What a beautiful coffee shop! It was light and airy. The mustard yellow leatherette chairs gave a sophisticated warmth to the stained concrete floors, black iron accents and blonde wood.
This past weekend was an epic road trip adventure through the incredible state of Alabama.
Friday started with my book, Amazing Alabama, being used as decorations for the Alabama Society Daughters of the Revolution state conference on Friday afternoon. I was so incredibly honored, and the ladies all LOVED the centerpieces.
After the DAR conference, Maggie and I were joined by our friends, Shannon and Avery, and we headed north! The first stop in our trip was the Florence Lauderdale Public Library for a book talk. We really had a great time learning about Alabama, the history of coloring, and we even learned some new coloring tips and tricks!
After the book talk was over, we enjoyed some local Florence flavor at Trowbridges (who is celebrating their 100th birthday this year). If you eat there, you have to MAKE SURE you get the pineapple orange ice cream, which is on the list of 100 Things to Eat in Alabama Before You Die. It's super creamy and delicious! After filling our bellies, we went to see Leo III and Una, the sibling lions on the campus of UNA, the Rosenbaum house (Alabama's only Frank Lloyd Wright house), and Ivy Green, birthplace of Helen Keller. We even got to see the infamous water well where Annie Sullivan taught her "water".
The next day we drove through Cullman on the way home and stopped at the Ave Maria Grotto. This is one of those hidden gems in the state that everybody should go see at some point in their life. The dedication and artistry of Brother Joseph was incredible.
Backtracking just slightly, I wanted to say that throughout our entire trip, we had fun getting our Past Ports stamped. If you don't have one yet, you can get them HERE. If you don't know what they are, you can learn about them HERE. It's a really cool booklet that's $10 and you can go around on your own epic Alabama road trip getting stamps from all the 67 counties! In fact, you can use it in conjunction with your very own copy of Amazing Alabama - get your Past Port stamped and color the county you're visiting.
Maggie and Avery already have 3 stamps (I've got 4)... how many do you have?
Playing around with something different in my sketch book today. Steve and I visited Mobile this weekend and after driving home through the country, I've been thinking about buildings and small towns and downtown storefronts...
So... here we go. These are just a few on my spread. And then I got a wild-hair and decided to draw rainbow row in Charleston, SC. I haven't been there in forever and I had to look up pictures on the internet, but I'd LOVE to go back. Maybe we could do that for Spring Break next year...
Now the fun part - adding color.
Have you seen this show? I was feeling sorry for myself today with Steve away in DC, so I ate some chocolate Easter eggs (4, actually) and turned on the tv to find this gem in my Amazon "things you may like" section. The Durrells in Corfu is the most magical show by PBS Masterpiece... and it's apparently a true story!
It's about a widow in England with 4 children who uproots them all to move to Corfu, an island off the coast of Greece.
Here are the real Durrells (minus Leslie): Gerald, Margot and Lawrence with their mother, Louisa.
Now I want to uproot my family and move to Corfu too! Holy COW look at how picturesque it is!
And after searching through Tripadvisor - I REALLY want to go there! But for now... I'll have to settle for drawing some quick sketches of it... I may redraw this (not in my bullet journal) and add some watercolor.
The local arrangements committee consists of making sure all the tours and sponsorships and meeting spaces are arranged, but it also includes arranging flowers, making appetizers and (for me) drawing a local landmark for some giveaway notecards.
This year was especially great, because LOOK what I got! It's official... I'm an author!! I may or may not have jumped, clapped and squealed when they handed it to me. :)
As much as I love the sessions and papers, I REALLY love the tours... and this year was no exception.
Look at the relaxing view from this front porch. I could've sat here all day!
I even saw an Ella Smith Indestructible Doll at one of the homes. This is something I didn't think I'd ever see in person. Ella Smith was from Randolph County, Alabama and she won a blue ribbon for the doll's design at the 1904 Worlds Fair!
One of the lovely homes we were fortunate to tour.
For a lucky few, Samford Hall/Tower was available for touring. Only 20 got the privilege (10 at a time). Can you see them up there peering out the clock face? That's WAAAAY too far up there for my taste...
Look at this adorable barn!!! I would string some Edison lights in these trees and sit out here in an Adirondack chair sipping iced tea out of a mason jar and reading a good book!
All-in-all it was a great weekend. I got to see lots of old friends and make some new ones. I was able to buy some great new books to further my knowledge of our great state. Next spring, the annual meeting will be held in Birmingham. That one ought to be interesting...