Thursday, March 29, 2018

Spring Break -- Installment Three

We pick up leaving Nashville and its rain and snow -- yes, snow.  I wasn't thrilled -- and head toward Savannah.  My daughter assured me that I would love Savannah and what can I say -- she knows me well.  Three days was not enough.

Our goal in Savannah was to visit the Juliet Gordon Low birthplace since it was Girl Scout Day the day we were there.  We joined another group and took a tour of the Low home and learned about her life and how she started the Girl Scouts of America.

monument in one of the squares

gate in the back garden of the Low home

Veranda of the Juliet Gordon Low birthplace

I don't mind telling you it was an absolutely gorgeous home and was furnished with many of the Low personal effects.  The bathroom was over the top -- for the time.  Who doesn't want a toilet that looks like an elephant? I think the photo is on my husband's camera.  Sorry.

After spending quite a bit of time at the Low home we visited the first headquarters of the GSA which was housed in the carriage house owned by Juliet Gordon Low's father-in-law.  It was very interesting because it was a bit of a museum with examples of past uniforms (oh, how they have changed) and many marketing items like dolls.  They even had a copy of the handbook that I had, as well as my uniform.  The handbook could be contemporary but the uniform was really dated.

plaque at the GSA headquarters
After leaving the GSA behind we did a bit of walking around the various squares.  Savannah is made up of sixteen squares, each named after a person significant to the history of the city.  Each square has monuments to something or somebody, benches and the most gorgeous foliage you have ever seen.  The azaleas were blooming profusely and the moss in the trees was swaying in the breeze.  It sounds ridiculous to say, but it looked like a postcard.

I was a bit hobbled with my knees and all but thanks to their lovely trolley tours I was able to see many sites and get dropped off at various places to explore and get back on the trolley to go to the next stop without excessive walking.  It was a godsend.

We decided that ice cream sounded like a lovely idea since Savannah is the home of Leopold's -- an ice cream shop that has been around for almost a hundred years.  There is always a line and this day was no different.

So, as the rest of the group stood in line, I decided to wait it out at one of the outdoor tables where I struck up a conversation (as I am so apt to do, much to everybody's chagrin) with a lady who was also sitting it out.  We chatted until her companions arrived and I went to leave and they told me to stay so the chatting continued.  One of her friends was named Barbara.  We talked about why we were there visiting and where we came from and we were surprised to learn we both came from San Antonio.  The conversation, of course, veered to school and who knew who and we said -- at the same time -- that we went to Edison!  Seems she graduated in 65 and I in 68.  We started naming off people we knew and yes, we knew the same people.  This is such a perfect example of what a small world it is.

So, after all that and getting the ice cream we set off walking again.  At this point we decided to revamp our plans and stay an extra day in Savannah and forgo our stop at Vicksburg, Mississippi. In retrospect, we should have done it differently still but I just wanted an extra day in Savannah because I wasn't done!

More to come about Savannah, Day 2.


 The photos above are just random offerings by the Bean.  She commandeered my camera and she wasn't very selective about what she snapped! So, I have to thank my daughter for letting me use some of her photos.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

A Memory of Violets by Hazel Gaynor

I just finished reading "A Memory of Violets" by Helen Gaynor.  It was recommended to me by a friend a few weeks ago and after reading a snippit of it I had to acquire the book and read on.

It is a book about sisters Florrie and Rosie who were part of the flower selling community in the East End of London in the late 1800's.  It is also a book about Tilly and Esther, sisters as well, who lived in the Lake District and even though the four girls came from different backgrounds they all had severe burdens to bear and their stories were entwined to make a compelling story.

It was a very sad story of loss -- lots of loss -- and hardship -- much of that as well but also the story of a benefactor so benevolent that he saved the lives and made homes for hundreds of homeless, destitute, crippled and blind girls in the area.  It was heartwarming.

This is clearly a period novel based on the life and work of John Groom -- Albert Shaw in the book.  The other characters, Flossie and Rosie, Tilly and Esther and a whole host of others were fictional, based on knowledge of the flower girls that had been written about previously.

I had a hard time putting the book down because of the delightful twists and turns -- letters written, diaries kept. It was interesting and I learned a bit about the Eliza Doolittle's of London.  It was sad all along but the ending was poignant and very satisfying.

I recommend.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Spring Break -- Installment Two

After we left Little Rock we headed to Memphis.  We saw the Mississippi River but we didn't see Graceland.  We did, however, see Margie's 901 Ice Cream.  It was really good and really expensive but not as expensive as the parking -- $13 to park the car for about 30 minutes.  That is highway robbery!

It is a locally owned shop featuring homemade ice cream and cakes.  It was delicious and I would recommend it if you are in the Memphis area.

Leaving Memphis we were back on the road to Nashville.  We got there in time for dinner which we ate at Jim 'n Nicks -- a really nice barbecue place with these ---

These were the most luscious cheese biscuits I have ever tasted.  The food overall was exceptional and I would definitely go back to this place if I am ever in the area again.

Shortly thereafter Bean fell asleep at the table and we headed off to the hotel for a good night's sleep -- I love Marriott's beds -- I always get a good night's sleep there.

The next morning we set out to visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and what fun that was! It was raining and miserable outside so this was a great place to spend half the day.

Entrance to the exhibit

The main exhibit was Loretta Lynn

In the Taylor Swift Educational Center the kids could do crafts -- Bean did a backstage pass!
We ate lunch at a Mexican restaurant in the Country Music Hall of Fame and it was rather odd -- Mexican food in a very American museum and all they were playing was 60's British rock music!  Very odd, indeed!

So, after lunch we headed to the Tennessee State Museum.  It was a lovely museum that reminded me of the Institute of Texan Cultures.  However, by the time we got there my knees were done and I sat most of the visit and missed quite a few things, like their quilt collection. 

When we finished with the museum we decided to look for dinner.  The weather was horrible, flooding, deluge rain.  It was not a pleasant day -- it only got worse.

Headed back to the area of the hotel we had a car accident -- a person lost control of the car in the rain, slid in front of us, my daughter was braking but hit them anyway, they did a 360, bounced off the retaining wall and came back to hit us two more times.  We were fine but there is damage to the car. Unfortunately the driver of the other car was taken to the hospital.

We finally found dinner at Olive Garden.

Returning to our hotel room we learned that there was a chance of snow that night.  I figured it wouldn't.  I was wrong.  It snowed.

We left the next morning and I have to say I couldn't get out of Tennessee fast enough.

Next installment -- Savannah!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Spring Break -- Installment One

The hubs and I went on vacation.  We actually accompanied our daughter and granddaughter on a Girl Scout Badge earning venture across the deep south.  My daughter chose a few patches that required historical research to accomplish and off we went.

We left Fort Worth on Saturday morning and headed east on I-30 toward Arkansas.  Our first stop was Little Rock, Arkansas.  My daughter, being the history teacher she is, wanted to visit Central High School which was the focal point of the Little Rock Integration Crisis of 1957.  It is an absolutely gorgeous, and rather huge,  school with a historic background and I was glad to see it even though there was so much sadness there.

 I remember those times well even though I was quite small because my aunt lived in Little Rock at the time.  My mother and I, grandparents and cousin took a road trip to see my aunt in 1956 and we went to this very apartment house.  It looked much as it did at the time -- I have photos, I will find them one day.  But, for now, I managed to capture this one off Google maps.

It was a lovely apartment right across the street from a school with a playground.  Wonderful for us.  The back of the apartment houses opened into a back yard of sorts where you could go down and grill or sit and read.  It hasn't changed much at all -- this is exactly what these houses looked like in 1956.

We had a bit of lunch at The Root -- a sandwich shop with an Austin vibe --

Then, we were Nashville bound.

Installment Two coming soon.

Friday, March 09, 2018


Taking a short holiday -- will be back next weekend.  Hopefully with photos!

Have a wonderful spring break everybody!