Vacation Observation and Summer Getaway Show and Tell

The traveling Places In The Home duo is home sweet home, and as much as I love a good getaway, there is no place like home.  Prior obligations and work schedules clipped our wings to a certain time extent, so our escape was of the closer to home statecation to North Louisiana variety. Making a vacation observation and sharing details of our summer getaway will be a two-parter with the first installment a celebration of the red, white and blue.

American-flag-display

Vacation Observation #1

Don’t believe everything you read or hear about a decline in patriotism and the celebration of the American flag.  Seeing is believing, and on our statecation getaway we treated ourselves to a self guided tour of the Historic South Highlands neighborhood.

American-flag-display-front-house

Architecturally magnificent on all fronts, the homes of the Historic South Highlands neighborhood happened to be decked out not only in detail, but in 4th of July-proud to be an American style and colors.  Here, let me show you.

southern-front-porch

I love the Southern comfort lives here ambiance and patriotic porch set for a red, white, and blue summer holiday.

ed-white-blue-front-porch

Fairfield-home vacation observation

Vacation Observation #2

North Louisiana mirrors the landscape of East Tennessee (another favorite vacation getaway destination).  Tree-lined streets of the Historic South Highlands neighborhood wind and weave through a semi-hilly fashioned parkway.  Mark this corner cottage in a dreamy creamy shade of yellow as a model of southern charm.

yellow-brick-cottage

Several squeals of glee pierced Dave’s eardrums, more than a few oohs and aahs perhaps became a few too many, and an insane amount of unabashed architectural envy dominated the evening’s conversation.

What can I say?

Architecture is my thing.

vintage-street-light

Towering pines and oaks shade the yards and boulevards.  Vintage street lights evoke nostalgia of days gone by.

tree-lined-streets

Beauty, charm, and tradition lie in the details.

architectural-windows

Curb appeal is a powerful calling card.

front-entryway

Impressive entry doors greet the eye and welcome step away from the ordinary style.

decorative-exterior-door

Vacation Observation #3

Architectural juxtaposition promotes a dramatic effect and a desirable address.

modern-architectural-detailsVacation Observation #4

An afternoon drive through a historic neighborhood between shopping destinations and dinner reservations inspired, confirmed and renewed. It’s not a day at the beach or one spent in the desert or the mountains, but it’s one of our favorite things to do at home or on vacation.  The food, the landscape, the architecture, the terrain, the dialect-you can learn so much from your travels.  Inspiration is everywhere.

American-flag-displayed-in-tree

Old Glory is once again displayed from the oak tree in the front yard of Places In The Home.  The tree is cosmetically worse for wear since the tornado, but is still the optimum spot for the flag to be displayed. Patriotism with flying colors is alive and well at Places In The Home. Happy 4th of July to all of you.  Celebrate in style and let freedom ring!

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Souvenirs: The Architecture and Interior Design Of The Broadwater Beach Hotel

Updating and refreshing blog posts is a necessary exercise in relevancy just as updating and refreshing our decor is.

A recent discovery of original images of the Broadwater Beach Hotel and Resort by architectural photographer Ezra Stoller and the video Biloxi Memories and the Broadwater Beach Hotel highlighting the heyday of the Broadwater Beach Resort is an exciting development (the video is posted towards the end of the post) and the main reason for updating Souvenirs: The Architecture and Interior Design Of The Broadwater Beach Hotel.

In compliance with licensing and copyright permission, the usage of the Ezra Stoller images was only approved for use in Pinterest board format.

The link to the Pinterest board is also towards the end of the post.

If the story of the glamour days of a Mississippi Gulf Coast beach hotel, the architecture and interior design features that impressed and inspired, and the who, what, when, where and why that made it the pleasure dome on the Coast captures your imagination, then I’ve got a blog post for you.

hotel front desk key holder

Urban Americana

The decorating wheels of my mind are always turning, especially while on vacation.

Checking in and checking out the architectural, interior design and decorating features of the hotel we are staying at mixes business with pleasure.

Inspiring design and decorating features of the lobby, dining room, swimming pool area and grounds of the hotel and of course, the well appointed hotel room, become impressive souvenirs.

640px-Woodward_biloxi_lighthouseBiloxi Beach Lighthouse ~ William Woodward 

Over the summers of the early and mid 1970s, my family attended American General Contractors conventions in Biloxi, Mississippi.

I fell head over heels in love with the aesthetic of the buildings and interiors of our summer home away from home at 2110 Beach Boulevard on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the Broadwater Beach Hotel and Resort aka the Broadwater.

Through words, Biloxi memories, Ezra Stoller images and decor accessories and accents in the style of, I invite you along on this tour of the architecture and interior design of the Broadwater Beach Hotel.

70sbroadwatersign-1

The Broadwater

The Broadwater Beach Hotel began as a modest hotel property in comparison to what the Broadwater would become under the ownership of its second owner, Mrs. Joe W. (Dorothy Dorsett) Brown.

Pete Martin Sr., the original builder and owner, was known as a well-known gambler and rum runner along the coast.

He opened the Art Deco style hotel in 1939, but the desire to invest in a Las Vegas hotel brought about the need to raise the funds to pursue this endeavor.

Enter Texas oilman Joe Brown.

Mr. Brown purchased the property from Pete Martin, Sr. in 1958, but unfortunately Mr. Brown passed away the next year.

Dorothy Brown

Mrs. Dorothy Brown

Mrs. Joe W. (Dorothy Dorsett) Brown wholeheartedly embraced the task at hand of transforming the Broadwater into a travel destination contender.

Mrs. Brown, with a keen vision and staunch attention to architectural detail, brought to fruition a premier flagship beach hotel and resort property.

she sells seashells

Dorothy Dorsett Brown launched a new Sea·Sun-Food·Fun architectural and mid-century modern interior design renovation complete with architectural enhancements, renovations and additions to the property.

sea sun food fun sticker

Stunning on all beach fronts, the newly completed and modernly improved Broadwater Beach Hotel and Resort raised the hospitality stakes as the foremost host on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

I have diligently tried to locate fixtures, fabrics and finery original to the Broadwater to little or no avail.

I’ve selected a few accents and accessories to illustrate the juxtaposition between yesteryear and today’s interior decorating tastes and trend.

broadwater color

Standing out among the other properties along Beach Boulevard Highway 90, a half circular exposed aggregate palm tree lined driveway and signature concrete canopy glamorously greeted guests.

As coastal day turned to coastal night, exterior recessed, spotlight and pathway lighting illuminated the Broadwater in shades of yellow tinted white.

As an extra-added “front of the house” visual treat, colored bulbs were added to the landscape spotlights in the front landscape beds.

It’s all in the details!

YABU Toronto four seasons

 Four Seasons Toronto ~ Yabu Pushelberg

The lobby showcased Terrazzo flooring, framed artwork, Italian chandeliers, mid century modern table lamps and walls dressed in mid century style contemporary walnut paneling.

large round chandelierVintage 1940s Twelve-Light Chandelier made in Milan  

Montreuil Chandelier

Montreuil Chandelier 

Italian chandelierElle Decor

Monroe collection chandelierWorld Imports Monroe Collection Satin Gold Chandelier

Pacific Coast Lombardy Table Lamp - Brown LusterPacific Coast Lombardy Table Lamp – Brown Luster

Ruby Ceramic Gold Finish Linen Shade Table Lamp

Ruby Ceramic Gold Finish Linen Shade Table Lamp

Natural Mother Of Pearl Table Lamp Made Of Crystal And Fabric And Shell

Natural Mother Of Pearl Table Lamp Made Of Crystal And Fabric And Shell 

Possini Euro Design Mid Century Modern Table Lamp White Ceramic Taupe Drum Shade

Possini Mid Century Modern Table Lamp

Leah Metallic 24" Table LampLeah Metallic 24″ Table Lamp

The extensive grounds of the Broadwater included Lanai rooms, brick cottages, a resort triple play of swimming pools complete with waterfalls, diving board (remember when hotel pools had a diving board?) and postcard worthy panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico, family friendly offerings such as a playground and train, elegant dining options featuring live musical entertainment, tennis courts, riding stables and premier Sun and Sea golf courses.

architectural tilesTerrazzo ~ Exposed Aggregate ~ Quartzite ~ Natural Stone

Regarded as a state of the art jewel of the Coast, the Broadwater Marina made its property debut to the boating public in 1965.

Dorothy Dorsett Brown spent $3,000,000.00 to build the marina.

That’s a lot of clams for 1965!

Broadwater marina

The Broadwater Marina could host up to 150 sail and powerboats.

Hotel shore to ship services such as boat or yacht housekeeping and room service was offered to the marina occupants.

broadwater marina

The staff of the Broadwater Hotel and Marina, with effortless precision, mastered the art of hotel and southern hospitality.

Broadwater Beach Hotel Biloxi

No pedometer was needed to record the number of steps taken or distance walked around the sprawling grounds of the Broadwater.

Miles.

Trust me.

We clocked hours swimming under the waterfalls of the Lanai pool, holding court poolside from the swim up tables bedecked with fringed umbrellas in resort festive colors, and sipping Shirley Temples made to order with extra long stemmed cherries and crushed ice.

pool party in pink

Room service delivered to the patio of Lanai room 127 was a daily treat enjoyed by the members of our future ladies who lunch club.

The room key from Lanai room 127 is a forever souvenir from the Broadwater Beach Hotel.

broadwater beach hotel room key

The objective of a hotel or resort is to treat guests to a memorable vacation and hospitality experience.

One of my most endearing memories of the Broadwater is the The Royal Terrace dining room.

Opulent yet accessible, the interior design and decorating accent mark was fittingly placed over swank and service.

royal terrace dining broadwater beach hotel biloxi

Vintage Cookbooks & Crafts ~ Restaurant-ing Through History

clarissa-crystal-drop-small-round-chandelier-c

I am truly convinced my love of crystal prisms began in The Royal Terrace in the summer of 1973.

globe prism sconce

cubist glass sconcesMid Century Modern Cubist Glass Sconces

Corbett-Lighting-silver-wall-sconce

Corbett Lighting Chimera 2-light Silver Wall Sconce

Elegant wall sconces dripping in crystal prisms illuminated ornamental panels.

Crisp white linen tablecloths draped tables elegantly set for a summer night on the town dining experience.

A distinctive curved wall to the left of the main dining area anchored the Trophy lounge.

veere-grenney-pink-interiorVeranda

dining-roomHouse Beautiful

A curved floor to ceiling wall of windows adorned in Austrian shades overlooking the pools and patio all done against the backdrop of deep pink and white color palette perfection.

These will forever be a few of my favorite hotel interior design and decorating things.

deep-pink-fabrics

Destruction and devastation is the calling card of a hurricane, and the states in the Gulf Coast region have had their fair share come to call.

Dave the Builder’s sister, her husband who was stationed at Keesler Air Force Base, their toddler daughter, and her in-laws rode out Hurricane Camille at The Broadwater Beach.

Her mother-in-law worked at the Broadwater, and feeling the structure sound she suggested the young military family take refuge at the hotel.

Evacuation confusion ensued along the Mississippi Gulf Coast as hurricane coverage of the category 5 hurricane was thought to be aimed at Florida.

Hurricane warnings for the area were issued by 5:00 p.m. CST on Sunday, August 17, 1969.

The window of opportunity for them to safely evacuate slammed shut sooner than later, forcing them to seek protection in the motel rooms on the back part of the property.

Hurricane_Camille_trackweather.gov

Hurricane Camille’s landfall presence was unforgiving.

The storm surge was brutal, flooding and fires consumed and destroyed properties, and the death toll startling.

camille 1969

The Broadwater Hotel suffered storm surge flooding, and the Broadwater marina saw moderate damage.

The Broadwater weathered the storm and survived the damage of Hurricane Camille, coming out on the other side of nature’s wrath repaired and renewed.

This time.

I last visited the Broadwater Beach Hotel in 1998.

Financial neglect, design and decor disrepair, and changing times were now guests with no intention of checking out.

The bones of the main building were as I remembered, but an attempt at updating the once glorious interiors looked to be an epic fail.

Post Katrina Damage to Main Pools & Dining Room

Hurricane Katrina barreled through, and what parts of the Broadwater Hotel she didn’t destroy the wrecking ball did.

On this side of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the economic downturn of 2008 comes hope for a Broadwater revival.

Broadwater Development, LLC hopes to once again create resort magic on the Mississippi Gulf Coast where exceptional hospitality leaves a lasting impression- one that invites you back time and time again.

News of the revival of the Broadwater is exciting as is the discovery of Biloxi Memories and the Broadwater Beach Hotel highlighting the heyday of the Broadwater Beach Resort.

Biloxi Memories and the Broadwater Beach Hotel

Please find the link to the Pinterest board below:

The Belle of Biloxi: The Broadwater Beach Hotel and Resort

pinterest board screen shot

 

The companion post to this feature, Souvenirs: 21 Inspiring Design Features from Hotel to Home, is currently in the process of being updated and will be posted at the end of the week.

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images via Preservation in Mississippi, PIM via John Beers II,Flickr/tombarnes20008,Reocities

A Most Fetching Friday: Coastal Sunrise Sunset

Today’s A Most Fetching Friday captures the majesty and serenity of the coastal sunrise sunset beautifully featured as the view of the day in “Coastal Living Magazine.”

fetching-define

Do yourself a visual favor and view other fetching sunrise sunset images over on Coastal Living Magazine’s Facebook page.  Inspiration is everywhere!

Grand Isle, Louisiana

Grand Isle, Louisiana

coastal sunrise sunset

Monte Carlo, France

Isla Espiritu Santo, Mexico

Isla Espíritu Santo, Mexico

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, Canada

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, Canada

Maui, Hawaii

Maui, Hawaii

Belleair Beach, Florida1

Belleair Beach, Florida

Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California

Strait of Juan de Fuca, Sequim, Washington

Strait of Juan de Fuca, Sequim, Washington

Inspiration is everywhere!

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Tripping Down Memory Lane: Las Vegas For Spring Break Trip Report

As the calendar shows April and temperatures spike toward fun in the sun, thoughts of a Las Vegas for spring break trip report and let’s get out of town vacation getaways cross the minds of many.

Elle Decor

Everybody loves going on vacation-kids love it, adults need it, and the travel and hospitality industry banks on it.  Dave the Builder and I have had slowed our vacation roll over the past couple of years.  New career paths, project deadlines and family responsibilities will do that.  Short weekend getaways and reading back over trip reports from trips of vacations past keeps vacation hope alive.  Our son is home this week for his spring break vacation which will find me pushing back from the keyboard for a couple of days.  I thought I would share our Las Vegas for spring break trip report from our 2008 with you.  You may be asking yourself, “Who wants to read about a Vegas vacation from several years ago?”  Call me crazy, but I’ll read a trip report about any town, anywhere, anytime.

United

Although prices, airlines names, hotels, restaurants and the live and in person names on the marquee change, the allure of the Vegas vacation remains the same.  Travel deals, hotels, shows, dining, shopping and gambling- they’re all present and accounted for.  I’ll post the report in a couple of installments as not to take too much of your time, bore you or both.  As for staying on topic, you will find personal opinions and comments on design, decorating and architectural elements peppered throughout.

Getting There, Staying There… Air and Hotel

We used Continental OnePass miles (now United) for the airline tickets with the extra added travel bonus of no charge for our first or second bags due to acquiring our tickets before April 2008.  Flying on reward tickets has the drawback of limited departure times.  We chose the crack of dawn departure time of 5:40 AM CST which is early, but we look at like this- you arrive in Vegas around 8:30 AM PST with an entire day of Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas in front of you.

Bellagio-lobbyFiori di Como by Dale Chihuly

We came to the decision to go back to basics in terms of taking the Bellagio and Wynn way of doing Vegas off the table for this trip.  Our last two trips bordered on decadent, and although we loved every minute of it, we were ready to take it in a casual flow direction. We almost caved with the great offer we received from Wynn, but our last stay was so near perfect I decided to just savor the memories. This is a short comment and review of sorts given to a fellow hey baby, let’s go to Vegas travel friend.

“Great detailed report.  Aren’t they the best?!

I am in the great pay vs. comp room debate.  We stayed at Wynn in 2007 for our 25th wedding anniversary.  My tastes do not tend to favor the “Californication” decor, but the room delivered a studio apartment feel perfect for relaxing.  It wasn’t until we checked out that I realized how much I enjoyed the room.  The interior design and room decor was neither overpowering nor understated.  It achieved what good design and decor does, it made a lasting impression.  I will give Wynn and Encore more play in the future in hopes of scoring a comped room.

wynn-room-view

Some of our best Vegas memories are from our stays at Venetian and Palazzo.  Dave and I love the decor, customer service and attention to detail.  I have read negative reviews regarding the “fakeness” of the architecture and the use of plastic and faux finishes.  

Venetian-hotel-lobbyGrand Colonnade ~ The Venetian Las Vegas

For the love of all things Vegas, give it a rest!  I’m an interior decorator, and even I don’t look that close nor care.  Do you know the cost involved in attempting an architectural replication with authentic materials?

Palazzo Hotel

The suites of Venetian, Venezia and Palazzo are some of the best the strip has to offer.   Yes, the property makes a fine impression on us!

VEN-Prima_Sqft-600x600

As soon as we got home from our last Vegas trip I went right into trip planning mode. Dave and I bounced plans and opinions around until we fined tuned the plan.  Our hotel choices for this trip came in at everyone’s favorite Vegas vacation rate- comped.

Vegas Vacation Tip #1 (any other vacation destination applies here, too):

Experiencing sensory overload while in Vegas is to be expected. One tends to lose track of time, sleep and the ability to think straight. Over the years our trips have run the gamut from whirlwind in town for only 72 hours full tilt blowouts (younger days) to ten days and nights Vegas isn’t going anywhere themed trips. Regardless of the number of hours or days of the trip, I like to have a pre-trip pre-planned agenda to loosely follow as more of a daily guideline than a hard and fast schedule.  Schedules and time commitments don’t really coincide with my idea of relaxing and recreating, but shows and dinner reservations wait for no one.  Then there is the dreaded “what do you want to do today?  I don’t know, what do you want to do today?” kiss of vacation death.  If you’re not careful you will blow valuable vacation time suspended in decision mode.  Besides, don’t we all do enough of that at home a la “what do you want for dinner?  I don’t know, what do you want for dinner?”  Yeah you do!

Treasure-Island

We try to put a new spin on Vegas each trip by staying at properties we have yet to stay at.  I logged on to our MGM Mirage player club accounts and discovered a great offer from Treasure Island.  We booked Treasure Island Tuesday- Saturday with $$$ in free play and two comped buffets included.

Mirage-Treasure-Island-RioTaking aim at the Rio from our hotel room at TI. Note the reflection of my old Fuji Finepix Z camera in the photo. Great camera and a not so great photographer.  I’ve come a long way, baby. 

Caesars Entertainment came through with a Summerfest Slot Tournament offer of four comped nights at Rio with one night at $78.  Our host from the Stardust is now at Rio, and with one well placed phone call we were set with all five nights now comped.

Spring Break Trip Report Las VegasMy, how the look of the Las Vegas Strip has changed over the years. 

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas!

We landed at 8:49 AM PST, and after the usual airport doing that thing you do we arrived at Planet Hollywood’s front door around 10:10 AM. We wanted to kill an hour or two before checking in at Treasure Island.  Dave the Builder loves playing blackjack at Planet Hollywood, and I couldn’t wait to hit Sephora, ABC, and L’Occitane. Dave won therefore he was a happy Vegas camper.  I, on the other hand, contributed funds to the Vegas retail economy and county sales tax office. With goodies in hand we headed the rental car North to TI. The check- in line was wild at 11:45 AM, but the lines moved quickly.  Stephanie at check- in was a delight to deal with, and after a nice conversation we were assigned room 31036 with exactly the view we wanted. The room was on the corner with one window facing Venetian and Las Vegas Boulevard. The other window offered great views of the Strip from Mirage to CityCenter. The bellman was up to the room with the bags in short order, I checked my look in the mirror, and it was time for our favorite lunch destination, The Palm at The Forum Shops in Caesars Palace.

 The_Palm_Restaurant.svgThe Palm Restaurant

The Palm Business Lunch is one of the best wins of every trip for us. We both ordered the filet with salad and Dave had Lobster Bisque for an appetizer.

Our “we’re in Vegas” lunch was exactly what we needed.  Well, almost. What we needed was to get our gambling on at Caesars.

Caesars-Palace-Casino

On this our first day of gambling ~

Dave’s game of choice is blackjack, and my games of choice involve a comfortable seat, a button, a Shirley Temple, and some reel action. I was playing on a $1 WOF machine and just about to call it an evening when I got the bonus spin and the sweet cry of Wheel-of-Fortune sang out.  The “wheel” landed on $500 for a nice ending to the Caesars afternoon. We dragged our tired bodies back to our home base of Treasure Island. I set the we’re in Vegas, baby mood by tuning the sound system to the smooth jazz station, turning the A/C thermostat to arctic blast, and pulling the drapes back for prime neon viewing.  Sticking with our first night tradition, we ordered a light supper of French onion soup, chicken noodle soup, toast and milk for two and one of the best slices of cheesecake we have had in quite awhile from room service.

french-onion-soupBlurred photo to match my blurred eyes.  It’s been a long first day in Vegas

Our lovely evening ended at the embarrassing hour of 9:15 PM.  I announced to Dave we are officially old as my head hit the pillow.

Treasure-Island-hotel-room

Stay tuned. It’s just getting good.

 

images: Chicago Window Expert, The Venetian Las Vegas

Colors Along The Bayou

We Louisianians are a patient people waiting for colors along the bayou to strut their colorful stuff.

bayou-colors-fix

We’re aware our neighbors to the North actually get to experience seasonal foliage and fall colors before mid to late November.

Fall takes it time getting down to Louisiana, but when it does it stunningly shows its true colors along the bayou in perfect fall form.

I’ve yet to find a better way to take it all in than to hit the road with camera in hand, Dave the Builder at the wheel, and the words from the song “Drive South” defining the moment.

Come on baby drive South
With the one you love
Come on baby drive South

You can be guaranteed if it’s late November the locals will be wondering if the Ginkgo trees are showing off colors along the bayou.

ginkgo-leaves-gold

This famous landmark Ginkgo tree has served as the picture perfect photo backdrop for generations of  local residents.

This picture does not do justice to just how beautiful the colors along the bayou really are.

bayou-colors-ginkgo-1

Decades old iron bridge railing has aged gracefully through the years.

Brick-lined streets, decorative ironwork and historical homes make a drive though the garden district a trip through time.

bayou-colors-3

Further South down the road we go to another small town favorite, Lea’s Lunch Room.

leas-lunchroom

Lea’s Lunch Room is known throughout the United States as the place for pie.

It’s a standing game day tradition to stop at Lea’s for one of their famous ham sandwiches and a piece of pie on the way to Tiger Stadium.

Recently Lea’s Lunchroom was listed in the USA TODAY Travel article “10 best: Delicious Pies around the South.”

All that driving and photographing works up an appetite, and it is the best excuse I know of to order up a ham sandwich and a slice of coconut pie with sky high meringue to-go, of course.

 On the road again…

Lea's-Lunchroom-LeCompte-1

The Mary McCoy Big House stands steeped in history on the Solomon Northup Trail.

The story of Solomon Northup was the subject of the film, 12 Years a Slave.

The Bayou Boeuf community and the parishes of Central Louisiana historically factor into the life of Solomon Northup.

When I was in college at LSU I used the Mary McCoy Big House as my thirty minutes to home mile marker.

Lots of history and beauty associated with this local landmark.

bunkie-house1Click on image to enlarge

Like the leaves, the colors of the season are changing from browns and oranges to brighter reds and traditional greens.

This much needed road trip was all the detour needed to help me collect my thoughts and take a breather before the next phase begins.

December 1st signals the official Christmas season kick off.

Here we go!

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Tales of Road and Sky: Vacation Trip Reports

The Places In The Home gang will not be taking a vacation until later this year, so to feed my traveling jones I’m living vicariously through vacation trip reports from readers, friends and family this summer. Thanks to the tales of road and sky journaled through the lenses of varied mobile device cameras, I’ve traveled to Tennessee, North Carolina, Crete, Las Vegas, Toronto, Cocoa Beach, Destin, Georgia,  Seattle and New Orleans.  Incoming vacation trip reports show the traveling masses are living up to my travel motto.

vacation trip reports

room-service1

I called our son this morning to ask if he would mind me posting this picture of him and his girlfriend from their June trip to Las Vegas.  He thought about it for a minute and in his characteristically witty manner replied, “You have my Viva Las Vegas permission.”

J&K VegasBellagio Conservatory & Botancial Gardens, Las Vegas, Nevada

A picture tells the story long after the vacation ends.

Crete1Balos Beach Crete, Greece

The intended purpose of a vacation is fun,

lb1

Lake-BurtonLake Burton, Georgia

and fun is always in style.

LB-porch

A fun accent piece makes for an interesting conversation piece, a fun night out with friends knocks at the door of nice to see you again, and a punch of fun color shows off the ever appropriate sense of spontaneity.

Eiffel-tower1Eiffel Tower – Paris Hotel

Music is the ultimate traveling companion. It’s the soundtrack memories dance to.  I put as much thought into selecting our travel tunes as I do the travel itinerary.  It’s very High Fidelity.  Gosh, what is it with me and movies references this week?  The music we travel to stays on the mind and the memory, and believe me, I speak from experience.   My dad decided one extended summer trip many summers ago that since he was a Willie Nelson fan the entire family was going to become Willie Nelson fans, like it or not.  Before the seat belts were buckled and the tires had cleared the driveway our self-appointed travel DJ popped Stardust by Willie Nelson into the cassette player (told you it was many moons ago).  The cassette played and played over the mountains and through the woods all the way to grandmother’s house and back.  As much as we bitched and protested about it then, we have never forgotten that trip nor that album. To bring it all home, guess what comes in as my number one  playlist starred under travel tunes?  The music is good, but the memories are what makes it great.

Where are you going on your next vacation? What music will be making your travel playlist?  Share your vacation trip reports here!

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An Admired Treasure Comes Forth From The Myrtles Plantation Mystery Tour

The door has opened on Part III of  The Myrtles Plantation Mystery Tour : Inspiration, History and Mystery.  The final portion of our story involves history, haunts and Houston.

Here we go!

myrtles-plantationThe Myrtles Plantation ~ Tara Marie Photography

The furnishings inside The Myrtles Plantation include four-poster tester beds, crystal chandeliers, ornamental frieze work, and ornate English, French and Italian architectural attributes. Most impressive to me was the backstory, explanations, insights, legends and lessons of lifestyles, customs and ceremony of the period.  Miss Hester told of how etiquette and ceremony were heavily emphasized.  It was considered in poor taste and bad manners to broach the subject of how long guests would be staying at The Myrtles. When the owners decided the time had come for their guests to be moving on, the center bed finial would be removed while the guests were out of the room.  An immediate departure was expected.

Another story of interest revolved around the main staircase.

antique spindles and newel

A mortgage button (decorative plug) in the newel post of the foyer staircase proudly signified the mansion mortgage was completely paid off. It is believed the property note would then be rolled up, placed in the hollow post, and capped with a decorative plug.  Some historians totally debunk this theory.  There are others who say the practice of the time would have been to burn the  property note, therefore, placing the ashes in the hollow post.  Of myth and mystery comes tales that may not be long on historical accuracy,  but make for interesting and intriguing parts of the evening.

The history of The Myrtles and its legend of murder, mystery and sightings is detailed in this short video from The Travel Channel.

I was really into the spirited vibe of the evening for the sake of  the adventure.  Far be it from me to discount the tales of tugs and ghostly reflections that others claim to have felt or seen.

Miss Hester took me to the side and told me that the children like to show themselves to other children.  She told me of the pull described in the video, and that our son could be visited during the tour.  Dave was freaking out, our son was prepared for paranormal activity with a ghostbuster attitude, and I was dead up (pardon the pun) in the middle of all the mystery and mischief.

Could this be what was in store for us this evening?

MyrtlesPlantationGhostvia

Everyone on the Mystery Tour was hanging on Miss Hester’s every word, braced and ready for impact.  Between the ghosts and the thrill of what could happen I almost forgot I was on silver lazy susan lookout.  As we entered the dining room, I immediately saw the lazy susan prominently displayed in the center of the dining table.

Myrtles Interior Dining Room

Even though we immensely enjoyed every moment of the Mystery Tour, I’m sorry to report that no sightings, tugs, pulls, or sounds emerged from the house or the grounds.  We gave it our all trying to get that ghostly feeling, but it was a no-go.

Bradford SuiteGeneral David Bradford Suite

We met a couple from Baton Rouge who were staying in the General David Bradford Suite on the first floor of the main house.  They invited us to join them on the porch for post mystery tour cocktails and spirits.

Myrtles-porchMyrtles Porch

Dave mustered up a shot or two of liquid courage, and in doing so became quite determined to wake the dead.  I reminded him it was probably best to stick to the cocktail spirits, and to let sleeping spirits lie.

My brother could not wait to find out how we liked St. Francisville, New Roads, and The Myrtles.  Our conversation began with two to the point questions.

Did you see the lazy susan?

Yes.

Can you find me one?

Yes I can.

I filed his request away for a future antiquing trip.  Three months after our Myrtles excursion my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, and another road trip of a very different kind was the plan.  We moved to Houston, Texas for six weeks for my mother to receive cancer treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center.  My mother successfully completed her treatment, and thankfully remains cancer-free.

Antique Center of Texas

One afternoon while my parents were resting, Dave and I set out to explore the Westheimer and Buffalo Speedway area of Houston.  We lunched at La Madeleine in Highland Village (now closed), and did an abbreviated version of a shop crawl beginning at Pottery Barn.

I called to check in on the parents,  who informed me they were rested and heading out to have dinner with a dear Houstonian friend of ours.

That’s a go for more antiques and home decor shopping.

Flounder

Oh, boy, is this great!

Carolyn Thompson’s Antique Center of Texas was hopping, and the finds and deals got my attention.  I was thrilled to find a Pheasant mount, a black and brown English riding derby, and a large copper bowl.

I was shocked when I flipped over the price tag on the bowl to see a super responsible price.

The reason for the great price?  The entire center of the bowl was covered with a poorly done free handed inscription.

Where one person sees a problem another sees a solution.  I simply hung the bowl with the center facing the wall, and problem solved.  It is one of many items still packed in storage from the move, but as soon as I locate that bad boy I will post a picture.

On our way to the check out Dave happened to spot a booth brimming over with vintage silver pieces.  We simultaneously spot a silver lazy susan and make a beeline for it.  The dealer approached us with a smile and in the mood to deal.  I put my best broker face on and played the will you take $$$ game for right under one hour.

Now comes the dance.

I call my brother with the price.  He would counter.  Dave would pace.  I would shop some more.  Dave would pace some more.  The dealer would counter.

It’s all in the game.

Finally, a fair and final figure was agreed on by all, and everyone came away a happy camper.

That’s the true definition of a good deal.

silver lazy susan

All roads leading to the lazy susan hold a special meaning to me.  In the middle of the fun, the fright, and the fight stood hope, faith, and family.

Speaking of family, can a brother get some silver polish?

images via Southern Living,  Flickr

 

Tour de Mystery: The Myrtles Mystery Tour

Moving on to the second part of our The Myrtles: Inspiration, History and Mystery adventure, we pick up with our party of three filling the afternoon hours taking in local points of interest while counting down the time to The Myrtles Mystery Tour portion of our trip to St. Francisville, Louisiana.  Our story takes place fifteen years ago, right around the time I opened Hopefully Classic Antiques and Interiors.   Antique shopping was high on the list of things to do, see, and buy.

the-shanty-too

The Shanty Too – Visit St. Francisville

We trekked the streets and shops of downtown St. Francisville until we could trek no more, and now we are on to New Roads, Louisiana.

Miss EmilyMiss Emily – photo by Darrell Chitty

In a glowing review of highlights and attractions of this quaint area the not  story of Miss Emily is a must tell.  Miss Emily was a local woman who worked the queue of vehicles waiting to board the ferry on the St. Francisville side of the Mississippi River selling snacks, homemade pralines and cold drinks.

Sitting in line waiting to drive onto the ferry goes better with an ice cold Coke, salty peanuts and a homemade praline.  We continued our afternoon nosh aboard the ferry as we crossed the Mississippi River. This unique mode of transportation is now closed.  In the name of progress and moving on up, the ferry has been replaced by the  John James Audubon Bridge.  I’m glad we got the chance take a ride on it before it did.

John James AudubonJohn James Audubon Bridge

New Roads did not disappoint. I didn’t know what I was expecting in return from this small town, but it delivered lagniappe in a big way.  We found our way to the main part of town and hit up several antique shops.  The first shop (sorry, I can’t remember the name of any of the shops) specialized in clocks and vintage walking sticks.  Dave the Builder was in his height of glory.   As we entered the shop, we were welcomed by the owner, an older gentleman well versed in the art of antiques and Southern charm, and a lovely older lady whose greeting came in the form of my kind of question, “champagne or fruit punch?”

peach-sunrise-fizz

Our son put in his request for the fruit punch.  I guess she could tell I was a little apprehensive about their comfort level with him in the shop with a goblet full of bright red fruit punch.  I knew this kid was raised in and around the biz and the dos and don’ts in shops and showrooms,  but I also knew she was not privy to this pertinent piece of information.  This lovely and wise woman handled the situation with such grace and tact.  She invited our son to follow her to the butler’s pantry to help fix the drinks and to slip him a chocolate chip cookie or two.  She realized right quick she had made a new friend.

Gosh, what a great memory!

We sipped, shopped and scored two of the most unique antique walking sticks.  I wish I had them both today, but I sold them to a client the following week.

Oh well, the memory is more valuable to me than the walking sticks could ever be.

new-roads

We found a couple of other shops and enjoyed the local fare before heading back via ferry to St. Francisville.  The timing was just right as it was barking up on sunset and coffee time.

Magnolia-cafe

Visit St. Francisville

We crossed another suggested stop off our list by visiting The Magnolia Cafe.   This place is an unpretentious do drop inn heavy on casual fun, food, and drink.

History & Haunting of the Myrtles Plantation

History & Haunting of the Myrtles Plantation

It was about that time to head out for the Myrtles Mystery Tour.  We drove up the winding driveway of The Myrtles, and the setting and timing could not have been better to set the mood and the tone for a mystery tour.  The above image says it better than I can.

Myrtles-Mystery-Tour

Welcome to the Myrtles Mystery Tour

We claimed three of the large rocking chairs on the veranda and pondered what was to come.  While the crowd and the anticipation built, certain imaginations showed signs of running away with the night.  Miss Hester, our tour guide for the evening, casually opened the front door at precisely 7:00 pm and invited the crowd of about twenty to come right on in.

Talk about playing to an attentive and crowded room!

We all gathered together in the foyer with wide eyes and listening ears.  This is where things begin to get interesting.

Stay tuned.