Sunday, December 4, 2016

Studio View of Lake Couchiching, Orillia

I thought you might appreciate Doug's studio view of Lake Couchiching, Orillia (5 p.m. Saturday, December 3rd)

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Doug Sneyd News Cartoons: Holiday Humor

For nearly 20 years, starting in the mid-1960s, Doug Sneyd - a single-panel, "timely and topical" news cartoon - was published daily in newspapers throughout North America.  

The economy, politics, business were the main focus of Doug's news cartoons, but during the holidays, he also enjoyed interjecting humor into his work.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Porto Venere and Cinque Terre

The day started with a stop in Porto Venere, a gateway to the 5 picturesque villages of Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (listed in 1997) as well as a national park and protected marine area.

Doug went on the steep walk through the Town Gate and Tower (on the far left).  I stayed in the historic city centre and had a coffee.

The War Memorial was opposite the entrance to the Town Gate and Tower.

It was another beautiful day as we left the harbour at Porto Venere.

After leaving Porto Venere, the tour boat passed by Castello Doria.

The first village we viewed was Riomaggiore. (Somehow I missed taking a photo of Manarola.)

We also passed by Corniglia.

Our tour boat stopped at Vernazza; we had a fun, leisurely lunch with friends from Australia.

Our tour of 2 of the 5 Cinque Terre villages ended at Monterosso, pleasant but not as interesting as Porto Venere or Vernazza.

"Arrivederci, Italy!!!"

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Italian Riviera: Santa Margherita and Portofino

After spending the morning in Genoa (birthplace of Columbus), we checked into the Lido Palace Hotel (overlooking the promenade) in the seaside resort of Santa Margherita.

I took this photo while waiting to board the boat taking us on a cruise to Portofino . . .

Within minutes of leaving the harbour, the sky threatened rain . . .

However, as the boat neared Portofino, the front cleared and we enjoyed a lovely visit.

I was amazed at how small the harbour was in Portofino.

Mega yachts were docked side-by-side with small fishing boats and dinghies for sailing.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Gardens of Villa Taranto of Lake Maggiore

Our beautiful weather continued with a morning visit to the Gardens of Villa Taranto on Lake Maggiore.

The 40-acre park - started in 1931 by Captain Neil Mc Eacharn's botanic passion - features azalea, rhododendron and camellia avenues, rare lilies and 300 varieties of dahlias.

As we walked closer to the fountain, Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" was playing in the background - perfect!!!

After we left the dahlia beds, we walked up to the greenhouse and were amazed to see "monster" water lilies.

Victoria Cruziana (Santa Cruz water lily) inhabit the upper reaches of the Amazon; the lily pads, with a thick rim, can measure up to 7 feet.

Although neither of us have a "green thumb" for gardening, it was a delightful morning!

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Milan: Castello Sforza Museum, La Scala, Duomo Milan and Galleria

Doug and I had a very busy day in Milan - both the financial capital of Italy and the design capital of the world.

Castello Sforza Musem

Fashion Week was scheduled to start in a few days so many of the major sites, including the Castello Sforza Museum, had been rented for parties and designer fashion shows.

La Scala Theatre/Opera House

The 2016-2017 opera season opens December 7th with Puccini's Madame Butterfly

Duomo Milan

The largest church in Italy and the fifth largest in the world; the Gothic cathedral took nearly 6 centuries to complete.


One of the world's oldest shopping malls - designed in 1861 and officially opened mid-September 1867 - was developed in the historic area between the Duomo and La Scala; it's sometimes called "the living room" of Milan.

We enjoyed a late lunch at Biffi, located on the main arcade entrance nearest to the Duomo.

The 2 iron and glass covered walkways meet at a central piazza below a 154-foot glass dome.

Outside the main arcade entrance nearest to La Scala, there's a small park (Piazza della Scala) with a statue of Leonardo da Vinci, who for many years lived and worked in Milan.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)