Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Savanna Day 2 Part 1

This is a continuation of a travel series to Savannah, Georgia.  If you'd like to start at the beginning, go HERE.  And HERE is a post of a lovely historic home we rented for the week.

Day 2 in Savannah was our first full day in the city.  On our first day in Savannah we arrived mid-morning and took a trolley ride, checked into the home we were renting for the week, and went to City Market for some dinner.  On our second day, we did so much I will be covering it in two or three posts so they don't get too long.

Our rental home was located only three blocks from Forsyth Park;  so I was blessed to see it every day we were in Savannah!  I was thrilled with that, because this park, and particularly the fountain, was my absolute favorite thing about Savannah.  I don't know what it was, but there was a magical quality to this place.  I loved the fountain.  The white stone with the the beautiful sprays of water was so eye-catching!  You see can see this fountain from quite a distance away because that white stone really stands out against the green landscape.  But the placement of the fountain in the park along with the gorgeous moss covered trees also contributed a lot to the beauty of this fountain.

Forsyth Park is a large city park that occupies 30 acres.  It has a children's play area, a garden, tennis and basketball courts, yada, yada, yada, but it is most famously known for this fountain.  If you see a picture of this fountain, you know it's in Savannah, Georgia!

The fountain was added in 1858 and is reminiscent of fountains in Paris and in Peru.  And would you believe it was just ordered from a catalog?  Yup, it's true!  This gorgeous piece was not an original designed for the park, but just ordered from a catalog.  I love it!

This is a very active park.  Every day we saw people running through the park, exercise groups doing yoga, kids sports teams, families taking walks, and of course all the tourists wanting a picture by the famous fountain.  During the day it is well protected by policemen on horseback.

There is a Confederate Memorial Statue in the middle of this park that is dedicated to the volunteers who gave their lives fighting for the Confederacy.

Also in the park is a Fragrant Garden For The Blind.  It is enclosed by a concrete wall and iron gate which is locked at night.  It is such a experience for the senses to walk through this garden.  You can smell the roses long before you enter through the gates.

After visiting the garden and taking a few pictures by the fountain, we headed for the infamous Mercer-Williams house.  When I was planning my trip to Savannah everyone recommended reading the book "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" before going for it would give me a taste of Savannah culture.  Well, I didn't have time to read the book, so my husband and I sat down and watched the movie one night.  I didn't know anything about the subject matter beforehand so you can imagine our surprise as it wasn't the type of movie my husband and I usually would watch.  We also had no idea the book and movie was based on a true story.  But, the movie was still worthwhile to watch because we got glimpses of areas we would see for ourselves when we were in Savannah and we did find the cultural aspect interesting.

Well, now that we saw the movie and learned it was a true story, I had to take a tour of the infamous Mercer-Williams house.  They did not let us take any pictures indoors, so you will have to take my word for it that this is one gorgeous home!  Or, you can see the movie because it was filmed inside the home.  This home was used not just for the "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" movie, but many other Hollywood films as well such as "Glory".

Now, for those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, I'll give you a brief synopsis of the book/movie/true story.  James Williams was a art dealer and house restorationist in Savannah.  He purchased this home in 1969 and it was in this home that he shot and killed his male assistant of which he was also having a sexual relationship with.  He was the only person in the state of Georgia that was tried four times for the same crime and found innocent only to die a short time later in his home of a heart attack.  And, it is reported that he died in the same spot where eight years later his assistant was killed.  This is where the "voodoo" culture of Savannah comes into play that is woven throughout the "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" book.

The sister of James Williams still lives in the home so only the main level and garden is open for tours.  I was disappointed that we couldn't see the whole house, but I certainly understood why.  She was home the day we toured and just finished eating breakfast in the kitchen before heading upstairs.  She does use the whole house, but only comes downstairs when there are no tours.  She owns a cute black kitty, and he comes downstairs whenever he feels like it.  We got a sneak peak of him before he ran away.

As I stated earlier, this house is gorgeous.  The windows go from floor to ceiling letting in so much natural light.  The spiral staircase is breath taking with this beautiful stained glass circular medallion above it.  And the flooring is a beautiful tile.  The entire home is filled with James Williams art collections.  But as much as I loved the design and decor of this home, my favorite part was when we entered the office and our tour guide explained that this was the room the "incident" took place.  There were also personal photos in this room of Clint Eastwood (who directed the film) on the property engaging with other family members during filming.  

We absolutely loved our tour guide.  He provided so much information and was such a good story teller.  We found it interesting that he never used the word "murder" and always called  what happened in this house an "incident".   He spoke of Mr. Williams with the utmost respect.  He also made it clear that he was found innocent.

Even though the tour was short and sweet and cost $12.50 per person, if you read the book or saw the movie, it's a must-see.  It's really fun to step into the hallway and remember scenes from the movie.  The floor especially struck me, because I remembered noticing that gorgeous tile in the movie.

Lady Chablis, who played herself in the movie, passed away in 2016 but the place she performed is still operating in Savannah.  They have this memorial to her on an outside window of the building.

The famous "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" played a huge role in Savannah tourism, stimulating  a 46% increase in tourism to this stunning city.  They have special "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil Tours".  Every store has copies of the book available for purchase and other "Midnight" merchandise like T-shirts and "Bird Girl" statues.  The book was first published in 1994 and became a New York Times Best-Seller for 216 weeks and remains the longest standing New York Times Best-Seller ever.

Well after our tour of the Mercer-Williams house we spent a few hours walking some of the squares of Savannah and looking at old homes.  There are so many beautiful old homes in Savannah.  My husband took hundreds of pictures but I can't possibly show them all so below are some of my favorites.

I found myself very attracted to the homes that were made of a grey/white brick.  It made me want to go home and paint my red brick house.

There were so many different styles of homes.  Some were small, other's were almost large enough to be called a castle...but they all had unique charm.

Brick and ironwork were a common sighting in most of the homes.  The moss covered oaks and palmettos also added a lot to the beauty of each home.

I just loved these cute, colorful little cottages.

The Lucas theater is a revived 1920's building that still hosts national and local stage productions, musical acts and film screenings.

Savannah's historic district is a laid out in a one mile square grid;  which makes it very simple to navigate.   Within this square mile are 22 "Squares" or small parks each with it's own unique monument, dedication, or memorial.  My husband and I loved the squares so much, we visited each and every one.  Along with the Forsyth Park fountain and the Mercer-William's home, the squares were in my top three favorite things in Savannah.  It is the squares which makes Savannah so beautiful because they add so much ambiance to the neighborhoods.  And the monuments in each square provide so much history!

The five squares along Bull Street:  Monterey, Madison, Chippewa,  Wright, and Johnson are Savannah's "Crown Jewels".  If you don't have the time to see all the squares in Savannah you must see these five.  The Chippewa Square is where Forrest Gump sat on the park bench .  That specific bench is no longer there.  The Johnson square was my husband's favorite...hmmm, I wonder if it's because it bears his last name?

This is the John Wesley monument in the Reynolds square.

Some of my favorite squares were the smaller ones which I enjoyed simply for their pretty fountains, gazebos, or peacefulness.

We spent two days exploring the squares of Savannah.  It takes a long time, especially if you read all the plaques.  One morning we woke up at 5:00 am so we were outside by 7:00 a.m and we just enjoyed walking in these gorgeous squares listening to the birds and experiencing the serene beauty of these squares.  The squares are what makes Savannah special and set it apart from any other city I've ever visited.  The natural element of so many parks located in a city keeps urban development at bay and creates a garden oasis in every neighborhood.  I loved it!

Next week I'll cover one of my other favorite spots in Savannah:  River Street!

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Monday, May 28, 2018

Stitch Fix #16: Red Pants and Detail Top

Today's fashion post begins a new review of my latest Stitch Fix box, Fix #16.  Like last month, I will review one or two pieces from that Fix per week, then do a summary post when I review the fifth piece from the Fix.

For this Fix, I requested red pants, straw or crochet handbags, round handbags, handbags with circular handles, gauchos, or paper bag pants.  The only item my stylist sent me out of all the things I requested was the red pants.  But the pants did not look red in real life at all. They looked more burnt orange.  Even my husband thought they looked orange.  I know in these pictures they look red, but trust me, they were orange.  Plus, they were capris.  I really don't like capris on me.  I don't think they suit my leg shape so I prefer at least an ankle length.  So, I sent the pants back.

The other item I received in this Fix was this Daniel Rainn Nadima Cutout Detail Knit Top.  Out of everything in this Fix, this one was love at first sight.  And if you watched any of my Stitch Fix videos on Instagram you would hear me squealing with delight  when I saw it and tried it on.  I loved how soft and loose the fabric was, and I adored all the details in this top.  My stylist suggested styling the top and pants together since the "reds" went so well, so I did for the photo shoot.  When my husband saw me in this outfit he was not pleased.  He thought it was too "old" looking.  Well, I only dress for two people in this world:  me and my husband.  If he really didn't like it, what was the point of keeping it?  So back it went.

When I look at these photos, I do see his point.  It's really hard to pick out clothes when your in your fifties.  I don't believe in "age appropriate" dressing..don't even get me started on how much I despise that phrase being used for mature adult fashion.  BUT, I don't want to dress like a teenager nor do I want to dress like I'm old.  It really is all about balance for me, but it can be difficult finding the right balance.  And every woman is different.  There's so many over-fifty women that can rock any look, and then there's the rest of us.  I feel just like some trends can be too "young" for me, other items could make me look "older".  I'm always trying to find the right balance with every outfit I create everyday.  I didn't have these issues when I was younger;  I could wear anything then!

This top was so comfortable to wear.  It was a soft jersey knit and had these really cute bell sleeves.  It also had other interesting details as well like cut outs in the hem and neckline, and also a tassel tie back.

The Ayden Capri Pant by Liverpool fit very well.  I just did not like the color or the capri length.  I was hoping for bright red pants at least ankle length.

For the photo shoot I styled the pants and top with navy flats and a boho crossbody bag.

So the "old lady" outfit went back in the box.  Out of my last three Fixes, the item I was drawn to the most when opening the box, was not the item I ended up keeping.  AND, my husband was spot on in his thoughts of what I should keep and what I should send back.  Most of the items he wanted me to keep, were items that YOU wanted me to keep;  like the Floral Fit and Flare dress or the Floral Gingham top.  Sadly, I didn't trust my husbands opinions then and I sent them back.  Now I wish I would have!

I did keep one item in this Fix (I would have kept two but one of them was too expensive) and it was a item my husband loved.  And it's really funny because if you saw my Instagram stories, it was an item I said for sure was going back.  I'm going to trust his opinion a lot more now!

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Yellow With Black OR White

A few months ago Jeannie from A Pocketful of Polka Dots asked me to co-host her Ageless Style link up with her.  She picked the theme "yellow".  Now although I already owned a few yellow items, I wanted something new to show so I went shopping and picked out this light yellow top from Maurices.  It's a really cute top with some interesting details, but when I saw the pictures I didn't think the pale yellow looked good on me.  Whenever I co-host with someone, I want my outfit and/or pictures to look extra special, so back to the store I went.  This time I picked out a top with bold, bright yellow flowers in it then I accented it with more bold yellow in my accessories.  If you missed that post you can see it HERE.

Anyway, for today's fashion post, I thought I'd show you the light yellow top post that never made it to the blog along with how I ended up really wearing this top.  The photograph on the left was how I styled the top for Jeannie's link up (but I never wore it this way).  The photograph on the right is how I wore the top to church.

For the photo shoot, I styled the top with a white skirt, white sandals, and a white cardigan since it was still cold when the pictures were taken.  I added yellow accessories to pull out more yellow in the outfit.

The skirt is by Worthington and has an exposed zipper in back.

I wore yellow and gold bracelets, rings, and carried a yellow bag from Charming Charlies.

My sandals I bought on clearance at the end of the summer last year at JCPenney.

The interesting detail in this top is the unique criss-cross neckline on the back of the top and the keyhole opening in the front.

Because of the unique opening in the front, I kept my necklace simple and went with a pearl necklace.

For my church outfit, the weather warmed up so I could ditch the cardigan.  This time I paired the top with a black skirt, black sandals, yellow jewelry and a fun gingham bag.

The shoes I also purchased last year on clearance.  It's fun to buy things at the end of the season.  They are so inexpensive and when I pull them out of my closet the next year, it's a wonderful surprise because I usually forget I had them!

Gingham is very popular, but don't like to wear it on me.  A Gingham purse is the perfect way to incorporate the trend without wearing it on my body.

So which way do you prefer wearing this yellow top?  With white or black ?

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Our Stay At The Printmaker's Inn, Savanna, Georgia

In last week's travel post, I shared our very first day in Savannah, Georgia.  We arrived mid-morning and took a Trolley Ride to get a general overview of the area, then we checked into the home we would be staying in for the next four nights.  Because the home was so beautiful and special, I wanted to do an entire travel post about it.

The Printmaker's Inn is a large historic home divided into four suites for travelers.  We stayed in the Nicholas Suite.  The home is called the Printmaker's Inn because it was built for Williams Nichols;   the oldest son of George Nichols, the head printer in Savannah during the Civil War.  William followed in his father's footsteps and also became a prominent printer in Savannah.

It was built in 1884 and is a prime example of Italianate architecture of the Victoria Era in Savannah.

The house was also owned by Nat King Cole for a time, and has served as a local community center for underprivileged youth.

Now lets tour the gorgeous Nichols Suite of this house shall we?

The Nichols Suite is accessed by a private entrance at the front of the house.  The lower level encompasses the original main entrance and grand stairwell of the house plus a small bathroom.

The view when you open the front door.  I loved all the light streaming in and the light wall colors.  So many older homes are very dark, this home is filled with light!

This is the view to the left if your standing in the doorway.  The entry is filled with lots of gorgeous antique furniture.

This tiny under-the-staircase bathroom is so cute!  We never did use it, because we had a large bathroom upstairs.  I suppose it's nice to have a second toilet if the other one is being occupied.

The view from the second stair landing looking back at the front door.

The upstairs hallway looking into the kitchen.


And the view of the hallway in the opposite direction.  Don't you love the curved walls and mouldings?  I love how the wall is panted a soft olive green at the end of the hallway.  It really highlights the wardrobe.

And this is the view of our bedroom when you just walk into the room.  I literally got tears in my eyes when I saw this room for the first time.  It is so lovely and romantic.  The room has a king size four poster bed, a fireplace (non functioning of course) and a seating area.  The frosted glass door leads to a large bathroom.  Don't you love the transom windows and the beautiful moulding above the door?

Here's the view of the bed and fireplace as seen from the closet wall.

This is the seating area in the room looking back into the hallway.

The bathroom was large and gorgeous!  (You're going to get tired of reading that word, but I'm running out of adjectives!  haha!)  The bathtub was non-functional, of which we very disappointed about.  We walked so much n Savannah, we really would have liked a place to soak at the end of the day.  There was a simple standard shower to the right and only one small sink.  But for what the bathroom lacked in amenities, it made up for in appearance!

A view of the shower and tub looking back into the bedroom.

The bedroom opened up into a living space where there was another fireplace (there were three fireplaces in this suite), a lovely bay window, and a flat screen TV with over 200 channels.  Why, I have no idea, as who s going to watch TV when they are in Savannah?  We only had the TV on a little bit to catch the news in the morning, and that was it.

The doors to the living space could also closed if someone wanted to sleep while another watched TV.

This is the living room looking back into the bedroom.  The other opening leads to the hallway.

And here is the third fireplace.  The room is painted a lovely light yellow and is filled with lots of sunlight.  There is also a lovely front street view.

We ate our breakfast at this table every morning.  My husband loved to open the window and hear the birds sing.  We saw squirrels run across the deck just outside the window too!

Right off this living area is the entrance to the kitchen.

The kitchen was so pretty.  I loved the fun windows, and the tin back splash.  It was a fully functioning, stocked kitchen.  There is no hot breakfast at this inn.  The owner stocks the refrigerator with orange juice, bottled water, bagels and cream cheese, muffins, and granola bars.  He also included a complimentary bottle of wine (we don't drink, so we didn't open it).

Other than breakfast, we ate out every meal. The only appliances we used was the toaster and coffee maker.

We really enjoyed our stay at the Printmaker's Inn.  This was the first time we stayed in a home instead of a hotel.  The reason we chose this place was because all the hotels in the area were very expensive and frankly, I wasn't pleased with their room decor and all the extra charges.  When I found this place, I was apprehensive because I wasn't sure how it all worked, but it turned out to be such a positive experience, I will look for more homes to rent in the future.

I booked our room through which provided me with a little more assurance than if I just contacted a private party, as all bookings are guaranteed with   Although  we paid more per night to stay in this house than we ever had for any hotel on any other vacation we've taken, I think we got quite a bargain compared to what else is available in the area.   The rates do go up and down depending on the time of year and whether you stay over a weekend or just weekdays.  We stayed Monday through Thursday night which really lowered our costs.

The positive experiences we had renting a suite in the house were primarily the space, the atmosphere, and free parking.  It felt so nice to have all that space to sprawl around in.  It was so roomy and we felt like we were at home instead of trapped in a tiny room.  And if you're going to go to a historic place like Savannah, what is better than spending a night in one of their gorgeous Antebellum homes?  My husband and I very often in our travels would see one of these large historic homes and wonder what it would be like to live in one.  Well, now we know!  Because we did get to live in one for almost a week!  We were also very pleased with the free parking, because every hotel in the area charged an additional $25.00 a night just to park your car.  Yikes!

The negative experience of staying at the Printmaker's Inn was the location was a little hike from where all the action was.  Although it was located in the historic area just a few blocks from Forsyth Park, it was still quite a walk to Riverstreet where all the restaurants are.  There is a free shuttle that stops every 10 minutes that we did take advantage of.  Another negative is not having all the amenities hotels have to offer:  a pool, a hot tub, a exercise room, turn down service, hot breakfast, etc.  All of that was OK with us except the hot tub.  Our bodies just ached at the end of the day, and we would have loved a good long hot soak. 

Finally, we did do a video where I walked through the suite room by room.  It gives you a much better idea of the space than just looking at photos.  We did it in one take, as we wanted to get out and explore Savannah, so please excuse any mistakes we made.  I think I even called the house by the wrong name once or twice...oops! 

If you'd like to see the other three suites of this beautiful home, HERE is their website.

Next week, I'll cover Day 2 of our Savannah vacation, when we toured the Mercer-Williams house!

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!