Posts Tagged ‘Blackberry Farm’

Rocking Chairs

May 24, 2010

The South conjures up images of sweet tea lemonade, wrap-around porches, amazing BBQ … and rocking chairs.  Rocking chairs are the epitome of relaxation, and in my mind, usually involve groups of family members and friends enjoying each others’ company.  Kate’s post featuring Tennessee’s Blackberry Farm reminded me of an image from their site I had marked months ago: of rocking chairs looking over a dewy vista. 

Don’t you want to shut down your computer and go here – like.right.now?! 

(Courtesy of Blackberry Farm)

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Jet up north near the tip-top of the country; here you’ll find Mackinac Island, Michigan.  When your significant other is from Michigan, Mackinac Island (pronounced “Mack-in-awe”) is always at the top of the “must visit” list!  And for good reason.  The Island’s famed Grand Hotel features a sweeping, wide veranda that at 660 feet may be one of the longest porches in the world.  With more than 100 white rocking chairs, it is the prime place to grab a seat. There are numerous other perks to this 5.6-square-mile locale, including the feeling of a trip back in time.  Witness: A National Historic Landmark, Mackinac Island boasts a unique local ordinance that prohibits the use of any motor vehicles on the island.  Save for emergency vehicles, horseback, foot and bicycle are the primary means of transportation.  Add to that the hillsides of Victorian architecture that boast wide porches and balconies, the adornment of flower boxes and American flags on homes and street lamps, and you get the feeling that things are a bit more simple here.  Simple and yet still entertaining. With a well-honored dining atmosphere (including 17 fudge shops!), numerous shopping options, summertime festivals and a bevy of outdoor activities, there is plenty to do in between rocking on the porch chairs!

(Courtesy of Cleveland.com)

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We’ve been down South and up North, but I would be remiss if I didn’t note that airports along both coasts of the U.S. have stationed rocking chairs in their terminals.  This is one of my favorite features (and one I’ve used many times during stops in Philly).  Charlotte Douglas International was the first to feature the rocking chairs – and the trend was started somewhat by accident.  During a photography shoot in the late ’90s, rocking chairs were brought in to mimic the “style and comfort of a traditional ‘southern porch’.”  But the temporary feature was so popular with travelers that it soon became a permanent fixture in the airport.  Now some of the United State’s busiest airports – including Seattle, San Diego and Dallas/Ft. Worth – have followed the trend. 

Have you rocked in some pretty awesome places?  We could all use a reason to slow down a little!

-mm

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Let’s Find Some Beautiful Place to Get Lost

May 19, 2010

I’ve been unexpectedly home for the last few weeks, and between naps and DVR-ed television, I’ve gotten to daydreaming about what my perfect getaway would be.

Now, I love my big city shopping as much as the next gal, but for rest and relaxation, I’d head off the beaten path for some luxury pampering. This is a daydream, right?

Image from ventanainn.com

First up,  Ventana Inn & Spa. Located in the almost-too-beautiful-to-be-real Big Sur, the Ventana Inn has been on my lust list for years.  Nestled on a 243 acre property, the Inn is the perfect starting point for a leisurely hike and picnic in Pfeiffer State Park. If you’re not feeling too adventurous, you could try a yoga class on the bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean or perhaps take a nap on your private patio.  Either way, with five-star dining at your fingertips and a world-class spa onsite, you’re almost guaranteed to walk away stress-free.

Image from MSN.com

Across the country, nestled in the Smoky Mountains, is another destination on the list – the Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee.  Located on a working farm, guests are able to help chefs pick heirloom vegetables fresh from the garden to be used in that night’s dinner or join guides to forage for wild mushrooms and berries in the surrounding woods.   The Farm is known for their cuisine, and to take part in the preparation would be such a unique way of unwinding.

That said, if working on the farm doesn’t sound fun, you can also go for a hike, take a quick paddle around a local pond, or borrow one of the Farm’s many complimentary cars for a drive in to town. They also have their own spa onsite – known for it’s luxurious treatments.  I’m pretty I’d be checked in there – after all, picking tomatoes is EXHAUSTING!

Image from fourseasons.com

Finally, what vacation daydream is complete without a  tropical destination?  While I wouldn’t turn down a week on Maui, my dream resort is a bit more isolated. I’m all for not spending 20 hours on an airplane, so my top Hawaiian pick would have to be the Four Seasons Lana’i at Manele Bay.

Lana’i is only 13 miles across and 18 miles long – and 98% of it is privately owned.  In fact, it used to be a private pineapple plantation.  Accessible only by charter plane or boat, the transportation part is a bit tricky.  But, considering I’m daydreaming, hiring my own plane is no problem at all.

They do have their own golf course and horse stables, but my main attraction would be the quiet, isolated beach. You can snuggle away in your own  cabana, where lovely Four Seasons employees will bring you fresh fruit and spritz your face with a refreshing Evian spray. Sounds perfect, right?

Sigh. I think I need to start playing the lottery. 🙂 What makes up your dream getaway?