On to a new adventure!

2017 has been a heck of a year so far – a year of events that make you think about life and why we are here and for how long. That’s why I decided to not delay this next trip because, who knows what next year will bring?

Elephants are beautiful creatures, and it has been a longtime wish to see them in the wild. So when I saw that Art Safari had a trip named “Large, Grey and Unmistakeable”, I knew it was meant for me.

Very soon I will be headed for Zambia with Art Safari  to hopefully see some of these majestic creatures, as well as other wildlife.
I will guess that most of you do not know exactly where Zambia is.  I certainly didn’t, so I’ve made this map to help.

Thornicroft Lodge is where we will stay, traveling each day to South Luangwa Park, hoping to see big game like lions and elephants and so many other exotic creatures that I’ve only seen in zoos!
I’d hoped to have you join me on this adventure, but wifi will be very limited.  Stay tuned for updates!

Zambia adventure

Sneak calendar preview for 2018!

I’m back from a respite in Italy. A whole month allowed me to relax, savor the food, enjoy the scenery, and focus on my art.

Some of that art has been incorporated into a new 2018 calendar! Instead the usual quotes, this calendar will have song lyrics with the images. I sincerely hope you don’t need to be “older” to know most of the songs, but if you don’t recognize any, let me know and I’ll happily sing one for you!  Just don’t laugh at my efforts, please!

Here’s a few selections from the calendar, drop me a line if you’d like to pre-order one:2018 calendar sample

2018 calendar sample

2018 calendar sample 1

da Ferdinando’s

Enjoyed several hours on several days at this welcoming, relaxing restaurant on Fornillo beach.
Visit Da Ferdinando’s on FB!

To have some fresh zucchini, maybe you can just pick it off the vine here!  ferdinandos

ferdinandos zucchini


While sitting here, we could watch the planes land on the sea to fill up with water, then leave to put out more wildfires in the mountains.

sea plane

Casa e Bottega = Yum!

Yesterday, we ate at a most delightful restaurant. On the main street, right on the way home, is Casa e Bottega. A restaurant/juice bar. A unique variety of accessories are displayed, and the color theme is white, with many shades of blue throughout. Although colorful ceramic planters like the one sketched here add a funky feel and keep you from being too calm with all the blues!
Our meals were a feast for the eyes and palate, and we each bought a juice to have for breakfast the next morning.
Pretty sure I’ll be sketching more of their decor to share!

casa e bottega

Positano mountain top view

A work in progress in my new concertina sketchbook, a gift from a visiting friend. (I tried to post on instagram, but it seems iMovie music is not copyright free, which is weird.)

Anyway, here is a short video with my inklines. This is the view from my terrace.  It starts north of Positano. Then Montepertuso, Nocelle and the city of Praiano is at the very end.

Note that the elevation difference required me to start at the top again towards the end!

A Few (mis)Adventures

Being here for a month on your own, is definitely not the same as a week’s vacation!
I’ve had a few things happen that have challenged my idea that I am an intrepid adventurer.

I do have so much free time here, it’s ridiculous. My only responsibilities are the 2 fur babies and watering the garden. I sleep in, feed the pets, enjoy my coffee, add salve to all the new mosquito bites and take up the trash. There’s usually a walk down to the beach, or if I’m lazy or it’s too hot, just a walk to the grocer up the street. then a nap in the pm, restoring my energy to prepare dinner.

Positano trash index

Positano trash requirements alter my idea of a simple life

Wrong way – again!

But the first time down to the beach, I took a wrong turn coming back up the (500-600) stairs, increasing my stair time. The second time down, I decided to return the same way I went down.
Yep, another wrong turn, and I’ve done this probably more than 20 times during previous visits!
So now I’ve made maps! Yes, the lady that used to make maps in a previous lifetime made maps for fun! And to prevent more wrong turns!

Positano map near Villa Franca

Map showing top of my 130 stairs relative to grocery, etc.

Positano map of stairs to beach

Map showing Villa Franca and dashed lines indicate STAIRS to beach. It’s more complicated in person, trust me.


Delays and a message

Even when I know where I’m going, things seem to purposely make me do more stairs. For instance, I went up to get groceries and a SIM card for a phone. First time up, got to the top, and it started sprinkling. It hasn’t rained here in months, so I was worried it might be a downpour, so back down the stairs to get an umbrella. By the time I got home, it had stopped. So back up, first stop was the SIM card. Kate TOLD me more than once that I needed my passport to get one.
Of course I forgot that. So I got groceries, brought them home and went back up and got the card.

Funny story about that phone. I got the card so I could text people in Europe, and not use my regular phone. The first time I tried texting, it worked once, then stopped. (I did buy a 5gb plan)
Next I tried calling a friend, only to get a voice message in Italian, and I never bothered to learn more Italian than prego, bongiorno, and ciao. As a super nerd, I used google translate and the mike to auto translate the Italian message. And here’s what it said: (I swear, I am not making this up!)
“If I can’t get my company can you come get a couple of my f*cking time I don’t like about it”
So, back to the store, where I let them listen to the message (in Italian, of course!) and they informed me I did not have a “plan”. I thought that’s what the gb thing was, so 5€ later, I had a working cell phone. Perfecto!

After posting this, I will get back to sketching to relax!