Oh no, summer is almost over!

What is your favorite season? Mine is, without a doubt, summer. I’ve always loved the hot weather…and yes, down here it’s hot, hot, hot in the summer. And humid. Do I complain about it? Yes, of course. But still I love it. Summer clothes and lifestyle suit me well: lightweight, no layering, barefoot, cottons and linens, sandals, endless frizzy hair, gardening at 6AM to avoid the heat, long days of intense light. These are just a few of the things I like about summer.

And then, of course, there is the beach. We do not live near a beach. The nearest one is about two and a half hours away. But when we lived up North it was an additional hour or two, and an awful drive. Here it’s a straight shot. And so it was that last week we took a last minute, much needed break to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.

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Sunrise through the dunes.

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The purpose of our trip was to unwind and unplug! So I did not take many pictures; nor did I focus on the hotel (nice as it was), the food (which was fabulous), or the chairs under the umbrella on the beach (heavenly as those were.) I just relaxed.
Try it some time…..you will like it!

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The hotel gardens were some of the best I have ever seen for a beachfront property!



The almost full moon on the water: a perfect evening!

For your information, and especially for locals, the hotel we stayed in was
Blockade Runner Resort
The name, and the hotel’s street view, are misleading…while it is certainly not a five star resort, it is lovely. Our room, which had a full ocean view, had a large balcony with a fully reclining chaise (with cushion!), table and two chairs. I would honestly say it was the nicest balcony I have been on in recent memory.
And the restaurant,
East Oceanfront Dining
was wonderful (especially eating outside under those white “tents”) and the food excellent. Really, it was some of the best tuna I’ve had in a long time!

If you’re local, or if you’re not, I hope you will bookmark this spot…
P.S. A full self-serve breakfast comes with the room.




There’s a new restaurant in town!

Cafe Symmetry
in the Carr Mill Mall in Carrboro, N.C.

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The entire space has been renovated and updated. It’s light and airy and inviting.

It’s “cafeteria” style: you enter the line, pick up your tray and utensils, and order from the  young, helpful crew behind the counters.

The food is healthy and fresh with lots of salads and “cold sides” to choose from. All of these are available in 1-4 portion sizes, but I found that even the 1 portion size was enough to share. I’ve tried several, but I would say the Asparagus, Apples, Basil, Cabbage, Apple Cider Vinaigrette side was the best of all!

Here is a direct link to their menu.

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Those colorful Le Creuset pots hold the “Hot Pots” i.e. hearty casseroles, both with meat and meatless and all served with rice.

The Paninis we haven’t tried yet…but the Gruyere, Fig Jam, Parmesan on Rustic Sourdough sounds mighty good.

For dessert we saw a delicious looking piece of Avocado Lime Cheesecake: a bit unusual, no?

All the furnishings were sourced and made locally: the eye-catching overhead lights, the resurfaced wood tables, the metal serving bar, and the walls showcasing local painters.


Last, but not least, is the outdoor space. It’s lovely. It was too hot to be there the first time I went, but last week a friend and I had a delightful time on the terrace. It’s kept immaculately clean, and the planters, of course, caught my eye right away.

I recommend trying Cafe Symmetry if you’re local to this area! It’s also a great excuse to browse and “shop local” in this unique mall and former textile mill. Another great “It’s Local ” resource is La Boutique Lane, just down the hall. It’s all just one more of the many reasons we like living here…







I had totally forgotten about these wonderfully colorful, easy to grow, end of summer plants:

Physostegia = Obedient Plant = False Dragonhead






Thanks to my friend Susie over at
for reminding me of my old friends. I grew this perennial for many years up North and had forgotten all about it my new garden here in North Carolina. It’s a perfect choice for a sunny spot you need to fill in during the end-of-summer-doldrums! And, it makes a great cut flower.

Enjoy your weekend , everyone!