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Remember The Days

These are personal pieces and the letter to my nephews, Michael and Lucas, inspired by our Christmas trip to Europe in 2017. It was M&L's first trip out of the country when Michael was seven and Lucas was six. We had such a lovely time that I decided to paint the first painting in 2018 and the second one in 2023. The below letter/poem to M&L to capture some of the activities and places we visited as a little reminder for the future.


Monet Encounter I (2018)

Monet Encounter II (2023)


Remember the days

Christmas in Europe December 2017

Three countries

Eight museums

Endless bonding time on

Countless bus and train rides

Journeyed through beautiful countries

And so many firsts

Remember the days

Germany, Frankfurt, Stadel museum

Your first Monet encounter

With the audio guide in hands

You listened attentively

Then eagerly expressed your view

On to the friendship between Matisse and Bonnard

Had your first sip of cappuccino at the museum café

First sip of mulled wine at the Christmas Market



Warming your heart on that cold day

Many sausages

Irresistible chimney cake

We got lost

But eventually arrived to

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Historical the medieval town

So picturesque

Through the Staufer Castle

Up the old forge

By the whimsical toy store

Ended your day in another Christmas market

In the square

You played in the snow

By the station

Then on the train we went

Remember the days


Another Christmas market this time in Zurich

More diversity

More play in the snow

Your first cheese fondue in Geneva

And three museums

The Red Cross

Patek Phillip


A scenic walk around the United Nation

Then a peaceful train ride back

After an eventful day

Remember the days

You said goodbye to the lovely apartment in Zurich

On to a train ride through Lake Comos

Watching the snow coming down

One night in


Skipping in the piazza

Acquiring art from a street artist

Sitting on your dad’s lap at Ufizi

Taking in more art

Do you remember?

Christmas eve dinner by the Duomo

A magical place at nightfall

A rare sight with only a few

A quiet restaurant and a bottle of wine

We celebrated

Staying up late

Chatting about life

Playing games, having random thoughts

Exchanging simple gifts with joy

That was more than enough

Remember the days

Birthplace of the real Ninjas

Michalangelo, Donatello, Raphael, De Vinci

You would walk along the Arno River on Christmas day

Taking in the stillness

As night fell we made a stop at a church

with its door opened inviting a rest

There you approached a humble manger

Sang along

Away in a Manger,

No crib for His bed

The little Lord Jesus

Carried us to a magical place

Where time was an illusion

Love was all we felt

Remember the days

When you would stay in line at the Vatican Musee

In the rain but it couldn’t be more perfect

You took in the raindrops

from the umbrella

Walked halls to halls

Rested in the Sistine Chapel

Learning the significance

You asked about The Thinker

The Pope’s apartment

Then jolly down the Bramante staircase

Remember the days

As our trip came to an end

You asked

If I knew the best part of the trip?

Visiting the museums, you said

Melting my heart that day

Still melting moons later

I’ll forever cherish

Years from now

Decades from now

When you believe life comes in full circle

And decide to visit these places again

You may find them familiar

The scent

The sound

The connection

Know that we all share this space on earth

Believe in our interconnectedness

No matter where you go

Until then I’m grateful for

This time with you

In our shared humanity

Bac Manh (What M&L call me)


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