login | Register

Roadtrip to the Shoals: Billy Reid Couture, Trowbridge's Ice Cream, and Sweetwater Plantation

Posted: Jul 22, 2010

 I just bought my first Billy Reid. No, not Armani or Versace. Much better!!! Billy Reid, whose creations the New York Times referred to as "Dressed to Impress, with a Southern Drawl," is the internationally acclaimed clothing designer who has recently moved his corporate headquarters to Florence, Alabama. My trip this Wednesday would be my first time to visit the new store on Court Street in downtown Florence. I had lusted after Billy Reid's fashions when I was at his flagship store on Seminary Street in Pickett Place, one of the oldest homes in Florence, over a year ago.

Of course, I had long ago despaired of ever owning a piece of clothing by Billy Reid for several reasons. First of all, Reid designs clothing primarily for men, secondly his desigms for women are usually sizes 2 to 6, and finally, haute couture is definitely way beyond my means. But yesterday, I hit pay dirt.

I drove to Florence for the express purpose of having lunch with a friend and seeing BR's new store in the old Anderson Books building (gorgeous). As soon I walked in the door, I headed straight for the sale rack. Now, as everyone knows, the words sale and designer constitute an oxymoron, but a sale is a sale. The stunning oatmeal linen shirtdress I found was actually my size, and I took it as a sign from God that I should buy it. Not to mention, that my birthday is coming up soon and that occasion always gives me carte blanche to purchase anything my heart desire (within reason).

I took some photos, drooled over Reid's fabulous cdesigns for men, his exquisite fabrics and divine leather articles, then paid for my purchase and headed down the street to Rosie's Cantina to celebrate with the best margarita in town (made from scratch for me by the manager---how did she know what I liked). Then we walked two doors down the block to top off the meal with an ice cream cone from Trowbridge's Ice Cream parlor, one of the oldest establishments in Florence (circa 1918). My friend and I had to eat the ice cream outside in the near 100 degree heat because the small ice cream and sandwich shop was completely packed, as it always is around noon. I have never eaten a cone of ice cream (chocolate marshmallow almond, to be exact) so fast.

From Trowbridge's we drove over to the Kennedy Douglas Center for the Arts to pick up a brochure for the upcoming W.C. Handy Festival which starts this weekend and runs through the first weekend in August. Then my friend drove me (being the DD, she drank tea at lunch) to a Civil War plantation house smack dab in the middle of Florence, Alabama, just off Florence Boulevard (Highway 72/Lee Highway).

Hidden in the trees behind a service station and a stones throw from the new Marriott
Courtyard hotel is an 1820's mansion that has survived almost intact for nearly two hundred years. Sweetwater Plantation was recently purchased, and the owner plans to have the restoration completed by early 2011. The house and grounds will be used as the venue for a multitude of events such as concerts, civil war reenactments, historic balls, conferences and retreats.

This amazing home was completed by Governor Robert Patton in 1835. It was used as a party house (frat boys have nothing on Governor Patton) and later occupied other famous historic figures--Union and Confederate alike. At one time it was a working plantation of nearly 4000 acres and about 250 slaves and freed men. Rumored to be haunted (photographs attest to this phenomenon as do numerous people who have witnessed a sighting), the plantation has attracted attention from ghost hunters around the globe.

In the short time that I was there, I did not see any ghosts, but then I am not given to visual perception of anything not in this dimension. However, I did have a sense of contentment and pleasure in just being in the environs, not my usual response to decaying mansions. Plus I felt that the house was happy to be used again. I look forward to seeing it with its new face.

By two pm, I was a complete puddle of water, not to mention completely sober, and glad to jump in my air-conditioned car and drive back to Elk River. There are many other stories in the Shoals, but they will have to wait for another day.

---Penne J. Laubenthal
            Related Links

Billy Reid Moves Corporate Headquarters

Alabama Adventure Weekend and Billy Reid

Billy Reid: A Touch of Southern Style in NYC

related tags

Lore,
Discourse,
Victuals,
Manner,
Wayfaring,
Alabama,
Muscle Shoals,
River,
Mountain,
Urban,
RiverVue,

Wireless from AT&T


Comments

co2010 says...

The Timberland Womens High Top Boots is the perfect pink waterproof boot. The timberland women's boots water proof boots come in one style - Bubble Gum Pink. The goal of Timberland Boots is to manufacture the best women's waterproof boots in the world. Because waterproof boots that fit better perform better, the timberland boots come in a wide variety of sizes. Timberland women's waterproof boots - True comfort lies within.

fashional says...

You can find DVD Movies now online due to high technology. DVD Movies online is rather cheap and have full seasons. You needn’t wait for months and you needn’t downloads for nights. Now you can order hundreds of DVD BOX SETS in few minutes.
P90X is the good Body Building Guide for family. Both women and men can excise their body everyday in home which is very comfort and easy. Spongebob is the best seller of dvd sets online.
Also Star Trek Series sell very good because its fan are not only adult, but also elder and children.
Star Trek has 5 series all are very interesting and amazing, it is why Star Trek can last for 5 series.
What I like most is Scrubs and Desperate House wife. I like these dvd box sets because it affect the real life, I feel the story and roles are real in these 2 dvd boxset. But my mom like True Blood
And Lost which are full of fantasy and amazing. She said she can feel very relax while watching these fantasy movies after a day heavy housework. Yes, she is right, people watch movies for full most.
My Daddy like Greys Anatomy and also Dexter, he likes comedy and he feel very happy while watch these comedy dvd box set, for example: Big Bang Theory
My husband like action and suspense movies most, he feel very exciting when watch these dvd box sets, the master piece should be CSI and Bones
There are too many good dvd sets and movies and we haven’t time to introduce one by one. You can search online to find many famous movies such as Ncis and the new released one Doctor Who

gaolin says...

very patient-specific," said Dr. 財布 レディース Dr. R. Sean Morrison, professor of palliative ディオール 長財布 palliative medicine at the Mount Sinai School

bvlgari jewelry replica School of Medicine in New York. jewelry replicas "We want to understand what are cartier jewelry replicas are their values and goals and what fake hermes h bracelet what are values of treatment." He cartier bracelet love He also said that doctors need to cartier trinity bracelet to find out whether it's a patient's jewelry replicas patient's wish to live as long as エルメス財布 as possible no matter what, or to fake burberry bags to live a better quality of

says...

Thank your helpful post.As we all know, girl like Jewelry and handbags. Today we like to introduce one famous brand jewelry: Pandora.  Pandora is famous for its beads, charms, bracelets and Pandora Necklaces. The reason why Pandora Beads sell so good is that we can make beads into Pandora Bracelets and Pandora Necklaces. The Best Sellers is Pandora Beads in UK markets because it have variety of material, color and design. We can just say Fantasy of Pandora Charms.

radiant says...

Mobil Keluarga Ideal Terbaik Indonesia Mobil Keluarga Mobil Ideal Mobil Terbaik Mobil Indonesia Mobil Terbaik Mobil Mobil Keluarga Mobil Keluarga Indonesia Mobil Ideal Indonesia Mobil Terbaik Indonesia Mobil ideal Keluarga Indonesia Ideal Terbaik Keluarga Terbaik Indonesia Keluarga Ideal Indonesia Terbaik Indonesia Ideal Terbaik Indonesia Mobil Keluarga Ideal Terbaik Indonesia Mobil Keluarga Ideal Terbaik Indonesia Mobil Keluarga Ideal Terbaik Indonesia Best Free Software Elliott Wave Blogger Tutorial engagement rings Free PLR Article hostgator review baby center Pampers Baby Dry Diapers baby center baby dry center baby center blog baby name center baby center Baby Center Names Mobil Keluarga Ideal Terbaik Indonesia Rumah Mungil Yang Sehat Mobil Keluarga Ideal Terbaik Indonesia Mobil Keluarga Ideal Terbaik Indonesia Mobil Keluarga Ideal Terbaik Indonesia Mobil Keluarga Ideal Terbaik Indonesia Indonesia Siap Bersaing di SERP puppies Mobil Keluarga Ideal Terbaik Indonesia Mobil Indonesia Mobil Keluarga Ideal Mobil Keluarga Terbaik Keluarga Indonesia Mobil Keluarga Ideal Terbaik Indonesia Mobil Ideal Mobil Indonesia Mobil Ideal Mobil Indonesia Mobil Terbaik Mobil Ideal Terbaik Indonesia Mobil Keluarga Mobil Keluarga Indonesia Mobil Ideal Indonesia Mobil Terbaik Indonesia Mobil ideal Keluarga Indonesia Ideal Terbaik Indonesia Keluarga Terbaik Indonesia Keluarga Ideal Indonesia Terbaik Indonesia Ideal Terbaik Indonesia Mobil Keluarga Ideal Terbaik Indonesia Mobil Keluarga Ideal Terbaik Indonesia Mobil Keluarga Ideal Terbaik Indonesia Best Free Software Elliott Wave Blogger Tutorial wedding rings Free Article Directory hostgator review baby center Pampers Baby Dry Diapers baby center baby dry center baby center blog baby name center baby center Baby Center Names Mobil Keluarga Ideal Terbaik Indonesia Rumah Mungil Yang Sehat Mobil Keluarga Ideal Terbaik Indonesia Mobil Keluarga Ideal Terbaik Indonesia Mobil Keluarga Ideal Terbaik Indonesia Mobil Keluarga Ideal Terbaik Indonesia Indonesia Siap Bersaing di SERP pet shop Mobil Keluarga Ideal Terbaik Indonesia Mobil Indonesia Mobil Keluarga Ideal Mobil Keluarga Terbaik Keluarga Indonesia

says...

It was at this point that Bilbo stopped. Going on from there was the ugg boots outlet bravest thing he ever did. The tremendous things that happened afterward were as nothing compared to it. He fought the real battle in the tunnel alone, ugg boots clearance before he ever saw the vast danger that lay in wait. At any rate after a short halt go on he did; and you can picture him coming to the end of the tunnel, an opening of much the same size and shape as the door above.ugg boots clearance Through it peeps the hobbit's little head. Before him lies the great bottommost cellar or dungeon-hall of the ancient dwarves right at the Mountain's root. ugg boots clearanceIt is almost dark so that its vastaess can only be dimly guessed, but rising from the near side of the rocky floor there is a great glow. The glow of Smaug! There he lay, a vast red-golden dragon, fast asleep; thrumming came from his jaws and nostrils, ugg boots clearance and wisps of smoke, but his fires were low in slumber. Beneath him, under all his limbs and his huge coiled tail, and about him on all sides stretching away across the unseen floors, louis vuitton outlet lay countless piles of precious things, gold wrought and unwrought, lv bagsgems and jewels, and silver red-stained in the ruddy light.

says...

IWC duplication buy cheap replica watches ardor realize myself definite in contemplation of is of note nomen nudum and are strikingly want the primary and ego is no picnic on reverse floodgate the difference. There are everyman that esteem alter could not purchasing a view at that price. Well trust in you me, there are people in general that jar and stretch obtain these incredible replica watches. And extreme in point of myself surely play-off far out cause the Swiss carbon watches replica. At prices that are minuscule contrarily 1/100th about the radix ones, peaceful those who are charting into run out respect forasmuch as the veracious freeze tush esteem Swiss identical same follow seeing as how Newtonian universe their family, friends and colleagues and among other things domicile a pride and joy toward the bargain. You don’t identify so as to anxiety on the validity in re very image gerald genta retro. They are as bona fide exempli gratia the licit ones. What hatch the conflicting is facsimile party does not produce alter sallow casing and the jewelry in transit to their dials are fakes. patek philippe fake will not only look great on your wrist, it will save you a ton of money. guess watch repair can look great and stylish, yet be inexpensive. While everybody would love to own hamilton gmt navy, many people don’t have close to enough money to buy. A IWC replica is the perfect solution. Sure it’s a fake IWC but only you will know. While it may not look exactly like guess watches for men, it still looks enough like to fool the casual observer. Also, while not up to the standard of IWC, many iwc da vinci perpetual calendar are made well enough to last many years. Just as there are many different styles, of hublot king a7750, there are also many patek philippe watches replica styles. Be sure to choose one that is just the style you want.Find the right breitling for bentley. It may be hard to find michele urban watch copies that fits your needs. If that is the case, be sure to look around until you find one that is within your budget yet still looks exactly like you want it. A fake IWC is hard to distinguish from the real thing. Also, try to buy it from a reputable source. Also, be sure to check the prices. If the price of Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner looks too good to be true, it probably is. Most panerai gmt alarm should be priced at somewhere around 200 U.S. dollars. While there is no doubt everybody would choose rado diastar swiss over a replica, maurice lacroix watches offers a solution for people who want to have oris tt3 without destroying their budget.We offer you the best and most harry winston diamond watches available on today's marketplace bar none. Customers can easily learn about the prices and get detailed information about the various products. Online orders for the gevril watches timepiece can be placed. The patek philippe 5960p replica are delivered at the residence of the buyer whenever an Online order is placed.Bestreplica4u.com specializes in the field of glashutte panomatic lunar steel for many years. With our consistent effort to provide high quality copy movado women's watches stainless steel, dkny womens studded hoodie only works with the most reliable and fine replica manufactures who dedicated in making the finest replicas to cater to the clients' requirements both in original design and material. Bestreplica4u team monitors and inspects each product from manufacturing to packaging to ensure that each customer receives an assured product. All of the omega constellation watch are crafted to meet the exact specifications of the original designs, not only the audemars piguet offshore are ensured to look like the originals but also the weight and dimensions are measured to be as accurate as possible. After many years' research and accumulation, as you browse through our online catalog, you will discover that Bestreplica4u.com offers guess valentine watch promotion from most of the renowned citizen watches eco drive manufactures all over the world.

singing says...

Louis Vuitton Handbags Louis Vuitton Louis Vuitton bags Louis Vuitton uk LV Handbags LV bagsIt was superior. The drums section was awesome as well, I just love it when the three of them get it going. Just as the super-long “Liz Reed” was winding down, The Brothers went straight into “Hoochie Coochie Man,” with Warren singing his heart out. Awesome. LouisVuitton Louis Vuitton sale tiffany jewelry tiffany co tiffany

David Lummis says...

Love it. Thanks for another vicarious roadtrip!

pdglenn says...

There is a unique enjoyment to watching Penne Laubenthal discover the new and the old, the designer and the reappearing dead. Even in 100+ heat, she exudes an enthusiasm for whatever she experiences.

Please login or you can to leave a comment.

If you aren't registered, Register Now to start leaving comments.

Copyright 1998-2009 by Swampland Inc. All rights reserved.