A Great Trip to Indiana and New Miniature Paintings!

“It is a happy talent to know how to play.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

It certainly is a happy talent to know how to play, and fortunately that is one talent I gratefully possess! A week ago today, we were in Southern Indiana enjoying a nice visit with Wes’ family. We arrived there Saturday afternoon in time to enjoy dinner with his parents and our niece, Caroline, and nephew, Will. Afterwards we all enjoyed playing games for several hours, spending much of our time laughing together! Sunday Wes’ late Nana’s dear friend, Earl, joined us for the day, which ended with a delightful ride on Wes’ brother, Greg’s, boat. It was a beautiful evening, making for a very pleasant ride up and down the Ohio River a ways. Enjoying a ride on Greg’s boat is always a highlight of the visit there, and this time was no exception! Monday we enjoyed lunch at a wonderful Mexican restaurant with Wes’ mom and dad, and looked forward to going on Greg’s ski boat later that afternoon with great anticipation!

Cullen, George (making a fashion statement while being protected from the sun), and Will on the boat.

You see I was going to be pulled on the tube behind the boat, and I could hardly wait!! It had been some eighteen years since I had last enjoyed this amazing sport while on Lake Placid in Florida. Boy was I in for a real treat! After dropping a few people off on an island, Greg, Lisle, Caroline, Wes and I headed back out in the ski boat. Caroline was the first rider of the day, reminding me visually of how it was done. Then it was my turn, so after dropping Caroline off on the island to swim with the others, I climbed onto the tube and held on. Greg did an amazing job of driving the boat, as he knows just how fast to go while weaving back and forth and gunning it just before heading into a curve the other way! This made for an awesome ride causing you to skim at a high rate of speed back and forth across the wake, making you feel at times as if you were flying through the air. He patiently did this time and time again, making at times, a big curve, which sent me flying across the surface of the water, feeling as if I were barely touching it, while I held on for dear life, squealing with glee the entire time!! At times I felt as if I could barely hold on, while flying along on some of the curves, and I couldn’t have loved it more!! I don’t think my mouth closed the entire ride as I was laughing my head off during the duration of this thrilling adventure! Well, the big kid’s turn was up and now it was time for the boys to get their turn.

Me having a blast, while totally in my element!

Caroline and I drawing in the sand.

So I was dropped off at the island where I enjoyed swimming and playing with Caroline. Mostly we swam and floated carelessly in the Ohio River, but we also enjoyed playing in her fort, while collecting her pet snails that had wandered about in different directions. At first, I would serve as the vehicle of transportation while she found and placed them on my arms. Towards the end I had friendly snails crawling all about me as we walked them back to their recent new home. The next trip Caroline was also a vehicle and at one point she must have had about twenty-five snails on her arms crawling about. Once they had all been placed back together as one big happy family, they were about forty strong. Having completed this task, it was time to swim about a bit more and then we decided to draw in the sand. I suggested we draw a very large “help” sign which we did, and I’m quite sure that is why the helicopter was flying over a bit later on . . . just kidding 🙂

Caroline with her snail friends, many of which she has named.

By this time the boat had returned and Greg was picking me back up to take Wes, George and I to the other side of the island where we could go up and see the area, offering a few walking trails and other things of interest. Once on shore and starting one such trail, I thought surely this must be what it’s like walking through the jungle in the Amazon and such places. There were giant grape vines everywhere, gracefully descending down from the trees creating large downward, swooping arches before they ascended back up to the tree tops above. The vegetation was lush and thick with all of the recent rain they have received there. One felt as if you were miles away from civilization on some uninhabited island, creating a most wonderful place to visit. Leaving there I asked Greg if I could perhaps ride the tube once more and he kindly agreed, so off into the water I jumped and in no time was back on the tube awaiting another amazing adventure. And amazing it was once again, as I flew across the water back and forth, all cares and worries having disappeared, feeling like I was ten again!! After another graciously long ride, it was time for Caroline to get to show us how well she could water-ski. She did a great job, popping up immediately, making it look so easy! After a few runs on the skis, it was time to pick up the rest of the crew and head back to the marina, since dusk was setting in. That night as I laid there trying to fall asleep, every time I closed my eyes I was once again back on the tube, flying across the water, and I was so very thankful for having been blessed with such a wonderful adventure earlier that day!

A cute video of my amazing adventure!

Heading back after an Awesome afternoon!

Once again Earl joined us for the day as we headed to White Castle for lunch. This is always a must when visiting Indiana! After lunch we headed to the Frazier History Museum to see the DA VINCI the Genius exhibition. It was impressive and very enlightening as we walked about the exhibit, viewing and reading about the numerous inventions that Da Vinci created or reinvented in a much better way. Many had been reconstructed how they would’ve appeared in his time period, using his instructions and it was amazing to see what they looked like. Even better yet, was the room full of smaller scaled, working apparatuses that you could actually turn handles on to see just how they worked. Hands on is always a good thing for a visual person! Another thing of great interest was the room dedicated to the study of the “Mona Lisa”. Having always had a fascination with this piece, it was quite interesting to read about it and see an amazing copy of the painting life sized and in the true colors that it would’ve been at that time. They had taken special high resolution photos of the original which revealed many of the mysteries surrounding the painting. Each digital image and description was more informative than the last and it was quite intriguing to say the least!

Me as the “Mona Lisa”.

The Louisville Slugger Bat Company across from the Frazier Museum.

Later that evening, we joined Greg and his family at a wonderful restaurant called Simply Thai, which was suggested earlier by Lisle. It was delicious and leaving there we enjoyed spending a bit of time in a large bookstore, where I found an appropriate book about Da Vinci and the mysteries of the Mona Lisa, as well as a delightful book called “Julia Childs”. We returned home this past Wednesday and have gotten back to work painting. I have also been enjoying a nice “swim” in my hillbilly hot tub most days which is quite a relief in the hot, humid weather we’re having at present.

Jeanie and George’s resident House Wren that serenaded us beautifully throughout the day!

Fresh off the easel: I had finished my drawing of a Mountain Lion this past week. It will be exhibited and available for sale during the Western Visions Miniatures and More show at the beautiful National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, WY, later this fall. Wes finished a miniature of a Brown Bobby and also a miniature of an Orchard Oriole, both of which he photographed during our visit to the Sea of Cortez this past spring.

"Brown Booby" by Wes, is 2¾ x 4¾ inches.
"Attentive" a drawing by Rachelle, is 3 x 3 inches.
"Orchard Oriole in Orchid Tree" by Wes, is 4 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches.

As Di Vinci would’ve said . . . Ciao! ~ Rachelle 🙂

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