Category Archives: Travel

Greyfield Inn

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While we were in California last year, spending the day photographing Lake Tahoe with our friends, Adam Katseff and his wife Amy, they told us about the Greyfield Inn…the magical place they stayed on their honeymoon, one that they knew I would LOVE (turned out to be a major understatement). I knew the name sounded familiar, and once they mentioned it was on Cumberland Island, it all came back to me…an enchanting wedding, an all-American couple…but more on that tomorrow…

After hearing about it, I knew I had to see Greyfield Inn for myself and with the trip down to visit SCAD, it was the perfect opportunity. I’m an extremely visual person and I’m sure it comes to no surprise to you that I quite often dream about the way life looked “back then”. I think walking through the doors of Greyfield will be as close as I will ever get to knowing the way it might have actually looked…

You leave your car on Amelia Island and Mitti, one of the four owners and inheritors of Greyfield and the Carnegie property, takes you by boat to Cumberland Island. Walking up from the dock the giant, old live oaks seem to wave at you with their long fingers of Spanish moss, diffusing the afternoon sun into a sparkling haze underneath their centuries-old canopy. Then, from behind the trees you catch the first glimpse of the four story white mansion they call Greyfield. Built in 1900 as a wedding gift to the Carnegie’s daughter, Margaret, this home is still furnished with many of the original pieces of that era but with exceptional modern day comforts (ummm…air-conditioning). As you walk up the grand staircase to the second floor porch lined with rocking chairs and swinging daybeds, you regret how short your stay is. Now, up in the canopy of live oaks, you overlook the property of white picketed fences and fields of grazing wild horses and as they offer you organic rosemary lemonade, if you’re like me, you think you’ve died and gone to heaven.

The house, grand as it is, still holds a very sweet intimacy. At night, sitting out by the waterway looking back on her, she stands a soft pearly white in the light of the moon, framed by Spanish moss draped trees with a golden light glowing out of every window, so warm and welcoming you would swear the evening was meant just for you. The charm extends to the inside with its historic clawfoot bathtubs, immaculate upkeep, full service bar, organic meals, classic high quality southern linens and L’Occitane toiletries. Every evening, men in dinner jackets and ladies in our sweet southern dresses snack on hors d’oeuvres and classic Southern cocktails (recipe for my favorite below!), awaiting a dinner bell around 7:30 where we all move into the formal dining room for that night’s seasonal meal which at times can harvest ingredients from Greyfield’s own impressive garden.

I know on busy New York days or times when I’m caught in a blizzard, I will think back on this memory and my soul will fill with the warmth of these sunny afternoons, lost on Cumberland Island in a dream called Greyfield

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Our Savannah friend Molly told us, if we were going to Cumberland we *had* to visit Gogo. In a house sitting next door to Greyfield, you’ll find an ocean, quite literally, of treasures: a jeweler’s studio full of precious metals in formations of found bones, plant life, shells, you name it, found on Cumberland Island and Martha’s Vineyard. I didn’t know what to expect meeting Gogo other than she would be fabulous…and that she was. She walked us through the collection her and her daughter Hannah Sayre-Thomas have created inspired by the natural wonders surrounding us. She showed me the bird skull cuff links Wes Craven had just purchased, told me about the wedding bands she custom made for JFK, Jr and Carolyn Bessette and then laughed as she asked me if I knew what “these” were… “these” being a porcupine penis bone she crafted into earrings! I didn’t walk away with those, but these came home with me and I have been quite enjoying them.

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~The Maple Southern~

2 oz Bourbon

1TBS Maple Syrup

4 dashes Orange Bitters

Juice from one lemon

ICE

Can be shaken or stirred!

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Oh, and another funny fact, Wes Anderson originally hoped to film Moonlight Kingdom here!

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shopSCAD

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What comes of all the creativity that pours out of Savannah School of Art and Design?… SCAD President and co-founder Paula S. Wallace answered that question with shopSCAD, a unique store in the heart of historic Savannah, Georgia where students and alumni can showcase their talents though innovative handmade works of jewelry, paintings, sculpture, pottery, housewares and more available for purchase. ShopSCAD is always on my list of *must do* Savannah visits every time we are in town! So inspiring!

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Guide to Savannah

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My love for Savannah started on a father / daughter trip about five years ago –  obviously I got to pick the destination – and something very strange happened to me…I felt at home there and that took me by surprise. I enjoy Texas, where I was born, and I love New York,  the place where my work and dreams are, but every time I get down to this small southern town I get that feeling of peace, that I am where I belong. Savannah has so much of what I love about New York to it: it’s walkable, has great restaurants, beautiful parks, great coffee, art, interesting people, antiques and historic dreaminess. I’ve gone back every year since over and over again, tweaking my list of must-dos, and must-eats. Here is my guide to Savannah if you’re just visiting like me or thinking about going to SCAD one day.

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 COFFEE JOINTS

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LUNCH SPOTS

 

 

 

 

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Squarespace at Heartbreaker Banquet

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If you’ve been following along on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, you know by now we have been kicking up our heels at Willie Nelson’s Texas ranch at the third annual Heartbreaker Banquet music festival. The ranch is right outside Austin in a area called the Hill Country…my favorite area of Texas, with rolling hills of mesquite trees, lavender Junes and the best damn BBQ in the world (sorry Kansas). Pulling up onto Willie’s property is like something out of an old Western…which makes sense, since it was the film set for the movie “Red Headed Stranger“! Wood fences with horses everywhere grazing on the Texas grass, leading you up to a a small old Main Street with a general store, saloon and wooden store fronts. All we needed was John Wayne to ride up and say Howdy!

Squarespace, the awesome website design company whose templates make your life easier and your site look amazing, took over the old General Store giving away t-shirts, guitar picks, flasks, bandanas and more. Many of the independent bands playing the festival use Squarespace as an easy way to have a professional site without any of the time-consuming work.

I got to take over their Instagram and capture all the day’s happenings which was one amazing thing after another starting with watching the Portland Tintype man Giles Clement set up his gear to take hauntingly beautiful tintype portraits of all the musicians. I have been following his work for a while as well as the guys in New York at the Penumbra Foundation so I was crawling out of my skin to see his process… and stalking him like a true photo geek. It was also so great to see producers Electric Lady Studios and Robot Fondue at the festival as well; their work is incredible!

The night before when we arrived in Austin, we met up with a couple of the Squarespace musicians where we were introduced to Daniel and the Lion. One of the most romantic and beautiful things about being a musician is that the music comes from within you. While hanging out in the house we were sharing they broke into impromptu song and captivated our souls. They, along with our friend Matt Sucich and Lily & the Parlour Tricks, played the next day in the Squarespace General Store in-between the main stage acts which most famously ended with the man himself, Willie Nelson, taking the stage. When that moment came, I stood there under his microphone, so close to that famous guitar and braided hair, completely in awe that I was watching this Texas legend. I grew up listening to “Mama, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys” and “On the Road Again”, and now I was here with the real live thing. It was such a moment, such a reminder of where I came from and how important music is to us culturally. It was a day of creative souls coming together, of delicious BBQ, moonshine cocktails, gorgeous Texas skies and making memories with friends.

At one point, Jessica Kausen who manages events at Squarespace, looked around the room and said, “Well. We can thank the Internet for this, that’s how we all met and now we are all here, isn’t that amazing?” Yes, it is.

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