2016: A Tale of European Cities

Monument to King Alfonso XII.

“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. It was the age of wisdom; it was the age of foolishness….it was the season of light; it was the season of darkness…”

I thought about this Charles Dickens quote from the “Tale of Two Cities” when reflecting on my accomplishments and disappointments in 2016. I started the year complaining on the road with fans from the Orange Bowl. I checked everything but the traffic when planning my road trip. Thanks to that mishap I now look at the traffic on Florida 511 and Florida events when traveling.

A view of Madrid.

A beautiful view of Madrid at Parque de la Montana.

The following month I traveled to London and Madrid. In Madrid, I was spellbound at the monuments at Parque del Retiro. I saw “Guernica” by Picasso at the Museo Reina Sofia. I visited The Museo Nacional del Prado home to paintings by European Masters like Durer, El Greco, Velazquez, Rembrandt, Rubens, etc. My favorite painting were “Las Meninas” by Diego Velazquez and “Adam and Eve” by Albretch Durer.

Museo Nacional del Prado.

Museo Nacional del Prado.

After Madrid I flew to London. In London, we stayed a block away from Buckingham Palace at the Nadler Hotel. We watched the changing of the guards several times.

Changing of the Guards

The gallantry of the Changing of the Guards.

We walked to West Minister and saw the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and worshipped at West Minister Abbey.

Big Ben at London.

Big Ben with a view of the London Eye.

The next day we rode the Tube to Trinity Buoy Wharf where I sketched a lightship and a lighthouse. Somewhere along the way, I went to the Tate Museum and saw the paintings JMW Turner bequeath to the people of London.

Self portrait of Turner.

Self portrait of JMW Turner.

My daughter wanted to stroll down her childhood memory lane so we visited the London Bridge. She was disappointed but satisfied that she had actually seen it.

London Brige

A view of London Bridge.

We ended our stay with a look at the Tower Bridge and The Tower Castle.

The Tower Bridge of London.

The Tower Bridge of London.

A few days after I returned from Europe, I had a kidney stone. The only relief was that I didn’t get sick while traveling overseas. That would have been a bigger pain than the kidney stone.

Sunset at Blackhead Lighthouse.

Sunset at Blackhead Lighthouse, Northern Ireland.

After the kidney stone, I felt a sense of urgency and decided to book a lighthouse trip to Ireland instead of waiting next year. During the summer, I visited The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland where I stayed at Blackhead Lighthouse. I had an oceanfront room with a fireplace for two nights. That alone was worth the cost of the trip. We saw over 24 lighthouses in the course of 8 days. It was an amazing trip.

As I look at my disappointments in 2016, I realize that I wouldn’t have accomplished much without them. I actually better prepare for my trips, drink more water, take advantage of more opportunities and have gratitude for the little things in my life. Without the darkness, we can not relish the light.

http:/www.elainemarieartist.com

http://splashandcolor.com

Advertisements

TGIF: First Day Hike Cape Florida Lighthouse

Cape Florida Lighthouse.

Copyrighted Cape Florida Lighthouse by Elaine Marie.

Start the New Year off on the right foot. Experience a day of hiking adventure on January 1. Journey through one of Florida’s most breathtaking ecosystems. Learn about the Top 10 butterflies at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park beginning at 9 am. End the hike with a visit to the Lighthouse.

For more information, call 305–361-5811.

http://www.elainemarieartist.com

TGIF: Jupiter Sunset Tour on Dec. 28

Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse.

Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse.

See a spectacular sunset view and witness the Jupiter Light illuminating the night. Learn about the nuts and bolts of a working lighthouse watch room. Tour is approximately 75 minutes and includes climbing the lighthouse. Children must be at least 48″ to climb the tower. The cost is $20 for non members. RSVP required.

For more information, visit jupiterlighthouse.org or call 561-747-8380.

http://www.elainemarieartist.com

So when did being nice get to be weird?

Christmas decorations in Chicago.

The Christmas season in Chicago.

I love Edward Hopper the artist. I rediscovered him at the Art Institute of Chicago. I visited the Art Institute a few years ago with my daughter.

The Art Institute of Chicago.

The Art Institute of Chicago.

She declared that his “Nighthawk” was her favorite painting in the collection. That’s a feat considering there are approximately 300,000 works of art.

Nighthawk by Edward Hopper.

Nighthawk by Edward Hopper exhibited in the Art Institute of Chicago.

Last summer I was mesmerized by the book “Edward Hopper” by Robert Hobbs. After reading the book from the library I went to Amazon and saw it priced for over $50. Not wanting to pay that, I added it to my art book wish list.

Edward Hopper by Robert Hobbs.

Great book by Robert Hobbs on Edward Hopper.

A couple of days ago, my daughter asked me what I wanted for Christmas. My mind came to a complete blank. Then I thought of my wish list.

I said ” Do you remember the painting “Nighthawk?” She paused and said, “no.” Well it was your favorite painting when we went to the museum in Chicago. Anyway, I want a book on Hopper for Christmas.

I looked at Amazon and it was a little under $50 now. I said, “You know Amazon doesn’t always have the best prices on books.” ” Really, because they initially started out by selling books,” she informed me.

I decided to “goggle” the Hooper book by name. The cheapest price under $20 was on Biblio and Barnes and Noble. My daughter decided to go with Barnes and Nobles. There was one snag. The book would be delivered after Christmas! I said, “That’s ok, Christmas is not my birthday.”

My to our surprise the book was delivered the next day. The Skymedia Online Bookseller employee said he used to live in the neighborhood and when saw the book he volunteered to deliver it. “That’s weird!” my daughter exclaimed. No that was nice!

A Christmas window in Chicago.

A Christmas window at Macy’s in Chicago.

Christmas is all about generosity-going above and beyond. That’s what God did for us by sending Jesus. And that’s what Christmas is all about. Thank God and thanks Skymedia!

TGIF Travels: Ponce Lighthouse Holiday Event

Ponce de Leon Lighthouse

Florida’s tallest: Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse.

Celebrate the Christmas season at the Winter Holiday Event on December 26 at the closest lighthouse to Orlando. A day of family activities and more await you.

Nestled in Ponce de Leon inlet, Florida’s tallest lighthouse quietly beckons you to a day of adventure. Ponce de Leon Lighthouse stands head and shoulders above Florida’s lighthouses in statue and possibly in what it offers the casual visitor. This large campus has so much in store.

Enjoy a warm introduction to the lighthouse at the Woodshed Video Theater. Firewood and other supplies were kept in this building by the Second Assistant Keeper’s family.

Explore the original Keepers dwellings. See exhibits on the lives of the keepers and their families. Race fans will revel in the exhibits on Beach racing.

View an amazing collection of lighthouse lens. The magnificent rotating first order Fresnel lens from Cape Canaveral Lighthouse is on display here.

Brace yourself for a spectacular view as you scale Florida’s tallest lighthouse.

For more information, visit ponceinlet.org.
http://www.elainemarieartist.com.

TGIF Travels-Christmas Celebration at Tybee Island

Tybee Island Lighthouse.

Tybee Island Lighthouse.

Celebrate a lighthouse Christmas at Tybee Island Lighthouse, Dec 10 and Dec 17. Witness a spectacular view of Christmas lights from atop the lighthouse. Experience Christmas through the eyes of the last Lightkeeper and his family.The warm glow of candlelights and hot cider will remind you of the sweet simplicity of Christmas.

For more information, visit http://www.saintsimonslighthouse.org

http://www.elainenarieartist.com.

 

TGIF: Tropical Fun At Art Basel Miami Beach

Art by Kehinde Wikey.

Art by Kehinde Wiley draws crowds and big bucks at Art Basel Miami Beach.

With a backdrop of tropical Palm trees, quaint Art Deco buildings and azure sparking ocean,  North America’s largest Art Fair comes to Miami Beach.

Art by Pablo Picasso

Master Works by Picasso, Monet and others are featured in the Salon.

Dive into Art Basel Miami Beach through December 4. Enjoy contemporary art by the masters and up and coming artists at the main venue in the Miami Beach Convention. More than 200 galleries from around the globe display art. The Convention Center is where you can get free information and free transportation to most of the Art Fairs during Art Basel Miami Beach.

Miami Art Basel.

Out door installations by artists like George Baselitz are featured at Bass Museum’s Public Art.

See over 20 outdoor Public Art installations at the Bass Museum and Collins Park in Miami Beach by leading and emerging international artists. Public Art creates an awareness of art and promotes art talk in friendly places.

Stop by the fun pop up galleries. Hotels and vacant buildings are converted into galleries. Along the shoreline, there are tents exhibiting art. People hop from gallery to gallery.

The fun doesn’t end in Miami Beach. There are lots to see at the Rubell Family Collection, de la Cruz Collection, and other galleries in Wynwood, as well as the Design District and more.

Visit Art Fairs located throughout the city during Art Basel Miami Beach with a breeze. Save yourself some cash, stress and a parking ticket, catch one of the free shuttles. Parking is always a premium in Miami. During Art Basel the competition and prices for parking will be at an all time high.
Ride Miami Art Express: a complimentary service that provides transportation to the Miami Beach Convention Center, Midtown, Wynwood and the Design District.

Check out the City of Miami Beach’s free shuttles to the various fairs around the beach, downtown Miami and Middle Beach.

Read my past posts on WordPress for Survival Tips Art Basel Miami Beach and more.

For more information visit, City of Miami Beach’s website  http://www.miamibeachfl.gov/Transportation/scroll.aspx?id=81810 or Miami Dade Transit’s website at http://www.miamidade.gov/transit/art-express.as

http://www.elainemarieartist.com