This week at Where’s My Backpack?, Ailsa’s travel theme is the seasonally appropriate “winter”. Cool. Pun intended. It’s my favorite season. Actually, they all are except for summer, of which regular readers have come to realize I am no fan. Mostly, and especially this week, winter (for me) is nearly synonymous with Christmas, so there’s a reasonable amount of Christmas in this mix. It’s not always about ladies in red velvety dresses with crisp white fur trim…
…except when it is. I was recently visiting family in Myrtle Beach, who thought it would be great to go see the Carolina Opry‘s Christmas Spectacular, matinee, for my birthday (which just passed, two days after I totaled my car). I might have been the youngest person there. It was a delicious cheesefest. I knew we were in for a real treat when, not ten minutes into it, Rita Gumm–the First Lady of the Carolina Opry–glided onto the stage, in a horse-drawn sleigh.
BEHOLD! Winter in South Carolina.
That is some dress, my friends, red and vibrant as a Carolina sunset. It was a Christmas miracle.
Winter for me means decorations and sparkly things, and the decorations can be elegant and beautiful or whimsical and sweet. I love this penguin. It was given to me by a friend and former co-worker who I adore, and we all know penguins = snow and ice and snow and ice = winter.
Yay, decorations and sparkly things to brighten up dreary winter nights!
While driving down to South Carolina, we stopped in a grim little restaurant with uninspired food and faded, 1930s-era cabbage rose wallpaper in the main dining room. I’d say what restaurant it was but I’m hoping to extort them for hush money (*cough cough* Shamrock). Anyway. So the food was uninteresting (I think I’m still getting over my sodium headache) and bizarrely expensive, and left me feeling as though I’d been tricked somehow. But you know? The surroundings, at the foot of the Catoctin Mountain Ridge? When they were heavy with fresh snow? Were fantastic.
Out back behind The Restaurant That Shall Remain Nameless (Shamrock).
Closer to home, my little ‘burg has an annual tree lighting and high-school-chorus-singing ceremony, that takes place in the town square with the frilly street lamps and the absolutely frigging enormous tree that has to be strung with fancy lights thanks to the use of a cherry picker. Or maybe the town keeps a de-toothed bumble in the maintenance shed. Off camera there’s a gazebo. It’s insanely picturesque, and I live here.
Did I mention the art deco movie theater and the overall cool architecture?
No winter in recent memory has been complete without a trip to see my former Russian professor. She lives just outside of Boston and YES, I go north in the winter. Judge me for it, I don’t care. It’s the most snug and welcoming house in the world, filled with great conversation and lovely people and delicious food. While we were there this past February it snowed big fat flakes, giving me an eye-feast from Elena’s cheerful kitchen window.
This is one of my favorite places no matter what season, but for me? It’s extra-special in the winter.
This is a relationship in which I consider myself incredibly lucky.
Have fun checking out the rest of the participants at Ailsa’s place this week!