Deb’s Visit from Buellton, California


So good to have our good friend, Deb here from Buellton, California. Here’s a post from Deb’s perspective:

It’s Friday May 23rd, the day after my birthday, and the plane is landing in Nashville, Tennessee. I am so excited to be visiting my good friends, Eric and Michelle. It’s been a year since my last visit and I am looking forward to treasuring each day, experiencing new adventures, new tastes, and creating new memories in Loretto, Tennessee.

After I landed in Nashville, we kicked off my trip with a birthday dinner at Sperry’s in Franklin. We enjoyed pre dinner cocktails, an amazing scallop potato appetizer, then sat down to a delicious dinner. We had a celebratory toast to friendship.

Upon arriving Eric and Michelle’s farm, known as Summit’s Leap, my upstairs suite awaited me, with birthday gift goodies and fresh knowck-out roses from their backyard. Michelle left me cards she made especially for me.

The Memorial Day weekend is a time to be with family and friends. Michelle and Eric hosted a BBQ with 28 people. It was great to see Michelle’s family again (parents Mary and Don; brother Eric with Helen and the twins, Kira and Nola). So glad to meet Sandi and Freddie, and her good friend Laura from North Carolina, and Suzy from Cali, Joan, Milton and Jenny; Dianne, Emily and Kerry; Kay and Steve. Eric did a great job with the BBQ of chicken and ribs, accompanied by salads and lots of desserts!

On Memorial Day Monday, I was able to attend a salad workshop for Michelle’s little home business, Adventures of Alternative Cooking. I loved the three salads we made: portobella mushroom salad, Asian cabbage salad and Thai chicken salad.  Michelle was able to incorporate carrots, green onions and some herbs from their garden.

I got to take part in feeding the horses and riding Patriot in the arena.

I enjoyed a girl’s slumber party with Michelle, Sandi and Laura at Dianne’s Lake House in Florence, Alabama (on Lake Wilson). There is nothing better than being silly with your friends and laughing until you have tears streaming down your eyes. First time I got to taste Michelle’s home made banana ice cream. What a great time we had!


Being on vacation still means getting some exercise. Michelle invited me to her energized exercise class in Lawrenceburg on Wednesday. Their instructor, Marilyn, makes it fun and incorporates music into the exercise routine. After exercising, we counteracted our efforts by dining at Loretto’s new local pizzeria called Nana’s, for some delicious brick-oven pizza.

I also attended the local Lioness Club meeting with Michelle and met the mayor of Loretto and other city officials. The town pride was evident. It’s a great feeling to see the community pull together to attract visitors and foster growth.

I love playing card games and it’s been fun playing cribbage with Eric and learning 5 Crowns and Canasta. Another highlight was going to Bunco at Dianne’s house.  So much fun playing outside and listening to the girls talk about how much they loved to take their families to the beach (Gulf Shores and Desda). Being raised in Santa Barbara, California, and being able to go to the beach anytime really puts it in perspective. It makes me realize how fortunate I am to live in a wonderful city with mountains on one side and the ocean on the other. Thank goodness we don’t have the humidity like Tennessee!

My second weekend Eric and Michelle took me to Ethridge to visit the Amish country. Our first stop was at an Amish Gallery where Eric bought Michelle a beautiful rosewood ring box and I purchased homemade cashew brittle. Then they took me through the Amish neighborhood stopping off at individual homes offering canned good, fresh veggies, soap and decorative handmade baskets. We then headed to downtown Lawrenceburg and walked the Heritage Festival.

Our evening focused on the celebration of Eric’s upcoming birthday (June 6th) with a fabulous steak dinner and seeing his surprise and happiness at the great plane tool Michelle got him to accompany his saw tool. Of course, I shipped some California wine for my special friend Eric. Michelle made a great crisp apple dish and homemade banana ice cream for dessert. Just a wonderful day having dinner outside overlooking the meadows. Happy Birthday wishes to Eric!

To end my wonderful vacation here, we were invited over to Dianne’s for a shrimp boil! What a treat for me; they served ten  pounds of fresh shrimp, corn, potatoes and sausage in a huge serving bowl accompanied by fresh salads and fruit.

I am honored to have met Michelle and Eric’s friends. I feel like family here; experiencing farm life, seeing how they grow their veggies; planting new flowers, enjoying the animals (dogs, horses and cats) and even doing some of the maintenance like pulling weeds from the herb garden. I got to see many beautiful birds and even enjoyed some summer rain and thunder.

I will treasure this year’s trip and look forward to future visits to Loretto, Tennessee, especially, being spoiled by Eric and Michelle with their home cooked meals, from our morning coffee together, to breakfast fritattas, crustless spinach quiche, tequila chicken, black beans and black rice, and delicious steaks on the BBQ.


One Response to “Deb’s Visit from Buellton, California”

  1. 1 Dianne Brown

    I loved seeing all of your pictures and beautiful story about your trip. Also enjoyed being with you all! Take care, will see you again. Love DianneD

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