Happy Trails to You – Day 8 

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Such a fine time in Santa Fe. The laid back, friendly people, the feel of Southwestern America and the scenery all etched in my memory. 

Driving along 40 West. Sweeping views. Open space. I’m in for a real shock upon my return to Los Angeles in a few days. I could never tire of this scenery. I really do love being on the road. 

Decided I must make a stop in Gallup, New Mexico (thanks to the Route 66 song I had playing on “repeat” in my head all day). 

A quaint yet mystifying little town along historic Route 66. 

Gallup Coffee Company. The tastiest cherry Italian soda ever and a helpful tip to stop by Richardson’s Trading Post. 

I took a short stroll along Historic Route 66. Main Street of American history.

Just glad to be out of the car and stretching his legs a bit. And many new smells to investigate. 

Celebrating 104 years in business. The Granddaddy of all Trading Posts. Exquisite Native American jewelry and leather goods. I saw a pair of creamer colored leather moccasins that looked incredible. 

How lucky for me that I got to meet the owner who happily and readily agreed to have his picture taken. Happy 98th Birthday to you, Bill Richardson! What an inspiration! You have built quite an empire and legacy as well. And from what I can tell, you are a well loved and respected member of the community. 

So many trading posts to peruse. I picked up a beaded necklace here and shared Yorkie stories with the owner. 

Found my way to Trip Advisor’s top pick of things to do in Gallup. 

Bill Malone and his Yorkie, Bentley. Had a great conversation with him and his son in law Brandon about the area, history and a little background on the local Navajo tribe. Such knowledgable and down to earth guys. I’ll be back for that dog collar, Bill! 

The Native American culture fascinates me. 

Opened in 1937, this historic Route 66 Hotel served as a temporary home to many Hollywood celebrities including Ronald Reagan and John Wayne. As a result of Interstate 40 construction starting in the mid 1950’s, Route 66 and its businesses fell into great decline. We are very lucky that people like Armand Ortega acquire and restore these enchanting historic properties, and preserving precious Americana history. 

Ortega’s Restaurant where I ordered some cheese enchiladas for the road. Muy bueno! 

And on to Winslow to find that special corner. 

Well, I’m a-standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona…Such a fine sight to see! 

What a funtastic store. Everything Route 66 you could ever imagine… and then some. So many cool road trip books to choose from. And Eagles’ music playing nonstop. What’s not to love?

My new found buddy Philomeno who was kind enough to share so much fascinating history of the area, local tribes (he is a member of the Hopi tribe), interesting factoids about the historic La Posada Hotel, railroad, museum, and the totem pole story. Not to mention getting me help to find my way to Prescott before dark without too many windy roads. Thank you for being awesome Philomeno!

The railroad plays such a key role in the history of America. A real treasure. 

According to my source, Philomeno, a Russian artist designed and built one totem pole in every state depicting symbols for each tribe local to that area, in honor of his love and respect for the Native American people. And Arizona’s is right in the middle of Winslow. How cool for me! Thanks again, my friend! 

Opened in 1930 at the direction of Fred Harvey and designed by the famed architect Mary Colter, La Posada was the shining star of the Southwest. Considered Colter’s all time masterpiece. As the highways took over the need for railroads and Route 66 slid into decline, the hotel eventually closed in 1957. After nearly 40 years of dilapidation, the once magnificent La Posada landed on the endangered Historic Places list. Thankfully in 1994 it was purchased by Allan Affeldt and his artist wife Tina Mion, for $1 from the rail road itself and put an additional $12 million into restoration efforts. With the help of old photographs and local historians, they were able to return much of this hotel to its original splendor, and even better. Once again, La Posada is standing tall, proud and beautiful over Winslow, Arizona. 

After realizing an oversight in my timing, I hit the road with the pedal to the metal in order to get to Prescott before dark. 

How I love the open road. 

Getting closer as the sun is setting. Delicate pink clouds in the sky as daylight fades. 

The Arizona sun setting on another incredible day. 

And here we are! The Motor Lodge in Prescott. It was love at first sight. Look at that neon! 

Owner operators Brian Spear and Joe Livingston took possession of these run down and neglected 1936 summer cabins in 2008 and with their own blood, sweat and tears have turned this into a precious, modern yet vintage, quaint and cozy boutique motel that you can call home during your stay here in the Prescott area. The individual cottages are artistically and flawlessly decorated. So crisp, clean and playful. The history and stories Brian has about the trials and tribulations of restoring the Motor Lodge are both heart breaking and heart warming. These underdogs have deservedly won the jackpot. I’m so happy we get to spend two nights here! Thanks for the warm welcome Brian. Can’t wait to get acquainted!

The added personal touch puts them over the top in welcoming hospitality. Why can’t I stay for 2 weeks? 

Private carports for each cottage, equipped with bikes to cruise the area if you so wish. 


Took a star lit stroll down the street at the suggestion of Brian at the Motor Lodge and landed here at the Barley Hound for dinner with my little guy Elliott. What a perfect stop for a light dinner after a long day of road travel. So friendly to me and my dog Elliott. Sensational food and cocktail menu.

Be sure to try one of the “jar” appetizers. I chose the hummus and it was just right. The lighting and presentation say it all. My server Laney was tops. So sweet and down to earth. 


Once again on the walk home I was overwhelmed by the amount of stars lighting my way. You can see the entire galaxy from here. So beautiful! Light pollution in Los Angeles makes this kind of viewing impossible. It was truly a star-tacular evening! 

Perfect ending to a marvelous day. Hello Prescott. So nice to meet you! 

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Back in the Saddle Again – Day 7 

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It felt good to get on the road again for the second half of our journey. Looking forward to new sights, sounds, smells and experiences. 

Pictures tell a thousand words, so without further ado, join me on today’s Southwestern adventure.

Driving through southern Colorado. 

Pit stop in Ft. Garland.

So much greener than I imagined it would be. Exquisite. 

Continuing towards Taos. The scenery is ethereal. 

Near Taos Pueblo. Sheer solitude. 

Arriving at Taos Plaza. The same as I remembered from before. Charming historic plaza. Such a mellow, good vibe here. People are so very friendly and low key. Definitely a new energy here since my last visit. A bit more of a hip factor, even more art, and a slight bohemian flavor. I like it! 

But this was a first for me. A stroll through the John Dunn House Shops. A delightful afternoon perusing the boutiques, people watching, listening to the street musician and trying out the noodle cart.

Cold rice noodles with zucchini, squash, and peanut sauce. DELISH! Elliott really enjoyed the veggies as well. 

The woman who owns this gallery learned to paint in 3-D while studying in Rome. It took her 20 years to perfect her craft. No photos allowed inside but 3-D glasses are provided for full viewing effect. 

Gem and mineral shops. A lamp created within a sanded down, perfectly smooth, stone block. Magnificent! 

The gallery’s resident dog was very welcoming to Elliott. 

A chocolate and coffee bar. 

Apparently this big girl has a thing for small boy dogs. So precious. She couldn’t get enough of Elliott. 

Circled back to the Plaza where one can find all sorts of gifts, jewelry, art and sculptures. 

And another meet and greet. 

The highlight of my afternoon in Taos was the serendipitous taking of this photo where I met the 3 women sitting beneath the statue and engaged in an amusing conversation about road travels and such. Connecting with other adventurers is most definitely one of the best parts of my travels. Sharon, Jan and Penny are kindred souls. Free spirits who have been friends for many years and came together for this road trip. Thank you for sharing your stories and wisdom with me. Safe travels as you continue on down the  road. I hope our paths cross again some day. 

Onward for 73 miles to Santa Fe along side the Rio Grande. Is there a way to bottle the peace and serenity of the open road and these sensational views?   

Rolling through Española with the bikers. 

We made it! The Silver Saddle Motel in Santa Fe. Everything I had hoped for and more.

Classic Americana at its finest. Meet Chuffy. Oh and he lights up at night too. 

Every last detail of this 1953 motel is sheer perfection. 

A vintage trailer now resides in the newly built out back patio. 

The cozy room is clean, comfortable and complete with a small refrigerator, cable tv and free Wi-Fi. 27 rooms in all. Room front parking for your ease and convenience. Oh and free brekkie served until 10am daily. 

The Wild Wild West. This motel is aces! I can’t imagine a better hotel experience in the Santa Fe area. 

Behind the lobby is a small antique shop with a vintage yellow formica table exactly like the one I have but these chairs are fabulous! I need them! 


And Bryan. What a gem! Such a happy, helpful, informative and fun guy. The kind of energy you want around you all the time.  He is the ideal person you want to run your front desk. Had such a nice chat with him. And I owe my Santa Fe night excursion to Meow Wolf all to him. Thank you for being awesome Bryan!  

Disclaimer: Please do yourself a favor and at least Google this place, if not visit for yourself. There is no way I could ever fully describe what you will experience during your time here. Introducing… Meow Wolf. 

The permanent exhibit is called House of Eternal Return. Once you’re here, you will understand why. 

Meow Wolf is an immersive, experiential art installation.  You will enter endless realms through portals such as fireplaces, caves and even the refrigerator. 

This is the family who lives in the house. There is a mystery involved if you want to play along, otherwise just enjoy the mind blowing experience. There is this slightly creepy undertone which makes it all the more titillating. 

Yes, Elliot and I crawled through this fireplace to enter another realm. 

Leaving one realm and returning to the house. Through the refrigerator. Yes. Seriously out of this world cool. 

You are walking, climbing, stepping and touching your way through art. AWESOME! 

Dimly lit caves. 

Walking through a bigger than life, black lit, neon fish tank. 

Note the deep sea diver that lived in every fish tank you had as a child. 

I don’t want to give too much away so I will just take you to the parking lot where there are food trucks and giant sculptures placed, such as this spider. 

Opened in March of 2016, this 22,000 square foot space of mind trip after mind trip awaits you here in Santa Fe. They have private events, DJs and new installations and exhibits coming. You will never forget it and want to return for more immediately. I know I do. 

Good night Santa Fe. 

You Can’t Make Old Friends – Day 6

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The slow ripening fruit of friendship should never be neglected or taken for granted. I cherish the friends I have collected over the years and have come to realize how important it is to surround myself with people who make me feel good. I was lucky enough to have a gathering of these folks at the bungalow  to hang out, catch up, eat, drink and be merry for a little while. Nothing feels better than to be lavished with positive vibrations, love and acceptance. 

Had to take care of a few things first with this little guy. Elliott was a hit at the local Home Depot yesterday. But of course! 

The weather was absolutely perfect. Not too hot. No rain or thunder. And thankfully no late summer snow! Each and every friendship has its own unique origin and history dating as far back as the early 1980’s. I share a distinctive bond with each and every one, for which I am grateful. Skin care, surrogate sister, volunteering, neighbors, music, idea swapping, adoption and dancing. Each connection as special as the individual themself. 

I love that Elliott was captured front and center! 

We shared food, stories, experiences, laughter and advice. Whether a brief stay or for the duration, each of these people made the effort to come see Elliott and I at our precious little bungalow and spend some time with us. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I roped a few willing participants into setting off sparklers and acting silly for a few minutes. The sound when the tip of the sparkler first sparks. That certain smell. The memories of past 4th of July celebrations. Loved it! Thanks for humoring me! 

As opposed as she was to taking a selfie, I think this turned out pretty darn good. Thanks Kik! I can always count on you to play along! Love ya! 

And no visit would be complete without some one on one time with my dear friend Earnie. We moved inside as the night air became chilly and had some philosophical and meaningful discussions. Earnie is my bud!! 

Heartfelt appreciation for the time I had with everyone. Friends are the sunshine of life. We all need them. And as the Golden Girls theme song goes, “Thank you for being a friend. Traveled down the road and back again. Your heart is true you’re a pal and a confidant.” 
I will take this evening with me in my heart. Until next time…
 

Blowing Through the Jasmine in My Mind – Day 5

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Nothing wildly spectacular to report, but a rather marvelous day nonetheless. It’s summer time. I’m on vacation. And I don’t have a packed agenda. All good things. 

I did have to take care of a little business this morning (bleh), BUT look who I ran into! 

That’s right! My Daddy! Sheriff Arnie Miller. Best damn Sheriff Arapahoe County will ever see. God rest his soul. Hi Dad!!! 

Got to spend the afternoon with this enjoyable young lady, my little neighbor friend Laura. I love being her surrogate Auntie and spending time together. She is growing up so fast, just turned 12! We took Elliott down to our favorite neighborhood park, complete with a petting zoo and train. Oh how I love this place! Such a gorgeous park. A life time of memories here for me, actually dating back to when I was a baby. 

Oh to be a kid again and spend summer vacations playing at the park. Priceless. 

A certain furry someone was very happy to be here today.

On high alert. Barking at the creek and loving every minute of it. 

Perhaps he was looking for tadpoles and crawdads? He was so curious! Adorable! 

A late summer afternoon at the park. Soul quenching. 

And it just happens to be National Dog Day today. Hooray for dogs everywhere, but especially my baby boy, Elliott. You are so very loved, my little man. 

An early evening visit from my friend (and guitar virtuoso) Miguel. He got a kick out of my very petite soprano ukulele. Tuned it and then played some tunes for me. Really pleasant visit full of good and positive vibrations.  

We had front row seating for this evening’s sunset. Divine, isn’t it? And this view is all mine to share here at the bungalow. 

Received an S.O.S. text from neighbor Rian who had to burn the midnight oil at work, asking if I could go check in on his furry children. What else would I rather be doing on this fine Friday night? Nothing, of course! 

For the next hour or so I hung out with these two kids. Gotta say, my best babysitting gig yet. Boog and Ellie. I don’t want to brag… buttttt I’m pretty sure they love me (and not just because I let them out, fed them and showered them with affection). 

Quite productive morning and a long lazy, luscious afternoon and evening. I’ll gladly take it… with gratitude. And that’s a wrap! Until tomorrow…

Home Sweet Bungalow – Day 4 

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Today was rather simple really. Had a delightful morning with Joanie hanging out at her charming abode and gardens in Grand Junction. Girl talk, catching up and general chitter chatter with my dear sweet friend. Truly nothing finer. 

Bob, is there something you’re trying  to tell us? 

It’s impossible not to fall in love with their two furry kids. Introducing (smiling) Bob. What a good natured kid he is! 

And (Kent’s favorite child), Murphy, who was just the right size to pal around with Elliott. 

It’s always bittersweet saying “so long for now” to my dear friends, but am forever grateful for the time I do get to spend with them, I just get greedy. Can’t help it. Such a wonderful micro visit to Grand Junction. Thank you Joanie and Kent for your hospitality and continued friendship. You simply can’t make old friends. And I cherish mine. 


Hit the road and made it to Denver in just under 4 hours. Not bad at all. Nothing major to report from the 248 mile drive on Eastbound I-70. Although in the interest of full disclosure, other than the scenery, mountain driving wears me out. Steep inclines, steep downhills, and endless sharp twists and turns. Pedal to the metal to get up the hills, hit the brakes driving down the big ones, getting stuck behind a slow car or semi truck in the left lane. Occasional lane closures. I’m sure you can relate. It’s much more intense driving than say a long stretch of open road through the desert. Just not really my cup of tea. But I made great time and without incident. And was so happy to see my precious bungalow!! LOOOK at her. Isn’t she adorable?? 

And Elliott wasted no time getting reacquainted with the yard. Your own grass feels even better, doesn’t it? 

Yard is fantastic! My Columbines look sensational as do my baby trees. Do you know how magnificent it is to stand on my own grass? In my own yard? Pretty damn magnificent! 

Elliott sat proudly on his old perch, looking out over the yard.

And we even had a visit from the Ice Cream Man. Hello! I’ll have a Strawberry Shortcake, Chocolate Taco and a Birthday Cake, please! Oh the simple things that make me a happy little girl. 

Neighbor Rian (aka Jedi Master dog trainer) stopped by with his two furry friends, Boog and Ellie to chew the fat for a while. Ahhh, so nice. It’s really awesome having cool neighbors. Who actually talk to you. By the way, look at my grass!! Not only is it MINE but look how lush and green it is! Holy WOW! This is not something I get to see where I live in LA. 

Little girl Ellie. Such a sweetheart!

And big boy Boog. Always the ham. 

Living in LA has its upsides (or I wouldn’t still be there), but nothing could ever compare to my own little bungalow. Even if only for a few days, I am so very happy to be here. And now kids, I’m off to dream land. Night night. Sleep tight! 

Hummingbirds, Land Art and Old Friends – Day 3  

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Spent the morning basking in the glorious Utah sunshine. I took Elliott for a walk around the property and it really is beautiful out here in Green River. So small. So quiet. So peaceful. 

I found a nice seat on the outdoor patio where I could eat my made to order brekkie that was served by Carlos, a super star employee at the River Terrace Inn. His friendly, outgoing and helpful nature totally made up for the lackluster welcome I received upon arrival to an empty front desk where I waited for over 10 minutes for someone to appear in order to check me in the night before. But I digress. As I enjoyed my tasty eggs, toast and hashbrowns I had the pleasure of watching scads of hummingbirds fly up to the feeders placed around the patio. What a treat! I love those magical little creatures. They always remind me of Tinkerbell! 



Thanks to a little help from my new found friend Carlos, I journeyed up a nearby dirt road to a hill where two magnificent land art installations can be found. Designed by Australian artist Andrew Rogers and financed by 89 year old Seattle resident, school teacher and railroad fanatic, Herbert Steiner. “Ratio,” as it is called, is based on the Fibonacci sequence of mathematics. Steiner has an affinity for the solitude of open land he found in Green River and wanted to leave something for future generations to admire. “Ratio” was erected in 2011, while its new companion “Elements,” (meaning the four elements earth, wind, fire and water), came along in 2013. Interesting side note: “Ratio” is capped with 23-karat gold in order to reflect for miles away, as is one of the columns of “Elements.”  Brilliant! Thank you Mr. Steiner for these fascinating art sculptures you have gifted for all to see. 



Surprisingly cool things to see and do in Green River, Utah. Will head back again at some point for a deeper dive. Loved it! Who knew?? 

Today’s agenda only requires a short drive to Grand Junction, thankfully, as I think Elliott and I are growing a bit weary of the longer car rides at this point. 



Head straight for Two Rivers Winery in Grand Junction to meet up with Colin, my old pal from way back in junior high school. 

Between the delectable wine of Colorado’s Western Slope, crackers with fig and olive tapenade and entertaining conversation, time literally flew by. 



Took off from there for a quick stop at Colin’s place near the sensational Book Cliffs. Got introduced to his “laying” chickens, both of which Elliott seemed quite interested in. 



And the good times rolled on… To a (dog friendly) brewery in Palisade with a super cool vibe where I got acquainted with Colin’s gal pal Susan. Good time!


Stunning scenery is everywhere around you. Incredible! 


And last but certainly not least, dinner with Joanie and fam! I love this woman like a sister! I’ve known her forever as she was my older sister’s BFF in high school. She is one of my very favorite people on this earth and I adore time spent with her. Seated next to her is her adorable son, Ben, who is unbelievably tolerant of his parents eccentric (but lovable) ways. 

El Tapatio in Grand Junction is muy muy bueno! Giant portions of mouth watering authentic Mexican cuisine. 

Feast your eyes on the best chicken tortilla soup… Ever!


Pictured below is Joanie’s husband and all around dreamboat (and Fidel Castro’s doppelgänger) and comedian, Kent. And Colin decided to join us as well. What a meal! Surrounded by awesome old friends, delicious food and lots of storytelling and laughter. Loved it!  


Joanie would not divulge how, when or where she learned to tie a knot in a cherry stem with her tongue. Hot sultry Mamacita! 


Grand Junction was an extra stop planned specifically to bathe myself in the love and good vibes of old friends. Time with people like these folks is priceless and I’ll take whatever time I can get, whenever I can get it. Thank you Joanie, Kent, Ben and Colin for infusing your joy, love and free thinking into my soul. I am one exhausted (but happy) girl. Don’t ever pass up the journey for the destination. 

So Long Trump Tower, Hello Green River – Day 2

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23 hours at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas and I was hooked. The relaxation theme continued with a super fun and delicious dinner of chicken pot pie pasties and conversation with my awesomely cool and generous Las Vegas friends Sue and Lisa, followed by a late night soak in the ginormous sunken jet tub before hitting the hay for some quality shut eye thanks to the luxuriously comfortable bed, linens and black out curtains. 


Was generously offered a complimentary late checkout of 1pm… So in typical Sally fashion I made the most of it. I lounged on the couch with my furry guy and read up on all things Las Vegas. I treated myself to another dip in the pool and a few rays of sunshine before making my way to the spa for a facial. Sublime. 


Listening to a little Ray Charles poolside this morning 


The Relaxation Lounge at the Trump Spa. So so nice.  


Enjoyed a mouthwatering caprese salad at the DJT restaurant before packing up our belongings. Trump Hotel should be noted as having some of THE best customer service I have experienced thusfar in Las Vegas. Absolutely outstanding from beginning to end. The bellman who transported my bags to my car was the icing on the cake. Fantastic!  I truly hated to leave, but will stay there again in a heartbeat. An A+ hotel experience. 

We hit the road at 1:30pm. I’ve made this drive many times and knew I was in for a treat. 

The 15 goes for 243 miles before hitting I-70 and heading east for another 160 miles. Pretty remote in most places, some small towns and even completely out of touch with all civilization for a 110-mile stretch, with truly spectacular open road scenery to behold. Sit back and enjoy the moment. 

Leaving Las Vegas

Entering Arizona just for a minute 


Just rollin’ with the flow

Entering Utah

A random Joshua Tree standing proud


The beauty of nothingness

The colors, the rock formations, spectacular 

The clouds only add to this work of art 


Southern Utah really is something to see 

One of my favorite viewing spots ever. The Salt Wash. 


Completely untouched 

God’s country 


The storms are a brewin’

I really hope we don’t hit whatever’s ahead 


Watercolors 

Dramatic views of the storm 

Arriving into Green River Utah just as the sun is setting 


Well it ain’t the Trump International Hotel, but it’s the best in Green River. Clean, comfortable, safe. No serious complaints here. 

Perfectly acceptable accommodations 

Elliott says, “It’ll do” 


Headed over to Tamarisk Restaurant next door for some grub 

Native American fry bread with BBQ chicken. Could only finish half of this bad boy. 


A long day of driving, but we made it safe and sound and were bathed in the beauty of the open road and natural wide open spaces of Southern Utah.  Better than any day at the office, I’d say.