South Dakota, Colorado, Washington, D.C., Florida and Alabama Vacation Photos

Labor Day begins the winding down of summer.  I’ve come to think of Memorial Day and Labor Day as a set of spiffy bookends supporting the May to September romance we have with summer, the summer vacation, and vacation photos.

bookends-shells

A summer vacation was not to be for me and Dave the Builder due to obligations, project deadlines, and ch-ch-ch-ch-changes (a tip of the hat to David Bowie) in our everyday life.

So it goes.

All good things come to those who wait to hit the holiday road in the fall.  Fall will be here soon as will cooler temps, seasonal colors on parade, festivals and gumbo good times.

Grab a to-go pumpkin latte and call me a happy traveler.

pumpkin-latte

A simple solution to alleviate vacation withdrawals is to live the moment  vicariously through vacation photos delivered to my inbox from the merry band of traveling Millennials aka our son and his wife, nephew #1 and his darling family, and nephew #2 and his beloved.

badlands

Our son and daughter-in-law traveled to the United States for a twelve day trip to discover the sights, sounds, and highlights of the Black Hills of South Dakota, Mount Rushmore National Park, Badlands National Park,  Aspen, Denver, Fort Collins, and Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Dakota

Mt. Rushmore

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

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bison

They called one evening and while we were talking I heard the roar and rev of motorcycles.

Is that motorcycles I hear?

Yes it is.

Have you ever heard of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally?

Needless to say, it was quite a noisy conversation.

brewery

Our son on tap and taste duty at the New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Dallas-puppy

There would be more pictures, but the newest addition to their family, Dallas, chewed through both of their laptop charger cords.

Two observations:

Puppies gnaw and chew on cords, belts, purses, shoes, furniture.

A mother who bites her tongue and does not remind her son if the cords were not left on the floor for the puppy to get to in the first place you wouldn’t have this issue deserves a medal, or at the very least a vacation.

This weekend marks their first wedding anniversary.  To mark the celebration, they are traveling to Minneapolis to dine in style, see Taylor Swift in concert, and shop for new and replacement electronics, chargers, and devices.

Congressional Country Club

Speaking of weddings, the next round of vacation photos are from nephew #2 and his beloved’s trip to Bethesda, Maryland and Washington D.C. to attend a friend’s wedding and reception held at the Congressional Country Club.

Washington-Monument-1

tomb-unknown-soldierTomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery

The Korean War Veterans Memorial

The Korean War Veterans Memorial 

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Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History 

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Nephew #1 and his darling family make a Florida vacation a yearly event.  Joined by our niece-in-law’s parents, sister, brother, their spouses, children, and a pair of aunts and uncles, the group travel by air and land to Perdido Key for a week of family fun in the sun.

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Twelve adults and six kids (including two babies under one) require a lot of stuff.  With a two day start, our nephew drove his loaded to the gills SUV from Missouri to Florida to meet the crew.

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Sun, beach, water, sand, rinse and repeat floated everyone’s boat.  The Places In The Home side of the family leans more towards the mountains and the west coast, but know well the appeal of the Florida Gulf Coast.

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Nephew #2 and his beloved ended up having a two for the price of one vacation.  The second part of their vacation found them on beach time in Orange Beach, Alabama.

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Toes in the sand without a vacation care in the world until company arrives.

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vacation photos

Winter, spring, summer, or fall- vacation photos place you in the moment and serve as a wish you were here postcard.  As the sun sets on summer 2018, we hope you have a wonderful Labor Day holiday weekend.

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Vacation Observations and Treasures Show and Tell

As promised, here is part two of what I did on my summer statecation otherwise titled Vacation Observations and Treasures Show and Tell.  My blogging routine is suffering from a case of the I’m ready for summer to be over and fall to get here slowdown blues.  Taking time to hunt and gather images, ideas and inspiring notes of design and decorating interest for fall and home for the holidays sharing benefits both author and reader. It’s gonna be good!

Summer whispers into the ear of the normal day-to-day routine let’s blow this gig.  You’ve got places to go, people to see, ideas to develop.  Summer didn’t have to tell me twice it was time to book a five day statecation to the Shreveport/Bossier City area.  Antiquing and vintage shopping is a big part of the vacation equation, and traveling by car makes it super easy to load that baby up with finds, treasures and home goods.  My must shop list includes Dillard’s, Belk, Marshalls and T.J. Maxx.  For good while we’re here measure I threw in a let’s stop by the new Whole Foods Market Shreveport.  Try, try as I may to figure out what the whole Whole Foods hullabaloo is all about, I don’t get it.  Take it away, Josh Baskin.

Perusing the East 70th Street retail and restaurant offerings, I noticed a peppering of construction crews and roll offs.  Curiosity leads inquiring minds to need to know info.   Look what’s coming to Shreveport.

At Home

at-home

Home Goods

home-goods

La Madeleine

la-madeleineShreveport has hit the all things house that make a home jackpot.  I am decorating and dining happy.  Happy to

infiniti

and beyond!  I do love a good game of wordplay.

architectural-detailsOur Home away from Home- Horseshoe Bossier City

One up way too early for a vacation day coffee call served up one what do you want to do today round table discussion.  Antiquing it is.  Wifi connected us to six shops of interest and roads to follow.

roads-to-follow-reader

Treasures Show and Tell Observation #1

Change is the only constant in today’s antiques marketplace.  When Dave and I were actively “in the biz,” the proprietor of the antique mall we were in required dealer inventory consist of at least 80% antiques with an allowance for 20% vintage collectibles.  An antique by law is an item at least 100 years old.  Vintage collectible refers to an item at least 50 years old.   We advertised as an antiques shop, and the inventory reflected that.   Assuming (you know what they say about assuming) all antique shops adhere to the same truth in advertising rule, when the sign says antiques I brake for antiques.  On the other hand, if a shop’s name has the word or words curiosity, vintage, thrift, trading, collectibles, junque or consignment in it I know what’s in store.  Out of the six antiques shops visited, only three fit the bill.  Two featured vintage finds and curiosities, and one is nothing more but a shadow of its former antique mall glory.

ironstoneTreasures Show and Tell  Observation #2

It dawned on me after viewing booth after booth of painted pieces that I have an issue with the trend that in my opinion has stayed too long at the party.  It’s a disgrace when an item is touted as an authentic painted piece picked and plucked from an old farmhouse, feed, hardware or general store when in truth it is fresh off the chalk paint, font and Pinterest bandwagon.  Many an unsuspecting and trusting customer gets duped by this practice, and I think it is absolutely shameful.  Buyer beware.

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don't-cry-over-spilled-milk

Good advice and odd artwork caught my attention.

Treasures Show and Tell

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Dave the Builder, always clever in his delivery, exclaimed for sale as in fore sale! upon the sighting of this Louis Vuitton golf bag.

Louis-Vuitton-golf-bag

Treasures Show and Tell Observation #3

I’m kicking myself for not buy this St Francis garden statue.  The best time to buy an antique, collectible, vintage treasure or in the case concrete garden statue is when you see it.

concrete-garden-statue

Restaurant china creamers and syrup pitchers are my collecting thing, and when priced under $5 call these sold!

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A small print and a steamboat saucer rounded out my big haul.

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Treasures Show and Tell Observation #4

Small finds can make big impacts in the grand decorating and color scheme of things.

blue-white-saucer

Our summer statecation is in the rear view mirror, and I’m already checking rates and availability for a quick late fall getaway.  In the meantime it’s back to work, decorating ideas and the holidays are right around the corner plans.  In blog housekeeping news, I am currently in the middle of attempting to migrate my existing site to a new and improved cPanel hosting platform.  This, my friends, should be good. Technical blah, blah, blah but necessary to keep things up to speed.  I’m about to lose my mind and my religion over this, but I’m determined to do this.  If I don’t break the site, Places In The Home will be back up running and loading lightening fast next week.  Have a lovely rest of the week.

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It’s That Summer Vacation Time of Year Again

Summer vacation let’s hit the holiday road getaway, treasure hunting, taste testing delicious cuisine, unplugging if only for a few days, reconnecting with Dave the Builder.  It’s that summer vacation time of year again.

summer vacation time

Vacation ~ Go Go’s 

Vacation
All I ever wanted
Vacation
Had to get away

Talk (type) to you next week.

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Auctions, Estate Sales and Antiques Treasure Hunting

Auctions, estate sales and antiques treasure hunting expeditions write the latest chapter of my how I spent my summer vacation story.

Auctions, estate sales and antiques

Antiques auctions are my thing.  From start to sold, I love the workings of the antiques auction machine.  Dave the Builder and I have clocked many an hour in old barns, metal buildings, old storefronts and convention halls in hope of acquiring antiques and vintage furniture and accessories up for auction.  When live and in person isn’t in the bid cards, absentee bids are in order.  One of my very favorite auction houses, Gallery Auctions, Inc.  invites absentee bidding, offers quality merchandise and is known for superb customer service.

cutting-boards

In the market for an antique bread or cutting board, I searched the listings with gotta have it success. I placed absentee bids on several boards to cover the spread, and was thrilled to receive the phone call that I won the bid I really, really wanted.  The board is big, aged, perfectly worn and rich in patina and provenance.  Score!

bread-boardAttending the highly anticipated local estate sale recently held less than one block from the Places In The Home abode turned out to be a good decision.  This particular estate sale was a treasure hunting must- one where quality meets quantity.  The bamboo light fixture immediately caught my eye, piqued my interest and held my attention.

foyer-chandelier

First day sale prices can send a wave of sticker shock throughout the antiques dealers, estate sale aficionados and interior design and decorating community.  The word on the tree-lined street signaled high prices ahead.  The price I was comfortable paying did not square with the sellers initial asking price.  I told myself if it is meant to be it will be, and waited for the next day price negotiations.  Holding firm with an offer does not always work out for the best, but in this case it did.

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Dave the Builder rewired the fixture, applied two coats of gloss white lacquer spray paint and here we are.  You’ll see this image again in a post I’m working on detailing more decor updates.

horseshoe

Horseshoe Bossier City Hotel and Casino

He said, “I need a vacation.”  She said, “Can we go auctions, estate sales and antiques treasure hunting?”

dare-day-clubDo we dare take a gamble on basing our vacation destination on past antiques inventory buying successes?  I’m willing to roll the dice if you are, Dave. He said, “make the reservation.”  She said, “win, lose or draw, I’m ready to go.”

vintage-book

The who, when, where and what anticipation of discovery is the common thread between vacation getaways and treasure hunting .

painted-drawer-chest

First stop on the treasure hunting train: Kings Antique Mall.  The gotta have it list for our auctions, estate sales and antiques treasure hunting trips includes requests from clients as well as items for my personal collections.  A hold tag on the two drawer chest dashed my hopes for ownership, but it gave me an idea for a piece already in inventory. Inspiration is everywhere.

painted-green-chest

applique

antique-butter-dish

I am always fascinated by the nouns of life and how we draw home decor inspiration from them.  Violets remind me of my maternal grandmother, and memories drive the antiques business.

violet-plate1I almost overlooked this small violet adorned dish while shopping at Antique Shoppes at 1100 Barksdale, but luckily spied it sitting pretty atop a dusty shelf.  It currently resides on my bedside table as a holder for my reading glasses.

sheep-statue

statue

Hitting the copper jackpot at Antiques on Gladstone.

vintage-copper-kitchen-utensils

I love when an entire city block is home to antiques shops.  Kid meet candy store.  Finding the hotel silver dome put the cherry on the treasure hunting cake.

silver-dome-Shreveport

face-vasesWe are home sweet home again.

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Now comes the fun part.

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A Most Fetching Friday: The Summer Vacation

Today’s A Most Fetching Friday is all about the summer vacation.

fetching-define

Tourism thrives on it, houses are built to entertain around it, school teachers wait all school year long for it to get here, kids of all ages celebrate it, and memories made on the summer holiday road stay with us for a lifetime.

ff-Texas-hill-country

Texas Hill Country

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Lake Keowee Lake House Cabin, South Carolina

Palm Springs Hotel

Summer In Color at The Saguaro Palm Springs

the summer vacation

What story will your summer vacation tell?

sea shells

Sanibel Island, Florida

Dave the Builder and I have been on a mini vacation for a little over a week.  Reality will soon call us back to our normal routine, but for now the pace has slowed and the summer vacation life is good.

luggage tag

Tagged for Travel

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Get Your Kicks and Your Gas on Route 66

ff-tubing

Sunny Days and Cool Waters

Summer Sounds

Have a lovely weekend.

signature-pink

Not Too Far But Far Enough Away From Home: Travels to Small Southern Towns

August was a busy month of celebrations and milestones around Places In The Home.  Our son’s graduation from Louisiana State University, commencement ceremony and subsequent celebration(s) made for a busy first part of the month. When Dave the Builder suggested a regroup and recovery getaway for two I could not make reservations fast enough.  I’ve come to enjoy and appreciate the not too far but far enough away from home travels to small Southern towns.  These travel gems brimming with history, old houses, antiques and townsfolk who invite you to take in and be a part of the local flavor make a great weekend getaway destination perfect for recharging one’s battery.

St.-John's-Episcopal-ChurchSt. John’s Episcopal Church – Washington, Louisiana

Our long and winding road travels (well, our straight line I-49 travels) placed us center stage among the small Southern towns of Washington, Scott and Lafayette, Louisiana.  I learned a long time ago not to categorize our close to home jaunts as a non-vacation.  Trust me, these  just roll with the flow discovery excursions can pass a good time and pass for a real vacation.

Travels to Small Southern Towns

Washington, Louisiana is as sleepy as it is Southern, a small town full of history from steamboat days gone by.  Narrow streets shaded by mature oaks, magnolia trees, historical architecture, quintessential Southern homes ranging from the wow to the weathered, and an old high school full to the gills with antiques and vintage goodies seasons the local flavor.

old-houseBeauty does not always strike a pristine pose. This abandoned abode on a shaded street in a small Southern town piqued my interest, struck an architectural chord and became the subject of a subjective experience.  

You know you love antiquing when the indoor temperature almost matches the oppressive outdoor temperature ( 95+ degrees).  Note to self: antiquing in old buildings, warehouses, outdoors and in old high schools is an activity best enjoyed in the fall.  On this particular Louisiana summer Saturday, the Old Antique School Mall was full of hot air and hot finds priced fairly and in shop or home ready condition.  I didn’t have a clue what I was looking for, but something told me I would know it when, and if, I saw it.

Antique-School-Mall

Our visit to the school was timed just right for a super sale.  I have been working on a kitchen gallery wall, and no respectable kitchen gallery wall is complete without the all important touch of copper.

copper-kitchen-wares-finds

I couldn’t resist the lidded copper pan and mold.  Grand total: $10 for both.

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That ladies and gentlemen is a copper bargain of the very best kind.

PM-corbel Dear Santa…

The method to my retail madness is simple- pop into shops, boutiques, markets and retail outlets not available in the retail deficient corner of the world I call home.

The Haul~

Lafayette-goodies

A familiar sign became a beacon of biscuits and cornbread in the South Louisiana night.

Cracker-Barrel-signIt was a biscuit and cornbread kind of evening. 

I planned our next trip the Southern life fantastic on the drive home. November can’t get here soon enough.

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Colors Along The Bayou

We Louisianians are a patient people.  We are 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

bayou-colors-fix

You can be guaranteed if it’s late November the locals are asking, “Are the leaves in color on the bayou Ginkgo?”

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 these colors along the bayou really are.

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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.

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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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The Myrtles: Inspiration, History and Mystery

In the daily meeting with the Places In The Home creative team (me, myself and I),  quiet and centered thought brings forth ideas. Sometimes it all runs together, and at other times the ideas and interest flow like the mighty Mississippi River.

There’s a world of inspiration out there folks!

I love the search, especially when it is right here at home.  October is a great month for antiquing, fall road trips, and home tours.  Several fall October weekends ago, Dave the Builder, the Canadian snowbird (our son), and I set out on an intrigue packed afternoon and evening fondly referred to as The Myrtles: Inspiration, History, and Mystery.

antique sideboard

Working for family is a trick and a treat.  I set the tone for a blissful and professional working relationship right off the bat, and we’re off and decorating.   My brother is once again enlisting my help in redecorating his den and foyer.  He didn’t realize he also wants to freshen up his dining room decor until I insisted gently persuaded him to do so.

formal dining room

His circa 1903 home is one of the few Victorian turret architecture examples in the state.   Staying true to the period is an absolute must on the exterior for historical purposes however, I am allowed to blur the lines when it comes to the interior.  Small changes and edits keep the bottom line affordable and in check with current styles.  Changing the neutral color palette is off limits.  He loves it, and it flows with the historical aspect of the home.

table lampsclick on image to enlarge

New lamps for the sideboard and replacing the dining room chairs ( bad, very bad) is first on the list.  He has tried his best to get his hands on the balustrade lamp Dave the Builder made for me.

Brother dear, that is not going to happen.

This is the reason I sourced lamps in a more sophisticated image of my lamp for his consideration.   We will also be paying attention to new curtains-drapes or perhaps just embellishing the exiting ones with trim or tassels.  A new area rug is on the list,  and we will definitely be lowering the artwork and framed photos.   Essential to the art of the hang, consideration has to be given to ceiling height, proportion of the space, and overall balance when placing artwork.

Placing items and photographing the space for reference reminded me of the details surrounding the silver lazy susan with double turned malachite handles atop the sideboard.  St. Francisville, Louisiana is a charming  town rich in history and historical sites.  My brother is a history buff who really appreciates the architecture of historical homes.  He enthusiastically believes no trip to St. Francisville is complete without a tour of The Myrtles Plantation.

The Myrtles PlantationMyrtles Plantation

The Myrtles Plantation  is not without national media attention.  Referred to as one of “America’s Most Haunted Homes”, The Myrtles has been the subject of interest, articles and television documentaries from Veranda, Travel and Leisure, The New York Times, History Channel, and the one I most remember, the visit with cameras rolling from Oprah Winfrey.

Myrtles-front-porch

The Front Porch – Myrtles Plantation

As visitors make their way up the winding driveway to the entrance of the circa 1796 Antebellum mansion, distinctive features such as the brick courtyard, double dormers, and the lacy wrought iron wrapped front veranda captures the eye.

Myrtles-Plantation-ornamental-iron

Front Porch View of the Grounds of The Myrtles Plantation

I could sit on the veranda in the large rocking chairs staring out at the moss draped live oaks and lush grounds for hours.

One Saturday afternoon and evening fifteen years ago,  I did just that.

Photos of Myrtles Plantation, Saint Francisville

Dave the Builder, our son and I were in Baton Rouge on a working vacation of sorts.  My brother suggested we drive over to St. Francisville and New Roads to check out the sites, the tastes, and to tour The Myrtles.  He asked me to pay close attention to the silver lazy susan in the dining room of the Myrtles with the request for me to try to find him one in our treasure hunt rounds.  With travel weather seasonally perfect, down Hwy. 61 we go.  Upon arrival in St. Francisville, we decided to have lunch at the Carriage House Restaurant on the grounds of the Myrtles Plantation (regrettably now permanently closed due to a fire).

The Carriage House Restaurant at The Myrtles PlantationCarriage House

Our waitress asked if this was our first time to The Myrtles.  She highlighted the history of the town, suggested must visit shops, and highly suggested we take the Saturday evening Myrtles Mystery Tour.

The Mystery Tour is held on Friday and Saturday nights, and is touted as the opportune time for Chloe, the reported ghost known to inhabit the house and grounds of The Myrtles, to make an appearance.   Our son was captivated, my curiosity piqued, and Dave the Builder weighed in with an approving why not on a Louisiana Saturday night.   I made reservations for the three of us for the 7:00 pm tour, and we left the grounds highly anticipating our return.

In part two of Three Part Harmony: Inspiration, History and Mystery, I’ll tell the tale of Chloe, recount our ferry trip to New Roads and the infamous Miss Emily,  shopping, champagne punch, and the fun and fright of the Mystery Tour.