The Mystery Vacation…

I have been writing personal ‘travelogues’ for over 15 years, hardly anyone has ever read them- so why would I openly blog about a vacation? Most travel pieces are either boring or overhyped. I am not an expert traveler, I will not advise you to ‘vacate your life’. I don’t like the phrase- ‘to go on vacation is to vacate your life’… Vacate sounds like an eviction notice‘you must vacate the premises for 5 days and 4 nights.’ Awful and empty, really. The answer to why I write travelogues or any other writing is because my left hand has loved to form letters and words since I was 4 years old and my right handed 6 year old sister taught me to write; I love to tell a good story and my travelogues help me remember the wonderful, aggravating and goofy things that made life larger not vacated.

This one started out as a ‘mystery vacation’ for our family of 5 adults. We have been taking two family vacations a year for over 10 years. For a good many vacations we would designate the family member to choose, because it was ‘their turn’.Some of the excitement seemed to have gone out of the planning phase. I had narrowed it down to several cities- the replies were- ‘It doesn’t matter, you decide’, ‘whatever you decide will be fine with me’, ‘we have a good time wherever we go’. Answers as breezy and nice as organdy curtains, but with no substance. So… I decided. I booked. Two months in advance-flights, hotel and rental car. Then, rather than tell them where we were going- I began sending out ‘hints’.

  • We will be flying southwest.
  • Our first stop will be Orlando.

No one was guessing, I’m guessing they weren’t that interested.

  • A rental car has been reserved.

First response- ‘I am not sitting on the hump.’ from an adult.

  • Designated Driver has been selected.
  • Board, ski and luggage rack has been declined.
  • We will be staying at a resort and spa.

Second response- ‘Oh good, maybe Dad will give us time to get a massage.’ Did I detect a negative? About 10 more hints, barely a response. I sent this one out-

  • Think ‘Game of Thrones’.

‘Well, I thought I had it figured out until you threw that in’. I was having  a ball, they were yawning…probably thinking …’whatever’. Until. that. clue. Plaintively came the cry? ‘When will we find out what to pack?’

  • Your Dad will be wearing his ‘summer travel outfit’.

They all know what that is- Golf Shirt, with white undershirt, ‘short pants’, tennis shoes and tube socks pulled up to his knees. We did go to Orlando- even had to spend the night, because our flight was seriously delayed and we were going to miss the connecting flight. We decided at the Birmingham Airport that we were not going to allow one day of our vacation to be ruined because of something out of our control. We did make it to the southwest the next day, to a city where the author of ‘Game of Thrones’ lives. No one had to sit on the hump. The offer of massages was declined. Dad wore his summer travel outfit every day.image

A good time was had by all…stay tuned.  Love y’all, Camellia

Find ‘Game of Thrones’ on  Amazon.com

 

Live Oaks…

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The Live Oaks of Alabama’s Coastal South are hauntingly beautiful…image

With long gray beards of Spanish Moss…image

These ancient ones stand guard and watch carefully over the bountiful goodness…image

Embracing, with wide open arms those who seek shelter and shade..imageFrom Magnolia Springs, Point Clear, Fairhope, Daphne to the other side of Mobile Bay- Alabama’s Live Oaks are our special treasures. How blessed we are! A special thank you to my talented friend who shared her photographs of the Live Oaks near Magnolia Springs right on Mobile Bay. One of the most beautiful places on Earth.  Enjoy!

Love y’all, Camellia

*photographs may not be used without permission

Alabama the Beautiful…

“Just look at those clouds. Sometimes Alabama just breaks my heart – it’s so pretty, it just breaks my heart into little pieces.”    Honora DeChavannes from Michael Lee West’s book- ‘Mermaids in the Basement’….  “Just look at those clouds… it’s so pretty…it breaks my heart into little pieces…” No truer words were spoken- Enjoy…

 

It bears repeating:  “Just look at those clouds. Sometimes Alabama just breaks my heart- it’s so pretty, it just breaks my heart into little pieces.”

‘Mermaids in the Basement’ by Michael Lee West, set in the Gulf Coast area of Alabama- is a delightful book, a great beach read!

 Alabama is heartbreakingly beautiful! She has earned the title – ‘Alabama the Beautiful’ . If you’re dreaming of a beach vacation- well, I guess you know where my heart is…

Love y’all, Camellia

Jeremy Miniard* took these photographs just last week of the Gulf Coast and Mobile Bay.

‘Mermaids in the Basement’ is available on Amazon.com

 ‘Alabama the Beautiful’ books- Amazon.com

*all rights reserved on Jeremy Miniard photographs

Springtime in New York City…

 

In Alabama, it’s late Spring, just a few weeks ago, New York City was in full bloom!

There were chocolates from Jacques Torres, fresh produce and bread from Eli Zabar, cappuccino and wine bottles filled with lavender at Eataly!

A real ‘feast’ for the eyes, everywhere we looked! I’m so thankful for the Divine Promise…’As long as the earth remains there will always be Springtime…’

Love y’all, Camellia

Jacques Torres ChocolatesJacques Torres – these fine chocolates can also be purchased from Amazon/Groceries! http://amzn.to/1sRCrMP

Eli Zabar’s breadsEli Zabar – all about Eli Zabar including recipes from Amazon! http://amzn.to/1sRCAQk

Mario Batali’s Eataly Eataly – find all things Eataly on Amazon! http://amzn.to/1P0ngKL

Walls can talk!

imageYou’ve heard the old saying- ‘If walls could talk…’ . In New York City, walls really can talk! Look at this one we found in NoHo! Really good advice, don’t you think? And what about Times Square? All of those buildings sport advertising, the revenue from these ‘talking walls’ is so good, the offices they cover are almost empty!

 

And what about this brick wall, found beside a sports bar near Rockefeller Center?imageWho knew? So, this week…slow down a bit…Stop, Look and Listen. You might start seeing that walls really can talk!imageHave a great week! Love y’all, Camellia

Psst! Couldn’t resist one more… If these walls could talk- they would tell you they house the homeless at night for inside shelter, but this building started out its life as an orphans home, and became the site of a very famous movie- ‘ Miracle on 34th Street’ with the equally famous child star- Natalie Wood !image