expects a desert to be cold?! I sure didn’t but you learn something new everyday). We headed out around 5, knowing that I needed to be at the airport around 8 to catch my 9:30 PM flight back to Boston. We were cutting it a little bit close, but it would have been fine if nothing crazy happened.

Well, of course something crazy DID happen. An accident ahead of us left large pieces of metal debris in the road and our unsuspecting little Camry didn’t have a chance. We ran over an unidentified sharp metal piece with a huge thud + immediately all exchanged looks of horror. We pulled over and heard a hissing sound instantly - one of our tires had popped. None of us knew how to change a tire, but luckily a kind soul pulled over and changed the tire for us. He was basically our guardian angel — thank you random stranger! I soon learned that with a spare tire you can’t really drive over 55 mph because the tire is so tiny it can’t handle anything faster. The whole debacle ended up taking 45 mins to resolve and we still had over 100 miles to get to LAX, meaning I definitely would not be making it to my flight. I called the airlines to beg for a new flight. The customer service rep explained that I’d have to pay the difference in fare costs if there were any, but due to the circumstances she would be able to waive any change fees. Phew. I breathed a sigh of relief — until she came back and said “okay so the difference in fare will be $783 - would you like to pay with a credit card?”

I pretty much gasped and was speechless for a sec. Once I was able to form words I begged/pleaded/shed a tear and she was able to find me a different flight for only a difference of $8. EIGHT FREAKIN DOLLARS. I still don’t know why she didn’t lead with that flight, but oh well.

Honestly, after getting home and looking through these pictures — it was all so worth it.

Thank you Andrea + Zed for being the best hosts + adventure buddies a girl could ask for. Wouldn’t wanna almost pay $783 for anyone else. Love you guys.

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Anna Elizabeth is a wedding and elopement photographer based in San Francisco, California. Servicing the local area of San Francisco and the greater Bay Area, but often traveling throughout the U.S. and Internationally to document weddings and elopements. Specializes in capturing creative portraits of candid moments to produce natural, emotional wedding photography.  Northern California is home but available for travel worldwide.