Wednesday, May 22, 2013


When I contacted the Marketing Department of Collette Vacations a few weeks ago telling them that I planned to go on their Southern Charm tour and blog about my experiences, little could I have imagined that they would see this as an opportunity to create an interactive event on their Facebook page featuring me! A member of their staff, Courtney (Art Director for Collette Vacations) and her sister Leeza were already planning to take the trip as well so it was arranged that Courtney would take pictures of me as I soaked up the charms of the south. I'd been on many photo shoots in my days as a print model in Las Vegas so this was going to be like old times!

Courtney and Leeza at the Jekyll Island Club
Courtney, Leeza and I ended up spending a great deal of time together and they absolutely made my trip. They invited me to go on a Ghost Walk with them our first night in Charleston and it turned out to be one of the best experiences I had! Who knew? Then there was the evening on Jekyll Island when they invited me out for a drink and we ended up at the hotel Pub being thoroughly entertained by Cindi the bartender telling us about their resident ghosts. If it hadn’t been for the “girls” inviting me to join them on several occasions, I probably would have just gone to bed and missed out on some very fun adventures.

At the end of each exceedingly eventful day, Courtney returned to her room to put together these great collages from the pictures she took during the day which were then posted on Collette Vacation’s Facebook page with a short update on the day’s activities. I think she did a wonderful job. Thanks, Courtney, for making me look so good! 

So here’s a taste of what the next few blogs are going to be about, thanks to Courtney’s terrific photography!
The first thing place we visited in Charleston was The Citadel, one of 6 military colleges in the United States. It sits on 300 acres of prime South Carolina real estate and is 
Charleston's pride and joy.
After touring a couple of Charleston's lovely mansions, we shopped a bit at the old City Market and had lunch at Bubba Gump's Shrimp Co. where I sampled some "she-crab" soup. YUM!

Then we spent a very memorable afternoon touring Boone Hall, one of America's oldest working plantations. It was definitely one of the highlights of the trip, especially the "Gullah" presentation. Given by a descendant of a former slave, it is a moving description of what it was like being a slave on a plantation.

On day two, we spent the morning in Beaufort known as the "Queen of the Carolina Sea Islands" and for good reason. It is the quintessential genteel southern town. No wonder it has been used as a setting for numerous movies. If you want "charming", this is it!

That afternoon and the next day was spent in Savannah, Georgia. This gorgeous town with its park like squares were on the top of my bucket list along with seeing the Mercer House made famous in the book "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil." In fact, that would be a great inscription on my headstone: "She saw Savannah!"
That's Karen, Debbie and me at the top left. We were on our way to the Mercer House! Top left is a picture of the iconic fountain in Forsyth Park. Spectacular setting!! Another must see! The jasmine pictured in the middle is called Charleston or Confederate jasmine and is planted everywhere. Funny, it smells just like my San Diego jasmine at home!
The Jekyll Island Club was the turn of the century playground for the extremely wealthy and it was for members only! Now even little 'ole me can bask in its quiet scenic beauty. Sean and I loved biking around the lovely old "cottages" of the super rich that still grace the island.

 From left to right: Karen, Barbara, me and Leeza enjoying a perfect evening on Jekyll Island.

Our last day was spent touring St. Augustine, Florida. Settled in 1565, it is the oldest settlement in the United States. Unfortunately the day was very hot and humid which kept us mostly in the air-conditioned stores contributing to the economy!
 Next time: My "Southern Charm Tour" begins in Charleston, South Carolina!

*Click on any picture for a full screen view.

1 comment:

  1. As always, beautiful. I am so happy for you and hope this leads to many for trips. Your friend from Photoshop Elements.
    Joan Finn