Fall Weekend Getaway in Alabama

I travel a lot with my job – so when we go on a trip, I love to find a beautiful bread and breakfast.  Over the weekend, we had a fall getaway to Alabama and we found a neat bed and breakfast.  It is located in the small town of Valley Head, Alabama.   It is right on the Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama state lines – at the foot of the Lookout Mountains.Even though the leaves were not at peak like they are in Kentucky, it was still beautiful.  The weather was near perfect and if you love Bed and Breakfast with flair of history, I highly recommend Winston Place.

There is a lot of history of this beautiful old house.  The innkeeper proudly shares the history as he provides a tour of the house.  It really takes you back in time, a time when life was simple.  

My favorite spot was the porch.  We had our own sitting area on the porch with a door from our bedroom,

 

 

 

 

 

We found a neat dinner spot on top of the mountain behind us in Mentone thanks to the suggestion of the innkeeper.  .  

Moonlight Bistro

Moonlight Bistro is a log cabin setting with a wide variety of food from pasta to filet, chicken, salmon, and sandwiches.  Dessert choices included deep fried Oreos with ice cream and chocolate sauce.  We skipped that!   Warm chocolate cookies awaited us upon our return to Winston Place.

Breakfast was served in the beautiful red dining room.  The innkeeper kept us company telling us about stories from his days playing football for Alabama. 

Breakfast included scrambled eggs, sausage, cheese grits, potato casserole and biscuits.  It was yummy!

We relaxed on the porch with coffee.  The air was a little cool – but the sun was shining and it was a perfect morning.  I could sit there all day, rocking and relaxing.

When we left Winston Place, we headed back up the mountain to the DeSoto Falls. 

The view was beautiful.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our trip ended with a family wedding.  I have to share this picture from the wedding. 

They used cotton plants from the fields for their decorating.  I loved it along with the burlap.  It was perfect for the wedding held at a stable. 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, it’s home and back to work.

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Giving Thanks with a Grateful Heart!

Thanksgiving… a time of reflections and giving thanks for all the blessings in our lives.   We typically celebrate it by gathering with friends and family and eating the traditional turkey and dressing with all the fixins’ and top it off with all kinds of pumpkin pies and desserts.  The turkey isn’t the only thing that is stuffed on Thanksgiving – we do it to ourselves as well!

An afternoon of football games on the TV, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in the morning and now add the “early” black Friday sales.  I love the Thanksgiving holiday – not only because of the reminder to give thanks for our abundant blessings- but for great food and fellowship with our families….and don’t foget a four-day weekend!   I don’t do the “black” Friday shopping frenzy.   I don’t like shopping crowds and I don’t know of anything I need bad enough to fight for it.

We have always traced Thanksgiving Day to the celebration for their harvest that the Pilgrams had in Plymouth Rock.  I have learned that Thanksgiving in our earlier nation took place with a church service giving thanks to God.  It didn’t start out as a feast.    I am sure someone later (possibly Baptist as they are known for their casseroles…and yes, I can say that since I am Baptist!) decided food was needed  and started the covered dish potluck.

As I reflect on my blessings and give thanks, I am so thankful for family, friends, my health, my country, my church, and all the little things we all take for granted each day – like a roof over my head and food in my belly!   My wish for you is a safe, comfortable and blessed Thanksgiving. 

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generationsPsalm 100:4

Just a few pictures of my “Thanksgiving” season decorating.  I love the fall colors and  enjoy the simple “things” of this season more each year.

 

Paula Deen…..Make Room for Mrs. Wilkes!

If you haven’t been to Savannah, Ga – put it on your “bucket list”.  Savannah takes you back in time and gives you many reasons to love visiting.  The history of the City, the beauty of the trees with spanish moss, the beautiful squares, the fountains, River Street, cobble stone streets and the unique shops are just a few of the reasons I love this city.  And now I have a new reason to love Savannah  – Mrs. Wilke’s Dining Room.  I heard about Mrs. Wilke’s – (sometimes referred to as Mrs. Wilke’s Boarding House) from many friends who highly recommended the entire experience.  Most of my trips to Savannah have been afternoon or night visits while vacationing on a nearby island.  Mrs. Wilke’s is only open for lunch so my family had been unable to find a time to give it a try. 

A work-related conference in Savanna allowed me to explore the City for 4 days recently.   Many of the meals were included in the conference, so I had to pick and choose carefully where to eat during our “free-time meals”.  The choices of restaurants are unbelievable.  A lot of people at the conference wanted to go to Paula Deen’s Lady and Son’s Restaurant.  I had eaten there a few years back – so I wanted to try something different.  After all, I am not as big a Paula fan as I once was.  I really liked her before they started air-brushing her portraits on the magazine covers and before she started being so “polished” on her show instead of down-to-earth.   Don’t get me wrong, I am still a fan.  I love her story of where she came from and the obstacles she overcame to be who she is today.  I also admit I have most of her cookbooks and I have had the opportunity to attend two of her personal appearances.  I just wish she would stick to food instead of trying to sell furniture! 

On my list of “to-do” on this trip to Savannah was to eat at Mrs. Wilkes.  Believe it or not – there are no promotional brochures in the tour racks for Mrs. Wilkes.  I had to get on the internet to find out the details.  Mrs. Wilkes is only open from 11 am until 2 pm Monday thru Friday and she doesn’t take reservations.  Her website indicates customers just start lining up in front of her restaurant a little before 11 am each weekday.  You are called in by the host to be seated according to how many seats are available at a table.  Unless you have enough people in your party to fill up a table, you sit with people you don’t know.  The food is already ready on your table when you sit down in bowls, served old fashioned family style.  You spend the first part of the meal passing bowls, and believe me that took a little while as there are plenty bowls to pass.  We were there on a Tuesday and they served fried chicken, barbeque shredded pork and beef stew.  I passed on the beef stew – but the other two meats were good enough to write home about.  The side dishes – well, in order to sample everything, I could only allow a little more than taste of each dish…. cornbread dressing, mashed potatoes, candied yams, creamed corn, lima beans, green beans, black-eyed peas, macaroni and cheese, squash casserole, okra and tomatoes, cucumbers, and rice.  I am certain I missed a few…it was overwhelming.  I tried not to overload my plate – but as you can see, I wasn’t too successful.   Opps, I almost forgot to mention the cornbread and homemade biscuits.   Sweet tea was the token drink, after all we were in the south!      

I get hungry just looking at this picture.  Close your eyes and you can even smell the goodness!! 

After consuming the main meal, they had offerings of banana pudding and peach cobbler.  I was only able to take a bite of the banana cobbler.  I just couldn’t hold anything else!  

I will admit, I wasn’t crazy about the idea of sitting with complete strangers and breaking bread.  But….it was ok.  In fact, it was better than ok.  We ate with two couples from Florida, one couple from Ohio, and another lady from the northeast.  We exchanged stories of our favorite restaurants, foods, and moaned together as we started filling up!  You can bet my next trip back to Savannah will include Mrs. Wilkes!

Planting a Seed

I have a confession to make.  Ever since high school and taking a creative writing class, I have had a desire to write.  It started with a note from my teacher telling me I should consider writing as a career.  At the time, I had no idea what I wanted in a career.  I had never even considered writing.  To be honest, I wanted to be a homemaker.  I grew up when “Father Knows Best”, “I Love Lucy”, and “Leave it to Beaver” portrayed that a women’s place was in the home.  You cooked, you kept the house clean, and you were a full-time mommy.  You also did this while wearing a cotton dress (starched and ironed), with heels and pearls. 

Needless to say, I have never been a stay-at-home homemaker.  I went to college and  have had a career for over 30 years, while raising 3 girls and doing well to have a meal on the table each night….much less keeping a house clean while wearing pearls.  I wasn’t prepared for the exhaustion of working full-time and trying to keep my house in order like June Cleaver’s. (Just in case you are wondering – my house has never been in order like June’s and I gave up trying years ago). I think those of us that grew up in the late 50’s and 60’s got cheated somehow because those television shows made us think we had to do it all…..but that is a blog in itself.

Needless to say, however, a seed was planted.  Through the years, the thought of writing has come to mind and I have laughed it off and thought to myself – I’ll do that in my spare time!  When I had that seed planted in the 70’s, we didn’t have the internet, computers and blogging was a word that wasn’t even in the dictionary.  So maybe starting a blog will fill my desire to write.  I certainly am not the next Danielle Steel – but if I can get beyond the technical challenge of creating a blog – maybe I can mark off one thing on my bucket list….writing!

Come along with me….I will be posting and sharing about life in a rural southern town, my love of cooking, sewing, reading, and other creative ideas.   I promise you – it won’t include cleaning – but maybe my need of organization.  And…it definitely will not be while I wear pearls, nylons and heels.