Friday, August 20, 2010

Child Friendly Montreal

Flights to Montreal take children to a city filled with fun filled activities and places to visit. Olympic Park houses the Biodome, an indoor zoo with four eco zones including a tropical forest, polar world, Laurentian Forest and St Lawrence marine eco system. The Park has extensive Botannical Gardens with Chinese, Japanese and alpine gardens, greenhouses, a touch garden with Braille labels and an arboretum. In early spring butterflies are set free to fly inside the largest greenhouse and in autumn the Chinese garden is lit by thousands of lanterns. In Winter the greenhouses are adorned with Christmas decorations.

The Old Port houses the Montreal Science Centre and Labyrinth, bicycle and quadricycle rentals, boat rides, and outdoor winter skating rink. Other kid friendly destinations are the Montreal Planetarium and The Grande Biliothéque with its great children’s section. The Aquadome has heated pools, diving boards and waterslides. The Ecomuseum is a 11.3 hectare educational wildlife park. La Récréathèque has bumper cars, arcades, laser tag and indoor sports.

Many of Montreal’s fine museums have educational programs including summer day camps and workshops. For more action minded children there is Go Karting and during the warm months there is rafting and jet boating.

Classical Boston

Classical music lovers will find much to enjoy during their Holidays to Boston. Symphony Hall features some of the best acoustics in the world and is home to the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum holds weekly chamber music concerts in their Tapestry Room gallery. They have the longest running music program in the United States and feature well known chamber music groups and soloists.

The Boston Lyric Opera is New England’s largest opera company. Founded in 1976 it supports emerging operatic talent. The Boston Classical Orchestra was founded by violinist Robert Brink. A professional chamber orchestra focusing on music from the classical period it is housed in the beautiful historic Faneuil Hall.

The Boston Landmarks Orchestra performs free concerts in significant historical, geographical and architectural settings within the Boston area. More than 250,000 people have attended their concerts in the decade since the orchestra was founded by conductor Charles Ansbacher.

Each year Longy School of Music hold over 300 concerts featuring their degree and diploma students. in the Edward M Pickman Concert Hall. The Museum of Fine Arts also hosts concert series with an eclectic range of music from electronica to world music.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Royal London

Hotels in London city centre are situated near some of England’s most visited royal buildings. Buckingham Palace has been the official residence of British sovereigns since 1837 and is the administrative headquarters of Queen Elizabeth II. Visitors can tour State rooms hung with paintings by Rubens, Canaletto and Rembrandt and decorated with fine Sevres porcelain and English and French furniture. The Royal Mews house State vehicles including horse drawn carriages and automobiles used on special occasions. This includes the Gold State Coach last used in 2002 during the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Visiotrs can also tour the Palace’s gardens, home to 30 different bird species and 350 wild flowers as well as a lake.

William the Conqueror began building the Tower of London in 1080. Yeoman warders have guarded the fortress since the early 16th century. They are currently required to have served honorably in the armed forces for at least 22 years and are available to take guided tours. Tower Green is the site where many great historic personalities were executed including Anne Boleyn. The Crown Jewels featuring 23,578 gems are under armed guard along with the Coronation Regalia. There is also an exhibition of five centuries of royal armour.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Month That Was

The past month has been a roller coaster with my dog Mishka developing a tumour on his lip that needed to be removed, the death of yet another friend, more wet weather, putting my back out and the whole Lindsay Lohan thing...

Have also been busy completing the website for Otane Arts and Crafts Corner. I had forgotten so much about setting up a site from scratch but once I started it all began coming back to me although uploading and setting the nameservers proved a very stressful part of the experience as my host had given me the wrong ones. But I worked it out in the end and no computers were harmed in the process.

One highlight of July was the mid winter lunch at Otane hosted this year by the Herb and Garden group. They decorated the centre with Christmas decorations and put on a full Chrissy dinner complete with roast and delicious desserts (being a vegetarian I remember the desserts with great affection). We all supplied a $2 exchange gift which was handed out by Father Christmas and it was amazing the amount of ladies who couldn't wait to sit on "his" knee. Afterwards there was a demonstration of floral art by Mary McIndoe with the resulting arrangements raffled off. I had to leave before the afternoon tea as I had an appointment but from what I heard the afternoon ended on a high. It was a wonderful effort by everyone involved and just goes to show what you can achieve with united teamwork.

I am not achieving a great deal of painting at the moment but need to get my head down over the next month to complete my entry for Pukeora's Festival. Plus I need to finish all the half completed projects sitting about the place. If it wasn't for portrait sessions I don't think I would get much done at all. And we've had some wonderful sitters recently including these twins who are the grand daughters of one of our members.

News: I sold my Hobbit House Rock this week. Also my brooches are now available from "Cups n Things" in Ruataniwha Street, Waipukurau. The owner approached me first which is much less stressful than having to cold call a shop owner and go cap in hand begging for favours.