Well, I mentioned this a while back, and now the time has come - as I write this, I am once again back in the States, for the second time this year, to spend Christmas and New Year with my lovely thesundoesrise
, her family , and friends, and needless to say it's good to be back.
This is also a break from the artwork too, so that means trades etc wll be closed until I come back, however there will still be some artworks posted, as I scheduled a load of them before I left, including some festive pics of course.
I'll be updating this journal each day that I'm here, so stay tuned. 11/12/2014
I didn't sleep very much the night before, but it didn't seem to affect me too much - got up early and took the bus to Durham, and despite snow and traffic delays I managed to catch a train to Newcastle in good time, then on from Newcastle to the airport. Got checked in and waited around for a couple of hours (planespotting of course), and I was feeling very nervous about the flights, which I usually do - but as usual, the worry was for nothing, as the flight down to Heathrow was absolutely fine, with just a few minor bumps, nothing I haven't already experienced.
Walked around Terminal 5 for the hour and a half in between my connecting flights, people watching, checking out the festive decorations and planespotting of course, before I boarded my flight to New York's JFK. The flight was about an hour late getting off the ground because of a weather system over the UK and air traffic issues, but we got away eventually, and again, the flight was pretty much like any other transatlantic flight I've taken, there was turbulence but nothing I hadn't already experienced before, it just felt like I was on the plane for longer than I actually was because of the delay. I also felt more tired than I normally do because it was a night flight, but I was kept occupied by some music and watching episodes of Friends, The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother, plus How To Train Your Dragon 2 (two thumbs up), as well as chatting with a couple from Wales who were sat next to me.
After touching down in New York I went through the dreaded US customs proceedure - and while it didn't take as long as I thought, I ended up getting the third degree from a customs officer who questioned why I was staying for 5 weeks without any luggage. Typical US welcome, but that wasn't the real welcome as far as I'm concerned - the real welcome was the one from thesundoesrise
(Nicole), plus her friends MoonlitWinds
and her fiancee Paul, and musiconthewind0409
. They kindly drove us back to Nicole's place in Connecticut, and I ended up nodding off from jetlag despite having Gatorade, pizza, cinnamon and orange/cranberry scones, plus crazy Christmas tunes and hyperness. Good to be back in the States though. 12/12/2014
My first full day of this trip started with a long lie-in (can you blame me with all the jetlag?), before me, Nicole and her family took a ride out to a quick stop at a Michael's art store where I picked up some seasonal card, before we headed to the Mohegan Sun casino, where I first visited in 2013 - me and Nicole probably circled the whole casino twice in the time we were there, checking out the Christmas decorations and the shops, plus a large gingerbread house display, and we also had a very filling meal of pizza at Pepe's - I've missed the taste of proper pizza.
Following that we then revisited another old favourite - Olde Mistick Village in Mystic, and we got to see it all decked out in Christmas lights, it looked very cool that way too, and it was also very packed out too. We checked out some of the shops there, including revisiting Nicole's favourite shop, one that specialises in all things magick related; a toy shop, because we're big kids like that, and a 60s themed shop selling stuff such as tie-dye shirts and 60s records - all in all, very memorable. Me and Nicole ended the night with our nightly ritual that we've done ever trip - a drive to Branford Point. Aye, even in the winter it's still beautiful. 13/12/2014
Had a bit of chilled morning, and I don't just mean the temperature. Myself and Nicole did a little bit of shopping, mostly food, though I also bought an American SIM card for my phone, to make it easier to keep in touch while I'm over here. The sun was out today as well, so it was a perfect excuse to go and have a walk around the Point, before I helped Nicole and her family decorate their Disney-themed Christmas tree back at Nicole's place. Unfortunately having a nap resulted in me picking up a bad headache, possibly the jetlag rearing its ugly head, but thankfully a shower and a good meal of mashed tatey, sweetcorn and steak soon got shot of that - did I mention that was my first time trying steak?
Nicole's family drove us out to go and see the local "Festival of Lights" show over in East Haven, however we made a swift U-turn because the queue of traffic for that event was far too long, so we ended up driving around and checking out some of the Christmas lights that people had put up on their houses, specifically a couple of mind-blowing examples - I can safely say that I've never seen Christmas lights on such a scale, unheard of back home.
Finished up the night by sitting down to watch The Polar Express, and in 3D as well, some terrific animation going on there, and then helped Nicole decorate her own smaller Christmas tree - getting into the festive spirit without a doubt.14/12/2014
Another chilled morning, then me and Nicole headed to the North Haven area to go to another Michael's store, where I used a coupon to buy a sketchpad for half price. We'd come wearing our formal gear, because after that we headed to a place called the Riverview Bistro in nearby Stratford, to attend a graduation party - it was for one of Nicole's friends who she worked with in her first school job, and who I'd met briefly on my 2013 trip. It was a nice ceremony, and a first for me since I'd never been to a graduation party before, though I won't lie, I felt a little out of my depth, as big social gatherings aren't really my thing. That won't be the last one I go to this trip though, without saying too much.
Browsed through a Barnes & Noble store before a quick change at Nicole's, then it was time for me to take a ride on the ferry to Long Island, on which I saw a beautiful sunset sky over the Long Island Sound. Met up with PierreAndAndre
(Shane) on landing in Port Jefferson once again, and headed back to his place, but not before checking out a very impressive Christmas lights display (Google "Elm Avenue house Christmas lights Coram Long Island" and you'll see what I mean.) We spent the rest of the night watching music videos and having a great meal of Sicilian pizza (how I've missed those) and some wine called "Dark Horse" - I can see why it got its name, because the strong taste of it came from nowhere! Either that or I'm just a lightweight when it comes to wine. 15/12/2014
I wasn't expecting a nice and clear day for a December day - but that's exactly what I got. Myself and Shane hit the local bowling alley for a two round bowling match, and the fact that I hadn't played since January showed, as he pretty much destroyed me - but it wasn't about the score, it was about having fun.
After that we had a meal at Panera Bread, where I tried a tomato and mozzarella panini, which was surprisingly good, then we revisited another old favourite place from my past trips to Long Island - the Rocky Point Pine Barrens. We made our way to our favourite spot, the sandhills, and sat there talking about life and artwork while watching planes fly over and the sun going down, it couldn't have been more perfect.
The day ended with music videos and pizza back at Shane's place, plus a Skype chat with EarthVStheDerek (birthday shoutout!)
, which was quite enjoyable. I was pretty much socked out after all the walking and such, but as always it was worth it.16/12/2014
A more cloudy day for my second full day in Long Island, which started with me and Shane just chilling out, during which a package arrived which contained two surprise presents from Shane to me - two plane models, a Southwest Boeing 737 and a Jetblue Airbus A320, both of which I very much appreciated.
We grabbed some dinner at the very festive looking Seaport Diner (I went with old faithful, aka burger and chips). After that it was time to explore another new place, the Brookhaven State Park, a set of walking trails similar to the Pine Barrens, though not quite as big in area, however it was very much as scenic, with all the fallen leaves, the acres upon acres of trees, and the smell of fresh pine. After the walk we sat down at a pavilion in the park and did some doodles, not surprisingly they were walking themed.
We finished off with some more music videos, plus cheese, crackers and more of that Dark Horse wine, and I think I'm getting more used to it as it's not knocking me for six anymore. 17/12/2014
Spent my last day in Long Island chilling out with Shane and his family once again, before we made our way to Port Jefferson to meet up with youlittlemonkey
(Paula), and for the third time we sat down and made some giftarts for each other plus a festive collab drawing between the three of us that me and Shane started on Monday, before we had lunch at The Pie, where we'd eaten once before as a trio, during my first Long Island trip back in 2011 - and that brick oven pizza still tastes as good as it did then, I can tell you now.
Sadly it seemed that the time to say goodbye came around far too soon, but it was great getting together with Shane and Paula again, and as I left Long Island on the ferry I knew that I'd made some more good memories to take home with me.
Back in Connecticut, Nicole's family threw a "pre-Christmas" party, a few of Nicole's friends dropped by for the occasion, which involved a lot of food, including stuffed shells and an alcholic drink called Sea Breeze, both of which were an instant hit with me - the drink was probably a little too much of a hit, though.
I also got the chance to make my very own gingerbread man, as there was an unofficial competition between everyone to see who could make the best gingerbread man, that was a lot of fun. As well as that I also got to put my drawing skills to use, as two of Nicole's friends had also brought their 9-year old daughter along, and she asked to watch me draw some stuff, as well as draw some stuff for me too, it was quite an interesting experience. And needless to say, this won't be the last party I attend this trip.
Trades? Commissions? Note me.
Pencil sketch - £3
Digitally inked lineart - £5
Full colour - £10
Full colour with background - £15
Additional characters - £1 per characterComics
Pencil sketch 3-panel comic - £6
Full colour 3-panel comic - £20
Additonal panels - £2 per panel
* Payment must be received before I will start the commission.
* Please allow me at least a week to complete your commission.
* Only one commission per deviant at a time.
* I don't, and won't draw fetish art (e.g. sexual, inflation, vore, etc) so please don't ask me. (This applies to trades and requests, too.)
* No DA points please, PayPal only.
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* I do not accept refunds - all purchases are final.
If you're interested, just send a note my way, and if you need any help with PayPal, let me know. To doCommissions
NoneContest/art jam entries
AMT/Tanukis collab comic - AlexRaccoonGlider
The watch list
Feature-length comicsBob & Flyer Caterpillar Capture Fall Out Bug Along Came A Spider A Monster Thing Intro Reject's Revenge Chaos In The City Bad Wolf Rising Secrets of the Caves
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