Back From Our Family Vacation…

A Southern Welcome with Charleston fountain and architecturally welcoming "open arm" stairway...epitomized our feelings of warmth experienced on this vacation to the American South

A Southern Welcome with Charleston fountain and architecturally welcoming “open arm” stairway…epitomized our feelings of warmth experienced on this vacation to the American South

IMG_8587Often my husband and I are asked, “how de we keep our family together?”  “Simple.” is my response.  “When invited to a family function…You’ve just got to show up.  Don’t come up with an excuse…SHOW UP!”

We are blessed with lots of family.  And recently, we found out just how much we have on my husband’s paternal side of the equation – all residing in the American South.  Many times, it just takes one person to step up to keep family together.  That’s what happened here.

A few years ago, my husband’s cousin, A., sent us a note in her Christmas Card that she was coming out for a short visit from her home in Columbia, South Carolina (tagging onto her son’s business trip).  Now, this was quite a pleasant surprise.  The last time our California family had seen anyone from the South was 27 years ago.  I missed that reunion in Georgia, however, for those 27 years had dutifully scribed a cheerful card to cousin A..  I sent photos and news about our happenings,  only knowing her through this annual penning of notes.

We had a fabulous visit with A.  Upon her leaving, she urged us with grace and southern charm to visit…she followed up and sent me information about America’s only working tea garden near her ( in Charleston S.C.), she sent my husband a subscription to Charleston magazine and friended him on Facebook…once our sweet little dachshund passed away…I knew it was time for an extended vacation.  So, we finally planned our trip to the south —

We showed up.  And boy, so did they!  With the “California cousins” coming for a visit, Cousin A. instigated a full-on family reunion which resulted in 120 members showing up to a beautiful gathering at Misty Lakes, No.Augusta, South Carolina.  It was awesome.

Some of you know that I am not a fan of flying…so, with the reunion as the primary reason for our trip, I then targeted where we would eat and drink tea on the rest of our journey.  Some of the best chefs in America do their cooking in Charleston. Exploring Low Country cooking was our focus and, of course, drinking tea.

Our Southern vacation…full of Family, History, Spanish Moss, Mansions, Mosquitos, Alligators, Low Country foods & Sweet Tea.  The route:  Atlanta, Augusta, Savannah, Charleston, Columbia, Atlanta … fun times with new found relatives all along the way.  All because of one cousin who showed up and encouraged us to do so too.

My next few posts will be about my “finds” on this excursion.  Here are a few photos of our trip in a nutshell…gorgeous Savannah, including Tybee Island, foliage, buggy rides, teas, barbecue, and truly fabulous Southern foods amidst the mansions.

IMG_8219 IMG_8260 IMG_8308 IMG_8421 IMG_8462 IMG_8468 IMG_8549 IMG_8591 IMG_8612 IMG_8617 IMG_8622 IMG_8639

Southern life...moss, marsh, mansions, biscuits, BBQ, and tea

Southern life…Spanish moss, marsh, mansions, Low Country cuisine, Charleston teas



  1. You miss all those biscuits and gravy with the grits, don’t you.

  2. Linda
    Great Pictures!! It looks like you had a terrific time!

  3. What a wonderful looking place, that shot of the big trees near the top is beautiful. Your husband’s cousin sounds like an amazing organiser, I’m staggered by her success with getting family together. I’m intrigued to know what was on those food plates, the first one looks like porridge and did I see scones?

    • Hi Lorna…the American South is just beautiful…very green and lush…the trees in the photos are reflective of this thing called Spanish Moss (which isn’t really a moss I guess) that grown and makes them look stunning and mysterious at the same time. I am so impressed w/ my husband’s cousin…she is quietly strong and so gracious yet obviously commands great respect to get the turnout and help that she accomplished with the gathering. Will fill you in on the food in the photos in next post. The porridge is what is known in the south as “grits”… they can be boring or spectacular…we had mostly spectacular 🙂 … cheesy grits with fresh shrimp was a dish I tried almost everywhere…loved it and am attempting to work off the extra few pounds now 🙂