The train or I should say the plane is about to leave the station.  I am looking forward to days away in the sun, then surrounded by my second family of in-laws and finally the warmth of the Middle East.

We are returning to Siesta Key Florida in a couple of weeks.  This will be the ninth time to visit the Gulf coast of Florida.  Siesta Key is such a wonderful destination no matter what time of year, April, May, August or October.  We haven’t tried the other months but certainly enjoy the ones mentioned here.  Although the vacation is but a week, it is enough for me.  I love the beach only so  much but I have time to read and do some curriculum planning and even visit the Ringling Art Center to attend a life drawing session.  Life is good on vacation.

Summer will allow us to attend the wedding of a nephew in up state Vermont, Burlington. The last of five nephews will be married in July.  This should be fun because we will be able to visit with the West Coast crew along with the Colorado contingent coming from Boulder.  It is just a weekend trip but should be a great time in July.  Who knows, it might be hot there.  We attended a Spring graduation there a few years back and nearly froze.  You can never plan around the weather.

November is a “bucket list” trip.  The Holy Land excursion with National Geographic takes us through Israel to the great biblical sites with the aid of a Nat Geo guide.  We will visit all things religious and political and Israel has them in abundance.  We will visit with leaders of three great world religions, Judaism, Christianity, & Islam and hear both sides of the two state controversy, Israel and Palestine.  And since we will be in the region and considering this to be a once in a lifetime event, we will go to the ancient city of Petra, Jordan.

All of these travel experiences offer great opportunities for paintings.  I will be well armed with my camera equipment and sketching materials.  All trips, all events hold the promise of an opportunity for me to relieve a moment in time whether it is reviewing the photo reel or designing a painting from the reference materials or actually making the painting.  Then the icing on the cake is exhibiting the painting near or far.