Tales of the Traveling Tote, Summer Travels

Welcome to another Tale of the Traveling Tote!

Everything has been a challenge these past months,

Most of us did very little, if any, traveling…

When things began to close down in mid March,

Miss Coquille, Hello Gorgeous, and I headed south

I never dreamed we would end up staying for almost 5 months

in this little slice of paradise!

Not only was I lucky to be able to spend the days in this beautiful place,

HHjr and his boys were there much of the time too

I spent most of the days happily painting,

sewing and reading on the porch

I spent lazy days enjoying simple things

and managed to finish 2 Christmas stockings requested by DD

for herself and her husband

in time to get them to the finisher’s deadline in late August

I traveled to many exotic places with my paint brush

From the beach house I “went” to the Egyptian pyramids by camel,

saw exotic onion domes in Russia,

and visited quaint European cafes

I went for a stroll along the sun drenched streets in Greece

I tasted wine in a French wine shoppe

dined at a Pizzeria in Venice

and enjoyed a good old American hot dog in the park

There were many family weekends and fishing trips

We had a fun filled family 4th

We watched fireworks from a safe distance

We joined a patriotic boat parade

We had an Alfresco birthday celebration for a close family friend

I packed my totes and drove north at the end of July,

to stay out of the way of dreaded hurricanes

and to help with my grands if needed

so HHjr could go back to work

The first thing I did when I got back was to go visit my daughter

in their now finished, beautiful new house

Come on in and I’ll give you a quick tour

The main level has a huge great room

Large windows overlook the backyard and the hills in the distance

The large sliding door on the right side of the room

can be pushed all the way into the wall

so that the great room opens up to the porch

when weather is temperate

The porch has a covered area with couches and a table and chairs

and there is an open area for grilling at the far end

with stairs leading down to the lower terrace

The house sits high on a ridge and even in hot August

we’ve been able to sit outside with patio ceiling fans cool breezes

and enjoy the view

The kitchen is on the front side of the house

with lots of windows and shutters for privacy

Tons of storage space and counter tops in the kitchen

{pretend you don’t see the coolers, we brought dinner}

The island is huge and has seating for 4

The walk in pantry is conveniently located in the corner

with upper shelves for dry storage,

a counter for everyday appliances,

and deep lower shelves for more storage

The built in refrigerator has cabinet door fronts

The dining space is in between the kitchen and the sitting area beyond

It features a 12 foot long table

with a beautiful, no maintenance, weathered finish

ready for dining, homework or projects

There is still much decorating to do,

but they are taking it slow

and living in the spaces before making too many decisions

The walls are waiting for embellishment,

and I have been commissioned to do several large paintings 👏

The stairs lead up to a central open loft playroom

CC & Charlie Brown each have their room and private bath

connecting to each side of the loft area

The main hallway leads to the laundry room

{so convenient in the center of the house}

Just past the laundry room is a full guest bath

DD’s office is on the front side of the house

with big windows and a beautiful view

She is an executive creative director for a growing company

and is able to work from home,

doing conference calls and meetings with Zoom

Across the hall from the office is the Master bedroom and bath

The lower level of the house has a large recreation room,

a playroom tucked behind sliding barn doors,

and an exercise room looking over the terraced back yard

Plenty of great spaces for the whole family to enjoy!

I made it a priority to visit with good friends

when I got back

and really enjoyed having a special couple over

for drinks and appetizers, a Safe Social Supper!

My grands are now all back in school,

and fingers crossed that will continue

HHjr’s business {residential contractor} is starting to flow again

after he shut down for 3 months,

then worked only sporadically as things slowly began to open up

My son-in-law also shut his business down for a few months

and was able to help with the homeschooling so DD could work

He also took advantage of his off time

to start a new business, which is starting to take off

We continue to gather safely as a family,

support each other and our community,

and adapt to this new way of life,

finding much joy in everyday simple things

I hope you will take a moment to visit all my very special friends

and read about their summer adventures on the links below

Patti, Miss Kenzie and Miss TizzyPandora’s Box

Debbie,  Miss Aurora and Miss TassieMountain Breaths

Emily, Miss Courtney Childs and Miss Lulu The French Hutch

Jenna, Miss Coquille and Hello Gorgeous @The Painted Apron

Linda P, Miss Lola and Miss Gigi @ Life and Linda

Rita, Miss Luna and Miss Penny C Panoply 

Sarah, Miss Merri Mac and Miss PoppyHyacinths for the Soul

Jackie, Miss Madi K and Miss PansyPurple Chocolat Home

Ricki Jill, Countess De Monet, Miss Square Peggy @ The Sketchy Reader

Leave a comment on Rita’s blog Panoply

for a chance to win this set of beautiful MacKenzie-Childs coasters!

Until next time, stay safe and well

We’ll be back in December for more adventures!

👛 👜 🛍

I will be joining these fabulous parties and blogs:

Meal Plan Monday   Love Your Creativity  Over the Moon

Between Naps on the Porch,  Celebrate Your Story,

All About Home/ Common Ground Follow the Yellow Brick Home

Make it Pretty Monday Tasty Tuesday   Oh My Heartsie Girl

Turn About Tuesday  Full Plate Thursday  Centerpiece Wednesday

Thursday Favorite Things  Creatively Crafty   Creative Cumpulsions

32 Responses to “Tales of the Traveling Tote, Summer Travels”
  1. Mary says:

    Jenna, DD’s new home is a beauty! I’ve been anxious to see it completed and I have kitchen envy! What an awesome expanse of an island and walk in pantry. I would love to be able to keep appliances tucked away where I could work but they don’t take up valuable real estate on the counters…*sigh*. I know your fingers are itching to get to your paint brushes and canvas for those walls! Happy September ♥

    • Thank you Mary, yes I have serious pantry envy, it keeps all the ugly stuff off her counters! It’s funny, we are so much a like in many ways, but not decorating, she is Miss sophisticated, uncluttered and neutral and I tend to whimsical, crazy and color!! I can’t wait to do a tablescape on that massive table!

  2. Jenna, I am thrilled to have a tour of DD’s new home…love all the open spaces! The dining table is fabulous as well as the kitchen. Your art will be magic on the walls. Living life at the beach during these times sounds ideal, especially enjoying your many hobbies. The Christmas stocking are amazing. Happy September!

    • Thanks so much Pam, all the waiting and delays were well worth it, they are all so happy in their beautiful new home! I even talked her into letting me do a colorful abstract, but she wants it in the stairway hall to the lower basement 😂 Beach life really was ideal, and down there I didn’t miss not going anywhere at all, I was perfectly content, but I am glad to be back in the city, 5 months is a long time!!

  3. Shannon@Belle Bleu Interiors says:

    Good morning, Jenna! It was so fun reading about all of your adventures. I so enjoyed my tour of your daughter’s house. It is gorgeous, and that kitchen is amazing! Your artwork will look beautiful adorning the walls. Happy September! Enjoy your day!

    • Thanks so much Shannon, it was fun going through the process with them and now we are all enjoying the result! She has had us over every weekend for cookouts and just hanging out. Yes, the kitchen is huge, she will be able to throw some fabulous parties if we ever get to that point again…Happy September to you too!

  4. Kitty says:

    Your daughter’s new home is just beyond gorgeous, Jenna. I look forward to seeing masterpieces painted by you to enhance the walls. I liked how your painting took you to places all over the globe!! What could be better than spending time at your beach house?!! Your stitched Christmas stockings are beautiful works of art. You really know how to keep busy and enjoy your time with many projects.

  5. Sarah Anderson says:

    Jenna, your past months have been filled with special times despite the isolationn. How nice to have a beautiful seaside home at which to spend this time. Your travel through your art is a wonderful way to see the world, and we all get to enjoy when you share your work.
    Congratulations to your daughter and family on the new home. I know they will make many wonderful memories as a family in this beautiful new space. Thanks for taking us on a tour. It is beautiful!

    • Thank you Sarah, and yes, I have definitely not suffered at all during the past months, being at the beach during spring and summer was dreamy and so relaxing! It feels good to be back in the “city” though, and I’m grateful I can go back and forth as I please. I am so happy for my sweet daughter and her family, they are in heaven in their gorgeous new house, with plenty of room for her growing kids. Thank you for the kind words about my art.

  6. Cyndi Raines says:

    What a beautiful home! Thank you for sharing and taking us on this lovely tour. Can’t wait to see what pictures you will paint. Love her kitchen and the awesome pantry that houses not only the canned and dry goods, but all the extra small appliances that take up so much room, but are needful. Where did summer go? In spite of Covid, we still took time for simple pleasures and family time, which is so important. Hard to believe we are now in September and pumpkin time! 🍊🍂

    • Thank you Cyndi, we are still in the planning mode for the paintings but I am thrilled she asked me. They are so happy in their new house and it will be fun to see her decorate it for the different seasons! Yes, yay for September and pumpkin time!!

  7. thefrenchhutch says:

    Oh Jenna, you’ve had a fabulous summer! Spending time at your beach house was the perfect plan for you to stay safe and enjoy the summer. So happy the family made it down often to enjoy a lot of fun in the sun days. Wow, 5 months at the beech sounds wonderful! I enjoyed the tour of your daughter’s new home, it’s gorgeous. Love the kitchen so much, the big island and all the windows, fabulous! I’m glad they didn’t have to leave the neighborhood they loved. I am positive you will enjoy doing the special paintings for their home. I’ve missed you, hope we can come up with a plan for a visit this fall……..Happy September sweet friend……

    • Thanks so much Emily, it was fun for me to watch the whole building process and help where I could, they did such a great job decision making and choosing accessories and details…it makes my heart sing to see them so happy, and we already have had some good times there! Staying at the beach for so long was incredible, but I was ready to come back to reality for a while! I do look forward to getting more paintings on those bare walls!

  8. Jenna, how sweet to be able to enjoy r months at your beautiful beach home along with family. Fresh fish is always so tasty. I see you have been busy painting, crafting and more. The stockings are darling. I so enjoyed seeing your daughter’s new home. How spacious and gorgeous it is. You always put on a great spread of food and ai know your guests and family must love you for that. Thanks for taking us along on your travels through your lovely art. Happy September.

    • Thanks so much Linda, and no complaints here, I have had a great summer, and honestly haven’t missed shopping or restaurants, just enjoying the simple life and fulfilling needs from internet shopping! It is such a treat to see my daughter and her family enjoying their new beautiful home!

  9. Rita C. says:

    So much to comment on! Your daughter’s house looks so inviting, even without her finished look. I love the way it’s situated, and those moving glass wall of windows – so perfect for creating a huge indoor/outdoor space.
    Your artwork transports us all, right along with you, the way you share your creativity. And those stockings – adorable!!
    Seriously, your last three months look incredibly full of quality events – close family, close friends, and hobbies you hold close. Perfect.
    Happy September.

    • Thank you Rita, I really did have a fabulous summer, I am so grateful and blessed to be able to be surrounded by my family, and have time to pursue the things I love to do! Did you get much bad weather from Laura? I hope you’re enjoying cooler temps now and touches of fall, I can’t wait to get my hands on some pumpkins!

  10. Jacqueline says:

    I was so happy for you that you got to stay 5 weeks in your beautiful waterfront home! What a treat that was and to have family so much of the time. It was also fun getting to see it over Zoom! You seemed so relaxed – way to Covid it!!!! It sure was fun seeing all of your beautiful paintings that you did through out the summer. You are so talented.
    What a beautiful new house your daughter has! Everything is so fresh and clean. I just love new homes. Thanks for sharing it with us.
    We have done a few social distancing dinners and lunches and it has been so great to connect with friends.

    • Thanks Jackie, I really have had a great summer, it was amazing to stay at the beach for endless days, definitely no stress!! Things are still pretty closed up here, I’m glad things are opening for your state, and I know you are thrilled your Cabo house is finished!

  11. creationsbycindyphotography.blogspot.com says:

    Thank you for the lovely tour of your daughter’s beautiful home. I loved your recap of the last few months. You’ve had some fun times despite COVID and Lord knows we all need fun times. We’ve only had one big extended family gathering since March but I have sure have been so blessed to have my immediate family weekly for Sunday dinner. I am thinking it’s about time for a social distancing dinner or luncheon with some friends though. Happy September sweet lady. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

    • Thanks so much Cindy, and I certainly can’t complain since all I’ve been doing are the things I love 🙂 I’m pretty much a homebody anyway, so as long as I can see my family I’m good! Happy September, and I hope you can have another big family gathering again soon!

  12. Ricki Treleaven says:

    I do love how you are an armchair traveler who’s also an artist! Your travel series is fantastic. The fishing trip was also very successful! 😀 Thanks for sharing your daughter’s beautiful home. I know she and her family must be so happy!!!
    Ono Island is a great place to relax during all the crazy. I wish I could spend more time at the lake. If things get crazier, I’m moving down there more permanently.
    I also love how you had the socially distanced dinner. Good for you! I’m ready to have a party. 😀
    Ricki Jill

    • Thanks Ricki Jill, I can’t tell you how excited I was to have friends over, it felt wonderful!! I really did enjoy endless lazy days at the beach and am so grateful that my family has been around so much. I’m glad you got to escape to Lake Martin, there is nothing better than a water view and a boat ride!

  13. Deb @ Mountain Breaths says:

    Jenna, I know you are very grateful to have a beautiful home on the water where you can enjoy life and your art. I’ve enjoyed seeing travel through your art and always look forward to your posts on your blog and IG.
    Congratulations to your daughter and family on the new home. I’m glad to hear that your sons business is picking up again too. Thanks for taking us on a tour of your daughter’s beautiful home.

    Wishing you a happy and healthy rest of your summer. 💜

    • Thanks so much Deb! My family really has had a great summer, as long as we can get to the beach often and be together we are happy! Things are slowly getting more normal around here with work and school and we’re looking forward to a big Labor Day weekend on the coast. Take care and Happy September and Cheers to new adventures!

  14. Bonnie Morgan says:

    Wow, Jenna! DD’s new home is amazing. That pantry is wonderful! They will enjoy the floor plan and spacious rooms.
    I enjoyed seeing your boat parade and fireworks as well as the haul of fresh snapper! You were fortunate to have a beautiful home on the water to wait out our confinement with Covid. Your days painting, reading, and finishing those gorgeous stockings were fruitful. I loved traveling with you with your water colors. You are so creative.
    Happy September!

    • Thanks so much Bonnie! I really am grateful every day for being able to escape to the coast whenever I want to, days spent down there are so relaxing and during Covid things seem so normal as I watch people enjoying the water and boating. Things are starting to feel more normal in Bham, except for the masks everywhere…how are things where you are?

  15. I’m so glad you have been able to spend time with family and then have a beautiful haven to rest your (very busy) head! You have been so productive. Love the stockings and always your art. Oh, that snapper!!!

  16. Thank you so much Jeanie, I really did have a great summer!

  17. Huacachina says:

    I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve only been able to have one big extended family gathering since March. I know how much you love your family, and I’m sure it’s been hard to be apart from them. But I’m glad to hear that you’ve been able to have weekly Sunday dinners with your immediate family. That’s such a blessing!

  18. I’m so glad you have been able to spend time with family and then have a beautiful haven to rest your (very busy) head!

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