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Posts tagged road trip

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this post is a little behind, but none the less, worth sharing.  my sadness has subsided about the cabin in colorado, though- out of sight out of mind. i have been busy hanging with my brother and his family, playing nanny, and playing more nanny. kids will get your mind off anything.  rain is a common denominator in my life these days, since i left colorado, and now being in washington. it is incredibly cozy here right now, i will share more on that later.

first, let’s talk about my trip through yellowstone. it was a very gloomy and rainy day. i arrived at shoshone lodge and resort in the evening in time to enjoy the brisk evening and have a glass of wine in front of the cabin. it was so quiet and peaceful, it was strange to not hear a river running. i choose this lodging because we stayed here as a family when i was a kid.  my parents always talk about it and i thought it would be fun to check it out. it was me and all the old folks, but that is to be expected this time of year.  the place was clean and cozy. though, i didn’t eat at the restaurant, the menu was hearty and home cooked.

i woke up early and started my trek into the park. i had wylie with me, so i couldn’t plan any hikes, but it was raining anyway. within my first 15 minutes in the park i saw cars pulled over on the side of the road, cameras out- gawking. i got out and to my surprise- a bear. she was far away, and it was hard to get a photo with the iphone, but i saw her. i waited forever, even prepared, in colorado for bears. they never came. it was an off year, obviously- being they had a 1000 year flood, and my neighbors were shocked the bears never came. i told them i would end up seeing one in yellowstone, and i did! the buffalo were everywhere too. one even walked directly in front of my car. it was pretty awesome.

i entered the park through the east gate and took the southern route to old faithful. i remember this from my childhood, but of course when i showed up, she had just gone off and everyone was returning to their cars. we drove a little more and found some other geysers and they were the color of heaven. from there we headed north where the terrain changes into waterfalls and lakes with all these geysers spewing all around. the land is so diverse. i have been meaning to do a little more reading up on the evolution of this land, it is hard to read the map when your passenger is a dog. i simply enjoyed the beauty and the chance to be there.

i ended at mammoth hot springs. i didn’t get to walk all the way up because wylie at this point was totally stressed that i kept getting in and out of the car. so, i choose a closer path and to my surprise, it was my favorite part of the trip. it was the most beautiful natural element i have ever seen. as if it wasn’t even real.

i thought i would try something a little different along with my travel posts. being that i can’t do much crafty or food posting, how about some of my favorite things of the moment. inspired by each trip i go on, a mood board of wants and must haves! here goes the first one.


1. Stetson Austral Hat – every hipster has a hat these days. this is a classic western brand.

2. Zara turtleneck – great color for fall

3. Kutoa Peanut Butter and Jelly bar – yum

4. Top Shop overalls – classic,rustic, and comfy for road trips

5. Madewell “the fielder” lace up boots –  i want these

6. Mast Brothers chocolate – who doesn’t want chocolate on a road trip?

7. Chimani APP – national park app

8. National Geographic APP – another great app for road trips through national parks

9. Herschell “little america” Backpack –  a little color and function

10. a playlist – what is a road trip without music

11. Mountain Spirit Book – some history on the native americans of the area

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things have been a little crazy around here. i am so behind on blog posts and have a lot pending. my poor kitty lola has been in the hospital the past few days, needless to say, i am stressed out.  before the poor girl got sick, i took a little road trip to taos, new mexico for a few days. taos is one of my favorite places in the world and it holds a special place in my heart. my first trip there was in high school when my brother moved there. we went a few times to visit and one summer took a big family vacation there. my dad’s grandparents had a motel in albuquerque, so he too grew up going to the land of enchantment.  a few years ago i was traveling there a lot. i got to know the area pretty well, the best burrito places, and the best bead store i have ever been too. it was a 14 hour drive from LA, but now i am sooo close- about 6 hours from my new house. i would have moved to new mexi, but i though there were better opportunities here in colorado with the booming denver/boulder/ft collins. being so close to taos, is amazing, and i couldn’t be more excited about that prospect. i called up my friend natalie in denver and asked if she was up for a road trip! i more or less wanted to go to the bead store for more supplies, and it was certainly a good excuse!

we entered taos from a different route than i am use to,which was pretty spectacular.  there is something about that place that is addicting, exhilarating, and spiritual. the sunrise, the sunset, the clouds are like none other i have seen and each day the sky gives you a different picture to look at. it never gets old, never. the mountains frame the town while the mesa looks as though it goes on forever. it is simply, beautiful.

we stayed at the la dona luz inn, a 200 year old adobe, and booked the la madonna suite. we both brought our dogs and they serve a sweet little breakfast in the morning! the inn is walking distance to the main shopping of taos. the room smelled of fire ( i love that smell) and the charm that is new mexico was practically bleeding from the walls. it was hard to eat out with the pups, so we had to do a lot of takeout-but we for sure got a lot of good stuff in (a few to try guadalajara grill, Michael’s kitchen, historic taos inn). we of course, did some shopping hitting up the bead store, a consignment shop that is to die for, and the local fare the town has to offer. the hike we went on was everything i remember about my time here: peaceful, beautiful, and enchanting. there is this silence on the mesa, that if you just stop and breath, you will never hear anything else like it in your life. you have to just do it, to know it… and i of course, highly recommend it.




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the last few photos give you a taste of the light. we were driving down the road to the taos pueblo and the light was this intense yellow. twenty minutes later we got to the hotel and the sky was pink. not an uncommon thing for the area. just a little taste of what it can be.

i have had some pretty amazing experiences there: hanging out in earthships, floating down the rio grande in inner tubes and a white water raft, or hiking down into the rio grande, pitch-black outside mind you, swimming naked in hot springs, made some art (this is where my jewelry line was inspired), and gazed at breathtaking stars. once, i even thought i saw a spaceship. pretty sure it was a satellite!  i learned a lot about myself in all the time i spent there, i learned a lot about myself after. it certainly has always made a mark.

i can’t wait for more.

Taos on Dwellable

i will leave you with one post about a weekend trip as i am about to pack for another. yes, i travel a little too much. besides the stress of finding a dog/cat sitter, i wouldn’t have it any other way. before i found my cabin in colorado i went on a little adventure with some friends up to big bear, california. big bear is a quick mountain getaway from LA. only 2 hours away, it is a skiing hot spot if you don’t want to do the trek to mammoth or tahoe.  i personally don’t ski, but i enjoy a good mountain town anytime. obviously, it isn’t ski season either…but it was oktoberfest, which we somehow managed to miss.

big bear is full of rustic charm with a little bit of a back woods feel. if ya know what i mean. we stayed about 15 minutes from the center of town, but the road is packed with antique stores and a plethora of bear statues. it is a sweet little town filled with plenty of things to do.

the first night we knocked on the neighbors door to ask for some firewood, to which he gladly gave us some, and then about 2 hours later he came over and told us it was illegal…ha! so, we moved the fire inside. we made dinner, with limited utensils in the rental kitchen. somehow the girls managed to make guacamole with no cutting board…and i made homemade tortillas with no measuring cup.

the next morning donna made sausage and egg biscuits and i made chocolate caramel croissants and concord grape jam ones too. after breakfast we took a little hike that was right outside the front door. although, we only hiked for a bout 30 minutes total…we collected rocks and sticks and saw the most amazing white birds in the sky that at the right turn, would glow with the sun. it was pretty cool. you can kind of see them in the photo above. not the moon, but the other faint white spot on the photo! hard to capture, but sensational to watch.

for the afternoon, donna suggested we hit up the go carts. so, we ended up go carting, eating cotton candy from a machine, and hitting up the alpine slide. we ate some dinner in town and later hit up the local brew and then ate another late night dinner in town. somehow, i ended up almost winning both games of elimination on the pool table, even though i am absolutely horrible. it was so nice to just be silly and trot around town with little worry for the day!

now, there a whole lot of other things to do in big bear: like the glorious lake, serious hikes, skiing in the winter, shopping, antiquing, lounging, and so on. this was our own little big bear experience…and it was perfect!

i left super early that monday morning and man was that drive back down the windy mountain road  stunning. high above the fog and gloom that was covering LA, the sun was shining perfectly and the layer of white over the city was breathtaking.  once you get back onto the freeway to LA, it’s as if big bear was some sort of magical enchanted forrest.

I arrived back in LA yesterday from my road trip to Denver. Good lord, is the scenery stunning across this country!! The first day Wylie and I drove from LA to St George, Utah.  We stayed the night at Crescent Moon Inn, which is situated about 15-20 minutes off I-15.  I could not have picked a better place and this stay was one of my favorite parts of the trip.  The drive is short from LA to St George, and when we arrived we had some time to do a few things in the area.  The Inn is located in a housing community and the room felt more like an apartment.  It was clean, modern, and had a small stocked kitchen.  First things first, Wylie and I went on a hike on the Anasazi Trail, which was just a short distance down the street.  It was hot (I love desert heat), but incredibly beautiful.  We hiked for a while in search of petroglyphs, only to turn around because I thought we had gone too far. Turns out, after I asked someone at the bottom, we had not gone far enough. I  was bummed, but the scenery was still well worth it.  We got back to the room and I made a little dinner ( somehow I managed to NOT eat fast food the entire drive out there) and watched some of the good old Olympics.  At dusk, we sat by the lake just over a small hill from the front door and went for a dip in the pool down the street as it was getting dark.  The place was so quite, practically empty, and one of the most relaxing nights I have had in a while.  There is a small artist community down the street as well, but it was closed while we were there. All in all, I have to say the situation itself being within a community is strange, but I would stay there again in a heartbeat! My only complaint was how loud the upstairs guest was, as they woke me up at like 6am and didn’t stop making noise until 8am!

The next day was a long one in the car, but amazing.  I was in awe of how incredibly stunning the views were, especially through the swell.  (Unfortunately, I forgot my memory card at home and only had the iPhone for pictures.)Every turn my breath was taken away and  I felt like I was on a different planet. The colors would change from green,red, yellow, stone, back to red, pink,sometimes purple and onto brown and then suddenly everything is green again.

 After Grand Junction, the scenery starts to change again…into the beauty that is Colorado.  At this point, I was getting tired and a needed to stop and stretch a lot.  We hit up one rest stop in Glendwood Springs, situated right by the river which was a chocolate brown.  While Wylie and I  searched for oompa loompas, I got a call about a possible wardrobe job. Suddenly, my anxiety spikes.  Here I am sitting by this river and after hours of contemplation I had this idea in my mind about wanting to slow things down. Now, I was torn…with ambition (because I really wanted the job) and peace.  Is there a happy medium? Just one of the few questions that spiked up on the trip.

We arrive in Denver and the first night stayed with my friends Laura and Burke.  There new apartment is awesome ( and a curiosity space to come!).  The trip all in all was great.  My friends were kind enough to support me on my adventure helping me scope out areas and showing me their own. The first day we spent checking out lots of cool places in Denver. One of which was this store I am now in love with called Ironwood.  I even talked with the owner about getting my necklaces and rocks in for Holiday!  Laura took me around to some of her other favorite shops and we stopped by to see her current exhibit that is up. We went to the MCA and saw some art and had a beer on the roof…ending the evening with a walk and dinner in their old neighborhood called the Highlands. Sunday night we had dinner at Williams and Graham, a super cute speak easy type restaurant with an extensive drink list from the prohibition era. It was quite charming!

I also stayed with my friend Natalie, whom I have known for a very long time as well. She and her fiancé just recently moved to Denver, in the Broomfield area.  Nat and I drove up to check out Fort Collins one day and then went on to check out Lyons.  We decide it would be a good idea to drive up to Estes Park, but I forgot that wasn’t a good idea without any gas. I stupidly thought we would make it there, but we decided to take the scenic route. Not even half way up, I thought for sure we were going to be stranded in the mountains. The funny thing is, Natalie and I ran out of gas one time in college together. Thank god for laughter though, as much as I super duper nervous, we were laughing our asses off.  Luckily we coasted into town on fumes. Lesson learned!? I have been to Estes Park a number of times with my family. Cute little town, beautiful mountains. My parents even went on their honeymoon there!

The next day me, Laura, and Natalie took a ride up to Boulder. We went to see Laura’s studio, which I will include in the curiosity space, and then drove up to Nederland.  The drive was amazing, people were climbing rocks, playing in the river and once we got up to Nederland, a thunderstorm came to town.  On the way back down we found a spot and did a photoshoot for my necklace line and new webshop to come! This was another favorite part of the trip, getting creative in the mountains? What more could you ask for?

Natalie went with me the following day to look at a cabin outside of Boulder.  We didn’t get to go inside as we just missed the guy, but it was quite charming and kind of everything I want. It had a greenhouse, a compost toilet (outside…maybe not ideal, but), wood burning heat, mountain living all the way. I can’t stop thinking about it…but I am in limbo about my decision still.  Then we drove to Eldorado Springs, where I would live in a heartbeat….just not sure how often things become available. . So charming, quaint, beautiful and exactly what I would want!

All in all, I love Colorado. I love LA. I have a lot to think about…let’s just end it with that…for right now!

i have lived in LA for almost ten years and i have never driven north of san luis obispo, and never north of santa clarita on the 5. now, that’s just crazy.

 for the drive home,i was researching if i should take the 1-5 or route-99 . people online claimed the 5 was a boring drive…but clearly these people have never driven on 1-65 in indiana in the middle of winter! i found the 5 to be quite lovely. sure, it is flat and a bit mundane, but that was sort of a relief after driving through curvy mountain freeways.  i am a bit of a grandma on curvy roads, especially when it is raining. pretty much everyone passed me that shared the freeway with me.

the drive north i did in two days only stopping in sacramento for the night. luckily my hotel was right by the historic district, so wylie and i went for a little walk.  i was totally thrown back by the old west aesthetic. unfortunately, all i could think of was disneyland.  sacramento was not what i expected, nor was the middle of california. i expected something brown and desert like, and it was actually much lovelier than i thought.

so, now let us fast forward to after the oregon part of the trip.  i spent the night in mt shasta,california. mt shasta is the second highest volcano in the continental US.  this photo below is from the drive north when it was gloomy and rainy. to be honest i am not even sure this is actually mt shasta. i think it might be another mountain close to mt shasta, because when i was driving south, and it was sunny, i saw another huge mountain. pretty sure that was mt shasta…but it looked a lot like this, just bigger!

(this is part of my driving series of photos. total clark griswald moments, if you know what i mean!)

i stayed at the best western plus tree house. i choose this place, let’s be honest, because of the wood panelling. i love a good wood panel.  the hotel was just fine. a bit dated, but that was part of the charm.  ordered room service with the pup, hard to go out to eat anywhere because you can’t leave the dogs in the room alone…and wylie is a whiner! the dinner was decent, but the free breakfast was horrible. hence, the word “free”.

the next morning i woke up early with anticipation for the 10 hour drive ahead of us. before getting on the freeway i did some early morning detours. my favorite part of mt shasta was all the crystal and gem stores(to be bad they were closed), and especially this one  which was clearly a gas station converted into a store. the pumps were removed and replaced with benches and painted concrete. i also did a little drive by of another motel i really wanted to stay at, cave springs motel. it looked adorable. they have cabins as well as a motel.

south of mt shasta is mt shasta lake. man, this place is beautiful!!!! it totally sneaks up on you on the freeway. you are driving through flat land and then all of a sudden, boom!!! there is this gorgeous lake with water like an opal! i couldn’t find a good stop off to get the view from up high. when you are on the freeway you are above the lake, so you get these breathtaking views of the curvy shoreline. you have to see it to even understand it!

then, it was onto the agriculture part of cali!  but not before a stop off at the olive pit in corning, california. my sister-in-law, addie, grew up in orland, california. she loves her olives! i was starving after the horrible breakfast at the best western, and thought something other than fast food would be oooh, so nice. so, in honor of addie i made a pit stop. i bought a can of olives, a breakfast sandwich on olive bread, and last but not least, a lemon olive oil milkshake. yes, it was 10 in the morning, but how often are you presented with a lemon olive oil milkshake? i had to do it, plus i knew i was going to start juicing again the second i got home (and i did)! this shake was soooooo good. lots of inspiration for olive oil flavored sweets! the breakfast sandwich was pretty damn good too!!

from here on out, my focus was HOME! wylie too. poor guy. he kept looking at me like, really? three days in the car…really?

we stopped at rest stops for wylie to roam, but that was it besides my stop at a farm outside of the LA vicinity where i bought some blood oranges and raw almonds.  the landscape was so just lovely, to me. i loved seeing all the orange, lemon, and olive farms along the freeway. could have done without that stock yard though.  yikes! here are a few driving shots from the iPhone. no-time-to-stop.

the last shot was driving into the mountains outside of LA.

and of course, here is one of wylie making himself at home in the backseat.

i have to admit that i sometimes forget i live in california. as a kid, that was all i wanted to do. i remember we had this current event class in 5th grade and every little newspaper we got seemed to say that everything was happening in california. i wanted to be part of that. hard to believe that i have been living that dream for 10 years this august.  LA can be a bit of a bubble sometimes,and i admit it felt good to drive out of the city. driving through the rest of the state kind of made me feel like LA wasn’t even part of california.

 the trip through cali made me happy that i have lived here as long as i have…that i made one of my dreams come true, for 10 years!

Forest Park, Portland

i have waayyy to many photos to share about this trip. so, i am dividng them up a bit! i just couldn’t decide what to not share. get ready for a damn long post, though!

when i left olympia, i did a little drive around in portland. i have been there a few times, so this was just a little refresher and its always easier to get a sense of a city when you drive in it. for me anyway. i stopped at my favorite pie shop, random order coffee shop. i got the chicken pot pie and chocolate cream pie to go. clearly, my diet at this point went out the window! but hey, i was traveling!  i checked out the different neighborhoods doing a loop from mississippi street to alberta to hawthorne and over the west side taking a car stroll through forest park and down 23rd street.

see, i have been contemplating moving to oregon for  a long time. my hobbies are a lifestyle there and my brother is only 2 hours away, but then there is the gloom. oh, the gloom. it actually gets gloomy here in LA quite a bit, in fact it is right now. i just can’t seem to take the plunge at this time. it’s something i am slowly figuring out. needless to say, i do think it would be amazing to live in this city!

i didn’t get a ton of shots as i spent most of the time in the car and it was raining. i found the houses super charming, especially this blue one!

i left portland and drove west to lincoln city, oregon. on my way there i stopped at some thrift stores and found some awesome little gems along the side of the road. i just couldn’t get enough of the rustic simplicity.

upon arrival in lincoln city, it was raining. but wylie and i took yet another driving tour of the little town and had a lovely walk on the beach.

the little mojo house i thought was such a lovely and modern version of all the drive through coffee shops through out oregon and washington. damn, i love these! they served stump town coffee, which i clearly got for breakfast!

we drove to a lake and found some cute little yurts. if i wasn’t a chicken shit to stay in one of these by myself, i would totally stay here! the top left photo is the hotel i stayed in.

i stayed at surftides, which is owned by the same people who own farmers daughter here in LA. it was such a great place to stay for the price, and they allowed pets. i searched for a few hours online  trying to find a boutique hotel that wasn’t full of country decor. i mean, sometimes that is just great, but i wanted to mix it up on the trip! i ordered room service (the food was great! clam chowder included) , started a fire, had a glass of wine, and listened to the waves in my ocean front room.

it was divine!

this hotel reminded me a lot of the hotel i stayed in zagreb. modern, simple, affordable, and just the right amount of charming touches. there is a pool, the ocean, a great restaurant, and fire pits outside in the evening!

early the next morning i took wylie for a walk on the beach. and the little guy just loved it!!!!! i couldn’t stop smiling and laughing at how much he was running around. he had so much fun! it was the cutest!

we left the hotel and started driving south down the 101. and well, this was simply amazing! the pictures i took do not even compare to the beauty that is actually there. so, many places to stop and wonder, gaze, and enjoy. lots of beach towns and antique stores too!

i spent the most time at cape perpetua.  there are several stop offs,like the spouting horn, devil’s churn, and driving to the top of the park there for an incredible view from the CCC shelter.

a few other shots from along the coast. the last one is in the sand dunes area…near florence. and i love how you can see the  thick of clouds moving away from the coast.

from the dunes area i took the backroad 38 over to roseburg. this was beautiful as well. the majority of the road rides along the umqua river. i only got one good shot of this area, in the car.

i drove through a few small towns in southern oregon. one being ashland, which is just the cutest little thing! i wish i had time to hang!

but it was on to mt shasta for the night …that shall be part 2! california!

a few things about oregon:

the trees, clearly

the amount of land that is just breathtaking

the thrift stores

the grittiness

the wine country

 the mean drivers( and that is coming from someone who practically lives in her car in LA)

 very nice people otherwise

drive through coffee



a plethora of casinos

probably as many prius’ as california

the country…there is some country there


and finally: getting use to the fact that you can’t pump your own gas

Portland on Dwellable

i have been ignoring my blog lately… and that is because i took myself on a post birthday road trip to olympia, washington to visit my brother and his family. wylie (my dog) and i, left LA and drove all the way up the 5. i have lived in LA for almost 10 years and have never driven much farther than wine country north of santa barbara. of course, i have taken an airplane up this way many times, but sometimes a road trip is just so much better! my parents have been here too, a nice little family time!

 tomorrow, i leave to make my way back down to LA. i have lots of interesting stops planned! i won’t spoil it now, but leave it for a surprise later. in the meantime here are a few pictures from a hike yesterday. i love it up here so much. the moss, the green, even the rain.  so vastly different than being surrounded by cactus, succulents, brown, and sun in LA.  but that’s the best part of traveling…the notions and ideas of what home is …or is not.