Thursday, December 27, 2012

Solutions for Serious Sun Lovers

Sun Lover's Paradise

“If you insist on being outdoors, you will have to take special precautions,” my dermatologist warned. When the sun comes out so do I. I simply can’t bear to be indoors when the birds start singing. I head out to hike along a sparkling creek shaded by stately sycamores, or to stroll the sands of Malibu. So, what is the solution?

First I put Face Cotz, a water resistant cream that contains Titanium and Zinc, on underneath my skin-toned makeup. This way I am certain to have some protection even if I’m just on a casual walk in the neighborhood.  This allows me to carry on daily affairs without anyone noticing that I am wearing protection.

Sun Salutation
If I am going on a real hike where I will be outdoors for extended period of time, I put the more intense SPF 58 Cotz Plus on under my makeup which is 100% free of chemical sun screens and oils with a hint of skin tone in it that blends translucent into my skin. I carry Total Block with UVA/UVB in my fanny pack that comes in a handy travel 2.oz size. I use this rich cream for emergency re-applications when on a walk with no shade, or at the beach. It dries clear is not sticky and is hardly noticeable on my skin.

Living in sunny southern California means I can be outdoors all year long. It also means the sun is aging my skin pre-maturely and I need to be more careful.  Soon, I will embark on an “Un-Cruise” throughout the Hawaiian Islands aboard the Safari Explorer. While this promises to be a trip of a life-time with kayaks, snorkels, paddle boards and skiffing included, it will also be the ultimate test for my skin care products.  Highly water-resistant Aqua Sport that retains its SPF qualities after 80 minutes of activity in the water will definitely be aboard the yacht with me.
Fun to Come
All of the Cotz products mentioned contain zinc, but they don’t put a sticky white film on my skin like other products I have used that contain zinc. My dermatologist stressed that zinc is a critical component in serious protection against the sun’s harmful rays.  Hopefully, the precautions I am taking along with a big brimmed hat and UVA/UVB sun protection clothing will allow me to enjoy the warming and rejuvenating aspects of the source that gives life to us all for many years to come.

For babies delicate skin try Badger which contains only natural ingredients, including Chamomile and Calendula. All of the Cotz sun protection products are available at

Friday, November 30, 2012

Proof Positive the Universe Will Provide!

I was feeling blue about spending so much time marketing Wai-nani: A Voice from Old Hawai’i, and thought I was losing touch with what had inspired me to write her story in the first place. I longed for the sensuality, sustenance, and nurturing that comes when I am in what Mark Twain dubbed “the prettiest fleet of islands ever to lay anchor in the Pacific”—the Hawaiian Islands.
Then, in my email appeared an invitation for an “Un-Cruise” with American Safari Cruises throughout the Hawaiian Islands. Spending a week on a smallish ship with a maximum of 36 other passengers; stopping in sleepy lagoons on Lanai, Molokai, Maui and the Big Island to snorkel over coral reefs teeming with flamboyant fishes; kayaking; paddle boarding or skiffing sounded like this adventure travel writer’s idea of perfection.
Experiencing “moana,” the grand and vibrant sea, like the early Polynesian voyagers is a thrilling prospect for me. Not only would I be immersed in the elements; sun, balmy breezes and heavenly, cobalt blue water, I would not have to hassle with where I would sleep that night, or where I was going to eat. Was I dreaming? No! American Safari Cruises had already conjured up the perfect holiday for me with forays on land to sacred sites of historical significance.
OMG! I just completed the creation of Wai-nani’s Wayfinder—a map of sacred sites on the Big Island that I am giving as a gift to those who purchase a copy of Wai-nani. Could anything be closer to my heart?
So, this is why I say be careful what you ask for. You are liable to get it, and then the question becomes are you ready to meet the answer!
I promise to return brimming with warm "Aloha" and ready for a fantastic New Year!

Adventure-travel writer, Linda Ballou, shares Great Outdoor days in L.A, as well as a host of travel articles on her site, along with information about her travel memoir, Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler’s Tales, her historical novel Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai’i and her latest action-adventure novel The Cowgirl Jumped over the Moon  

Her quest today is to get to as many beautiful places as she can before they are gone. Subscribe to her blog and receive updates on her books, and travel destinations.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Message from the Guardians of Old Hawai'i

Mikilani Young
I got my much needed “Aloha fix” at Mikilani Young’s creative presentation of the guardians of Hawai’i, or Aumakua. 

It was a delightful fusion of traditional hula and powerful images of old Hawai’i. Mikilani did a voice over a slide presentation telling the myths and legends behind the dance that ensued. She explained that animals embody the spirits of departed loved ones who come back in dreams with messages to protect the living human. I thoroughly enjoyed her well-informed telling of the Hawaiian story.

 The dancers in her hula halau range from scene stealers who are about four years old to aunties still graceful in their senior years.  Flowing movements of the more experienced dancers in stunning red velvet gowns graced with white shell leis was mesmerizing. I enjoyed the variety of music and dances from Kahiko, the ancient dance to drumming and chant, to modern hip swinging hula and left the event filled with warm aloha.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Authors Shine at the Bank of Books

It was great fun sharing Wai-nani, and Lost Angel Walkabout at table with Kaira Rouda at the Local Author Fest sponsored by the Bank of Books in Malibu. Fast becoming a community hub, Bank of Books with it's cozy coffee bar and welcoming staff is the place in Malibu to find stimulating books and meet new friends. Thank goodness for this new Indie Book store that gives us a place to shine.

Delores- the God Mother of Malibu, made everyone smile with reflections about her life in Malibu over the past 44 years. She came from Brooklyn, started with a food truck and is now the author of a local classic "The Malibu Cook Book."

Monday, October 15, 2012

Stars Align for A Night in Old Hawai'i

Linda with Ann Lambert Vannov- Manager of Bank of Books

The new Bank of Books overlooking  the shining Pacific in Malibu supports local authors. The evening opened with Anna Liza McKeon performing the ancient Kahiko hula. She chanted and drummed for her son who is keeping the hula tradition alive.  This was followed by my talk about how to pull more mana, or spiritual power, into your life. Next, I took my guests on a visual journey to sacred sites scattered though out the Islands. It was a beautiful evening and a good time for all!

Anna Liza McKeon
Video of introduction to my talk below

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wellness travel diva interviews Linda Ballou

Elaine Masters women's radio show host for the Gathering Road interviews adventure travel writer Linda Ballou. In fifteen minutes learn what makes Linda strive for even greater adventure heights, why she has to share them with you and what a wild ride it has been.
Interview with wellness guru on Gathering Roads

A Night in Old Hawai'i-Hawaiian Spiritualty

Hawaiian Spirituality 
Lessons from Old Hawai’i

Linda Ballou, author of Wai-nani: AVoice from Old Hawai'i—fabled history couched in magical realism, shares lessons she learned from the People of Old Hawai’i. Her talk opens with an overview of the genesis of the Aloha Spirit-or Lokahi—a time
when Hawaiians lived in peace and harmony. Then Linda moves onto the triage of traditional Hawaiian healing methods enjoying  resurgence today.

Following her talk she takes you on a visual journey to sacred sites scattered through-
out the Islands with gorgeous images provided by the Hawaiian Tourist Authority

Oct 12, 2012- Program begins at 7:00PM

Bank of Books Malibu
Point Dume Village
Heathercliff Rd. #109
Malibu, Ca 90265

Monday, September 10, 2012

USA BOOK NEWS spotlights Lost Angel Walkabout

USA BOOK NEWS honors Lost Angel Walkabout One Traveler's Tales winner of the 2012 International Book Awards with complete listings of other great travel books on the site. 

Lost Angel Walkabout by Linda Ballou is one of the most beautifully written travel books I have ever read. Linda tells her personal experiences of her many travels in different continents and environs. She is well-known as a top adventure travel writer, and her tales of her intrepid soul's search for beauty in the wilds and her ability to rouse physically to any demands of the setting will thrill the reader.  She increased my desire to become more physically fit so that I could do some of the things she is daring and fit enough to do. She grew up in Alaska and has always loved horses. Her travel tales about returning to that wonderful environ and her experiences in many different places which involved riding horses are so beautifully inspiring.  Linda also leads walkabouts in Los Angeles. I highly recommend her book as a treasure you will want to read, and then to re-read aloud to anyone who might want to listen. Her use of words is very commanding and her descriptions so vivid you will feel you have traveled alongside her and seen all the beauty of the surroundings which she so deeply appreciates. This is a MUST READ!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Renegade Way to Make Travel Writing Work for You-Webinar

NATJA member and award-winning author Linda Ballou will present a Webinar August 15th “The Renegade Way to Make Travel Writing Work for You.” She will show how to take control of your travel writing world and put you on the fast track to getting great trips! Visit her website and enjoy numerous travel articles that have appeared in national publications. Linda Ballou was most recently awarded for her book, Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler's Tales in the 2012 International Book Awards, where she was named a finalist and took home first place in the Travel Essay category.  Learn from her first-hand how to make travel writing work for you! 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Last Chance for Romance in the West

Just in from a a boot scoot'en adventure at the North Fork Ranch nestled in the sleepy Platte River Valley. Join me on one of the Last Chances for Romance in the West.....
Aspen leaves spinning in a stout wind rattled like castanets. I found shelter beneath the spreading arms of an ancient spruce from the intense sun on a ledge overlooking the Platte River Valley. The ceaseless chatter of the river on its merry way to Denver kept me company. Below, nestled in the cleft of the blue mountains sheathed in Ponderosa Pine, North Fork Ranch rests hidden from the modern world. People come here from around the globe to breathe the crystalline air, fish in the clear waters and let a good horse take them back to the days when the west was young. /Read Full article here

Friday, June 15, 2012

Coming Home to Western Hospitality

Heading for Colorado today in search of a Rocky Mountain High. Guest ranches have provided a means for city folks to air out their spirits since the turn of the century, but today they are multi-sport adventures, leaping generation gaps and crossing cultural barriers in a single bound. They are perfect for the single parent traveling with a teen; extended families spread across the continent looking for a place to re-unite; mature couples in which one half of the unit is a horse-person, and the other is “normal“; singles who enjoy sharing in a family environment; and anyone who ever dreamed of being a cowboy or girl. Selected as one of the top fifty Guest Ranches in the world, North Fork Ranch sets the bar for the other ranches in Colorado. I asked owners, Karen and Dean May, what makes their ranch so special? Go to full interview

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Lost Angel Walkabout is a Winner

My travel essay collection Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler's Tales filled with chills, spills, giggles and squeaks is the winner of 
2012 International Book Award in the Travel Essay category 
For a complete list of winners

It was also took the Bronze in the North American Travel Journalist Awards  in 2010 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Happy Birthday to Ka'ahumanu the Most Powerful Woman in Old Hawai'i

On March 17, 1768 Ka’ahumanu was born in a cave at the fortress hill of Ka’uiki in Hana. The fierce Moi of Maui, once her mother’s lover, became so enraged when she chose Ke’eamuoku over him that he set his warriors upon her parents. They chased them through Haleakala Crater, but lost them in thick mountain forests. While Ka’ahumanu was still a baby her parents fled Hana to Hawai’i where they lived in royal comfort. Wai-nani, the voice from old Hawai’i in my historical novel (1750-1819) is inspired by the precocious Chiefess Ka’ahumanu. Instrumental in ending the 2,000-year-old Kapu system and the burning of the gods, to some she is remembered as the” loving mother of the people” and to others she is the hated “flaw that brought down the chiefdom.”

Six feet tall, fiery, statuesque, elegant on the land and in the sea, she became Kamehameha the Great’s wife at age 13. He was so taken by her keen intelligence, and athletic abilities that even though a childless bride, she remained his favorite wife throughout his 40-year reign. The most beloved royals in Hawaiian lore could be seen skittering across the waves on massive koa wood boards together. On his deathbed in 1819 Kamehameha made her Kuhina Nui giving her equal weight to rule with his son.

She questioned the practice of separate eating places for women and men, defied rules restricting woman from eating eat certain foods like red bananas and pork. She questioned the authority of the priests who meted out dreadful punishments for minor infractions claiming to be living under the instructions of the gods. How courageous she was to don the yellow feather cape of ruling Ali’i after Kamehameha’s death and to sit down to eat with his son declaring herself his equal as she licked pork from her fingers.

She is not looked upon with great favor by some because when the missionaries arrived in 1820 she befriended them and converted to Christianity. She encouraged her people floundering in a spiritual vacuum to follow suit.

Ka’ahumanu stirred my imagination and won my admiration. Brave, athletic, strong, passionate, caring and centered in herself, I saw her as a forerunner of the modern woman. I was introduced to her in the 70’s during a time when women were breaking out of accepted molds. Ka’ahumanu seemed to me to be a powerful personage that embodied female empowerment overlooked by western historians.

Written With Warm Aloha                                                     
In the Name of Ka’ahumanu

Monday, March 5, 2012

Star Publish News: Escape to Paradise

Star Publish News: Escape to Paradise: As I sit looking out the window of my office in Northeast Wisconsin , I see the after effects of our 2 feet of snow that fell on us last we...

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sacred Historical Sites #2-Wayfinders of Old Hawai'i

Debate over whether or not early Polynesian voyagers were able to navigate their double hulled canoes back to homelands to gather supplies and recruits to colonize the Islands raged for years. The canoes paddled by the ancients were dug out from tree trunks and made from planks sewn together with cordage of coconut fiber twisted into strands and braided for strength. Cracks and seams were sealed with coconut fibers and sap from breadfruit or other trees. An outrigger was attached to a single hull for greater stability on the ocean; two hulls were lashed together with crossbeams and a deck added between the hulls to create double canoes capable of voyaging long distances. Scholars could not believe that these canoes navigated without instruments by seafarers who depended on their observations of the ocean currents, scent on the winds, clouds in the sky and messages from birds could follow these clues to an intentional landfall. Legend has it that a migrating whale led early voyagers to the Hawaiian Islands.

In the 1970’s these doubts where overturned when the Hokule’a, named after the “Bright Star of Happiness” that rests over Hawaii, a reconstruction of an ancient voyaging canoe made the return voyage to Tahiti. This remarkable re-enactment, chronicled in An Ocean in Mind by Will Kyselka, put to rest any disbelief about the abilities of ancient Wayfinders. The Hokule’a and her crew continue to make voyages. You can learn more about them and follow the triumphant Hokule’a on the Polynesian Voyaging Society site.

Ko’a holo moana, is an ancient voyaging heiau – sometimes called the Stonehenge of the Islands. The existence of this little known site is more proof that the “people of old” knew a great deal more about navigation than once believed. The heiau that consists of a set of standing stones that led the way for ancient Polynesian sea voyagers. It is the only heiau of its kind in the Islands. It is located at Mahukona Point near mile marker 15 on the Akoni Highway on the Kohala Coast.
Get past the incongruous bagpipe opening of this informative video by Donnie MacGowen and witness this little known voyaging heiau.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Save the Skin You Are IN

A glint of jealousy flashed in the eyes of my fellow adventurers on the jet boat ride out of the Grand Canyon when I whipped out my lightweight mask, secured it to the frame of my sunglasses, and turned to face 60-mile-an hour winds. This handy defense against the elements helped protect my skin from the wind and intense glare of the sun reflecting on the water. Less than an ounce of protection in my pack prevented me from receiving skin damage with no cure. Too Learn more about how to protect yourself from the elements read my complete article in my column on the National Association of Baby Boomer Women's site Save the Skin You are In!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Praise for Wai-nani from the Islands

Praise for Wai-nani from the Islands- Jo Ann Lordahal author of Princess Ruth-

Love and Tragedy in Hawai'i

Imagine yourself on a magical tropical isle in a far-away time when magic is real. You are young, beautiful, strong: a Hawaiian woman with a dolphin companion and a royal life that awaits you. Favorite wife of a king. Effective ruler after his death.

Linda Ballou takes us to the time of Kamehameha I (1800s) and the forcible gathering of islands into the Hawaiian state. She places us firmly in the heart/mind/body of Wai-nani the writer’s imagings of real-life chiefess Ka’ahumanu. Wai-nani (beautiful water) invites us to share her mythical story. Imagine: the world is young and green and once upon a time …

Friday, January 13, 2012

Endless Beauty on Timeless Shores

Writing this piece for Travel Curious Often about Kauai, my spiritual birth sands, reminded how very fortunate I was to live there for one blissful year. My time on the north shore was a turning point in my life. I didn't realize it then, but looking back I see what a profound affect it had on me.

Kaua’i, lush with foliage, resplendent with waterfalls, and isolated by tumultuous surf, is the oldest island in the Hawaiian chain. It remained undisturbed by the tribal wars that plagued Maui, Oahu, and the Big Island of Hawaii for centuries. The protocols of the 2,000-year-old Polynesian Kapu system were practiced on Kaua’i in relative harmony. It is said that a mantle of mana, or spiritual power, rests over the island and that it still holds sacred secrets of the ancient culture that ended with the burning of the gods in 1819.......

Complete article

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Wild West Wander - Part II

The head-spinning stretch of the San Juan Skyway between Telluride and Ouray is flanked by thousand-foot sandstone formations carved by a river lined by willows. I pulled over at the Dallas Divide unable to pass by the breathtaking sweep of rusty sedges at the base of Dallas Mountain. Its flank was clad in velvet green pine splotched with aspens spinning gold and its ghostly peak pierced tender blue skies. I took a moment to breathe deeply of our fast vanishing American Heritage.

The promise of the mineral hot springs held sacred by the mountain Utes for their healing powers pulled me forward. The Ute Indians, unlike the sedentary Pueblo peoples, were nomadic hunters and gatherers that dominated this lofty realm from1500AD until 1873 when they were overrun by gold-thirsty miners. Each spring when the Utes arrived in the Uncompahgre River valley they performed the Bear Dance celebrating rebirth-a coming out party for all of Mother Nature’s rich gifts. They also enjoyed the healing vapors in the cave that is now overseen by the owners of the Weisbeden Lodge in Ouray. You can pay to visit if you are not staying at their inn. The town is named after the great Chief Ouray who wisely led his people out of the valley when he realized they were out matched by the lure of the rich mineral deposits in the mountains held sacred by his people. There is a museum in nearby Montrose that honors him and is worth a visit.

Read more here;