Saturday, we collectively felt, called for a road trip. We, being me, my mom, my Aunt Wanda, Uncle David and cousin Gina. Our destination was Guntersville State Park and where ever else we decided to stop along the way. We got off to a late start and decided that we needed to fuel up by way of food for our adventerous day. Only my mom and I had eaten at The Blue Willow in Scottsboro, and really wanted the rest of our family to try it out for themselves. The Willow is actually in a house that is rich with history, all documented on the back of the restaurant's menu. It is an interesting read while you wait on your meal to arrive. The Blue Willow is also listed in the brouchure by the Department of Alabama tourism, "100 Places to Eat Before you Die" (it's become my purse sized travel guide).
We arrived around 11:30 and found the place to only have 3 or 4 tables of patrons inside, so felt lucky to have arrived before the crowd that can typically be found here. After looking over the menu's I decided that I was going to stick with the sampler platter ($6.95) that I had gotten on my last trip to the Willow with my cousin Beckie and my mom, despite the 100 places brochures recommendation of Sweet Tomatoe Pie. The sampler consist of fruit salad, pineapple wedge, chicken salad, pasta salad, pretzel jello salad and two mini spice muffins. I substituted my chicken salad with the Southern Crunch Salad, which had salad greens, mandarin oranges, sugared pecans and feta cheese with a raspberry vinegarette dressing. My mom and Gina ordered the samplers as well. Wanda and David both opted for the special of the day which was country fried steak with gravy, mashed potaoes, field peas and fried squash. The special was served on Blue Willow China-but of course!
Our meals were served with the infamous bourbon butter and yeast rolls (to die for!) . The place is filled with both antiques and unique gifts. Diners are encouraged to browse the rooms either while they wait for their meals to arrive or after they have finished. There is much to see at the Blue Willow, indoors and out are brimming with treasures, so allow time to roam the rooms and outside areas.
The meals were all delicious and hit the spot just in time to start our journey.
The Blue Willow (home of the Blue Willow Bourbon Butter)
303 East Willow Steet
Scottsboro, Al 35768
Hours: Thurs-Sunday 11-2 Fri & Sat nights 6-8:30
The Blue Willow Caters and Delivers
Our first stop was the Unclaimed Baggage Store (featured on Oprah and previously reviewed by myself here on my blog). We didn't stay long, thus coming up empty handed. The crowds got me. I couldn't do it. I am not a good shopper. I confess. I am not a real woman. (Hangs head in shame) I have gotten to a point in life where if the crowds are to much, it spoils the fun for me. It is to overwhelming. So, we moved on.
We decided to drive past my cousin Beckies house. She lives in Scottsboro on Lake Gunterville. The idea was to just drive past her house, since we had not told her we were in town, we didn't want to "just show up un announced". That would be rude. David, Wanda and Gina had not seen Beckie's home, and my mother and I had told them how dreamy the place was, so they too wanted to see it. We planned for the secret driveby, agreeing we wouldn't drive down the actual road to Beckie's, for that road leads directly to her house. We pulled into her neighborhood and my mother began , "Hmm, I think it is there, through those trees. Look closely." "No mom", I interupted, it is down the road a bit, maybe over there." We topped a medium sized hill, and there...I saw the slender, blond, cute woman coming right at us in a good walking stride. It was Beckie! We all broke out into laughter. We were busted. She approached our vehicle and then realized who we were with great surprise, "Well! What on Earth! What are ya'll up to? Who all is in there?" We all got a good laugh at getting found out, when we were trying to use our best manners. Beckie scolded, "If you hadn't come by, I would've been upset. To not stop by? That would be silly! Let me in the van, come on over to the house!"
Beckie house is a marvel of architechure. What once was a barn shaped house of the 1960-1970's period, complete with dark paneling, red shag carpet, sparce windows and light when Beckie and her husband Shiles purchased it. The house is now a airy, natural light filled open space with white painted pine walls and hardwood floors. All this because of Beckie, Shiles and a good architech's eye to see the "diamond in the rough" and add to the existing home, making it an inhabitable architechural sculpture. Beckie has a gift for decorating. What I find most charming about her home is that everything in it has a story. She has a fondness, like me, for family heirlooms and found travel treasures that she incorporates into her rooms, achieving magazine quality perfection. I really need her to come and work on my house!! Even a short stay at Beckie's home rejouvinates the soul, how could it not with this view?
After a short visit with Beckie and her kitty's we were off to our next stop, Guntersville State Park.
(Stay tuned for part 2 of Road Trip Saturday!)