Archive for Travel Posts

published in Beauty, Dreams/Goals, Inspiration, Travel by Maryanne | February 21, 2018 | 6 Comments

Hunkered Down in Hollywood

 

The Bohemian writer’s nook in my Hollywood VRBO

“In order to write about life first you must live it.”

– Ernest Hemingway

Hallo from the Road!

I hope you’ve had a good couple of weeks. Sadie and I have covered an awful lot of ground and seen some pretty incredible sights & scenery, so I have really tried to only share the best of the best in terms of photos in this blog.

When I last posted (about the creepy massage), I was just about to leave Florence, Oregon and head to the Redwood Forest in Northern California.

Whoa…those trees are TALL! Here are few pics:

Sadie (the red speck to the right) in the Redwoods

Just a note to anyone thinking of visiting the Redwood Forest with a pooch – there are very few trails that dogs are allowed on. Sadie and I got busted by a Park Ranger (a female one – bummer!) on one of our forest-forays. After that, she had stay in the car while I ran off into the woods on mini-hikes.

“The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always…From them comes silence and awe. They are ambassadors from another time.”

– John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

And this is one of my favourite photos from the trip so far:

On the road…Northern California

And then after emerging from that forest, this is the sunset that greeted me at the ocean:

Then the next day, we hit Mendocino, Northern California:

After that, we headed to Berkeley (just east of San Francisco), where I met up with Ann Davidman, author of Motherhood: Is It For Me? It’s an excellent resource for women who are working through the “To be or not to be…a Mom?” decision. I reviewed the book last year. Ann had seen our documentary, Whatever Floats Your Boat…Perspectives on Motherhood, which also explores that question, and then we connected on Twitter. So it was great to meet Ann in person…we gabbed for hours!

MA & Ann Davidman

Saturday night in Berkeley was spent reading Noam Chomsky’s latest book…not exactly light reading, let me tell you (but it was the perfect purchase from a Berkeley bookstore). As perhaps you can tell from Sadie’s concerned expression 🙁 Chomsky has much to say about climate change. But I shall save Noam’s comments for a future blog.

On a much cheerier note, in Santa Clara I met up with a dear friend whom I hadn’t seen in far too long: Tina Maat-Kristensen! Tina was one of the participants in the Whatever Floats Your Boat…Perspectives on Motherhood documentary. We gabbed for hours, too…such fun to reconnect! It was like no time had passed since we’d last seen each other – except, of course, for the significant changes in both our lives.

MA & Tina

The next day, I hit the road and made it as far as the 17 Mile Drive at Pebble Beach – one of the most scenic drives in the world. They aren’t kidding! This is a neat shot of the famous old lone Cypress tree (to the right):

17 miles took us about 4 hours to drive because we had to keep stopping to check out the view!

Next on the agenda was a pit-stop at Carmel-by-the-Sea for a walk on the beach…and low and behold, Sadie met her twin, Riley. It was really weird! Riley’s owner was snapping photos as madly as I was because the resemblance was uncanny. But Carmel, I find, is a special place…John and I were there on our honeymoon way back when.

Then we got to visit the absolutely stunning Hearst Castle (the California “Ranch” of William Randolph Hearst) at San Simeon (about 4 hours south of San Francisco). WOW!

This is just the indoor pool (the outdoor Neptune pool is under construction):

Sadie and I then staggered south to Los Angeles and have spent the past week hunkered down in our oh-so-Bohemian Hollywood home. This VRBO is really neat. It is one house with multiple suites. The musician in the studio next to mine softly strums his guitar in the evenings…it’s lovely. Work-wise, I have been writing up a storm. Sadie has been exploring the delightful garden:

“Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.”

– Henry Ward Beecher

On breaks from work, I sit in the garden and soak up the sunshine…listening to the birds chirp. It is QUIET! I mention this (again) because of the irony that I endured seven years of disruptive noise in the tiny retirement town of Sidney, only to land in the heart of Los Angeles and be able to enjoy the garden without having to listen to traffic, pounding bass, band saws or video games.

We did venture out of Hollywood once…when Lani, Charlie and I took Kip & Sadie for a fun dog walk and chat.

Lani, Kip & Charlie

Lani Shipman is Nell Shipman’s great-granddaughter. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you may recall that I have been working on a screenplay project (God’s Country) about Nell Shipman (she was a silent screen star, born in Victoria, BC) and over the years, I have been very fortunate to get to know her family.

Alas, we must leave our quiet writing oasis tomorrow and head to Oceanside (an hour north of San Diego)…where I shall turn FIFTY (on Fri Feb 23rd)! YAHOOO!!!

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed the photos and have a wonderful week!

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.” 

― Jack Kerouac, On the Road

If you are just joining us on our Bohemian Writing Road Trip Adventure & would like to do a little catch-up reading 🙂 here are my previous blogs:

She Packed Up Her Potential…

Write On – Writing What We Know May Help Teach Us What We Need to Learn

On the Road…But Nearly Not

Surprise! Greetings from Newport

Is That a Dipstick in Your Pocket – Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

Dipstick Theme Continues – Don’t Get Excited

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here. As a thank you, you’ll receive a short but saucy e-book entitled, Dive into this Chicago Deep Dish – Ten Bite-Sized Steps for a Yummier Slice of Life

published in Boundaries, Inspiration, Intuition, Travel by Maryanne | February 7, 2018 | 14 Comments

Dipstick Theme Continues – Don’t Get Excited

 

MA & Sadie on the beach at Florence, OR

“We find after years of struggle that we don’t take a trip; a trip takes us.”

– John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley; In Search of America

Well…here it is another week later and we’re all another week older and wiser, myself included.

I think.

Have you ever been in the middle of an experience and something didn’t feel quite right?

I had a sports massage by a male massage therapist last week and although nothing went particularly wrong, the experience didn’t feel entirely right either. Too many grunts and groans (from him) perhaps…or maybe it was the way his face (and other body parts – but NOT the dipstick, thank goodness!) just seemed to be closer to me than necessary. Or maybe it was the way he said my name…multiple times?

Or a combination of all of the above.

As a woman traveling alone, I am adamant about personal safety. I do everything in my power to ensure I don’t put myself or Sadie in potentially unsafe situations. So when I booked that massage, I did my best to choose a seemingly reputable place. And to be honest, I think it was a reputable place. I just think my massage therapist was trying to let me know that, if I was interested (I wasn’t), he was open to the possibility of…a little post-massage activity.

Or maybe I read the whole thing wrong?

But I don’t think so. And the relief I felt when I got back to my car told me I was probably right.

Other than that odd and rather uncomfortable experience, Sadie and I had an awesome week!

As promised, here are a few photos of my beautiful little (and oh-so-quiet) bungalow by the sea VRBO in Florence:

 

 

 

The lived-in look 🙂

The 10-minute trek to the beach was quite something, though. It’s called the hobbit trail – for good reason!

My pink gazelle Adidas in action!

 

 

 

And then voila! The beach:

 

We also climbed some HUGE dunes…and then ran down them!

I have fond memories of traipsing the dunes of Florence from past trips. John and I were there on our honeymoon in 1996. It was so windy at the very top of one of the dunes, we opened up our arms and leaned right into the wind without falling over! Then in 2010, my friend, Terri, and I stopped in Florence on a big road trip with Sable and Soda (my old Shepherds). Sable was 13 at that point and blind, so she stayed in the car. Soda, Terri and I huffed and puffed our way to the top of a massive dune. Soda was 10 and rather hefty but she made it!

Sadie half-way down a dune…hurry up, Momma!

We are now in Crescent City in Northern California, hiking in the spectacular Redwoods. Photos to come!

Take care and have a super week 🙂

If you are new to reading about this writing road trip, here are the previous blogs:

She Packed Up Her Potential…

Write On – Writing What We Know May Help Teach Us What We Need to Learn

On the Road…But Nearly Not

Surprise! Greetings from Newport

Is That a Dipstick in Your Pocket – Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here. As a thank you, you’ll receive a short but saucy e-book entitled, Dive into this Chicago Deep Dish – Ten Bite-Sized Steps for a Yummier Slice of Life

published in Dreams/Goals, Gratitude, Inspiration, Travel by Maryanne | January 31, 2018 | 14 Comments

Is That a Dipstick in Your Pocket…

Or Are You Just Happy to see Me?

 

Teddy the octopus, Newport Aquarium, Oregon

 “Sometimes you have to unplug from the world you know to connect with the far grander world that you don’t.”

– Jacob Baynham

Boy, am I ever glad I returned to blogging on a weekly basis, as there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of events to report on!

I had a tremendous week of writing at the Crab Cottage VRBO in Newport. The only drawback to that place was that it was on a very busy street in an otherwise quiet town. In other words, it was the perfect setting to be working on the Bungalow by the Sea play script. I felt like I was right at my old home with noisy traffic whizzing by…in an otherwise quiet town.

Anne & MA (a dreadful shot of me but a lovely one of Anne)

Years ago, when my friend, Terri, and I were on a road trip with my dogs, Sable & Soda, we stayed in Newport and got chatting with Anne, who worked in a really cute store, the Peerless Puffin. So I popped in to the Puffin when I was in Newport and was thrilled to see Anne still worked there!

We had a great chat and then met for dinner to gab some more and then the next night, caught a performance of Beauty & the Beast at the Newport Centre for Performing Arts. It was excellent! As you may know, the story is about the importance of changing and growing…and how difficult that can be at times. But when we really want something, we can change for the better.

Rosie, the protagonist in my play, could relate. So could I 🙂

The ocean is in the background and to the left is the Newport Center for Performing Arts

When I first arrived at the Newport VRBO, I was delighted to find The Soul of an Octopus; A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of  Consciousness by Sy Montgomery on the bookshelf. I’ve been wanting to read it for months but hadn’t got around to picking up a copy. I read it during the week and was so inspired by the story – and the creatures – that I went to the Newport Aquarium one afternoon to see if I could see a Giant Pacific octopus.

Did I ever!

Teddy the octopus in action

Theodore (a.k.a “Teddy”) put on quite the show. In the midst of his performance, an aquarium volunteer came up beside me and stared at the tank, astounded.

“Wow,” she said. “He isn’t like this very often…maybe once every two to three months.”

I shook my head in wonder and continued watching Teddy for another five minutes, profoundly grateful to be able to be see this.

Breakfast at Georgie’s Restaurant, Newport

A couple of days later, after a scrumptious breakfast at Georgie’s (my Mom and I had a crab dinner there years ago and the sunset was so spectacular, the entire restaurant broke into applause!), Sadie and I hit the road for Florence…but not before stopping at a gas station.

In Oregon, they pump the gas for you, so while someone was doing that I checked the oil. Or rather, I tried to check the oil. I pulled out the dipstick to check the oil level but something didn’t look right. So I stood there awhile, turning the dipstick this way and that, examining it carefully. Then it hit me: it was bigger than it should be.

It finally dawned on me that I wasn’t looking at just the dipstick but also the gasket-thing that is supposed to be welded to the engine…that the dipstick goes into.

And try as I might, I could NOT get the damn dipstick and attached gasket back into the engine. So I went inside the station and asked the guy for help. He followed me back out to my car. Here’s a snippet of our conversation:

HIM (while trying to put dipstick into engine): Geez, you’re right…that hole is hard to find.

ME: I have a flash light…do you want me to shine some light down there?

HIM: Sure!

So I shine the light from my new handy-dandy headlamp flashlight into the dark abyss.

HIM: Better…but I still can’t see to get it in there.

ME: How about I go underneath and we can try and guide it that way?

HIM: Okay.

So I lie down on my back and slide under the CRV and shine the light up.

ME: How’s that?

HIM (after much grunting and groaning): Damn! That is really tight. Can you move the light around a little?

ME (trying not to laugh): Sure.

So I move the light around a bit.

HIM: Stop! That’s perfect. Don’t move…stay right there.

ME (trying really hard not to laugh): Okay.

HIM (after a few more groans): Damn…your engine is HOT!

ME: Sorry!

HIM: Never mind. I got it…it’s in!

Then I got back on my feet, thanked him and (after sharing a cigarette…kidding!) went on my merry way 🙂

This little encounter reminded of Cameron Tuttle’s brilliant road trip book, The Bad Girl’s Guide to the Open Road (which I have blogged about on past adventures):

Now, just to bring this blog back out of the gutter, here are a few lovely scenery photos taken on the road between Newport and Florence:

Love this shot of the lighthouse with the sun shining on it, as the storm clouds gather…good-bye Newport!

 

Waves smashing against the rocks, Sea Lion Caves (near Florence)

 

Sea Lion Caves (if you look closely, there are hundreds of female seal lions & pups in the foreground and to the left)

When Sadie and I arrived at our VRBO in Florence, I opened up the front door and nearly burst into tears. It was like walking into my dream home…an adorable cozy, little beach cottage.

And, I’m pleased to report, an extremely quiet cozy little beach cottage.

I shall post photos in next week’s blog…till then, take care!

P.S. Yes, I AM getting the dipstick fixed tomorrow.

 “There’s no way around it, you need a car – ideally, one that runs faster than you do. But anything that moves forward will do.”

– Cameron Tuttle, The Bad Girl’s Guide to the Open Road

If you are new to reading about this odyssey, here are the previous Road Trip 2018 blogs:

She Packed Up Her Potential…

Write On – Writing What We Know May Help Teach Us What We Need to Learn

On the Road…But Nearly Not

Surprise! Greetings from Newport

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here. As a thank you, you’ll receive a short but saucy e-book entitled, Dive into this Chicago Deep Dish – Ten Bite-Sized Steps for a Yummier Slice of Life