Archive for the ‘Travels’ Category

You’ve probably noticed I’ve not had many blog posts the last few weeks.

Starting today, I’m getting back on track.

Starting today, I’m beginning a new adventure.

Starting today, I’m writing not just a new chapter in my life story, but opening a new book.

Starting today, I no longer have the “safety net” of a full-time “day job” and am committing myself 100 percent to my writing.

I knew once I was bitten by the writing bug it was what I wanted to do full-time. I dreamed of the day when I could stop living my life in black and white and pursue the beautiful array of colors the life of my dreams presented.

Due to some circumstances I would not have predicted, I’m able to do that sooner than I planned.

I can’t even begin to tell you how excited this makes me.

I’m also excited because I discovered some things in the last few weeks.

• I have a backbone and using it will not kill me.

• I have a funny bone and using it is therapeutic.

• I have a breaking point on my tolerance for unacceptable behavior and drawing the line strengthens the backbone.

• Self-respect is a highly valuable commodity.

• Sometimes we need a nudge off the cliff to take a leap of faith.

• Faith is both empowering and reassuring.

• More people care about you than you’ll probably ever know.

• Some people will not do what is right.

• Always, always take the high road, because it gives you the ability to carry on with dignity and self-respect.

• True friends are there to lift you up and encourage you onward.

• My husband would walk through fire for me.

Yeah, I’m feeling very, very blessed today and grateful beyond my ability to put into words.

The past few years, I’ve had a quote taped  to my desk at work:

Sunflowers and summer butterflies

I hope whatever it is you imagine, whatever it is you dream – you give yourself the opportunity to become.

She Who Is So Giddy About Today

Read Full Post »

wheat lr

Last week, Captain Cavedweller and I took some time off and escaped to a big city where I can shop to my heart’s content and he can eat things like fall-off-the bone delicious ribs and the best french fries known to man.

Driving to our destination, we enjoyed the scenery and I may have asked (okay, more like yelled “stop the car!”) to pull over a few times to snap photos.

This is one of a beautiful wheat field set against the gorgeous summer sky.

I’ll be sharing more vacation photos and stories this week, just as soon as I get my head back on straight and our laundry done!

Read Full Post »


When Captain Cavedweller and I were in Las Vegas, we rented a car one day and drove down to see Hoover Dam.

It was impressive, to say the least.


We started by hiking up 987 steps to walk out on the new bridge.


Construction of the Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge (Colorado River Bridge) began in late January 2005 and traffic began using the Hoover Dam Bypass on October 19, 2010.  This signature arch bridge spans the Black Canyon, connecting the Arizona and Nevada Approach highways almost 900-feet above the Colorado River on the nearly 2,000 foot long bridge.


The bridge is named for Mike O’Callaghan, Governor of Nevada from 1971-1979 and Pat Tillman, a football player who left his career with the Arizona Cardinals to enlist in the US Army and was later killed in Aghanistan.


You can walk out on the bridge and get an amazing view of Hoover Dam, although the end is closed and you are unable to walk out on the Arizona side. This was fine with me since walking half-way across the bridge had me plastered against the concrete back wall, terrorized to look down or get too close to the railing.


The bridge was a major component in the Hoover Dam Bypass Project which rerouted US 93 from its previous routing along the top of  Hoover Dam, removing several nasty turns and blind curves from the route. Not only does the bridge make the trip safer, it also saves time.


Despite my quaking knees, I did step close enough to the rail to snap a few photos. The view from up there, in the middle of the bridge was spectacular.


After peeling me off the wall and dragging me back down the steps, CC and I drove around the entire dam. There is a really nice visitor center and you can get out and walk around several viewing areas.

If you are ever close to Hoover Dam, I highly recommend taking the time to stop and check it out.

She Who Does Not Like Heights

Read Full Post »


When we were in Las Vegas a couple weeks ago, we made time to visit Ethel M. ® Chocolates.

About 15 minutes south of the Strip, the facility is owned by Mars, Inc., the people that Make M&Ms® and other yummy treats yours truly should stay far away from.

The Mars tradition of candy making began in 1911 in the kitchen of Frank and Ethel Mars home in Tacoma, Washington. Their son, Forrest Mars. Sr.,  retired to Henderson, Nevada in 1981 and created Ethel M.® Chocolates to honor his mother by creating a line of gourmet chocolate candies that reminded him of how he learned about quality chocolate making. Ethel M.® Chocolates are sold in various locations throughout Las Vegas, and via the web at www.ethelm.com.

The factory is still located at its original location at Two Cactus Garden Drive in Henderson, where gourmet chocolate gifts are made from Ethel Mars’ original recipes. Captain Cavedweller and I were completely enthralled with the pecan brittle. It was beyond wonderful.

Guests to the factory can take a self-guided tour and also stroll through the cactus garden. At night, the garden comes alive with hundreds of lights and decorations artfully placed along the three acres of beautiful and rare plants.

Although we went during the day, we did have fun checking out the garden.






She Who Enjoyed Seeing the Exotic and Interesting Plants – and Sampling the Chocolate!

25 days 2011


Read Full Post »

One afternoon while we were in Las Vegas, Captain Cavedweller and I were desperate for a snack. Breakfast had long ago been walked off and dinner was still hours away and we’d somehow managed to skip lunch.

We ended up at a table in Max Brenner’s in The Forum Shops.

CC was a little wary about ordering anything. It was not his type of place, for sure. I talked him into splitting something with me and we finally agreed on a Banana Split Waffle.

This was not a breakfast waffle, let me assure you. This was a pearl sugar chocolate waffle.

It was a plate full of warm bliss, topped with flambéd bananas, whipped cream, ice cream, chocolate covered Rice Krispies, caramel and chocolate sauce.


Yours truly was in heaven.

CC, who is not a big sweet eater, ate more than his half. In fact, he decided we had to go back one evening and share another one before we left town.  He is a very wise man, you know.

While we were there the second time, I ordered a cup of hot chocolate. I kid you not – it was the BEST cup of hot chocolate I’ve ever had. It was the Italian milk chocolate hot chocolate, but my gracious it was delicious.

They serve all sorts of munchies and goodies there. You can sit at the chocolate bar and order specialty drinks. You can also look into a vat of chocolate or shop in the gift shop.

If you ever have the opportunity to experience Max Brenner Chocolate – don’t blink, don’t think, just prepare yourself for an unbelievably wonderful chocolate experience!

She Who Wants Another Waffle

25 days 2011

Read Full Post »

Yesterday I posted photos from The Bellagio in Las Vegas, showing their awesome Christmas decorations.
Today, I thought I’d share some photos from The Venetian. Their decorations were also very impressive!


Their center area was filled with this beautiful display of white peacocks, sparkling branches and red poinsettias.

PENTAX ImageBoth striking and lovely!

PENTAX ImageOutside, they held a Christmas parade and tree lighting twice nightly.


There were dancers, jesters, a queen and women in really, really weird costumes walking on stilts. But it was all fun to see. Especially when they lit up the huge tree.

A free concert, ice skaters, a photo booth and fun decorations added to the festive atmosphere.

After the parade, we wandered inside The Grand Shoppes, attached to The Venetian, and browsed in the windows.


I love how the ceiling was painted to look like sky and the store-fronts are so fun and intriguing!

It certainly helped add some jolly to our holiday!

She Who Loves Beautiful Decorations

25 days 2011

Read Full Post »

When Captain Cavedweller and I were on the coast, one place we went to eat not once, but twice, was Camp 18 in Elsie, Oregon.

The food is fantastic, the restaurant is pretty awe-inspiring and the museum and grounds are a lot of fun to explore.

Told you it was impressive!

Camp 18 is a dream that began in the early 1970s when Gordon Smith started out with a few rusty pieces of equipment which led to the construction of the massive log cabin. He was joined by Maurie Clark, who had logging industry knowledge. All of the timber used in the building came from the surrounding area and was logged by Smith. Each log was hauled in, hand-peeled and draw-knifed with the help of his friends and family.

Once you walk inside the restaurant, its hard to miss the massive 85-foot ridge pole in the main room, the largest such structural member reported in the US. According to information from the restaurant, it weighed approximately 25 tons when cut and has 5,600 board of feed of lumber in it.

Another not to be missed feature are the hand-carved main doors cut from an old growth fir log. Each door is  4 1/2 inches thick and weighs 500 pounds. So that phrase “don’t let the door hit you on the way out”  you definitely don’t want hit with one of these.

The restaurant took its name from the logging operations in the area in the 1920s and 1930s. At that time, logging camps were numbered. Since the museum and restaurant at mile post 18, the name Camp 18 was chosen.

We sat by some big windows one morning and watched blue jays fight over the multitude of bird feeders outside. One evening, we cozied up to a table by the fireplace to chase away the evening chill.

You can roam the grounds, browse the gift shop and enjoy tasty, hearty-food here.

The Train Car

Table made from a large log.

The tower

This outdoor space was cool with the large logs used to construct it.

I particularly liked the wishbone look of this log.

You can even see a wooden-carved statue of Bigfoot, who apparently is quite popular in this neck of the woods. We did not, however, see him in any of our travels.

There is a creek just below the restaurant.

Where a mossy elephant lives.

And the landscaping was quite lovely.


More bright colors…

Gold and burgundy hues…

Beautiful red leaves…

Announcing fall has arrived!

If you ever find yourself traveling Highway 26 from Portland to the coast, stop in at Camp 18. You’ll be so glad you did!

She Who Loves Log Cabins in the Autumn Woods

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: