Saturday, February 28, 2009

Pointed Painting

9. When using white and yellow together, keep the white tones warm.
(photo: Pieter Estersohn, design: Josie McCarthy)

So, do you like the color?  I wish I could claim this as my "after" photo, but alas!  

I've spent some time this weekend painting and thinking about Lent.  You know, painting allows for quite a bit of introspection.  

"Am I going to give something up?   Should I give up blogging till Easter arrives?"  

Those thoughts crossed my mind.  Giving up blogging would be a genuine sacrifice for me.  No, I can't do it.  I'd miss all of you!  I do think that I'll add a bit more heart to my posts--and hopefully to my commenting as well.  

I'd like to ask you a few questions.  
1.  Why do you blog?  (Assuming you have a blog--if not, why do you read blogs?)
2.  What do you hope to find when you visit Granny Smith Green--do you find it?
3.  If you gave up blogging (writing and reading), what would you miss?

Now, go find something to paint so you can think about these questions.  Let me know what you come up with.  

Also, don't forget about Pearls and Grace's PEARL EVENT.  It's Sunday night, March 1 at 7:00 PM, in the NYC/tri-state area.  It's not too late to get a seat.  Email her now   It's bound to be a blessing!   

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mardi Gras Misrule

A little nonsense now and then 
Is relished by the wisest men.
Dress up.  Have a ball.  Eat great quantities of King cake!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sublime Spa

As the Sea Island Company puts it, "In our fast-paced world, it is easy to lose sight of what is most important - our health and wellbeing. But Sea Island Resorts brings you back. The Mobil Five-Star Cloister Spa and Fitness Center is a transformative sanctuary of simple elegance and serenity. It is a much-needed retreat designed to reconnect you with living life optimally."

Yes, I agree--"living life optimally".  I think I'll adopt that as my new motto.

Here's what is seen on the walk into one of the most luxurious places on earth.
This fountain continues through the center of the floor of the main reception area.  Notice the window in the photo below--see the small grating in the center--the fountain continues into one of the indoor pools.

Sea Island Co.:  The Cloister Spa at Sea Island Resorts is a haven of health, fitness, and well-being – where personalized treatments, services, and hospitality extend well beyond your stay. Our magnificent, 65,000-square-foot facility provides an environment where you can rest, restore, and reconnect. From vibrant fitness classes to reflective connections with nature to revitalizing treatments, you’ll see why we’re a world-class choice among Southeast luxury spa resorts. Our skilled teachers, guides, and providers seek to craft a “spa of one” for each guest, so that you may rediscover your health, vitality, and radiance. The Cloister Spa offers program choices to build upon, versus a menu of services to choose from. Let us guide you to a holistic treatment for renewal of your mind, body, and spirit. A favorite among Southeast spas, our features include:
A labyrinth garden.  How tranquil.

"Our saunas, steam room and pools enhance your journey and encourage you to linger, relax and reflect. Every detail is designed to impart the highest enjoyment of life, inspire your best self and leave you renewed with a fresh perspective."

The Cloister Spa, Mobil Five-Star, 2009.
Best for Class & Best for Luxury, Luxury Spa Finder, 2007.
Best Spa Fitness Programs, Mobil Travel Guide, 2007.
Top Spas in North America for 2007, Mobil Travel Guide, 2007.
Hot List: Hot Spas, Condé Nast Traveler, 2007.

Not too shabby. Anyone want to have a bloggers convention here? I'm game.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Soon, The Spa!

I just couldn't let the weekend arrive without whetting your appetite for The Spa at The Cloister.   Not too bad.   Not too bad.

We'll soon have pictures of The Spa that would make Caesar himself jealous!  It was beautiful!

In the mean time, anyone planning on doing some luxuriating over the weekend?  I'll be happy if I get my nails manicured!  Yall have a lovely weekend!  

Oh, and speaking of sure to wish Hopsy, of Manicures and Monograms a HAPPY BIRTHDAY today!  She's the ripe old age of 24!  

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Not to be Missed

Any of you who have read Pearls & Grace know what an absolute treat and honor it would be to hear her speak LIVE.  Well, here's your chance!  

Let me just tell you, she is a charming, witty, honest soul--not to mention beautiful!  She is so honest and giving of heart you can't help but be inspired--and grow to become a better person.  If you aren't familiar with her work, or well, should I say, her life--just click here.  You will be moved. 

If you can get to the NCY area on Sunday, March 1st--you just can't miss The Pearl Event!  

The Pearl Event
A testimony of tragedy, trust and triumph

Pearls and Grace
to appear
Sunday, March 1, 2009
in the New York City/Tri-state area

Come find out why you are His pearl…

For I consider the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. –Romans 8:18

Free Admission
Email for seating reservations

Monday, February 16, 2009

Masculine Mystique

The Cloister Smoking Lounge
What is it about a wooden paneled room that draws us in?  It's warm. It's cozy.  It just feels good.

Several of the rooms that the Sea Island Company has created at The Cloister are rich with beautiful wooden walls.  

This is the Smoking Lounge (as well as the opening photo).  This was were Granny and Mr. Green would withdraw after a delicious meal at the Georgian Room.  The room is almost entirely cyprus, with pecky cypress detailing on the coffered ceiling.  Be sure and notice the arched fanlight above the bookcase that looks like a transom window.  It's actually mirror.  A perfect illusion.    

Just look at the beautiful details, especially found in the curtains-always lined and interlined-and fabulous!

Here's my man of mystery.  Even non-smokers can't help themselves here!

Make your selection...

In addition to the Smoking Lounge, the Library at The Cloister was just perfect.  The walls were constructed entirely of pine.  As a native Southerner, I'm a bit biased to pine.  We are surrounded by it and it's quite plentiful.  

You'll love their library system:  take a book, read it, return it.  Didn't finish it during your stay?  That's o.k..  Just mail it from home at your leisure.  Got to love this place!
The Cloister Library
(photo: Sea Island Co.)

Finally, the darkest of the paneled rooms of The Cloister:  the Georgian Lounge.  It was by far the most difficult to photograph.  I do so wish that you could all see the details.  The chandeliers were stunning.   This was a great place to relax prior to dinner at the Georgian Room.

I hope you've enjoyed this little glimpse into some of the dark and mysterious paneled rooms of The Cloister.  Anyone have a favorite paneled room--on the post or elsewhere.  I'd like to hear all about it.  What do you consider the "must have" elements for a space like this?

Where to go next?  How about the Spa?   The Romans themselves would be jealous!

(large pictures from Sea Island Co., I took the little ones.)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Elegant Island Sanctuary

Can't you just envision a small family wedding here?  It would be perfect.  Come to Sea Island Georgia and all of your needs will be met!    

The chapel offers a Bible study on Thursday and a worship service is every Sunday morning.
The lighting at the entire resort was amazingly good.  (I'm planning an entire post on just the lighting!)  The fixtures in the chapel were some of my favorites.  Aren't they perfect for the spot?

Attention to Detail
(This picture is actually in the Solarium--but just a stones throw from the Chapel.)

Changing gears just a bit here--the marsh, as seen from the windows of 100 Hudson--one of the three Cloister restaurants.  This is what I saw every morning over breakfast.  It was delicious.  (Yes, Mrs. News Reading, I had the French toast and Mr. Green was a huge fan of the apple chicken sausage.  We were there eating on the morning of the golf tournament.  I could have been there!  Too bad we bloggers don't have a secret code or something!  I'd love to have met you.)    

"Start your day with breakfast in the inviting atmosphere of 100 Hudson with its light-filled morning aura and panoramic views of the Black Banks River."

The much adored Spanish Lounge.  This room was carefully dismantled from the original 1928  Mizner building and reassembled as you see below the post card.  -

Bridge anyone?

One of my favorite rooms was definitely the Solarium.  We made it a habit to have tea there each afternoon.  It is an amazingly beautiful room--fresh, light and airy.  
The Cloister Solarium
Even the birds have it good.  Attention to detail was not spared, even for the birds.  Notice the curtain rings. The cages were hand painted as well.  Wish I had taken a picture of the mural for you.  Now, you'll just have to go see it for yourself!

The two birdcages flanked this charming fountain.  Sun, color, nature, oh, I could go on and on.

Now, I'd like to leave you with a question.  What kind of bench is this?  The back is wooden and on a hinge.  It will swing from one side to the other, allowing one to sit in either direction.  Was it used for spectators at a sporting event?  Maybe you talented readers--uh, humm...Tartanscot or Cote de Texas, might know the answer.   Any help would be appreciated.  
Save Now

Still want more?  Brilliant Asylum has done a lovely post on The Cloister.  I hope to have more pretties for you tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Five Star Sea Island *****

Friends, I hardly know where to start!  My trip to Sea Island was just wonderful.  I rested, I relaxed, I slept late!  I think I took enough pictures to write posts for a year!  I hope to share some of them with you, bit by bit.   
(Thank you to Sea Island Company for the use of some of the pictures shown below.)

The Solarium--my tea time favorite spot!  

To start, I'd like to set the stage for those of you who have not been:
Imagine if Blackberry Farm is the fine country house then  The Cloister is the elegant beach house.  Southern, elegant, hospitable, and special are all words that come to mind.  Sounds great, doesn't it?

Mobil Five-Star
Five Stars you say?  Yes.
"Criteria to earn a Mobil Five-Star rating are stringent, based on more than 750 standards for hotels, more than 250 for restaurants, and more recently 450 different guidelines for spas, making it the most rigorous and comprehensive in the industry. To achieve Mobil Five-Star status, properties must then meet or exceed Mobil's bar-setting service standards, which are determined through an unannounced, undercover service evaluation conducted by Mobil Travel Guide's expert inspectors."

Congratulations are in order.
The Sea Island Company received four different 5 Star ratings:
1.  The Cloister Hotel (this is a view from the back side)

2.  The Cloister Spa--absolutely unbelievable!

3.  The Georgian Room (Restaurant in The Cloister)
(Sorry for the photo duplication.)

4.  The Lodge (golf haven hotel on St. Simons)

This is just a taste of what is yet to come!  Any special request or questions about the stay, please leave a comment or send an email.  I always enjoy hearing from you.