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Eat, Drink 'n Play

A travel & lifestyle blog featuring good food, good travel and good living. About Me
Through the trees

Through the trees

I am not an outdoorsy person. Though I really do want to be. I admire my adventurous friends who are snowshoeing in Whistler and climbing steep mountain trails to admire a waterfall sparkling in the winter sun. When the idea to “go for a hike” comes up in our house, my typical response is usually one, or more of these: “I don’t have hiking boots.” “Can’t today. Need new sunglasses.” (Re: the glare that could accompany aforementioned waterfall trek) “I would if only I had the right pants to wear. Can’t wear these!” “Busting out of my sports bra so it’s a no for me.” “If I had the right outfit, I’d be right there with you.” I’ve recognized a pattern in my responses, of course. If only I had the right  THIS or THAT, I could be like the other kids. If only. But.. I have the wrong shoes. The wrong clothes. The wrong hat. The wrong… um.. attitude. So, this past weekend when the Atlanta weather took a turn and presented us with winter weekend temps that approached the 70s (that’s 21-ish for my Canadian pals), I put on my all-wrong shoes and my too tight-wish-they-were-spandex khakis and headed to Panola Mountain State Park. An easy 20 to 25 minute ride from my Atlanta home, Panola Mountain State Park is a 100-acre granite monadnock (which is a pretty rare, isolated rock hill rising abruptly from the plain .. FYI), similar to, yet not as commercialized as Georgia’s own ever-popular Stone Mountain. This 1600-acre park, with its rare ecosystem and visible stone,  was the perfect scenario for my attempt to become one with nature. After a quick... read more
Mindful

Mindful

Every day I see or hear something that more or less kills me with delight, that leaves me like a needle in the haystack of light. It was what I was born for – to look, to listen, to lose myself inside this soft world – to instruct myself over and over in joy, and acclamation. Nor am I talking about the exceptional, the fearful, the dreadful, the very extravagant – but of the ordinary, the common, the very drab, the daily presentations. Oh, good scholar, I say to myself, how can you help but grow wise with such teachings as these – the untrimmable light of the world, the ocean’s shine, the prayers that are made out of grass? by Mary Oliver    ... read more
From the Bench

From the Bench

I had just settled myself into our empty nest when our youngest son, Dylan, decided to ditch dorm living and move back home. It had been a rough entry to University for him — with pain and back surgery overshadowing his first year of freedom — so while I knew that his return would ruffle some of our routines, I was secretly breathing a sigh of relief to have my youngest child near me again. The kid had barely unpacked his suitcase and I was back into full-time mom mode. “Did you brush your teeth?” “Have you eaten anything today?” “Did you study?” “What time did you go to sleep? You need more sleep.” “When are you going to get a haircut?” “Didn’t you wear that yesterday?” “Where ya going?” “Who’s going to be there?” “Drive safe.” “Drive safe.” “Drive safe.” And so on. Dylan humors me, most of the time. Thankfully he’s well past the eye-rolling stage of teenage-hood, and a tad more understanding of my necessary mothering (I think?) He knows I can’t help myself. He knows I’m  just looking out for him. And I’m sure he knows that one day he will be free from my constant reminders to brush his teeth or pick up his clothes. What he doesn’t know–what none of my children could possibly know — is that it’s not the act of letting go that I struggle with, it’s the being let go of that does me in. And the letting go usually starts with the “I got this.” “Do you want to talk about it?” “I got this, Mom.” “Do you want me to go shopping... read more
Act As If

Act As If

My friend Lisa is a metal artist. She creates art out of sheets of metal — and functional art at that. Her metal fire pits are not only beautiful lit or unlit, they are unique — some of them custom cut to suit the customer. When I saw some of the incredible designs she was creating, I was floored. While I knew she had creative flair — the girl can take a pile of acorns and a string of busted Christmas lights and create a whimsical table setting — I had no idea she was so damn skilled with power tools! My friend is an artist. She’s not a crafter. She’s not dabbling in metal. She’s not spending hours in her garage studio, riveting or melting or whatever it is she does to create these stunning designs out of flat sheets of metal, because she’s trying to fill time. My friend is an artist. In the very early days of her business, she would call herself a crafter. And I fought her on this. Not out of any disrespect for those of us who spend time doing crafty things– I’m one of them! — but because I felt like she wasn’t owning her talent. She was, subconsciously minimizing her skills, as though I could simply go into her garage, throw on an apron and some safety glasses and scorch the metal into the beautiful designs she now sells across the country. Thankfully, this categorization was short-lived and she started seeing herself as the artist she was. If you ask her today, she’ll tell you she’s an “accidental artist,” which I think is a... read more
Because I Can Choose

Because I Can Choose

The woman crossing the road walked with intention – a huge smile on her face. We were at a stoplight when I spotted her out of the corner of my eye. She was walking alone, without an audio book or playlist to keep her company. So what was it that was making her smile with such willful abandon if not a catchy tune or sarcastic commentary of a serial podcast? The expression on her face was that of a person who just discovered a big secret. A big happy secret. I wanted to know. I wanted Dave to stop the car so I could find out what it was. I felt this urgent need to invite this smiling woman to the coffee shop or the wine bar and find out why she was smiling — for no reason. I wanted her to share that joy with me. The older I get, the more I’m drawn to happy people. People who make me laugh, are comfortable in their own skin, and aren’t afraid to color outside the lines. And by that, I don’t mean the I-don’t-care-what-people-think-this-is-who-I-am kind of people, because as much as I believe in being authentic, there are too many people who use that “take me as I am” attitude as permission to be an asshole. I’m at a point in my life where I have no time or patience for bullshit. For insincerity. For agendas. For mean people.  I just want it to be easy. I want to be around people who inspire me. Who are loyal and honest. People who give a shit. I want to be around people who... read more