Nicollet Island on the Mississippi River (Travel), Mpls. MN USA

Nicollet Island is a tiny little island in Minneapolis on the Mississippi River. Home to private houses built on public park land, charming inns and venues in old industrial buildings, a huge iconic neon beer sign, and nature paths through wooded shorelines, it is a treasure to be explored! Find out more in this blog!

9/11 – New York City Remembered

9/11…New York City…Both conjure up strong memories in my mind and emotions in my heart. As scenes of the horrors of 9/11 have been reviewed on this 20th anniversary, I flash back to memories of my personal times in NYC. As a young woman – I lived and worked in Manhattan. Years later, as a tour leader – I led groups of students to explore this great city. In this blog, I revisit and remember this city and reflect on its great resiliency.

Novel Discussion – Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

Novel Discussion: Racism, Prejudice, Discrimination: constant themes permeating our media today. This past year, many of us have been hiding in isolation in our own homes to prevent the invasion of a deadly enemy. This blog discusses the original book “The Diary of Anne Frank” and looks at why her message is still important to us today.

Film Discussion: The King’s Speech (England)

“The King’s Speech” is in line with our renewed obsession with the British Royal Family after the recent bombshell interview of Meghan and Prince Harry with Oprah. Runaway Royals and Loyal Spouses are 2 recurring themes in both the film and the interview. Themes of hope and perseverance in challenging times will encourage us all. Enjoy my film discussion of an inspiring movie!

Film Discussion: My Life in Ruins (Travel to Greece)

Do you want to experience a tour to the highlights of Greece from the comfort of your armchair? This is the film for you! Great scenery and ancient architecture with a fun, lively cast on an all-too-realistic tour makes me want to book the next flight to Greece!

Warriors in Terra Cotta: Art for Then & Now (China)

A recent photo of our Modern Military Warriors in terra cotta uniforms – reminded me of photos of China’s phenomenal Terra Cotta Warriors, both lined up for service to their country. In this blog, you can view this photo of modern “terra cotta” warriors as I also showcase this famous non-western Chinese terra cotta masterpiece.

Film Discussion: Julie & Julia (France, NYC)

“Julie & Julia” is a fun, inspirational film on the true stories of 2 women who are passionate about French cooking. Julie Powell (NYC 2002) sets out to prepare all 524 recipes in 365 days in the French cookbook by the infamous, Julia Childs (Paris 1950s). I found cause for deep retrospection in light of the pandemic’s impact on our lives.

Standing Tall: Art for President’s Day 2021

Happy birthday, George! Today is President’s Day when we honor all USA presidents. I focus on Washington because he was first. Did you know that America had “court painters” much like Europe before the camera? Learn more as my blog highlights 4 famous portraits of GW, including my 2 favorite at our local Mia.

Smile, Mona Lisa! (Leonardo da vinci)

No study of famous art would be complete without a look at what is arguably the most famous painting in the world: the Mona Lisa–and her famous smile! Who is she? Where is she? What’s the big deal about her smile? Her eyes? Find out more on my blog!

Film Discussion: The Monuments Men (N. Europe)

“The Monuments Men” (2014) is a true mission impossible film about an unlikely WWII platoon of experts in art, not warfare, assigned to rescue art masterpieces stolen by the Nazis across northern Europe. A star-studded cast, drama, adventure, authentic history, beautiful scenery and great art, make it a great movie! Dig deeper in my blog about the movie, the men, and the mission.