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.She loves walks in the fields but really loves to chase the ball. Here she is catching the ball.We 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.This 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.In the harbor it was a different story. The waves were small because they were protected by the high cliffs.
Little Haven harbor
Here is a photo of me being blown away.We then drove over the hill from Little Haven to Broad Haven beach, which is a very long and sandy beach .
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.
Here is one of my favorite photographs of David walking on the beach.One 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.
They have set up a tableau of what dinner in the castle would have looked like in the 13th century.And 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.
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.
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. 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.
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. I 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. We 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.After 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)
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.
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.
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.
We have been at home all this time since returning from England in August. Our son got married in December. 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.
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. And some glass Cherry flowers from the inside of the hotel. We also went to an abandoned mining town near here, and got photographs of lots of rusted cars and signs. 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.
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.
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. 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 .
Then all I have to do is add the date to the page and a couple of comments. Some times when I have larger brochures I glue some pages together and put the brochures inside.
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.There 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.