Thursday, September 6, 2007


"An artist is a dreamer consenting to dream of the actual world." - Santayana

WELCOME BACK TO THE CARIBBEAN! WELCOME TO ANTIGUA! A real world! A real paradise! Antigua is another attractive island, colonized by the British. It is steeped in the graciousness of British tradition. When cruising Antigua, it is like wandering out from an antractive painting. You will see many English descendants who are"mestizas" (mixed women) and "mestizos" (mixed men). They are not milky-white but have beautifully browned or light-ebony complexion. Very colorful people, living in artistically vibrant landscape. The landscape is made up of rolling yellow and green hills and the sweeping curves of bays and inlets. Although Antigua is a former colony of Britain, our "guest artist" for this island tour is a famous French impressionist artist.
PIERRE AUGUSTE RENOIR He was one of the French impressionist artists. He was known for his paintings of women, young girls and children and intimate portraits of French middle-class life. He became famous for his luminous colors and cheerful scenes of everyday life. In such work as the above painting, " Luncheon of the Boating Party" he portrayed a cheerful group of people at an informal moment. I actually saw the amazing original painting at the Phillip's Museum in Washington D.C. (U.S.A.). I love this painting because it's a lively scene on a boat. At this trip, this scene could be replayed on a cruise ship, where we had many cheerful luncheon and dinner. "Bon Appetit!"
A...........................APPEALING, ABSORBING
N...........................NOTICEABLE, NOVELTY
T...........................TERRIFIC, TERRIBLE
G...........................GORGEOUS, GEM
A...........................ADVENTURESOME, ARTFUL
APPEALING AND ABSORBING. Not boring! Take time to smell the sea. Where do you go to relax? Usually I go to the sea. I love soaking in all the colors and find the combination of the elements to be very relaxing -the sea, sand, salt, sky and sea breeze. Spending time in the ocean - swimming, wading or just simply floating and letting the waves gently rock me is blissful. I also love having my feet in the sand and walking along the white-sand beach. The sea restores my creative spirit.
NOTICEABLE The island of Antigua is worth noticing despite of its small size. It's not as grand as this spectacular 113,000 tons "Crown Princess" cruise ship. Sometimes the best gifts come in small packages, so are the many nice island sights. The simplest sights will make your hearts dance with Caribbean beat.
NOVELTY Means-something unusual. What's unusual about the island of Antigua? It's alluring! Why does it have more allure than other islands? Are you curious to know why? Antigua has been known for its 365 beaches - as legend has it, one for every day of the year. Since we were here for only a day, we visited just one beach. But visiting Antigua is so much more. It's allure lies in its simplicity.
TERRIFIC TOUR! We boarded the customized 4WD Land Rover, and started in a caravan for the island's remote south-west interior. Ready for a rough ride around the island? Everything is blown away here with open car windows. Too windy. Hats will fly away. A scarf is safer. What really took our breaths away? The stunning beauty and lushness of the rolling landscape and island from Martin's Hill.
TERRIBLE RIDE! Today, we're obsessed with speed. We want the quick fix, the short cut, on-the-spot solutions. Don't get in a hurry! Growth is sometimes a tedious work. Why does it takes so long? Someone said, "When God wants to make a mushroom, He does it overnight. But when He wants to make a giant oak tree, He takes a hundred years." So take your time and look at the big tree on this photo. Notice the color? In this island itself it had more shades of green than you could ever find in a box of crayons.
INTERESTING BEACH BOUTIQUE Hey, this is Caribbean style! I'm inspired by so many things ......the way a piece of colorful scarves looks on a hanging rope, the way a huge conch shells are displayed on a a white-sand beach. I bought a huge conch shell for only $5.00. What a bargain for shell collector like me! INTERESTING What excites us or moves us to tears? For me, a row of colorful Caribbean scarves and cover-alls. Such creation reflected the Caribbean artistic minds and spirits.
GORGEOUS CROWN PRINCESS WITH CARIBBEAN BLUE SKY Emerson called the sky- "The daily bread bread of the soul." We should not be too focused on the future to enjoy the present. " GEM-LIKE CROWN PRINCESS AND THE CARIBBEAN BLUE SKY Several times when I was feeling down by the daily frustrations of many life problems, the climb up this gorgeous cruise ship and the ocean view restored my creative spirit.
UNUSUAL BEACH SHOP IN PARADISE The beach! Where is the beach? Turner's Beach, is one of the 365 beaches we visited in Antigua. What a simple but soothing sight! Colorful umbrella, huge conch shells and irresistible fresh green coconuts. I bought one fresh coconut for $3.50. Pricey???? Hey, this is the Southern Caribbean. This is not a cheap place. When will I have another chance to drink fresh coconut juice and eat the white coconut meat in on the beach? I might not be be able to come back here. I think it's worth the splurge. No regret.
ADVENTURESOME Venturing into an Australian ice cream parlor is worth peeking. Found this cottage- ice cream parlor near the port. It's a unique experience to taste Australian home-made ice-cream in the Caribbean. Again, it's a pricey indulgence, but the ice-cream is worth trying.
ARTFUL BOUTIQUES AND SHOPS IN THE PORT. There are many colorful and artistically crafted souvenirs. Lots of good buys. I bought wooden hand crafted book marks carved with bird design, shell-stringed bracelets, hand made cell phone cases, etc. Handcrafted objects take time to make. So those are the stuffs that captivated me to buy. As an artist, I know how much time crafters and artisans had lavished on their creations.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Chef's are artist too in different way. They cook with their hearts and hands and present their food in artistic way. One day, someone asked a famous Caribbean chef, "What is the secret to a good paella?" The chef said, 'To develop flavor, "Real Slow." There's no rush." How true! In real life he have to learn the art of taking the time to slow down.
That's the secret to adding creative flavor to your ordinary life.