Friday, September 1, 2023

Tales of the Traveling Tote Edition #36

Rabbit, Rabbit
Welcome, September 
~ The Cusp of Autumn ~

I've not been on a plane nor traveled since before the fall of 2019,
but a thoughtful invitation to join eight friends and spend a few days in the Hamptons the first week of June offered a much needed
 chance to get away for pure relaxation.

We stayed in my godson's beautiful 
old home in East Hampton.

The village of East Hampton 
is full of historic charm.

Everything was lush and green with
abundant vibrant blooms.

Peonies were growing in the gardens of every home.

Big, gorgeous blooms!

First thing I did was cut 
blooms to bring into the house.

Are you surprised?

We also cut white iris blooms from
the garden and filled this pretty vase.

We ate at charming restaurants.

We shopped the boutiques in 
East Hampton and Sag Harbor.

Mostly we relaxed around the house 
and played Mah Jongg.

We took morning walks along 
the shore of a nearby beach.

One evening we arranged for 
a clambake on the beach.

The dinner was delicious!

It was a gorgeous evening with perfect 
weather, a full moon.   .   .

And sand between our toes!

Five days filled with good friends and lots of laughter.
Just what my spirit needed!

An added highlight for me was lunch with these two special ladies.
Kathleen, Alma, and I first met in 2009 through our blogs.
You may remember Cuisine Kathleen and The Tablescaper.  
Sadly both Kathleen and Alma no longer have their blogs,
but you can find them on Instagram.

Closer to home, I ventured over to Opening Day 
of a brand new independent bookstore. 
First Light Book Shop
Hyde Park Neighborhood ~ Austin, TX

It has a walk up window for coffee 
and baked goods that opens early morning.

Picnic tables under shade trees 
provide space to spend time with friends.

Inside is a coffee bar open all day.

Opening day was filled 
with enthusiastic customers.

I was thrilled to see a special space for young children
set up with small tables and chairs and an excellent book selection.

I couldn't resist this book and a few others.
I'm addicted to children's literature!

Tell me, do you have any independent book stores in your community?
If so, I hope you will support these businesses!
If you are local, please consider shopping

Enjoy the adventures of my 
Traveling Tote Friends 

Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths 
Emily with Miss Courtney ChildsThe French Hutch
Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
 Patti with Miss Kenzie @ Pandora's Box
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply 
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul (You are here)

Ricki Jill and Countess De Monet @ The Sketchy Reader 

Jackie @ Purple Chocolat Home (Give Away Here)

A new edition will post December 1.  
Please join the fun.



The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. Rabbit, Rabbit Sarah! What a fun getaway with friends to East Hampton, sightseeing, shopping, shore time and a clambake! Cute photo of you cutting flowers and at the shore. How fun to meet up with Kathleen and Alma too. It does my reader’s heart good to know that there are brick and mortar book stores (independent too!) opening in this day and age. Happy September! 🧡

    1. Rabbit, Rabbit, Mary! It felt so refreshing to get away Laughter with friends is so healing. We were all in awe of the peonies as you might expect. We pay by the stem here to have these lovelies in our home. Fortunately Trader Joe's will sell bouquets for fair price, but quality is not always the best when flowers are bundled together and sitting in a bucket. But I buy them anyway! Ha! Ha!
      Oh, the new book store is going to be a favorite. It feels like old Austin!

  2. Dearest Sarah,
    It looks like your June travel was perfect in New Netherlands and the climate too! Those peonies are a DREAM.
    And of course all the fresh seafood in the company of friends!

  3. Your trip to East Hampton must have been so much fun. A clambake on the beach, listening to the waves, with sand between your toes AND delicious seafood must be one of life's best experiences. Your photos of East Hampton are stunning, and you had a gorgeous place to call home during your visit. Whenever an Indie bookshop opens, it's a cause for celebration. We have a few Indies in Birmingham, but one of them, Alabama Booksmith, is a one of a kind. It's the only bookshop in the world that sells only signed first editions. It's sort of famous, and of course a lot of their business is online. I can tell that I would love First Light Bookshop! Happy fall!

    1. You would love First Light Books! I hope you will visit Texas again and perhaps I can show you Austin.

  4. Oh this was glorious, loved seeing you all having such a magical visit! You look fabulous too, such a treat to see so much happiness, jain.

  5. I am so delighted to see the wonderful pics from your trip Sarah, what a wonderful time this must have been for you. I love your godson's house, it looks a lot like my old house (that I miss so much).You look right at home in the beautiful garden with your clippers, I know how much you enjoy arranging flowers. A beautiful pic of you too. It is always good to get together with old friends and looks like all of you were having a grand time. How nice you were able to meet up with Alma and Kathleen and I certainly remember their blogs.How nice you have a new book store to enjoy. One of my favorites is at the beach, Sundog in Seaside. When we are there I find myself there several times.
    Wishing you a wonderful and happy September dear friend.........

    1. Emily, thanks for these kind words. It wa a fabulous trip. Sundog sounds like a fun store.

  6. A great getaway..Ive read and know bloggers etc from The Hamptons but have never been.Kathleen:) So neat you met her.It all looks wonderful Sarah.And I LOVE your style.TOPS.

    1. Monique, Kathleen was an avid tablescaper. You would have enjoyed her blog. She lives full time in the Hamptons, and Alma lives on Long Island with a family summer home in the Hamptons. Lucy ladies! It was fun to meet in person after all these years. I hope we can meet someday.

    2. Sarah, Monique and I are well acquainted, knew her before we all started our blogs.😊She gave me a lesson on my camera by phone! I would love to meet her one day!
      I hope you will return next summer, It was one of my favorite days of the summer!

  7. How fun to get away to the Hamptons with friends Sarah! The house where you stayed looks lovely and those peonies are gorgeous! How fun to have a clambake on the beach, and you have such great photos of your friends, love the circle of toes in the sand. The bookstore sounds like a wonderful place to hang out, with a coffee bar and picnic tables. Happy September, and here's to more adventures this Fall!

    1. Thanks, Jenna. Fun get aways with friends is always a treat. Yes, here's to more adventures!

  8. I'm so glad you shared your trip Sarah, and I'm sure you enjoyed the NY weather as I see you were dressed in long sleeves. Your godson's house has character, and I love homes like that. You were in your element in their beautiful garden with your clippers. I hope you will frame the beautiful photo of you in your gorgeous patriotic sweater. How nice you were able to have lunch with Kathleen and Alma also. Of course I love your new owl book! Have you heard about Authors in April that supports children's literacy? Great organization. Hope September brings cooler weather your way.

    1. Thank you, Debbie. I had not thought about framing the photo, but just might do that. I actually have a new frame in patriotic colors. Yes, a garden full of cutting peonies was beyond amazing for this garden girl. You can imagine the fragrance! Loved meeting Alma and Kathleen after all these years! And, I thought of you when I first picked up Owl Babies. Thank you for alerting me to Authors in April. I'm all for supporting children's literacy!

    2. Thank you, Debbie. I had not thought about framing the photo, but just might do that. I actually have a new frame in patriotic colors. Yes, a garden full of cutting peonies was beyond amazing for this garden girl. You can imagine the fragrance! Loved meeting Alma and Kathleen after all these years! And, I thought of you when I first picked up Owl Babies. Thank you for alerting me to Authors in April. I'm all for supporting children's literacy!

  9. Sarah, I am so happy that you were able to travel with lovely friends. Your godson’s home is gorgeous and oh those beautiful peonies take my breath away. Your clambake looks like fun. I love book stores and can spend an entire day in one. I am sad to say we don’t have an independent bookstore. The last one closed a few years ago. Thanks for sharing your beautiful trip. Happy September and Labor Day Weekend!

    1. Thanks, Pam. You and I could share a day in a good book store. I'm drawn to book stores when visiting new places, and always appreciate ones that are small, independently owned. Happy Labor Day weekend to you and Butch.

  10. Your godsons home is lovely - how lucky you were able to enjoy a 'girl's getaway' in the Hamptons! It looked like a wonderful time. Cute pics of toes in the sand and the clambake on the beach must have been so much fun! Happy Fall - hope your weather cools down!

    1. Thanks, Patti. I highly recommend a clambake on the beach! You know about sand between your toes. It's the best!

    2. My comment disappeared so will try again. Yes, it was a fun time and I highly recommend a clambake on the beach. You know about sand between our toes! The best!

  11. Sarah, what a wonderful trip to the Hamptons. Your godson's home is gorgeous. How special to get away and spend time with friends and family. You look fabulous in the garden pic. Gorgeous blooms make wonderful flower arrangements. Love the toes in the sand picture, so cute and creative. A clambake on the beach sounds heavenly. Happy Labor Day weekend.

    1. My comment disappeared so will try again. Yes, it was a fun time and you know I love fresh flowers. Happy weekend!

  12. Sarah your trip to the Hamptons looked amazing. What a gorgeous place and you gorgeous ladies on the beach having that incredible dinner - wow, straight out of a magazine. Your Godson's home looks like it belongs in a movie. I especially loved your pink pants that went with the peonies! And that lobster!!!!

    1. Jackie, I love my pink jeans and sweater! And yes, they were perfectly paired with the peonies. Wish we could grow peonies here in Austin. It's amazing how prolific the shrubs are on the East Coast, nks yet how much we have to pay per stem here.
      Thanks and happy fall!

  13. So happy knowing you were able to take a trip with your friends again dear Sarah. Your recent news about your dear Monnie's passing was quite a shock. Bob and I send belated condolences and hope you are doing better by now and finding comfort in your memories of so many wonderful years.
    Hugs - Mary

    1. Thank you, Mary. It will be a year next month. Difficult to accept as it still does not feel real. I miss him so!

  14. That a wonderful holiday, Sarah! I've always been intrigued by the Hamptons (I've probably seen way too much Ina Garten and Martha Stewart shows!) Love that bookstore. I'm a children's lit fan too and can't resist a beautiful book. I'm glad you like the independents -- I'm very big on them too. That clambake! Oh my! I loved that photo -- you looked lovely, the food delish and the setting couldn't be beat. I'm so glad you hopped that plane! (I haven't been on once since about then, too.)

  15. Sarah, your trip to the Hamptons was so very special, I can tell by the photos! The time of year you were there most certainly seemed rejuvenative, given the seasonal blooms. The calm bake looked spectacular (I wish you were in the table shot with the tiki torches behind). The First Light shop looks like a perfect place to go and spend time. We have a real treasure of one right in the center of town, and it has been going strong since 1995. My oldest worked there in the early 2000s and still frequents it. They also have a wonderful children's section. A new store recently opened in the area where our antique mall is, and I must go!
    How wonderful to meet up with Kathleen and Alma! I was honored to be the keeper of the shamrock cloth a few years ago, started by Kathleen.
    Happy September, Sarah. I hope how soon fall brings you more chances for enjoying your local outdoors, and until then, happy trails and tales elsewhere!

    1. Hi Rita!
      Lots of good memories from our blogging days! It was such fun to have lunch with Sarah, hoping for a repeat next summer!

  16. Thanks for your dedication to helping others learn

  17. Beautiful post Sarah. The trip up the northeast looked heavenly.
    Thank you for the recommendation to the new bookstore. How sweet to have a new business in the ATX.

  18. Sarah, I can’t believe I’m just reading this now. It was such a joy to meet you in person particularly after all of these years on line. I’m happy that you had such a great visit and hope you come back soon!

  19. Oh, Sarah, what a fantastic place and looked like you had such fun. I have never been and the closest I ever came was The Barefoot Contessa! Your redware is just beautiful and that bouquet is so pretty. I'm with you about children's books. We found a little new coffee shop in town that is connected to an old book store. I can't wait to go in and browse as I am on the hunt for an old Christmas children's book..Happy Fall to you..xxoJudy

  20. Hi Sarah! Yesterday I was pulling out more fall things and among them the beautiful Quimper you shared. I've since picked up one piece and one that is certainly in the style but of dubious provenance. So, of course I thought of you. I'm sure this year has been a tough one and I just wanted to tell you that you're in my thoughts -- not to mention my happy soul for all the beauty you share. Big hugs, jeanie


Thank you to each of you who take the time to leave a comment. I read and appreciate each and every one and will respond to any questions. Your notes are the only way I know who has stopped in for a visit.