Moving onto the next adventure…

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Starting 2017 with a road trip!

On day one of 2017, even before the first light heralded in the new year, my husband Bruce and I headed due east from Los Angeles — the city we have called home for the last few years — to seek a less congested urban hub and life. While I continue to build my collection of house portraits in every state, work on my coffee table book and other artistic projects,  the next few months will also consist of traveling and spending quality time with family. This road trip has now landed us in Michigan (Bruce’s origins) and before long we will be visiting the east coast, DC, Virginia and then head down to Florida.  A trip to my homeland of New Zealand as well as Australia is also part of our plans this year before dropping anchor and settling down again.

By mid-morning  we had hit the open road, following the historic Route 66.  How wonderful! Before we knew it we had left California behind and were streaking into Arizona.

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Our first stop was Phoenix where we visited the former home of writer and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. Nestled against the Camelback Mountains, the home is a local historic landmark and museum after being beautifully restored to its original state when Mr. Hubbard lived and worked there in the early 1950’s.

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L. Ron Hubbard House, Phoenix

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We spent our first night in Flagstaff, Arizona. The historic township has no shortage of interesting buildings such as the Coconino County Courthouse in Downtown Flagstaff.

Flagstaff

Historic Coconino County Courthouse in Downtown Flagstaff

Continuing west through New Mexico’s unique alien forms, we made a welcome stop in the small city of Gallup after googling a local cafe called the  Gallup Coffee Company.  The architecture  in Gallup is diverse but the city’s  Native American heritage is a powerful influence, bringing both old and new buildings alive with vibrant hues and colorful murals.

New Mexico

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Gallup, NM 026

Soon after we  found ourselves in the endless rolling  plains of Oklahoma.

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Our next stop was Elk City, Oklahoma where we had lunch at Beyond the Palette. Afterwards I checked out some of the interesting buildings in the city center.  As you can see it is right on  famous Route 66.

On Day three we woke up to whiteness.  Snow, snow and more snow.  In the early afternoon we found refuge in St Louis Missouri at one of the coolest and most unique cafes we have ever experienced: The Mud House. I ventured out into 5 degree temps to get a photo from outside. I never usually take photos of a bathroom but couldn’t resist as it is totally covered in old game boards. Oh and the coffee and food is to die for!

The Mud House St Louis MO

While stopped in St Louis,  we took a look at some of the homes and historic buildings. In fact this is my first experience of the city apart from stopping over at the St Louis Airport on numerous occasions. I discovered that I LOVE the architecture. In fact I feel a St Louis House Portrait series coming on…

Following St Louis we made a bee-line, through Missouri, Indiana and Ohio, arriving at our final destination, Lansing Michigan, five days and 2700 miles later.

Open Road Indiana

I concluded that while driving in the snow can be challenging, the magic of the surroundings makes up for it. And someday I would love to create a series of old barn paintings.

Barn in Snow, Ohio

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Barn in Indiana

Sunset on road to Michigan

Hope you have enjoyed riding along with us!

Love and good cheer and here’s to a fantastic 2017!

Leisa