This year has been unusual to say the least. I was scrolling through my pictures on my phone and was amazed at how quickly time has flown by. Pretty soon we'll be shifting our focus from the holidays to the New Year. I wanted to take time to share some of my personal favorites from 2020.
Brooke Goff, owner of this wonderful wine bar and gourmet shop continues to spread her love of fine wines with her customers. As soon as folks could gather safely, she welcomed members back for monthly wine club events.
The pandemic has taken its tole on many locally owned businesses; however, she has kept the ball rolling. Building community support for one another is her passion. She joined forces with other business owners to offer drive thru "Sunday Brunches" and virtual wine tastings.
Wine Club made the list because I LOVE to learn new things. Brooke has expanded my appreciation for wine and cheese this year. I appreciate all that she has done for me and for the community.
I never imagined that Bob Arceneaux, a friend from high school, would become a master coffee roaster. His company, Parish Coffee embraces all of the wonderful things about South Louisiana. The coffees are flavorful, unique and playful!
He suggested I try his Highlander Grog and it is incredible! His Dark Roast is bold without any bitterness. It makes the smoothest cup of strong java. He has a wonderful website and will ship his blends directly to your door!
Speaking of favorites, my Charlie Brown mug was a gift from my daughter, Amy, over 10 years ago. It always makes me smile when I pour my first cup of coffee in the morning. It is the little things that add up!
Downtown Mobile with Upspyre
I am "on location" with my boss partners for photo sessions throughout the year. It is hard to pick a favorite space however a recent photo shoot with David Carpenter in downtown Mobile took the prize. He introduced me to a beautiful little park overlooking the Mobile River.
I could not have planned a better day. The temperatures were cool and as you can see the sky was blue. We started at The Admiral Semmes Hotel for some inside pictures then traveled down to the waterfront.
Cooper Riverside Park is definitely a great location for family photos or a brain reset! It is beautifully landscaped with comfortable benches for you to take a break. Various sculptures adorn the pathway for your enjoyment.
Thank you David for the introduction!
My favorite trip in 2020 was to Phoenix, Arizona. In June, I flew out to see one of my best friends. I had never ventured that far west before.
Folks, those really tall cacti do exist and you can do jail time if you damage them! Google it if you don't believe me!
At the time of my visit around 75% of the businesses were shuttered due to Co-Vid. I made the most of my time just riding around soaking up the landscape. The museums and other attractions were not open to tourists.
One of the partner bosses, Jeff Yoe, owner of Acme Pressure Washing, was in Phoenix last month for a certification training. He shared that most of the businesses had reopened and the city was active.
This Club Sandwich on the menu at The Hickory Pit, is one to make note of. Not only is it delicious, it also represents the community support that this restaurant is famous for. Owner, Brandon Van Hook brought in local bread artisan, The Breadman Bakery for this creation.
This Semmes restaurant is at the heart of the community and a favorite gathering place for locals seven days a week. In fact, it opens up at 5AM to serve breakfast to the nursery farm employees in the area.
I like to sit at the front counter where Amber Whitehead, front of the house manager, keeps everyone in line. She sets the tone for customer service and has the backing of GM, Derek Smith! Great sandwich & place!
The photo session at Rebecca Dixon's business, Apollo's Paws was one of my favorites. This extraordinary groomer has a VIP list of canines including the "boss dogs". She also takes care of cats, hamsters, gerbils, reptiles and birds!
Check out this beautiful specimen from her shoot earlier in the year. She is the animal whisperer and I am grateful to have her in my life. My rescue, Lil Jack, is a Shih Tzu and has the personality of that breed. He can be stubborn, bossy and snappy. Rebecca takes his antics in stride!
The Wharf at Orange Beach
This has become one of my favorite day trip destinations. I was introduced to it by Heather Loper, a boss partner in Baldwin County. It has excellent dining choices and plenty of shopping all year long! Great place to visit during the "off season". You'll get personalized service everywhere!
Time to Read
This year has gifted me and others with time to pursue things we love. I have been an avid reader since I was a little girl, thanks to my daddy's guidance. I have returned to the habit of reading a book or so per week. I enjoy learning how others perceive life. You can also find me "nose-buried" in a good mystery novel.
The boss doggies, Lil'Jack, a Shih Tzu with attitude and his big brother, Marcello, a Standard Poodle have kept me active. The pandemic has not affected their daily walks, play time and monthly grooms at Rebecca's.
I am grateful for the normalcy that they bring to my daily life. Getting outside and walking them everyday is a great brain reset. I get my daily dose of Vitamin D, move my body and breathe in fresh air.
Marcello has been with me for 9 years while Jack joined the family almost 2 years ago. He was a rescue from the Mobile SPCA. If you are thinking about adding a pet to your life this holiday season please consider adopting one from a local shelter.
Entertaining at Home
For the past 6 months I have been hosting tiny dinner parties once or twice a month. Having a friend or two over has been wonderful for building relationships and business.
I love to cook and I am an adventurous "chef" in the kitchen thanks to my gourmet loving momma. There is something very special about gathering around a table with great food and a good bottle of wine from Domke Market.
Making memories with people I cherish has been one of my favorite things about this strange year. I hope that all of you have made the most of the unusual circumstances that we have found ourselves in. Pictured are Ashley Scarbrough and my sister, Mary!
I plan to do one more blog before the New Year is upon us. Stay tuned for some hints on how to set intentions for 2021!