About Me

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My human, Mia, has been working so hard. She is so inspired by my plan. My plan is to go all over the United States meeting new and wonderful people, to share their stories, and to find the connection between all people. Mia is so wonderful, and I want to meet more wonderful humans like her.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Las Vegas Freemont Street

This is Freemont Street, or downtown Vegas, or old Vegas all depending on who you're talking to. Freemont Street is one of my favorite things to do and see while in town. I love the concentration of lights from the casinos, and the over head light show.  I think it's fantastic.  You can even zip line down the street under the lights, it looked like fun, we did not do this because the line was super long and Mia was in a dress. She thought it best not to go over the people's heads in a skirt. (I thought it would have been funny... he he he)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Chip the Crazy Monkey

This blog is brought to you by a guest blogger/ my friend: Chip the Monkey

I made a few new friends last week! My human (Chip) has a friend Taco, who is spending a year traveling around the country with his Human (Mia). They were going through Las Vegas, and since I have some friends out there too I decided to have Chip fly us out there to meet them and have a few nights on the town; Angela even came out for a whirlwind 36 hours — just the right way to do Vegas!

We had a great time! Taco is just my size for one thing… bigger dogs tend to like to chew on monkeys my size, but Taco and I got along famously.  We got our picture in front of the famous Las Vegas sign, and we even met Elvis! We visited the Pawn Shop where they shoot “Pawn Stars” — but that wasn’t really terribly exciting. We even got to visit the Neon Graveyard, and the site of the original Las Vegas settlement. Unfortunately the Graveyard was closed, and a lot of Las Vegas isn’t dog friendly, so Taco ended up spending a lot of time at the doggie spa. Come to think of it, I’m kind of jealous — I think he even got a bath… maybe I should make Chip start treating me better.

Of course, while Taco was in the spa, we got to do a few more cool things. There was a bit of gambling — I think Angela was the only one who ended up winning money; congrats Ang! We took a tour of the hoover dam (I don’t know why Mia threatened to let go of me while dangling me over the side, but the view was spectacular!), and we drove around the desert finding some cool new flowers for Mia’s photo collection. The desert is way prettier than it gets credit for most of the time.

I can’t even list everything else we did. We went to the top of the Stratosphere, we saw Fremont street, we saw itty bitty street performers. Chip, Mia, and Angela saw Cirque du Soleil’s “Ka,” and ate some fantastic dinners including a six course meal at Emeril’s and a trip to In-And-Out burger (Emeril’s was slightly better, I’m told).
Angela has a cleverly titled blog post that has her take on the trip!

Thanks Taco, Mia, and Ang for traveling with me! It’s always great to make new friends!

Las Vegas the Sites

Now we're on to Vegas! Here's the sites.... the next several days will be filled with our Vegas fun!

Me with Elvis! What's more Vegas than that?
Pawn Stars pawn shop - This is the site for a reality TV show

Vegas Sign

Paris hotel with Bellagio hotel fountains in the foreground.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Death Valley

Views from Death Valley and the drive from LA to Los Vegas. 
Death Valley is the hottest and driest of all the National parks.
The drop off from this mountain is over twice the depth of the Grand Canyon.

I don't know why but I really enjoyed this sign.

Magic Castle LA

I'm not sure what I can and can't tell you about the secrets from the castle. 
But I'll give you a hint to the amazement of this place.
The Magic Castle is the Home of the Academy of Magical Arts. It is an exclusive club for Magicians and magic enthusiasts only, I compare it to a golf country club, where you have apply for membership, pay fees to get admission to the grounds. The Magic Castle is just like that very exclusive, you have to apply for membership, audition and get approval. In order to get in with out membership you must get a guest card from a member, you will be turned away at the door with out the card. I happen to know a member, lucky me, my member said he's heard of super famous people getting turned away at the door.

So once you get your guest card, and you dress to fit the dress code: Dress to impress. On the website there are many rules about how that looks. You show up at the Castle, drop your car with the valet, and then head in to check in.  In the front lobby you can get to the gift shop with out having a guest card, but you will get no further. We checked in at the front desk, and then headed to our first magical experience.  In order to get into the castle you have to know the magic words that move the bookcase, to reveal the hidden door and corridor.

The Castle started as a private residence, and was added on to over the years. The charm of this home/ mansion has not been lost, entering the castle is like entering a different dimension. It has been open since 1963, however it feels like you're transported to a timeless, magical place.
This image is borrowed from: itricks.com

I started looking around, there is so much to see I'm sure I missed tons, there is about 4 different staircase, about 5 different bars, a formal dining room, 4 performance rooms, plus many many many nooks for impromptu tricks and performances, and a seance room.

I'm sure I got some of those numbers wrong, this place is HUGE and confusing! I know there was 3 stories, but it was so maze like it was easy to get turned around. To access some areas you had to go up a certain stairwell, then go down specific hallways to then descend other specific stairwells and ramps for specific rooms, and then sometimes you'd have to know which bookcase to speak to, or which panel shifted to reveal a room.

There was so many things to look at in each room too. Some rooms had ghosts, some had relics from tricks of long-a-go, and some where down right beyond description.

One room, I won't go into great description about but I do want to talk about is the Seance Room. It was filled with Harry Houdini's personal items. A person can't normally get into this room, since it's typically booked by parties for seances, but we met a "medium" who let us into the room when the private party was over. We sat at the table with him, learning all about the items in the room and hearing stories about Harry Houdini, and the seances Harry used to conduct. After an hour or so we'd learned so much, and the magic of Harry was brought to life with every word spoken about him.

We appreciated getting to see that room so much. At the end of the night, we realized we'd been in the castle for over 8 hours, though it'd passed in a flash. The evening was so magical even my friend, the member, said he couldn't believe the night I'd had.  He said he'd been a member for years and hadn't seen, or heard some of the things I was getting to experience.  Mia's only response was:

 "This is Taco's Adventures and that's how it goes. People are amazing, they connect, and bless us in ways we can't believe either.
 I am amazed at how generous people are and I appreciate the experiences I have gotten while traveling with Taco."

Monday, April 25, 2011

Los Angeles, CA

LA was not what I expected.  I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting, but I was still surprised. While I was there I compared it to, "I expected I was going to a desert planet and instead I'm in tropic forest. Not better or worse, just different."
I was surprised at how small the "Hollywood area" was, you know the part you think of from Reality TV. I was also surprised at how many people there were. I know we always hear about the congestion of people, but there is nothing like seeing it in person. I didn't experience the traffic people talk about, it was always busy but never unbearable.

I was also impressed by the people as individuals.  My experience of "being out" amongst the people was that they are quite generous and personable. That was also surprising to me. I'd expected to be faced with a lot of jaded, guarded people looking out for themselves. And I'm not saying that's not possible out there, but on the whole what I experienced was tons of acceptance. People seemed genuinely interested in knowing people and not judging them based on their appearance.

Oatman, AZ

Oatman, AZ the home of the free range burro! The donkeys are wild in this town and surrounding area.   Oatman used to be a gold mining town and a "major" city on the Route 66. When Route 66 was replaced by the major interstates and the gold mining was shut down in the 1960's Oatman all but died. In the recent years  with the renewed interest of Route 66 Oatman has become a tourist stop. It was a fun stop with a great drive to boot. Well, worth the it I'm so glad we got this suggestion.

It's me! Did I fool you? I was trying to look like a burro.

Free Range Burro.... not something I'd heard of before!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

First West Coast Sunset

At the end of today enjoy the views of my first sunset over the Pacific Ocean.

San Diego, CA

My first view of the Pacific Ocean!

We only got to spend one day in San Diego. So our friend, James, met up with us at the beach to fly our kite! It was a super windy day we struggled to get it up. We successfully got it up once or twice, but never long enough to get a really great picture of it. 
The Pelicans flew in lines.
As we walked along the board walk the Pelicans kept flying over. Bird droppings landed on Mia four times with in just a few hours! We think this has to be some kind of record!  
Even with the "mishaps" Mia still had fun.

I loved standing here enjoying the sun and view.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

California Desert

Going from colorful Arizona to flat California was a big change.
 It was still a beautiful place filled with great plants and far off scenery.

Mia decided to go off the main road this dirt path became our new path for about an hour. I wished we had a Jeep or some other off road vehicle at the time.   

Friday, April 22, 2011


It's been interesting to see how time "changes" out here on the road. Mia and I were discussing the other day how some days seem fast and others seem like we can get everything in we want to. We know this happened at home too.

We also noticed how drive times change. Many people complain about driving across Kansas that it is boring, flat, long.... you get the idea. Mia said she felt like that sometimes, but mainly it didn't occur to her that way. She noticed a lot of rolling hills, sky, and general scenery.

It also doesn't seem like it's been so many months since we left "home" and so many of our friends, while at the same time Mia says it seems like forever since we did some of the things from the beginning of the trip.

We've been on the road nearly nine months now.

Take that in nine months....

Nine months....

WOW! And we've done so much! And there is still so much to do!

Sorry I got side tracked with the reality, when we left we weren't even sure if we'd make it three months before going home and now we're three times that.

Ok, so my ramblings are now showing what I set out to say in this blog....

Time is perspective. We all know this. The perspective on time changes once we're looking back on it.


What Mia and I observed it's also about the perspective we have on it in the moment. Attitude if you will. During the long drives, like through Kansas, can be viewed as a "Yuck, we need to get through this." or "Yeah, we will get through this, and for now isn't it beautiful."  And it is the choosing of "wow it's beautiful" or even as basic as "yup it's a field", it is that choosing of perspective or attitude that makes all the difference in time.

Time will fly or drag based on our perspective of it.

Mia thinks this is also why it seems like "forever" since some of our earlier adventures, because she loved it so now she misses it. Where as it doesn't feel like we ever left home because the people from there we stay actively connect to through modern technology.

What an amazing gift time is.... now off to enjoy more time on this trip.

If you want to look back with Mia here are some of the times she was reminiscing about during our conversation:

Lumberjack competition
New Orleans Art
Freak Show Deluxe
Wacky Wednesday

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Route 66

So much of the old Route 66 has been removed and replaced by Interstates and modern Highways. Out near Kingman, AZ there remains an old section of Route 66 that is true to the Route 66 spirit, it is also called Oatman Road since it takes you to Oatman, AZ.

The drive is a wonderful desert view and many of the turns are hairpin with little to no shoulders. It was a fun and adventurous drive.

Plus the town of Oatman was fun too! That blog is coming tomorrow afternoon. See ya tomorrow.

 Until then enjoy the tunes on Route 66.

Sedona & The Drive

These are all near Sedona, AZ.  We didn't actually stop in Sedona but we did drive through it. We were on a time crunch from being in the Grand Canyon earlier. Sedona is a beautiful place with breath taking views and wonderful art galleries. I'm sure there is tons to do outside of shopping, eating, and gallery hopping since I saw tons of Jeeps and other adventurous off road type vehicles. 

Hope you're enjoying the scenery from the South West as much as I did in person.

Grand Canyon

There was still snow on the ground! It was shocking cold after the warmth of NM.

Couldn't believe how lucky we were to see this on our way out of the Grand Canyon.
What more can I say it is the GRAND CANYON.

Four Corners

The monument where "visitors can simultaneously straddle the territory of four states" is maintained as a tourist attraction by the Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation Department. Unlike many other attractions based on political boundaries, such as the Berlin Wall, it is an example of a political boundary as a tourist destination for the sake of itself.[2] The monument consists of a granite disk embedded with a smaller bronze disk around the point, surrounded by smaller, appropriately located state seals and flags representing both the states and tribal nations of the area. Circling the point, with two words in each state, the disk reads, "Four states here meet in freedom under God." Around the monument, local Navajo and Ute artisans sell souvenirs and food. An admission fee is required to view and photograph the monument.[3] The monument is a popular tourist attraction despite its remote and isolated location. It has become somewhat of a phenomenon for people to travel long distances to take pictures of family and friends at the monument in Twister-like poses, sitting on the disk, in a circle of friends or family around the disk, or for couples to kiss directly over the disk.[4]

I really enjoyed sitting on the four corners but I wouldn't sit still enough for Mia to get a good picture. 

For those of you that don't know what this is it's where Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona all meet. "Four states here meet in freedom under God" is the quote directly around the middle disk.

Though this place is in the middle of nowhere it was beautiful to see. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Finished Earthship entrance
One of Mia's friends text her asking if she had seen the Earthships near Taos. Mia had no idea what that was so we found out it was a type of house and off on another adventure we went.

Building in progress
Earthships are a sustainable building, orginally designed by Michael Reynolds. They are built using a method called Biotecture. Earthships are built in such a way there are no utility bills, and can have modern amenities if you want.

Straight from their website
Water: Earthships catch water from the sky (rain & snow melt) and uses it four times.
Electricity :Earthships produce their own electricity with a prepackaged photovoltaic / wind power system. This energy is stored in batteries and supplied to your electrical outlets.
Sewage: Earthships contain, use and reuse all household sewage (greywater and blackwater) in indoor and outdoor treatment cells. Toilets flush with treated greywater.
Comfort: Earthships maintain comfortable temperatures in any climate.
Food: An environment in which plants are not only asthetic and contributing to the heath of our environment, but are also highly functional and play a direct role in the maintenance of the home.

They can even help you make your current home more earth friendly by retrofitting with Earth systems.

The Earthships are unusual looking homes but also very beautiful and peaceful to be in and around. The walls are made of tires, cans, bottles. The homes can be built as big or as small as you need. The systems are set up for what you need and want.

Close up of cans being installed for wall support.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Taos NM

Taos means "place of red willows" in native language. I didn't notice any red willow but I didn't know to be on the look out for it. I was however told about the Taos hum, I did not hear the hum though. There is supposedly a hum heard in Taos by many people. It's an ongoing low frequency noise just west of town.
Gorgeous scenery

The town in covered in art!

We did not get to go on the Pueblo, it was closed when we attempted to go down. So instead we visited a local hacienda, the Martinez Hacienda. La Hacienda de los Martinez is a great house done in the late Spanish Colonial style. It was built in 1804 by Severino Martinez. It was two courtyards and 21 rooms in it. It was a very fun and unexpected trip.

Loved the scenery