A love note from Europe…

Hi there!

As you may or may not know, I am on my way to meet my group and Eat, Paint, Love Venice. I am sitting in the airport waiting to board my flight now.

What a thrill to be able to travel again! It’s my first time going overseas since the pandemic hit and I thought maybe you might be interested in some of what I’m finding on this trip.

Covid Precautions- Don’t worry

Upon leaving the US and entering the EU, I was surprised that we have not been asked about our vaccination status once. Coming from a state that is very relaxed about Covid precautions, I wondered if things would be different elsewhere. They were not. Masks are worn by some, but not many. And a Covid passport has not been on anyone’s radar on either France or Netherlands.

Quick notes on Paris:

We love museums, and so they were a huge focus of our Paris experience. Our plans always include a skip the line tour. This way we get a general overview and then circle back and through on our own afterward.

Good news! The Picasso museum and the Louvre allow artists to sit and sketch or watercolor. I believe you could also obtain one at the Musee D’Orsee. If you take a tour, you will be able to receive one from your tour guide. Those stools allow you to sit and claim just the right spot.

You might even be interested in taking a drawing class at the Picasso museum. We did! It was great fun to sit and dissect Picasso’s shape making by attempting to recreate it.

When I go to a museum, I love to bring a sketchbook and take notes. I do so either with words or with images. Below you can see a few of the notes I made on Picasso.

We enjoyed watching the Eiffel Tower sparkle in a light show at 8pm daily. It’s just a few moments of magic, and worth seeing!

We also had some great experiences at two of the three fun restaurants operated by chef Yves Camdeborde. They are tapas style, with fantastic staff, small plates, great wines, and an easy vibe. Whether you like your food from the land or the sea, there is something for everyone. https://camdeborde.com/en/


People are incredibly friendly and helpful here! Everyone in Amsterdam speaks English. Together, it makes travel there easy and pleasant.

Plan to walk everywhere. Bicycles abound and cars are less common. Trams and buses are available, taxi and Uber can be arranged the city center is best experienced on foot. We walked an average of 4-5 miles daily.

Layer and bring an umbrella. Weather changes quickly and it’s nice to be able to peel or layer up if the conditions change. I wore boots (uggs) and was glad that the sloppy conditions were not an issue for my footwear.

If you have to pick one museum, I would suggest you make it the Van Gogh Museum. The Ryjks Museum is oriented toward more medieval work, highlighted by works of Rembrandt.

Of course, I have a special fondness for Van Gogh, but so do many. Our tour guide shared some of my own conclusions on a few of the dramatic events in his life. If you’d like a some possible backstory that isn’t always shared about his personal life, you might want to read a blog I wrote a while back… https://rebeccazartist.com/2015/09/van-gogh-and-drawing-stuff-you-may-not-know/

  • Leaving via the airport in Amsterdam? Depart your hotel approximately 5 hrs prior to flight. Taxi is easiest. And Yes, you need to go early! The airline check-in and security lines are incredibly long, with sizable distances to get to many of the gates. Avoid the stress and allow plenty of extra time.

I leave you with a few pictures you may enjoy. I am posting more photos on social media. You can follow my adventures on Facebook and Instagram via the links in this email.

Till we meet again, I hope your travels take you to the places of your dreams… with so much love, ❤️

Notes on Vincent…

From my sketchbook- a watercolor of my time in the Tuileries Gardens in Paris

Bikes are the mainstay of transportation in Amsterdam. Sunshine may not be the norm, but when it shines this city is especially beautiful!