The show overall was fantastic with extremely high quality works of art. It was huge, so it was a lot to take in, but here were my favorite artists:
Robert EwellThis artist grew up near the Saratoga Race Track in New York. He does beautiful watercolors of horses and people and horse races. He had one small painting of a little blond haired girl looking up at a horse in a stable that literally brought me to tears. I don't know why it happened. I wasn't feeling extra emotional that day or anything. It just really touched me. Never has a piece of art brought me to tears before. It was $200, and if I wasn't so frugal, I would have found a way to get it home safely.
Jeannie MaddoxIt is seriously hard to believe these images are not photographs. The detail is amazing. So beautiful!! I had a hard time leaving her booth.
This image does not do her work justice. She makes and arranges amazingly realistic bugs out of paper and ink!!
Abby WarmanI love this impressionistic artwork. What I'd really love is to commission her to do a piece with our family as the subjects:).
This man is amazing. He makes wood toys that are heirloom quality and are very reasonably priced in my opinion, and he backs them with a lifetime guarantee!! He also uses no stains or toxic chemicals on the toys. The wood is absolutely gorgeous! Charm has been working extra chores around the house to earn money for....another firetruck, so Bill and I picked this one up for $22 and we'll give it to Charm once he reaches the twenty-two dollar mark.
For scale reference, I added a box of crayons to the picture:
The crayons were actually included with this crayon truck that we also bought for $22 (He has a smaller size crayon truck for $12 or a larger size for $32.):
I linked above to his website, Heirloom Toys, and he is happy to take and ship orders, just as an FYI:). Personally, I had a hard time leaving this 5 car train behind. At $59 for the set, it sure beats a plastic train set any day of the week:)!
P.S. In case you're interested, other items on my Florida to do list were to eat a Vanilla Angel donut (from my birthday list). Mr. Donut was apparently bought by Dunkin Donuts who still make the highly sought after Vanilla Angel. Since there are Dunkin Donuts on every corner in Florida (and none in Minnesota), I thought it was worth a try to sneak a donut stop in there. We succeeded. Thank you Bill!!
Also, Lucky and I wanted to have pancakes on the beach and thanks to Grandpa Ron, that happened. There is nothing quite like having breakfast on the beach:)!!
Charm and I wanted to drink coconut water straight from a fresh coconut, so we went to a local farmer's market and struck out on the coconut front. (I did find a stand with air plants which was exciting, because I've had my eyes out for them for awhile. I bought one and gave it to Oma.) Oma and Opa came through for us on our last night when they met us for dinner bearing a coconut. We all had fun with a drill and a hammer to get it opened that night:). Thanks Oma and Opa!!
I also wanted a real conch shell, and even though I didn't find one on the beach, I inherited one from my mother's aunt or something like that. I forget the exact story, but I have a conch shell in our bathroom now, and I love it. Thanks Oma!
I wanted to eat seafood and lots of it. This was very easy to accomplish. One especially fun meal was with my father-in-law and Bill at Seasons 52, which is my new favorite restaurant, by the way. All the meals are gourmet and delicious and under 475 calories. If you are in a city that has a Seasons 52, go to it!! You can thank me later:). The food and conversation that night were marvelous!! Thank you for the birthday dinner, Ron:)!!
Disney World! I posted about all we did to prepare for Disney here, and Disney did not disappoint. It was crowded and crazy, but fun nonetheless. A highlight was having lunch at Cinderella's Table in the Magic Kingdom. Lucky was floating on air all throughout the meal as she met princess after princess. Another highlight was having a date night around the world:). My in-laws watched the kids for us one night, while Bill and I went to Epcot and grabbed beer and pretzels in Germany, wine in France, a taco in Mexico, and a coffee float in the US of A. We watched the fireworks and had a wonderful time!! Thanks for babysitting, Ron and Gail:)!!
Lucky loved meeting princesses:
Charm loved his dessert:
And maybe the princesses wore off on him a little too:
And lastly, I really wanted some reading time while on vacation. Thanks to well behaved kids on the plane rides and the car trips to Orlando and back, I finished two books, including Clean, which was a birthday gift from my Aunt, (Thank you Judi!) and Let's Pretend this Never Happened, which was a bday gift from my bro! (Thanks D.B.!)
We had a marvelous trip, and we can't wait to go back!!