TGIF: A Perfect Setting for “The Crown”

Queen of peace

“Queen of Peace” the perfect name for a craft at the serene Island of Tory.

Tory Island’s cliffs, mountains and shoreline are like an instant replay of the award-winning drama, The Crown. In the beach episode in Scotland, the Queen Mother escapes to a quiet shoreline to gather her wits. She got some peace of mind and a bargain on a castle. You’ll find bargains and a royal retreat at Tory Island.

Tory Island, Ireland has the distinction of having a resident, King. Besides greeting visitors, I’m not sure what his official duties are. The King of Tory rules over a small and quaint island kingdom. Tory Island has a hostel and hotel, grocery store, some shops and a post office. We spent two enjoyable days on Tory Island during John Eagle’s lighthouse tour.

A sign for the ferry.

A sign for the ferry to Tory Island.

We caught the ferry to Tory Island and checked into the Tory Hotel. The lightkeeper welcomed us. After freshening up, we headed to the Tory Lighthouse. We walked around the lighthouse grounds and posed for group pictures.

Tory island lighthouse.

Tory Island Lighthouse.

Later while the group had dinner, I scouted the nearby sights. I wanted to see and draw a few buildings before sunset. I gave a sketch of a house to one of the locals I met. The people of Tory, like the rest of Ireland, are very friendly.

A sign in Irish dialect.

The past and the present converge at Tory Island.

They are also proud of their Irish heritage and speak an Irish dialect. Tory is home to a colony of prominent artists. The King of Tory is also an artist.

Street sunset

Sunset on the streets of Tory Island.

After sketching, I went with the group on a sunset tour of Tory Island. We saw a spectacular view of the mountains, cliffs and the ocean. It was a wonderful way to close the day.

Sunset view of a cliff.

The sun falls softly on a cliff at Tory Island.

From my hotel room, I had a glimpse of the Tory Lighthouse. Before turning in for the night, I paused for a while and watched the flashing Lighthouse beam against the dark sky.

In the morning, I arose early for a final walk through Tory Island. I was glad I did. I got a close up view of a historic Tower.

Tory Island offers cultural sights and breathtaking views in a peaceful setting. It is ideal for a retreat or a quiet getaway. You’ll get the royal treatment at Tory Island.


TGIF: Ireland’s Stunning Upside Down Lighthouse

West Rathlin Lighthouse

West Rathlin Lighthouse is built upside down.

The West Lighthouse on Rathlin Island is a marvel of human ingenuity. Unlike most lighthouses, the Keepers had to climb down to the light. The Commissioners of Irish Lights Engineer-in-Chief CW Scott came up with this novel idea. Because the top cliff was often obscured by fog and low clouds, a traditional lighthouse would not do.

Built in 1912 on a somewhat vertical cliff, the project was a huge undertaking. It took almost 4 years to complete. The enormous amount concert used had to be mixed by hand. An inclined railway was built for landing materials.

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



Preservation 50 Friday: Tybee Island Light Getaway

Tybee Island Light Station

Tybee Island Light Station

I bypassed Savannah and headed to the coast for a visit to the Tybee Island Light Station. Tybee Island is a quaint beach town with locally owned businesses and a peaceful shoreline.


Stairwell inside Tybee Island Light Station.

Built in 1867, the present-day lighthouse is the fourth lighthouse constructed. War and weather led to the demise of the previous lighthouses. The current lighthouse was constructed using part of the third lighthouse as its foundation.

View of the coast.

View of the coast.

Along with the lighthouse there are several dwellings that offer insight into the lives of lightkeepers. Visit the homes of lightkeepers and see how they lived. Watch a short film and view signage with detailed information on the Tybee Island Lighthouse. Enjoy a breathtaking view from the lighthouse to complete your visit.
America’s Atlantic Coast Lighthouses by Jeremy D’Entremont



Fort Myers Beach, Florida on Estero Island.

Fort Myers Beach, Florida on Estero Island.


I read an article that cited where the happiest people in the Unites States live. And as I looked at Florida it was the “other Florida” that got the highest marks.

It seems all the happiest people in the state live in Naples. Surrounded by quiet beaches and estuaries the West Coast of Florida is one of my favorite places to visit.

When I visited Fort Myers Beach on Estero Island last year for an Art Trip I feel in love with the area. Not only is it surrounded by estuaries, it is also a haven for artists. For me it was the best of both worlds.



The Wolfsonian Museum at South Beach.

The Wolfsonian Museum at South Beach.

P is for propaganda and patriotism. It’s not exactly the cute title of one of the recently discovered manuscripts by Dr. Seuss.

Propaganda and patriotism is the subject of the library exposition at the Wolfsonian Museum in Miami Beach through March 31. It explores the use of “Educational pamphlets, coloring books, nursery rhyme books, games, and juvenile literature (that) were published to reach young audiences…“ during World War I.

Children were also targeted by the Nazis during World War II. Hitler’s Jugend (youth) movement indoctrinated youth who were forced to join. Those with approved blood lines were considered a vital part of the Nazi movement.

A recent chilling video by ISIL claims to show a child gunning down a Palestinian. The terrorist group refers to these children as “cubs for the caliphate.”

From books to guns, we’ve come a long way.



Artist Andrea Robbin's toddler's Arts and Literacy class explores different artistic techniques.

Artist Andrea Robbin’s toddler’s Arts and Literacy class explores different artistic techniques.

The Bass Museum at Miami Beach is tapping into one of the community’s greatest resources…the talent of artists.

At the museum’s “Creativity in the Community” event, artists got a chance to exhibit their talents along with the artwork of local families.

It was a day of celebration for the families who participated in the Arts and Literacy program.

The program consists of a featured book each week and an art project based on the book. Each child received a free book. The goal of the program is to strengthen families by teaching parents literacy and creativity skills.

The program book “Welcome to My Neighborhood” by Quiara Alegria Hudes and the week’s art project were definitely vehicles for promoting community pride. Children proudly discussed their neighborhoods and completed a neighborhood collage using the techniques of Romare Bearden.

I am an Art AmBASSador and a believer in artists as social advocates for community good. As part of the “Creativity in the Community” event I did caricatures for children. The program also included live music, A Congo parade, and food. The Bass provided free transportation to the museum for the families from various program community sites.

The winter session of the Arts and Literacy program begins in January.