Fan Favorites AND melissaAnne COLORS Photography Public Art Installation Announcement

I’m ending this week with some exciting news and more Fan Favorites photos. First off, here are some of the top Fall COLORS from Instagram.



A lovely selection from my Water Painting Impressionist Photography collection, this image was taken at the Seattle Japanese Garden at the Washington Park Arboretum several years ago. The Fall leaves reflected brightly in a pond and the slow moving water created this lovely Impressionist-style image. Those blues!



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Fan Favorites – Fall COLORS

Happy FRIDAY, let’s explore some Fall COLORS!!!

I was on a FANTASTIC trip to the East Coast last week and didn’t get my blog out. But, I’m back and it’s time for some Fall COLORS fun and fan favorites from my Instagram feed!

I love the colors, light, textures and layers that Fall brings. I caught this leaf glowing in the sun’s spotlight as it shined through a break in the trees above.




It reminds me of warm fires and cozy Fall days.

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Fan Favorites – The Palouse Roadtrip

My Palouse Roadtrip recap is underway on my Instagram page. It’s always fun to revisit a trip after I’ve returned and see the photos and remember the sights, sounds and feelings I experienced along the way. And, I love to indulge in my passion for storytelling with both words and photos that bring people along “with” me.

It’s a long drive out to the Palouse, 6+ hours to be exact. That’s a lot of radio time and focus at the wheel time! As I drove, not really sure what was between home and the “finish line”, I waited for just the right place to slow down, take an exit and get out of the car for a few minutes to rest my mind and eyes. I sure found the perfect spot at Wanapum Reservoir (and I’m sure glad I was in the right lane to make a split second exit when I saw the scenery!).

Who wouldn’t want to stop here in the middle of a long drive and take a stretch? I mean…EYE CANDY!




There were so many great colors and textures all around and I appreciated the wide open space and chance to “look out” instead of keeping my eyes focused on the road ahead. You know, we always need those moments in life when we can take a look beyond the right here, right now and shift our gaze wider and longer. Life lessons in a roadtrip photo…

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Impressions On The Palouse

When I moved to the Pacific Northwest I read about a place called The Palouse. “What is The Palouse?” you might ask if you aren’t from around here. Well, it’s a 4,000 square mile region of rolling, asymmetrical hills covered in wheat. I was completely smitten by the idea of heading out with my camera to explore this divine-looking destination. It only took me 4 years, but hey, better late than never.

Let me show you my impressions on The Palouse!

I was amazed by the rolling fields of wheat, the colors, and the shapes and textures they created.



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Week 1 and Amsterdam Kerstmarkt Fun

I’ve officially concluded Week 1! Amsterdam Kerstmarkt can definitely be the theme for the week as I set out to search and discover Christmas Markets throughout the city! Not exactly the holiday markets I envisioned when I think Europe holidays but there were some fun finds and inspiration (read glûhwein, pancakes, waffels, and other not so healthy treats).

Here’s a rundown of the week. Oh, and you might want to settle in with a warm cup of your favorite thee, hete chocolademelk, koffie or Glûhwein, I covered a LOT of ground this week!

Tuesday early morning arrival at Schiphol Airport decorated with a holiday glow! Welkom!!


The rest of the day was a blur…jetlag..Commence with a long winter’s nap! Snurken…

WEDNESDAY…I woke up in AMSTERDAM!…It wasn’t a dream! Exploring over to the De Pijp neighborhood for a favorite broodbakkerij snack and the market for fresh veggies to stock the refrigerator.


More jetlag…more blur…more Winter’s napping.  I think it doesn’t help that it is dark at 4:30 PM. Test my genetics…I’m SURE I’m part bear. Should I add “Hibernation” as a skill set on LinkedIn?

THURSDAY! Amsterdam Kerstmarkt fun begins! First stop, Rembrandtplein…as you might remember from my #LoveLettersToAmsterdam post.


A little exploring and THIS…


You know “THIS”, right? If not, you should follow my social media more! ABSTRACT COLOR!

As for Amsterdam Kerstmarkt options…well, Rembrandtplein had a lot of really SWEET treats and a warm and cozy Glûhwein chalet that was pleasing. Not the market for holiday gift buying.

FRIDAY was an explore and connect day.





COLOR! and BOATS (boten!!)! before off to lunch at De Plantage, a lovely restaurant next to the zoo. I must head back and take a photo inside to show you the design. BEAUTIFUL! For now, my lemon chicken, tzatziki and pepper tartine.


It. Was. Delicious! And, LARGE so it was breakfast on Saturday with a soft boiled egg.  YUM re-do!

Speaking of SATURDAY…

More exploring and Amsterdam Kerstmarkt fun, starting with Museumplein Ice Amsterdam.






Yes, yes I do!


I also drink Glûhwein much too early at Kerstmarkts. That’s all I took away from this market. VERY small and mostly food. The longest line was at the pulled pork BBQ stand. Uhm….I’m from Texas. I didn’t come to Europe for BBQ! More Glûhwein, please? My holiday shopping isn’t quite working out as planned.  Anyone want a photo for Christmas?

Moving on to a quick detour through Vondelpark where I saw my feathered spirit friends again.



So much love here I can’t even put it into words!

Heron magic…Before another kind of “magic”.

Just on the other side of Vondelpark in a beautiful residential neighborhood is a little secret.


See those white flags and the arch?  Well, if you go in (and can find the right door to enter…especially if you don’t read Dutch!) THIS is what you see!


WAIT! WHAT?!?! De Hollandsche Manege is an equestrian center and I arrived just in time to see the junior riders all lined up to finish their lesson. A beautifully ornate riding arena hidden right here in the city.


Whatever BBQ at the Holiday Markt…THIS is where magic happens.


Getting ready to ride…and dressing to match your horse.  I can get into this equestrian “matchy” chic!

Feet a bit tired after many days of exploring I headed upstairs to the cafe for a sit and a refreshment (don’t worry…I didn’t order more Glûhwein).


NOW I’m feeling some holiday spirit! Gorgeous! Warm! Glowing!  THAT’s my kind of Christmas scene. I popped out to the terrace and enjoyed the traditional Fresh Mint Thee (oh how I LOVE this stuff) while watching the informal equestrian show.






FUN!! Dear Santa…can I have a horse…

Still on an Amsterdam Kerstmarkt mission, I headed to De Hallen Local Goods Market.



This Markt was full of holiday hustle and bustle! Shoppers on the move and Christmas magic from some local musicians (and waffle vendor…keep walking, Melissa!).


My favorite Markt so far! Ask my credit card bill! I can’t tell you what I got yet because my sister is getting a GREAT gift from a local artist. SO excited!! Maybe the guy in the brown coat was as tired as me? Or was thinking about his credit card bill…

We should talk about the food hall at De Hallen…UHM….LOVE!


It was beyond crowded and noisy on this busy day so I didn’t last long, but I’ll be back and I’ll share some goodies with you soon! What do they call foodies in Dutch? According to Google Translate, a Bourgondiër. Well, doesn’t that sound much more sophisticated???

OK…I’m still going…I think Saturday was the longest day ever! Now I’m getting why I was a bit tired on Sunday!

Depart De Hallen for WesterGasfabriek and De NeighborFood Markt..where I didn’t buy or eat anything! Clearly I was tired…


I did pop into Amsterdam Flavours, a new store and food venue event space.  I has a lovely conversation with one of the partners in the space who is a furniture designer.  His mom is one of the chef’s. Beautiful! Inspiring! I want to move here so I can go to pop up dinners here, take food styling classes, food photography classes…ANYTHING!! You’ll have to visit the website for pics.  I was too busy chatting to shoot any. #FoodiesUnite #PassionateDreamers #FlavorFlirt

Still going, I had a 7:30p dinner reservation over near Amsterdam Centraal at &samhoud Places. The Holiday Lights around the station were a beautiful start to my first dinner out.





I’d read about &samhoud Places restaurant and wanted to try it. There are two concepts Places, a pricey Michelin star restaurant and Street Food the less expensive bar area. Given my current sabbatical, I went for Street Food.  *sigh*




Of course I chose the Lamb Stew.  DUH! Again, if you didn’t expect this…you clearly don’t follow me on social media! And, you SHOULD!


And, here’s the stew!  WHAT?  This is unlike any stew I ever had.  And it’s NOT in a bowl.  Let me break it down for you…

Lamb, hardboiled eggs thinly sliced, radishes, tomatoes, hummus, and tahini resting on a flaky crust and topped with mint. OK, so this might not have been the stew I was expecting but it had a nice mix of textures. I enjoyed it, but it needed a little something more. I needed and wanted more flavor after a long day on my feet. I loved the space and the restaurant staff were fantastic and ever so friendly! Thanks for an enjoyable evening Street Food!


I was barely upright on Sunday and spent my day in my sneakers with one last Amsterdam Kerstmarkt trip out to Noord. This required a ferry boat fit for people and bikes, which is always fun. It also required a €7 entry fee and special coins for food purchases.

I paid the entry fee, thankful all the other Markts were free, and came out with a lovely Christmas gift for someone I love, thank you Lemon Poppy!

Love Letter To Amsterdam

On the walk over to the Markt venue I took a few pictures of a cool old car that happened to be dressed in Holiday red and has a “Christmas Tree” on its front grill…




And, that is it!  Week 1 roundup of events and sights. In case you wondered, here’s a map of my path and destinations, most of it walking. Oh my feet!  Maybe Santa should bring me some new feet…or more comfortable shoes!  Santa…

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It’s Monday morning and I’ve been up since 4 AM thanks to very heavy rains and wind. I think today might call for a day of rest and my art journal and oil pastels. I think I deserve it, don’t you?

Stay tuned for more #LoveLetterToAmsterdam posts and Weekly Roundups. This week, if the weather cooperates, I have plans for Amsterdam Centrum holiday lights, the Light Festival on the canals and Christmas Eve services in a wonderful little church in a “hidden” park that I visit every time I’m in Amsterdam. I was delighted to learn they have an English Christmas Eve service!