Last month we spent a beautiful week in Dana Point, California, at a Four Sisters Inn called The Blue Lantern Inn. The Blue Lantern is on the coast and offers an awesome view of a harbor and the ocean. With my trusty watercolor sketchbook, Derwent Inktense pencils, and travel watercolor kit in tow, I tried to create a little something each day, kind of like a visual diary of the trip; I think I ended up with about eight paintings in all. Here are some of the highlights.
This is a dapper gentleman I saw at the airport. I know artists do this all the time, but I still feel a little creepy drawing strangers. Hopefully he would be pleased.
Flowers and trees of almost every variety grow easily in California, and it was not unusual to see these beauties growing in gardens, fields, or even along the road. My favorite place was beautiful Catalina Island where we explored the island in a rented golf cart and ate lunch at Mt. Ada while overlooking the harbor.
We toured a few of the wineries of the Temecula Valley region on a beautiful, sunny day. Doffo was decked out for autumn and their wines were wonderfully full bodied. We also visited Hart Winery and Vindemia, a quiet boutique winery tucked on the side of a hill. Vindemia was our favorite because the wines were good, and there was a cozy sitting area where we enjoyed a leisure picnic lunch and a bottle of red called “More Cowbell.”
A stop at the Mission at San Juan Capistrano revealed beautiful gardens, chapels, fountains, and other structures built in the late 1700s. The legendary swallows were gone but some of their mud nests were still there under the eaves.
Tours By Locals drove us throughout LA to all the usual highlights of the Hollywood sign, stars’ homes, the TCL Chinese Theater, Walk of Fame, etc. We also spent a few days in San Diego which offers second-to-none scenery along the coast, gorgeous weather, and fun eateries.
Needless to say, the week flew by and I am now back in my usual routine, but leafing through my sketchbook reminds me how grateful I am to have taken such an awesome trip.