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 .

 

 

Monarchs el Rosario, Mexico

 

 

It’s about a 3 hour drive from San Miguel de allende to el Rosario monarch sanctuary in Michoacán . The sanctuary is located at a high altitude of about 10,000 feet.The viewing area is at around 10,000 to 11000 feet. When you arrive you are taken about half way up on horseback. Each is owned and cared for by private individuals and are all very healthy and well kept. They do this ride because of the altitude and to keep the group together , however you can not go all the way by horse as it would disturb the monarchs. When we got off the horses we still had half hour walk uphill. We were told to be silent so as not to disturb the monarchs . There are millions of monarchs in this area. The trees are thick with them and every now and then when the rays of sun shine down it puts hundreds of them into flight. What a sight and what a sound. Like a loud buzzing and humming.

 

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Adult butterflies live for only around a month so and no one butterfly ever makes the entire circular migration from North America to Mexico and back again. Instead, it takes three generations of spring-born butterflies to complete the northern leg of the migration from Mexico back to the US-Canada border. The fourth generation though is a ‘super-generation’, which lives eight to ten times longer than normal. It’s these butterflies which, each autumn, leave the Great Lakes area and fly south to Mexico.

Although monarchs aren’t a threatened species, the future of the migration is in serious doubt. In recent years the numbers arriving in Mexico have fallen dramatically. Most scientists blame pesticide use in the US and the destruction of milkweed, the food plant of monarch caterpillars, for this decline.07F255EC-532F-4968-A4D2-F65F9CA53E15

One of the biggest mysteries of the migration is why every year the butterflies choose to hibernate in the exact same trees. Scientists remain unsure as to why they do this and, more importantly, how the butterflies know which trees to use because no one butterfly ever makes the migration twice.733F416E-C371-4F9B-B08A-F30DCD92D409

 

 

 

Sometimes the monarchs land on you. We must be quiet to not disturb them to much.

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This is something I highly recommend if you ever get the chance as the monarchs population is dwindling due to our lack of care for Mother Earth and her inhabitants.

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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

New Years ,walking the dog in Truckee, California, and some New Year reflections.

Photo Editor-20171231_145541This photo is of New Years eve day . I am currently house and pet sitting with Cody the Husky. Isn’t he pretty ?? He is sweet to. A fairly easy dog to take care of. I am here in my hometown Truckee for another 2 weeks. Then I leave for San Miguel De Allende, Mexico for a 2 month house sit. Woohoo. Looking forward to that.  Back to this photo. These are some of my dear friends in Truckee who I spent the NYEve day with . What a nice day. Walking the dogs with  lunch and a Bloody Mary after to celebrate the new year !! No better way to spend the end of the year then with friends in a beautiful location.

Some friends may wonder and think that I am looking for a new place to live. Like last summer when I was up in Washington and  Montana all summer and saying I like this place or that. One friend would say. I see re location in store ? Actually, I Love Truckee, California. It is one of the most beautiful areas in the world with Lake Tahoe, mountains, lakes, rivers.  And of course great people !! It is not a matter of wanting to move. It is a matter of loving to travel and see new places ! Truckee will most likely always be my home base and always be the place I come back to and spend a lot of time at. Of course my friends in Truckee make it home as well !

I moved to Truckee in 1975 with my friend Sandy (seen in this photo holding the little dog). I came from L.A and she from San Diego. We met while working at Sequoia National park. Thus the wandering started. I always knew I wanted to get out of L.A. Doesn’t seem at all like home to me especially now since I left there 42 years ago. So , after a few summers in Sequoia  Sandy and I ended up in Truckee, Ca.

In 1989 I moved to Santa Cruz , Ca. Lovely beach town. Lived there for 6 years . I did enjoy it. Whats not to enjoy. The beach, the weather, the music. However, I got restless and then moved into an RV for 2 years and wandered the country as a traveling vendor. Fun times for sure !!! Would have kept doing that longer had I not been struck down by Cancer. yes, the big C . Had to stop my wandering ways for awhile and take care of myself. I then ended up back in Truckee. I think for me it was because I had friends there  who I had known for quite some time. Once back in Truckee, I got settled in, started a cleaning business, acquired pets, had another round of cancer  and yada yada. I have always wanted to wander but its hard to do at some times in our lives. So, a little over a year ago my pets all got old and died one by one. Here are photos of the last group of pets I had. I miss them so much !!!

 

However, I have decided to not get any pets at this time so as to fulfill the need to wander. Had thought about getting an RV and just taking off. But, then I started this house sitting thing and realized there is a true need for it. So, for now just getting around in my Subaru and house sitting. Still thinking about a small RV , class B or even a camper van.  I do like the house sitting but also want a bit of my own free time as well.

in any case I am feeling pretty happy with my current situation. it may not be for everyone to wander from house to house with no real base of your own but I am enjoying it ! And if I get a small RV then that will be my home. The Subaru is kind of small. But, I house sit so much, it seems to suffice for now.

Anyways, my New Year is a New Year in many ways!

Happy New Year to all of you and may you live the life you want and dream about.

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My summer House sitting and exploring. Washington on fire !!

I finally got my photos working on my computer after 3 visits with an Apple genius bar. Yea!!

Anyways, I can now post about the summer I had of house sitting and sight seeing. I wrote about my first house sit in Edmonds. Then onto Olympic National park for a few days.

After Olympic National park it was on to a  week long house sit in Monroe with the cute little kitty named Shift. I watched Shift for a week in a very large , nice Motor home that was parked in a lovely park along a river. This cat was a 4 month old main coon and looked like a full grown kitty. Very rambunctious fellow.  But, sweet and loving as well.

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Shift

While watching Shift I did a day trip to the lovely town of Leavenworth, Washington. It is a Bavarian themed town. Very cute. Lots of flowers all over, Bavarian food, beer, wineries, shops, etc..20170729_154258fullsizeoutput_16e7

After taking care of Shift. I was In-between  house sits and had 3 and a half weeks free. I wanted to see some of the upper cascades in Washington and do some camping and hiking but due to so many fires I did not do any camping in Washington in August. it was so smokey you could not even get out of the car without ash falling all over you. I had a hard time breathing in it so I pushed right on thru what looked like a beautiful area . I decided  after a long day driving to spend the night in Colville,Washington in a hotel as I did not want to camp in the awful smoke !! They just happened to be having a weekend event called Rendevous days with music, vendors ,etc… Looked like some good music so I stayed 2 nights. It was a fun little event. But, the smoke never cleared up.

Well, Montana has been a must see for me with Glacier National park being on my bucket list of places to go. So, hoping for the best as far as clean air, I pushed on. I did however spend one night in Libby , Montana on the way and went to these beautiful waterfalls just out of Libby.  Kootenai falls and swinging bridge. The bridge is not for those who have a fear of heights! It really does swing when you are walking over it.  Beautiful river ! Libby seemed like a very quiet town but an abundance of beauty surrounds it.

Next post will be about Glacier.  In fact the next 2 or 3 posts will be about Glacier. I spent 9 days there and did several hikes, saw lots of wildlife. Beautiful place !

Launching off into a new phase of life.

So, here I am about to start wandering . I have lived in Truckee, CA. for most of the last 42 years. I am a 63 year old woman who loves an adventure.

Back in 1996 and 1997 I lived and traveled in a small RV . Loved the life. And, without cell phone or internet ! Geez, how did I ever manage?? I was a roving vendor. Selling goods at music festivals , flea markets, street fairs. etc. Fun life but then I was stricken with Breast cancer . Ughhh… Had to settle down and take care of that. Had it twice in 10 years. Now, another 10 years have passed and I am cancer free as far as I can tell. 

While living in Truckee, California  I ran a cleaning business for vacation rental homes in Tahoe and Truckee for 18 years. I also  volunteered at the local shelter and had an odd assortment of animals for the last 18 years.  Have wanted to travel in an RV again but  got tied down with the business and the pets. Having lost the last of my furry babies a year ago to old age I decided to care for other people’s animals. I actually had done that on and off for some time but recently started house sitting. 

My original travel plan was to get an RV again , however this house and petsitting has taken off and now I am taking off in my car which is loaded to the brim with camping gear, bike, clothes, and most likely a lot of stuff I don’t need. My first destination is Washington state where I have 3 petsits that will take me thru till Oct. With some weeks off in between sits at which time I will camp and wander. 

Who knows where I will end up or the adventures I will have along the way. 

Please come join me . Oh and by the way, I am fairly new to blogging so be patient with me as I figure it out ! 

Photos are taken at the pond which was near my house in Truckee. Loved walking there! Will miss it.

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