Haverfordwest Wales; life in the country

We are here at the southwestern tip of Wales, in Druidston near Haverfordwest out on a small farm and taking care of sweet Nell, the border collie.  We do not have sheep for her to herd so she must make do with us.Nell full netShe loves walks in the fields but really loves to chase the ball.  Here she is catching the ball.Nell catches the ball netWe have been in the city for all of the sits this year, so coming out to the country is an entirely different feeling.  We can see the sea from our bedroom. Those tiny dots on the hill are cows.ViewFromOurWindowThis was a clear and sunny day, but most of the days have been overcast, windy and rainy, which is fun for us since California hardly ever gets rain.  Yesterday, we went to two small beaches near us,  Little Haven and Broad Haven. (“Haven” comes from the Norse havn meaning harbor.) The wind was almost 40 miles per hour, which made the waves very large and strong.  I was up on a promontory over the ocean and I nearly blew away taking this photo.little haven splash slow closer netIn the harbor it was a different story.  The waves were small because they were protected by the high cliffs.

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Little Haven harbor

Here is a photo of me being blown away.linda little haven closerWe then drove over the hill from Little Haven to Broad Haven beach, which is a very long and sandy beach .

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Broad Haven beach

We also went one evening to Druidston beach, which is by where we are staying.  After walking down a very steep dirt lane we were able to watch the sun set over the beautiful and almost empty beach.  You get a feeling of being alone with nature here.

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Druidston Beach

Here is one of my favorite  photographs of David walking on the beach.druidston beach david netOne day we drove through the tiny lanes they call streets to Pembroke castle.  This is a 13th century castle that has been restored so that you can climb the stairs in the various towers and read about what life was like in the Middle Ages.

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Pembroke Castle

They have set up a tableau of what dinner in the castle would have looked like in the 13th century.Pembroke castle ddinner tableau netAnd they have free castle tours around four times a day.  We went on the tour and learned a lot about the history of who lived in this famous castle and what they did.

We mostly have been hanging out and enjoying the country and the beach.  Reading, playing with Nell, working on photographs, doing art in my journal and doing laundry. It is so beautiful and peaceful here.Wales country side net

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Our next stop is a return to Stratford-upon-Avon to take care of Enzo the border terrier.  We took care of him last year, and I am looking forward to seeing him and Anne and Steve again.

We are home and getting ready to go back to Europe

I have not posted in a while because being at home is not that interesting.  We have gotten around to all of our doctor appointments and we are healthy and ready to hit the road again.

We have been doing household improvements since we have decided to keep the house for a while.

The new plan is a family Baltic cruise in June and then to stay on in Europe until October or November of 2018 and cruise home.

I am so excited.  I will keep you informed of our progress. Mac our dog is very happy that we are home. destination England 2 I have been working on some travel journals to sell in my etsy shop ( www.etsy.com/shop/LDphotography)  and I will probably post some information as I prepare my travel journal for this summer.  I make up my travel journal ahead of time so all I have to take with me is the journal,  water color pencils, glue, tape and scissors. destination Scotland 2

Pet sitting in Greystones, Ireland

Now we are on the other side of Ireland in a place called Greystones, County Wicklow.  We are taking care of two sweet kitties and two hens. pandy facenetpearly face netchickens netI love kitty cats and these two are very sweet and want to spend time in your lap purring.

We are also about an hour by public transportation from Dublin. Greystones dart bw netWe have been mostly hanging out at home, using the bus to get our food to cook.  But we did go to Dublin one day.  We took a student tour of Trinity College which was very good. Afterwards we went to see the Book of Kells exhibit.  It is a 9th-century book of the four Gospels, with almost every page highly illustrated.book of kells netAfter seeing the exhibit we went up to the Long Room library.  “The main chamber of the Old Library is the Long Room; at nearly 65 metres in length, it is filled with 200,000 of the Library’s oldest books and is one of the most impressive libraries in the world.” ( Trinity College site)

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Notice the ladders, this is the top floor of the 2 story Long Room

We walked down Grafton Street to look at the shops and heard this lovely singer entertaining as people strolled by.

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She had a great voice

We are close to the ocean here in the house and have made a short trip to a town nearby Dun Laoghaire to see the seaside city.  We walked along the harbor.Ireland rocky shores 5x7 netDun Laoghaire cannon 5x7 netblue mosaic 5x7 net

The weather has been Irish.  It is sunny for about two hours and then the dark clouds and the rain wash in.  So we keep our umbrellas handy.

 

Free tutorial; How to prepare a travel journal

One thing that I do now since going to Europe the last 2 years is to prepare my travel journal before I go.2017 travel journal2017 travel journal 1 I keep tickets, train stubs, receipts and other ephemera as we travel and there is not time to make special pages to keep this loose stuff.  2017 travel journal 4So I put in pretty envelops in my journal at home.   I also paint and add decorative paper to my journal pages as it is difficult to find the time and carry all the supplies to do that on the road.2017 travel journal 3  I make pages with fold outs to put secret or just private thoughts into.  2017 travel journal 6 I also stamp and color pages like this. 2017 travel journal 2 or this2017 travel journal 7  I take along a zip lock plastic bag with scissors, double sided tape, tape, color pencils ( water color ones), colored pens,  a small spray bottle, glue sticks and a small stapler.  Now I am ready to add papers and pages as I go along.  Hope this helps you prepare for your next big trip or even a little one.

We are in Las Vegas

We have been at home all this time since returning from England in August.  Our son got married in December.2016-b-wedding-parents  Then we got through Christmas; with a small tree and all of our Christmas decorations still in storage.  We have made the downstairs comfortable with furniture from our office and our bed.  The upstairs is completely empty.  We find we do not need to live in much space these days after being on the road for 6 months.  All of our clothes fit into 1/2 of our closet.  It is good to have our sweet doggie Mac back with us.home-16-mac-in-box-small

The housing market seems to be depressed here at the moment so we are taking some small trips while we decide what to do.  I find that I am restless and want to be back on the road again.

So we are spending a week in Las Vegas.  There are some interesting places to take photographs here.  This is the glass ceiling at the Bellagio Hotel that is stunning.bellagio-ceiling-flowers-5x7-net  And some glass Cherry flowers from the inside of the hotel. cherry-flowers-belliago-5x7-light-net  We also went to  an abandoned mining town near here, and got photographs of lots of rusted cars and signs.old-car-grill-5x7-filtered-netdeadend-snake-5x5-poster-net  The next day we went to the stunning Valley of Fire.  This is a state park that has lots of sandstone rocks the are standing straight up from the ground due to violent up thrusts from the time of the dinosaurs.  It is pretty dramatic.vof-beehive-person-5x7-closer-netvalley-of-fire-arch-5x7-net

And today we visited the Atomic Testing Museum. We had a Groupon (2 for $26) and you should look for such a discount, as the list price is $22 each, and I don’t think it’s worth that. Those of you who are of our age will remember those duck-and-cover drills from the 60s, and this will certainly make you realize how useless that would have been, and how crazy the whole nuclear industry was.

There is a lot to do in Las Vegas besides gambling.

Well, I thought I would up date you on some of our events.  Not as exciting as the summer in England but still interesting.

If you want to purchase any of these photographs they are available in my Etsy shop.

Tutorial quick & easy ; How to make a travel smash book or journal on the road

Here is a quick and easy tutorial on how to make a travel smash book or travel journal .  It is important for me to keep my tickets and memorabilia ( plus I like to keep the prices of things like food and tours for future reference) from a trip because all the days sometime melt into each other and I cannot remember. Later, David will ask “When did we do that?”  and I cannot recall.  In addition, when we are traveling like this, it is hard for me to find the time to record all of our activities everyday.  This is where a travel smash book comes in handy.

It’s a journal where you just tape or glue in receipts, tickets, itineraries and menus as you go.  Here are two photos; one of two pages already prepared at home and another of the cover of my smash book that is not decorated yet.travel smashbook tutorial small 10travel smashbook tutorial small 6  This is not an art journal like I would make at home.  I only take a small amount of art items with me due to packing space. ( watercolor pencils, double stick tape, scissors, a small stapler, pencil, black sharpie pens, paint brushes, glue sticks, eraser and dry watercolor paints).   I prepare my journal before the trip by lining the pages with papers themed to where we are going and/or painting different backgrounds . Smash book  tutorial travel postcards 3 small

Then all I have to do is add the date to the page and a couple of comments. travel smashbook tutorial small 7travel smashbook tutorial small 9  Some times when I have larger brochures I glue some pages together and put the brochures inside.  travel smashbook tutorial small 11

I take lots of photos but I will not have time to get them printed until later so I leave space for them in the smash book.  Another trick that I use is to purchase postcards that have three photos on them in places we visit and cut them up and paste them into the book as I go along.  Here is a post card that I purchased and how I made a page from it.Smash book  tutorial travel postcards 2 smallSmash book  tutorial travel postcards smallThere is a pocket I made from some manuscript paper that I purchased here to put the tickets in to.

By the way, if you are short of packing space, you can acquire most art supplies here in Europe, and at reasonable prices. Here in Italy there are “99 cent only” stores, and a chain of Danish stores called Tiger. These last have lots of low-cost items ranging from spices to socks, including many office supplies and small craft materials.  Here in Florence, every museum and many other stores offer high-quality wrapping paper, two sheets for €2.50. They have Florentine motifs and are great for use in smash books. You can see a couple of sheets in the pictures above.

These are just a few suggestions.  If you have any other ones you would like to share , just leave a comment below.  Happy traveling and smash booking.