Friday, August 29, 2008

Dawn's Book Reviews

I had no idea that Newport RI was such a busy tourist town. People and cars everywhere. Of course, there are rows of shops, restaurants and other fun things along the water to entice the people. I was going to tour the historic mansions in Newport today, but decided to just take a bike ride and pack up my campsite. I will do that next time. It is so nice to be in an area with scenic bike paths, I have to take advantage. These are photos I took along the bike.
I am heading back to PA for one last show before heading home. This will be a 3 day show over Labor Day weekend in Harrisburg.

I have read a few good books and a few bad books on the way.

The Bad and Ugly
Dark Harbor by Stuart Woods – Don't read it It was bad.

47th Samurai by Stephen Hunter, I have enjoyed some of his books in the past, but I cannot believe that a 60-year-old Billy Lee Swagger can be taught to be a Samurai fighter in a week. It was hard to make it through.

The Thumbs up Category

Falling Angels by Tracy Chevalier, This is by the author of Pearl Earring. It was a well-written book. On the serious side, this book deals with the womens suffrage movement in England.

Whitethorn Woods by Maeve Binchy, This book was a lot of fun. Each chapter was from the viewpoint of one character. Often the next chapter would be about the same story but from another characters point of view. It was often hysterical to read the conflicting views.

On Audio
Chasing Shadows: novellas from Transgressions by Walter Mosley and Joyce Carol Oates, The first novella by Walter Mosley was surprising coming from Walter Mosley. Every book I have read by him in the past had an angry black man as the central character. This story shows a softer side of Mosley. The main character is a small, insecure, intellectual young man working for and being bullied by an anarchist. Two thumbs up!
The second story by Joyce Carol Oates was a little disturbing. I put it in the okay category

Boomsday by Christopher Buckley, A really good book that deals with the absurdity American politic in a fictional setting. A Lot of laughs, but a little scary if you think about it.

The Dead Father Club by Matt Haig, This was on the serious / sad side, but well written. It deals with the unexpected death of a young boy’s Dad. It leaves the reader enough room to make up your own mind.

Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins, a cute story. More for young adults, if you have kids, you would want them to be as nice as these.

Life the Universe and Everything by Douglas Adams, always a lot of fun even if he does ramble a bit. If you have never read, listen to or seen any of his books, you should. His imagination is amazing.

I am now reading Henderson’s Spear by Ronald Wright and The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty. Henderson’s Spear is hit or miss. Some parts are good. Some are tedious. The Memory of Running seems like it is going to be a winner.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pennsylvania to Rhode Island

Time is flying by and I will be home before I know it. Hooray!! Nothing like being away for over a month to make you truly appreciate your home and loved ones.

I had great weather in Mount Gretna but just  an okay show. Art sales art just slow right now, along with everything else in our economy.  I did come across a pretty pond that I think I can turn into a nice painting. That is alway exciting!

On the 19th, after a nice ride on a near by mountain bike trail, I headed in the direction of Rhode Island. I spent the night in Stamford Ct and walked around and did a little shopping before getting back on the road. Stamford had a nice downtown area were you could get out of your car and walk to anything you needed.

I arrived in RI around 3 and started put up the campsite. It is a nice campground and I can hear the ocean from my site. I will be here through next Wed. and then back to PA for my last art show of this series. There are a lot of really nice bike paths near me. On Thursday I went for a 25 mile ride long the bike paths. I had a great time. Boy was I tired when I finished.  The load in for the show was on Friday. I was an easy set up. As it turns out, it is an in door show. So I just had to put up my wall and not my tent. Nice!!  Once again, it was just an okay show. The people were so nice and the load in was so easy, I would do this show again as a filler between 2 other shows.



Friday, August 15, 2008

Taking Philly by storm

Well lot's of thing have happened since my last post. The Mystic Art show was good. The weather was perfect and I had good sales.  You really can not ask for more. I was to stay on in Mystic through Thursday, arriving in Mount Gretna Thursday evening, just in time for the early morning art show set up.  Well, Rob was able to get away for a few days and we decided to meet in  Philadelphia for a few days and just do the  tacky tourist thing like nobody's business! I packed up the tent sight early Monday morning and headed to Philly.  With traffic and rain, I was able to pick up Rob at the airport at 3:00 and we headed to the hotel. Rob had reserved a spot in the Convention Center District. It was a great location. So many things that we wanted to see and do were right there in waking distance. We pulled out our bags and parked the van for the duration. You know, after sending 2 weeks in a campsite, the hotel was very welcome. What luxury!
After settleling in we head to the streets. Our friend, Mike Gallager, gave us a list of must eat and drink while in Philly, so time to get started!! We walked over to the Nodding head for a great dinner and brew. Then we headed over to The Monk. Everything was great! Thanks Mike!! We took a lesiurly stroll back through town to our hotel. I am so impressed with all of the public art. It is everywhere. The next day we did all of the tourist things we could fit in. We rode the DUCK through town and up and down the Deleware River, saw the liebery bell and more. We had a blast . For Rob's last bit with me, we drove to Pottsville PA.  Rob was finally able to fufill a dream an tour  the Yuengling brewery. It is a very interesting tour and our guide was a true delight. Now I am off to Mount Gretna Pa for another art show. The weather should be great this weekend, so wish me luck!!



Friday, August 8, 2008

Rocky Neck State Park, Connecticut!

Here are a few photos from the state park where I am staying while getting ready for the Mystic art show this weekend. This is such a fabulous state park!  I look forward to my stay each year. You have the marsh land, the ocean, tons of trails to hike or ride your bike, there are even paved paths that are blocked off from cars, so you can ride you bike really fast!!!
I am so luck to be able to visit all of these wonderful places and make living. Life is good!!!


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Week 1 : Ocean City NJ

Well, I made it to Ocean City NJ, Finally! I thought the drive would kill me. I just bought a Ford Econoline van from a friend. I love the van. Having enough space for my paintings and myself is a wonderful thing, but I had not really driven it yet. 85 rattled my nerves.  After 14 hours though, no problem, I can drive that van!

The Board Walk Art Show was this weekend. I have done this show in the past. It is a small show and a lot of work, but I have always been blessed with great weather and enough in sales to come back. This year a major storm hit Saturday morning around 8:00 am. I had arrived just before the rain and lightning. As I dashed to my tent, the wind picked up and tents started flying! I was terrified. When I got to my tent, it was still standing. The lightning was so bad I was afraid to go in. I stood under an awning across the boardwalk and watched as my tent swayed violently in the 50 + mph winds. It slowed down in about an hour so I peeked inside. NONE of my work was damaged!  My walls were skewed but not damaged. I am so lucky!!! Swooooh!

Well, by 11:00, it was a beautiful day and I had good sales. You just never know. Overall my sales were down so I do not now if I will come back next year. It is a shame. It is a fun area. It still has a small ocean side community feel to it. Cyclists are everywhere. The roads are really wide and flat. You can bike anywhere.  I found the best campground this year, Shorebirds, The area is so quite. It is just a gem! I have a big shady spot. I am staying here through Wednesday, so I put up a big shade tent and made a studio for myself. It is just like my studio, only cleaner!

I will be heading to Connecticut on Wed for the Mystic Art Show. Check back to see how it goes!