Relax

The Intimacy of an Inn- for Resort Girl Romantic Adventures

February 11, 2019

It’s the month of February and “Love is in the Air”. The Valentine’s holiday falls right smack dab in the middle of the month, bestowing upon it the reputation as the month of love.

When it comes to a planning a romantic travel adventure, very few accommodations can compare to the intimacy of an inn. Romance is definitely on the itinerary when checking into a remote, quaint and even historic inn to Relax, Reflect, Recharge and Reconnect. The term “inn” is usually associated with a rural setting, and many offer romantic settings – located in places enhanced by nature, such as seashores, orchards, vineyards, or remote mountain tops. Many others can be found in the centers of small, picturesque towns situated along rural highways.

These characteristics afford not only a serene setting, but also a chance for intimate dinners, adventures in nature, gorgeous sunsets and sunrises, and walks in spectacular parks. And that brings me to one of my favorite inns, located in Madison, Georgia.

As you know by now, I prefer to travel the back roads and I find U.S. Route 441 is a good option to see the sights of small-town Georgia.

On this GPS route sits the beautiful and historic town of Madison, Georgia. This small Georgia hamlet is rich in history and architecture that includes many antebellum homes dotting the center of the town. And here, you can also find a charming inn – the lovely James Madison Inn.

As with most inns, there are only a few rooms and each one has its own individual flair. Evoking the atmosphere of days gone by, the comfortable rooms are decorated with antique four poster canopy beds, fluffed with rows of white pillows and many feature a set of vintage-inspired chairs in front of a roaring fireplace. In other rooms, you may find a small balcony overlooking the park, town square or the railroad.

As a writer and poet, my mind imagines the days of old as I walk the streets, photographing old homes and taking in the historic markers. One picture that comes to my mind shows these same train tracks dropping off couples coming to visit this once booming town many decades ago. Men in top hats and long black coats walking with arms entwined with women in fine flowing gowns strolling down these brick-lined streets and checking in to this historic inn as the sun set.

Romance was in the air…and still is in this captivating town.

And if you keep traveling up U.S. 441 you will encounter another one of my favorite inns – the Old Edward Inn in Highlands, North Carolina. Highlands is a popular destination for Atlanta folks who long for a quick weekend getaway. Mountains surround this scenic town and the streets are lined with small boutiques and high-profile cafés such as Wolfgang’s, serving an eclectic menu of German, American & Cajun cuisine. In the summer months, the city comes alive with wine gardens.

But in the winter months, the inn offers a lovely setting with plenty of glowing fireplaces in the rooms as well as the libraries and lounges. But don’t think you must be a couple to enjoy these inns. Last year, I took my mother with me to the Old Edwards Inn. She lives in an independent living home and enjoys quick vacays. My parents lived close by Highlands and my father is buried there…so we travel up that way many times to pay our love and respect. This time, my mother and I kept on driving up to Highlands.

We had a fine time as we strolled down the cobblestone streets, arms entwined, to shop the boutiques and snack on some sweets. After grabbing an early dinner at one of the local cafés, we then retreated to our beautiful suite. As we changed into our Resort Girl sweatshirts, we sat in front of the warm fireplace. As we chatted, I asked my mother to tell her love story about she and my father. Her face lit up just like the fire when she spoke of her early days with my beloved father. And the love stories kept coming with the warmth of the fireplace near. Nothing could take the place of that lovely night with my mother and her memories. Love was in the air.

If you prefer more of a romantic “stay-cation”, our lovely towns of Hilton Head and Bluffton offer some wonderful inns and impressive settings. One of my personal all-time favorites is the Inn and Club at Harbour Town. Even though the rooms do not have fireplaces, you can warm up at the cozy, burning hearth in the welcoming library. The location of the inn offers strolls to the seashore, delightful cafés and stunning balcony views of the famous green links.

So, consider an inn for your next romantic getaway. February is the month of “Love” – whether it’s a new love, a life-long love or a beloved friend or family member. Delight in the love in your life! Maybe this is the year cupid’s arrow hits you…remember…love is ageless.

Relax, Reflect, Recharge and have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Relax

Forging New Traditions – Celebrating the Holidays, Resort Style

December 13, 2018

You may think of resort holidays as a way to still be able to wear leisure white, day and night. You could also see it as running the A/C to make the heat emanating from the holiday fireplace more bearable.

What many may not have realized is the extended family a resort can provide to Resort Girls and Guys. Life brings changes…work demands, changes in marital status, children leaving the nest and even, sadly, death. Life can get demanding and may bring expected or unexpected changes —it is an inevitable part of the life cycle.

When life changes, it’s only a matter of time before holiday traditions begin to change. So maybe it’s time to start a new tradition – celebrating the holidays club or resort style!

During these changing times, extended families of non-family members consisting of close friends, new friends, neighbors and even “Club” members can develop. This week I heard about a generous golf pro who was helping with the move of a woman whose husband was dealing with cancer. He may have just been carrying the boxes, but he became a valued member of their extended family.

This sense of family extends beyond a caring resort team member, it also can come from caring club members. When you find the right club or resort, you may find yourself forming lifelong relationships. This may just be what you need during a life transition, especially during the holiday season.
Resorts and clubs can easily become part of a holiday tradition. All four seasons bring a reason for festive holiday events held at your club – from spring golfing and summer BBQs to fall festivals and, of course, winter holiday celebrations. As I talked about in last month’s article, a trip to your favorite motel or hotel each holiday season was a valued family tradition. That special place held an important space in your life and your family.

You were greeted by smiling associates…you sat down to supper with other members or guests who decided to go to “the club” or hotel rather than celebrate at home. You even danced the night away and rang in the New Year with familiar, friendly faces. Famous songs have been written about these holiday traditions.

Are they traditional? No, they do not evoke the tone of the grocery store commercials showing folks making all the fixings of a holiday feast at home, but they have their own special quality. These individuals and families decided for one reason another to make the club or hotel their choice of celebration place for the season. Surely other celebrations take place, but these folks…single, married, young and old decided to hold their celebrations together at this place away from home.

These celebrations can either be formal with silver decorations, china and silverware or casual with paper napkins and plates, but they are all a great escape from the usual traditions of the holidays.
For this Resort Girl, this has worked out great in recent years, with my life transition and moving to a new town. There is always room to add a single seat to a large, festive table.

On Hilton Head island and in the town of Bluffton, clubs and hotels to enrich your holidays and traditions are plentiful. With club parties, New Year’s celebrations and even the pro shop making a great place to purchase holiday gifts, it is far easier to drive your golf cart up to the clubhouse to celebrate and holiday shop than turning on that car key.

So, pack your friends and family into that golf cart this holiday and drive on the fairways – instead of the highways – to your holiday celebrations. You could also walk down the hotel corridor to the beautifully decorated ballroom or oceanside event to celebrate the season.

Could this be the year that you take a different avenue to your holiday celebration? Let someone else dish out the fixings and clean the plates and give you the chance to just celebrate with your family, friends from near and maybe even far, and maybe even a new friend or two…and be beside someone who may have needed a friend this year. Consider ringing in the New Year in a new way…celebrate at a hotel or club instead of home…even though home is a good option too! Just if you wanted to explore something new…hop in the car…or golf cart…

Celebrate this Holiday at a Club or Resort.

Wishing all Resort Girls and Guys a very Happy Holiday Season!

Relax, Reflect and Recharge…and REJOICE!

Relax

Where to Wear Resort Wear? Everywhere!

June 19, 2018

Growing up in the palm tree-lined streets of Miami, tropical influences were a large part of my youth. Nothing better showcased the bright, colorful atmosphere of the tropics than the vibrant prints and styles of what is called resort wear. In the 1960s, Lilly Pulitzer was making her mark on the Florida lifestyle with her now famous shift. I got to model one of her designs in a teen fashion show at Walt Disney World – and even had the opportunity to meet her in person. It was a powerful memory for me as a young woman to wear such beautiful clothing and meet a successful female entrepreneur. If you’re unfamiliar with the Lilly brand story, like most inventions, her famous floral shift came out of necessity. She created her colorful, vibrant prints to help camouflage the stains that were the result of making her fruit juices from her Palm Beach fruit stand. As the Lilly Pulitzer website states,

“She built a business on a spill and she lived in paradise year-round.”

Another influence in resort wear came even decades before, via Coco Chanel. Even though Chanel began with her hats, she expanded into what is considered one of the first true resort wear lines.
Resort wear has continued to evolve, and things have certainly progressed since I donned my first Lilly dress back in the 1980s to today. Resort wear is now worn daily, as resort living has also become year-round. Dressing in causal, colorful and relaxed clothing is no longer restricted to a season – it is now a lifestyle. In Bluffton and on the island, we see women dressing this way every day. You can now see floral shifts in the spring and vibrant pants mixed with colorful knit tops in the cooler months. It’s also not unusual to see relaxing and soothing styles in warm and pastel colors. The fabric may change for the seasons, but the relaxing styles, and eye-catching hues remain the same.

But styles have taken a slight variation – the shift still exists and is a staple – but so is Athleisure wear. Athleisure or “sport leisure”, is defined by Merriam-Webster as “casual clothing designed to be worn for both exercising and for general use.” I pondered how this shift may have taken place and asked part-time island resident, Denine Pezone.

Denine is the Owner and Founder of Ardent Associates, a consulting firm focusing on branding and market strategy. Regarding the rise of Athleisure wear, she points out that, “While most fashion apparel markets are suffering, sport apparel is growing at faster rate than any other apparel category in the USA realizing continued year-over-year growth.”

Yoga, as I discussed in last month’s article, is now my sport of choice, with golf coming in second. Living in the low country gives women so many outdoor sports and activities – making athleisure wear a viable, fashionable clothing option. The performance materials make looking good easy and performing much more enjoyable, because as the labels state, sweat does wick.

Ms. Pezone reports, “Trends of athleisure goods and sports-inspired apparel are reported as sportswear apparel but will likely not be used for physical activity or sport. We have watched this category grow over the years, beginning with ‘casual Friday’ that took the golf apparel market by storm. Now, as consumers are looking for staple items that are declared comfortable, we see the yoga pants and active apparel bottoms everywhere. Much of the growth is realized by Millennials, but all age groups are contributing to this trend and we don’t predict a slow down any time soon.”

Millennial women grew up participating in sports in school, and athletic wear was a part of their basic wardrobe. It is so much easier now to incorporate those pieces in your day-to-day wardrobe as lines like Athleta, one of my favorites, makes clothing that can go from workout to going out. There are also many ways to layer these new performance lines with traditional ready to wear lines.
One bonus to the new wave of athleisure wear is added SPF protection – it keeps sunburn at bay while spending days on the river or beaches.

The shops of Bluffton and Hilton Head Island make it easy for you dress with resort flair. They have so many great options, as many of their shops are built around the resort lifestyle. As Ralph Lauren writes in his self-titled book,

“I’ve always believed one could live many lives through the way we dress and the places we travel to, even if just in our imagination. The world is open to us, and each day is an occasion to reinvent ourselves.”

Isn’t it so wonderful that the women of Hilton Head can dress in such vibrant and relaxing ways? To enjoy their days on the river and shores, at the gym, and dining outdoors. We are lucky to live the low country life – to make resort living a lifestyle…Relax, Reflect and Recharge- Resort Girls!

Please find this story and others in “The Breeze” magazine.  June issue, pages 19 – 20 by Samantha Williams, Lifestyle Editor (and founder of Resort Girl)

Photo courtesy of Cocoon Boutique of Bluffton, SC: June Advertisement in “The Breeze” pg. 21

Relax

Is this a Better Way to Spend Resort Girl Days?

January 17, 2018
Resort-Girl-Roadtrip

Consume less
Buy less
Reuse more
Un-store
Give away
But save for a rainy day
Share because you care
Dare to
Downsize
Right size
Resize your mind
Find more time
To be kind
Put your worries on delay
Discover a new way
Don’t let your thoughts scatter
Focus on a new matter
When it comes to stress
Refuse to say yes
Get up and move
Find your own groove
Stretch more
Step outside of the door
You just might
Find life
Is brighter
As your spirit is lighter
And your soul soars
With fewer chores
Grab a cup of joe
Let its warmth glow
Hibernate inside
Under the sheets
Delight in a movie
Until it’s complete
Have a lazy day
You may
Just say
This is a better way
To spend my days!

Relax

Do not ride out the storm…but ride away! Please evacuate!

October 7, 2016

As the Winds Intensified

It Widened My Eyes

To the Potential Devastation

Now is Time for Preservation

Of Life

Yours…

Please Evacuate

To a Safe Place

Now is Not the Time to Ride Out the Storm

But to Ride Away

Please Evacuate…there is Still Time

Save Your Life…You Only Have One!

Find a Fun Place to Escape

And Meet Some New Faces

And Discover New Places…

Relax, Reflect and Recharge

 

 

 

Relax

The Spanish Moss Appears to Fall from the Sky

August 23, 2016

Oh, My

How the Spanish Moss Appears to Fall from the Sky

With its Hues of Grey

Against the Humid Haze

Of a Hot Southern Summer Day

And Trickles Down

And all Around

The Island Palms and FernsDSC_0285 (1)

What did this Resort Girl Learn?

To Find Comfort in the Beauty of Nature that Surrounds…

You, Resort Girl