How do you celebrate Singles Awareness Day? Go to Florence – no, not Italy- Alabama! I started pondering this question, and I decided to do what I love to do best which is go to a different city and see new things and meet new people. Florence, AL, would be a fun quick trip. I had been to Florence one other time in a conflicting September a few years back with a friend celebrating her birthday and Fall Single Awareness Day, so I had seen some of downtown. My first thought was my second home Destin, but that needs to be a longer trip.
I asked Michelle what spa to call, and then preceded to book an appointment with Epicurean Spa, and I made reservations for the Hampton Downtown; they have an online check in that is awesome. Do not choose the Hampton Midtown by mistake. I called the wrong one first, and I was informed that Applebee’s was the only restaurant within walking distance. I knew that was not the correct Hampton. I did check with Marriott, but there were no vacancies, and the spa was a wee bit expensive. Even though it is rated very high as far as Marriott spas, I felt confident that spa treatments are great wherever you go.
I waited late to book the spa, so I was up bright and early leaving Tupelo for my 9:00 spa time. I had a body wrap and detoxifying treatment and a skin purifying treatment and relaxing deep cleansing facial. My massage therapist was the young and beautiful Crystal Martin. She was very nice and knowledgeable about the products. I was wrapped up like a mommy with the body wrap, but I could move my fingers, and she stayed in the room with me.
Crystal said, “I sometimes leave so the client can relax”.
I said, “Oh no, you are not leaving me in here unable to move.” (I would not be a good replacement for Dakota Johnson for the second part of the Grey trilogy.)
She stayed with me the entire time and started my facial. You lie on the table all wrapped up for around 45 minutes then a warm shower is next to wash off the stuff that she applied to your entire body. It was relaxing. NO dead skin on this chick!!
When I left the spa, I headed downtown and then I decided I wanted lunch at the Marriott and changed directions. I had a fried green tomato pimento cheese sandwich with lots of bacon (reminded me of a similar sandwich at Café 212 in Tupelo, MS http://www.cafe212tupelo.com/) and wonderful green beans with caramelized onions. I ate outside on the covered patio, and the view was very nice. After lunch and a little relaxation, I headed toward downtown. The weather was warmer on Saturday, so downtown had browsers.
The first place I stumbled upon was the Court Street Market. There were several things in this building, but the one place that I immediately fell in love with was The Carriage on Court. It was an open floor plan wine/cheese/ flower, etc. shop. It reminded me of New York.
I found two adorable tops at a boutique called My Favorite Things that I did buy, but I had to remind myself that there is a certain cash limit to being nice to yourself on this special weekend. I met two nice ladies (one from Virginia), and the owner was very helpful.
Then I walked in to Jewel’s Accessories. This beautiful women with a huge smile greeted me at the door. I told her I wanted full curly blond hair like she has. This stated our warm honest conversation and our friendship. Graham is a delightful person with a huge personality. When the karma shirt is marked down, let me know. My life has been ruled by karma-some good and some bad! http://www.jewellsaccessoriesboutique.com/
I wandered around more and found a great book at the Thrift Store down the street.
Then I went to Rosie’s to relax before heading to the hotel. Fortunately for me, Rene’ Anderson was behind the bar. She is so kind and so delightful to talk to that I ordered food and stayed longer than I had planned. She is artistic, creative and has a great thirst for knowledge and strives for a good life for her family. Her love story made me smile for a long time.
This store has very classy traditional clothes and a cozy shop atmosphere. I loved the painting above the register.
I finally made it to the hotel, and the check in was easy. There were no hot cookies yet, but they always have a great coffee for you, and I did walk back to the lobby when the cookies were ready. I tried a strawberry cheesecake cookie- It was so good. I was really into “be nice to Wanda” today! As I was checking in, I ran in to a friend from Tupelo celebrating Valentines’ Day with his special valentine.
I walked down to On the Rocks to watch the Ole Miss game. http://florenceontherocks.com/ I ate a great burger then I walked down to FloBama to watch the second half. Someone had told me there was an eighties band playing tonight. They were correct, but it did not start until 10:30, so I watched the game and talked to this delightful couple who has celebrated Valentine’s Day thirty-two times together, and they still liked each other! We had a good time conversing and then the Velcro Pygmies took the stage! I do not know how to describe the outfits of the band. My first thoughts were a combination of Boy George, Richard Simmons, and Kiss. The music was really good, and they had a big stage presence. http://www.reverbnation.com/venue/flobamamusichall
When I Ieft the hotel earlier, I walked to On the Rocks. When I left FloBama, it was freezing, so I called a cab to go back to the hotel.
I enjoyed lunch the next day with a friend at Ricatoni’s. The lasagna has a delightful red sauce. It was a warm and inviting atmosphere.
Afterward lunch, we went to the remnant of an old plantation- the amazing Forks of Cypress. This is a great video of the Forks of Cypress Tour. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeTWJK-SGtw
Alex Haley did not live to see Queen published. This was the story of his great-great grandmother and his great- great grandfather’s family and plantation. http://www.alex-haley.com/alex_haley_queen.htm
A friend told me that I reminded him of Frost’s poem and that he knew I had “many miles to go before I sleep”. I think he knows me well. I think beignets will be in my future. Until next time…..
Excerpt from “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost
“The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”