TGIF: Down to earth prices at Cape Canaveral 

I stayed at the Fairfield Marriott in Titusville during an overnight stay for the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse 150 year festival. I checked in one hour early and was promptly given a wonderful room. The staff is friendly and very helpful. 

While the hotel is 30 minutes away from Cape Kennedy and the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse, it is perfect for a leisurely visit. The Fairfield is located near the highway and the first street after exiting I-95. There is a Cracker Barrel Restaurant next door. Fast food restaurants and a shopping area is about 5 minutes away. 

Despite being near the freeway, the hotel is relatively quiet. My room was very clean although there was a strand of hair in the bathtub. Small oversight but worth mentioning. The queen-sized room is equipped with two beds, a mini fridge and microwave. There is a flat screen TV with cable, local channels and more. I loved the charging station for my electronic devices. 

The hotel offers a free buffet with modest but varied food options. There are a several cold drinks and limited hot beverages. You won’t find an abundance of fruit but the breakfast buffet offers waffles, cereal and more. 

There is a small business center for those who want to combine business with pleasure on the Space Coast. The hotel overall is modern, well furnished and well kept. 

A Breathtaking Day at Juniper on the Water

My daughters and I were frantically looking for a brunch, when we found a listing for Juniper on the Water during the Christmas holidays. We were in a festive mood and the restaurant we had selected at the Flea Market had little of the ambiance we were seeking. Of course, we didn’t know it was at a Flea Market when we read the five star reviews. 
We headed for Juniper on the Water at break neck speed. The restaurant had great reviews but was it a drive away in Hallandale Beach and near closing time for the brunch. Arriving 15 minutes before closing, we took of advantage of the free valet parking and were quickly seated. The server was pleasant and gave us a menu with a smile. 
Looking around we saw other diners casually eating and realized there was no pressure to order quickly or hurriedly get out of there. We leisurely enjoyed a few drinks and we placed our order. The pancakes I ordered were the best I’ve had and my daughters were delighted with their order as well. A perfect view, service and food—you can’t miss at Juniper on the Water. 

A Picture is Worth A Thousand Tweets 

Lightship 95 on the River Thames in London.

The  recent public outcry about the Obama’s official portraits has generated a lot of social media buzz. People seemed puzzled and even angered by the artists, Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald.

I’m not sure there’s anything the artists could or should say to the critics. They’ve already said it. I mean a picture is worth a thousand words or in today’s vernacular a thousand “tweets.”

Artists are accustomed to being misunderstood and misinterpreted. I find that often in my personal life.

I discovered this recently after I wrote a feature in the United States Lighthouse Society News in early February. After reading the article my sister said, “Now I understand why you paint lighthouses.” Initially, I was a little taken aback because she has been with me on at least four lighthouse trips.

Yet perhaps I took for granted she understood why I painted lighthouses. We visual artists aren’t always adept at verbal explanations because we rely on our paintings to be our voice. In any event, I hope my article amplifies what compels me to paint lighthouses. You can read my article entitled “Lighthouses as Inspiration” posted on February 2 on United States Lighthouse Society News at

Black History Month Exhibit

Black History Month Exhibit: Unsung Heroes

I am the featured artist in the Dallas, Texas Frito Lays “Unsung Heroes” exhibit for Black History Month. It is a showcase of everyday Americans who through their quiet influence and sacrifice have bettered the lives of others. My “Unsung Hero” is my aunt Mabel Helen.
I love the quote by Alex Haley that says “Family is a link to the past and a bridge to the future.” My aunt Mabel Helen has been the embodiment of that quote for me.
Her portrait is part of my reflective series, “Mentors and Memories.” The series pays homage to my Aunt Mabel and others.
Perhaps more than any other family member besides my father, her support gave me the confidence to launch into my future. My Aunt Mabel’s home was a lifeline to me during my childhood. She was the first person to get me hired as a professional artist. She helped me and other young people find direction and hope.
The “Unsung Heroes” exhibit is closed to the public. It is on display through February 28.

For affordable African American Art check out my paintings at Fine Art America

TGIF: Save and Stay at a Lighthouse

Faad Lighthouse in Ireland.

Stay at Fanad Lighthouse in Ireland. It was voted one of the most beautiful lighthouses in the world.

Lighthouses have transformed themselves into travel destinations. Located on spectacular shores with awe inspiring views, a lighthouse getaway offers more value for your dollar than the average vacation

The United States Lighthouse Society offers a list of lighthouse accommodations by state. Lighthouse Friends offer comprehensive information on lighthouses. I recently used their website as a resource when planning my New York Lighthouse Trip. The Great Lighthouses of Ireland gives visitors a chance to explore and to spend a night at a lighthouse.

If an overnight stay is not in your plans, lighthouses offer festivals, kids activities, special events, tours and more. Most events are free with the cost of admission. It generally cost less than $10 a person to visit a lighthouse. Admission fees help to maintain and preserve lighthouses.

40% off on Groupon for Hillsboro Lighthouse.

Groupon offers up to 43% off from Hillsboro Lighthouse Preservation.

Not only do you get a lot of “bang for the buck,” your admission goes toward a worthy cause.