Monday, June 17, 2013

Beachaven in Bloom- Another Tale of Before and After

Mr. Grand and I just returned from a few nice days 
We had some serious fun with friends on the beach 
and at dinner outside on their deck. 
Good times.  

And Mr. Grand was busy planting the new little garden patch in front of our cottage.
We've never had a sunny garden space before, so we're learning as we go. 

This little sunny garden patch was made possible 
by the recent replacement of the awful, old sidewalks at Beachaven.

I am pretty sure that I drove all of our neighbors insane for the last several years 
trying to convince them that the location and condition of the old sidewalk 
was in desperate need of change.

Ok, maybe it was just me that was desperate for the change, but you be the judge!
See how the old sidewalk was jammed up against the decks of the cottages? 

And the condition of the old sidewalk... uneven, unsafe and incredibly ugly.

(That first lovely deck on the left was ours, before Mr. Grand built us a new one.)

Here's how I talked our neighbors into the new sidewalk.
I used my limited photoshopping skills to turn this picture-

Into this one

in order to demonstrate how nice a curvy new sidewalk could look.

Thanks to my brother Paul for the idea...
I think the picture of my sweet dog, Burly, really helped sell the plan.

Well, I guess I finally wore everyone down 
and they all agreed to spring for new concrete!


In truth, there were several owners that also really wanted to do this
and we all worked together to get it done.

Here is the new sidewalk just after it was completed in the fall of 2011.

It had to get uglier before it got better.
It was a big, messy job.
But worth it, I think.

Each cottage now has an area between the decks and the sidewalk to plant as they please.
And we all have a little more space and privacy.
Not to mention a much nicer sidealk.

I'm throwing this picture in so you can see the cottage, Before.
Before everything.

To this day, I cannot believe that I talked Mr. Grand into buying this place!!!

But look at it now...
Here's the side view of the new deck and the flowers we planted there in 2010.
They've had a few summers to get established.

The grass around the new sidewalk has been repaired
and we've planted lots of perennials in the front now, too.

Lots more blue Rose of Sharon, Quick Fire Hydrangeas, Heuchera and Coneflowers.
Our fingers are crossed that they love it at Beachaven as much as we do....

So much prettier now...

(Remember the Before???)

Still makes me shudder...

We also replaced the concrete patios and the sidewalks between the cottages.

Here's the Before of the back entrance to our cottage,
complete with the previous owner's lovely shed on the left.

Fast forward a few years
and, Voila!

The shed is gone, the cottage is remodeled, the concrete is replaced
and the outside shower is now in a much nicer neighborhood!
You can read about the outside shower that Mr. Grand built here.
I think it's one of our favorite projects, EVER.

This year, we are finally looking forward to a summer at the lake 
with no major projects to do!
That'll be a first!

Linking to:
The Scoop at Cedar Hill Ranch
Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Fabulously Creative Link Party at Jennifer Rizzo
Oh The Places I've Been at The Tablescaper

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Country Living * Hudson Valley Adventure

What a Grand Weekend!
I went to the Country Living Fair in Rhinebeck, NY
with my friend Kim from County Line Road.
We've been Flea Market buddies for years 
and this seemed like the perfect adventure for us.
Friday's torrential rains kept us indoors at the Coxsackie Antique Mall 
which was interesting and kept us dry...

We had dinner at The Culinary Institute in Hyde Park 
and that was a lot of fun.

Here's the entrance to the American Bounty restaurant:

This beet salad with goat cheese and capers was delicious 
and so beautiful.

Seriously, between the colors and the artistic presentation, this could be a painting!

Then this whimsical dessert, which was fun, too. 

  The glassware was adhered to the board on a bed of honey.
Maybe a bit too much honey, but I have to remember this idea...
The Red Velvet Whoopie Pie was the best.

We arrived at the Country Living Fair as it opened on Saturday morning.
It was crowded.  
We saw lots of interesting things and I'll show you just a few.

Loved this regal Lion on a bed of boxwood.

And this pair of shutters-  
Too bad they wouldn't fit in my suitcase...

Lots of creative inspiration, too.
Check out this lampshade covered with buttons!

Love this "Welcome" pillow.
I may have to try my hand at this in my colors...

We both made a beeline over to these vintage Christmas trees...
We both collect Christmas Tree Pins (which you can read about here).

They were a bit pricey, so we didn't buy any.

I spotted this large demi-john filled with white lights and I may have to try this myself...

We managed to cover the whole Fair in three hours.  
That left us time to visit the Vanderbilt mansion and walk the grounds a bit.

Quite the setting, with amazing views.

Next, we headed down to Poughkeepsie, NY to walk across the Hudson River.

They have re-purposed an old railroad bridge into a spectacular pedestrian bridge 
high above the Hudson River with panoramic views in all directions.
You can read all about it here.
It's 1.28 miles across (one way) and 212 feet in the air.  

This is a view from the center of the walkway to the south.

Walking across the river!

Pictures really can't capture the panorama.

Looking north from the center of the bridge.

This was really the highlight of the trip.
Amazing American ingenuity!

The next day, we took a tour of Franklin D. Roosevelt's home in Hyde Park.
That was a very interesting place in another amazing setting.

Makes me want to watch "Hyde Park on the Hudson" and see more of FDR and Eleanor.
Interesting couple, to say the least.

The only loot I brought home from the Country Living Fair 
was this pretty green pitcher

and this charming little bird statue.

They both made it home safely in my suitcase.
Fun, fun, fun!

Linking to:
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
Amaze Me Monday at Dwellings
Tutorials,Tips and Tidbits at Stone Gable
Oh The Places I've Been at The Tablescaper

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