Wednesday, December 31, 2014

As The Year Comes to a Close.......

As 2014 comes to a close I was thinking of what I would write in the final blog post of the year.  At first I thought I would  post one picture which represented my favorite of the year and then wax philosophical about my hopes and dreams.  While looking for the perfect, one of a kind photo, to represent 2014 I realized that there were many that I loved and that they could tell the story much better than I could.  Below are my favorite photo's of the year.

Favorite Photo's - 2014

Fruit at the Farmer's Market in Venice

Boats on the Canal in Burano, Italy

Painting from Class with Judy Wise

Man copied using the upside down process

First ever painting on a large Canvas with Katy Kendrick

Another painting from Judy Wise Class - love her expression

Original Painting done for an Auction

Duschetes River in Bend, Oregon

Sitting with David in Florence, Italy

I can never get enough of the Eiffel Tower

The Mountains in Zion, Utah

Drive through the marvels of Zion National Park

I had a wonderful year.  Starting with An Artful Journey at the end of February and ending with a Women's Retreat in the Zion National Park area in Utah in November.  I had the pleasure of spending my 65th birthday with 66 other women discussing the joys of Advent.  In between I spent 11 days with my Art retreat and travel friends winding our way through Florence, Venice and Paris.  I also went on a retreat in Three Rivers, CA discussing the comparison between St. Francis Assisi and Pope Francis.

I am most thankful for all that I experienced and accomplished....there is still more to do, but today - December 31, 2014- I am just going to relish these beautiful pictures as they remind me of a year well lived.

Until next year........Happy New Year my friends, pilgrim.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Traveling Through Europe - Final Destination - Paris

Arc De Triumphe

Eiffel Tower

Walking through park on the way to Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower at Night from Cruise boat

Flea Market in Paris

More flea market finds

Colorful bits and bobbles at the Market

Spire of Notre Dame, taken from Tour Bus

Doorway in Paris - love the color

5 pm,  Sunday Mass is over

More flea market finds

Took me a while, dear reader, but here is the last post of my trip to Italy and France in September.  It was a blessing and a pleasure to be able to return to Paris.  I do love that city.  Getting to tour the various areas of the city and not just limit the visit to the regular touristy areas was a real treat.

However, the best part was traveling with friends.  Maryann, Earl, Tracie, Jessica and Debbie have become family to me.  We have so many adventures and laughs when we are together. We should write a collaborative book about our travels or at a minimum create a collaborative art journal documenting our thoughts and why we travel so well together.

As I write this post, I realize that travel is good for my spirit.  I can marvel at the culture, the architecture and the everyday life of the city/country I happen to be visiting.  Then I can come home and appreciate just how blessed I truly am.  So I look forward to more adventures, more friendships and more opportunities to write posts such as this, so that you, dear reader, can share in my blessings.

until next time....pilgrim

Feel free to leave a comment, it makes me happy.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Traveling Through Italy and Paris - Venice Part 1


Paper, I love Paper

View from Water Taxi

Church campus on Burano

Neighborhood in Burano

Laundry day in Burano

Standing on bridge capturing reflection

Lace on Burano - Inspired by original craft

Love the colors of the buildings

Inside Church where we went to a concert

Waiting for concert to begin

Glass Blowing on Murano

Master Glass blower

Standing on Rialto Bridge

View from Bridge

Another view of Rialto Bridge

Public Square on the other side of Bridge

Masks through a window, love the glare

Fresh Fish Market

Colorful Spices

Boats, mode of transportation
Ahhhh, Venice.  I love the colors and the views.  It can be as fast paced or as slow as you want it.  This is part one of the posts on Venice, one of my favorite places to visit.  I would love to return and stay for about a month in an apartment.  Cross the Rialto Bridge and to the the market to get food to cook.  Oh what a joy that would be.

Well until next well dear readers.....Pilgrim

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Traveling Through Italy and Paris - Florence

Dear Reader, this post will my thoughts and impressions of Florence, Italy.  There is a back story as to why my trip began in Venice.  I was supposed to spend a week in Orvieto taking a class related to creating a travel journal; however, I could not afford the cost of an 18 day trip in Europe and so I sadly send an email to the teacher stating that I would not be able to join them.  She replied and suggested that I consider joining the group in Florence and take that part of the journey.  That was something I could save for and afford so that is what I did.

I would meet the group of friends on Sept. 20th.  I was able to get a really good deal on my plane fare, the caveat was that  had to travel on Sept 18th by myself.  Hmm I thought this will be interesting spending a day in Florence by myself.  There were days when I was extremely nervous about this solitary adventure.  I have traveled alone before, but only to places where English was the main language.  I worried if I would be able to handle everything.  I have a translator on my phone so I could always look up words (that was comforting).  So with my Smart Phone I took off.  There were some changes as my connecting flight through Paris was cancelled due to a strike by the Pilots of Air France.  I flew Air Berlin to make connections through Dusseldorf, Germany.

Dusseldorf Airport

Sitting in the Dusseldorf Airport waiting for my connecting flight

Watching TV in German at the Airport

The flight from Dusseldorf was on a plane that is called a Hopper, it is a Propeller Jet.  Since I had never been on a propeller plane before, I was a little taken aback when I saw it.  The ride was pretty nice until we neared  Florence.  There was an unexpected hail storm and we could not land.  The pilot came on and said that he had been advised that it was too dangerous to land so we had to fly around for awhile.  What???????  It was truly interesting.  We landed after about 30 minutes and I made my way through immigration, got a stamp from Germany in my passport, and found a cab.  So far so good.

Arrived at the hotel, left my luggage in the room and went out to explore.

Remnants of Hail Storm in Florence - Sept. 19th

Candy Store in Florence

Tower connected to the Duomo (Cathedral) in Florence

Duomo in the Public Square in Florence

Out side of the Academia Galleria in Florence

Mother with Child in Museum

Beautiful depiction of Jesus on the Cross

Carousel on the way to the Uffizi Museum  so quaint and beautiful

Arno River in Florence

 Uffizi Museum - Botticelli painting

Another take your breath away painting

First paintings I saw when I entered the Uffizi, unexpected, simple and touching

I was so touched by the art 

Ceiling in hallway on the 2nd floor of the Uffizi

Mesmerizing, it is amazing that many painters were also sculptors

I think this is the gift shop door, but not sure  Just liked the decal

Items from Church

A portion of the stole of the Bishop

There are times when pictures tell that story and there is no need for additional words.  I had the opportunity to visit paper stores and buy wonderful paper, Purchased art from a street artist that made me smile, and enjoyed the beauty of the city.  One thing I have learned is that at this point of my travel journey I want to not do touristy things, but get an apartment for a week or two and immerse myself in the actual life of the place.

Next week - Venice, Murano and Burano.  Until then.....pilgrim