No, This Isn’t Heaven

“Scarlet Macaw” (wip)

No, this is not heaven, it’s Traverse City.” a sign read as we pulled into city limits. It was a bit of a bold statement but within two hours of taking a walk on the marina, meeting some locals and taking a drive on the Peninsula, I discovered just how true it was.

Last week my hubby and I took our last gateway for the year to the more northern part of the lower peninsula of Michigan. I’ve lived here for 30 years now and have never been up north despite the fact that it’s the place majority of residents go when they want to get away. So we made the trip to what I now consider to be Michigan’s “Wine Country” and spent a few days just soaking it all in. It was a lovely trip. The natural scenery was beautiful. The locals were friendly and welcoming. The food was delicious and if you’re into wine, craft brew and cider, Traverse City is definitely a place for you. The vineyards on Old Mission Peninsula are gorgeous retreats for wine tasting and a great place to just relax. Before leaving the Peninsula, Jon and I made our way to the 45th Parallel to see the Old Mission Point Lighthouse where I got this wonderful shot of the lighthouse that just might end up being a reference photo for my next drawing.

Since being back I’ve been stuck a bit in vacation mode so my progress has been somewhat slow on my Scarlet Macaw. It’s taking me some time to get the red as vibrant as I would like but it’s coming along as you can see in the progress shot above. 😌

When Your Mind Is Still On Vacation

photo of high rise buildings
Photo by Matthew T Rader on

The saying is true, time flies when you’re having fun. Last week around this time I was packing for a mini vacation to the Lone Star State and now I’m back. Actually I’ve been back for a few days now and I’m struggling to get back into the swing of things. The trip itself wasn’t anything spectacular, I mean, it wasn’t like we went to Paris or anywhere nearly as exotic yet I feel different and a bit detached from my life before I left. My hubby and I have a friend whose been in theater for 10 years now and on our first night there we went to go see him perform in “Penny Candy” at the Dallas Theater Center. It was the first time I’ve gone to a play that wasn’t part of some class assignment and I have to say, it was a completely engrossing experience. I found myself wondering, why haven’t I done this before now? I thoroughly enjoyed the play and hope that in the future I will remember to get out from behind my drawing board and go see some of the plays going on in my local area.

The second day, which was the 4th, we spent the day in the backyard with friends doing what most of all Americans do on the 4th; grilling. It was a warm, relaxing day, spent by the pool where I had one too many ciders and dined on nothing but meat and pound cake. I definitely paid for that the next day but it was worth it.

On our last day we took a road trip to the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, where we got the chance to not only see, but feed and touch (so long as we stayed in our vehicle) a number of animals like zebras, emus, rhinoceros, giraffes, antelopes, cheetahs and much more. I spent most of my time filming but it was an enjoyable experience none the less. On the trip back we passed through Frisco where I discovered that Texas had a soccer team. Confession: I’m an American who prefers soccer, much to my friends bewilderment. Unfortunately it’s not something that’s widely broadcasted, in comparison to the likes of football or baseball, so keeping up with MLS is a bit challenging here, especially when you live in a state that lost a bid for an expansion team. Texas may get two new residents just for the soccer team alone but I digress.

Anyhoo, when I packed for the trip I took with me a sketchbook and some pens and pencils. Needless to say I didn’t get any drawing done. Nor have I gotten any drawing done since I’ve been back but I did get some pretty cool memory shots of some of the wildlife from Fossil Rim. Sometime this week I’ll get back into the swing of things but for now my mind is still on vacation.