Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Southern Hospitality

I must admit that I have grown to love the south. I used to protest that I despised it, but now I find myself strangely drawn to that lower half of these United States.

Maybe it's the warm weather that I idolized in my previous post. The fact that they have some rain and it's slightly below 40F and they start debating if they should cancel school, next day is hilariously wonderful to me. Poor things have no clue how to cope when they get weather remotely similar to winter so they would just rather be safe and warm. I wanna be safe and warm and bask in sunshine.

Maybe it's the cute shops and quaint restaurants that you encounter in most every southern city. Little towns fly banners that broadcast their town name and pride and shutters and cobblestones and clean lines dominate the architecture and design of city center streets. Small shops with palmetto tree designs, girlie be-ribboned flip flops and mixes and recipes for southern dishes such as grits and pimento loaf inhabit the business district and are run by make-upped women with classy clothes who greet you with friendly southern "hey there's" and "how ya doin hun"s. Used to irritate me, now just makes me smile and flips the "be friendly" switch in my city-head.

Or maybe it's the mountains on one side and the beach on the other. You can always drive to someplace that meets your spirit of adventure or relaxation.

Being a foodie, I've often thought that as soon as the wheels of my plane hit southern soil my mouth starts watering and I begin yelping restaurants to find the ones with the best shrimp and grits or banana cream pie or biscuits. You can't beat a big plate of unhealthy, stick to your ribs down south cooking!

But I suppose, for me personally, one of the things that keeps bringing me back to Dixie is the family that resides there and the memories of ones who did.

I took the "long" road to Simpsonville when I hit Greenville on Friday afternoon. I was headed to my cousin Shelleys, but I had to reminisce about all the places that Aunt June and I repeatitively visited when she was alive.

Her exit at Pelham
The entrance to her subdivision

Our favorite breakfast spot - Mimis
The place we usually ended up at the end of the first or second day that I was with her. We'd emerge with freshly painted toes and head to a nearby restaurant for dinner. (Its not the Hobby Lobby - its the little nail place in the strip mall behind the big sign.... :))
And after I passed all those beloved haunts along the way, I finally parked at the familiar house of my cuz and sat and chatted in the familiar, but newly recarpeted family room of the Hansen house.

New faces to the south, i.e. my nephew Riley, now occupies the same county and we were able to nab a table at one of my favorite downtown Greenville restaurants, Sobys.

After spending the night in the missing nephew, Greg's room (was out trucking for the week), I woke in the morning and breakfasted at good old Mimis with Shel and Riley after which I hit the road back to Atlanta and a flight set to bring me back to the cold Midwest.
Oh - the view from the front of the nephews' house is the back of Bob Jones Univ viewing the front of the nephews' house....
One of these days maybe I won't have to come back up to the cold:). Maybe I'll just be able to stay in the warm with the southern accents and the mountains and the grits - and the family...


Here.... :(

1 comment:

Karl said...

nice pics - although you can keep 'the South' . . . give my best to Shelley and Riley for me!