Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dream Wedding

As many of you know, I was the winner of the HomeAway Vacation Rental BlogAway Royal Wedding Press Trip last year. I couldn't have done it without the votes of all Facebook friends, family and blog readers. Now the time has come for me to return the favor for my high school friend Lydia... a finalist for the Farmers Dream Wedding at the Rose Parade on New Year's Day!

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Happy Halloween!

Stay safe and have fun!

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

High Rock Canyon

Treasure Hunting

That's right, for a little over two weeks, I was obsessed with Treasure Hunting in honor of Nevada Day (a state holiday). It wasn't so much about trying to find a medallion that would be awarded $1,000 to the winner, as it was about researching Nevada history and trying to figure out clues obsessively.

Our search led us to Northern Nevada, north of the Black Rock Desert (where Burning Man is held) to which we couldn't resist driving on the playa where record speeds have been marked in the Guiness Book of World Records. I paid for this by scrubbing and detailing every nook and cranny of my car for two and half hours thereafter. We then drove past Fly Geyser (which was torture for a photographer to drive past and not stop, it's on Private Land and special arrangements must be made to see this phenomenon).

We were hopeful that the treasure would be off the Applegate Trail where wagons ventured out West years ago. We discovered that those wagoneers coming out of the Black Rock Desert had to lower their wagons into the canyon by rope to proceed west in an area nearby. By this point, cattle and livestock traveling may not have survived as resources started drying up. Names of some passing through (see photo at top) were recorded near a cave. Famous historian, Joseph Goldsborough Bruff, drew many sketches and maps of his travels, and even wrote a list of those passing through with him and tied it up to the top of the cave. In the canyon south, Little High Rock Canyon, is the location of the last Indian Massacre of 1911.

How long did it take us to get there? That's a good question. Leaving Reno at 6:30am, we passed Fly Geyser around 9:30am, which is the last area of pavement off Highway 34. From there we proceeded up Highway 34 (now a gravel road) another 20 miles or so, and turned right off a dirt road a few miles past Leadville (an old mining ghost town). From there, it was 14 miles via an off-road trail which took us another hour and twenty minutes (more out of fear that a rock would pierce the tire and we would have to hike miles in the desert before seeing another human being with no cell service). We arrived back in Reno around 6:00pm.

We arrived at the Applegate Trail leading into High Rock Canyon around Noon, from there is was another two miles trompling the narrow trail amidst sage brush. This gave us about an hour, before we felt like we should head back before the sun started to sink behind the mountains. Not to mention, that the nearest gas station in Gerlach, NV is about 60 miles away.  

Fortunately we went on the perfect day in mid October, just one week before Nevada's first snow. The weather in the desert was beautiful. Had it been in the middle of summer, it would have been scorching, not to mention the rattlesnakes that thrive here in the desert. Other wildlife we had to keep an eye on were ticks in the brush near the cave, or mountain lion and bats that could have been napping in the cave. Though I would have enjoyed seeing a Big Horn Sheep known to reside in the area.

 We did see wild horses lapping up some water in a pond. In all my adventures, this was truly a unique treat, to be able to get so far away from civilization where the silence is literally deafening.

Though we didn't find the treasure, the adventure was worth way more...
We weren't even close.
The treasure was found only 15 miles from home.
I think we got so caught up in wanting it to be somewhere cool like that,
that we made ourselves point all the clues to that location.
But... it was the first time I've been passionate about something in over a year.
Ever since my return from European travels,
history has been a new found love that has only grown with each passing day.

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Thursday, October 18, 2012



When I went to Tennessee in late July, my grandmother handed down some heirloom jewelry to me. I believe I'm finally at a place where I can truly appreciate it... especially since it combines my two favorite loves: history and fashion. This particular piece (my great-grandmother's) contains vintage Max Factor scented powder in it, which I indulged in only once because I was at the Bellagio last week and simply had to powder my nose in their beautiful bathroom before a special evening out.

My style has changed quite a bit this year. I'm more at liberty to wear clothing catered to my personal preference in worklife, which makes me a happier person... especially since I've been able to maintain my 10-15 lb weight loss and the confidence that goes with it!

Outfits have either been Victorian Vintage, ballet-inspired  with buns and ballet flats and feminine skirts, or bright colorful mixes with lots of accessories, including skipping out on the contacts and opting for my favorite pair of black rimmed glasses.   

Wishing I had all the free time to do some fashion photography, it's just not in the cards right now. But my passion for fashion has only increased by leaps and bounds this year. Learning to take advantage of great thrift store finds has been a favorite past time lately. Now it's time to get geared up for fall!

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pizza, Pizza

In our house, pizza is pretty much mandatory each week... lately we've been mixing up creative sauces and combinations to spice things up a bit. But for a real tasty and spicy combo we love the latest Special we found at Blind Onion Pizza. It contains: linguica (hard to find in certain parts of the states), pepperoni, jalapenos, pineapple, and Frank's Hot Sauce. But this place introduced the honey on pizza concept to me, as a bottle of the sticky sweet treat is placed on every table to be used as a condiment.

Or try our latest specialty from home, the Homemade BBQ Chicken. We actually mixed red sauce with barbecue sauce, added grilled chicken, fresh red bell peppers, onions and mushrooms.

Bon appetit!

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Author Interview

I'm very excited to be able to share my author interview with you! Many people have asked questions about my book, 'Running Away to ...