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Eat, Drink 'n Play

A travel & lifestyle blog featuring good food, good travel and good living. About Me
In a cabin in the woods

In a cabin in the woods

Oprah has this section at the end of her magazine where she shares “What I know for sure.” And I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about what I know, or rather what I thought I knew. So what do I know for sure? Turns out, not a hell of a lot. Growing up in London, Ontario, Canada, I never for one moment thought I would be here. In this cabin. In the woods. Curled up in front of a fire, the Blue Ridge mountains framing the double doors behind me. I never even dreamed I would live on this side of the border. Even when we lived in a city shared a border with the US, it always felt so exotic when we exited our home country and explored the “other side.” Today, though I will always be Canadian, I proudly carry a U.S. passport. What I DO know for sure? Never say never. Two years ago, when we traded in the cul-de-sac two-story for the condo in the “big city,” I thought I knew exactly what the next 10 or so years would look like. By downsizing our life, we gave ourselves more room to explore. We would walk to local bars, restaurants and coffee shops. We would take in the outdoor concerts on the square and take cooking classes. We would sit on our new patio, sipping manhattans and waving to neighbors passing by. We would visit museums, stroll through art shows and make our own wine at the you-brew. And we did. We do. When we moved to the condo, we were moving away from a time... read more
What is home?

What is home?

We moved from Canada to Atlanta in 1999. It’s hard to believe that of the nearly 25 years that my husband and I have been married, Georgia has been our home for more than 17 of them. And home it is. As much as I have a deep love for “my country” – and miss my family (and, well,  Tim Hortons coffee…) — when you move to another place, you have no choice but to make it “home.” Sooner or later, even if you’re fighting it, your life starts to morph and mold around this new place. Not just the geography of it – the entireness of it. Things sound different. Smell different. Feel different. Are different. And you become…well, just a little different. You settle into what becomes your new normal. The grocery stores that I visited at “home” were Loblaws, No Frills and A & P. Here, I shop for groceries at Publix and Kroger. The Mac’s Milk variety stores don’t exist here. If I have a hankering for a Coffee Crisp or a scratch ticket, I head over to the 7-Eleven or RaceTrac. Oh, no, wait… no Coffee Crisp bars here. Those chocolate bars (aka candy bars) don’t make their way this far south of the border. And don’t even get me started on the fact that I’ve had to wean myself off my double-doubles. The hydro bill is…I quickly learned, called a power bill here. And while I’m on this rant, I want to make a note that a toboggan is not a hat, people. It’s a sled. You slide down snowy hills on it. You can imagine how surprised I was... read more
The Journey – Just Busy Being Me

The Journey – Just Busy Being Me

One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice – – – though the whole house began to tremble and you felt the old tug at your ankles. ‘Mend my life!’ each voice cried. But you didn’t stop. You knew what you had to do, though the wind pried with its stiff fingers at the very foundations – – – though their melancholy was terrible. It was already late enough, and a wild night, and the road full of fallen branches and stones. But little by little, as you left their voices behind, the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds, and there was a new voice, which you slowly recognized as your own, that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world, determined to do the only thing you could do – – – determined to save the only life you could save. ~ Mary Oliver Note: I am good. Very good, indeed. After posting this poem, a friend reached out with “Are you ok?” I guess I can see where she might think I was digging through something re: THE JOURNEY… but I just love to read Mary Oliver’s words and this one struck me today. So, no, my life doesn’t need mending, but I do love at the end of this poem where it says “… there was a new voice, which you slowly recognized as your own, that kept you company.” My birthday is next week and it’s always a time of reflection for me. Every... read more
Leaving home

Leaving home

“How selfhood begins with a walking away, and love is proved in the letting go.” ―C. Day Lewis It’s when they take the bed out of the room that you know it’s all over. A few years back, my youngest kid went to college. And I was a suck about it all. As proud as I was that he was “all grown up,” I hated that those childhood years were behind him. Behind me. Me. Yes, it’s me everyone should be thinking about. The mother. When he left for school, his room stayed pretty much the same. The closet still held his yearbooks, and basketball trophies — the clothes he’d outgrown years ago were still squeezed between his Varsity jacket and lone black suit. The room was still a bedroom — with a bed, dresser, desk. It was still his bedroom. And that made the leaving part so much easier. And now, in just two days, that bed will be packed into a U-Haul and carted off to Alabama. Five hours away. When I tell people my son is moving away, I get a lot of “Wow, that’s exciting. What an adventure.” And what I want them to say is this: “Oh my God, I can’t believe he’s moving so far away.” Yea, again, it’s all about me, right? And yes, I’m excited for him. I am. As the youngest of four, he wants to fly. Be on his own. Start his own life. I get it. He’s got this. But I’m also nervous. And, yes, I’m sad. I’m really just kind of sad that it’s really happening. I... read more
Reverse Culture Shock

Reverse Culture Shock

Every day since returning from my trip to Costa Rica, I’ve been restless and irritated. Thrown back into THIS life, after experiencing THAT life, has really messed with my brain. Just last week I was living in a bathing suit.  I was awake every morning to greet the sun and started the day with a walk on the beach — stopping on the way home to pick up fresh fruit for breakfast. Just last week I was swimming in waterfalls and hiking to volcanos. Just last week, I was calm and happy. Just last week I felt healthy and more like myself than I had in a long, long time. Re-entry is tough. And I think I might be experiencing a little reverse culture shock. I feel as though I am not where I belong, which is weirdly unsettling. As the distance between then and now widens, I feel like I’m losing a part of myself that I was just getting to know, and like. That girl wore two-piece bathing suits and didn’t straighten her hair. That girl breathed slowly and floated without care in swimming pools. Since coming home, I find myself oddly disconnected from the things I used to think were important. Frustrated, even, that so much time is spent hashing and rehashing things that just end up stressing us out. You know, that whole “why are we sweating the small stuff?” thing…Yea, I’m there. My heart is more open to the idea that there is not just one path in life. That we don’t have to live up to anyone else’s expectations of us. We have to be true to ourselves. Take good... read more