Visiting Wes’ Parents!
by Rachelle Siegrist
We enjoyed a lovely visit with Wes’ parents in southern Indiana this past week. Monday, his brother Tony and wife Karen joined Wes’ parents and I, as we headed to the Louisville Zoo for the day. Blessed with beautiful spring weather, the animals were out enjoying the plentiful sunshine, creating great photos-ops for future paintings!
A highlight of our visit was watching the hilarious antics of the Meerkats, as they lounged about, propped up against one another, whilst enjoying the warmth of the sun. The occasional jet flying overhead, caused them all to stop and look up into the sky each time, watching as the strange, large bird flew above! As soon as the coast was clear it was back to the normal business of lounging about and playing. Mesmerized and totally absorbed in their little world, I could’ve stayed there watching these adorable mammals for hours!
Another highlight was getting to see the new baby gorilla Kindi and we arrived just in time to watch the keeper feed her, with her tiny fingers accepting the wee bits of food offered to her, as well as her surrogate mother sitting right beside her. She was adorable, and like numerous other times, I longed to be able to hold her! We spent the remainder of the day slowly wandering throughout the zoo admiring the amazing residents, as well as the numerous flowering trees, shrubs and flowers.
That evening we attended a concert at the Bird Recital Hall, featuring the University of Louisville’s String Chamber Ensemble. It was a delightful evening, as the stringed instruments lulled us into a state of relaxation. Three musicians playing cellos as well as a pianist, walked onto stage and began playing David Popper’s Requiem, Op. 66 and as they did, their bows coaxed a most soothing hum from the beautiful stringed instruments. The piano joined in and the audience was spellbound, as the melodious sound filled the air of the intimate recital hall. Once the very last notes drifted softly off into thin air, the crowd applauded with great enthusiasm!
Several more songs were performed, and I was instantly transported to another time and place, one consisting of lush green pastures and peaceful still waters, as four talented musicians, playing violins, a viola and a cello began playing Giacometti Puccini’s Crisantemi, an absolute favorite of mine! One cannot help but to be lulled into a state of utter peace when listening to this beautiful piece of music! The concert ended and the attendees left wearing smiles!
Wes and his parents by Cake Rock, at the top of lots of stairs, and looking out at Clifty Falls
The next day was spent exploring Clifty Falls State Park, starting with of course a short hike to the falls. First we saw Little Clifty and while hiking over to Big Clifty, we passed cake rock, which looks like a HUGE piece of cake. While passing the big wedge shaped rock, I imagined that it must be surely be chocolate cake and of course piled high with frosting! Upon descending multiple stairs, many ones made of old stone, we reached the lookout for Big Clifty, and it too was beautiful, as the water poured over the edges of the multiple stacked long flat rocks.
Tunnel Falls, me on a staircase, and the top of the falls
That evening we enjoyed a delicious and fun dinner at the Key West Shrimp House in downtown Madison, Indiana. Upon entering I immediately recognized the smell, one of an old building, mixed with seafood, and was instantly reminded of visits to restaurants in the Florida Keys and other Florida coastal regions while growing up! We were seated by a large window offering a lovely view of the Ohio River, and the food was delicious to boot. Happily they shared the secret to their melt in your mouth hushpuppies . . . cake mix added to the hush puppy batter! It was a lovely drive through the countryside on the return trip that evening, as the golden light of the setting sun set the yellow flower-filled fields ablaze!
Fields of gold, The Key West Shrimp House and can you say Yum???
Thursday morning it was time for goodbyes, as we started our journey back to the Smokies. Now it’s back to work in the studio once again!
~ Fresh off the Easels ~
While I’m continuing to paint on my commission featuring a UTV with four furry passengers, Wes finished another commission this past week, of an Atlantic Puffin for one of our collectors, who had adopted the puffin named Indiana. If you too would like to join in with helping to save our precious puffins visit their website to learn more at Audubon Project Puffin.
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Until next time . . .