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As I mentioned last week, Andy and I recently took a trip out to South Eden Plantation to try Cream of the Crop for lunch. While we were busy stuffing our faces, the staff told us that they were running tours of the property that day. Of course, we leaped at the chance to poke around this gorgeous place, even more so when we found out that they had a small fleet of golf carts available so we wouldn’t have to walk in the 90 something heat.
The main house was better than I had hoped. The new management has created a perfect balance between preserving the original character of the house and adding a healthy dose of modern southern charm. When you step through the doors, one of the first things there is the restaurant where they host Sunday dinner every week, Harvest House. They are also planning on adding a weekly brunch, and I assure you I will be one of the first through the door as soon as they do. The blue ceiling is a nod towards a southern tradition; it was supposed to keep the ever present insects up and away, less of a worry these days though. The wrought iron chandeliers and matching sconces were created by a local artisan especially for this project and were inspired by the trees that are all over the property. Oh, and those beautiful floors are not original, but they are reclaimed wood from a 100 year old barn! I might be a little in love.
My inner princess was obsessed with all the different chandeliers that had been incorporated throughout the buildings. Evidently, I am not the only one, all of the outdoor chandeliers are currently playing host to families of sparrows. The staff originally tried to remove them, but now that there are eggs and baby birds they are leaving the nests be and laughing about how snobby the birds are going to be now that they’ve had the chance to reside in such elegance.
The third restaurant on the property is also located in the main house and is called Scarlets. It is is rich, decadent, and sultry, and that’s just the decor! The ceiling is hammered copper tiles that reflect and radiate the warmth of the dark wood and red velvet used throughout. I can’t wait to get dressed up and have Andy take me to dinner here for a date night.
Further back on the plantation is The Show Boat, a private movie theater that was part of the original property and was actually the first private theater to show the movie Gone with the Wind.
Andy’s favorite part of the tour was the pool house. The indoor poor is a salt water pool, which is perfect for someone with sensitive skin like my hubby. I was a little more interested in the original porthole windows and the fountain out front, but once they actually got me inside, I had to admit that with the chandeliers and the cover that is pasty girl friendly, I could see myself spending A LOT of time here if given the chance.
I had so much fun seeing this amazing place. I am only a 25 minute drive away, and I am still trying to figure out how I can justify investing in a nice staycation. In the mean time, I will absolutely be back to try out the two restaurants in the main house 😉
The other day I came into the office to find two lovely brochures on my desk for the South Eden Plantation, which is conveniently located just down the road in the town of Thomasville, GA. I was, of course, curious about this lovely little place that I had never heard of as well as to who put the information for said place on my desk. Some minor detective work later, I found out it was my boss. He figured, correctly, that I’d have the most interest and would likely be interested in checking it out to see if it would be something we could host company events at. So course, diligent employee that I am, I checked the place out online and then dragged Andy with me to try out one of the three restaurants they have on site.
Of the three, Cream of the Crop was the most casual and well…inexpensive option. Not that I am opposed to spending a little more occasionally for an amazing meal, but I rarely go into those situations without a little research or a recommendation from a friend. Located just off the winding drive, as you can see they were starting to set up for their 4th of July event.
Plenty of outdoor seating so patrons can enjoy the live music they have on Saturday nights as well as bask in the southern charm of the main house and the plantation grounds. If you look to the back, past the tables, you can see the some of the stables, part of which is being converted into a yoga studio.There are two other sets of stables around the property, and they house both Gypsy Horses and Shetland Ponies.
The inside of the restaurant was lovely with exposed beams and lots of brickwork. It also was blessedly cool, which was a much needed relief from the humid summer day outside. They were just opening as we got there, and the staff was friendly and welcoming, setting us up with beverage,s and getting us seated while they finished getting prepped for the day.
We started off with salmon crustini and house made hummus. Both were delicious and perfect for the weather. The hummus was my favorite, perfectly smooth with a hint of cumin, paired with grilled bread? So good!
We went a little further down the carb-tastic rabbit hole and opted for paninis. Four cheese for me and the Turkey Trot (turkey, smoked gouda and apple butter) for Andy. I also got the broccoli salad, and I could eat that stuff for the rest of the summer and be a very happy girl.
Since they were running tours of the property that day Andy and I decided to hang out until the next one started. We chatted with the staff and found out about all of the wonderful desserts they made on the premises. Everything from gelato and tiramisu to southern classics like pecan pie and red velvet cake. We were feeling a little stuffed at this point, even more so after they gave us some gelato samples, so we opted for dessert to go.
Truly a wonderful place. The food was good, the restaurant was charming and rustic, and the staff was incredibly friendly and helpful. We will, without a doubt be coming back to this little gem with friends and family in tow.
No, I’m not talking about me. Unfortunately, the way life has worked out it doesn’t look like children are in the cards for Andy and myself. At least, not the old fashioned way, and not right now. But quite a few of my friends have had children in the last three years. Almost all of them have, at one point or another, lamented the changes having children have wrought on their bodies. Of course, I am quick to tell them how gorgeous they are and how I don’t think their new bodies are anything to be upset about, but let’s be honest. It doesn’t matter how sincere you are; at a certain point, the reassurances, no matter how heartfelt, begin to feel a bit disingenuous. So I decided to say it in a blog post.
Mothers, as a woman who has been betrayed by her body at one of the most basic levels of her gender, I look at you in awe. Your full breasts, your sloping tummies, and rounded hips, you look like goddesses. You created life, you carried a person in your body for the better part of a year, and then produced food for it for a year afterwards. Who cares about what you looked like before? You did something so incredible, and every new curve is a testament to your amazing power as a woman. I for the life of me cannot figure out why there is social pressure coming down on you to have your body look like nothing happened. You’re not the same woman you were, and you should be encouraged to celebrate and embrace this new phase of your life. The only thing I can figure it’s just another way to make you buy products and memberships you don’t need. As long as you are healthy and able to run after those little miracles you created, I think you should look into that mirror and see what I see: a beautiful badass boss bitch. Take that and start to love yourself and all the amazing things you’re capable of.
Also, maybe as a society we should stop clinging to this idea of turning back time and start celebrating the march of time and how our bodies are a testament to the life we’ve lived. Clearly, we ladies are going to have to get the ball rolling, as we do, the guys will fall in eventually 😉
Image from here.
The past few months have been very contentious in the US. With everything that has been happening, some of us have found ourselves bound closer together while the divide between political poles has become a gaping gouge. On this day celebrating our country’s independence, let’s stand together and appreciate the freedom that we have to so boldly stand behind our convictions. Wishing you lots of grilled food, fireworks, and patriotic grandstanding. Happy Independence Day!
Image from here.
I have something that I’ve been rolling around in my head for the last few months, and I decided to lay it out here with you guys. It’s an social irritation that, if I really think back, emerged while I was in college. What is it with people today an their need to arbitrarily define things? Actually, no, not things, people/themselves. People are complex individuals made up from thousands of experiences. Everything from upbringing to media exposure to cultural influences form our reactions and opinions on things. To me, describing yourself by your job, relationship, religious or political leaning is as ridiculous as defining yourself by your hair color or love of cheesecake. It really started to irritate me again around the election, as someone who until very recently considered herself to be politically moderate I found myself almost forced to state my left hand leanings immediately upon engaging in a conversations. It bothered me in part because even now, I don’t consider myself one or the other, but also because even if I tried to clarify I was, often rudely, shoved into the box of “liberal” and treated accordingly. This was even worse when a liberal friend would get off on a tear about “Christians”, which I am, and when I admitted to being part of the aforementioned faith, I would be lectured about “my people” and “our beliefs” most of which was completely out of line with the way I actually felt. Being “Christian” thrust me into a box that was synonymous with being narrow minded and wrong, and it soured my relationship with certain individuals.
Another example of this phenomenon comes from my college days. I grew up in a very small town and college was a delightful parade of new people and experiences. One of my close friends came out as bisexual and started dating a girl who was a nationally known drag king. I started going to shows with her 1 – to be supportive of her and her girlfriend and 2 – because drag is an incredible vibrant art form that is wonderfully entertaining and provocative. As a heterosexual female moving in the LGBTQ scene, I found myself regularly, although not frequently, in a situation where I was introduced to someone and the conversation would proceed as follows: “Hi, I’m so-in-so’s friend Julie.” “Hi, Julie I’m -insert name- and I’m gay.” Fist of all, I don’t give a shit about anyone’s sexual orientation. Seriously. Secondly, this usually led to an inquiry about my own sexual orientation (something you aren’t obligated to tell anyone), which upon discovery of my shocking hetro-proclivities led to some unpleasant interactions. In one instance I remember quite vividly, I found myself literally cornered by two lesbians who belligerently questioned me, my lifestyle choices, and why I felt like I could hang out in a “gay” bar in the first place. I did my best to deescalate, because even then I knew this wasn’t about me, it was about them and every person who had made them feel judged or condemned, and I brought the conversation to an end with a “It was nice to meet you; I am going to go track down my friend.” They followed me and demanded to know why I was walking away; was I “scared?” Did I think they were trying to “turn” me? Ultimately, my southern-ness prevailed and I assured them it wasn’t about them it was about locating the person I came out with, but it’s a perfect example of what can go wrong when you choose an single detail to define a person’s entire being.
We have to stop this! We have to stop judging and defining others and ourselves without knowing/acknowledging the bigger picture. You cannot know the worth of an individual by a handful of words and preconceived notions about what they mean. It’s the reason that our country and our world is as screwed up as it is. I am a politically moderate heterosexual Christian. Who deeply and profoundly believes that race, gender, and sexual orientation are all created equal. Who feels like it is more important to respect and celebrate differences than it is to belong to a group. Who wants you to look at me and not even see the words that I just said, but the complexities and nuance that make me who I am and if you have to judge, judge by the sum of the parts. I want you to look at yourself and see the same thing and realize how amazing and beautiful that is. I want you to take that idea with you and see it every time you look at another person, and embrace interacting with them. There are so many things wrong with the world today, things that are well worth fighting against. Maybe if we stop labeling and boxing one another out, we can channel our energy into battles that matter instead of creating conflicts that are based on preconceived notions and misunderstandings.
Whew, okay guys, I just needed to get that out.
Image from here.