James & Dad Greet the East for an Art Adventure

 Friday, July 27, 2012

Sorry it has been a while since my last post! I have been very busy with my anatomy class this summer and I have 3 tests to go but only 1 week left! Meanwhile James was able to join my dad on a fun trip out East to visit some art museums. For those who read our blog and don't already know, my wonderful dad is an amazing artist by profession. His main passion is illustration, but he has also done a lot of murals for homes & businesses, done some artwork for the Ensign/Friend/New Era/Liahona magazines, & he used to illustrate the newer Curious George books! He is currently working on writing and illustrating a book about Greek deep sea sponge diving and illustrating some science fiction book covers. View his awesome website www.FakkelArt.com
This is one of the many amazing murals that Dad did. He really enjoyed painting this underwater scene.
This is me & a missionary posing for my dad as reference for when he painted this for the December 2007 issue of the Ensign. He uses me & my family members a lot as reference for his church magazine paintings.
I happen to be in this book. Dad drew me, Peter, Chandler as a baby, Mom, himself, and his coworkers in some of the movie theater seats watching the movie that George watches. This is also the book that James and my Dad found in a New York bookshop and bought for me as a souvenir. So sweet!

Back to the Trip:
James left for Hartford Connecticut on Sunday night...this was our first time spending days & nights apart as a married couple & I was sad to see him go but excited for him & my dad to have an awesome time out East. He arrived super early Monday morning and met up with my Dad to drive to Stockbridge, Massachusetts. They went to the Norman Rockwell Museum where they viewed artwork by Norman Rockwell and Howard Pyle. James was familiar with Rockwell and really enjoyed his time there and of course Dad loved the whole experience. 

It was sunny when they went inside the museum.............and raining when they walked out of the museum.
Although many people are familiar with Norman Rockwell, artists know Howard Pyle as the Father of American Illustration. Here is my talented artist of a father soaking in a painting by Pyle titled 
"An Attack on a Galleon". 
p.s. pictures of paintings don't do them justice....at all.
                 Scribner's "A Pastoral Without Words"                         "Before the Shot"
                                artist: Howard Pyle                                   artist: Norman Rockwell
                                    Dad's Favorite                                             James' Favorite

James wants to buy "Before the Shot" and hang it in our bathroom. Oh Doctor to Be. I love my hubby. I will agree to this wish :)
This is Norman Rockwell's actual art studio. There was also a Coke bottle out on display because apparently he loved to drink Coca Cola! 
James & Dad stopped for lunch at Once Upon a Table Restaurant.
James tried New England clam chowder for the first time and says, "this is the best clam chowder in the world!" Dad agrees.
Next stop: New York City! The next day they took the train into Manhattan & went to the Society of Illustrators Museum in New York City. It was really cool for Dad because after going through exhibits & admiring the work of Stanley Meltzoff & David Grove and other artists, the artist Eric Fowler shared some special paintings in the storage area of the museum, not normally on display. Dad got to hold a few Bernie Fuchs paintings and he was stoked! Here's a picture of him admiring Fuchs' "The Walking Circle".
Here are some amazing paintings by Stanley Meltzoff that James took pictures of. Love the fish!
After a while, James went for a walk around New York City, mostly in Central Park!
 Random church
 Love the arch of trees in Central Park
 Love the Bethesda Fountain! Reminds me of the movie Enchanted.
 Handsome man with the fountain! 
NYC Skyline
Anyone remember the movie Balto as a kid? Peter and I would watch this movie ALL the time and LOVED Balto. I even had a beanie baby that looked like him (Nanook) and I pretended he was Balto. 
Balto + Jenna forever
Wondering why I'm randomly mentioning Balto? Because the statue of the REAL Balto the Alaskan sled-dog/wolf is in Central Park! James so graciously took a picture for me.
It says: Dedicated to the indomitable spirit of the sled dogs that relayed antitoxin six hundred miles over rough ice across the treacherous waters through arctic blizzards from Nenana to the relief of stricken Nome in the winter of 1925. Endurance, Fidelity, Intelligence.
Aw yay Balto!
Here are some other pictures James took of the city:
 Awesome Graffiti on the side of a truck that Chan will love!
 Sherman monument near Central Park
 Louis Vuitton 
 The original Tiffany's in New York City! 
Pretty church/building undergoing construction
 Radio City Music Hall
 Chicago on Broadway
James in Times Square!
Dinner at Don Antonio by Starita Original Neopolitan Pizza, NYC!
Capriccioca pizza: tomato sauce, artichokes, mushrooms, Italian cooked ham, homemade mozzarella, pecorino romano, basil, and extra virgin olive oil. Yum!  
Ricotta e Noci pizza: cream of walnut, fresh ricotta, homemade mozzarella, pecorino romano, basil, and extra virgin olive oil. 
James said these 10" pizzas were the most fresh, healthy tasting pizza he's ever eaten. He said it was to die for & that they finished their pizzas and were totally satisfied, not stuffed, and there was zero grease! They completely loved the experience.
The boys took the train back to the hotel and stayed the night. The next day they traveled to Allentown, Pennsylvania where they toured the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley. Unfortunately they were not able to take any pictures of the paintings. The exhibit there was called At the Edge: Art of the Fantastic. It was mostly science fiction & fantasy paintings, which was especially great for Dad because 1) he loves science fiction & fantasy, and 2) it was a great inspiration for him for the book covers he is working on. Here are some pictures they took of the drive.
Yep they're in Pennsylvania for sure! Pretty greenery & red barn. 
 Handsome Dad!
Hot Hubby!
On the way back to Conneticut they stopped in New Jersey at The Jefferson Diner featured on the food channel's show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives! The menu is quite extensive & the food is excellently delish according to the boys. 
 The Jefferson Diner, Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey
 Love this picture of the two of them together on this memorable trip!
 Dad indulged by eating the Pastrami Sloppy Joe: Grilled Swiss on Rye smothered with Cole Slaw, Russian dressing, and grilled Pastrami. 
James at the Cool Hand "Duke" Burger: Hand rolled seasoned and pressed fresh Certified Angus Beef. 
Seared, capped and steamed to lock in its natural juices! 
Served on a toasted bun with melted American Cheese. Add BACON! Served 
with Criss cut Waffle Fries.
They ended the night with the deliciously scrumptious Mississippi Mud Cheesecake.
James LOVED seeing the East coast. He's so excited to go back with me so I can relive my childhood memories from living in Boston for 9 years and of course seeing the tourist attractions in New York City because I have never been...yet! He also loved keeping Dad company and bonding with him. He thoroughly enjoyed learning more about art and getting to know Dad better. I'm sure Dad loved having James along too! I'm so glad they are both home safe and sound though. I sure missed my James! Glad to have him home to cuddle with! I love you James! 
Dad-you are an amazing dad and artist. Miss you lots! I love you!
 Love, Chels. 


Happy Fourth!

 Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Our Fourth of July was spectacular!
Oh and shout-out to my awesome sister in-law Danielle...Happy Birthday on the 4th!
 James flipped about 400 pancakes for the ward pancake breakfast
 Pancake breakfast at the park...love the red, white, & blue colors in the background too!
 Ward Buddies~Than & Jake
 I made these 4th of July Firecracker Cookies yum!

Barbecue with friends on an overcast day! (Thank goodness for the little bit of rain we got! What a blessing to go from 110 degree weather to 77 degree weather for the holiday!) 
Boys at the Diamondbacks Baseball Game 
Claire also provided some cute entertainment for us 
Look at those gorgeous blue eyes! 
Haha cute boys 
"Buy me some peanuts & crackerjack!" I brought our own boxes of crackerjack from home for everyone.
 Cute little stinker face!
The girls: Me, Ixchel, Whitney & baby Claire 
4th of July Diamondbacks shirts (random person sitting in front of us) 
Go Diamondbacks! 
The All-American game of BASEBALL! 
Hot dogs are a MUST. 
Than & Ixchel (baby Rex was at home) 
The Batty's! Look how cute Whitney & Trevor match & Claire's headband! 
The baseball game: Diamondbacks sadly lost to the San Diego Padres 8-6.
Happy Fourth of July babe! 
James goes, "So even though it's a bank holiday for you Chels you're still going to work today!" Haha yeah at Chase field but I'm not working & I still get paid! LOVE working at a bank.
The firework show at the end was amazing!  
Music was playing & the fireworks matched the music!  
My favorite was God Bless America because Ixchel & I were singing our hearts out! 

We are so blessed to live in this amazing free country! We are so glad we had an amazing fun filled 4th of July holiday with our good friends. 
A little video of us singing Take Me Out to the Ball Game with the crowd!


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