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Say hello to our intrepid traveler! She was sooo very good, everywhere we went – restaurants, wine tastings, parks, book stores, hotels and homes, jaunts high and low. Juniper Beulah, our world champion of sweet adorableness, making friends and melting hearts. Good girl!

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Unfortunately, I was not quick enough on the draw to capture Juniper spinning with glee. It was adorable to witness her utter delight at seeing the ocean, which is amusing because our girl does not like water!


Olivas Adobe

The world’s oldest still flowering fuscia – planted in 1899. It was enormous!

The Dire Straits fan in me squealed with delight upon seeing the Telegraph Road sign!

Jacaranda before…

and jacaranda after. Both are equally beautiful to my eye.

Rose Valley Falls – Los Padres National Forest

Another hairless squirrel to ogle and taunt…

Tip-top lunch and sweet service at Azu, with beer flavored with Pixie dust and peel from the famous Ojai Valley tangerines (which we saw growing!) and a very fine Alisal rose. Delicious. What you can’t see? Sweet Juniper Beulah sleeping at the hubster’s feet. Good dog!

Bart’s Books – my first encounter with an outdoor book store. It was lovely.

After many years of patiently waiting, I am pleased to report that the Ojai Valley is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited!

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Beautiful Moorten Botanical Garden, with every manner of lovely cacti (and a jaunty hummingbird or two), just down the block from my Uncle’s, though it would have been worth a far, far longer trek.

Frankinbun – the delightful whimsy of the wallpaper is a fine match to the tasty franks in (and out) of their delicious buns.

My kind of irreverence.

At the Noah Purifoy Outdoor Museum now, one man’s hopeful and provocative use of the everyman’s detritus, sometimes beautiful, often strange and humorous. I love the lunch trays!

Pioneertown – a bit lackluster, save the extraordinarily beautiful drive.


Ship of the Desert – 1936

The dazzle of fine architecture overwhelms.

T-Rex meets G-Rex (and Juniper) on our Big Adventure – a fine end to our California desert journey.

Up next – Ventura and Ojai!


Hi from Rick, Greg, Colleen, and Chris at the Integratron and part one of the California leg of our epic road trip. The hubster and I got up early, early, early in Bisbee to make it here in time, and did, but only by the skin of our teeth and maybe disobeying a speed limit or two. Maybe. Whew!

All love

The Integratron is located in Landers, California, 20 miles north of Joshua Tree National Park. Its creator, George Van Tassel (1910-1978), claimed that the structure is based on the design of Moses’ Tabernacle, the writings of Nikola Tesla, and telepathic directions from extraterrestrials. This one-of-a-kind 38-foot high, 55-foot diameter, all wood dome was designed to be an electrostatic generator for the purpose of rejuvenation and time travel.

I and my fellow travelers went for a sound bath, with the stunning energy and full body resonance of expertly played crystal bowls, more than a dozen of them, sending us into a state of deep peace and relaxation. It was truly magical. If ever you plan to be in the neighborhood (our digs were at my Uncle’s in Palm Springs), do yourself a favor and go. If you arrive with an open heart and mind, you will not be disappointed. No siree.

Bleached out sunshiney Palm Springs – 100 degrees in the shade and oh, so pretty.

Oh my goodness, I never imagined that I could L O V E a date milkshake or learning about the history of date production in the Coachella Valley, but, dad gum it, thanks to Shields, I am a convert. Yummy and fascinating.

And this? A literal oasis in the desert. 1000 Palms exists thanks to faults and seismic activity that send water to the surface, kinda spooky, really. Much to our delight, the oasis lives up to its name, with a cool 10-20 degree temperature difference. Impressive!

Mirage – Doug Aitken

Since it was so very hot and our dear Juniper Beulah is super spazzy without an a.m. AND p.m. walk, we waited until after sunset to stroll the streets of Palm Springs for the latter. The cherry topped goodness was a peaceful moonlit dip in a pool the temperature of perfection. Life is GOOD!


Sleepy head hubster and our favorite watch dog. Cuties!


Welcome to part two of our Arizona journey. Flagstaff, this first bit, reminds me of Boulder or Breckenridge when I was a teenager – laid back and lovely, breezes flowing, nice people and cool hippie shops (I bought rocks and crystals, of course). We enjoyed stellar Thai food and BBQ (Bigfoot!) a hop skip and a jump from the old Route 66 (sing it, Nat!). Sometimes the past and present collide, and hallelujah, nostalgia wins.

Sedona, red, wonderful, magical. And hot! We hiked to the Seven Sacred pools, scoring the last parking space in the tiny lot, enjoying the beautiful and lizard laden landscape. And what are lizards? Juniper says they are squirrels without fur and behaved accordingly.

I had never seen a cactus bloom in such a dazzling fashion. Eeek!

The Chapel of the Holy Cross is a stunning work of architecture, completed in 1956, the same great year as our house!

This last photo is Bell Rock, another gorgeous wonder of geology. It is also purported to be an energy vortex – a whirling center of masculine and feminine energy.  As you well know, I am a pretty open minded person and came to the vortex as such. Believers say the energy is palpable, and I can’t help but wonder if it is true. I got our of the car, moved close enough, and started to feel a pressure around my chest, like someone with massive hands was attempting to turn me round and round while I stood stock still, a bit dumbfounded,  before doing what seemed most logical. I adjusted my bra. The sensation remained. I observed the trees, twisted junipers, mostly, looking like I felt. I watched the cloudless sky. I took in the hot air. I sauntered back to the car and the sensation ceased. Maybe something happened. Maybe I was moved by the hands of the universe. I’d like to think so.


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