The Art of Haines

Please note, this post is part of a series. Click here to read it from the beginning.

In my last post I told you about the wonderful town of Haines, AK. I couldn’t move on to the next part of my trip without showing you photos of some of the artwork I saw in Haines. The whole town feels like a piece of art, every building unique and creative. Traditional Alaskan Native carvings and sculptures mingle with handmade jewellery and decorative architecture that looks like it came straight out of a hippy commune. Needless to say, I really like Haines.

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Broken

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I knew there was a reason I took this photo, and this week’s challenge is it! Street rubbish is a big issue in our neighbourhood at the moment, although I don’t think this bin is going to be much use in helping us solve the problem. It can get very windy in Cardiff, although I’ve never known gusts be strong enough down City Road to rip up concrete. Maybe one of the local residents is secretly really strong like Superman, or the bin was stuffed so full of garbage that it collapsed under the weight. I like to think that the bin simply gave up hope of every being able to clean up our streets, and quietly keeled over under all the stress.

Click here to take part in this week’s photo challenge.

My Dream Trip is becoming a reality!

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Five years ago, I took a trip of a lifetime to the USA. The Grand Canyon had been top of my bucket list since I was in high school, and seeing as it was my 30th birthday and I’d been paid a bonus from work I thought I’d treat myself. I spent two weeks travelling from Los Angeles to San Francisco, taking in Joshua Tree, the Grand Canyon (at long last!), Las Vegas and Yosemite National Park along the way. So, what do you do when you’ve crossed off the number one item on your bucket list? Well, you make another list of course.

And so, after a quick flick through the travel brochure, Alaska became my new dream. People keep asking me ‘Why Alaska?’, and in all honesty it just looks like an interesting place to visit. Plus, it’s another step towards my goal to visit every state in America.

Five years later, I am almost there. It’s so close I can smell the glaciers. Of course, though, simply visiting Alaska would not be enough for me. When it comes to travelling, I’ve always pushed myself slightly out of my comfort zone. Following other inspiring travellers on WordPress has only encouraged me more. People like Nicole from Thirdeyemom and Lesley from Bucket List Publications have spurred me on to ask myself what more I can cram into my trips, and inspired me to seek out new destinations and bigger adventures. The last time I visited the US, I finished my trip in San Francisco. Some of the women I met and travelled with were continuing on for an extra week to Seattle. Although I wouldn’t have been able to stay anyway due to work commitments, I’ve always regretted the fact that I missed out on that week. And going back just to travel that one area seems like a big journey from my home in the UK. When I started to plan my Alaska trip, I asked myself if it would be possible to do both. Could I start back in San Francisco, where I last left the USA, travel to Seattle, and then up into Alaska all in one trip?

After a lot (and I mean ALOT) of arguing, bartering and debating at work to the point where I almost walked out of my job, I managed to book four weeks off. I did a quick google search to check that my plan was even possible in four weeks then booked the flights and figured I’d work the rest out later.

This is the reason that I have spent most of the past four months, when not at work, buried in bus timetables, ferry schedules and maps of the USA and Canada. I am pleased to announce, that after a lot of stress and mild panic, I’ve figured it out. There were a  few points where I almost said ‘sod it, I’ll just fly straight to Anchorage’, but in the end I’ve managed to squeeze in everything I wanted to do. Should everything go to plan (fingers crossed), my trip of a lifetime will take me to:

Sacramento, CA

Portland, OR

Seattle, WA

Haines, AK

Juneau, AK (TBC)

Yukon Territory

Skagway, AK

Homer, AK

Seward, AK

Valdez, AK

Wrangell-St Elias National Park, AK

Tangle Lakes, AK

Denali National Park, AK

I am soooooooo excited and cannot wait to share my journey with you 🙂

The Street Art of Brighton

During my recent trip to Brighton, I could not help but be distracted by the abundant and amazing street art all over the place. The main purpose of my trip was to visit Vegfest, but as soon as I ventured into the Lanes and North Laines in search of vegetarian restaurants and awesome clothes shops, I was surrounded by colour and imagination. My camera was virtually clicking away by itself. I’d spot a piece of street art, walk over to check it out, and then see another piece on yet another side street that I hadn’t noticed before. Before I knew it, I was three or four streets away from where I had intended and an hour behind schedule. I got some great photos, though, and I just had to share them with you.

(More) Street Art in Cardiff

A while ago, a friend told me about some great new street art in Cardiff city centre. It took me a few weeks to get down there with my camera and check it out, but now that I have I really wanted to share the photos with you all. I love this city!

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Brain Scan.. Not as pretty as my artwork…

If any of you are looking for a great gift for someone, or you just want a fantastic piece of artwork for your wall please check out Ray’s Etsy store and support him and his wife during this tough time.

Ray Ferrer - Emotion on Canvas

Dearest friends, fans, FAMILY!
Please reblog, share, tweet, FB, you name it!

Over the years it has been my freehand spray paint artwork that many of you are accustomed to seeing.  There will be more but for now, there is this.  My wife and I are working hard on keeping you up to date.  We are blown away by the more than 60K followers who show there support to us daily on the blog and other social media platforms!

So, here is a scan of my brain and the Tumor is circled. Its bigger than first thought.  On the 9th I have one more MRI w/ spectroscopy to determine the rate of growth and cell types.  Then it gets really hairy.

Ray Brain

I am doing the best I can to be in good spirits and will continue to strive! It really helps knowing I have touched so many people with my artwork…

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Travel theme: Mischievous

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A couple of years ago I spent a few days in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France. These little fish stencils were painted on the paths to direct you from the port to the major sites of interest in the town such as the castle, old town and the aquarium.

On my last day there, as I was waiting for my bus back to London, I noticed that a mischievous yet creative individual had made an addition to one of the fish…

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Click here to join in with Ailsa’s Travel theme.

Looking forward in 2015

2014 is barely over and my 2015 diary is already filling up fast. I am soooooo excited about all the fantastic trips and events I have lined up for this year, and I wanted to share them with you all and also ask for some advice.

PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERAAt the end of this month I will be back on my skis again – yippee! – on a one week holiday to Arinsal in Andorra. I actually first learnt to ski in Andorra 20 years ago, and I haven’t been back there in 18 years, so it will be interesting to see how the principality has changed and also how much my skiing has improved. The last time I was there they were building a huge gondola to connect Arinsal with Pal, so I can’t wait to explore this much bigger ski area.

In March I am travelling down to Brighton for a weekend to attend the Brighton Vegfest. Brighton is a Mecca for vegetarians and I love, love, love the place. I expect to eat way too much great plant-based food, spend lots of money shopping in the lanes and meet lots of inspirational veggies.

My big news of 2015 is that I’m going to Alaska – and I still have to pinch myself every time I say that. Yes, I am actually going to Alaska. From 20th June I will be touring the country for two weeks, experiencing as much as possible and taking lots of photos. I’ll also be there for the midnight sun, which I am so excited about. I am currently trying to free up the two weeks previous to that so that I can start my journey in San Francisco and travel up to Anchorage by bus, ferry and train. If anyone has ever taken the ferry from Bellingham to Whittier, or knows someone who has, I would really appreciate any info you can give me on the journey. The longest journey I have ever taken on a boat wasDSC_0371 from Rhodes to Crete in Greece, and that was an awful experience, so I’m nervous about spending almost five days on one.

Green Gathering 2015 is looking to be even better than last year’s event and I’m hoping to return with my godchildren, although my goddaughter is currently on good behaviour watch to try and secure her place on the trip. They have both been nagging me all winter about when we can next go camping, even when it’s been minus temperatures outside and all the cars have been frozen over. You’ve got to love the optimism of kids!

I can’t wait to share all my adventures in 2015 with you all. Add a comment and let me know what you have planned for this year.

Travel theme: Sparkle

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Ailsa’s adding some sparkle to January with this week’s travel theme – click here to see more entries. I took this photo at a caravan park in Tenby, Wales because I loved the way that the early morning dew made the spider’s web sparkle. Also, I wanted to capture the moment because the ill-advised spider had decided to build their web on the children’s play area, so it probably wasn’t going to be there for much longer.