Jigokudani Monkey Park

When a Japanese friend learned that I was planning a winter trip to see the snow monkeys north of Nagano, she told me she had always wanted to see the Hokusai museum in nearby Obuse, so, although she was not fond of cold weather, she agreed to accompany me for a few days. It wasContinue reading “Jigokudani Monkey Park”

World Pride parade, Toronto

Toronto has one of the biggest LGBTQ Pride parades, and in 2014, it was Canada’s turn to host the International World Pride festival. So many organizations marched in support: school districts, companies, non-profits, unions, even the police department. And so many countries around the globe represented. An estimated 2 million people were there, sharing supportContinue reading “World Pride parade, Toronto”

Burro races

Get your ass over the pass! Pack burro racing has been called the official summer heritage sport in Colorado. In the early days of mining in the Rocky Mountain west, miners used burros to carry their supplies. They couldn’t ride since the animals would be laden down with goods, so they would walk, leading theirContinue reading “Burro races”

Monet in Giverny

From the train window on the way from Paris, fields of brilliant yellow bordered by ones of deep green unfurled along the landscape. I could picture Vincent or his cronies sitting out with their easels and paints, feeling the color fill them up and overflow onto the canvas. This post is continued from Cézanne inContinue reading “Monet in Giverny”

Rouen and Le Havre

Rouen It was a gray day with intermittent drizzle when I visited Rouen. That wonderful, vibrant Impressionist sunlight remained hidden behind blanketing clouds, elusive. As I wandered dark cobblestoned streets with crooked Tudor painted-wood framed houses, outlined in deep colors with light between borders, I pictured shadowy figures slipping in between doorways. This post continuesContinue reading “Rouen and Le Havre”

Van Gogh in Auvers

Vincent Van Gogh, a Dutch artist and probably the best known of the Impressionists today, came to Auvers-sur-Oise in the last year of his life, yet he painted seventy-seven paintings there before he died of a gunshot wound. Debate still continues as to whether his death was a suicide or murder. This post is continuedContinue reading “Van Gogh in Auvers”

Paris as a base

Paris was my base for visiting towns that inspired the Impressionist painters in the north of France. Each of the sites I chose were within a day’s round trip by train. This post is continued from Cézanne in Aix-en-Provence. The taxi from the train station climbed the steep street to my little studio apartment inContinue reading “Paris as a base”

Cézanne in Aix-en-Provence

 “I was thinking of you while I stood in Cézanne’s studio, looking at all the little things on his shelf that appeared in his still life paintings… it felt kind of spiritual being there. Thank you for encouraging me to do this journey,” I wrote to my artist friend, who helped me decide what citiesContinue reading “Cézanne in Aix-en-Provence”

Semana Santa

No one celebrates Easter the way Antigua, Guatemalans celebrate Semana Santa, Holy Week, with rituals that date back to old Spain. Magnificent, ephemeral festival art comes to life and is lovingly trampled. Along the streets, people cluster in groups around artists creating beautiful but fleeting works of art in the form of carpets on theContinue reading “Semana Santa”

Hiking Mt Fuji

The recommended way to climb Mount Fuji, or Fuji-san as it is called in Japan, is to begin at midnight in the summer months when the weather is less volatile and extreme. Hikers carry flashlights or don lighted headbands to illuminate the trail. The goal is to arrive at the top for sunrise, then descendContinue reading “Hiking Mt Fuji”