The speedy fast trip to Richmond, Virginia was all about baby William and his Christening ceremony.
He is Matt’s Godson and this was our first chance to meet the bald little 6-month-old gentleman. Matt went to college with William’s father and I really enjoy Hatcher and his wife Megan. This is their first child. Through our engagement, Megan was pregnant at all of our events, so it brings a great smile to our faces to see William laughing and smiling!
We are just smitten with this little guy. In fact, once we were on the plane back to Minneapolis we wished he could have come for a quick trip with us! I’ll say this, we’d have to make a rush trip to Target for diapers and formula.
The Christening was just stunning at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. A large cathedral with a soft mix of gold and muted blues and grays. The colors even felt a little French to me. It was a beautiful moment for all of us to reflect on little William and his family. The city was surrounded by azaleas at a point where we were struggling to get blooms in Minnesota. Matt and I couldn’t help but soak up the sunshine and flowers. We needed it!
Later there was an unexpected highlight to the quick weekend. While most of our crew was taking a quick post-church nap, Hatcher’s father, a life long Richmond native, took us on an amazing tour! He pointed out as much as he could on the two plus hour car ride where we’d hop in and out to see the attraction ranging from Early America happenings to locations important to the South’s Civil War capitol city. It was such an amazing day! The White House of the Confederacy, The Tredegar Ammunition Site and Museum and the most impressive Hollywood Cemetery where my fellow Mississippian, lawmaker Jefferson Davis is buried, along with many other CSA generals and soldiers. It’s an intense experience.
The quick trip was so inspiring and exciting that mom and I decided THIS MORNING that we are changing our fall plans and doing an entire Virginia trip. We were going to explore parts of the East Coast, but now it’s all Virginia. I’ve been to Charlottesville several times and now Richmond, but there is so much more to see. Stand by as we plan! Send tips my way if you think of anything!!!!
I love a good adventure. I’d say most of my vacations and trips aren’t relaxing. They are about seeing new things and getting as much in a day as possible. When it came time to pitch ideas for a honeymoon, Matt and I first were thinking of complicated, exhausting trips that would send us across the world. Perfectly fine, but it finally hit us. No. We don’t want to be in a hurry, we don’t want to wake up early, figure out public transportation or lug around rolling bags. There’s plenty of time for that. We are going tropical!! No obligations to see the must see attractions. Instead, we’ll eat, drink, sleep late, go for walks in the beach, and sit under umbrellas with the Caribbean breeze keeping us cool.
We want this to be easy – breezy. No make up and no hair drying. Still, I’m looking for cute resort dresses that can be rolled up in my bag, are light and breathable.
In my search I found this adorable vintage Lilly Pulitzer dress with lime and pink with some cute little shells. Just imagine all the exotic trips it’s gone along with through the decades. They just never go out of style. Ladylike is always in style.
Picture is from etsy.
I’ve spent July 4th in plenty of different places. One of my favorite memories is the summer of 2002. This sun lover was lying on the warm French riviera sand. I was shocked out of my college-aged daze when a blast of patriotic music roared through the street behind me. I’d been over there a month. I didn’t expect my patriotic songs! Could it be? It sure was with our beautiful red white and blue flag whipping in the wind. My right hand flew to connect with my heart. I felt so proud. So thankful these Americans or fans of our beautiful country put on a show for us.
This was another amazing fourth celebration weekend.
Matt and I loaded up the car drove across the state line into Northern Wisconsin. Living all the way up here in Minnesota has been a strong lesson that our country is vast and complex. We’re a long way from home, but on the 4th it didn’t matter that we’ll always call Georgia and Mississippi home, this is too is our home.
We are thrilled to have found our “home away from home” at Stout’s Island Lodge about two hours away from the cities. It’s only open from spring to fall because it’s on a small island in the middle of a lake. It feels wild there. The flora and fauna are unlike anything on main land. Bright color in every direction. The grass as green as could be. It was built in the early 1900’s by a family with a lumber fortune. Pictures show me it was just as magical then as it is now. Landscaping that looks like it just grew up looking wild, colorful and exotic. The rooms are decorated with period furniture with wood burning fireplaces. The lodge has looked just about the same since 1915, and smells like thousands of roaring fires it has hosted through the decades. Thank goodness at least some things can stay the same. Fingers crossed we can make one more visit before the season ends.
It’s the Friday after a full week of work following an amazing seven work day vacation.
Just by reading that, can’t you feel it? I know you can. It hurts. A little physical, but mostly mentally. Actually, I’ll go so far as to say emotionally. I love traveling. I’m better at nothing more.
As blessed as we all are who have jobs, especially ones we love – as I very much do, it is still hard to return to a day of constant concentration and routine when you’ve enjoyed the opposite. In fact, for me I first spent six days in San Fran and Wine Country for my bachelorette weekend. (I’m drinking a glass of the red I stashed in my bag right now) After that Matt and I flew down and celebrated our engagement with our friends and family in Griffin, Georgia. A fantastic party. What a dream week.
(Just look at my handsome fiance. I’m posting more about the party soon)
Monday instead of heading to a perfectly manicured eco-vinyard in lovely Sonoma I was on the train to work. It’s not the idea of work that was painful. I think it’s the lack of immediate inspiration. When you travel everything is new, different and thought provoking. Plus, in tourist destinations everything is perfectly attended to that one is constantly absorbing beauty.
Trying to put a positive twist on my attitude I tried to use my vacation glasses during my normal day. Within minutes I saw these flowers on my less than exotic walk to my corner gas station by the station for my tall-boy diet coke. The yellow and purple/pink flowers had taken over what could have been an ugly concrete expanse. I smiled. It had worked. The mind is a powerful tool.
Matt is marking his last few months as a single man with his friends in the North Carolina mountains. His favorite place. One of mine as well. I’m alone this weekend in the Twin Cities. Just saw My Morning Jacket is playing here tomorrow night. Ironic. I’ve had Steam Engine on the mind for the last month. Around 1:03 the guitar takes me come close to tears each time. I like to think if I was able to make music, I would want it to have the same haunting mix of beauty and energy. It’s something special.
I can’t believe that song came out in 2003. As good as the first time I heard it. Real music. His voice. I’ll be there. With the college kids. Invisible. Just how I like it.
Listening to it always reminds me of the last time I saw them. In Memphis. At Memphis in May. It was hot as hell right there on my favorite river. Had no idea I was standing next to people who would eventually not be strangers. What makes life fun.
It’s been one of those simple tasks that shouldn’t be this hard!! I know you know what I’m talking about. It can be mind blowing.
I started a free (yes, nothing is ever free) wedding website through “The Knot”. I just needed a place that our wedding guests could visit to see information about the church and venue, places to stay and fun things to do while visiting the Mississippi Coast.
Clearly I’m mildly web capable. I have this blog. I know how to buy things on the web, no doubt. However, Matt and I have had problem after problem with The Knot. It’s been CRAZY. Store registries disappearing from the site and not allowing me to attach them back, getting locked out of the site, then not being able to get anyone on the phone. It’s not that it would just ring and ring and ring, but it would pick up with immediate sales messages, giving us a chance to win a honeymoon or something I didn’t want, and then you’d have to punch a number on the phone to speak to a representative, but it’s all so confusing, I spent 30 minutes trying to get through and never did! I don’t think it’s possible to reach a human on the other line. I seriously think their wedding websites are just a ploy to gather sales information through your registries added to the site and then sell it. That’s fine, but at least answer your phones and offer properly functioning website – then I gladly give you my information. I should have researched all of my options more.
Who has time to write real blogs when you are fighting with all this!
Get how I finally was able to get my website fixed – Facebook! I messaged the company. It took a couple of messages, but it went a lot faster than the phone and email. Social media is nuts. I wouldn’t use “The Knot” for your wedding website. Look for an updated blog eventually when I find a better company. I’m researching it. Will definitely be one of those “wish I’d known” lessons from the wedding planning experience. Oh well. It’s up and working now in enough time for our guests to get the information they need to make for a fun weekend.
Can you believe this crowd!
I’ve always considered myself a Mardi Gras veteran. No, not Mardi Gras in New Orleans, but along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. It’s a legit part of growing up down there. Going to a parade in every town and getting two days out of school to celebrate the annual party was AWESOME. There are so many memories: having play parades in school. We were fully dressed up as floats using elaborately decorated cardboard boxes while throwing beads to each other from the school auditorium stage, then getting down to Mardi Gras music, and eating cream cheese filled king cake that left your teeth stained from the purple and green granulated sugar. Of course, this was back when they actually put the plastic baby in the cake before baking, but I digress.
Even with it being such a big part of our lives, my parents still never let me go to big kid Mardi Gras an hour away in New Orleans. I’ll admit, for good reason. It’s crazy. Just the crowd of people, beads going in every direction and abundance of florescent colored adult beverages. The New Orleans festivities make the Pass Christian, MS parade, which I always found a little scandalous, seem like a kids ride in Disney World.
My best friend lives in New Orleans now, so I couldn’t pass up the chance to be in the Big Easy for Fat Tuesday. This year my parents couldn’t tell me no! Though, they haven’t talked to me about my trip yet. Passive aggressive disappointment in their grown daughter. We’ll just have to disagree on this one. I don’t plan to ever miss another Mardi Gras week in New Orleans. Funny, I lived so close to NOLA for years and only made it down once I moved all the way up to Minnesota. Maybe it’s just what I needed up here! It is kind of cold right now. It’s cold in the south, too, but not at all like this.
Watching those parades not only took me back to my childhood of fighting for every bead, cup or random made-in-China throw, but also, I have to say, the whole trip felt strangely right. I now realize it’s my cultural obligation to respect and support the tradition started by our gulf coast region ancestors from long ago. I need Mardi Gras in my life. I’m a very responsible, organized, hard working person, but the amount of chaos going on around us actually felt good. Even without my frozen drinks, I felt euphoric watching the little kids making memories, families enjoying the sights and sounds together and the true magic that Mardi Gras is and always has been from its start in Mobile, across the Mississippi Coast and through the bead pummeled streets of New Orleans.
I’ll see the rest of you revelers again February 9th, 2016.
Mardi Gras street funk – Balancing on roots during parades
Cab dropped me off tonight right on Saint Charles. Was as far as we could get to Camille’s house. Arms full of luggage, I walked right into Bacchus. Like walking into a different world. Looked up at the elaborate floats with awe like I did as a kid.
It’s always a little disorienting how lovely and stylish the Minneapolis St Paul Airport is with the gourmet food courts and swank bars.
I mean there’s a fresh squeezed orange juice station. Just don’t think this would work in other airports. People would me touching the oranges and sneezing near it.
The third picture is exactly where I realized this would be my new home. Was on my way back to Memphis and thought – “What the heck. Let’s do this.”
Wonder if the airport style played a role!
We’ve been so busy this week in Portugal. We are either driving, my head in maps, or looking around, not wanting to miss a thing. Today it’s nice to spend a quiet moment on our beautiful terrace in Tavira in South Portugal. It’s full of comfy chairs and succulents of all types. At roof height the Clay roof tiles are just as decorative as everything else we see. These are the things we can’t bring back home. Though, I’ll make sure the inspiration makes it back to Memphis.
That’s the name of our neighborhood restaurant. We aren’t in Lisbon proper. Instead, about 15 minutes in the rural area.
Our home is full of drawings artfully hanging in every inch of the house. The fabrics are bright and beautiful. So far the seafood is amazing.
We just landed this morning and already Camille and I have loved our time and the new friends we’ve met.
I can’t take my eyes off the walls, though. Moving north tomorrow in our scary little car.
Our flight is just hours away…
My best friend and I are going to Portugal. We’ll fly into Lisbon and then drive in any direction we like. Well, actually, Camille has it all planned out and I’m so thankful to her. Two years ago we discovered Germany and I can’t wait to hit the ground running again. This time I imagine there will be more wine enjoyed than beer. I hope to see beautiful homes, architecture, landscape, flowers and enjoy amazing food and drink.
This is one of the true joys of life! Adventure!!! Until I leave I’m snuggling with Bridget. I love her so much.
This picture below is in Bavaria
Just minutes before this picture was taken I suffered a horrible burn at the hands of my boyfriend. He was kind enough to help steam my dress (note * next time take dress off) but slipped and held the steam wand up to my dress, which meant it was also against my skin.
We’re talking blister. Oh Lawd. If you see me cringing. This is why.
We were at one of my favorite parties of the year. A spring party in Matt’s hometown in Georgia. These white dinner jackets always make me smile. So old school classy.
Mom and I have been at the beach near Seaside, Fl since Saturday night. We’ve fought some rain and chilly temps, but now it’s just perfect in time for my dad to join us.
Been laughing at this sign in our condo. It’s hanging on the wall and every time I pass it I giggle.
My power went out last night during the spring storm. It was a work night. Let’s just say it made for a stressful morning.
The good news. I’m hitting the beach. Florida with my mamma. No better company. Really. Love my bf, but mammas are special. We aren’t the tanning types, but we do like to lounge, sip & eat, so cheers to relaxing. Got a little swimsuit crazy. There is a third not pictured. Online shopping is too fun.