Sunday, February 27, 2011
The Carribean in Pen and Ink
I have a few pen and inks to print. Hooray! Still having challenges with the internet but now we are at my daughter's
house in Marigot, in the Commonwealth of Dominica. We arrived in Dominica in the most unusual way....naturally! We spent
one day and night in Martinique then took the ferry to Guadaloupe, via Dominica. The ferry is a catamarand large enought
to seat at least a couple 100 people. Everything was good while passing by the island of Martinique but once we
were between the islands, buffetted by the Atlantic winds, it was quite the ride! The hostess passed out plastic bags for
everyone to barf in, which they did. The ferry would rise on the waves and slam down so hard that the spray soaked the people
out on the top deck where Don was facing the wind, to keep his breakfast down. I tried to walk across the deck and people
had to hold my hand to get me across to Don. I got soaked from a wet wave moments after I reached Don and I decided
that it was better to sit inside on the first floor, at least I was dry. But Rashawna was getting greener and greener. She
was talking about getting off in Roseau, Dominica and not continuing on to Guadaloupe. I don't get seasick but I am not the
bravest person in the world. I had been brave long enough (a whole hour and a half!) and I was ready to get off the ferry.
Besides, I was here to see Rashawna, not to challenge my bravery! So we got off the boat when it stopped in Roseau and Rashawna
told the port authority that she just couldn't go on, please let her stay in Dominica. It was hard to know what to do so I
just stuck by Rashawna and they let us get off. Not our luggage, but we got to stand on firm ground! Ah! My body swayed for
a day! The port authority was not very happy with us jumping ship but at least I had my passport and clothes on
my back. Don had all the luggage, all the money, the laptops and we had the electical adapter. That's what happens when you
change plans in the middle!
4:36 pm est
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
We are quickly learning that getting good internet service is a privilege, not a right! Even in the hotels
that we have stayed at that advertise internet, do not necessarily have it available and when it is, the signal is too
weak or sporatic. But, when we get it coming on strong, like right now, we take advantage of it and get caught up on answering
emails and writing in our blogs. So now you know why we haven't been quite as responsive as you had hoped we would be.
Be patient! We will get to our email as soon as we can. We have grown used to being able to communicate instantly
so this is good for us......I think!
9:54 pm est
We got up at 5 am and packed our bags for our ferry ride from St Lucia
to Martinique. It was about an hour and a half, bumpy the whole way. When we reached Martinique, it was raining, hot rain.
We wrapped our suitcases in our rain poncho and walked into town. Our first objective was to get a hotel room which
we found close to the wharf. Carib Hotel. Small hotel, but we have a huge room (right behind the front desk) with two
beds. It looks like we are in a Scottish inn - white walls with dark wood beams. Maybe when we get to Scotland I will
find that this is not their type of style at all! Anyway, it is clean and taht is the most important thing.
We explored Fort de France, Martinique...A beautiful library building to die for with a small art show inside. We have been
asking for a contempary art museum on the last few islands and so far we haven't found one. We found a beautiful
white marble statue of a woman named Marie and Napoleon's name was in a sentence on the statue so we are assuming it might
be Marie Antionette. Then you look up and there is no head and someone has put red paint down from her missing head.
We didn't quite know what to think of that statue! We found the shopping area which was pretty nice. And it is really nice
that I don't have any room in my suitcase to bring anything more. Saves me a lot of tourist dollars!
We have decided
we really like Martinique. Even tho they speak French, not English, they are happy to help in anyway.Very nice people
here. It is fun to practise up on my very rusty French. A few words are coming back. We took a smaller ferry over
to Pointe de Bout, a very nice resort town, and went for a swim in the Carribean. There was a huge hotel that all the
windows were gone and it was abandoned. Makes you wonder what the story is behind it!
Tomorrow we are taking another
ferry to Guadalupe, passing Dominica on the way. Hope the ride is a little smoother....maybe our stormy weather has passed
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Beautiful St, Lucia
We arrived last night in St. Lucia on American Airlines, watching the sun set over the Atlantic Ocean. By the time we arrived at
our hotel, it was close to 11 PM. Aubrege Seraphine is a beautiful white tiled edifice. The rooms are clean and
the showers are hot. Yes! I am so tired of being sweaty! I think I had better get used to it, many more hot humid days ahead.
6:49 pm est
We hired a driver and his minivan and we headed up to the rain forest. We enjoyed the sites as we headed up to 600
feet altitude. We had a few frights, since we are not used to seeing cars driving on the "wrong" side of the
road. We arrived at the aerial tram that took us into the 5 layers of the rainforest. It was a wonderful tour and the
guide was very informative. Then we did a zip-line down to the bottom. It was pretty fun, especially jumping off
one of the towers with just a rope. OK, if you do rock climbing it is no big deal, but this was pretty scary for me! Thank
you Tebby and Denver for a wonderful day in the Rain Forest.
David rented a car and was brave enough to drive on
the left side of the road. They had lived in the UK in the 80s so he is doing pretty well at it. The roads are narrow but
there is not that much traffic. We had the ambitious idea to drive around the entire island but we only made it to the Pitons
and back to Castries. It was a great trip and now Joanie, Rashawna and I know how to sit three adults in the back
of a dinky, dinky car! It is a beautiful island and won't mind returning and spending more time.
we had all had enough of each other so the next day, we just went our own way. Don and I trekked up some
roads and came across one of the oldest houses in Castries. It was about 200 years old and it was for sale. It would
have made a fabulous B&B! I think that Florida is far enough to own property so we didn't consider it for long.
I did do a pen and ink of it that I am finishing up. Once we get to Rashawna's place I should be able to get all my
drawings on line. Hooray!
Friday, February 18, 2011
Kayaking @ night
12:33 am est
We had a wonderful day today in San Juan, Puerto Rico. We had breakfast at the hotel (Comfort Inn) and sent a few
emails before David and Joanie picked us up in their rental car. We drove into the old section of San Juan and toured the
two fortresses still standing on the beach of the island. It was perfect weather, cloudy to keep the heat down, with
a breeze from the ocean. We enjoyed the architecture, the 16 foot thick walls, the old doors and windows and sharing it with
family. After a delicious authentic Puerto Rican lunch we walked through the streets snapping photos of the balconies,
oolorful apartment buildings, the brick streets, just taking in the flavor of the neighborhoods. We toured the second fort,
El Morro but didn't stay too long. Our feet were tired! We rode the trolley , instead of walking the 1 mile or so back
to our car.
Our best excursion of the evening was going to a town at the northeastern corner of the island and kayaking
through a narrow opening in the mangrove trees for a mile and a half that led to a large lagoon. We rowed out into the
middle of the lagoon and as the moon slid behind a cloud, Manolo, our guide, instructed us to shake our hands in the water.
Bioeluminescent (plankton) lit up the water. Since it was a full moon, it was difficult to see the plankton, so we huddled
our kayaks together, pulled a tarp over our heads and splashed the water over the boat onto our legs. The water
sparkled like shooting stars. The experience was definitely the highlight of the day. I don't think we can top that one!
I am working on a drawing of the fort....soon to be completed. Honest, I have every intention of posting some art!
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Outside the Continent
12:32 am est
We are finally outside of the US continent! After spending 5 days on the train, 4 of which we had a sleeper(Hooray!!), we
disembarked in Orlando, rented a Prius and headed for our house. We attacked the cleaning job on our houses starting
with the "almost done" house first. We did finish emptying out the one house and barely started on the other.
Once we realized that there was no way we could possibly finish the second house, we relaxed a bit: went to two
movies, went out for dinner on Valentine's Day and played minature golf. We played Canasta at Jax down the street
from the house and played 10 hands, and I lost every one of them! What a bum deal!
Wed the 16th came sooner than expected,
as last days always do, rushing to finish the few things we had left to do. We boarded the plane for Miami, with a few minutes
to spare then on to San Juan, Puerto Rico. I fell asleep as soon as my head head the back of the seat, I woke just in time
to see the lights of San Juan. Can't wait to explore it tomorrow with David and Joanie, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law,
and with my daughter Rashawna. It will be fun tomorrow and I promise a sketch from the day will get posted.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Day One, Two and Three
10:43 pm est
Ever wanted to go on a dry run before leaving on a long overseas trip? We recommend it! Try going Amtrak across
the country. We left Sunday evening to begin our 364 days of travel around the world. Getting on the train with
our luggage was the first challenge. Trying to find our PJs in our many travel cubes, that are supposed to make
our search easier, seemed more confusing than helpful. We have spent the last two days rearranging our luggage compartments, sorting
by what we need to find immediately (Tylenol), and what we might want to find in our leisure (clean pair
of socks). After 5 days of train travel, the North American part of our trip will be our first of many shakedowns.
BTW, we will be handing off a backpack and a heavy box to my daughter in Puerto Rico, so that will make our load lighter!
Two days before our departure date, I came down with a cold. After two almost sleepless nights of coughing,
we decided to splurge and get a berth. The first night we discovered that the heat/air control was broken so we were
blasted with heat all night. We finally opened the door to our closet like room to the hallway and welcomed the cooler air
in. The second night we arrived in San Antonio around 11 PM, switched tracks and engines for part of our 8 hour overnight
stay.While Amtrak did their thing, Don and I went exploring the River Walk and caught a cab back to the train after seeing
the Alamo. Wow, I love seeing places and things that were photos in school books! It was just as I thought it would look like,
but I didn't expect it to be smack dab in the middle of town. Life's little surprises!
We have met several very
interesting people. A young 25 year old woman from Alabama who has been working on a medicinal marijuana farm in
California the last few weeks, returning home to give love a chance. We ate lunch with a Frenchman visitng the US by
train, stopping to see the "real" Dallas from the show by the same name. We ate dinner with a mother and her
teenage daughter who lost her purse at one of the stations getting food for her daughter. Almost 24 hours later, her husband
was able to contact AMTRAK, arrange for them to get a berth so that they could eat (food is free with a room). Bonus is that
now they get a bed and a shower as well.
I had fun drawing yesterday with Ashley, and now have two pen and inks
and 1 drawing with watercolor pencil. I am excited to see what will come of my daily art discipline.
Ciao for now
(practising my non-existant Italian!)
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Cleaning closets, storing motorcycles, lunch at Cafe Aroma
Yep, we are down to the last finishing touches. My mom and I cleaned out our closet so when the family comes to stay for a
weekend, they have place to store their clothes. What can I say, I have an incredible amount of clothes! I like my clothes
and have some from 20 years ago I just can't let go of so it does add up. They are all safe in plastic crates, sealed
for our return. And we cleaned off my sewing deck in the closet so we can actually see the beautiful deck Don made
me that seems to just collect odds and ends.
1:24 am est
Don put in some Stable in the motorcycles and put them in
storage. I can't wait to come home and ride my new motorcycle. I have been so busy that I haven't had time!! But
I will when I get back.
We picked up the car from being serviced...bumper fixed, cracked windshield replaced,
and new oil. Feels good to be leaving the car in good shape!
Picked up the last item to take to Rashawna....Pad
Thai Peanut Sauce. There are things she misses in Dominca. If I think of it, I will try to remember to buy
her some tacos before leaving Florida. I think they will still be good by the time we reach Puerto Rico.
watercolor pencils today...pointless trying to find them in my boxes of art supplies so I bought a new set. I am so looking
forward to drawing everyday!
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Down to the last few days!
6:02 pm est
I am not big on journalling but I do want to let my family and friends know how the round the world trip is going, where
we are and how my daily drawings are progressing. We are still in Idyllwild but we have just three days to go before
we leave from the Palm Springs Amtrak train station.
I came down with a cold (Don had it last week and so
did little Caleb and it is too hard not hugging and kissing either one of them!) so I am taking it easy today to try
to cut the cold's life short. I think it is working! There are so many little things to do. Luckily Don is taking
care of the itinerary and I am taking care of the homefront. We do make good partners, for which I am most grateful.
Ta-ta for now and we will talk later......
Welcome to the website
It all started here, a little gallery in Idyllwild, no better place on earth. Or so I
think. My husband Don and I are on our way around the world this year. Watch my website for new drawings, sketches,
watercolor washes of places we visit.
My email is email@example.com
Let me know what
you think or if you would like to purchase an ink drawing fresh out of the sketchbook.