Thanks to the folks at Garden and Gun for bringing a smile to my face with their post of warm-weather photos. We are bracing for two more winter storms this weekend and I desperately need the virtual dose of vitamin-D. Their slide show features one of my happy places–Islamorada, Florida. After you soak up their lovely photos, check out some of my own shots from my favorite winter escape:
It’s a damp, frigid day in New England–the kind that makes your bones hurt.
But right now, I’m warming up little by little.
I’ve got some hot cocoa and one of my favorite Nashville Indie bands, Moon Taxi, cued up as I browse through pictures from my most recent trip down South.
Last weekend, I attended the ultimate Southern epicurean experience: Music to Your Mouth. The annual festival sponsored by Audi is held in the pristine low-country waterfront resort, Palmetto Bluff, and features the region’s best cuisine, libations, and artisan crafts.
The spanish moss-covered destination sits on a 20,000 acre preserve on May River in Bluffton, South Carolina. It’s the perfect setting for this celebration which is described by the event promoters as a “gathering of culinarians, winemakers, growers, and artisans, brought together to accentuate the abundance of ingredients from surrounding waters, woods and local farm.”
It was my second time experiencing MTYM but it certainly won’t be my last!
Here are a few shots that capture some of the magic of the weekend.
Photography by Susan Scarborough and Doug Landis, a Southern gentleman (via California) and honorary SXNE photographer.
In today’s travel section of the New York Times, Laura Tillman takes us through Jackson, MS in 36 hours . She highlights the cultural, historical and culinary richness of the City of Soul. June is the month you can celebrate the life of civil rights hero Medgar Evers with a historic tour and film festival. Or pay homage to Jackon’s literary heritage by visiting Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Euroda Welty’s house and by heading up to Lemuria Books, a Jackson institution for over 38 years.
And of course, the Old South’s traditions always seems to return to the table. The Times piece celebrates Jackson’s eclectic food scene in a city landscape that combines old-school soul-food diners with impressive new restaurants that highlight sophisticated Southern cuisine.
Check out the entire feature on Jackson here.
“You can’t get too much winter in the winter.”
The beauty of nature is so easy to capture in Vermont. I love the simplicity and strength seen in the barns and buildings scattered over the countryside.
The layers of weathered wood and chipped paints on the structures have many stories to tell but they all seem to reflect the strength and perseverance of the people and region.
I can’t imagine there being a bad season to photograph Woodstock, but winter seems to be the season made for showcasing its loveliness.
We all have attachments to our childhood. For some of us, the cravings or longings to return to the places of our youth are based on memories of families, seasons, friendships and first loves. For others, the wish to return home is founded on idealistic notions of a life we wished we would have had.
I fall into the first category. When I think of my home in foothills of the Smoky mountains, I get an overwhelming sense of belonging. Nostalgia flows over me and I get lost in memories. In a more honest moment, I admit my intense love for the Palmetto State might be shaped by a wish for simpler times. Who doesn’t miss a life with fewer responsibilities, and a time before the realities that come with growing older?
But there is much more than memories for this historically rich, complex state.
I got a chance to go back home this past weekend. Not the upstate I usually call home, but a visit to the Lowcountry. The culinary super-fest, Music To Your Mouth, was held in Palmetto Bluff. My timing was a little late on booking accomodations at the resort so I thought I would make the most of it and book something in nearby Beaufort.
At the last minute, I came across the historic Rhett House Inn located in the heart of downtown Beaufort, just overlooking the water. It’s a beautifully restored Greek Revival antebellum home turned bed and breakfast. The property is surrounded by live oaks draped with spanish moss and resurrection fern. My favorite feature was the wrap around porch with the blue-painted ceiling.
We were greeted at check-in with a glass of champagne before being shown to our first floor room off the parlor. We hardly had a chance to put our bags down when were offered a plate of rich mini red-velvet cupcakes. This place was amazing.
Before we rushed out the door that night, our host let us know that every evening guests of the inn were invited to the parlor for drinks around the fire. It looked so cozy but we didn’t have time. That is until we were stopped in our tracks with the quintessential Southern melt-in-your-mouth cheese wafers brought out warm from the oven. I couldn’t stop eating them and to be honest, I helped myself to more than my fair share over the weekend. They were so good in fact, I begged for the recipe before I left and they were kind enough to oblige.
The hospitality wasn’t limited to food and imbibing. It was so comforting to be back in a place where the words “y’all” and “honey” dripped off everyone’s lips. I felt so at home and felt the comfort of familiarity even though this was my first visit. This Carolina bed and breakfast is definitely on my “must stay” list.
Photography by Evelyn Laws