Monday, October 31, 2016

Canandaigua Lake

Canandaigua Lake, 2016
Acrylic Paint on Canvas
16" x 40" (40.6 cm x 101.6 cm)
© copyright Mike Kraus

10% OFF with coupon code JOINTHEFUN

Nestled between hills covered with traditional wineries and family-run B&Bs is Canandaigua Lake.  After a morning in the warm waters, we peruse the village shops on Main Street.  We ended up at the restaurant at the marina watching the courteous boat traffic.  Our lazy journey to Naples seems almost heavenly as we pass roadside fruit stands overlooking the lake.  A great place for a summer day.    

This painting would look best in a space that is deep red, dark orange, navy blue, burgundy red, evergreen, cadmium yellow, purple, beige, black, white, or wood 

For more information or custom order, please visit:


Friday, October 28, 2016

Sunflowers and Lavender In Provence

 Sunflowers and Lavender In Provence, 2016
acrylic on canvas board
5" x 7"  (12.7 cm x 17.8 cm) 
© copyright Mike Kraus

10% OFF with coupon code JOINTHEFUN

Our bikes race up and down the gentle hills of Provence.  Everything has a distinct texture, the colors are vibrant, and the perfume in the air is intoxicating.  And every twisting road we turn down has countless rows of purple lavender and yellow sunflowers.  The heat of the Mediterranean sun presses against our backs as we pedal back to the village of Sault.  I'll never forget the fields of France.

This painting would look best in a space that is dark red, yellow, orange, blue, purple, black, white, beige or wood.  

For more information or custom order, please visit:

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Danube Reflection - Prague, Czech Republic

VÍTEJTE V PRAZE! Our camera broke right before our trip. So, we're still figuring out how it works. This is a fun failed attempt at a selfie. 

metropolitní katedrála svatého Víta, Václava a Vojtěcha (Metropolitan Cathedral of Saints Vitus, Wenceslaus and Adalbert) - Construction was started in 1344 and completed in 1929 on the grounds of Prague Castle. 

Interior of Cathedral

The cathedral has amazing stained glass windows. I wish the light was right to get better pics of them. The colors were so vibrant. Almost neon.

Alphonse Mucha's window portraying the spread of Christianity to the Slavic people.

Above the alter

South side of the cathedral

Rose Window

Stained glass on the south side of the cathedral


This is just a small portion of (Jan Nepomucký) St John of Nepomuk's tomb, which contains more than 2 tons of silver.

St. Vitus Mosaic was restored from 1992-2008 with help from the Getty Conservation Institute. Each tile was removed, cleaned, regilded, given a protective coat, and reinstalled.

View of southeastern portion of St. Vitus Cathedral.

St. George's Basilica. The 2nd church of the Prague Castle complex

Interior of St. George's Basilica, which looks pretty good for being over 1,000 years old.

Looking toward the eastern gate near Rosenburg Palace.

This is a row of tiny houses. A new northern wall was constructed for the castle and these houses were squeezed between the two and called "Golden Lane." It's called "golden lane" because of the goldsmiths that lived there. But, we were told something a bit different. That lots of servant and soldiers lived here and it was called "Golden Lane" ironically because it's occupied by the poor. Either way, they are very tiny houses.

View of Prague over the Vltava River from Prague Castle.

Megan and I as secret service agents.

Another beautiful shot of Prague

View from our room at the Hotel Intercontinental Prague. The Čechův most (bridge) crossed the Vltava River leads to Letenské sady (Park)

Karlův most (Charles Bridge) was constructed in 1357 and the only way to cross the Vltava (Moldau) River until 1841. This made Prague a very important city for trade. It was inspired by the Old Stone Bridge in Regensburg. This tower is on the Old Town side.

Charles Bridge looking toward Prague Castle.

Megan with a stein of Kozel Dark Beer at VKolkovně. This 1 liter was 103 Krona (about $4). Long story short, I'm moving to Prague...

Great way to end a night.

Every year, thousands of guys with awesome facial hair and motorcycles throw a party to raise money to prevent prostate cancer and suicide. These are The Distinguished Gentlemen.

Charles Bridge Old Town side tower during the day.

Side of the Charles Bridge

Just a few swans

Back side of the tower of the Charles Bridge

Megan and I on the Charles Bridge

View of Prague Castle

Puškvorec cruising on the Čertovka (The Devil's Channel). 

Alexander Graham Bell says "I invent telephones. Bitches love telephones." This is street art graffiti that educates.

View of Mostecká Street looking toward St. Nicholas Church

Guess what? It's another plague column looking toward Prague Castle. One plague outbreak killed about 13,000 of 70,000 citizens. So, you can understand why people were so grateful to be alive.

Mmmm... Czech cookies!

Looking up at Schwarzenberský palác (palace) from a street with no name.

Looking down the street with no name

At some point we'll know when the camera will go off. That time is not now...

We figured it out!

Megan and I have a bit of a disagreement. I want this over the front door of our house and she wants it to stay in Prague. Who's right?

Filming a movie from a Josefov (Jewish Quarter) roundabout looking down V Kolkovně Street. A man told me all about it very passionately for a while. Unfortunately, I don't know Czech.

Megan enjoying a trdlo or trdelnik in front of týn Chrám Matky Boží před Týnem (Church of our Lady before týn). It's a cake grilled on a stick and covered with sugar and a walnut mix. Some places fill it with ice cream, gelato, and tons of other things.

Stop playing with your food in front of the Old Town Hall

It's the third oldest astronomical clock in the world. But, it's the only one still functioning. And it attracts a crowd.

Throngs of people in Old Town Square around Pomník mistra Jana Husa (Memorial to Jan Hus). He was a Czech hero that fought for religious reforms and Czech independence. He was eventually burned at the stake for his beliefs.

Chrám svatého Mikuláše (St. Nicholas Church) opened as a Catholic church and is currently a Hussite church after Jan Hus (the man from the monument above)

týn Chrám Matky Boží před Týnem (Church of our Lady before týn) replaced a previous church on the site starting construction in the 14th century and nearing completion in the 15th century. The tower to the right was finished in 1511. The entrance of the church is only accessible by walking a narrow passage in the building in front of it.

All the spires are so interesting.

Štupartská Street

Megan in thoughtful contemplation at the Grand Cafe Orient

On the second floor of the Cubist House of the Black Madonna on Celetná street, it's a relaxing early 20th century cafe with large tables and good coffee.

Stavovské divadlo (Prage Estates Theatre) - Mozart premiered Don Giovanni here. All the truck and vans are for the movie set. They were taking car of the stunt vehicles.

Prašná brána (The Powder Tower) is one of the original 13 towers to the city gate. Constructed in 1475, it was designed to be an attractive entrance to the city instead of defensive purposes. Although, in the 1600s it was used to store gunpowder.

Obecní dům (Municipal House) is an amazing Art Nouveau building full of Czech pride.

Václavské náměstí (Wenceslas Square) is the center of New Town. And "New Town" was founded in the 14th Century. The square started as a horse market and today is sells lots of fancy clothes.

St. Wenceslas overlooking his square

Sex Machines Museum - Dedicated to erotic tools dating back to the 16th century, not James Brown...

More Kozel beer at NOSTRESS. Fun little cafe with drinks, snacks, and a full menu. Tried a shot of Slivovice (Slivovitz), which is a local plum brandy.

Megan with the statue of Franz Kafka.

The Last Supper at Zlatá Praha Restaurace with an amazing view of Old Town. I recommend the duck.

Marianne playing the role of Vanna White to the city of Prague.

Looking over the square and down Pařížská Street toward Old Town

With our final moments in Europe, Megan and I raced over to the Letenská pláň (park) for one last view of Prague and the Vltava before boarding our plane back home. 

Metronome kinetic sculpture at Letenská pláň (park).

It's mesmerizing watching it swing back and forth

Panorama of Prague

The lobby of our hotel has a Rolls-Royce dealership. And no, they don't have Grey Poupon...

Saying goodbye to Prague and Europe from the Vaclav Havel Airport Prague

We're sad we have to go.

Look what we discovered at the Munich Airport: NAPCABS! They are little sleeping chambers with beds, privacy, and quiet.

Looking out our Lufthansa flight there was another passenger jet flying very close. Closer than any other plane I've seen in the air. And they passed us pretty quickly.

Iceland down below

Looking at a volcanic crater (?) in Iceland

Beautiful sunset over Canada

THANKS DICK AND MARIANNE for inviting us on the grand tour of the Danube River. We had a great time and made lots of wonderful memories. It was a special journey we'll always cherish.

More vacation posts at:

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