Archive for Travel

Hawai’i May 2014

It’s been eons since I last posted and this post is about something that took place eight months ago – I really have to do a better job keeping up!

So, after fifty five years on the planet I finally made it to Hawai’i. Lancine and I went and met our friends Louis and Melinda Tran along with Melinda’s daughter Valentina for a wonderful week on Oahu. We rented a home in lovely Kailua. We did venture in to Honolulu and Waikiki Beach just to check it out but the windward side of the island was so much more laid back and dare I say it, authentic.

I think renting a house is a much more interesting way to go than staying at a resort. And cheaper… once we found out where the locals shopped we got hooked up with great fresh veggies and get this, sushi grade tuna for $8/lb. We also got fresh off the boat wahoo for $4/lb – great on the grill! We did most of our eating at the house and we ate very well indeed.

Below are a few photos of the trip. We had a great time and are looking forward to the next trip!

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Starting another painting inspired by our trip to the south of France.


Well, it looks as if I am stuck on a theme here… this painting is very similar in many ways to the canal scene of the Frontignan Quay-side I painted not too long ago. Similar subject matter, similar composition (although a very different format) and similar colors. But the sameness is not coincidental, they are meant to be companion pieces displayed on two different walls in the same room.

This is an image of rowing boats tied up along side a quay along the River Herault as it passes through the town of Agde, a medieval town in the south of France and serviced by the Canal du Rhone. These boats are used for rowing competitions, oft times fueled by large quantities of the local red. Apparently the races can be very entertaining to watch!

But after this I’ll take a break from this subject as I have two commissions to paint, both of sailboats – should be fun and I’m looking forward to doing them.

Mustang Island Beach Getaway for a Day

We spent the weekend a couple weeks before Christmas helping our friends Cassie and Steve on a decorating project they were in the middle of. Their client had purchased a nice condo on one of the canals on Mustang Island; part of the Padre Island Chain just across from Corpus Christi. We helped hang drapes and pictures etc. and positioned and re-positioned furniture.

We did however manage to get away for a bit of time in the late afternoon one day and we went to the beach. It was a pleasant surprise, the sand white and soft and the water a clear green blue. I was expecting it to be more like the beaches I had experienced so often on Florida’s central gulf coast; gray water and coarse, shelly sand. It proved to be a lovely place and we’ll be going back.


Aigues-Mortes is a beautiful little town along the Canal du Rhone and about four miles in from the Mediterranean Sea. It was established in the early 13th century as a trading port and was fortified in the mid to late 13th to protect it as it had become an important outpost of King Louis IX of France. King Louis ruled from here as he was an active participant in the crusades and in fact died on his last crusade to the Holy Land from Aigues-Mortes. For that he was Canonized; now you know who Saint Louis is!

More about Aigues-Mortes

Bridges Along the Canal…

As one would expect, bridges cross the canal system quite regularly. Some are beautiful and some…¬† aren’t. Some are quite old – the canals were predominantly built in the late 17th century – and some are new. The old ones seem to be respected but the newer ones are often covered with graffiti, some of it spectacular.

The older bridges present a challenge to navigation, sometimes the arches are barely wider than the boat. It’s a good thing that the current in the canal is negligible! The other thing to consider when piloting the boat under the old, lower bridges is to… duck!

Click here to see more bridges along the canal

Ahh, Paris

What can one say about Paris that hasn’t already been said, and by worthier journalists than I? She is at once bustling but refined, her sidewalks thronged but still friendly. The sights and sounds and scents are unique, the people impeccably fashionable, the bistros inviting. Read more

Agde, France

One of the nicest places we spent a couple days at on our transit of the Canal du Rhone and Canal du Midi in the South of France during May and June of 2013 was Agde, Herault, France. Situated on the River Herault about five miles from where it empties out into the Mediterranean at Le Grau de Agde, Agde dates back to 525 BC and was founded by Greeks. Read more