A California Magazine with Local Focus and Global Appeal:
Community - Entertainment - Human Interest


Weekly issues every Saturday morning and new articles throughout the week, including — movie reviews each Monday at 7pm and live events Wednesdays at 7pm. If you love mysteries — explore Mysteryrat’s Maze — there's something for everyone… and check out our sister site on Blogger for bonus articles.


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The Suspect Suitcase

IN THE February 1 ISSUE

FROM THE 2014 Articles,
andMaria Ruiz,
andTravel
SECTIONS

by Maria Ruiz



I was slipping and sliding on a mud trail in Laos. My husband and I, both in our mid-sixties, were living in Thailand for a couple of years on one leg of our ten-year odyssey around the world. In Thailand, like most of Southeast Asia, we had our one-year visa to live in the country but were required to leave every ninety days. We could cross any of the borders, have our passport stamped and return the same day. Most expats did just that. However, we took the opportunity to visit other Asian countries.

{ 11 comments }

Six on a Bed: Moving With Pets

IN THE January 4 ISSUE

FROM THE 2014 Articles,
andMaria Ruiz,
andPets,
andTravel
SECTIONS

by Maria Ruiz



“Are you taking your pets?” everyone asked me when I announced that we were leaving Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and returning to the U.S. This is the last move we’ll ever do because, at age 73, moving is hard.

{ 18 comments }

New Year’s Eve 1999

IN THE December 28 ISSUE

FROM THE 2013 Articles,
andMaria Ruiz,
andTravel
SECTIONS

by Maria Ruiz



My partner and I ran away from home. Yes, that’s right. We sold everything, bought an old, used motor home and planned to see Mexico in six months.
Silly us. We spent three years and still had a lot more to see.

{ 17 comments }

A Santa Cruz Kind of Christmas

IN THE December 14 ISSUE

FROM THE 2013 Articles,
andChristina Morgan Cree,
andTravel
SECTIONS

by Christina Morgan Cree



Santa Cruz offers many wonderful ways to get in the holiday spirit this year. We may not have snow, but how many places can boast a Nutcracker ballet performed by trees? Victorian carriage rides, Holiday light trains, and Nutcracker ballets are just a few of the many fun activities going on this season.

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A Spooktacular Santa Cruz Halloween

IN THE October 19 ISSUE

FROM THE 2013 Articles,
andChristina Morgan Cree,
andTravel
SECTIONS

by Christina Morgan Cree




Santa Cruz has something for everyone when it comes to celebrating Halloween. Whether it’s participating in a family friendly costume parade or partying half the night away with the local undead-look no further. Take your pick of spooky train rides, walks through the cemetery, join a Thriller flash mob or do some pumpkin painting on the Esplanade.

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by Muffy Walker




As the crisp autumn days get colder and shorter, we are reminded that the holidays are not far behind. For many, the holidays include travel plans. Whether it’s travel for a vacation or to visit friends and relatives, we can rest assured that accompanying stress will be part of the package. Regardless of your experience with travel, it is a different thing entirely when you add on a layer of anxiety-laced bipolar disorder.

{ 1 comment }

The Isle of Komodo

IN THE October 5 ISSUE

FROM THE 2013 Articles,
andMaria Ruiz,
andTravel
SECTIONS

by Maria Ruiz



Giant lizards, giant slobbering lizards! That’s what I wanted to see.
We were living in Thailand for awhile on our around the world trip on a small pension. It turns out Asia has a number of budget airlines, each competing for passengers, so they offer incredibly cheap flights. We booked a flight from Bangkok to Bali, planning on island jumping to the Island of Flores, the one with the tours to Komodo. After several adventures and one misadventure when my husband fell off of a boat and broke his arm, we made it to Flores.

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An RV Adventure into the Sierra Nevada Mountains

IN THE August 24 ISSUE

FROM THE 2013 Articles,
andTravel
SECTIONS

by Joe Laing



Your sense of adventure will get new life when you take an RV trip into the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Outdoor recreation, scenic views and historic highlights are the mark of this particular getaway. You become refreshed and refueled after such a relaxing and inspiring time. The first choice in a vacation experience (even if it is a mini-vacation for a day) is traveling the Sierra Heritage Scenic Byway in an RV. You get to take along your favorite gear and have a comfortable place to unwind at the end of the day’s activities!

{ 1 comment }

by Maria Ruiz



“Oh my God, what’s that?” I yelled, as the cab of the motor home filled with steam.
“Oh f…” answered my husband, as our motor home came to an abrupt stop, landing on a slant in the middle of nowhere!
We had entered Guatemala thirty five days ago with a thirty day visa. On day twenty-four, we visited a market several miles from Antigua where we were camping.

{ 2 comments }

The Camel Trip: A Travel Adventure

IN THE June 29 ISSUE

FROM THE 2013 Articles,
andMaria Ruiz,
andPets,
andTravel
SECTIONS

by Maria Ruiz




“Would you like to take a camel ride into the desert for dinner?” asked the guide.
“A camel ride? Is there a place to eat in the desert?” I asked.
Ted said “Yes.” I nodded acceptance. It was set up and we were in the middle of another adventure.

{ 1 comment }

Free Tails (Dog On Vacation)

IN THE April 6 ISSUE

FROM THE 2013 Articles,
andMaria Ruiz,
andPets,
andTravel
SECTIONS

by Maria Ruiz




My husband and I took a Nile cruise in Egypt with our Miniature Schnauzer Sherman.
Sherman was a 30 pound little dog, too big for breeding but a wonderful pet. His ears were floppy, his tail bobbed in the traditional way American Schnauzer’s are.

{ 2 comments }

by Diana Hockley


We planned our trip for months, starting with a huge map which Andrew pinned to the wall in the hallway which was the only place large enough for it. The next job was to stick pins in all the towns where my writer friends lived, but unfortunately I had to trim down my wish list. The insurance company was only going to give us 62 days and after that the cost would be too much for us. Reluctantly, I had to trim down my numbers of friends to visit, so Florida, Georgia and some areas south had to be scrapped. Likewise, Maine had to go as there was just not enough time to go there and fit Boston, Hudson and New York in as well.

{ 2 comments }

Songkran: What’s With All The Water?

IN THE February 2 ISSUE

FROM THE 2013 Articles,
andMaria Ruiz,
andTravel
SECTIONS

by Maria Ruiz



“My God. What was that?” I yelled as someone turned a hose on me and my husband and soaked us with water.

{ 2 comments }

by Maria Ruiz



“What’s that car trying to do?” I yelled at my husband, Ted.
“I don’t know. Now what the f…. is it doing?” He yelled back.
“I don’t see any other car lights. Can you see any house lights?” he yelled at me.

{ 1 comment }

by Christina Morgan Cree



Self- proclaimed coffee “connoisseurs”, “geeks” and “aficionados” abound in Santa Cruz. They don’t just want an expertly crafted and unique cup of coffee, they want an atmosphere in which they can savor both good coffee and good conversation. Santa Cruz offers several different experiences for those who want it all: a thoughtfully designed space and a unique or maybe daring take on their most favorite beverage.

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New York, New York

IN THE September 29 ISSUE

FROM THE 2012 Articles,
andMargaret Mendel,
andTravel
SECTIONS

by Margaret Mendel



The most frequently asked question of a New Yorker is, “Where do you go for fun, entertainment and relaxation?” As if we kept a list of secret spots.
I’d like to tell them, “We wait until all the tourists go home and then we come out to play.” But, truthfully, no one can avoid the hordes of visitors and New Yorkers go about their business no matter how crowded the city becomes.

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