Category Archives: Travel Sketches

Family Reunion and Mini-Vacation

For the first time in over 25 years, my mother’s family had a reunion. I love my family and we always have great fun together. I’m very fortunate that so many live within 2-3 hours from San Francisco. But I don’t see the rest of the gang much at all.

So, I was excited that our family was getting together in Monterey, CA, only 3 hours from us. I designed the t-shirt and helped with some other details. Pictured below: My great grandmother, Bertha Soloveichik Tumpson and Albert Joseph Tumpson.

I_survived_the_Reunion_webWe drove down on Friday and ran into traffic in Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz, of course. It’s still so beautiful on the coast. We were blessed with incredible weather, sunshine and not too much wind.

The incredible Janet Takahashi taught me to sketch when I’m a passenger in the car. This is a great distraction when traffic is heavy. Even if the work is rough, it’s fun!

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The reunion was cousins galore! I caught a few:

The answer is, “At the Louvre.”

Following the big event, we got some needed R & R on the Central Coast in lovely Cayucos, north of Morro Bay.

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We caught some FUN waves.

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And on our second day, visited Morro Bay.

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The sign says, “Death from Drowning happens once in a lifetime. Undertow of surf can make return to shore impossible.” The waves were churning and there around 30 surfers were catching rides.

The rock itself is impressive and beautiful. On the other side of the spit, there were two dozen otters lazing in the water. Not shown here are the towering smokestacks of the power plant; an odd imposition on an otherwise picturesque location.

Back in Cayucos, we assumed the position.

Mitch

Sad to end our wonderful mini-vacation, I could only muster a weird doodle in the car.

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Travel to PA/NJ/NY in December

I can get really bored on a 5 hour plane ride. Especially when we have an extra 1.5 hours to stop to refuel (in beautiful Salt Lake City). Started these pen and inks at the Museum of Natural History in NY and at the Metropolitan. Painted them on the plane. I got a little carried away but it was fun.

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Yo

It’s actually New Year’s Day. Good day to launch a new web site.

Just for yucks, I’m using an old image from travels in Costa Rica–over ten years ago. Whew! I remember that town Tarcoles. It was pretty scrappy.

Today we are enjoying our leisure in gray, wet San Fran. Haven’t seen much of the sun this week but have enjoyed our staycation, nonetheless.

Perugia and Roma Sept. 2008


I only wrote on the first and last days of this trip. The rest of the time was spent sketching. Here are some snippets, for what they’re worth…

3 Settembre
We didn’t sleep on the long flight to Roma. Had no trouble finding Mom and Dad at the terminal. The waiting there was hard. We had 6 rollie bags between the 4 of us and were bumbling around looking for a good lunch place to hang out in. I bought water and was sort changed by 5 Euros which was par for being fresh of the plane, I guess.

Mitch was chomping at the bit to find the bus stop and rightly so—we thought it was on one end of the terminal but ended up running around asking people where the Sulga bus stopped. Across the street, down the block to a motley bunch of vehicles.
A nice drive through Roma and the countryside—though very hot in the stationi. When we stopped at a little closed gas station, Dad got out to find a WC and we ended up waiting for him… I could just imagine a scenario of the bus taking off and leaving him behind in the boonies—just like that movie “Bread and Tulips.”

Dropped in Perugia and one taxi ride later, we were here at our lovely apartment woohoo!

What a cool town and nice place we’re staying at. Nicola is a nice guy with a hairline like this.

The house is split level—all up and down sepia brown tiled floors throughout and nicely appointed. The first floor, with that archway is really a built out garage. It’s musty and cool and would be nice if it weren’t so smelly. Then up two flights of stairs to the mail room—2 windows, bright, lovely! A comfortable room to hang out in. Another flight up is the kitchen which is certainly bigger than ours in SF, with a small table and all the fixins. There are nice windows throughout with delightful views of the medieval buildings around us. The bathroom with big tub (ours) and the master suite (with a great closet and private bath) are on the next story. Then another short story up is the smaller bedroom which is a bit of a challenge size-wise. The beds are hard thought not bad. One side is a little difficult to get in and out of due to an elevated “side” of the bed. But the view from our little window is lovely at night—tops of the medieval buildings aglow in street lights. Mysterioso.

Lots of activity in the courtyard at night. Some guys playing music (Mitch says they were trying to learn a Pink Floyd song), People talking…

We walked up the narrow vias to Corso Vanucci where all the outside cafes are. Kinda like those at the Zocalo in Oaxaca. On our way up, we passed some small barking dogs and their owner, who walked out of his doorway to quiet them He was quite the sight. Long, white hair and beard, pink stretch pants, big, bare feet. Holding a bunch of grapes away from his body like they were a dead fish.

We had what was probably the worst meal you can get in Italy. Pre-fab canned food for dinner (20 Euros/couple which is around $32) Now we know where NOT to go.

7 Settembre
The days hove flown! This town is so cool! We have been exploring and eating and there’s still more to explore. Sheesh! It’s our last day. We’ve been running around drawing and painting arches all over th city. Mom is really prolific! She’s done many paintings and uses a shorthand that I wish I could do. I’m learning.. It’s been so much fun! Great food. Pasta with chicken liver sauce, incredible homemade tortellini with pumpkin and such,. Wow. And great wine. At Caesarino, the waiter charged us 8 Euro for ½ bottle the first night and 6 Euro for ¾ bottle on the second.

Wonderful arches and incredible views.

I painted this in Roma from our favorite café while drinking rich cappuccino.

Rome kicked our butts. Hot, very touristy, and incredible We had a great time, though. Went on a pizza stroll around the area surrounding the Vatican. My favorite pizza had pepperoncini on it. We found one bakery with the best canoli in the World. I could live on canoli and cappucinos.