I left Hong Kong Sunday night 6 hours late due to heavy thunderstorms around the Pearl River basin. The flight to LAX was direct, so at least I didn’t have to make a connection after clearing US immigration or I never would have made it. I am off to the States to spend a week at Disneyland followed by another week in Disney World. It’s my first time to visit these Disneyland since 1971 when I was too young to remember, and 15 years ago when I took my 4 year old son. A lot has changed since then.
I met David C. backstage of the park and had the best 3 days talking about castles, cars and superheros. David is responsible for maintaining the quality of the park and gave me free access to explore and learn about how things are done on this side of the world. So, a very special thanks to him and his team who were so generous with their time. Thank you.
When I wasn’t following the Show Quality team around, I drew pictures. Here they are:
Mt. Hakone is an active volcano at the South end of Mt. Fuji. Steam and Sulphur pour out of small craters at the top. I took a cable car to the top and did a few sketches of Mt. Fuji, ate some blackened eggs cooked in the volcanic steam, then took a very pleasant walk around Hakone Lake.
I arrived in Tokyo a few days back and hopped a bus to the Five Lakes region. Five lakes is at the base of Mt. Fuji on the eastern slope. The weather was spectacular and Fuji was clear as day against a brilliant blue sky. I rented a small paddle boat and drew a picture of the surrounding mountains and one Of Mt. Fuji using my water soluble pen.
Christmas arrived on Main Street, Disneyland soon after Halloween. The trees and decorations look much nicer this year, and the weather has been cool and breezy. Makes me feel at home. I spent an hour after lunch today to go people watching and draw this scene of the Christmas tree.
A few months back I took lunch at the Disney Hotel. After eating a wonderful meal of Peking Duck I took a seat in the main lobby and drew this picture. I thought that it would be a quiet place to rest since it was mid-afternoon, but the Guests kept coming in by the bus load one after the other. I quickly sketched out the scene and gave up my seat to whoever could get to it first.
What can I say: we’ve been absolutely blessed this trip with beautiful weather. Today’s forecast was for thunderstorms and overcast. So I rented a bike and headed out on a 35k ride around the Bodensee Lake near Fussen. About halfway around I stopped to picnic on fresh berries and cheese. I painted this picture of the lake and mountains ad got a decent sunburn.
It was raining and chilly this morning. I didn’t pack my watercolors because the forecast called for thunderstorms. But that didn’t happen. It was a fantastic day with bright blue skies and Big puffy clouds. I sketched this landscape at the top of a nearby mountain top overlooking all of Southern Germany.
When I came down from the mountain I visited Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein Castles. It was very crowded and not all that pleasant. I drew this while waiting for the bus.
Munich is one more spectacular city in Germany. The river was a great spot to rest after sightseeing and I was very happy to find such a cool and shady place to soak my feet.
I finished my drawing and went to eat lunch near the National Theatre.
Today the weather was perfect:lower 20s and Big puffy clouds. My wife and I celebrated 22 years together by renting a couple of bicycles and heading through Regensburg to follow the Danube west into the country. The ride was wonderful; crossing over small bridges and cutting through barley fields. I did a quick painting of sunflowers and later stopped at a small dock to paint a chapel on the other side of the river. Wedding bells rang out while I sketched. We have something in common with the newlyweds and wish them a happy 22 years together, too.