LuLu's Waterfront Grille, Ponte Vedra

Friday, July 29, 2011

Chloe loved using the boogy board on the beach...

LuLu's Waterfront Grille
(the patio is on water)

The kids table

Chloe and Tyler Trocchi had a great time

Parents table, Jackie, me, Amy, Bill, Crime, LJ, Sallie, Mook, LeAnn and Hank

 Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Jackie's Vanderbilt roommates all turned 40 this year and Mook headed up organizing a week at the beach at his in-laws.  We had a great time with the kids, Chloe hit it off with Troch's kids that were her age.  Most evenings we cooked in or ordered in but Mook wanted a meal out so he took us to Mame's favorite spot in Ponte Vedra.  Mame is Mook's grandmother-in-law who is 98 and in assisted living but has a wonderful beach home we all shared.  One of the evenings Mame come to meet everyone and that was a ton of fun.

LuLu's had two tables for ten people on the patio overlooking the water waiting for us.  The parents had in mind for the kids to sit together, which was fine with Jackie and I, Chloe enjoyed all the goofy action at the table.  The waiter took the kids' order first, I had no idea what Chloe was going to order but she said she loved her Pasta with butter.  That's something I don't think I've ever seen her order.  Their entire table devoured the baskets of bread while waiting on their food.  When we got to order, I had the Fisherman's Catch Sandwich with blackened Salmon, lettuce, tomato and onion on a Kaiser roll with house made pasta salad.  I loved its size and the herbed mayo was really seasoned right.  The dinner was $13.50 and the perfect size.  Jackie ordered the Grilled Swordfish Special with asparagus and rice pilaf.  Jackie loved it and commented at the meaty-ness of the fish.  I'm not sure he'd had swordfish before but he liked it.

With Chloe's dinner, ours and part of Mook and Sallie's meal our total was $99 for dinner for 5-1/2 people, not bad I'd say.  In doing research I found that you can arrive by boat to the restaurant.  Check out the website for details.

I will say Mame had it right on sending us to LuLu's.  It was delicious, fast and the ladies bathroom was in perfect shape.  When you're in this part of Florida make sure LuLu's is on your radar or on your GPS Waypoint System, she won't disappoint! 

LuLu's Waterfront Grille, 301 N. Roscoe Blvd., Ponte Vedra, FL 904-285-0139

Chloe recently saw a photo from when she was 5 and we took
her to South Beach Miami for the Orange Bowl and buried her
alive and she wanted to repeat that on this trip...Sanju is burying her...

This was Chloe just minutes out of the car from that
12-1/2 hour car ride....she loved the sand and view...

Mook made pancakes one morning, that's Will Trochhi, Carter
McGraw, Chloe and Sanju Patel

We all had passes to the Surf Club at Ponte Vedra,
the pool was awesome, I spent a ton of time in the lap pool
each day.  This was the family pool with a big yellow slide.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

You can't tell in this picture but Daisy is a Lab Mix

Whit and Chloe with Daisy, the nicest stray dog ever!

Chloe at EACC's Equestrian Camp at
George Eldridge's farm in Wynne

Chloe with Sydney Millls and Kelly Glover (I think the girls
on the ends are from Forrest City)

Chloe did great riding Leroy

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A giant shout out goes to Facebook for helping us find a home for Daisy's brother Daniel.  Those two dogs showed up about a month ago and Chloe immediately got them a place set up so we could foster.  She's about 6 months old and really sweet with Chloe and the rest of her dogs.  Daisy's had her shots, been spayed and is on Advantage Multi.  She's crate trained and adorable. 

I added some photos from the Equestrian Camp at the community college in Wynne.  George Eldridge and his son hosted a week long camp at their boarding stable.  Chloe had a great time and Mr. Eldridge commented at how advanced Chloe was in the ring.  Chloe and I've been to the farm to brush and ride Rosie and her daughter Sonyador at Grandad's farm.  We'll have about two Wednesdays left before school to get over there and spend some time with them.

Spay and Neuter people....come on!

The Arlington Hotel, Hot Springs

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Arlington Hotel

Chloe with Stella in the pool, somehow we lost one of her floaties..
I had to crop Martin and Kara in the background...what are they doing? :)
Sunday, July 18, 2011

Another fabulous Smith Family vacation took place in historical Hot Springs.  Since we last went three years ago, August Wilson Smith has come along as well as Whit's perfect memory of the Treasure Chest toy store just down the street from the Arlington.  He's wanted to go to Hot Springs just to shop in that store since then.  Fun times, I do believe Memaw and Grandad took him there three times in the two days we were in Hot Springs and we left before it opened Sunday morning, you do the math.

Oh the Arlington Hotel, since it opened in 1875, there have been numerous remodels and so forth but I love the rustic, original feel of the historical hotel.  They have upgraded the elevators not too long ago and I love the original tile and iron tubs in the rooms.  The rooms are over sized to what we all compare to a Hampton Inn these days and have new tvs. We've enjoyed the Arlington for over 20 years and my thing about the hotel is how dark it stays in the morning, you can really sleep in with their heavy lined drapes.  And I don't sleep in ever but at the Arlington, I'm not in a hurry to get up because of the darkness of the rooms.

There is a Starbucks now in the lobby of the hotel that Kara and I truly appreciated.  They have our favorite venti unsweet Tazo black iced tea with extra ice.  The swimming pool is in great shape and has two levels, one is 3 feet deep and the other is 6 feet deep with a hot tub.  We spent a ton of time poolside.  They serve hamburgers and hot dogs at lunchtime as well as beer and wine.

I just love the Arlington's history and the beauty of the lobby.  You'll love the check in desk and the fabulous valet parking.  Once we parked on arrival, I left a bag in the back of Kara's car. I called down and a valet brought it to our room within minutes.  I was amazed and totally appreciative of that gesture.  Ahh...the Arlington.  Be sure to stay there and enjoy the magical history of Hot Springs.

The Arlington Hotel, 239 Central, Hot Springs, 1-800-643-1502

The Elegant Farmer, Memphis

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Elegant Farmer, Memphis (I took this photo in honor of Kyle...look at that bike...)

Kara, her friends from Tulsa, Nicole and Henry, Me, Jackie and Martin

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Whew...Martin, Jackie, Kara and I did the Mighty Mite Triathlon earlier in the day.  I'm proud to say Martin did the entire triathlon himself, last year he farmed out the swim leg to Kyle Killough, and I looked Lake Dunn in the eye this year and took my time and had an overall better time in transition, swim and bike legs of the event.  My knees are so rough that I had to walk over a mile of the 5K.  But needless to say, we all did it!  My good friend in Memphis, Kim Harwood, told me last week about this fabulous new restaurant located on Highland between Poplar and Central.  She said it was great and I can ditto that. 

Mac Edwards opened this contemporary comfort food restaurant earlier this year located just down the road from the popular spirits store, Buster's.  We were running late (as always) for our 7 pm reservation and got a call from the restaurant at fifteen after, which Kara handled fabulously with telling him we were lost when I googled on my phone the Urban excuse for that is being so busy this week and worrying myself sick about facing Lake Dunn at the Mighty Mite....anyhow, we made it and were greeted by Mac, who immediately barked, "well, it's about time (as Kara went on apologizing)...sit your ass down, I've got a table right after you at 9 pm, I'll do my part, if you do yours," we all just died laughing, everyone was enjoying him.  He was so fun!

We had a great waiter named Shawn who took great care of us.  Kara ordered up the Liberty School Cabernet and it was divine.  They don't have beer or mixed drinks yet but the wine list was great with lots of excellent choices.  Nicole was our appetizer orderer and got the Deviled Eggs featuring local farm fresh eggs with cilantro and reported they were divine.  She also ordered the Pulled Pork Arepa with corn cakes, queso fresco and a blueberry sauce, Jackie tasted it and loved it.  Seasoned to perfection.  For dinner, Jackie and Nicole got the special of Country Fried Steak with smashed red potatoes and gravy with squash.  They loved, loved it and Jackie enjoyed the thinness of his steak.  I had the Roasted Beet Salad that Kara was jealous of, as she should have been, because it was out of this world with fresh, spicy (and local) arugula, goat cheese, beets and rice vinaigrette.  Small and delicious.  For dinner, I ordered the Farm raised Redfish with okra and sweet corn (all local of course).   I'm telling you that fish was perfection, not too spicy but perfectly seasoned.  Kara was the side orderer having cheese grits that were so great and the braised greens (local, duh).  They were excellent and thanks to everyone for sharing.  Chef Gannon Hamilton gets a shout out, he's a local, experienced chef that hit a home run with the six plates we had.  It was all divine. 

I didn't partake in dessert but I can report the pound cake with blueberry sauce, chocolate cake and key lime pie were great and the key lime pie was Jackie's favorite.  Dessert Chef Leslee Pascal deserves a shout out on the desserts, all plates were literally licked clean.  We had plenty of laughs at our table, the conversation is always interesting with Kara and Martin and their friends.  We had more fun in the car cutting up on the way home.

We loved, loved the Elegant Farmer and Mac's sense of humor especially since we checked out and departed at 9 pm sharp.  Our total bill was $85 for dinner, wine and dessert for 2.  Now that's something as well as supporting local farmers and being green with staying local.  I cannot wait to go back to the Elegant Farmer, we'll also have to try it for lunch.  Service, food and price....Triple Gold Stars! 

The Elegant Farmer, 262 S. Highland, Memphis 901-324-2221 

Garden update, Birdeye

Broccoli Kara gave me is doing great!

Looks like a zucchini/squash hybrid

I love Zinnia's, they're perfect in a vase and last a week

Asparagus I planted a year ago....

I think I'm going to have a ton of tomatoes this year
unless a bug gets in there....

Basil...I have tons if anyone needs any...

I'm so cheesy...I love a praying mantus...
  Sunday, July 17, 2011

I am so THANKFUL that I FINALLY have internet...we'll see how long it lasts out here in the country.  Wireless internet is super slow compared to dsl or cable internet, Jackie keeps telling me to be patient since it comes and goes but that's easier said than done.

The garden was so beautiful last week I took some shots.  One thing this year I'm missing are my cucumber plants...they all died.  I have replanted them, some cilantro and some parsley.  We'll see....Happy Summer Ya'll!