House sitting in Truckee and Lake Tahoe for most of the summer.

It looks like I will be house sitting in Truckee and Tahoe all summer. Have a few lined up thru most of August with a few days off here and there.

This is fine with me. Truckee ,Ca. is my hometown  and I was gone all last summer house sitting in Washington and Oregon. Then I was house sitting for 2 months this winter in San Miguel De Allende, Mexico. . I missed Truckee in the summer. Did not miss it so much in winter. It is one of the best places to be in summer. Beautiful weather with a lot of outdoor activities . There are  Lakes, rivers, hiking , swimming , and tons of free music in the summer.  I may do a post on just the music that goes on here and several on hiking trails in the area. Of course if you are big into skiing or boarding then it is also a great place in winter !! Winter is beautiful , however I am finding a break from the snow to be very nice !!

Truckee is a small town in the high Sierras at an elevation of 5800 with a population of around 16,000. Here is an article about Truckee being named coolest ski town. https://www.truckeesun.com/news/sports/truckee-named-no-1-coolest-ski-town-in-north-america/.

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Here are some photos of the beauty that surrounds Truckee.

Lake Tahoe is just a short 12 miles from Truckee. Lake Tahoe in photos below .

So yeah ! House sitting in Tahoe and Truckee cant be to bad. Can it !

Here are just some of the pets I take care of in Truckee and  Tahoe.

 

Pet sitting in Fort Bragg, Ca.

I just recently got done with a 16 day house and pet sit in Fort Bragg, CA.

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Years ago when I traveled to the east coast I would tell people that I was from California and some would say  Oh, Los Angeles? or isn’t it all city and desert there ?? So, many folks who have never been to California don’t seem to realize that Northern Ca. is so diffferent and in fact are amazed when I tell them that where I come from is snow and some years, tons of it. I am from Truckee, CA. in the high sierras.

So, Fort Bragg is on the northern Ca. coast which is pristine, dramatic, beautiful and not at all like the more crowded Southern Ca. coastline. A lot of very small towns scattered along the Northern Ca. coast. , redwoods, and dramatic cliffside windy drives that you better pay attention to while driving. Fort Bragg is one of these small seaside towns

The house I stayed was in the woods. The dogs where Nelly and Dougall.

Anyone who knows border collies knows they are dogs that need exercise. Both dogs have competed in agility competition. They where both sweet and we did a daily 2 hours walk sometimes at the beach and sometimes around the neighborhood.  Nelly is obsessed with chasing other critters and there are a LOT of deer around there! I had heard that there was also a mountain lion sighting as well as a fox sighting. So, one day she was totally obsessed with something out in the yard and managed to dig a hole under the fence and get out. Her colar was also hooked to the fence so no tags on her. Ughh. The owner had warned me that she has gotten out at times but they didn’t think she would. Needless to say, I was beside myself for the 4 hours she was gone. I could sometimes hear her barking down below what was a steep embankment behind the house. When she did show up she was a filthy mess with all kinds of debris stuck to her beautiful plume of a tail and full of stinky and mud. It had just rained a couple inches. So glad to have her back !! She got a bath and looked spanking clean. I also patched up the fence and kept an eye on her when in the yard.

Losing someones dog while house sitting is my worst nightmare for this job. Here are the dogs. Dougall sitting up. Nelly the smaller whiter one.

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Some photos of the beautiful coastline along the Mendocino county coast. 

In Fort Bragg there is a waterfront area called Noyo Harbor with a few restaurants, fishing boats, whale watching trips ,etc.. I went there a couple times , once for dinner at the Wharf restaurant and one day for lunch  to a place call Jangles Rough bar that has some nice music on sat. and Sunday  afternoons. I have to say that I was lucky to have the nice weather while  I was there. Often times the northern coastline is foggy for a good part of the day. It was sunny most of the times with  2 days of heavy rain.

Noyo Harbor 

I have a friend named Sue who lives about 30 miles from Fort Bragg in a town called Willits and she came over a couple times . We went to the botanical gardens which is lovely and right on the coast and also dog friendly. We also went for a hike to the pygmy forest in Jug Handle state park. Really, everything in this  area is amazingly beautiful!

 

I was told by a few people not to miss the Pacific star winery which they said has the most beautiful view along this coastline and great for grabbing a glass or bottle of wine, bringing a picnic and just hang out in one of their many Adirondack chairs overlooking the coastline. If you are lucky you will see some whales !

They where right . I would have hated to miss this spot. So beautiful !!!!

I will end this post with some photos of the grounds of the Pacific star winery. 

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House sitting. San Miguel de Allende.

I had been house sitting for about a year when some  Ladies  named Andrea and Marianne,  who I knew thru a friend in Truckee reached out to me about coming to house sit in Mexico.   They  had moved to San Miguel De Allende , Mexico,  a couple years back. They said, Do you want to come here for 2 months and watch our dogs and house? Well, I had just read that San Miguel De Allende was voted in Travel and Leisure magazine as best city to travel to. Here is that article. http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/city-vacations/san-miguel-de-allende-photos . 

So, I said sure thing !!

Lovely house at  Malanquin golf club about 2.8 miles from el Centro which is the heart of San Miguel De Allende.  I would be taking care of  a little Doxie named Enrique and little white fluffy Mexico poodle  named Miguel. Here are some photos of where I stayed for most of the 2 months. And my little dogs. Enrique a sweet , cuddly little long haired Dachshund who was rescued from a early life of abuse and Miguel a little San Miguel De Allende street dog who lucked out and was taken off the street. There is an innteresting story about the Rebellious nuns who used to raise poodles to make money. Here is an excerpt from the book called “The Rebellious nuns”

Today the nuns make their money (every order, cloistered or not, must support itself as money doesn’t come from the Church) with their tamales (yummy) and cookies (dry).  At one point the order raised white purebred poodles to make money.  (There is an order of friars in New England well compensated for raising German Sheppards.)  One day a new bishop came to town and demanded the nuns stop raising poodles so they opened the doors and let them free.  That’s why San Miguel’s street dog population has that unique white poodle mix running through them.

The reason I posted this is because Miguel must be an offspring of these dogs. And because around every corner you see them in SMA , these white fluffy dogs. They are all over but of course mostly owned by people. In fact I saw very few street dogs in SMA.

I did not have a car in SMA  however it was easy enough to get around. Once in awhile I would walk to El Centro and take the bus back. In fact I spent a lot of time walking as there are so many little neighborhoods to see.  The bus cost 7 pesos to go as far as you want . 7 pesos is about 30 cents . Calling for a ride from Malanquin to town cost about 70 pesos. $3.00. There was a large store about a quarter mile down the road from the house and a couple restaurants across from that. I actually enjoyed just walking to the center of town a lot as then I would pass all the shops, restaurants, etc.. and see something new each time. Taking a taxi or bus back.

Over all I very much enjoyed the house sit  and hope to go back. The dogs are both sweet, the house lovely, and so much to see and do in and around SMA .  There is talk of me coming back next winter. The girls I house sat for travel a lot each year.

Here is my first view of El Centro and the Parroquia which is the famous Church of San Miguel de Allende and happens to look like a pink cake.  The Parroquia as one article says is a Grand, neo-Gothic 17th-century church known for its soaring pink spires & lofty, ornate sanctuary.

San Miguel De Allende has a lot going on . Music, plays, art, amazing architecture,  Mariachis nightly in El Centro. And did you know it is an Unesco world heritage site

San Miguel de Allende, UNESCO World Heritage Site

On July 8, 2008, San Miguel de Allende was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. A remarkable example of 16th-century Spanish Colonial Baroque architecture, as well as a place of vital importance during the Mexican War of Independence, San Miguel de Allende was added to the UNESCO Cultural Heritage list under the Historical City category. The city’s colonial authenticity and cultural integrity, and the excellent condition of its historic downtown (Centro Historico,) were key elements that contributed to the UNESCO designation.

It is also one of Mexico’s “Magic towns”. Read about that here:

It is also one of Mexicos “Magic towns “

When I first go to SMA I thought wow, it is crowded and it is on weekends. Many Mexicans from Mexico City and Guadalajara come to town.  But it all just adds to the excitement of the whole place . Lots of mariachis, music,  weddings, parades,  celebrations going on all the time Never boring. In fact I am going to do a whole post about all the activity in El Centro.

SMA is made up of many beautiful little neighborhoods, such as  Guadalupe with the Murals  I wrote about it here , Guadalupe Murals , a neighborhood in San Miguel de allende, Mexico. botanical gardens that I posted about here  El Charco del Ingenio Botanical gardens in San Miguel de allende at night. and here El Charco del ingenio , A botanical gardens in San Miguel de allende, Mexico.

There are hot springs, and ruins to go to as well as other towns of interest within an hour  or 2 drive. A few I made it to but still some I did not see. Which is reason to go back.

I only made it to one of the several hotsprings called  “La Gruta “. I really enjoyed it. Nice place to relax for the day. Complete with lounge chairs, shade, restaurant and bar and the cave.

Here are some photos of La Gruta.

I have already written a few posts on San Miguel De Allende but I experienced so much while there that I will be writing a few more in the future as well. Still have a lot to share from this beautiful city.

Here is an earlier post I did    San Miguel de Allende ,Mexico.

Another about our trip to see the Monarchs. Right here Monarchs el Rosario, Mexico

I had some time off from the house sit ( 10days )  and had friends who came to visit so did a lot of things when they where there.

Here are some parting shots for now

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I will re visit SMA in some future posts  but my next post will be about the beautiful Northern California coast where I am just ending a 2 week house sit with 2 sweet border collies. Had great weather so it was truly lovely.

Coming soon. Fort Bragg, California.

Guadalupe Murals , a neighborhood in San Miguel de allende, Mexico.

 

San Miguel de allende is an artist town. So full of artists and Musicians. Many are expats. But, just as many are Mexicans. There is a neighborhood in San Miguel de Allende where the mural artists of Mexico come to paint large, beautiful murals on the walls of the buildings.

 

Walking through the streets of the Colonia Guadalupe in the “dark side” of San Miguel, you feel as if you were in a youthful, indomitable, free art center that explodes and overflows with motivation and all thanks to an initiative taken up by Graffiti World, an organization that has worked very hard not only to transform the aesthetic environment of what previously was considered a dangerous neighborhood, but to ultimately change the social fabric, and the geogaphic location into a “safe place to take a walk”.

There are tours you can take in this neighborhood to learn more about the artists and the history of the Murals. A lady named Colleen does them. Info below.

  • Walking tours every MondayThursdayFriday
    Morning – 10-12:30
    Afternoon – 2-4:30
    Meet on the street in front of Via Organica
    300 pesos per person, no reservations required

    I am very proud of our Muros en Blanco project & I thoroughly enjoy sharing stories of the murals, artists, neighbors & how we all made it happen in 2013, when street art was still not permitted. Since then, more than 100 murals have been painted by local, national & international artists.

    Your participation helps to support the Artist Residence.
    See you on the street !
    Colleen

I never quite got around to taking her tour  however I did a tour of my own one day near the end of my 2 month stay and am so glad I did it. Would have hated to miss out on this beautiful area . Maybe next time I will take Colleen’s tour to learn more about the artists who do the murals.

It is a quite and quaint neighborhood and I just spent the day wandering about. Here are photos of some of the beautiful artwork.

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The new restaurant called Chilarillo

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New restaurant Chilarillo opened up in Guadalupe. Looked good. Organic and some vegan foods.

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There where many more murals then this.  I walked all day looking at them.

I also stopped here for lunch. Great little organic store with cafe. Lucky me, some roaming musicians stopped off to play a couple songs as well.  Via Organica is the name of the market, cafe and it is in Guadalupe .

 

 

San Miguel de Allende ,Mexico

I am currently doing a two/month house sit in SMA  Watching these two cuties. Enrique and Miguel. This is the view from the house I am house sitting at. Not bad. Lovely spot./Lovely house.

 

SMA is full of expats.. Why? The 4 C,s I was told by an American local. Climate,cuisine,cost,and culture. Climate is mild year round. SMA is at 6200 to 6800 feet high and is known for lovely weather. Cuisine, yes, many restaurants with great food and not just Mexican food. Italian, Lebanese, vegetarian, Indian, and many more with lots of wonderful coffee shops to pass the day at. One thing I have noticed is that this is a very social town. Culture in the form of the arts, music, plays, art shows, more music.   And of course being a Mexican town it is very cost effective.

I have barely been here a week so am posting a few photos of a lovely walk about that I had yesterday and many more posts to come about this lovely town.

 

Carson City , Nevada

I am staying in a cute little Air BNB in Carson city for a few nights on my way to the Reno airport to fly out to San Miguel de Allende , Mexico which is where my next house sit is . It will be for 2 months and taking care of 2 dogs. I am excited. Have never been to SMA although have been to other parts of Mexico many times.

So, just wanted to post about Carson city. Another one of those towns that was not that far from my hometown of Truckee, California.

I have come to Carson city before for a day here and there but have to say I really enjoyed my 3 night stay. It is winter so kind of quite however I do know there are a lot of events and music going on here in the summer months.

Carson city is the capitol of Nevada. Here is a little something from the Carson city visitor site.

“Carson City, Nevada boasts an array of outdoor adventures, fine restaurants, challenging golf courses, historical attractions, museums, gaming opportunities and a plethora of events and entertainment. Visitors will find plenty of exciting activities and experiences to choose from. The heart of the action–Carson City is nestled just minutes from world famous Lake Tahoe, electrifying Reno, historic Virginia City and the majestic Sierra Nevada mountain range.”

I stayed in the nicest little AirBNB for a super reasonable price and just around the corner from the downtown. Very comfy little place. Photo Editor-20180120_160730one of my favorite things about Carson city, besides the mountainous views, is the Carson Hot springs. Wow ! I love this place. You can  soak outside in a large pool and 2 jacuzzi tubs or you can get a private room. The think I like about the rooms is that you get super hot water !! The temps in the rooms range from 102 to 109. I chose 107 for the last two nights. I have been fighting off a cold or flu bug so wanted to sweat it out of me. You can also wander outside to use the Hammer ( a very strong fast moving jet of hot water that comes out of a pipe above the pool and pounds your achy muscles). All this for only $15 for a room for 2 hours (senior price ! Yup, I am a senior !) or $20 for younger folks. If you only want to use the outside it is $10 or $15. The place was packed on the weekend. They have a fire pit outside and families come and bring all kinds of food and hang out all day. But, today , Monday was very quite. Photo Editor-20180121_191431.jpg

Carson is a cute little town with some nice restaurants , breweries, wine shops, antique stores, coffee shops,  funky bars and even a couple casinos. Lake Tahoe is not far away with hiking trails all around .  A bit laid back this time of year. But, fun stuff happening here in summer. Free outdoor music once a week, Bluegrass festival,   Mountain man event, and much more.

I plan to spend a couple nights again on my way back from Mexico in the same AirBNB cause it was such a bargain !!! And I love the Hot springs.

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Meanwhile , Adios and see you in Mexico !!pexels-photo-745271.jpeg

The people you meet on the trails!

This last summer I was able to visit a few of our National parks in between my house sitting jobs. I had the pleasure of seeing Olympic national park, Glacier national park, and Mt. Rainier national park.  One thing about national parks is they are quite crowded!! Campgrounds hard to get into , trails crowded. The most crowded of these 3 was Glacier National park. I had to get in line at 4:30 a.m to get a campsite and I was 3rd in line at that time. Trails were bustling with people. I thought that would really bother me in the beginning , however these places are so beautiful that it just got to be something I got used to _MG_2988IMG_3289

Really what this post is about is the interesting people you see and meet on the trails. 

For some reason, in Olympic national park we saw lots of people from India and the lady’s would be dressed in their beautiful sari’s and out hiking the trails ! I wish I had gotten a photo of some of them . I just love the colorful clothing .

In Glacier and Mt. Ranier I saw more Japanese and Chinese. These folks have endurance and the children don’t seem to complain at all while hiking a 10 mile hike . I mean tiny tots of 5 years old just plugging along with Mom and Dad , Grandpa and Grandma. No whining , no fussing. Climbing up big inclines , on 8-10 mile hikes. Some of them hiking all the while in those little slip on tennis shoes that barely have a sole. Some people I saw in flip flop doing long trails. Some with just a tiny bottle of water in their hands.  Then come the American hikers in the decked out hiking gear. All the latest in hiking clothing, the best of boots, the full packs , the camelbacks, etc. 

Of course you also get the totally overweight and out of shape but yet determined folks and the elderly doing what are quite strenuous hikes. One couple I talked to in their mid 80’s going up the Wonderland trail at Mt. Rainier. That one had me huffing and puffing. 

I saw lady’s in heals (altho only on the lower parts of the trails), a woman a couple miles up the trail carrying a cup of coffee and no water. 

I am not trying to say that one group or the other is doing it the right way. Just an observation I made of all the different types at the national parks . Many of them most likely checking one more place off their bucket list , just like myself. 

 Then you also get the guys swimming in the glaciers at Glacier national park. This was not an easy thing to get this photo op. This guy  had to get out there aways in the ice water and then climb up onto a chunk of ice to get this photo ! And then scramble out quickly before having coronary arrest ! 

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One off my bucket list. Glacier National Park .

Glacier National park was a place to see for me . It was on my bucket list. I passed thru there when I was 15 years old with my parents and was in awe of it. Always wanted to go back.

This summer I had 3 and a half weeks in between some house sit jobs. I decided to travel and explore Washington and Montana. Unfortunately , Washington was on fire in early August when I set out so pushed on to Montana. Fires in Montana as well but Glacier was not to bad. Some days smokey , some days clear.

Spent 9 days in Glacier national park and took many hikes and many photos so this will be a series of posts .

 

What can I say. One only has to look at these photos to see the beauty of this place. The top left photo is of Grinnell Glacier. In 1906 Glacier National park had 120 glaciers. There are now 26 and they are rapidly melting.  I heard that Grinnell glacier used to be huge but as you can see, it is now chunks of ice. On the right is one of many beautiful hiking trails. Next photo is the ever funny, quirky looking Moose. Next to that is the beautiful and old St. Mary’s lodge in many Glacier. Next photo is Lake McDonald.

I looked online before going to see about the camping and most of it was first come, first serve and I read that one must get in line at 5 a.m to get a spot. Very true in August. I got in line at 4:30 a.m and was the 3rd in line. By 6:00 the line was about 12 cars.  I think 4 or 5 of us got campsites. Glacier is crowded but so beautiful that you don’t even care. And a lot of the trails you just need to get a couple miles in before the crowd thins out.

 

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Hidden lake. So beautiful. It wraps around the mountain .

_MG_2832This guy thought it might be fun to surf the frozen waters ! Ha Ha. He about had a heart attack from the cold.  This is at Grinnell glacier.

More to come….

Orcas and Eagles

One of the things I did while in Seattle earlier this summer was to go on a whale watching expedition . I was house sitting for 3 weeks in Edmonds, Washington.

I bought a Groupon (if you don’t know Groupon, you should ! Half price on all kinds of wonderful stuff ! ). So, the whale watch was out of Anacortes , Washington which is up near the San Juan islands. Beautiful area.

We went out about an hour and a half before we saw anything. The boat crew came around and talked to people , telling them about whales, the islands ,etc. Very informative crew.

Orcas, or killer whales, are the largest of the dolphins and one of the world’s most powerful predators. They feast on marine mammals such as seals, sea lions, and even whales, employing teeth that can be four inches long. They are known to grab seals right off the ice. They also eat fish, squid, and seabirds. we saw the small pod of Orca’s ! Beautiful !!! I had seen whales before along the California coast but never Orca’s . Wow, so majestic.

 

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We where also blessed to see Golden Eagle and Bald Eagle.

Beautiful day and another great buy from Groupon.