Saturday, September 22, 2012

On the First Day of Fall...he gave to me...

A bagpiper piping on the beach at sunrise an ten dolphins leaping! Really!  We were on the beach before sunrise and Mike said listen we followed our ears and sure enough there was a gentleman on the beach with his pipes. He was getting tuned up and at the time of the sunrise he began playing. It was beautiful. Mike captured it on his iphone and me being me I walked up the beach and stayed behind him out of his line of sight. I took a couple of pictures that I will add later. When he finished playing he turned towards me and I gave him a thumbs UP! He smiled and I could tell he was friendly and would not mind a brief chat. Really enjoyed talking to him. Told him I have always loved the bagpipes. I don't know why but perhaps it's in some of my Hogan DNA! His playing certainly brought back memories of Mom's funeral in March. The piper played Amazing Grace as he walked away from the grave side and marched over the hill out of sight. The gentleman said he had played at funerals before and he had a hard time getting through it himself. I told him that his playing this morning was a special treat. He said he had been playing for 5 years and was still learning. He sounded great to us. I thanked him and when back to sit with Mike and finish my coffee.  I had hardly sat down until I noticed a pod of dolphins near shore. It was low time and there were 4 shrimp boats with their nets out nearby.  I love watching them surface slightly and blow and go back under. We see them several times a week if the tide is low in the morning. Today one of the dolphins jumped totally out of the water and flicked his tail before diving under the water!  He looked just like a dolphin performing at Sea World. A few minutes later another one jumped out of the water completely but this time more straight up in the air. The first had made more of an arc and then flicked his tail...I loved it. A great first day of fall!

Today is Saturday our last full day. The temperature is to be around 88 today. A nice 75 ish now with the windows open on the sunporch it is actually a bit cool with shorts on due to the gentle breeze. We spend most of our time on the porch...our favorite spot. We will have some more fall days here in a few weeks. So that makes heading North easier tomorrow.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Cottage Crazy: How can it already be Friday!

Cottage Crazy: How can it already be Friday!: We have had a great week at Paws and Paddles. It is so nice to walk in and be right at home. Even Hershey calmed right down and got into his...

How can it already be Friday!

We have had a great week at Paws and Paddles. It is so nice to walk in and be right at home. Even Hershey calmed right down and got into his routine. He clearly understands this is his second home now. He is content for us to do our own thing while he chills on the sun porch under the ceiling fan.

We went to the Jepson Museum, in Savannah,  yesterday to see the amazing photos of Dan Winters. It was recommended in Gun and Garden magazine. So glad I saw their article. He has photographed Hollywood stars, NASA launches, you name it.  The Jepson also has an amazing hanging of quilts that each tell a story and some unique pieces of glass. I always play awhile in the children's sections with some of their creative ways for kids big and small to express themselves with found objects. They also have a high tech room where you stand in front of a TV monitor and a program they developed starts scribbling lines all over and it quickly turns into a picture of YOU! I could watch it all day...very interesting. We checked out several of the beautiful squares that we had not been to before. Very relaxing and the weather was perfect for a comfortable day touring. A slight breeze and low 80s but felt cooler under the giant moss covered live oaks. We worked in lunch at the SOHO South Cafe...a veggie friendly Cafe but they have lots of meat dishes as well. We shared some of the best bread pudding ever...very creamy and buttery so much so we skipped dinner!

On our second trip into Savannah... we had read and heard about Leopolds Ice Cream being made on site for the last gazillion years so before heading back to Paws and Paddles on Tybee we indulged. It was as good as promised and enjoying it in Savannah in one of the green and cool Squares probably added to the favor.  We still have not tried another Savannah favorite...Whoopie pies...think moon pies but made with cake sides and thick creamy icing in the middle...all types of to get to those next at Goosefeathers Cafe at 39 Bernard Street. Whoopie pies were a Amish tradition so named because the children would exclaim Whoopie on the days a Whoopie pie was included in their lunch pail! So for only a couple of dollars you to can have a Whoopie pie. They do them up in flavors to match the season/holiday. Green for St. Patricks Day and Pumpkin spice for Fall...sounds like Starbucks!

Savannah provides lots of parking garages so you can quickly dump the car and get to everything on foot. If that is more walking than you care for they offer a free trolley/bus to pick you up and drop you off. We love walking and have not used them but good to know you could.

I have not done any shopping in Savannah for clothes but there are some amazing small local shops that if I lived a fancier life I would have to check out. Apparently the ladies of Savannah have the opportunity to frequently get dressed to the nines and then some! One of the shops I especially liked was James Hogan. I noticed the Hogan name since that is one of our family names. They offer some of the finest European designers and custom couture by James Hogan...I am pretty sure that means if you have to ask how much you can't afford it. But is really is the most appealing little shop. No I didn't go in with my shorts and tank top...I think I would have to dress up first might just do that sometime! It is in a small neighborhood near some beautiful homes rather than in the tourist area. I found it when we rented a place nearby when we first stayed in Savannah and felt in love with the City and nearby Tybee Island. I would love to find a small but quaint apartment/condo in one of the old historic homes and fix it up for rental but they are extremely hard to find. I doubt that is in the cards but a gal can dream.

Hershey has been patient and he wants us to go to the park for a laters.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cottage Crazy: It's Wednesday already...It has been so relaxing!

Cottage Crazy: It's Wednesday already...It has been so relaxing!: A few pictures from our week so far. This was our view when we met our Roanoke Friends for dinner last Saturday night. This was taken from...

It's Wednesday already...It has been so relaxing!

A few pictures from our week so far. This was our view when we met our Roanoke Friends for dinner last Saturday night. This was taken from A.J.s outdoor seating on their dock/deck. We love the location so much that we bike up often for lunch. A nice bike ride from Paws & Paddles.

Our Sunday Sunrise...I have way too many of these but each one is different and special...the light breeze, the salty smell of the ocean, the many birds, and hot coffee makes this a great way to start the Day.

This is the daytime view off of the dock/deck at A.J.s overlooking the back river area. A great place to see all manner of boaters coming in, including Kayakers and Paddle Boarders. Fishing here might be fun since you might catch something you would typically have to buy for dinner! We are doing our part to help the local economy by eating out at least once a day! Flounder oh my so good I have had it twice and then Oysters, and I steamed a pound of fresh caught Georgia Shrimp...gone!

Our Tybee Neighbor and Friend John is in the light beige Kayak leading a group trip for the next 3 days for Georgia Sea Kayaks! He does a great job and knows the area well. Plus he is just a nice fellow and is very interesting to talk with since he has lived in several different places and all are very interesting and different.

Mikie enjoying his comfy chair and the sunrise...the coffee is in one of the two required Cup Holders. Ahhhh.

Love catching the pelicans gliding by so quietly...

Tybyee favorite color.

I thought this would make an interesting screen saver for the computer...or if I could blur out the shapes and just use the suggestion of shells with colors and some shapes it could be an interesting painting. Planning on getting back to doing some of that this fall and winter when we can't be out side!

Tybee has a small park near the cottage with a short greenway that winds through palms, a creek and under moss laden live oaks. The perfect plan to enjoy nature without cars and give our boy some exercise.

A cute cottage near the picture doesn't do it justice it isvery well done.

A better shot of " Island Bliss "

It always shocks me to look up and see a ship this size.  Savannah is the 3rd largest Port in the U. S.

Our sweet boy watching the ocean from the safety of the deck!

We had a couple of brief rain showers yesterday but not enough to stop us from walking in Pulaski Square in Savannah for a while after lunch. We love Soho South Cafe nearby so we had a nice long lunch that was so good we choose to just have coffee for dinner last night with a bite of desert from lunch. They are only open 11 to 4 check them out if you are ever in Savannah.

We are off to plot the rest of our day. Hoping for some more biking and a longish beach walk at low tide. We go to the north light house beach and often find my favorite olive shells.  I am sure we will need to find somewhere for lunch in between. Lots of choices on Tybee, and one of our other favorites is Tubbys Tank House just up Rt. 80 on the way in to Thunder Bolt Marina. We are excited that a Whole Foods is building between here and Savannah by 2013 and a large I-Max cinema.  So if you get tired of the beach you just drive towards Savannah and find lots to do or better drive the 20 minutes in and Park your car and it is amazing how beautiful the squares are and how much there is to do and see there. Planning a trip in to the museums they have a new exhibit this week on everything to do with the ocean. Laters...

Monday, September 17, 2012

Cottage Crazy: A beautiful morning on Tybee Island

Cottage Crazy: A beautiful morning on Tybee Island: We smelled the coffee and woke up in time to go to watch the sunrise even though the Savannah forecast had been for clouds. It turned out to...

Cottage Crazy: A beautiful morning on Tybee Island

Cottage Crazy: A beautiful morning on Tybee Island: We smelled the coffee and woke up in time to go to watch the sunrise even though the Savannah forecast had been for clouds. It turned out to...

A beautiful morning on Tybee Island

We smelled the coffee and woke up in time to go to watch the sunrise even though the Savannah forecast had been for clouds. It turned out to be our best morning. The wind was blowing just enough and felt as soft as a feather on your skin. We met an older gentleman who had a boat load of serious camera equipment and he said good morning it is going to be a great morning to capture the sunrise. I'll have to tell my little weather man Alex that the weather report isn't always accurate! To be fair they don't have a station on the island and Savannah is about 20 minutes by car...and island weather can be fickle due to the water temps, and ocean breezes. I captured a few good shots which I will share later.

I am posting this on the iPad which I couldn't do prior to an update!  This is so much easier than the slow clunky netbook. I still can't add the pictures. Mike found an adapter in the iPad store that will make adding pics easy as key lime pie. He ordered it with a quick click and it will be there when we get back to Windy Gap Mountain!

We have finally caught up with our sleep although everytime I sit down on my upholstered chaise in the sunroom with the breeze scooting by, the ceiling fan going, the creatures outside making noises, and the occasional blue heron, goose, or duck calling in the nearby marsh...oh...I also fell asleep just writing that! I love all of the cottage but truly I love the sunroom the most. Thank you Elizabeth. Elizabeth was the former owner and she had the sunporch built and it was 98% finished when she passed away in the hospital. She loved her little cottage from what we have heard and we have purposely left a couple of things as reminders of Elisabeth. A unusual lightswitch cover which depicts a Flamigo pink which incorporated two of her favorite things. She also had several kitties and was known to take them walking in a baby carriage. I also left a pretty brass butterfly pull on one of the fans...painted in pink.

We biked to A.J.s on the Back River for lunch...just far enough to do some sightseeing. I enjoy their food but truthly the view off their open deck is what I most enjoy. Boaters docking, kayakers going by and dophins frequently following a boat. Not to mention that the deck is situationed due west and if you go for dinner at sunset...plan on a longish wait but the sunset is always worth it and if you need entertainment just grab a drink and check out the crowd. Everyone from boaters, fishermen, 80 year olds who have been coming forever, lots of locals, you frequently catch Jane Coslick of Southern Living and Coastal Living decorator fame. She has restored and or decorated so many beautiful homes and cottages. A.J.s was were we finally decided on the perfect table for the sunroom. We looked at the beat up and rustic tables on their deck and both said this is exactly what we need. We checked it out and wondered if we could either make one or find someone to make one. We happened to be meeting Jane the next morning at Paws and Paddles to go over fabric etc. The table came up and Mike said we know what we want. Jane said great. Mike asked her if she had been to A.J.s she laughed a big Jane laugh...and said, " I have my own bar stool there "!  Even better her friend Joe actually MADE the tables at the resturant! Believe me Tybee is a small town and there are zero degrees of separation. Everybody knows Everybody! So we ended up with our favorite rustic table for the porch!

I need to go outside and play now...laters...

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Mermaids, our Guests, and Paws & Paddles!

We had not been back to the cottage since April. Always a bit nervous to see if everything is still looking great. The answer after a busy season when we were rented so often.  YES! Thanks to our wonderful guests and the Mermaids at Mermaid Cottages. Everything was just as we left it.  I took Friday off and Mike got off a bit early and we hauled out off Windy Gap Mountain as soon as possible. Got here after midnight...a bit tired and sleepy and hungry, we skipped dinner to get here sooner. One of our Mermaids had stopped by Paws and Paddles and turned the lamp on in the great room and on the front porch for us since she knew we were coming in quite late. HOW nice is that! It really is the little things that make a great working relationship meaningful! I live customer service and it means so much to find others that understand that excellent customer service means exceeding customer expectations every day in every way!

Mike put the coffee maker on auto and the smell of coffee woke him up early. He switched on lights until I gently woke up and then he was jumping up and down and saying...wanta go watch the sun come up on the beach? Surprisingly I really wasn't that tired and I was ready to go. Ahhh...did I mention he drove all the way...nice man! Off to the beach, nice breezy morn about 73, coffee, comfortable chairs...with cup holders...courtesy of Mike. Really enjoyed the surf and wind along with the sunrise. Later my head was complaining about missing dinner and a real lunch yesterday. We sucked it up and left our comfty spot for the Breakfast have to wait it a huge, huge line in season but we walked right in this morning. They have been written up several times in Coastal Living Magazine and Southern Living!  Had I not known I doubt we would have went in. Very small kinda looks like a small bar from the outside...except for the Breakfast Club sign. The food is amazing good and they offer plenty of upscale and interesting dishes. Mike loves breakfast, me not so much. Here I do to! We had a simple meal of eggs and the best grits ever...they have awesome...shrimp and grits for breakfast. Then back to Paws to take Hershey out is so nice having a fenced in area, just open the door for him, and pick up later!  Mike took him for a walk to the pond and marsh right up the street while I finished nesting and putting things away.

I am sitting on the shady sun porch in my upholstered Chaise lounge, ahhh, and reading our book of cottage reviews.  Thought I would share some with everyone...we really try hard to exceed expectations and it makes us feel so good when someone notices!

Connie &Mike 1/12/12
Your cottage (Paws & Paddles) is amazing and from the moment I stepped through the door it provided inspiration for the story I was writing. Very thoughtful details!

What a beautiful cottage! Thank you so much for all the thoughtful details. I have never stayed in a rental home with so many niceties - that made it seem like home! Wonderful touches and great decorating - combined with the quiet, marshey area made this a great vacation from life's worries.

We so agree...worries don't belong on Tybee!
This is the first time for my husband and I in Tybee. It was everything we hoped for then some. We brought our dog Tucker a chocolate lab and even he felt right at home in these comfortable surroundings. We can't wait to come back and even though we never met the mermaids I knew they were there us. We will be back ASAP.

One more review...will save the others for later...
What a Fabulous cottage! My husband and I only wish we could stay longer! I never want to leave this adorable place! Ya'll have truly thought of everything a guest could ever need or want!!!
Connie, I have enjoyed following your blog for the past several months The cottage was truly the best it exceeded my expectations!!! We ALSO have a standard poodle and a yorkie. No dogs this trip but they will come back for sure. Thank you again for sharing your lovely home with us. Roll Tide!

I love all of these especially this one since she felt we exceeded her expectations & she was following the blog! I would love to write some day with hopes of being published at least online! A Tybee Dream...Dreams do come true. We would never have believed we had the courage to purchase the cottage. Then I totally went off the reservation...and called our decorator Jane Coslick of Coastal Living and Southern Living fame for restoring cottages on Tybee, and then found Eric to add on a small deck outdoor, love, love both. Plus Eric did all the painting, replaced some drywall you name it every time I came thing lead to another...but it all worked out beautifully...I had so much fun I wish I could do it again! More laters...

Friday, September 14, 2012

Heading to Tybee Island & Savannah!

Hoping to leave after Mike gets home for work...sooner than later. But it's always a crap shoot. Stuff happens so we'll see. Mostly packed. Hershey's things are packed. Pretend bones and his pretend sausage shaped Gonut...these are great and about the only thing he can't destroy in a day or less!

Paws and Paddles Cottage has been rented almost every day since we were there in we are excited to get back for a week. We are also planning lots of short trips for the next several months. We didn't get down at all during the popular summer season. September and the fall months suit us well. Cooler...and even a slower version of Tybee Tyme than the summer months. Tybee is quirky and laid back and a little retro. Think Jimmy Buffet, 50s style cottages, small beach town, and my favorite part, bike and walking friendly AND it's 20 minutes to my favorite City other than Roanoke, VA. our home... SAVANNAH!

We are meeting friends and neighbors from Virginia for dinner Saturday night. Lots of great places to eat on Tybee and Savannah is amazing of course. As soon as we get in I always spend some time nesting. Putting everything we brought with us (always 2 much) away and bringing a few things we keep in the owners closet out. So far our guests have taken good care of our things  we provide extras for their use to make their time at the cottage as enjoyable as our trips. We leave lots of supplys for the kitchen and washer/dryer. Our pantry is left open and everyone is encouraged to help themselves. We stock sunscreen, sun shelter, chairs, things for their dog, a mini office with stamps, scissors all those tiny things that you never think you will need. Feedback has been great! 5 stars...we love hearing the reviews. Lots of folks have commented on the Mermaids Cottage (our rental agency) site about the decor, the Mermaids keep it clean and they are always available should they need anything.

Off to get a mani/pedi in a bit and a pick up some fruit to munch along the way...we don't care for fast food... and once we point the car south and are Tybee bound we only stop when we need a pit stop!