(Not) Drinking from Cacti & Other Fun Road Trip Facts

Whee! We recently drove from California to New Mexico for the Left Coast Crime conference. I love gathering random factoids on road trips. At a pit stop in Phoenix, we stopped by the Desert Botanical Garden. Thank goodness it wasn’t too hot. (The temp would go up to high 80s later on.) I was wowed by all sorts of cacti (but please don’t give me a pop quiz on them). Unfortunately, I was also sad to discover that you can’t really drink water out of a barrel cactus. It’s more like a glue or sap … [Read more...]

Wordless Wednesday: Ferrets

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Catalina Island

"Allow disruptions to deepen your concentration." I spent Thanksgiving off the mainland! A short ferry ride away from Los Angeles lies Catalina Island. It was nice to walk around the quaint town and relax by watching the boats bobbing in the water. We even spied a school of Garibaldi (our state fish) swimming below the pier. Due to the off and on rain, though, we spent a lot of time indoors. I loved visiting the Catalina Island Museum and learning about the history of the … [Read more...]

Joshua Tree

Who’s crazy enough to camp in a desert during the hot summer? Me, that’s who! In order to see the Perseid meteor shower (which occurs between July 17 and August 24), I ventured away from the city lights and into the desert. A quick getaway to nearby Joshua Tree National Park ended up being loads of fun. During the day, temperatures can soar above 100 degrees, so I opted to cool down inside the Palm Springs Art Museum (Palm Desert location). They had an exhibit on figures, and these were … [Read more...]

Navajo taco

Navajo taco: a taco on special bread If you recall, I went to the Grand Canyon for spring break. Such gorgeous scenery! On the way there, I swung by Cameron Trading Post, located at the edge of a Navajo Indian reservation. I had read about the delicious food served at their restaurant and had to try the Navajo taco. It has the usual fixings: ground beef, beans, green chile, lettuce, tomato, and cheddar cheese. What makes it stand out is the superior springy frybread. It’s like a … [Read more...]

Spring break

"Plan to have some fun." I was quiet on my blog lately because I was on spring break! It was nice to have some time off to relax and get away from it all. First, we checked out Page, Arizona. I took a chance to soak in serenity by visiting the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River. It was so peaceful watching the sun's rays sparkle on the water. The only visitor disturbing the area was this chuckwalla lounging on a rock. Horseshoe Bend is a short distance away from Page, … [Read more...]

Vancouver Trip

"You long to see the Great Pyramids of Egypt." Sometimes it's nice to have a change of scenery. I took a short trip a few weeks back to Vancouver. Though I've been before for a whirlwind book talk, I didn't get the chance to soak in the city back then. This time around, I balanced spurts of writing (and reading) with exploration of the local area. Vancouver, to me, seems like a great mix of the natural and the urban. Here are a few highlights from my trip. From the nature side... I … [Read more...]

Wayfarers Chapel

I've had this building on my list of to-visit sites for a while. Located in the scenic Rancho Palos Verdes, it's made of glass. Wayfarer's Chapel, also known as "The Glass Church," was designed by the son of Frank Lloyd Wright: Lloyd Wright. I love the surrounding redwood trees and ocean, which give this popular wedding spot a peaceful nature-filled atmosphere. Nestled on the cliffs above the Pacific Ocean, it's got an amazing view: The chapel has some beautiful little gardens around it, … [Read more...]

Wordless Wednesday: Heart Rock

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Crystal Cave

"A much needed vacation will bring a great deal of enjoyment." We wanted to cool down for the summer. What better way to do that than to go caving? Crystal Cave is a marble cavern located in the Sequoia National Park. It's a guided tour, and there's a half-mile trail down to the cave entrance. The walk is beautiful, though, and there are a number of trees and even some water trickles to admire along the way. Near the cave entrance, there's a nice waterfall area. It's like a two-for-one … [Read more...]