Meet the Westons

Hello, and thanks for traveling with us. We are Elena (writer, artist), Jonathan (writer, photographer), and Toby the Wonderdog Weston (when on a secret mission, he goes by Tobias). He’s an exceptionally good traveler, and we hate leaving him behind. Toby is a Maltese Mix: part human, part dog. Since we now have an empty nest (Brady Bunch, out of the house!), we’ve been on a Househunt France adventure for longer than we care to admit. Still not yet settled on a place as there are so many stones left unturned. It’s just too fun for Toby, sniffing out new places, sampling the food and wine to finally pick one! 

We have been exploring other countries as well, like Switzerland, Italy, Germany and next up, the UK. Why not? But we always seem to come back to France, hoping that one day, we’ll find our place there in the sun. Or it could be in the fog, in Brittany! More likely the sun.

Westons in Loire Valley
Elena and Toby in St Paul de Vence
Elena at the Louvre

Where We’ve Lived

When we’re not on the nomad trail, we live in North Carolina, near Charlotte and Lake Norman. We enjoy four seasons. A benign culture, yes, but easy living, affordable houses (they were), close enough to the mountains, the sea (Wrightsville Beach, Savannah, Charleston!), and most importantly, an international airport.

For many years, we lived in California where we all met. Prior to meeting, we resided in St Petersburg and Maui. 

Huntersville NC Spring
The Huntersvile Hood
Grey Heron, Lake Norman, Jetton Park
Grey Heron, Lake Norman, Jetton Park
Toby on the beach
Toby on Carmel Dog Beach, CA
Seabirds on beach
Wrightsville Beach, NC
Charleston, SC flag
Savannah, GA
Elena in st petersburg
Elena in St Petersburg
Jonathan on Maui
Jonathan on Maui photo Erik Aeder


Toby was born in 2011, in Northern California – not by us, but real dog parents – a 4-pound Maltese pa and 9-pound Shizu mama.

Somehow, it all added up to 17 pounds of calm, well-behaved manners, but did we tell you Toby has a turbo mode? Turbo-Toby! It lasts about five minutes. Then he poops, plops, and refuses to walk. For the former we have a poopie bag, and for the latter, a doggie backpack and a Gen 7 Pets stroller. We really do! Because we like to walk a lot, and he doesn’t. Plus, he likes lording over the poodles like a prince.

But after awhile, Toby gets a little restless, and hungry for some real history, some European culture. He’s getting on in years, but still enjoys his travels around Europe. We have no other choice but to oblige him, and go through the motions to prepare his pet documents and get him ready for some overseas travel.  He especially likes France, but would like to go to Malta, if only to meet his cousins.

Toby in bed, St Paul de Vence
Play Video about turbo mode


An artist born and raised in St Petersburg, Elena Weston has spent more than half her life as a US Citizen on the West Coast and now Carolina. Elena enjoys pastels, painting with watercolors and oils, but also loves to paint using the ancient medium, egg tempera to paint Icons. Check out her gallery of paintings here.
elena paints tree
Elena with Lavender, Paris
Elena on Left Bank, Paris


A writer and photographer born in Atlanta, Jonathan Weston has been published in Sports Illustrated, Conde Nast Traveler, French Photo, and countless other international publications. Way back in 1990, he won the coveted NPPA Sports Photo of the Year, sponsored by Kodak, Canon, and SI, amongst 36,000 entrants. A lucky shot! 

He’s produced many sports films and written a few books about windsurfing, and some fictional works about Hemingway as well. These days, he primarily enjoys travel writing and photography. He’s also a National Champion sailor in the Weta Trimaran class, and Founding President of the Windsurfing Hall of Fame.

POY Picture of the Year, Sports Illustrated, Kodak, Canon, NPPA
POY Picture of the Year, Sports Illustrated, Kodak, Canon, NPPA
 Jonathan has an AA degree in Photography from University of Florida and a Brooks Institute of Photography dropout (something about a windsurfing evolution happening in Hawaii). Later in life he received  a BA in International Art Journalism from Oregon State with a minor in Creative Writing, and a Masters in Science Ed in Instructional Design and Technology from Purdue. At graduation, they tried to direct him to the faculty section. Nope! Lifelong student.
His second career has seen him as a Producer for NBA OKC Thunder and Orlando Magic, TV Producer for Central Coast Sports, corporate video producer for Amazon, Cisco, and Brocade, and currently serves as Lead Digital Sales Tools Trainer for SPX Flow. You can see his gallery of photo images here
Me and Toby on bench
Hanging with Toby in Colmar
Jonathan sailing on SF Bay
Jonathan sailing on SF Bay

You can further Toby’s travels and enjoy more stories, travel information, and photographs through purchasing a print, bag, mug, and much more through our galleries within Fine Art America. May we suggest using the filters to target your interests via “Collections” (top left menu). Enjoy!

As members of the Amazon Affiliates program, we would like to recommend a few Amazon products on our site. If you click on one and buy something, we may receive compensation. Thank you!

Books By Jonathan Weston

Return to Pamplona, written by Jonathan Weston, is the first book of The Hemingway Trilogy. It is a fictional account of Hemingway’s return to Pamplona with characters from his book, The Sun Also Rise, ten years after publishing and on the eve of the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. Click link, read an excerpt.

Here are two versions of Maui Glory Days, with photography and words by Jonathan Weston. The one on left is with B&W photos, the one on right photos are all in color. Bezos makes more on this one, but the experience is worth it. Color is only available through amazon.com, not .eu, .jp etc. There is also a Kindle version or two, you just have to find the “more versions” link. Read a few pages for free and see all 70 5-Star Reviews by clicking the link. All proceeds support Toby’s travels! For more information about the book, visit www.mauiglorydays.com

Toby in backpack

Searching for a Dog Backpack?

This is Toby’s go to backpack. We got it at Petco, and use it when we want to go hiking on a trail or on cobblestones where his stroller is not good for that (would need one with inflatable wheels).
This one is the Top Paw brand. Master has been working with some backpack designers but nobody seems to think there’s much of a market for it. But it looks like K9 Sport Sack Knavigate thinks there is.
We usually only recommend products we have tried and found true, so you’d have to try it yourself and decide. As you can see, Toby would rather hang out and look back at the beautiful sights, than drool on master’s shoulder.