Desert Road Trip

There is a big project in the works, and it involves one of my favorite areas in Southern California - Salton Sea! While I can't give away any details of the big project, I can tell you that there was a need for a recon trip recently. I decided to make it a family trip, and brought Daisy and my mom along for company!

Having them both there with me did make it a little tough to just jump in the car and be spontaneous, but it was totally worth it to have great company in such desolate areas. Plus, I loved seeing Daisy enjoy the desert!

If you like what you see in the photos below, consider getting to know this area better for yourself! Here are some links that should help you plan your trip:

Official State Park page
Slab City & Salvation Mountain - recent article
Bombay Beach - Info page

Happy exploring!

xo
~n


Mom and Daisy, each braving early morning and dry heat with me :)

Mom and Daisy, each braving early morning and dry heat with me :)

Sunrise on the Western shore... and sunset in Bombay Beach

Sunrise on the Western shore... and sunset in Bombay Beach

We loved the adventure, but Daisy was very happy to come home and rest!

We loved the adventure, but Daisy was very happy to come home and rest!

The Silence in Rituals

I've never been a fan of routine. The thought of having a 9-to-5 job in one cubicle for my entire life was horrific to me, and therefore was one of the biggest reasons I absolutely knew I needed to be my own boss. About six months into running my business full-time, though, I realized that I needed to bring some rituals back into my life.

My profession is one that just by nature brings something different almost every day. And I *LOVE* that about it! However, one of the best things I have learned to do since being my own boss is to have one daily ritual that helps to ground me. In large part thanks to Daisy, I chose to make my mornings sacred. This means that I try my best to always have the first few hours of my day free of appointments. We wake up without an alarm around 7:00-7:30, I make my tea, we go out to the backyard to sit and drink tea. No technology. No company. No mental noise. This is my time to clear my head, let my thoughts wander, and get myself charged up for whatever needs to be tackled that day. Then we head out for our walk around the neighborhood, returning home to get ready for the day. 

I attribute my "morning person" tendencies to Daisy since this is the first time in my life that I can wake up before noon without an alarm! Daisy has forced a sense of ritual to enter my life, regardless of where we're sleeping or traveling. It's been the perfect way to keep a moment of silence and reflection in my day, and gives us a few minutes to spend quality time together before life's distractions kick in.

Below are a few photos from yesterday's tea time. We saw a tiny snail on the table in the garden and enjoyed the morning dew that lingered on the grass. 

Do you have enough rituals in your life? What do you do to find that space of silence that grounds you?

xo
~n

snail-w.jpg


A Taste of Adventure is Always Enough

It was one of those plans that you didn't think would actually come to fruition. I started planning a camping trip to Death Valley with some friends. Death Valley always seemed like such a mystical place, distant and vast. I felt like I knew it, when in reality I knew nothing about it at all!

As plans got finalized and I started taking closer looks at the map, I came to realize that we would only get a chance to see a tiny section of Death Valley. I. Was. Bummed. Do I really want to drive 6 hours to get to a tiny corner of a huge open area that was just screaming for me to explore it all?! Yes. Here's why.

The journey ended up being a big part of the fun! It was my first long drive with Daisy, and I wasn't sure how she would do. Thankfully, she l-o-v-e-d car rides on the freeway! She is a great traveler. We made a couple of pit stops, and at each one she got to get out of the car and explored a bit. I discovered a small town named Shoshone that had some adorable buildings in it that I want to revisit someday! 

Secondly, with a big huge area to explore, it's better to see a small piece of it than none at all. Death Valley is not a car-friendly destination, so getting to know a small piece of it well was a great introduction to the area. We stayed at the Furnace Creek campground, which was convenient to a few spots worth visiting. We were able to see Badwater Basin, Devil's Golf Course, and Artist's Drive. With a decent sized group and two dogs, that was plenty! Not to mention the unbearable heat...

Finally, you make the best with whatcha got! We all agreed on a trip that fit people's budgets and time constraints, which meant only 2 nights of camping. Would I have been happier staying at home? No! Would I have enjoyed it if I had kept thinking, "I wish we could..." or "If only...". Um... no! 

We had an amazing time. The trip was a great way to get an introduction to an area that I absolutely cannot wait to head back to! It created wonderful memories that I shared with Daisy soon after she came home. Not to mention the fun times with good friends. 

So go ahead and plan that trip, see whatever tiny corner of the world you can, and take it all in!

Interested in seeing Death Valley for yourself? Here are some helpful links:
Death Valley info:  http://www.nps.gov/deva/index.htm
If you're looking to live it up in luxury while at Death Valley:  http://www.furnacecreekresort.com/
Campground info in Death Valley:  http://www.nps.gov/deva/planyourvisit/camping.htm

Happy Exploring!

xo
~n

Adorable building in Shoshone, CA. They even had a little museum next door, and a restaurant that puts on theater productions on a regular basis! Definitely going back someday.

Adorable building in Shoshone, CA. They even had a little museum next door, and a restaurant that puts on theater productions on a regular basis! Definitely going back someday.

Daisy blended right in at Devil's Golf Course!

Daisy blended right in at Devil's Golf Course!

Sittin' pretty at Devil's Golf Course.

Sittin' pretty at Devil's Golf Course.

It was incredibly hot when we went! It was April and unexpected, so be sure to take water for all travelers - including furry ones!

It was incredibly hot when we went! It was April and unexpected, so be sure to take water for all travelers - including furry ones!


Enjoy the Unexpected

It ended up being a rushed morning. Our sacred morning routine started a bit late because we slept in, and so we barely got a chance to walk the block. Daisy was anxious to get some more time running loose, and I needed to give mom a ride to work. As I drop off mom, it hits me. The Mission!

I pull into the back lot of the San Luis Rey Mission in Oceanside and the grassy lawn was empty. Perfect!

Ten minutes later, I'm so happy that Daisy and I made a stop there. She had the whole lawn to herself and I rediscovered this gem that is so close to home. Score!

BONUS: Did you know that there is a festival at the Mission *THIS* Saturday, and it's all about animals?! You can take your pet and have them blessed at the Mission this Saturday between 10am-3pm. Free admission, $5 parking. 

Daisy loved running loose at the Mission! (cell phone pic)

Daisy loved running loose at the Mission! (cell phone pic)

Salk Institute

How much do you explore your neighborhood? Before moving to San Diego, The Salk Institute was iconic architecture that I knew of only through textbooks and lecture slides. Still, it took me years of living here to make it out to visit the grounds! Crazy, right? Sadly, also quite common. 

 I encourage you to get out and explore your neighborhood. What architecture do you pass by everyday and allow to fade into the backdrop of your walk? What parks do you look at from afar but never take time to walk through? 
 
If you're in the San Diego area, you must see the Salk Institute! Especially on weekends, it's a great and peaceful property to walk through. While you can't access the inner courtyard on off-hours, it has a great lawn area, open seating area in the back with expansive ocean views, and is just amazing to admire while you stroll. Bonus - it's a pet friendly property! Daisy loves to run loose on the lawn and hang out in the back patio area to relax.

FCI_Daisy_at_Salk
Daisy_Full_Circle_Salk