“Measureless mountain days… opening a thousand windows to show us God.” I love that quote from John Muir, the naturalist and founder of the Sierra Club who was so instrumental in advocating for the preservation of some of our nation’s most treasured natural lands. Last fall, we traveled back to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and this week, I’ve been enjoying inspiration from the images captured there. There is, indeed, so much about experiencing the mountains that seems measureless — the views, the heights, the colors, the distance. Our drive over the Newfound Gap Road from Gatlinburg, Tennessee to Cherokee, North Carolina offered great views of the vastness and great roadside stops and climbs to discover the view up close, too. Read More →
We were so excited to spend a three-day weekend in Memphis, Tennessee last week, and I thought I would share some of my favorite wonders from the trip! I’ve shared glimpses of our Memphis visits before, but we’ve never traveled there during the Christmas season. We were there mainly to see Ballet Memphis’ performance of The Nutcracker, accompanied by the Memphis Symphony. It was our first time to see the Nutcracker, and we had been planning the trip since we were in Memphis for another ballet last April. The ballet is a must-see experience of such wonderful costumes, sets, sounds and, of course, stellar ballet for all ages, and the 20’s gilt of The Orpheum makes it more special. Baby Girl (my own budding ballerina) was enthralled, but my boys had just as much fun! They all had their favorite parts… the death of the Mouse King, Godfather Drosselmeyer’s magic, the way the christmas tree grew for the soldier/mice battle, the snowflake scene, and my personal favorite, the amazing dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier!
[ looking for the marquee ]
Our fave rides on the Main Street trolley were cancelled this trip because the lines are shut down for about another year for repairs, but we were fortunate to find some horse and carriage rides to take us to the Orpheum. In addition to an amazing performance of the ballet, a trip to the zoo (twice) and the Children’s Museum of Memphis, we also enjoyed some fun walks Downtown, a few games of hide-and-seek in Court Square across from our hotel, some personal attention from Mr. Ridda — owner of the renown Peanut Shoppe on Main (more on that later), and we even found two new restaurants that we’ll add to our list of favorites. Here are some of my favorite photos from the trip…
[ restored lobby of the Kress building on Main — I have an ongoing love affair with this old Art Deco building. I’ll share some of my photo collection in another post! ]
[ Blue Plate Cafe at Court Square — a mean french toast ]
[ Memphis Pizza Cafe at Overton Square on Madison Ave — now tied with our beloved Aldo’s for the Montgomery “Best Pizza in Memphis” cred with a yummy blackened chicken sandwich as well! ]
[ blue lights replacing the water in the Court Square fountain — why am I hearing Elvis sing “Blue Christmas”? ]
The temps may get over 80 today in Mississippi, but on this first official day of fall, God has treated us to a very nice, cool autumn morning! I’ll take it with a smile and a “thank you!” It inspired me to say “Happy Fall, Y’all” with my morning watercolor and some glimpses of autumn of a year ago. We may have a few more weeks before it’s fully pumpkin weather, but a girl can still dream.
A new coffee shop opened in downtown Starkville yesterday, and this morning I decided to start my day with a little field trip for iced mocha and sweets. Lots of excitement has been seeping out of the storefront for months now, anticipating the opening of Nine Twenty Nine Coffee Bar. I was excited to take a peek because I’ve been impressed with the quality and craftsmanship the owners have demonstrated in other projects around town — builders and makers now applying that skill to a renovated storefront and something as personal as a beverage preference. I was not disappointed. Between bites of what can certainly be described as iced sin, I wandered around taking a few photos — as I’m prone to do. The space is wonderful, particularly the layers of materials and textures. I really enjoyed starting my day there with wi-fi. Warning: this post has a ridiculous number of photos because I simply couldn’t resist. Enjoy a quick look at this inspiring space, with a side of yum! (Which, incidentally, was great to go too!) And, you might want to stop into 929 on your next trek around downtown Starkville.
My self-portrait traipsing Downtown 🙂 929 has a nice little covered outdoor space adjacent to the sidewalk that I’m sure I’ll enjoy next time.
First things first: Look at the size of that cinnamon roll. Mine’s without nuts, but holy wow, you can’t go wrong! I’m not a huge hot bev drinker on a spring morning, so I opted for iced mocha.
I mentioned materials. There are so many textures making this a warm and “lived-in” space. I was told this back wall is clad with vintage baking pans procured from a NYC restaurant.
I wandered down to the basement space. It has a more private feel, and would make a great space for groups.
AND, what I’m ordering next time!
WHAT MADE IT INSPIRING:
The brand — simple, typographical, well-used throughout
The orange forks — perfect choice, made me smile right away
The service — a great experience
The baking pan wall — depth, I just wanted to run my hand along the surface (but I refrained)
The conversation I had with A.S. while waiting in line — because that’s what you do at a coffee bar in a small town, especially when baby pictures are involved
Thanks for sharing the trip with me!