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Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Fair Amount of Fairhope

We were some of the few that ventured to the gulf coast in spite of the oil spill this past summer.  Yes, while we were there is was kind of...uh, gunky?  There were tar balls on the beach but crews were working to remove the big ones and cover over the smaller stuff.  While swimming in the ocean wasn't as appealing as it has been in the past, it was a great opportunity to do some sightseeing in the coastal towns.  I admit, usually I'm a beach bum.  When I go to the beach, I want my rented beach chair with umbrella, a good book, a cold drink, and the ocean to occasionally splash in to cool down.  So, with the ocean front scenery sort of busy with clean-up crews...not exactly the relaxing, book reading kind of atmosphere, we made our way to Fairhope, Alabama, one morning.  It's a short drive from the Gulf Shores area and worth every bit of the 45 minutes it takes to get there. 
Our first stop when we entered town was the pier.  Although we were there before lunch, I've heard it's THE place to go to see beautiful sunsets.  Fairhope is located on the bay so there really wasn't any sign of the oil spill here.  It was just a relaxing, laidback sort of morning you would expect in a small coastal town.  I think I could get used to that.  I didn't get a picture of it but there is also a beautiful rose garden on the shore as you park and enter the pier area. 

Our next stop was the main street area.  A quaint little town with a coffee shop/bookstore/art supply store (what else COULD you want here!), antique shops, small specialty shops, and one great little restaurant called Panini Pete's!! Oh my!

Just looking at the picture has flung a craving on me...this is the rosemary chicken panini and it was sooo good.  I was enjoying it so much I almost forgot to get a picture before it was gone so that's why it has a few bites missing : )   Yum, drool, yum....okay, sorry, back to what I was telling you.  Panini Pete's has actually been featured on Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.  Yeah, it's that good.

This is just some of the scenery you'll see walking around Fairhope's shops and alley ways.  It's all within walking or biking distance.  Such a great little town...I've already informed my husband that we're retiring there!  He really didn't get to vote on it...I just told him that's the way it was.  I guess since he's the one that actually works and will actually be retiring, I may let him have a say in it.
And, last but certainly not least, a few pictures of the cottages around Fairhope...charming, that's all I can say, simply charming.

And finally...adorable mailboxes from a little cul-de-sac of cottages.  Yes, I could definitely live here.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Simple Beauty

It's hot!  I see more brown patches in my yard each time I mow.  My pond is lower and there's almost more algae than water.  It's August.  Once the heat of the sun has passed over my house, I like to visit my pond in the backyard.  I don't know why.  It's pretty much the same scene every day and, at this time of year, there's not much beauty like there is in the newness of spring.  That was my thought anyway until I saw these...

the soft brown, former blooms of Queen Anne's Lace. 
Today, they struck me as something of beauty...a simple beauty.  I knew when I clipped the blooms, they would look great in an ironstone pitcher.  I like the softness of the browns, grays, and white.