The Last Dance
By Mickey Goodman
Whenever I hear Lee Ann Womack’s I Hope You Dance, I remember a bittersweet weekend in Chattanooga when life was filled with hope. The lyrics seemed the answer to an obsession I harbored during my husband Phil's long battle with cancer -- a wacky notion that if we went dancing, he might waltz into a future without chemo and radiation.
One weekend in spring six months before I lost him, our travel buddies Van and Gladys suggested we drive to Chattanooga for the weekend.....
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Mobile on the Bay
by Mickey Goodman
“Can you hear me?” I whisper, standing, with my face inches from the whispering arch at the historic Battle House Hotel in Mobile, Alabama. My friend, Mary, is at the opposite end, ready to receive my message. “Let’s stick around and eavesdrop conversations,” she whispers. We turn to face one another, then giggle like tweenagers, happy to have taken the double-dog dare to test the famous phenomenon.
The whispering arch is only one of the surprises at this elegantly restored grand dame in the heart of an invigorated downtown Mobile. I’m blown away by the original Tiffany glass ceilings in the lobby and dining rooms and the trompe l’oeil murals. Among other signs of the $220 million renovation for the hotel known as “Mobile’s living room” is a 1920s mural that rings the Crystal Ball Room and the smashing chandeliers, plus the very luxurious twenty-first century guest rooms and totally organic spa.......
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just for the girls (pdf)
by Mickey Goodman
IT WAS THE ULTIMATE BIRTHDAY celebration—a girlfriends getaway for 80 of
the hostess’ closest friends. We traveled to Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
in Ojai, Calif., from Los An....
Rum and Recreation Abound in Barbados
Barbados sticks in my mind like the melody from a favorite song. The most easterly of a string of lush islands in the West Indies, an area that separates the Caribbean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean, Barbados has a split personality. On one hand, the island is laid-back and relaxed where sun and sea reign supreme. It’s alter ego is adventuresome and enjoys scuba-diving, snorkeling, sailing, kayaking, golfing, windsurfing, yachting, exploring and more. The combination is heady.
The trip aboard Delta Airline’s inaugural direct flight in December whisked us from chilly Atlanta to balmy Barbados in just slightly longer time than it took to see the feature movie. When we pulled into the gate and spied a contingency of dignitaries and a cluster of uniformed school girls bearing flowers, the routine landing morphed into a party, complete with a dousing from fire hoses that arched over the fuselage and much fanfare…
Little St. Simons
“…Be a world of marsh that borders a world of sea.
Sinuous southward and sinuous northward
The shimmering band of the sand beach
Fastens the fringe of the marsh to the folds of the land.”
– Sidney Lanier, “The Marshes of Glynn”
The velvety marshlands that Sidney Lanier described so lyrically have drawn me to Georgia’s Golden Isles ever since I was introduced to the area 10 years ago. Each mile from Atlanta to Brunswick, Ga., makes me yearn for the white sand beaches and glorious sunsets at the end of the journey. Upon reaching Brunswick, the sight of solft shades of lime green moss juxtaposed with dark blue waterways always sets my heart a pattering as we cross over the causeways and bridges connecting the four islands – St. Simons, Sea Island, Jekyll and Little St. Simons.
Once again, the meandering drive down Kings Way leading into the heart of St. Simons transported me to a time and place where gracious living is a way of life. My friend and travel companion Judy Giles, a first-time Golden Isles visitor, was agog at the ancient live oaks decorated with lacy Spanish moss that formed a canopy over our heads. Like sentinels, they shield elegant homes from curious eyes as lush palm fronds cover their feet. Nearby, sapling oaks wear wisps of moss resembling peach fuzz on young men’s chests….
Four Seasons of Fun
The Beaches of South Walton are sublime in the summer months. The picture postcard sky blankets the milky sand beaches decorated with bikini-clad lasses and children building sand castles. But I prefer the winter beaches when the Snow Birds fly farther south and the only other humans are beach bums like me who walk for miles mesmerized by the lilt of the waves lapping against the shore.
Mid January I felt that familiar call to sandy shores. Located on 107 acres on the Gulf of Mexico between Panama City and Destin at the eastern end of Scenic Route 30A, Rosemary Beach came highly recommended. And it didn’t take more than a “how about a road trip” to convince my friend, Reva Ezell, to sign on for a post holiday jaunt.
Atlanta Botanical Gardens
A Plant Lovers Paradise
My 5-year old granddaughter Mia Azani stands on her tippy-toes to peer at the miniscule electric blue frog with black spots. He stands stone still, peering out from the foliage of a glass tank outside the Fuqua Orchid Center at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. “Is he real, Grammy,” she asks, her eyes open wide.
At this age, she hovers between the factual and the fanciful worlds and can’t always tell the difference. But it’s easy to understand her question. The Blue Poison Frog from Suriname, South America is no larger than a quarter and would appear right at home sitting among my collection of miniatures. Only when he hopped from leaf to leaf was Mia convinced that I was telling the truth. Her 3-year old sister Jael was unconcerned. She had already moved on to explore the contents of another tank…