Last Day in Munich, Germany

I spent my last day in Munich inside the Alte Pinakothek Museum. I love renaissance art, and this place had many of my favorite works.

The Alte Pinakothek houses much of the city’s most famous artwork, this museum’s collection includes renowned international works from the 14th through the 18th centuries.
Got my ticket and a locker to store my stuff.
The day that I was here, the museum was featuring Woman In Blue, a painting by the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. It’s part of the collection of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum and on loan to Munich for 3 months.
The Raphael’s are amazing. On the left is “The Holy Family with Saints Elizabeth and John”,1506. On the right is the “Madonna Tempi”, 1508.
Peter Paul Rubens “The apocalyptic woman”, between 1623 and 1624.
Lots of Peter Paul Rubens.
Johannes Vermeer “Woman in Blue”, 1663–1664.
El Greco “The Disrobing of Christ”, between 1580 and 1595.
Rembrandt “Self Portrait”, 1629.
One of my favorite painters, Parmigianino “Mary with Child”, 1503-1540. This work is so beautiful. I could stare at it all day long.
Raphael “Madonna della tenda”, 1514.
After the museum, I had lunch at Cafe Katzentempel. This kitty’s name is Baloo.
I didn’t catch this kitty’s name…
One more walk through the Marienplatz downtown before getting on my train.
I picked up these cute Oktoberfest souvenirs. I will cherish my time in Munich forever.

Neuschwanstein and Linderhof Castles

Our second day in Germany was reserved for the “Royal Castles” tour of Neuschwanstein and Linderhof castles.

The sight-seeing tour that we took.
One of the stops on our castle tour was in the town of Oberammergau. We stopped here for an hour. I had never heard of this little German town tucked away in the hills of the Bavarian region about an hour south of Munich. It was a little mountainside town that had frescoes painted on the town’s homes and buildings.
Some houses had fairy tales painted on them and some had religious paintings. It was so amazing to spend an hour walking through these little streets.
Today I wore my “Where’s Waldo” outfit that my friend Kelly got me. She said I needed it because I travel so much. I took this picture and posted it on my social media with the caption “Where in the World is Waldo?”
The gardens of the Linderhof castle.
At the entrance of Linderhof castle, waiting for the tour to begin.
Hohenschwangau Castle or “Schloss Hohenschwangau” (Upper Swan County Palace) is a 19th-century palace in southern Germany. It was the childhood residence of King Ludwig II of Bavaria and was built by his father, King Maximilian II of Bavaria. It is located in the German village of Hohenschwangau.
Neuschwanstein Castle (New Swanstone Castle) is a 19th-century Romanesque Revival palace on a hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany. The castle was intended as a home for the king until he died in 1886. It was open to the public shortly after his death.
The castle sits up high in the mountain and there is a bus that brings you up, but it drops you off here and it is still quite a hike to get to the entrance.
Inside the Throne Hall, pictures were not allowed but I was able to sneak this one of the details of the frescoes painted on the walls.
View from the castle of the town below of Füssen (where we had lunch earlier) and behind it; the core of Schwangau in front of the Forggensee reservoir.
A postcard of Oktoberfest that I watercolored for one of my friends in the United States.
Another postcard of Oktoberfest that I watercolored for one of my friends in the United States.
A postcard that I watercolored of Neuschwanstein Castle for my friend Kelly in the United States who got me my “Where’s Waldo?” outfit.

Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany

Today we went to Oktoberfest in Munich! It was wonderful.

The Marienplatz (St. Mary, Our Lady’s Square) is a central square in the city center of Munich, Germany. It has been the city’s main square since 1158. This is a view of the city hall.
View of the Neues Rathaus and Frauenkirche looking west.
View of the Mariensäule, a Marian column located on the Marienplatz in Munich, Germany. Mary is revered here as Patrona Bavariae (Protector of Bavaria). The column is topped by a golden statue of the Virgin Mary standing on a crescent moon as the Queen of Heaven, created in 1590. The Mariensäule in Munich was the first column of this type built north of the Alps and inspired erecting other Marian columns in this part of Europe.
The entrance to Oktoberfest, the world’s largest beer festival, which begins in Munich, Germany, on September 22. A celebration of Bavarian folk traditions, the event is attended yearly by more than 6.2 million tourists from around the world.
There are about 80 rides on the Oktoberfest run by carny families, most of who have been working for the Oktoberfest since the beginning of the 20th century.
Celebrating Oktoberfest with gingerbread hearts. These whimsical hearts are known as “Lebkuchenherz” (German for “gingerbread heart”). A gingerbread heart is a customary accessory for women who wear traditional dirndl dresses to Oktoberfest.
This was our beer tent for Oktoberfest. The Schottenhamel Spatenbrau is one of the most important tents of the Wiesn, as everything starts inside this tent. On the opening day of the Wiesn, at 12 pm on the dot, the mayor of Munich, Dieter Reiter will tap the first keg and call out “O’zapft is!” confirming that the tapping was successful. It is only after this that all other tents may begin to serve beer. The Schottenhamel tent, which in 1867 was just a small beer booth with 50 seats, has become the largest Wiesn tent with 10,000 seats.
Our tickets to enter the tent reservation.
The appetizers at Oktoberfest, every table gets one. We had 2 tables.
Can’t go wrong with a beer and a pretzel. The pretzels are huge.
All beer served at the Oktoberfest tents must be from one of Munich’s six breweries—Paulaner, Spaten, Hacker-Pschorr, Augustiner, Hofbräu, and Löwenbräu. The beer must also follow the Reinheitsgebot. The dinner also comes with roasted chicken and potatoes.
View from the top of the Ferris wheel at Oktoberfest. Each of the tents holds around 10,000 people.
Inside the Paulanergarten tent.
Inside the Hacker-Festzelt tent.
Inside the Hofbrau Festzelt tent.

Last Day in Romania

Spent my last day in Romania walking around the city of Bucharest.

The Capitoline Wolf suckling the twins Romulus and Remus, the famous twin founders of Rome being fed by the wolf that allegedly raised them. The statue was favored by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, who donated copies of the statues to various places around the world
One last walk through the streets of Bucharest to send off my postcards to the United States.
The Saint Spyridon the New Church (Romanian: Sfântul Spiridon Nou) is a Romanian Orthodox church in Bucharest, originally built with gothic influences in 1860.
The entrance to the church.
The altar of the church.
Sending off the watercolored postcards that I created in Romania for my friends back in the United States.

 

Transylvania, Romania

The next day we took a private tour of Transylvania, we wanted to visit both Poenari Fortress and Castle Bran.

Deep in the heart of Transylvania, lies Poenari Fortress. A ruined castle in Romania, which was home to Vlad the Impaler, aka, “Dracula”.
The fortress lies high on top of the Carpathian mountains. It was constructed around the beginning of the 13th century by Wallachians. In the 15th century, realizing the potential for a castle perched high on a steep precipice of rock, Vlad III the Impaler repaired the structure, making it one of his main fortresses. Although the castle was used for many years after Vlad’s death in 1476, it eventually was abandoned again in the first half of the 16th century and was in ruins by the 17th century. A landslide caused by an earthquake brought down parts of the castle which crashed into the river far below. It was slightly repaired and the walls and its towers still stand today.
Access to the citadel is made by climbing the 1,480 concrete stairs. (My legs hurt for a whole week after this climb).
It is said that one day Vlad Țepeș was hunting along the banks of the river and had noticed the ruins of an old castle on top of a cliff on Mount Albina, a cliff surrounded by the Argiș river, and inhabited only by vultures and other birds of prey. He decided that it would be the perfect place for a defensive fortress, so he conceived the design to restore it to its former glory.
Entering the castle ruins, you can wander at will, scrambling over original stones that have held up well over the centuries. Here I am by the door that leads to the “dungeon”.
The views from the top of Poenari are amazing! I shot video footage with my GoPro, as soon as I am able, I will post the footage.
This is Transylvania in Romania. Full of life and everything was so green.
Our tour guide even stopped so that we could buy homemade jam from a Romanian local.
After leaving Poenari Fortress, we made our way to Bran Castle, a national monument and landmark in Romania. The fortress is situated on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia. Commonly known as “Dracula’s Castle” (although it is one among several locations linked to the Dracula legend, including Poenari Castle and Hunyadi Castle), it is often erroneously referred to as the home of the title character in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. There is, however, no evidence that Stoker knew anything about this castle, which has very little associations with Vlad the Impaler, voivode of Wallachia, the putative inspiration for Dracula.
Here I am in a room dedicated to the one and only, Vlad the Impaler.
The castle is so beautiful! It belonged to the Hungarian Kings but due to the failure of King Vladislas II (r. 1471–1516) to repay loans, the city of Brașov regained possession of the fortress in 1533.
Of course, I had to “sneak” in a glass of red wine, like a real vampiress.

Bucharest, Romania

Today we flew out to Bucharest, Romania. We missed our plane so we had to board another flight and were only behind schedule by about 2 hours.

The currency used here is the Romanian Leu. What I noticed was that it was printed on really pretty paper.
Walking through the streets of Bucharest.
Our little quaint hotel, the “Old City Bucharest NF Hotel” right in the heart of a city full of life.
The Rembrandt Hotel on the right, with the Grand Cafe Van Gogh adjacent.
One of the menu designs of the Van Gogh Cafe, of course you know we had to eat here!
The inside of the restaurant is so beautiful.
Van Gogh Cafe.
I ordered a raspberry daiquiri.
This town has tons of Dracula souvenirs and memorabilia.
Here I am with my cousins, walking around checking out the rest of Old Town Bucharest.

Frankfurt, Germany

Started my vacation this year in Frankfurt, Germany. I went with my cousins and our first stop was filled with great food and drinks.

Frankfurt’s “Old Town”, although it was partially destroyed during World War II, it’s been fully reconstructed in the years since, saving many of the original buildings.
Saint Bartholomeus’ Cathedral. This 13th-century church is the site of the coronation of German kings and Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire for centuries. The cathedral is the largest church in Frankfurt and lies on the banks on the River Main.
This is how they do their franks here!
And don’t forget their chicken and potatoes.
I even had a chance to visit one of the local galleries in town. This one had a modern art exhibit.

2018 Ventura Art & Street Painting Festival

I had a great time at last weekend’s Art & Street Painting Festival in Ventura. This year I chalked a mermaid square.

The ground here is really rough, but it adds character to the chalk.
Another angle of my square.
Finished!
A Dole Pineapple Whip float from Coastal Cone is always in order at this event!
After a day of chalking, the beach is always my happy place, and it’s right across the street.

Check out my timelapse here:

To see everyone’s else’s chalk squares, click on my blogspot here.

 

2018 Palo Alto Festival of the Arts

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to chalk a square at the Palo Alto Festival of the Arts. This was my first time here, it was an amazing art festival. I chalked up some donuts for this event.

A photo that was taken of me from above by another chalk artist.
I think these were my biggest fans today. 🙂
My finished chalk square.

Palo Alto timelapse.

2018 Comic Con

I had a great time exhibiting at this year’s Comic-Con in San Diego.

Wakanda Forever! These costumes were awesome.
My table partner this year was Cartoon Flophouse’s Michael Aushenker. We are kind of goofing off in this picture.
With our visitor, Frederick Luis Aldama who is a Professor of English and Distinguished Scholar at The Ohio State University. He teaches courses on Latinx & Latin American culture including literature, film, TV, music, sports, video games, and comic books. He is the author and editor of thirty-four books, including the Eisner Award-winning “Latinx Superheroes in Mainstream Comics.” Of course, this photo was taken approximately 8 or so hours before winning his Eisner Award at the 2018 Comic-Con! Congratulations Profe, we are so proud of you!
The Korean ice cream that I picked up at SomiSomi, San Diego. It’s black sesame & taro swirl with happy toppings. The waffle cone is shaped like a goldfish!
The Grady twins were one of my favorite costumes.
Just for fun, the Tightrope Girl from Disney’s Haunted Mansion.
Black Heroes Matter, the Pink Panther!
The highlight of the convention for me was meeting Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer. (Eric Singer though!)
Before leaving San Diego, I had to stop at the Boba Bar for a fruit “puffle” made with a delicious waffle, pineapple ice cream, fresh fruit and drizzled with honey. The perfect ending to the perfect day.