London, England

London, England

Not my first time to London but my first time going as a winter/Christmas destination! We lucked out with warmish temps (50s) and minimal rain. London was filled with Christmas lights and outdoor German style Christmas markets. 

Early December proved to be a relatively inexpensive time for flights and hotels - allowing a  stay right in the heart of Covent Garden - very convenient for the theater - saw a RSC production of King Lear and its counterweight, the hilarious and rediculous "The Play That Goes Wrong". As well as great art at The National Gallery, Tate Modern and the Courtauld GalleryI also visited:

Salisbury - and a visit to Stonehenge and the Salisbury Cathedral. It was a foggy rainy day so I got some hazy shots in the countryside that remind me of a Turner painting. 

Hampton Court Palace - home of Henry VIII, and we visited on a particularly beautiful day which was great for exploring the gardens and the famous hedge maze. 

For my recommendations on restaurants: check out my Trip Advisor reviews

Newport, Rhode Island

Newport, Rhode Island

Newport is only about two hours away from my house. So its the kind of place where I have stopped by but have never really spent time at. So with one weekend, I tried to do Newport, and see it particularly through the eyes of two movies I enjoy that were filmed in the area, Irrational Man and Moonrise Kingdom

So first, some of the standard Newport sites on a beautful weekend in August...

Newport's famous Cliff Walk.

Newport's famous Cliff Walk.

a dinner of oysters and a beautiful sunset among the yachts.

What's more Newport than sailing?

What's more Newport than sailing?

Plus we visited many filming locations - several parks, public areas and a great bar visited by characters in Irrational Man including this one:

And for Moonrise Kingdom, we visited lighthouses, the church that stood in for the one on St. Jack Wood and of course the best find of them all, Moonrise Kingdom itself:

Mile 3.25 Tidal Inlet from  Moonrise Kingdom

Mile 3.25 Tidal Inlet from Moonrise Kingdom

For my recommendations on restaurants: check out my Trip Advisor reviews

Cinque Terre & Italian Riviera

Cinque Terre & Italian Riviera

A lovely relaxing vacation along the Italian Riviera. We home based in Rapallo, feasting on shellfish, grilled fish and pasta genovese. 

rapallo italy from boat with water

We took the cable car up the mountain to the Santuario di Montallegro, built over 450 years ago on a supposed spot of a visitation from the Virgin Mary.  What a view from the top.

I wanted to visit the Cinque Terre and debated about the different ways of getting there - for us, the ferry was the best option. Leaving right out of the Rapallo harbor it made stops at Vernazza, Monterosso al Mare and Riomaggiore. A great way to see it all easily in one day. 

I finally wanted to swim in the Mediterranean - so we hit the neighboring beaches in Santa Margherita Ligure. The official report - refreshing! 7 out of 10 on the cold scale - with Maine being a 10 and Costa Rica being a 1. 

Our final day we again took the ferry to the beautiful town of Portofino. 

Portofino, Italy

I was also able to do a lot of sketching while on vacation...

view all my photos here

For my recommendations on restaurants: check out my Trip Advisor reviews

Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada

Taking time out of my busy money losing plan to draw the bright lights of Vegas.

snapshot from the plane ride

snapshot from the plane ride

Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Guanacaste, Costa Rica

A wonderful and relaxing winter trip to Costa Rica. Sun, swimming and delicious meals at Playa Potrero,  fun adventures with monkeys, crocodiles, iguanas, birds and more at Palo Verde National Park. 

I was very interested in the lush jungle greenery for drawings and paintings. So overwhelmingly green and alive!

For my recommendations on restaurants: check out my Trip Advisor reviews