My guest for this month’s series Travel Blogger Interviews is Cindy Carlsson, an avid traveler and passional photographer from Minnesota, the creator of Exploration Vacation.


portrait of Cindy from Exploration VacationTell us a little about yourself: Who are you? Where are you from?

I’m based in the USA in Minnesota, which is just south of Canada. From there I have traveled to almost 70 countries. Most of the time I am fortunate to be accompanied by my ever-patient husband, Lane.

While I’ve only been blogging for 10 years, I’ve been traveling, taking pictures, and writing for as long as I can remember.
Despite being raised in a small town where almost no one traveled, my family went on a long-distance road trip every few years when I was growing up. Those family trips introduced me to a large cross-section of the USA. And, as travelers know, seeing one place just makes you want to see more, so those trips got me hooked on travel. Read More

This year’s  unusually wet winter has been a curse in many parts of the United States, but not in California. After years of drought, California’s usually lifeless and arid-looking desert has been magically transformed into a stunning landscape of colorful wildflowers. This extraordinary desert ‘super bloom’  is something quite rare in this barren area. Most of the time, California doesn’t get enough rain, so desert blooms are usually small or inexistant. But this year the desert looks like it has been painted with with color. There is yellow, purple, red, blue and even green in the brown desert.

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Living in Southern California means being part of one of the world’s most vibrant and exciting cultural landscapes. From visual arts, home decor and fashion, to music festivals, opera and jazz, you get a wide variety of events that can keep you busy year round. Among these cultural events there is one that often passes unnoticed, despite its 85 years of continuity and absolute uniqueness: the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters at Laguna Beach. Most visitors of California come to Laguna Beach for the beautiful beaches, fancy boutiques, art galleries and great restaurants, but very few ever heard of the living pictures, a live performance that takes you can’t see anywhere else in the world but here. 

The Festival of Arts venue at Laguna Beach


A Brief History of the Festival of Arts

It all began the early Depression years when the small art town on the shores of the Pacific was doing pretty poorly. 1932 the community began looking for ways to attract visitors to Laguna Beach and possibly interest them in buying art from the local artists. A festival of arts with a parade was proposed, all in support of creating a place where the local artists could sell their art. Read More