st-ART me up, Hollywood Style 

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Only in Hollywood, California. Last weekend the eternally cool and fabulously historic Highland Gardens Hotel hosted the second annual stARTup Art Fair, featuring  over 50 evocative and inspirational artists. These creators of art were paired up, and together they transformed hotel rooms overlooking the whimsical old-school courtyard into mini art galleries featuring their works. Fantastico! 


Impressively stiff cocktails, fine wine and tasty bites to nosh on were available as well. What an absolutely innovative, hip and cool way to see art, and to meet and converse with the artists themselves. Enveloped in the fusion of lush flora and fauna and the good energy and positive vibrations of art, the people who create it and those who admire it. Delicious combination. 

The chicken tacos and fruity vodka cocktail got me nice and juiced up and ready to explore the art show. 

Met Jesse Standlea and his Centerpiece. Some of these creations are only as heavy as the paper they are made from. His work is shown at the Torrance Art Museuk and he was really enjoying the weekend and meeting people who stopped by his gallery. Off to a great start! 

Some rooms I slowly wandered through and others drew me in for quite some time. The beauty of it all; there was no time limit. I was free to peruse when, how and where I wanted.  

It felt like I had entered another world, an art maze of sorts. In and out of different “galleries” (hotel rooms), gazing and studying all the different pieces, while others did the same. 

I loved observing how some artists used the hotel room furniture as props or easels of sorts, while others hid all the furniture away in closets or behind curtains. 

And then, I happened upon this incredibly friendly and talented guy and his work. Richard Gayler, a Los Angeles Westside elementary school teacher, who spends anywhere from 17 to 200 hours creating these pieces by utilizing individual dots. Yes, that’s right. Individual dots. That takes some seriously intense channeling of energy and focus, I’d say. Playful yet so detailed. Loved it! 

Look at these two characters. Magnificent! 

A little further along in my travels I met up with Randi Matushevitz. What a hoot! She has endless stories and energy and it shows in her art. She has lived in Vegas, Miami and LA multiple times and through those experiences she has reinvented herself and her art. She is very proud of the direction her new work is taking, and we can see why. 

Another one of my favorite stops of the evening. I had the pleasure of spending a good chunk of time philosophizing with LA artist (by way of NYC) Wayne Chang. Sharing perspectives on the love/hate relationship with the concept of Disney and really, all things LA in general. Truly enjoyable running into someone who “gets” it. So profoundly talented, smart and admirably skilled at conveying his feelings both through art and words. 

Last of all, I rounded out my night with a simple and lovely chat with Carlos Grasso. Listened to his tales of life in Ojai and even learned about the woman who had a very recent heart transplant and how deeply touched she was by Grasso’s heart piece (below). Such an open and kind soul in addition to being gifted with such talent. 

What I love most about art is connecting with the people who are able to give visual form and life to their thoughts, passions, and emotions. I loved every minute of this event and wish I had gone all three days! Thanks to all who participated and helped to make this happen, and thank you once again to my all-time most favorite, the Highland Gardens Hotel, for hosting this sensational event! I have loved staying at this hotel on my countless previous visits to LA, but this rare experience will forever be etched in my memory. 

   

Breathe in the Good Life of Prescott, Arizona – Day 9, Part 2

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Prescott, Arizona. A picturesque and historic desert mountain town approximately 90 minutes north of Phoenix. Old West. Charming. Friendly. Relaxing. More than 800 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. A quaint and highly walkable downtown referred to as “Whiskey Row,” filled with shoppes, galleries, trading posts, restaurants, and historic hotels and saloons. How could I possibly explore all that this area has to offer in less than two days? I was as determined as ever to give it my best shot.


Spent a remarkable morning in the old mining town of Jerome. On the way back to Prescott, I made a point to stop off at the modern yet rustic hillside Phippen Museum of Western Art that I spotted on the way up the road earlier in the day. So glad I did! Check out the view from the parking lot. I was immediately and warmly greeted by volunteer Roger Gaddis at the registration desk, and I asked if it might be possible to get a highlights tour. Well, it just so happened that docent and local artist Joe Webster said he would be glad to do so. Seriously? Fantastic! People are so nice here.

Below is a bit of what I learned about this understated repository of Western art. Years after his passing, the George Phippen Memorial Foundation received a generous 3-acre land grant from the Deep Well Ranch and opened the doors of the museum in 1984 with the objective of honoring the memory and art of George Phippen and other great American West artists. Phippen, incredibly talented and self-taught, was one of the four founding members and the first president of Cowboy Artists of America, a members-only organization of traditional cowboy and Western artists. Current exhibits include the third annual “Hold Your Horses” art exhibit and sale of unique and expressive works and a phenomenal “Golden Age of Cowgirls” exhibit with a spirited collection of cowgirl-themed art, photography, memorabilia and artifacts. I was graciously allowed to snap a few photos to show as examples of the extraordinary art that lives within these walls. Permanent exhibits include works by Solon Borglum, Ray Swanson, George Phippen and the Western Heritage Gallery. Enjoy a few snippets of what this museum has to offer.

The glorious clouds. Humility. Gratitude.The cowgirl exhibit was so fun! Yee haw! Rebels before their time.And this guy … ever heard of him? Tom Mix, an early Western movie megastar. You will see him everywhere in Prescott. He starred in nearly 300 pictures, some of which were filmed in Prescott, where he owned the Bar Circle A Ranch back in 1913. Absolutely precious. So lifelike. I want to give her a hug. I agree with Ray Swanson, the artist of the painting below. There is something so captivating and magical about the Native American culture. 

Thank you kindly for the tour and hospitality, Joe and Roger. What a magnificent museum! Much appreciated.

Moving on down the road, I parked right downtown and made my way in and out of the shoppes, galleries, saloons and eateries along Whiskey Row. Come along with me as I take you on a walking tour of historic downtown Prescott.

The Rancher’s Wife Van Gogh’s EarThe Ice Cream Parlour Ortega’s 6th Generation (trading post)Prescott Trading CompanyOne of my favorites, the Ian Russell Gallery of Fine Art, where I had the pleasure of chatting with the fashionable and sophisticated Christine. Very friendly and in the know about the local and regional art scene. Thanks for all the tips, Christine! I so love this! Bizarre and meaningful at the same time.I absolutely love meeting new, interesting and delightful people on my travels. So fulfilling! 
The Palace Saloon. Opened in 1877 (some historians claim 1868). Boy, if these walls could talk! Well, they kind of did, actually, with all the amazing vintage photographs. It was sheer entertainment just standing there looking at all the history of this place. A hangout for the likes of “Doc” Holliday, and Virgil and Wyatt Earp. The oldest and best-known frontier saloon in the state of Arizona. Can’t you just see them busting through these swinging doors like in all the old Westerns? Sensational! Look! It’s our cowboy friend, Tom Mix! Devastating Whiskey Row fire of 1900 destroyed most all of the buildings along Montezuma Street. Patrons actually moved the intricately carved bar across the street and saved it from being burned, so it is still intact to this day. New and improved Palace Hotel and Saloon, reopened in 1901. Just a few gambling essentials from back in the day. You never know when you might have to use a little force to change the outcome of the game. A George Phippen postcard. How coincidental! Not only can you sit down for a beer and something tasty to eat, but the Palace Saloon also is a pure treasure trove of historical photos and memorabilia. Much of it is on loan from the Sharlot Hall Museum. Food smelled delicious and the staff were a nice bunch.

Let us continue on now, shall we?

Take in a cold beverage and some live music at one of the many saloons along Whiskey Row. At the very least, belly up to the bar and treat yourself to a sarsaparilla while getting to know a few of the locals.

Jersey Lilly’sMatt’sAnd the Bird Cage Saloon Savor the unique art and craft goods at the Newman Gallery. And down the street at the “Cornerstone of Prescott” stands the historic Hotel St. Michael. Opened in 1901, after the devastating fire of 1900 burned down the Hotel Burke that originally stood in its place, the Hotel St. Michael has hosted many dignitaries and VIPs over the years. I am intrigued and entertained by the way each hotel boasts the unique and historic qualities of its elevator!  I love the displays of vintage photos everywhere you go. It gives the feeling of strong sense of historic pride within Prescott.  Whiskey Row then …And now …Stunning Courthouse Square! It seems as though people treat this like a central plaza. A genuine gathering place within the community. So pleasant and beautifully kept up. Like a postcard! The location for many local events and concerts. So down home. I love it! Find your inner mystic among the books, crystals and such at Lifeways Books and Gifts. Another fantastical stop along my tour, ‘Tis Art Center and Gallery. An awesome space with good energy! I told the woman there that this would be ideal for private events.An old microwave door repurposed into art. Now that’s cool. I love this piece. So playful.The Elks Theatre and Opera House, built in 1904 as a clubhouse and lovingly restored by the city of Prescott. Sure would like to see a show at this vintage beauty. 
Crossed the street to take a peek inside yet another remarkable historic hotel. The crown jewel of Prescott, the 1927 Hassayampa Inn. Hand-painted, wood-beam ceiling. Remarkable!
The elegant 78-room hotel, designed with Spanish and Italian influences, was completed for a total of $275,000 in only 10 months. With early guests such as Tom Mix, Will Rogers and Clark Gable to name a few, and more recently Sam Elliott, the Beach Boys and my favorite, Mr. Tom Selleck! The Hassayampa, too, prides itself on its vintage elevator. Oh, and they are dog-friendly too! The original Peacock dining room then. and now … The Bar. Love the colors in contrast with the dark wood. Wandered into this unbelievably cool coffeeshop/bakery/seasoning haven. The Spice Traveler is a wonderland for those who love to cook or want to learn how. Recipes, ideas, samples. They’ve got it all. Unadulterated discovery and exploration for your taste buds. As I made my way to the back of the shoppe, I stumbled upon the stairway to Superstition Meadery (aka Heaven), which just HAPPENED to be on my Prescott to-do list. Imagine the good fortune!  Mead, the oldest form of alcohol known to man, made with fermented honey. This was a first for me. Quite tasty, I will say! If you have never tried it, do yourself a favor and find some. Better yet, come here to Superstition, and Matthew will serve you a flight that will sweep you off your feet. Lagrimas de Oro. Divine. Blueberry Spaceship. Tart and sassy. Relaxing in this cozy, dimly lit cavern with their mead flights, here are two very satisfied customers and new residents of Prescott, Elizabeth and Morgan. Enjoy your new town, ladies! It was great chatting with you. It really is the nectar of the gods. I highly recommend a visit here. Drinking all that mead, I worked up an appetite, so I slid on down to the Prescott Brewing Company for a tall glass of ice water and a Buffalo chicken wrap. Hit. The. Spot. Feeling like a million bucks as I headed back to my adorable nest at the Motor Lodge. I scooped up my furry, well-rested friend Elliott and make our way to the Granite Dells for sunset! No. This is not fake. This is not a stock photo. These are the 1.4 billion-year-old Granite Dells at Watson Lake. Characterized by the smooth and rounded rock formations caused by weathering. Photo taken with my iPhone and untouched. I was completely overwhelmed by this scenery. Awestruck.
Even Elliott had to pause for a moment to take it all in. Outstanding.Do be sure to cover yourself with bug spray, as I was viciously attacked by hordes of mosquitoes. Perhaps they come out at dusk, or perhaps my blood is just incredibly tasty? Ok, gross. Regardless … unforgettable views. So peaceful. Truly lovely.And as the sun sets on the Arizona horizon, I am grateful for all the adventure and beauty I experienced in just one day. One for the books. Making a beeline straight for my bed, I got distracted by all the neon and … wait a minute … is that jazz coming from Courthouse Square? Uh-oh. One last stop. Then it’s bedtime. I promise.
My good parking karma still in full effect, I scored a spot directly across the street and we were serenaded for another hour or so by mellow jazz harmonies, smooth grooves and classics like Duke Ellington’s “Take the A Train.” I was completely exhausted but so incredibly content. Elliott and I even made some new human and doggy friends. Returned to the Motor Lodge just in time to drift off into a deep slumber in that white fluffy cloud of a bed. Night-night, my friends. Prescott makes me happy.

A Taste of Jerome – Day 9, Part One 

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No visit to Prescott would be complete without a side trip to the 1880s mining camp town of Jerome. Nestled atop Cleopatra Hill inside Arizona’s Black Hills within the Prescott National Forest, the leisurely 35 mile jaunt from Prescott delights the senses with steep and winding mountain roads and panoramic views of the Verde Valley. Spectacular! 
Such an enchanting little town, Jerome. Fascinating and such well documented history. At the high point of copper mining (circa 1900), Jerome had approximately 15,000 residents and mining profits were estimated at $1 million A MONTH. After the mines shut down in the early 1950s, the population fell to a dismal 50 people. A veritable ghost town. Fires ravaged the town on four different occasions through the late 1800s, only to be restored each time, with many of the buildings still standing today. Thanks to the Jerome Historical Society there are biographical plaques placed conveniently around town brimming with juicy historical facts and information. As one might assume, Jerome had its share of gambling, prostitution, drinking, dining and entertainment.

Photos of the Cribs District (“prostitution row”). Be sure to read the captions! Saloons then…and now.  Opened in 1918, the Liberty Theatre, with a pipe organ and a capacity of 536 seats, showed silent movies for 20 to 30 cents until its closing in 1929.  Still standing today. The second floor of the theatre is more or less untouched since its closing. You can pay $2 to sit and watch a 30-minute documentary on Jerome’s history. Well worth your time!

Attached is the historic Hotel Conner which is actually still operating as a hotel. Opened in 1898 and offers 12 rooms with a quaint little gift shop/lobby that you are welcome to peruse. Vintage Post Office shotAnd todayLook at this shot I scored. So sneaky but so perfect, I couldn’t resist!The crown jewel of Jerome, the United Verde Hospital (now the Jerome Grand Hotel). Built by the United Verde Copper Company in 1926 as a state-of-the-art medical facility serving Jerome. With over 9,000 deaths reported until its closing in 1950 due to mining operations shutting down, this is a ghost hunter’s paradise. Countless reports of ghost activity, anything from coughing (of an ill patient) to newborn babies crying to things moving of their own volition. After closing, the hospital sat empty for 44 years until it was purchased and renovated into the Jerome Grand Hotel, which is still open for business today. Everyone I spoke to had a story or two to share. I must say, it did feel pretty creepy walking through the old hospital hallways and seeing the old hospital room doors at the hotel room doors. I glanced over at the Otis Elevator, Arizona’s first self-service elevator, installed in the United Verde Hospital in 1926 where the hospital maintenance man was found murdered in April 1935. Yikessss. How it looks today. A beautiful mission revival style structure built on a 50 degree slope. Impressive architecture.  I ate at The Asylum restaurant at the hotel and enjoyed fabulous views and an incredibly delicious calamari salad. A MUST HAVE if you dine here. I was very pleased with my choice to dine here versus some of the more crowded  eateries in town. Elliott enjoyed the nice cool patio. View over Jerome from the archway off the dining room patio. Gorgeous. Made a stop at Caduceus Cellars founded in 2004 by rock n’roll frontman (Tool, Perfect Circle, Puscifer) and Jerome resident, Maynard James Keenan. A captivating space where you can sample and purchase wine as well as a variety of other goods and even have a bite to eat. Very well done, Maynard. Nice wine. The Sancha was my favorite of the 3 wines I tasted. Really nice. In addition to trading posts, jewelry, clothing, and pottery stores, as well as a trinket shoppe or two, there are a few other worthwhile mentionables in this town of now 400 artistic and entrepreneurial full-time residents.

Craft gallery filled with local and regional art. A fudge and ice cream shoppe where I could not resist buying a SMALL (I swear) square of pumpkin caramel fudge. Oh my Lord. So decadent. The Mine Museum which houses a sensational collection of photos and memorabilia from Jerome’s history which you can visit for just $2! Excellent stop! And the old Surgeon’s quarters which is now a really lovely Bed and Breakfast. Though our visit was brief, and I know we didn’t get to see or do everything, we had such a fantastic time exploring and discovering Jerome. What an intriguing and appealing little historic town. I foresee a lot of positive growth and changes ahead for this place and look forward to returning! 

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! 

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…