We took the Topolobampo Ferry to La Paz

This is the last post about our road trip down to Todos Santos in Baja Mexico from Prescott, AZ.

We headed out of San Carlos to the Topolobampo ferry and got there 3 hours ahead of time, as the bajaferries.com website suggested. If we knew the ferry was going to leave at 8 pm instead of 5 pm, we might not have rushed to get there!

We got our ferry ticket and walked the dogs and gave them water before we got on the ferry. We waited till most of the cars had loaded so we could be on a top deck so our dogs would have fresh air with the windows rolled down. It was pretty hot out.

We gave Cody and Belle a sedative so they could sleep most of the trip. Turned out that was a very good thing and I’m really glad we did because their stay in the car turned out to be longer than we thought. They were comfortable sleeping and had bowls of water next to them.

If we knew the ferry ride experience was going to take 15 hours instead of 6, we might not have gone that way is what Greg said. I didn’t have too many expectations, so I would do it again.

After we got onboard we explored the ferry which was really nice. It was made in Italy. Went outside on the decks and looked at the view. Talked to a few people. Met a nice musician. Then we headed to a bar area and had an ice cold beer with lime. Refreshing!

We wandered around. I read a magazine. Greg explored. Finally 3 hours later, the ferry took off!

Our ticket came with a free meal so we ate dinner and then went to the cinema area to watch a movie. Most people there were sleeping in big recliner chairs. Soon I was sleeping too which made the 6 hour ride go fairly fast.

I only wished I had a blanket or my jacket to make a pillow which would have made thngs more comfortable. Greg would have liked to have had earplugs as between the movie noise, the guy snoring next to him and the man behind us on his cell phone, he didn’t get much sleep. I on the other hand was oblivious and got good shut eye.

Finally at 2 a.m. we pulled into La Paz. We had drank a coffee to stay awake before the ship started on loading.

One of the things they do is separate the drivers from the passengers when they unload the boat. So that was a little disconcerting because we didn’t know where or when we would meet up. Having only one cell phone between us didn’t help matters otherwise we could have stayed in touch. So I kissed Greg goodnye and trusted we would meet up soon.

I went to the passenger area and waited. People started moving so I got in line and followed. We went through an inspection area like at the airport with a metal detector and a machine that scanned luggage. Soon I was outside wondering where to meet Greg.

I could see that the cars that were unloading were all going past this one area so I stood there hoping to catch Greg and let him know where I was.  I could see that they weren’t letting passengers get into the unloaded cars as they moved past. One had to go to a different area that was beyond where I was to do that.

Soon there he was! Yeah! I waved and he saw me. I yelled, I’ll meet you out front and pointed to him where I would be. He nodded. I thought he would just drive around to that area and I would meet him there and that would be that. It was 2:30 a.m.

At 6am, he finally pulls up to where I was.

For 3.5 hours, he had to stay in line as they slowly inched along and did inspections. I on the other hand was waiting out front wondering where he was. I finally asked a worker if this was normal. Yes, he said. I heard someone say it could take over 3 hours!

All the cars and trucks and buse on the ferry would go by where I was, so I knew Greg would eventually find me. So I sat down and waited, wishing I had a jacket as I was freezing in my shorts and t-shirt.

In the end it all worked out but Greg was not happy when he finally pulled up. He told me his story about what happened. The long wait. The inspections. The not knowing where I was. The dogs were fine which was a great relief. I told him my story. The waiting, the not knowing where he was and if he would find me. But we were fine and glad to be together again!

We decided to head to Todos Santos and stop somewhere for breakfast.

Originally we thought we would get in at 2 am and go camp at the beach till morning. But that didn’t happen. We found a great little restaurant and had a bite.

We finally made it to Todos Santos and to the casita. After unpacking a few things and getting the dogs settled, we layed down for a nap which felt oh, so good after the long, challenging ferry adventure! Sometimes a good nap makes everything okay. 🙂

Do you have any memories of a challenging time during travelling? Sometimes these make the best stories.



I Made Another YouTube Art Video

It’s not that making videos is that hard on my MacBook. I use iMovie and it’s pretty intuitive. But it’s hard to find the time! And I can’t seem to figure out how to get rid of that annoying sound, the hummm, that is in the background of my voice talking. Oh well, it is an exercise in letting go and saying, “things do not have to be perfect.” I just wanted to get it done and share with you a bit about making it.

I’ve had the video pieces on my Mac since June but finally put them together last night. This is a video about the painting I made for the Fur Ball Auction in Todos Santos that benefits the dogs and cats there. You can read info about that in an earlier post. I believe the auction will be in January in 2012.


Donation Painting for the Fur Ball Fundraiser

Last year and now again this year, I’ve painted a piece to donate to the Todos Santos Fur Ball which will be held the end of January in 2012. The Furball is a fundraiser that has been held over the years and is organized by our friend Angelique in Todos Santos. It raises money to spay and neuter the dogs and cats of Todos Santos and Pescadero in Baja Mexico which is really important in these small towns.

My painting is titled “Red Dog Finds a Home”. It’s a small acrylic on canvas, 12″ x 12″.


I’ll write more about this painting and the Fur Ball in another post. Stay tuned.

We are Baja Bound

detail from Little Blue Beach Shack painting by Lindy Gruger Hanson

Detail from Little Blue Beach Shack painting

We’re taking a roadtrip and driving to Todos Santos again. It will be the third time we’ve made this drive!

We are so looking forward to getting into some sunshine!

I’ll be creating paintings and making some art videos while we are there. We’ll stay for a couple months so there should be plenty of time for both. I hope.

I was just backing up my computer and sorting through some files as we get packed to leave and I came across these 150 things one might have done in their life.

How many have you done? Items in bold are things I can cross off the list.

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink

02. Swam with wild dolphins

03. Climbed a mountain

04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive

05. Been inside the Great Pyramid

06. Held a tarantula

07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone

08. Said “I love you” and meant it

09. Hugged a tree

10. Bungee jumped

11. Visited Paris

12. Watched a lightning storm at sea

13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise

14. Seen the Northern Lights

15. Gone to a huge sports game

16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa

17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables

18. Touched an iceberg

19. Slept under the stars

20. Changed a baby’s diaper

21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon

22. Watched a meteor shower

23. Gotten drunk on champagne

24. Given more than you can afford to charity

25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope

26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment

27. Had a food fight

28. Bet on a winning horse

29. Asked out a stranger

30. Had a snowball fight

31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can

32. Held a lamb

33. Seen a total eclipse

34. Ridden a roller coaster

35. Hit a home run

36. Danced like a fool and didn’t care who was looking

37. Adopted an accent for an entire day

38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment

39. Had two hard drives for your computer

40. Visited all 50 states

41. Taken care of someone who was drunk

42. Had amazing friends

43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country

44. Watched whales

45. Stolen a sign

46. Backpacked in Europe

47. Taken a road-trip

48. Gone rock climbing

49. Midnight walk on the beach

50. Gone sky diving

51. Visited Ireland

52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love

53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them

54. Visited Japan

55. Milked a cow

56. Alphabetized your CDs

57. Pretended to be a superhero

58. Sung karaoke

59. Lounged around in bed all day

60. Played touch football

61. Gone scuba diving

62. Kissed in the rain

63. Played in the mud

64. Played in the rain

65. Gone to a drive-in theater

66. Visited the Great Wall of China

67. Started a business

68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken

69. Toured ancient sites

70. Taken a martial arts class

71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight

72. Gotten married

73. Been in a movie

74. Crashed a party

75. Gotten divorced

76. Gone without food for 5 days

77. Made cookies from scratch

78. Won first prize in a costume contest

79. Ridden a gondola in Venice

80. Gotten a tattoo

81. Rafted the Snake River

82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”

83. Gotten flowers for no reason

84. Performed on stage

85. Been to Las Vegas

86. Recorded music

87. Eaten shark

88. Kissed on the first date

89. Gone to Thailand

90. Bought a house

91. Been in a combat zone

92. Buried one/both of your parents

93. Been on a cruise ship

94. Spoken more than one language fluently

95. Performed in Rocky Horror

96. Raised children

97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour

98. Passed out cold

99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country

100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over

101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge

102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking

103. Had plastic surgery

104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived

105. Wrote articles for a large publication

106. Lost over 100 pounds

107. Held someone while they were having a flashback

108. Piloted an airplane

109. Touched a stingray

110. Broken someone’s heart

111. Helped an animal give birth

112. Won money on a T.V. game show

113. Broken a bone

114. Gone on an African photo safari

115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears

116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol

117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild

118. Ridden a horse

119. Had major surgery

120. Had a snake as a pet

121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon

122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours

123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states

124. Visited all 7 continents

125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days

126. Eaten kangaroo meat

127. Eaten sushi

128. Had your picture in the newspaper

129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about

130. Gone back to school

131. Parasailed

132. Touched a cockroach

133. Eaten fried green tomatoes

134. Read The Iliad – and the Odyssey

135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read

136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

137. Skipped all your school reunions

138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language

139. Been elected to public office

140. Written your own computer language.

141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream

142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care

143. Built your own PC from parts.

144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you

145. Had a booth at a street fair

146. Dyed your hair

147. Been a DJ

148. Shaved your head

149. Caused a car accident

150. Saved someone’s life

I bet I could add to this list but I think it’s a pretty good one. Anything you would recommend be added?

I see there is still lots more to do!

Have fun and I’ll talk to you later!

"Meet Me at the Guardian Waters" Acrylic Painting

I know that snorkeling with the fish down in Baja inspired my new painting, “Meet Me at the Guardian Waters”.

I’ve been learning to snorkel for the past 2 years. We snorkeled in the Sea of Cortez when we camped for a few days down in Baja this year.  Although I’ve only been snorkeling a few times, I love being in the water and seeing underwater sea life. We’ve seen the most beautiful fish. Colorful ones, in lots of different sizes – some big angel fish and sting ray!

My fish in this painting although colorful are not as fancy as what I saw snorkeling. My painted fish are a bit trout-like.

I wanted to paint a family of fish with my aspen trees, with guardian trees looking over them.

Meet Me at the Guardian Waters“Meet Me at the Guardian Waters”
24″ x 30″
Acrylic on Board, Unframed

Meet Me at the Guardian Waters detailDetail.

Water is a big part of our life. We love being near it, in it or on it. Greg and I love taking the dogs down to the river and hanging out. Or taking the boat out to one of the gorgeous mountain lakes around Bend. We like hiking along the river or mt. biking on the river trail. I knew fish and water would make their way into one of my paintings soon and they did.

“Meet Me at the Guardian Waters” Print available in my Etsy Shop. Enjoy!

Traveling to Todos Santos


Last  Friday we camped at Playa Santispac on Bahía Concepción on the Sea of Cortez. We headed toward Todos Santos on Saturday morning. On this leg of our trip we traveled very long, straight stretches of roadway through a whole lot of nothing but desert for hours on end.


Although we did get to see some goats when we stopped for road construction work on the highway. You can barely make out the goat amongst the bushes below.


We pulled over and ate a picnic lunch before we got to Ciudad Insurgentes near the Pacific coast.


Finally we went through La Paz and it felt like we were almost there! The last 50 min. or so of roadway is a 4 lane highway, two lanes in either direction, that was built last year. It made for a quick ride into Todos Santos.

Below is a photo of the gate Greg built last year for our place. The bouginvilla has really grown!

roadtrip2-12And so have the banana trees!


Over the weekend, I unpacked my art supplies and got my art table set up.


My trusty studio companion, Belle, lounged around after the long ride, soaking up the atmosphere. Good dog.


In my next blog post I’ll show you some photos of how much the plants have grown in our yard and what I’m painting in the studio this week. Bye for now.

News from Todos Santos, Baja Mexico

Hola, we made it to Todos Santos in Baja Mexico on Saturday with no problems. That is one looong 7 day drive from Bend, Oregon!

Greg did the driving and he did great! There are some pretty hairy areas with steep twists and turns and narrow roadways, large trucks and fast drivers with lots of passing (Greg included), and some long, boring stretches that go on forever and then there were the windy, windy roads that wrestled with our truck but we stayed on the road and kept on going and going, and well, I’m so proud of Greg for getting us here safe and sound!

I will do another blog post with some photos soon. My camera batteries died this morning so I have to charge them overnight before I can download the photos.

Meanwhile all is well. We are pleased with how big all the plants have grown in the yard. We spent most of Sunday cleaning our casita, unpacking and getting organized.

Today I am setting up my art studio under the palapa. That is where I made my youtube videos last year and where I will make some more in the next few weeks. Stay tuned.

Today, one of my metaphysical landscape prints of my painting, Slivers of Light, is being shown in an Etsy Treasury curated by WorksofWhimsy.

Slivers of LightSlivers of Light by L. Gruger

I am honored to be included in this bright and cheerful Treasury that features artwork by Central Oregon artists. It’s fun to find some other Etsy artists from Bend, Oregon too.

Another way to find local artists is to go to the feature on Etsy under “Buy” where you can “Shop Local”. You can search by location and it will list all the Etsy Shops by artists in your area. I think that’s a pretty neat feature.

Etsy TreasuryEtsy Treasury “Local Color” by WorksofWhimsy

We're going travelling


We’re going on a road trip to Baja. It’s going to be a nice getaway especially after the past month we’ve gone through with my Mom passing. Greg and I will be gone for 2 months. I sure am looking forward to it!

I have to say we don’t think of this time as a “vacation” though because we both will be working while we’re gone except when we’re driving of course, but we will be having fun and enjoying ourselves too. It’s always an adventure to go to Mexico!

We’ll be in contact because we will have internet service almost the whole time. So I’ll be writing blog posts and updating my Twitter and Facebook accounts. My Etsy Shop will remain open but I won’t be filling any orders until the beginning of July when we get back.

I love travelling with Greg. We are the best travel buds because he loves to drive and I don’t. He likes to have long conversations about nerdy things like online marketing and so do I. He likes playing loud music and I do too.

He loves stopping to get a coffee while driving on a long road trip and since I don’t drink coffee very often, I love it when we do that because it always feels like a treat!


We’re driving to southern Baja. We’re planning on 7 days to get there. Our first night will be at a Hot Springs Resort that Greg surprised me with for my Birthday! Okay, that part IS vacation time.

Then we will camp a night and then spend a night with Greg’s Mom near L.A. Then we’ll be in Mexico for the next 3 nights till we reach Todos Santos, located in southern Baja on the pacific side.

We do like to follow a plan but we also like to be flexible and love checking out new places. We’ll be staying in a new area on our way down. More about that later.


I’m planning on doing some new paintings in my Baja art studio. And I’ll be making some art videos for my youtube channel while I’m down there too.

I’ll tell you more about our travel adventure in other blog posts this week. We’re packing this week, lining up the housesitter and getting ready for the trip. I’m excited to go. We leave Sunday. We’re taking the dogs with us too.

There is a saying that I got on one of my birthday cards that goes like this, I really like it:

“I think it’s true what they say

Life really is a journey –

and it’s not always easy to know

which maps to trust

or what to pack for the trip.

But whatever the weather,

wherever the road leads,

I think the best possible

traveling advice would be this:

Bring a friend.”

– Keely Chace


So come along. Check this blog often and find out what it’s like driving through Baja, Mexico and living there for 2 months.



Feliz año nuevo from Todos Santos

Just a quick Happy New Year wish to you all from Todos Santos! I wish all your days to be happy, full of fun, peace, creativity and inspiration with many successful moments! Now that we have the wifi going I’ll be able to blog more often and post some more photos. We’re off to the Sandbar to celebrate tonight and then if we’re up for it, to another restaurant to ring in the New Year!