Tales of the Traveling Totes, Hello Spring

Welcome to the latest Tales of the Traveling Tote!



Miss Coquille and I were in “the city” for the month of December,

doing all the fun Christmas things





But when we got an unexpected 6 inches of snow,

Miss Coquille was not happy about it…






“I’m freezing!” she exclaimed, and refused to go out





“Cheer up,” I told her, “We’re meeting Emily with Miss Courtney Childs and Ricki Jill with Countess de Monet for lunch at the Grand Bohemian Hotel for lunch in a few days







It is the coolest place,

the roof top bar has a fire pit and Alice in Wonderland chairs






There is a wine tasting bar with great boho decor and





even a wine blending room with purple glass chandeliers





You can actually reserve it and blend your own wine with the help of a sommelier





The dining room is crazy pink, purple and lime green!



We had a wonderful lunch, exchanged little holiday gifts, and we were so busy talking I hardly took any pictures



After a busy Christmas we were both ready for some R & R

“When are we going back to the beach?” whined Miss Coquille




Unfortunately, it wasn’t straw hat and flip flop weather…






“ICE???   Seriously????”





After a very cold January on the coast, where our pipes froze not once but twice,

we headed back north to do mundane things like get my car serviced~

Miss Coquille does feel very important when she carries my laptop, so she didn’t complain





Another fun lunch with the Alabama Chapter of the Traveling Totes

me, Emily and Ricki Jill






We met at the Cheesecake Factory,

and we were very good, we only looked at the cheesecakes!





Recently we have had very spring like weather with temps in the low 80s,

Southern winters can be quite unpredictable!





With a severe case of Spring fever,

Miss Coquille and I headed to a local favorite spot, Aldridge Gardens






Things were blooming everywhere





Stunning Camellias





These gardens are always nearly empty, such a wonderful serene spot to visit





We had some fun with the tortoise and the hare





We traded a chance to hold Miss Coquille for a cart ride





Then we relaxed on a bench to flip through the latest MacKenzie-Childs catalogue

It is full of spring temptations!


Happy Spring!

I am hosting the giveaway this month,

to enter please leave me a comment about a spot you’ve traveled to recently,

as you can see, my life has been pretty boring,

I could use some excitement!


Come along and travel with:
Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths 
Emily with Miss Courtney ChildsThe French Hutch
Patti with Miss Kenzie @ Pandora’s Box
Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron
Linda G with Miss Poppy @ More Fun Less Laundry
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply 
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul
Jackie and Miss Madi K @ Purple Chocolat Home
Ricki Jill and Countess De Monet @ The Sketchy Reader
Lea and Miss Scarlett @ Cici’s Corner
🌷   👜   🌷   👜   🌷   👜
63 Responses to “Tales of the Traveling Totes, Hello Spring”
  1. Oh the camellias that you all have just make me swoon! Anytime we are somewhere in the true south we see them. We just got one for our flower gardens and we have high hopes! I didn’t realize they only bloom in the winter so I guess we’ve missed that but we will see them next year.

    You Traveling Tote girls are so adorable!

  2. Sherry B says:

    I love following the Traveling Totes, as well as all things McChilds and Beekman !!! I would love to add the soap dish giveaway to my collection.

  3. Your winter has been busy – You are so lucky to live so close to the other AL TT gals! What a fun place to have lunch!! Sorry to hear about those frozen pipes – ughhh, what a pain in the butt, but it sure looks like a fabulous place to spend during the warm weather! Enjoyed your post!

  4. thefrenchhutch says:

    Hi Jenna, Our lunches are always fun and i am looking forward to the next one. Aldridge Gardens looks so pretty and the tortoise and the hare was perfect for givinb Miss Couquille a ride. Wow, you really did have ice at the beach! Lucky you headed to the beach, I’ve got that bug, beach soon!

    • I hate to tell you how nice it is down here, but we did swim this morning…and not a storm in sight…I love going to Aldridge Gardens because there is never anyone there and it is always beautiful. It’s in Hoover on Lorna Rd. near the Galleria if you ever want to visit. I hope you get to the beach soon…when is your Italy trip, that is what I’d be itching for!

  5. Raylene DeSanto says:

    Love your blog and appreciate your tales of Miss Coquille. She put a smile on my face today as I, too, look forward to spring and visiting nearby wineries in Pennsylvania with my bestie!

    Can you please share where I might find your gorgeous tote? Thanks much!

  6. Ricki Treleaven says:

    I enjoy our lunches with you and Emily so much. Y’all are the best! I love your photos from Aldridge Gardens. The camellias have been so beautiful this year! Our neighbors have giant ones, and I sigh every time I pass by! It has been such a cold, nasty winter….I’m happy you were in Birmingham a little so we could visit because I probably would’ve been long gone for the beach had I been you!

    Thanks for letting me tag along with the group. I’m loving it so far!


    • Same here! I am so glad you are part of the tote group! Just got back to the beach in time to dodge your rain. It is a breezy 75 here and we just got out of the pool…I am very spoiled!

  7. Rita C. says:

    Jenna, the Grand Bohemian Hotel is all that! I loved those photos, and the Aldridge Gardens….now that’s the AL I would come to expect in these first few months of a given year. Love the tortoise and the hare. I bet Miss Coquille felt even more important there than carrying your laptop, just sayin’….and the photo beneath the cheesecake case…….better than a bank robbery. “Just put all your cheesecakes in these totes and nobody gets hurt”. LOL.

    • Rita, I’m laughing out loud here…imagine how many we could get away with if we lined all the girls up under that table. Yep, and throw in a few bottles of the wine, too…

    • 🤣 too funny! Spring is bursting out all over here, everything is in bloom [way too early] and you can practically see the grass literally turning green. Driving around the neighborhoods the car is showered with spring petals like some kind of grand wedding! The Grand Boho is my favorite place to go, so much eye candy!

  8. Kitty says:

    What fun places that you, Emily and Ricki Jill got to meet for lunch, Jenna. I would be headed to Aldridge Gardens, too. Isn’t that a beautiful spot…so serene and tranquil. I wish I could tell you that I’ve been on an exciting adventure, but my only trip to was to help with my dear, little mom, back in January. Thanks for sharing your world with us, Jenna.
    p.s. Those two grands in the top photo stole my heart!

  9. Jenna, That hotel looks like it was decorated with Miss Coquille and the other girls in mind!! Gorgeous! I am so jealous that you were all able to get together! I laughed when I read “up north” as you refer to your other locale…really Jenna I know you used to live up here near me so I’m telling you to come up for a visit to this North!! 🙂 The flowers have not dared to bloom yet as March can be a big snow month — please not this year, but I can see I would love your Aldridge Gardens. Those two little adorable elves look like they were delighted to find their Christmas tree. Have a wonderful week! Linda

    • ha ha, yes Birmingham is about as far north as I want to go! I am sure I wouldn’t recognize New Canaan these days…Emily told me all about your dinner together in NYC, that is so fun!
      My fearless charm doesn’t show up in a lot of pictures but it is on my tote and goes everywhere with me, I love it 😘

  10. You two have been getting around! How fun to be able to connect with fellow toters RJ and Emily. That restaurant looks gorgeous and loads of fun. And so do the gardens. You had loads of snow. I know you had snow — but you had LOADS of snow! No wonder she didn’t want to go out. I wouldn’t either!

  11. Snap says:

    You’ve done more than I have! Love visiting gardens. My favorite nursery here is Wabash Feed — yes, a real Feed company, with the best selection of herbs — and chickens! Ha! I can see how the Grand Bohemian got its name. Fun! Thanks for the chance!

  12. Mary says:

    Jenna, I love the Grand Bohemian with the artwork and decor! What a fun spot for you Alabama girls to meet! We stayed at the GB in Savannah and in Asheville and have sipped cocktails on the rooftop bar in Charleston…. give me a glass of wine and an AIW chair with a firepit anytime!

    Love seeing the camellias in bloom. Spring has sprung here with our 70 degree days. We’ve been laying low for the past month but are heading out of town this weekend and my sweet sister drove up to housesit with Gracie. I wasnt ready to board her by herself yet. The most exciting place I’ve been since January is HomeGoods so you have me beat. 😀

    • oh how nice of your sister! I am worried about sweet Gracie, I know she is heart broken…glad you’re getting away. I went into HomeGoods the other day and didn’t buy anything, I must be ill!

  13. LifeandLinda says:

    Wow, that Grand Bohemian hotel is looks like a fun place. Love the whimsical decor. You ladies are so lucky to live close to each other and enjoy a lovely lunch together. Kudos to all of you for not giving in to those delicious cheesecakes. You ladies look fabulous! You have been quite busy. Aldridge Gardens looks fantastic.

    • Thank you Linda, yes it is my favorite place to go. They even have a cooking school there which my daughter and I want to try out. Yes, Emily, Ricki Jill and I have so much fun!

  14. Lea Culp says:

    Well, if your life has been boring then mine has been mundane for sure! These pics looks like a lot of fun was had by you and Miss Coquille. Especially considering the cold and dreary weather this time of year. Just a beautiful and enjoyable post!

  15. Anonymous says:

    I traveled to QuiltCon in Pasadena, CA which is also the home of the Rose Bowl. I saw lots of modern quilts. Next week I’m off to a quilting retreat. Fun!

  16. Jacqueline says:

    Miss Madi K and I would have been in purple heaven with you and Miss Coquille! Wowza – that rooftop bar and the chandeliers are out of this world. I think we all have spring fever and can’t wait for beautiful gardens and nice weather.
    Thanks again for the adorable bag that has to travel everywhere Miss Madi K goes!

  17. Jenna… what a cute post. How fun that you had an outing with Ricki Jill and Emily. The gardens look positively gorgeous. Have a wonderful weekend.

    • Thank you Katie, Ricki Jill actually lives really close to me and Emily is only an hour away, and she comes to Birmingham all the time anyway, so it’s easy to get together. So much fun!

  18. Jodi says:

    fun adventures! I’d love to blend my own wine flavor. My boss did that with a group of guys and bourbon at Woodford Reserve. I’m adding to my bucket list!

    • I know I want to try it too. The hotel has a cooking school too where you can take a fun class at night, do the cooking and then sit down to dinner. My daughter & I are going to take one soon.

  19. Julie says:

    hi Jenna, oh you and your bag had some fun meeting up with your blogging friends. That is so awesome! I love all of the place you and your bag have visited. We visited Povidence College in Rhode Island for the day with my teen. I also visit NYC from time to time and I’m always in a big rush to get somewhere and find it hard to take photos. I need to take a day when the weather is nice and take a lot of photos of my outing without being rushed. LOL.
    Thanks for your giveaway.
    Julie xo

  20. Shenita says:

    What a wonderful giveaway! I loved reading all of the fascinating journeys of the traveling totes! I love everything from Mackenzie Childs! Would love to win!

  21. I just reading all of the traveling tote posts from the wonderful bloggers. We recently made a day trip to the Land Between the Lakes area of Kentucky Lake so our grandkids could see the buffalo and elk.

  22. hi Judy, that sounds like fun! I bet it was beautiful! Thanks for stopping by…

  23. Susan says:

    Looks like you did plenty this winter. I live in PA, but we were in Savannah and Charolette last week where things are beginning to bloom. Another snowstorm is forecast for tomorrow here. I’d love to try that goatmilk soap on my dry winter skin. The heat really dries out skin in the northern winter 😊

  24. The Grand Bohemian Hotel is quite unique! Looks like you gals had a great time.
    So sorry about your pipes not once but twice!!!
    I’ve never been to Aldridge Gardens and I am sure I would enjoy going.
    I think we all are ready for spring. We actually have had pollen this week.

  25. John Smith says:

    I recently travelled to a far-distant curb and left plastic bags that were then magically removed. It was very exotic and exciting!

  26. Pat says:

    I’ve been antique hunting in Berlin, Maryland. Your blog hop is a cute idea.

  27. Lisa D says:

    The traveling tote is so fun to follow. Love all the spring photos. We are warming up here in North Carolina and I love it. The soap dish is just darling.

  28. Jenna, what a wild weather ride for us in Alabama. The grands are too adorable. I have been wanting to visit the Grand Bohemian in Birmingham, that is lively decor! We have stayed in one in Savannah. I just returned from Half-Mile Farm and it was wonderful! I enjoyed your travels with Miss Coquille.

  29. Kathleen Besaw says:

    Like Miss Coquille, I very much need to get some warm beach weather— I have been no where—I live in central New York right on Lake Ontario and it seems we have had nothing but snow and frigid weather for months. The traveling tote stories have inspired me to get my own tote– it doesn’t get out as much as yours as I am fortunate to live near Aurora and have three different bags from barn sale deals. Recently the small canvas bag gets out most carrying my supplies to craft class and knitting group. The soap dish would bring a much needed bit of spring after this long hard winter and the Berkman lotion may bring life back into my winter dry skin.

  30. Cindy Seago says:

    Wow, I love hearing all the adventures that the Traveling Totes have, and would love to have a tote of my own. Would like to take my tote to Mt Rushmore when my husband and I go later in the year. I can think of all kinds of things that it could carry and might even take it to our deer lease and let her carry some of my hunting items.

  31. Leslie says:

    Love the photo of the rabbit with the tote.

  32. tennisqueen says:

    I love all of theTraveling Totes posts! You ladies do have fun. I wish I had somewhere exciting to share, alas it’s been too rainy here in North Texas to much of anything. Love the gardens… dreaming of spring!

  33. debra cantales says:

    What fun places that you, Emily and Ricki Jill got to meet for lunch, Jenna! Aldridge Gardens is calling my name! Your sweet grands are adorable 🙂 Miss Aurora and I would love that rooftop bar and the chandeliers. We definitely have spring fever even though I am a winter sports enthusiast. Have a great weekend!

  34. Holly says:

    I haven’t been traveling much due to the poor weather! I was going to go to Lake George, NY but we got a “Nor’Easter” and couldn’t go because of the snow and road conditions! I enjoyed your pictures! Thank you for a chance to win!

  35. jill says:

    First time here, took me awhile to figure out your tote has a name..cute…I have been collecting pieces of Mckenzie-Childs for a long time. Our kitchen is mostly cream and black so courtly check looks nice. Love that hotel and the fun, bold decor. Also those bronze rabbits are wonderful.

  36. Rhonda Allred says:

    Love all your recipes and travel tales. How you plan monthly recipe line ups and the recipes are inspirational. Hope to have time one day to do something similar. Also, please enter me in the give-away and thank you for the opportunity.

  37. Lynn Miles says:

    I am so excited to have found you – LOVE this Traveling Tote!

  38. Anonymous says:

    Just love your blog, artwork & Mac-Childs

  39. Thank you!

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