A Girl And Her Dog


New year, new blog. That’s what I decided. I’m traveling so much these days, and I’m dragging my poor little  Shih Tzu Elvis with me. She’s a great traveler. She has a big sister Harley, who is a Harlequin Great Dane. Harley travels well in the vehicle, but she’s a menace when it comes to chewing stuff up and generally leaving devastation in her wake. Their brother Gizmo, who is part Maltese/Japanese Chin/Grumpy Old Man, hates anything to do with moving vehicles. Or moving in general. 

So Elvis, who loves people, me and to travel is going along for the ride this year. We will be all over the U.S. (and hopefully Europe). Our first big trip began two days ago. When we saddled up for our journey to Pasadena Calif. for the TV Critics Press Tour.

We stopped in Amarillo about five hours in to visit with my mentor and friend Jodi Thomas. I  always have amazing conversations with Jodi. Over dinner we talked about living in grace, which was something Shannon and I had just been discussing in the car. We didn’t mention it, Jodi did. It was one of those Twilight Zone moments when she brought it up. She’s is one of the most gracious, loving and giving chicks I’ve ever met. To hear her talk about how she wanted to give back more, was nothing short of inspirational. 

We’d planned to stay at Jodi’s (I have my own bunkhouse there), but a winter advisory meant we had to make at least Albuquerque in order to get to Sedona AZ before the big storm hit.

I love the Nob Hill, artsy area in Albq. Our hotel was near a Dennys, and I could have stayed up all night watching the craziness outside. It was 19 degrees and people ran around in their tank tops. And I can’t print some of the things I saw. They were that bad but in a –probably will end up in a book way. ;)

The next morning we hit up Satellite Coffee, which makes the best Mexican Latte ever. My friend Caroline introduced me to their coffee a few years ago when I did a Breaking Bad set visit. I never remember anything, but I remembered that coffee. :)

That with some yogurt and a spinach and feta wrap made for a lovely breakfast. It was about this time that we realized my friend Shannon, who is traveling with us, had more than the sniffles. We drove to Walgreens and loaded up on meds for both of us. I stuffed her full of pills, decided I could look for turquoise another day and we hit the road for Sedona, AZ.

It’s a good thing we left when we did. I’m awful at geography, something I hope to rectify with my travels. I thought: Sedona = desert, it does. But it’s at a high elevation and you have to drive through the mountains to get here. Um. Yep. The storm hit and I had my first experience driving down an icy, curvy mountain road. I like an adventure – but that’s one I don’t care to duplicate.

My husband bought me a new car for Christmas and all I could think was how mad he’d be if Shannon, Elvis and I accidentally did a Thelma and Louise off a cliff. ;) 

But we made it to the Sedona Rouge Spa and Resort, and were pleasantly surprised by how wonderful the hotel and surroundings were. It backs up the the red bluffs, and with the snow, well, you’ll see below, it’s gorgeous. The air is good for the lungs, and there’s this great friendly vibe in the town. 

I’ve been here 48 hours and I want to live here. They have a fantastic spa. I saved up so I could have a bit of a splurge. I did one of the body treatments called Body Samadhi. It’s based on Eastern Indian theory and included a dosha massage, herbal wrap and a traditional Shirodhara scalp treatment. 

My therapist was a writer who was ready to make the switch from non fiction to fiction. Before she even knew what I did, we talked about writing. This happens to me a lot. She kept saying the universe put me there so that she would listen to me. LOL. And I thought it was all about me. 

But she also explained about some of the Hindu therapies, and we discussed the fact that my body is constantly at war with itself. She gave me some dietary suggestions and I plan to implement them. Shannon and I are on day 3 of sugar detox and we haven’t killed each other, so far so good.

It’s New Year’s Eve as I write this. We decided to keep it low key. We had room service after our spa appt. and talked about everything. It’s one of the reasons I love traveling with Shannon. We can be together for weeks, and still find interesting things to talk about. We are also writing a book together, so that’s made this trip even more fun. 

We have another day here. The plan is to get our Auras photographed and to visit a vortex where we will focus on our goals for 2013. I still need to write mine. Jodi and my assistant Pasha gave us their’s to read in the vortex.  

I’m guessing we’ll buy some kind of crystals or other fun stuff. We thought about psychic readings, but I think we’re going with the vortex tour and aura stuff. This part of the trip was about teaching me how to balance work and rest. I’m sleeping and getting work done. It’s a whole new world. 

I’m sharing some of our photos so far. Shannon took the ones where we were driving down the hill so that we didn’t do that T&L off the hill. Oh, and we found out her Sanskrit sign is Tula and mine is something like Mithula. So we’re Tula and Mithula now. :) 



About Candace Havens

Bestselling author Candace Havens has written six novels for Berkley including, Charmed & Dangerous, Charmed & Ready, Charmed & Deadly, Like A Charm, The Demon King and I and Dragons Prefer Blondes. Her new venture is writing for the Blaze line of Harlequin. Those books include Take Me If You Dare, She Who Dares, Wins, Truth and Dare, and The Model Marine. She is also in the anthology Spirited, and the proceeds go to help literacy. Her books have received nominations for the RITA's, Holt Medallion and Write Touch Reader Awards. She is the author of the biography Joss Whedon: The Genius Behind Buffy and a contributor to several anthologies. She is also one of the nation's leading entertainment journalists and has interviewed countless celebrities including Tom Hanks, Nicolas Cage, Tom Cruise, George Clooney and many more. Her entertainment columns can be read in more than 600 newspapers across the country. Candace also runs a free online writing workshop for more than 1800 writers, and teaches comprehensive writing class. She does film reviews with the Dorsey Gang on New Country 96.3, and is the President of the Television Critics Association.

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