Returning From Holiday

There is nothing that can compare to a beautiful vacation aboard a cruise ship.  Sailing has always been my preferred method of travel.  In fact, I have not even been on a plane in over 30 years. If I had my druthers, I would live on a yacht as opposed to being on land. There is something so tranquil and calming that the ebb and flow the ocean provides. It can rock me to sleep like a mother gently rocking a cradle.  The beautiful salt air from the sea soothes my soul. It would seem for me, the roughest days I have experienced at sea were still more relaxing than the calmest of days on land.  Let me not forget to mention the glorious sunrises and sunsets at sea.  The horizon unfiltered by the congestion of buildings and clutter of man….simply stunning.

sunset at sea

Granted, planning a vacation at sea can be a bit nerve wrecking at times. Especially when hurricanes are involved. Last year’s hurricanes devastated many of the ports which cruise lines frequent.  Several of our cruise ports were shifted.  For me, this is honestly not a matter; I feel worse for those who have suffered living at the regions affected, and find it incredibly selfish when those who are vacationing complain about not being able to travel to these destinations.  A vacation is a vacation, regardless of where you go. This was the second time I had a plan to visit San Juan, Puerto Rico that was altered due to a hurricane.  The last time was in ’98. Eventually,  I will visit Puerto Rico.  In the interim, however, I am praying for those who live there and the horror they have experienced after the devastating effects of the 2017 hurricane season.  And to the passengers who insist on complaining,  I offer you this; imagine, for a moment,  that you were on the ship during the hurricane.  Redirection of ports is not that horrible, it is inevitable.  Nature happens.

wreckage

In all of my years of cruising, and there are many, I must say NCL is by far the best cruise line I have ever been blessed to sail on.  They have, what I believe to be, the friendliest and most talented of staff. NCL’s crew always make us feel like family.  Being an OCD neat freak, I must add that NCL is also the cleanest line.  A spec of dust cannot be found! NCL has become our preferred choice for sailing for 14 years now. I cannot recommend them enough to anyone who is considering a vacation at sea.  I realize have had been a little bit annoyed at times with the experience as a Latitudes member, (example is our cruise this past Thanksgiving, article click  here)  however, overall no other line comes even close to the wonderful vacationing experience NCL provides.

ncl

Now, some may say my daughter is pampered.  I mean, how many 14 year olds can tout that they have taken fourteen 7-14 day cruises in their life time? We have incorporated these cruises into Kira’s home school lessons, however! Each port has a rich history.  Even the ship provides education.  We loved Kira’s questioning the knots to miles conversion! There is a learning opportunity everywhere you look.

 

horses aruba

aruba horses2From the significance of Horses in Aruba………

 

truman key west

the impact Truman had on Key West, Florida….

cayman

to the relations of the United States of America and The Cayman Islands!

cayman 2

Not to say that we did not manage to have a little bit of fun amidst Kira’s cultural/historical and artistic educational experience.  After all, the entire point behind this specific holiday was the celebration of our little girl turning 14!!!

bday decor

kira bday cake

And NCL helped us by having our cabin fully decorated with cake ready when we first arrived!!

We had a glorious 11 days at sea in celebration of Kira’s turning 14.  The only down side was we are all sick now.  Evidently, someone on board (actually several someones) were ill.  Upon our arrival to land, we all fell ill.  Kira’s fever finally broke at 102.4 the other late evening/early morning.  I, myself, have been in bed non-stop. We feel a bit miserable, but it is quite worth our epic adventure.  After all, without the bad, how can you truly appreciate the good?? I finally felt able to move to my computer and try to post. I have managed to fall quite behind on things in my illness stupor!

There is a big artistic significance behind this vacation as well.  I will for now, however, leave that for a separate post.

 

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Happy New Year

New Year 2018

Happy New Year!!!

Wishing you all good health, happiness, and love throughout this new year.

We are beginning our final review of 8th grade and beginning 9th grade here.  Someone please tell me how that is possible. How is my baby turning 14? I swear to you, she was just born.

Kira has been studying hard for her final exams.  Presently she is right proud about her B+ average, as am I.

We look forward to the wonderment that the forthcoming  high school curriculum provides. Although I must admit, it seems scary to even think my little girl is starting high school and beginning college prep.

Amidst Kira’s final testing and preparing for high school, I am illustrating a few children’s books and negotiating possible work on illustrating a young adult story.  We are also leaving the country for a bit to celebrate Kira’s birthday.

It is extremely hectic here now.

I look forward to sharing our year with you throughout 2018.

Happy Educating!

Joys Of The Season

As this year is coming to a close, I wanted to wish you all a very safe and happy new year.  I pray that 2018 brings you all health and happiness!

Ferie TraditionerChristmas

Peace On Earth

Peace On Earth

Wishing everyone a very blessed holiday season.

We have our tree and have for about a week or so now…it is still not decorated.  It seems things are so busy we forget to take care of ourselves first!

Remember to stop, sit and enjoy the holidays amidst the hustle and bustle!!!

I have managed to eek out this quick drawing.  It is not as detailed as I envisioned it, however, time seems to escape me lately.

I am hoping to finish our decorating today and take our Christmas family photographs.  I also have a few cards and packages to mail….and yes, a few more gifts to buy.  It would seem each year I get things done later.

I hope you all have a beautiful holiday no matter what or how you celebrate!

Joyeux Noel

I have just sent out my first ever subscription email to my followers! It is such an honor to have people who do not even know me actually subscribe to me! If you would like to join in you can subscribe via the contact page on my website.
http://www.alysathena.com/

On The Other Side

moth girlI know I have been rather quiet lately……… moth girlBut I have been working hard behind the scenes. leafy dragon girlAmidst the chaos that this time of the year brings, I have managed to eek out some art.  Here are just a few.  I hope everyone had an awesome Halloween and Thanksgiving!  Hard to believe Christmas is right around the corner! 

Ooooooh, It’s Halloween Officially Available

halloween now avail

I have received and approved the proof copies from the printer and Ooooooh, It’s Halloween is now officially available!!!!

I have truly enjoyed working on this, my third, endeavor with the delightful Barbara Poor!

From illustrating the interior of this full color 40 page children’s book, creating the cover, editing and formatting, creating all advertisements to creating the book trailer, this has been an absolute adventure.  It is always a delight to work with Barbara Poor.

On the heels of our two other collaborations,  The Girl With The Curly Red Hair , and My Trip To The Library , Ooooooh, It’s Halloween follows the ginger headed, freckled cutie on a colorful journey through a parade of the delights and frights of costume choices available on Halloween.

It is always an epic delight for me to illustrate for the imaginative and creative Barbara Poor. Her words instantly conger colorful images in my mind and inspire me to draw. I look forward to many more collaborations in our future!

To see more of my work, please visit my website at: http://www.alysathena.com/