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Your Creative Muse

A Retreat to Inspire and Support a Life Full of Joy and Promise

April 26 — May 3, 2023
Historic Nevada City, California
The Heart of the Sierra Nevada Gold Country



If you are a woman exploring the next chapter of your life, who's ready to be inspired, motivated, and supported in your artistic expressions, then join us to ignite your creative muse and amplify your artistic and expressive gifts to the world.

Walking in the cool spring air, you breathe in the aroma of the exquisite Sierra Nevada Mountains. You revel in the warm air as you breathe in the spirit of the rivers, forests, and mountains as early spring blooms all around you.


As you meander down Broad Street, wandering into art galleries and local winery tasting rooms, you catch the lyrical notes of a Celtic tune coming from a musician on the corner, and then some smooth jazz sax riffs flowing from the Golden Era Lounge.

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It occurs to you, as you walk through this small-town, rural community in the heart of California's Gold Rush country, that creative women just like you — artists, writers, and bohemians — left their artistic and energetic mark on this quaint, historical place — just waiting for you to arrive in 2023.


The smiles on the faces of people you pass, when they look you in the eye and say hello, remind you that you are “far from the madding crowd," and you are welcome here.


A Creative’s Dream Come True

Wouldn’t it be fantastic to feel comfortable and free to enjoy world-class gallery openings, music, theater, and culture in a safe and embracing setting?


Go ahead, we’ve got so much waiting for you to experience like listening to insider, backstage, and creators’ stories so you can rev up your own creative juice when you most need a boost.

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With personal, introspective artist/writer/musician-led activities, and group journeys to lively and delightful arts venues, you feel your passion and creativity explode, giving you the confidence to take your own creative pursuits to the next level.


Imagine walking in the footsteps of some extraordinary women of the California Gold Rush Era, inspired and motivated to uncork your own Creative Muse, so you can irrepressibly embrace your unique and maverick story.

You discover the joie de vivre of a unique artistic community, steeped in history, yet so culturally alive, today—a place where both visitors and residents feel it’s like no other place on the planet.


You gather and hold these experiences like a gift to yourself, taking the memories home to nurture and prolong this energy as your own creative expressions explode.


I'm ready for a gift to myself !

The environs and
Elegant Bohemian Venue

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It's no wonder artists, writers, poets, thespians and New Age thinkers have flocked to this part of Northern California for 150 years. The power of creativity is everywhere you look, in everything you hear, in the people you meet, and even in the locally grown, farm-to-table food.


Just outside town, you will be a welcomed visitor at one of the world's most successful intentional communities, the Ananda Village, dedicated to the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda. Here, the Crystal Hermitage Gardens blooming in April with over 17,000 tulips, will take your breath away.


With the Yuba River in the distance and the spirit of nature all around, it's the perfect place to get in touch with your own inner muse, setting the stage for an amazing seven days!

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Staying at the unique and elegant, newly restored, National Exchange Hotel, you'll be enveloped in 5-star luxury.


The Nash’s sophisticated and comfortable rooms are mostly studios and suites— apartments furnished with restored antiques seamlessly blended with contemporary amenities.

William Morris hand-screened wallpaper envelopes your room and sunlight streams through tall windows or French doors opening onto the veranda overlooking Broad Street, the three-block-long thoroughfare in historic downtown Nevada City.

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You’ll step outside your room and into the light-filled Grand Lounge with its comfortably elegant golden sofas and vintage mirrored walls beckoning you to sit awhile where you’ll join in conversation with your sister Creatives.

Or perhaps, when you’re ready for more lively conversation and entertainment, you’ll go downstairs to the National Bar. There, you’ll find Nevada City community members, many of them artists and musicians, mingling with visitors, all enjoying artisan cocktails, lunch or small bites, and nightly fun and games—entertainment different from any other venue in the area.  

I feel the creative energy and my Creative Muse calling me—

World-Class Cuisine~


Culinary Art
              for an Artists Palate

Imagine dining in the light-filled Lola Restaurant, its vibe classy, but casual with tufted turquoise banquettes or red velvet booths, only a flight of stairs from your own beautiful room..  


The culinary offerings are as gorgeous as they are delicious.

If you’re like me, you care much more about “presentation” than quantity, and of course, the presentation has to match the cuisine’s creativity and flavor.

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For starters, you might savor the smoked salmon mousse with house-made potatoe chips or crispy, thin rye toasts. Or the luscious cheesy onion soup and steak tartare served with a freshly baked baguette.


Sample the Salanova Salad made with artisan Salanova Lettuce garnished with flowers, grown especially for Lola by the FogDog Farm.


You won’t be able to resist the deceptively simple and simply delectable. beets, cherries, and rhubarb, so bright and vibrant at the peak of their season and of course, grown locally. They are finished with a horseradish cream that will make you weep with joy.

Even when you are out and about at any of the Ignite Your Creative Muse experiences, the culinary offerings will delight your inner epicurean.

On your free days in town, you might lunch at Three Forks Bakery & Brewing Co., where everything is creatively handmade with local organic ingredients combined in unusual ways into delicious offerings like gluten-free Oyster Mushroom & Wood-Fired Scallion Pizza seasoned with fennel and garlic scapes.

You love chocolate, right? You’ll have to check out Choquiero Cacao Café on Broad Street with everything your chocoholic heart desires—even a gigantic assortment of ceremonial and raw cacao.


Extraordinary Experiences

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Day One

Connection and Companionship on Your First Night


On the very first night you’ll gather to meet your retreat sisters in the Nash’s private outdoor courtyard for a light meal, drinks, and conversation, before heading to the Golden Era Lounge, just steps up the street.


When you step through the door of the Golden Era, you will be warmly greeted, shown to your reserved table, and will be able to continue the lively conversations with your new friends, started back at the hotel.


Looking around, you’ll take in the elegant Victorian décor and the interesting people who fill  the Golden Era. You’ll feel your own Creative Muse stir as the live music begins and the friendly waitress brings your signature Creative Muse Cocktail, created especially for the night.

Day Two

Connecting With Your Creative Muse and Aligning Her With Your Vision  


You’ll gather with your new friends for a short drive through the mountains to Ananda’s Crystal Hermitage Gardens for the Ignite Your Creative Muse Wisdom Walk experience.


In this exquisite and profoundly spiritual garden, filled with thousands of tulips in bloom and vistas of the Sierra Mountains and the Yuba River, you’ll begin the journey of connecting with your Creative Muse, tapping into your heart and your inner wisdom.

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On the evening of this day of Visioning, you’ll meet in the Nash’s intimate and private Fireside Room for a Chef’s Table and Wine Pairing Banquet. The exact menu is up to Lola’s chef. He’ll tap into his own Creative Muse—guaranteeing it will be an epicurean's delight.


After dinner and our Sharing Circle you’ll be off to bed, and perhaps a dream time visit from your Creative Muse.


Day Three

Conversation, Contemplation, Celebration


At the Creative Muse Salon, you’ll have the opportunity to meet, in a comfortable and intimate setting, artists who’ll share their stories and their inspiration for the work in the gallery show, “Voices of Our Story~ Shifting Perceptions; Bridging Divides”.   


Following the Salon, you’ll have the rest of the day to relax or wander historic Nevada City, browsing the shops, wine tasting, and lunching at a local café.

In the evening you’ll meet in the Nash’s lobby and will be chauffeured to The Center for the Arts in neighboring historical Grass Valley to celebrate the Opening Reception in the Granucci Gallery for “Voices of Our Story~ Shifting Perceptions; Bridging Divides”.


You’ll enjoy more conversation with the artists, the sumptuous hors d'oeuvres, and the Center’s no-host bar, before taking your reserved seats in the main stage theater to experience the night’s performance.

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Day Four

Walk in the Footsteps of History

and Listen to Her Story


You’ll step out the Nash’s front door for a walking tour of historic Nevada City. Susan will be your guide, and she’ll fill you in on some known, and some not-so-known, historical tidbits about the architecture and the artists who’ve made a mark here in Nevada City.


You’ll be introduced along the way to authors, artists, and community members who will add even more life and wonder to your touring experience.

You'll delight in the sumptuous Creative Muse High Tea, served in the lovely Empire Room at the Nash, and in the evening, you’ll head to The Nevada Theatre, the oldest theater in California, for the Saturday night stage performance.


Day Five

Waking Up Your Creative Muse; Turning the Hourglass to Begin

a Fresh Start



Artist and poet, Marylou Falstreau, will lead you in a three-hour, intuitive creative process to encourage your heart to open and speak its truth.

Through play, you will awaken to the ways you've limited and withheld your fullest expression and creativity . . . and deep love for yourself.  

The Hourglass is a tool to help you remember that change is possible and the time is "Now.

When one of us grows, we all grow. 

In the evening, you’ll hop into the car for a short chauffeured drive to a very special home of one of Nevada City’s residents, where you’ll thoroughly enjoy both her hospitality and expertise as the Raven Rocks House Concert host.


Here, you’ll gather with your retreat sisters, local artists, writers, and community members for tapas and wine, and then be entertained by the live music performance.

Day Six

Weaving Webs—

Creativity, Connection, CoCreation


Now, with five fabulous days of tapping into your Creative Muse, you’ll be soaring with inspiration.


You’ll be ready for a mid-morning Artists/Writers Salon where internationally renowned women, with lives and decades dedicated to their art, will share how they tap into their own creativity and keep their creative expressions flowing year after year.

Imagine how inspired and motivated you’ll be, hearing their personal stories and tips, as you enjoy brunch and conversation.


The remainder of the day will be yours to

relax, play, and further connect with your new friends before meeting for dinner followed by a Sharing Circle.

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Day Seven

Time to Get Curious and Create



Curious?  You’ll hop into the car for another short, 30-minute trip through the beautiful Nevada County springtime countryside, chauffeured to The Curious Forge Art Center—an amazing 20,000 square foot, member-based creative studio space with multiple areas for creators: ceramics; glass blowing; blacksmithing; jewelry; digital fab; metal fab; wood shop; wood turning; flameworking; mixed media; lapidary; casting; textiles; fiber arts; electronics.


You’ll not only get an artist-led guided tour of this  Arts Center, unlike any other,  but you’ll also have a one-of-a-kind, hands-on art experience like glass blowing, jewelry making, or flame-working, and create a piece of artwork to take home with you.


You’ll wrap up this creative day with the Last Night Dinner and Sharing Circle, weaving all the threads together of a week well spent.  

Departure Day
Fare Thee Well

You’ll rise early and join your Creative Muse sisters for a final closing ceremony to celebrate the inspiration, motivation, and support you now have to take your creative expressions to the next level.

With your Creative Muse ignited, you’ll be ready to go home, filled with memories, supported by your new friends—this chapter of your life is ready to be the best chapter, where you live a life full of joy and promise as your most creative and confident self.  

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I don’t want to miss any part of this retreat! 

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Can you imagine Your Creative life full of Joy and promise? 

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On this retreat, you’ll have plenty of time to relax, connect, and form lasting friendships with like-minded women, so you’ll be embraced and supported for years to come—long after the retreat week is over.


With our extraordinary, exploratory, and experiential activities, you’ll dig deep into your passion, purpose, and artistic direction, so you can have clarity and feel excited in the months and years to come.


With all the experiences designed especially for you, by the end of our seven days together, you’ll feel inspired, motivated, and supported, so you can live out the remaining chapters of your life as your most creative and confident self—a life full of joy and promise!

Incredible Bonuses, too!


Bonus No. 1

Enjoy your own copy of a book about Lola Montez, the bohemian entertainer, actress, and activist who is also the Muse of The National Exchange Hotel. (Your choice of eBook, audio, or print.)

Bonus No. 4

An online Book Club Experience to discuss Lola Montez's bohemian life and times and see if your Creative Muse might be inspired.

Bonus No. 2

Ignite Your Creative Muse Pre-Retreat Zoom MeetUps to get to know your retreat sisters and Susan, your retreat leader, and to prepare you for an amazing retreat experience.

Bonus No. 5

Complimentary CoCreation Community VIP Champion Membership with tons of benefits that will help you develop a presence for your creative endeavor so that your voice is heard, your creative expression is seen, and abundance flows to you.

Bonus No. 3

A special private Ignite Your Creative Muse Facebook Group to start connecting right away with the amazing women creatives whom you’ll meet on this retreat.

Bonus No. 6

A Post-Retreat Reunion on Zoom to see where your Creative Muse has led you in the past few months since Ignite Your Creative Muse—A Retreat to Inspire and Support a Life Full of Joy & Promise.

It all sounds so fabulous!

Where in the world is Nevada city ? 

Can you believe that this awesome place—historical Nevada City, California, the heart of the Sierra Nevada Mountains’ Gold Country— is only 3 ½ hours from San Francisco, and 1 ½ hours from the Sacramento International Airport? We are a little over an hour away from Lake Tahoe in the high Sierra, too.


The Springtime boasts wonderful weather, with daytime temperatures in the 60s/low 70s and nightime in the 50s.

In April, there may be rain, but don’t worry—we’ll have an umbrella waiting for you.

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What's Included

  • 7 days of amazing curated experiences designed to ignite your Creative Muse

  • 7 nights single occupancy luxury accommodations

  • Delicious meals, non-alcoholic beverages for the week

  • Pick-up from and return to Sacramento International Airport (SMF)

  • Chauffered transportation to all offsite experiences

  • Two intimate, small-group Artist/Writer/Story Salons with internationally renowned guest artists, writers, musicians

  • Reserved tables at The Golden Era Lounge and complimentary artisan Creative Muse cocktail (alcoholic or virgin—your choice)

  • Tickets for reserved seating to performances at The Nevada Theatre, The Center for the Arts, Raven Rocks House Concerts

  • Entrance fees to Ananda’s Crystal Heritage Gardens

  • Three-hour Women and The Hourglass experience with Artist/Poet, Marylou Falstreau

  • Four-hour, master-artist-led class at The Curious Forge Arts Center

  • Plenty of time for connection, conversation, relaxation and exploring historic downtown Nevada City

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What's Not Included

  • Your roundtrip airfare from home

  • Other non-included items are souvenir shopping, lunches in town on free days, alcoholic beverages beyond those included in experiences as described, extra spa services, laundry, and tips for your room maid

  • Personal, medical, or trip cancellation insurance—we can assist you in getting this, though

I'm ready to visit historic Nevada City!

 I never knew all this existed so close to home,
in the USA! 

 Please let me schedule a personal call with Susan

Meet your hostess/Retreat Leader

Susan M. Davis~
Boho-Boomer Artist, CoCreation Champion,
mentor to Chronologically Gifted Women Creatives

Retreat Leader

Twenty-five years ago, while living in the San Francisco Bay Area, my husband, Bob, and I discovered gold: Nevada City, California.


The magical, magnetic power of the crystal and gold underground, kept drawing us back to this place as tourists, and we enjoyed staying in Victorian B&Bs, visiting the Crystal Hermitage Gardens at Ananda Village, and hiking the trails following the Yuba River.


Every time we visited, we were awed by how this community embraced the arts: art galleries, film festivals, music venues of all sorts, and live theater. Everyone we met was friendly, welcoming, and open to conversation. Being artists ourselves, we longed for this kind of community.

My career in the San Francisco Bay Area was as an architectural and interior designer. Bob and I co-owned an award-winning design/build firm. My own creative muse was channeled into my business, mentoring young designers, and working with dozens of awesome clients creating spaces they called "home."  

When we closed our design/build firm in 2011, I founded The CoCreation Community, helping women Creatives develop an online presence so that their voices are heard and their creative expressions and purposeful businesses are seen, resulting in more visibility, influence, and abundance flowing to them.

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In 2015, we realized our decades-long dream of living in Nevada City. Now, we are an active part of the arts community, and enjoy everything this wonderful little piece of heaven Northern California has to offer.


I think of this as the Third Chapter of my life, truly my Golden Years. Nothing makes me happier than sharing the place where my own Creative Muse is ignited, once again—introducing you to the environs, the artists, writers, musicians—the community that will surely ignite your Creative Muse.


My greatest desire is for you to live out the remaining chapters of your life as your most creative and confident self—a life full of joy and promise!

This retreat is for you if:

  • You are a woman Creative over 50, who’s traveled the world—but never experienced rural Northern California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains’ Gold Country.

  • You love history and enjoy stories of creative, bohemian women who were “Influencers” in their own times.

  • You dream about stepping back in time and escaping the “madding crowd”

  • You long for the companionship of likeminded women

  • You enjoy live music, theater, art galleries

  • You have felt your own Creative Muse stirring

This retreat May NOT be for you if:

  • You are wheelchair-bound Unfortunately, there are no elevators at the historic National Exchange Hotel.                               There are ADA rooms available, so if you have special needs, please contact us and we'll see if we can accommodate you.

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  • What is the itinerary?
    Wednesday, April 26: Limo pick up at Sacramento International Airport (SMF) Check-In at National Exchange Hotel, Nevada City, CA Meet & Greet Reception in National Hotel’s patio with light bites Walk to Golden Era Lounge: Reserved seating, live music Thursday, April 27: Breakfast & Welcome Wisdom Walk experience at Ananda Village – Crystal Hermitage Gardens Relax time back in town Chef’s Table/wine paring banquet at The National Exchange Hotel’s Lola Restaurant Friday, April 28: Coffee & Scones in the Lounge Artists Salon: Voices of Our Story~Shifting Perceptions; Bridging Divides Free time to wander Nevada City (browse, shop, spa experience, wine tasting, walk Tribute Trail, etc.) and lunch on your own in local restaurant Relax/Connect Time Meet in Lounge and drive to The Center for the Arts in Grass Valley (15-minute drive) Opening Reception for gallery show Voices of Our Story~Shifting Perceptions; Bridging Divides at the Center for the Arts, Granucci Gallery (appetizers and No-Host bar) Stage Performance at The Center for the Arts Saturday, April 29: Coffee & Conversation/Reflection in the Lounge and Veranda Continental Breakfast & Sharing Circle Walking Tour of Historic Nevada City; meet artists, authors, community members Relax/Connect Time High-Tea in the Empire Room at The National Exchange Hotel Walk to Nevada Theatre for performance (<10 minute walk) Live stage performance at Nevada Theatre Sunday, April 30: Breakfast Women and the Hourglass Experience with artist/poet Marylou Falstreau Relax/Connect Time Raven Rocks House Concert Experience & Tapas/Wine-tasting Monday, May 1: Breakfast Artists/Writers/Poets Story Salon Free Time for Self-Care/Connections Family-Style Dinner in the Nash's patio Sharing Circle Tuesday, May 2: Breakfast Chauffeured trip to The Curious Forge Art Center Artist-led tour of The Curious Forge Art Center Hands-on, 4-hour Master-Artist led class to create an artwork to take home Box Lunch Scenic 30 minute drive back to the National Exchange Hotel Last-Night Dinner Wednesday, May 3: Breakfast Farewell Ceremony Check-Out and chauffeur to airport
  • What is included in my registration?
    With this all-inclusive retreat you get: 7- Nights, single occupancy luxury accommodations at The National Exchange Hotel in Nevada City, California Exceptional Meals: 7-Breakfasts or Brunches, Creative Muse High Tea, Box Lunches at planned experiences, Sumptuous Hors d'oeuvres at gallery opening reception, 5- Delicious Dinners: Chef's Table and Wine Paring at Lola, Tapas & Wine-Tasting, Family-Style Dinner on the Nash's Patio, Last-Night Dinner at the Holbrook. Chauffeured roundtrip transportation from/to Sacramento International Airport (SMF) Chauffeured transportation to all offsite Experiences Reserved seating and complimentary Creative Muse Artisan Cocktail at The Golden Era Lounge with live music Entry to Ananda Village's Crystal Hermitage Gardens and Vision Walk Experience Two Artist/Writer/Story Salons People, Places, & Possibilities: Guided Tour of Historical Nevada City with intro to artists/authors/community members Tickets/Reserved Seating at The Nevada Theatre for a live stage performance Opening Reception for art show at The Granucci Gallery Tickets/Reserved Seating at The Center for the Arts for a live performance Raven Rocks House Concert with maximum 30 attendees 4-Hour Master-Artist-led class at The Curious Forge Plenty of time for connecting, conversation, and co-creating Inspiration, motivation, and support Massive Memories and New Forever Friends A Super Spark to Ignite YOUR Creative Muse! ,
  • What is your cancellation policy?
    Any cancellation made between July 15th, 2022 and January 26th, 2023 will result in a loss of 50% of the trip price. Any cancellation after January 26, 2023 will result in a total loss of funds. We reserve the right to cancel the trip if it is not meeting the trip minimum (if we do so your deposit is refunded in full). We reserve the right to determine if you are not a good fit for this trip (if we do so your deposit will be refunded in full). Trip cancellation insurance is always recommended whenever making travel plans. You can use our suggested Travel Guard Insurance online and choose from several policy options.
  • I need a roommate – how do I arrange that?
    All of the luxury rooms we've reserved at The National Exchange Hotel are single occupancy, meaning that rooms only have one kingsize or queen bed. Please contact us for more information.
  • Can I bring my kids/partner?
    Please contact us for information about retreat participant partners and non-retreat participants and accommodations.
  • Where do I fly into?
    Nevada City, California is 1-1/4 hour, 70 miles, from the Sacramento International Airport (SMF) where chauffeured roundtrip transportation has been arranged for you. We are 3-1/2 hours, 170 miles, from San Francisco International Airport (SFO). You will need to rent a car if you fly into SFO. We are 1 -3/4 hours, 90 miles, from Reno International Airport (RNO). You will need to rent a car if you fly into RNO. We are about 2 hours, 135 miles from Napa/Sonoma wine country.
  • Can you accommodate dietary restrictions?
    Yes, we are happy to accommodate dietary restrictions. We will ask about your needs during a Discovery Call, so we're sure everything will be ready for you everyday.
  • Is it safe to travel to Nevada City, California?
    Yes, this is a safe community in which to live and travel to. Nevada City is located in the Sierra Mountains' foothills in Northern California. It is a rural, small town, at an elevation of about 2500 ft, so there are no high-altitude concerns. There is a local hospital and several additional hospitals and medical facilities in nearby Auburn, Roseville, and Sacramento. We've had an occasional bear walk down Broad Street, but none has ever gone inside nor harmed anyone.
  • What is the weather like?
    Nevada City in the springtime has wonderful weather: Daytime temperatures are between 60 and 75 degrees, and nights are in the 50s. Sometimes we enjoy a light rain, but don't worry, we'll have an umbrella waiting for you if there's rain.
  • What should I pack?
    The vibe in Nevada City is arty and casual, so pack comfortable clothing that makes you feel good, inside and out. You'll need shoes for walking, though we will not be hiking in the woods or at the river, unless you decide to stay longer than the week of the retreat. You may want to bring grubbies or an apron or big shirt to cover your clothes for the art class at The Curious Forge. Bring a sweater or wrap for the evenings or in case we have a chilly day in the low 60s. The National Exchange Hotel provides Beekman 1802 bath and body products, Mascioni Italian plush custom robes.
  • How can I offset the impact of my traveling by plane?
    If you are traveling from overseas, and wish to come early to offset jet lag, please contact us. We are in the Pacific Time Zone.
  • What about COVID-19?
    Your safety is the MOST important part of this retreat. We have planned both indoor and outdoor experiences for you. To keep everyone healthy, we require proof of vaccination or a reasonable health reason you've chosen to not be vaccinated. We will honor the venues' policies for wearing masks indoors. We’ll also be bringing masks with us so you have an extra one or in case you lose yours. We must respect any rules and requirements that California or the venues have in place to keep us all safe. Thank you so much for understanding! If there is an International MANDATE RESTRICTING TRAVEL out of or into the United States, or any connecting countries associated with the outbound and inbound flights to attend the retreat or a restriction in the number of people that can gather at an event will result in the following: ALL DEPOSITS WILL BE TRANSFERRED TO A RESCHEDULED DATE FOR THE RETREAT.
  • Still have a question?
    Book a call with Susan. She is happy to talk to you and answer any questions you might have. Please use this link to schedule a call at your convenience:

I am SO Ready!
Please let me choose my room and register for
Ignite Your Creative Muse—
A Retreat to Inspire and Support
a Life Full of Joy& Promise


April 26 – May 3, 2023

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