Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Play It Again, Play It Again, Play It Again…..

Yes, I am quoting the lines from one of my most favorite Luke Bryan songs because I love it! But mostly because we just came home from our 30th Anniversary trip and when I hear this line, "Play it again"…it makes me think that I could most definitely play my life back again and re-live every single moment of it! It has been a glorious 30 years! I don't mean to sound like we didn't have our struggles because we DID! But we have enjoyed 30 wonderful years of marriage and this past week Jim took me back to The Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Alabama because that is where we spent our honeymoon!

The Grand Hotel is a very gracious Southern hotel that has been around since the 1820's and not much has changed in the way of hospitality!

The traditions have survived the test of time and the town itself is just as gracious! We had a wonderful time and enjoyed two nights there. We rode bikes….yes, the guy at the bike rental told us it was "about 3 miles" into town and to just go through the covered bridge at the marina to get on the bike path into the town of Fairhope. 
About 6 miles and many hills later….

We finally arrived…extremely hot and dripping with sweat! That made for a lovely combination to go to a decent place for lunch but we knew exactly where we were headed!

It's the most wonderful hometown sandwich shop and not too long ago was in Southern Living magazine's Top Things You Have To Eat Before You Die list! The #1 sandwich mentioned is the Mufalletta Panini! Of course when we passed through several months ago on our way from New Orleans to Destin strictly to try this delicacy….we sat down to order and I heard the waitress comment to the elderly couple next to us,  "Wow…you should be thrilled! You just got the last Mufalletta Panini of the day!" I thought I would cry but I held it together quite nicely! But... after our LONG bike ride to this eating establishment I KNEW I would fight my way to the mufalletta if I had to! Of course it lived up to it's reputation and was divine! Jim got the special…the Jalapeno burger with sweet honey mustard or something like that! It was incredible as well! It was all well worth our bike ride and by 2:00 I was already hungry again! Unfortunately…that was the LAST time I've felt hunger since we set out on this 30th Anniversary journey!

Of course after the hot but fun bike ride we planted ourselves at the wonderful pool the hotel added not too many years ago. ( it was not there when we had our honeymoon there ) It was such a nice place to relax and then we were ready to go the famous "Bucky's Lounge" for appetizers and a glass of wine before dinner!

Of course I had to take a few pictures to reminiss about the past and compare to the updates they've made! Don't laugh and I will share a few "oldies but goodies" with you!
Here is the fireplace room 30 years ago!
 If only my waist was still that size!

And here are the improvements!
 It is so pretty and warm and inviting!

We had one more picture made just for old timers sake! (literally!)

Love the statue of "Bucky" that they have put up right outside of the Lounge named for him. 
He was such a gracious host.

The sweeping views of the Bay were incredible and we enjoyed every minute of it! 
We were so thankful the rain had stopped for our special day!

One of my most vivid memories from our Honeymoon was taking in the incredible views of the gardens, neighboring homes and fabulous boat houses. I struck out to find those images again...

It's just a spectacular place that I had truly almost forgotten about! It's simple and elegant all at the same time! Elegant but understated as my mother in law always says! I love it!

I often thought of Loi of Tone on Tone when I was seeing these gorgeous gardens and knowing he would love them as well!

But it was the water front that had always stuck in my mind…I was determined to photograph it this time and to enjoy every minute of our two days there before we headed to Destin!

I could be very envious of the people that own homes across from these boat docks! A lot of them were outside as we rode our bikes by and I just didn't have the heart to start snapping pictures…or look like such a tourist! Of course our Grand Hotel bikes were a dead give away! Oh well!

We headed back to start getting ready for our Anniversary dinner at a wonderful place we'd heard lots about! But first, one more stop at Bucky's for more pictures, more homemade pita chips and crab dip…no wonder we haven't been hungry!

The Wash House could not have been any more perfect for an Anniversary dinner! 
So romantic and quaint! And the food….it would rival any and all restaurants I've EVER eaten in!

 Loved the fact that from the road it seemed very plain…it was far from it! The food…it was truly amazing! The staff….truly amazing! The bread…the ambiance...


Loved the lighting, the table cloths, the wood beams…loved being left alone just enough and taken care of….JUST ENOUGH! A lot of restaurants could take a lesson from this!

Seriously, take a look at the beams, the twinkling lights, the chandeliers, etc….it was a perfect setting for a 30th Anniversary dinner! I hardly remember what we ate but I remember it being so good I couldn't get over it! 
And I also remember just how much I loved being at this "grand" hotel a mere 30 years ago!
 I show you these very old, very yellowed and very "taped" in pictures in my old photo album from so many years ago to share a glimpse into our life. I hope you have enjoyed our visit to The Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Alabama. Sometimes it's just good to go back to your roots! Those days were wonderful! We were a mere 19 and 20 years old! Time has flown by and often times I wish I could recapture so many of those years! I do not for one second take this life with my precious Jim for granted! I also do not want to make it sound like we haven't had a lot of struggles from day one. What I do want to emphasize is that God has used the good times and the bad/hard times to grow us closer to Him and closer to each other. For that, I am very thankful!

 I am thankful to be enjoying this time as "empty nesters" together and I'm extremely thankful for the sunsets we get to enjoy at our beach home together. 
It was a lot of fun to finally arrive here! 

Give me a glorious sunset any old day to simply remind me of God's goodness! 
Thank You, Lord for where you have brought us!
 Thirty years of marriage…that's something to be thankful for!

A beautiful sunset on the Marina...

And my favorite blue beach chair!

Thankful, indeed! Happy 30th Anniversary Jim! I love you very much!
 I would play it again, play it again, play it again…any day!


  1. How the heck have you been married for 30 years? I mean you hardly look old enough to have been married 10 years! Looks like you had a great time! Happy anniversary!

  2. Happy Anniversary!!! Loved the old pics - you two were babies! Lol. Thirty years is quite an accomplishment! Thank you for sharing your travel photos with us. I WANT TO BE THERE NOW!! xo

  3. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! I was thinking of you yesterday and then saw you left a comment it was so great to hear from you. What a lovely getaway, looks so relaxing. Wishing you m any many more years of wedded look too young to be married 30 years:)

  4. First of all, you both look adorable - then and now! How nice that you got to spend some quality time together in such a beautiful place. And I love that you returned to your honeymoon spot - how special! Happy Anniversary to you both!
    Cheers! - Shelley

  5. I am happy that y'all had such a great trip. I wish I could get the entire family to move to Fairhope!
    Beautiful pictures.

  6. You both look better after 30 wonderful years. I've been to this hotel, love all of it too. And Fairhope. My grandmother was born in Mobile and the family had a home on the bay. All of this brings back so many good memories. I love that area because it is so Southern! Love you too.

  7. What cute photos of you guys...looks like you had a fabulous time...Happy Anniversary!

  8. Dear Carolyn,
    This is just the kind of personal post I love. Happy Anniversary!!
    I smiled at your early images and wedding photos; so young and ready to face the world.
    Today you look like a darling couple still; Carolyn you have a great style and figure and I can see how much Jim adores you!

    Feature: Entrepreneur Sigal Sasson

  9. Happy Anniversary Carolyn! Looks like a great time and I loved the before and after photos! Darling couple then AND now. It's great that you got to go back!