Category Archives: 4 Elements

Fire, Earth, Water, Air



Join us as we gather an art & wine appreciation formative group for 4 nights and 5 days (with a 2 night extension to Philadelphia, PA). We’ll fly to Dulles, VA via a short flight BQK to IAD on Delta, during an early fall foray to art galleries, vineyards and beautiful Virginia countryside. What better way to explore the fall than with a wine, history & art tour?

Day 1. Upon arrival, we’ll transport to 868 Estate Vineyards for lunch, @ Grandale Vintner’s Table, an authentic farm-to-table dining experience. Learn more about Grandale Vintner’s Table Restaurant. (90 minute drive)

Our early afternoon transport and arrival @Harper’s Ferry, WV., will be a great time for a walk-a-bout, where we will overnight in the heart of this Blue Ridge Mountain destination After checking in at our B&B we’ll meet up with our history docent for a refresher course in all things Harper’s Ferry, an historic town in Jefferson County, in the lower Shenandoah Valley. It is situated at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, where the U.S. states of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia meet. Dinner at your leisure.

Day 2. We suggest an early rise followed by a quick breakfast to venture into a beautiful fall morning. Those of us who wish to indulge in two hours “en plein air” prior to our noon departure meet in the lobby @9:00 am to paint the confluence. Bring your own watercolors or pastels. Perhaps one of our attendees will direct and assist if need be. There are so many striking views to paint, so much from which to choose.

Next, we’ll drive through the Blue Ridge Parkway for a wonderful overnight stay arriving mid-afternoon. Think Jackie Kennedy & foxhounds. Middleburg, VA is a quaint post-colonial township. Take the time to idly wander the flower-lined and shaded streets of this picturesque enclave where you will be invited to explore and lunch. Then we’re off to a local vineyard for a wine tasting and 2nd “en plein air” painting. Kelly Walker Guest Artist, teacher & former Director of the Front Royal Chamber of Commerce, Front Royal, VA, will assist. Experienced artists may want to paint downtown Middleburg, while novices might choose something a little less challenging.

Kelly will guide us and provide all the art supplies, (fee based).

There may be another opportunity for a second wine tasting at a nearby vineyard. Check back for more details. We will have a quick tasting as a group and you are welcome to BYOB from the tasting room in ready packs for your luggage, so you’ll remember the fall tastes of Virginia.

Evening fare at your leisure, but may we suggest the Red Fox Inn & Tavern, where our First Lady Jaqueline Kennedy spent evenings before constructing a nearby home where she and President Kennedy could spend time away from an adoring public.

All aboard next morning with a 9:30 am departure to Washington DC. We’ll have a nice 45 minute stopover to visit an active grist mill. Best grits and cornmeal ever and you’ll want to try their Native American colorful ears of corn. Time to see an active mill at work and we might even have our plein air art class here!!

Upon arrival, we’ll settle into our comfy DC accommodations and have lunch at the National Gallery of Art before embarking on our first discovery of the day. (Two overnight stays in a 3-4 star DC hotel.)

Days 3,4 Washington, DC with suggested tour options on your own directly after our lunch, which will give everyone time to group according to various desired exhibits for viewing.

The Phillips Collection –
Admission $12 (Seniors $10) Hours 10-5

Women’s Museum of Art
National Portrait Gallery
Renwick Gallery –

National Gallery of Art –
Degas/Cassett –May 11 – Oct 5
Andrew Wyeth – May 4 – Nov 30

An additional two night extension to Philadelphia via Amtrak Business in a nearby 3-4 star hotel near the Barnes Foundation for the most complete Impressionist Exhibit you will likely ever see. Admission $22 (Seniors $20)

Philadelphia Museum of Art –
Admission $20 (Seniors $18)
Quick City Tour

Take a breath of fresh air next door followed with a visit to the Rodin Sculpture Garden.

Day 7 – Travel Home Airfare from our multi-city tour

Art Tour
Dates for the Pied Pipers/Group Leaders will be selected by March 1st to explore & prep for your groups and to finalize pricing. Group tour dates will likely be in September. Cities other than those listed can be arranged. Pricing independent of airfare (now $317 RT) subject to constant flux.
(If you want to be a group leader and can summon 10 of your closest art loving friends, contact LA. @ 912-996-2600.)

“Letters from the Tribe, Adventurers Abroad”


“The Elements – earth, wind, fire and water help revive your spirit. The four elements of nature are believed to reflect the simplest essential parts and principles of which anything consists. The elements of life are actually all one. It is merely our thoughts that separate them into pieces. In Akwaterra, we present the four elements of nature as categories of sensory experience to illustrate the oneness of all and to present the human experience with the marvels of nature, thus reminding our visitors to embrace nature, ourselves and the adventure of life.”

– My mosquito bites are fading and perhaps also some of the excitement. It’s back to everyday and though I thoroughly enjoy each and every photo posted on our facebook group, the feeling of the fresh, the new, the thrill somewhat fades into memory. But the inspiration?…

The oneness… The coming together of different parts to spin a wheel into evolution is not by chance. Somehow we were, for a moment, connected in one way or another, to become one effort, one force. But you have to ask yourself why me? Why was I there at this particular moment? My guess is that we were all on a mission; an expedition…. Maybe to discover the true pleasure and treasure of adventure and ultimately, to unveil positive human experience. The laughs, the thrills, the words spoken, the dance, the ritual, the “Tribe”.

Some of my notes strike me… For example; adventure tourism growing at a rate of 16% a year, Adventure travel is a connection to nature + Physical activity, + Cultural pieces, 65% of revenue stays in destination, Customers want to be impacted by their experience; authentic and transformative experiences.

What can I say, I do love the authenticity of the ” emerging” world. Two weekends ago I began a journey to a sister nation where life still remains, in many ways, unpredictable and organic. Funny how first impressions work, some are in tuned with reality but most are misconceptions because you cannot really judge a book by its cover. In fact, you cannot judge adventure or human experience at all because it is so personal and organic. That’s why we call it “Adventure”.

In the beginning it was so difficult to remember your names and attributes. Yesterday, as I pieced the journey together into a nice collection of business cards and scribbled bits of personal data that I learned along the way, I discovered that each notecard was filled with descriptive words about our unique exchange. And I can somehow put each name to a face, to a moment, to a place, to a connection.

Connections make up the map of our experience. The connections to earth, air, water and fire, light and spirit all spark the love we have for the overall experience of life.

“Ustedes en turismo de aventura venden alegria y amor” J. Wallace.

We are all fortunate to be in the industry of experience and adventure. We sell “happiness and love”. We connect the elements of nature and culture to human experience. In this past mission, we not only connected with each other, but we connected with a virtually unknown Mexico. It is through our own connections that we will “activate” the journey and this particular destination. But the most rewarding feeling is knowing that an inspired “you” is contributing to the flow of (in this case) emerging economies, (and in most cases in adventure travel) sustainable growth, evolution, and frugal but spiritually enriching, transformative human experience.

“Hasta luego” fellow adventurers.
Thanks for the inspiration.
See you on a future expedition!

Stay connected.
Gaby V.
El Salvadore