We're taking a road trip to the Southwest

Yay! This week we’re headed out on a roadtrip. And it’s to one of my favorite places…the Southwest. Travel along with us as we travel through Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and California. Wow! that sounds like a lot! We’re actually still formulating our plan and where to go.

We’ll take our dogs, the kayaks and our mt. bikes. We’ll be stopping in some cool places and taking lots of photos with our new camera! And we’re bringing along some art supplies so hopefully I can do some art too!

LindywithMapsMe with Maps.

We stopped at Triple A and picked up a bunch of maps. I always think it’s fun to look at maps. Stay tuned for more on our trip.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

We Camped at Playa Escondida on the Sea of Cortez

We’re back in Bend, Oregon. We left Todos Santos on the 25th. We stopped on the Sea of Cortez at Playa Escondida for a couple days of R & R. We love camping on the beach!

We snorkeled and swam and caught the rays! It was hot! About 105, maybe more.

We built a great little camp with a palapa hut.

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The views were beautiful!

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The water was my favorite color! I call it mediterranean green. But maybe I should be calling it Sea of Cortez green.

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I liked this painting overlooking the beach.

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It was way up there. I like surprises like that…when you’re looking around and then you notice something way up in the rocks and you have to squint to see it or get your zoom camera like I did.

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Our friend Heidi traveled up Baja with us. This is Greg and Heidi enjoying dinner by the sea. I had to stop and go get the camera and I snapped their pic.

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There was a full moon that came up over the mountains. It was so orange and gorgeous! Hard to capture by photo just how spectacular it was!

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Greg fixed us killer margaritas. He’s mastered the recipe!

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He also mastered the art of relaxation!

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Heidi and I were pretty happy relaxing too!

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And Greg and I were especially happy because one morning on a walk along the beach, Greg proposed and I said yes! Here we are celebrating with big, happy smiles!

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Now we’re back home but we sure have good memories from our camping and road trip!

I hope your days are bright and blessed!!

Got any fun plans for the summer?

Spent the day in Todos Santos

We played tourist today. You can see my friend from Seattle below with Greg. She flew in on Sunday and we picked her up in Cabo. Today we wandered around Todos Santos showing her the sights.

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First, we stopped at the Cultural Center and looked at art and learned some history of the area. I like this Frida Kahlo painting below.

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There are lots of little galleries and shops to explore. This carved door below is at artist Charles Stewart’s house and gallery. His website says “Charles was the first and founding artist of this rapidly growing colony of very talented, professional artists. He was the only working artist who had a gallery in Todos Santos up until 1995.” Now there are lots of artists in Todos Santos.

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One of my fav artists is Jill Logan. So we went down to her gallery and checked out the latest paintings.

Then there was one little shop that gave us tequila shots and Greg tried on this poncho and mask which made us laugh. We had fun!

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I love this purple building with the red bougainvillea in front of it.

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You can look around and see art everywhere. In the color of the buildings, in flowers, in the architecture. I love the way certain buildings have sweet details, for example, this saint below.

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We wandered around looking at stuff. We bought a couple things. Stopped for a taco and then ice cream at Happy Cream.

Soon the sun was beginning to set.

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We stopped at the Todos Santos Inn for a cerveza before we headed home. They have beautiful garden areas there and it was peaceful and relaxing after walking around all day.

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Then we headed back to the casita. Tomorrow we’re headed to the beach to show Heidi some sun and surf. On Friday we start our drive back to Oregon.


Traveling to Todos Santos

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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.

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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.

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

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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!

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

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

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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.

On the road to Bahía Concepción

Last Friday we headed out toward Bahía Concepción on the Sea of Cortez from Bahía de Los Angeles. This is an area that we really love. We spent 3 days there last year on our return trip up Baja and this time wanted to explore a different playa (beach) in that same area.

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First we stopped in Guerro Negro and got our tourist visas and passports stamped at the immigration office. We were glad we were there on a Friday since we didn’t know if the office was closed on the weekend. We got lunch and filled the gas tank and continued toward Santa Rosalia on the coast.

To see a video, click the link> baja driving

This part of the drive has some super steep roads as one heads over to the Sea of Cortez. The below photo doesn’t do this area justice. I don’t have a photo of the super steep part because I probably had my eyes closed and was holding my breath as Greg drove fearlessly down the very steep and winding road…on that part it was ever so slowly though.

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We drove into a small town called Santa Rosalina to see what it was like. We hadn’t stopped there before.

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There were lots of shops with colorful exteriors and signage.

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We stopped at a panaderia (bakery) for fresh bread and muffins that were delicious! This one had been there since 1901. We thought the town was quaint and the people friendly.

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Then we headed toward playa Santispac where we were going to camp for the night.

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It was beautiful there. So calm and peaceful. We ate at a nearby restaurant and then went to our camp spot and set up our stuff. The dogs played in the water.

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For $8 per night and hardly anyone around, we felt like we were in paradise.

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In the morning we got up and took a swim before we left. It was gorgeous!

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And then we hit the road for our final destination, Todos Santos.

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Greg in the drivers seat.

I’ll write more about that leg of the journey in tomorrow’s post. Stay tuned.

Our drive to Bahía de Los Angeles

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Last Thursday we got up early after spending the night in El Rosario and we headed out toward Bahía de Los Angeles. This is an area we have seen on the map but have never been. We couldn’t find much online about it either. We decided if the weather was nice we would go for it. Otherwise we would stay in Guerro Negro which is where we get our tourist visas.

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So we hit the road.

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The desert was in bloom.

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Yellow and red are popular desert colors.

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We stopped a couple times to let the dogs out and give them water.

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I took photos of the desert.

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I love the area around Catavina. Land of the big boulders!

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We stopped at the Desert Inn and asked them if there was gas in Bahia de Los Angeles because if there wasn’t, we were going to have to skip it. Turns out there are 2 gas stations there. So we had enough gas to continue! That made us happy.

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The desert has some very odd plants. Spikey, tall ones.

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Spiny bushes with yellow fluff hanging like cotton on their branches.

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We reached the town about 40 minutes or so after the main turn off.

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It was really windy but gorgeous!

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The water was beautiful. My favorite color — mediterranean green.

The town is very small. Not a lot going on there. But we heard there was a vintage motor cross race starting there the next day so we heard the town was pretty booked up for that.

We stopped for a yummy lunch of fish tacos at a cute little taco stand. We asked some other customers who were there about camping in the area. They told us about a camping area north of town. I believe it was called Daggett’s. There was camping on the beach with palapa huts for $10 a night. Just what we were looking for.

So we stopped for some food and drink supplies and headed on over there.

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We unpacked and set up camp. We let the dogs run in the surf. Boy, were they happy campers after that!

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So were we!

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In my next blog post, I’ll tell you about our next day with driving to Bahía Concepción and camping on that beautiful bay. I think you’ll like those photos.

‘Til then, ocean breezes to you!

Notes from the road

We began our drive to Baja on Sunday. First stop, Harbin Hot Springs in Northern California. This was a surprise birthday present from Greg to me. What a sweet man he is!

Now I don’t have any photos from this part of our trip because they don’t allow any picture taking at the Hot Springs but I do have links to some photos from the Harbin website. We stayed in one of the Tent Cabins that was really cool. Part of it had a huge window where we had a beautiful view of the forest valley. It was very private and we were able to use the hot soaking pool after we did a nature walk around the grounds. It was a wonderfully calm place to relax and refresh our spirits before continuing our drive.

We stayed the second night at a camp ground near Pyramid Lake outside of Los Angeles. It was an okay spot but it wasn’t the best evening. The hard core rap and rock music our camping neighbors (a young family) turned on that evening kept us awake for a while. They had a gigantic bonfire that they would leave unattended. We had a bird’s eye view and couldn’t help but look their way. Now I could turn this into a rant about parents who play loud music with not a care about their kids being exposed to the vicious words in this type of “music”, that these parents didn’t care enough to turn the “music” down so that their children could sleep quietly after they went to bed or let their neighbors sleep quietly but I’m not going to. GRRRRR!!…you get the idea, so you can see it was not the best night. We should have left and found another place to camp but we didn’t.

In the a.m. we had a couple guys visit our camp site. They had been camping near us as well and they were pretty sketchy characters so after they left, we got packed up fast and got back on the road.

That day, we visited Greg’s Mom outside Banning which was really nice but way too short of a visit. Hopefully on the way back up we’ll stop and see her again. Later that evening we went to our friends house in San Diego. We visited with them and spent the night there.

This morning we got up and headed toward the border.

We didn’t get going as early as we had planned though but we were crossing about 9-ish. It looked quite different then the last time we did this. Lots more people and cars then we remembered. As we followed the other cars along, we were flagged over to the side so our car could be searched. But it was only a few minutes delay as a nice man poked around in the back and asked a few questions. Soon we were on our way.

It was cloudy when we started out.

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But it cleared up and it was a beautiful day and uneventful drive! We like uneventful. No problems. Just driving and chatting and listening to music and watching the views go by.

The wild flowers were out along the road. It was very pretty.

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For lunch we stopped and got sandwich makings and drove out to the ocean and had a picnic. The flowers on the beach were vibrant. Hot pink and yellow. bajaday1-3

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The dogs played in the sand. Chasing each other with a stick and exhausting themselves. They’re good travel dogs but I bet it felt good to them to run free after being cooped up in the car so much.

Soon we were to our next stop. A little town called El Rosario.

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Our tired pups from the long car ride today.

We love this one little motel here. It’s the first motel on the left as you come into town next to the Pemex gas station. They have some new remodelled rooms that are terrific and cost about $30 a night.

Our dogs love it too because they get to stay in our room. Belle found her place under the bed stand and Cody layed down near by.

Later we took the dogs for a walk and stopped and got tacos. I ordered my fav mexican drink…horchata. If you haven’t had some of this sweet spiced drink, you must try it. I’ve ordered it many times at different mexican restaurants in the states and in Mexico but tonight’s was the very best ever! I might try making it at home sometime. There are different ways to make it but here is a recipe if you would like to try it yourself.

Hasta luego. See you in a couple days.

We're on Our Way

The Trees Sing to the RiverThe Trees Sing to the River,
Acrylic on Paper, Framed 24″ x 20″
By L. Gruger

Oh Happy Day, we’re on our way!

It’s been a very hectic week! But tomorrow we leave on our road trip to Baja, Mexico – destination, Todos Santos.

It will be a long drive from Bend, Oregon! We had lots to pack but now we’re done! Hopefully we’ll be up early and on the road by 8 a.m. That’s the plan anyway.

I didn’t get all my paintings done. But I got some finished and they will be down at the Tumalo Art Co. gallery for sale.

It seems these smaller birch tree paintings are studies for larger ones I will do in the future. I think I’m going to like them even more when they’re large.

The Trees Sparkle and SingThe Trees Sparkle and Sing,
Acrylic on Paper, Framed 23″ x 19″,
By L. Gruger

I was also interviewed this week by Art Calendar magazine and will have an artist profile article in the July/Aug. magazine. So that is exciting.

I’ll try to post some photos from our trip later in the week.

Be well everyone!

We're going travelling

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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!

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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.

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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

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

xo,

Lindy

Postcrossing.com Postcards and Travel

I do love to travel! But since my purse strings are tight right now, I decided to join Postcrossing.com This is a website where you send and recieve postcards from all over the world! And a great way to discover new places to travel! I find it very inspiring. It’s fun to see the stamps and images from the cards and getting a hand written message from someone.

I also love getting mail. Real mail that you get in the mailbox. It is like getting a little gift when you get a letter from someone. Somebody took the time to address it and write a note. It’s special! So I get little gifts of messages from people all over the world…people sending me a postcard! How fun is that?

I also like to make original Art postcards occasionally and love to send them out into the world that way. On one’s Postcrossing profile you can specify what kinds of postcards you’d like to receive. There are a lot of people collecting different kinds of cards, for example, cityscapes, animals, humorous, art, etc.

My first postcard received was from Finland

FInland postcard of witchThen Portugal.

Portugal ObidosRussia next.

Russia Heart Postcard

And then Brasil.Brasil Tucano Postcard

All the postcards I received have a little note written on them, either about themselves or their homeland. On Postcrossing you can track your postcards travel time and where they came from  and where they’re going to. There’s a map showing how the postcards travel and it updates itself automatically. It’s fun to watch. It’s a pretty neat system.

I hadn’t thought of traveling to Portugal before. But in reading about it, it looks like an interesting country. What are some of your favorite travel spots? Anybody have some recommendations?

I’m looking forward to receiving more postcards and  wondering where they will come from next!

Christmas Tree Expedition

On Sunday we went on an excursion to get our Christmas Tree. We packed our lunch with yummy tuna salad sandwiches, some easy to peel satsumas and hot spicy chai tea. We got our snow gear together and loaded the doggies and off we went. Happy the 4 wheel drive got fixed on the truck cause it was pretty snowy where we were headed. First stop, the Vistor’s Bureau located down at the Old Mill District to pick up a Forest Service permit. We like to travel over to a place near Sisters, Oregon to get our Tree. It was snowing and felt very festive with the snow drifts and light flakes. IT WAS FREEZING COLD though so glad we dressed warm!!

Lindy with TreeMe with the doggies.

We found a really cool tree. It was one that had grown out of someone’s previous chop. So it had lots of branches shooting straight up that looked like mini trees themselves. So from a distance the one tree looked like a small grove of trees. We called it the “family tree” cause it looked like multiple trees.

greg with treeG. made the big chop.

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good snow dogs.

Family Tree photo

Happy family.

Good bye Costa Rica





We took the bus down to Cahuita on Wed. and ate lunch at a restaurant there and then took a hike along the jungle trail that is at the Preserve near the south end of town. The trail goes along the beach and through the jungle out to a point. It took a couple hours! We saw some lizards, leaf carrying ants, a big spider, lots of flowers and unusual plants and a giant blue butterfly that was amazing!


Before we left Puerto Viejo we took a walk behind our hotel. We got to see a sloth! And some beautiful back roads. Then we left Puerto Viejo in the afternoon on Thurs. We took an Interbus shuttle van to San Jose. The 4 hour trip took about 6 hours though! Quite a long day!

We stayed at a nice hotel called Hotel Los Volcanes in Alajuela near the airport. They had some brand new rooms and we got one of them! We didn’t get to enjoy it very long though as we had to get up at 4:30 and take a 5 a.m. taxi to the airport. We flew to Houston and had a layover of 6 hours. And then our plane was delayed an hour so that turned into 7!

We finally made it to Portland and went to my friend Mimi’s where we spent the night and drove back in the a.m. on Saturday.

Home sweet home. It is always nice to be home after being away! And now I’m looking forward to getting into the studio to do some painting!