Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Roadtrip to Leeds

My day in Leeds, Alabama was a nice little ride. I remember as a kid my brother and I piling into the car on a Sunday for a "drive" with my parents. That drive always took us to "nowhere". We hated it. But today, I love those little drives in which you don't know where you are going or where the road might take you. What neat places you will happen upon. And I love being with my mom, who was my traveling companion on this day.

Well, come on, you too can climb on into my 1958 Corvette convertable
(yeah, it is a virtual trip so I figure, why not...for all it's worth)
Don't worry about the wind in your hair. Enjoy it and live a little! And come along for a road trip with me to Leeds.

This home was the first that caught my eye.

Sitting on a huge piece of property, with a grand fireplace in back, it would be the perfect setting for a party. And then I saw the sign...apparently you can have a party there! If you do, please invite me!

Hey, perhaps we can convince the Sonnet House to hold an Southern Blogger Convention there and we can all go and then blog about it. I really want to attend a party at this location. Just look at the large porch. I can imagine a large glass of lemonade being sipped as I rocked in a rocker that overlooked the jazz band would be quite divine!

Soon enough, we arrive in Leeds. Look at the quaint little town and the historic buildings. A hopping little place on a Saturday afternoon!

And please, notice that every single streetlamp waves old glory and a huge basket of floral beauty. Sweet potato vine almost touches the sidewalk below.

Oh! Look here!

This is the old train depot in Leeds. My family, in case you didn't already know from reading my blog (search trains), has a grand fascination with trains. Really, it is a genetic trait, I am convinced. So, for family acknowledgement and tradition, I had to get the shot!
These are two beautiful old homes in Leeds. One has been given alot of love

and one I would love to see some TLC to restore her to her proper glory.

I can imagine one day she was quite a place. She sits just across from the depot. I imagine years ago, perhaps it was a bed and breakfast to weary travelers. Perhaps a fancy restaurant? I wish I knew. If you do, please tell me! I cannot help but be curious of the previous owners. The kind of people they were, what their lives were like. Why they moved. I guess it is one of those cases of, "If walls could talk". I sure would have had a bent ear!
Across from the Depot is The Straw Hat, a precious little shop that offers the finest in ladies' clothes and accessories, with special attention paid to you by the most delightful shop owners.

The Straw Hat has been in business since 1999 and operated in Leeds, AL since 2007. All of the clothes at Straw Hat are machine or hand washable and easy to care for, with new styles coming in year-round. Online shopping is available, but if you can’t find what you’re looking for, call them at 205-699-1606 or send an email to thestrawhat@gmail.com.
Store owners Randa and Charlene (pictured below) will do their best to find it!

The Straw Hat is housed in what was once the tobacconist’s shop, and before that, a livery stable. They invite customers to stop by to see pictures of the building from those days and the renovation, to sip a cup of coffee or glass of wine, or just sit and chit-chat. I wish I would've thought to inquire about the house next door. Next trip, perhaps.
On the day my mother and I were there, a thunderstorm rolled in. That summer rainstorm made the most wonderful sound on the tin roof overhead. I commented to Charlene that I could just fall asleep listening to it. As you walk into the Straw Hat there is an over sized couch, white and inviting. Charlene said, "Well go up front and lay down on the sofa and doze. We don't mind. I could do that too just listening to that!" I didn't doze, but I did manage to find something to purchase. It wasn't hard in a store full of apparel eye candy. I got this top in white and also one in black.

I couldn't resist. It was 30% off. I thought it was a very classic, timeless piece. One I can really wear forever! The material rocks! I already have a black skirt almost identical. I also got the coolest brown top. The collar is crocheted and will match a crocheted skirt I have. I like the material it is made of, very stretchy and comfy. If you go into the store you must check out the killer shoes they carry, Like none I had ever seen. But my budget was met for the day and I didn't want to have to do any "splanning" to Big Daddy when I got home.
Charlene told me, as I was checking out, that if you sign up for their mailing list they will send you a $25.00 gift coupon on your birthday. Mine is just around the corner, so I look forward to receiving mine. I already have in mind what I may get on my next visit to the Straw Hat.
On my way out the door, I spotted some t-shirts in a straw basket, with a drawing of the town of Leeds and it's stores on the back. "You can each have one on us!" Randa spoke up. How kind is that?
Be it shopping, or shooting the breeze, The Straw Hat is certainly a fun place to temporarily hang your hat!
Be sure and tell Randa and Charlene that Leigh sent cha!

8334 Thornton AvenueLeeds, AL 35094
(205) 699-1606
Get directions
More information »Open Weekdays 10am-5pm; Sat 10am-4pm

And that my friends is the road trip to Leeds. Notice I didn't take any wrong turns, or this tale could've turned into one of those horror stories! I had a delightful visit, but it is time to return the 'Vette for if I am late again, they will only loan out the 89 Honda Civic on my next virtual ride.
Until next road trip!
Bye Hon!


"J" said...

Sounds like a FUN trip!!!! =) I love small little road trips!!!


Yes on the blog event! That would be sooooooooooooooooo cool!!!! =) It would be fun for all of us to meet up!

Anonymous said...

Dear Leigh,
How delightful is your blog and the kind words about the Straw Hat. That sweet advertising is absolutely priceless. Believe me, you and your Mom were wonderful and the pleasure was all ours. We do look forward to seeing you soon. Happy Birthday on August 4th, your card is surely in the mail.
Charlene and Randa

jennifer said...


Leeds is one of my Mom's stomping grounds. We have family that lives there still. Interesting characters all!

I left you blog love in the form of an award on my site!!


Keetha said...

That first house is GORGEOUS!!!!

tricki_nicki said...

Leigh, I haven't been here for ages (it feels like)! You're a mad poster. I go away for a week...it's going to take me another week to get caught up!

I wish I could be southern and come to your party. I should have been, you know. Southern, that is. I have an entry in the works about it. Somehow I was switched at birth and my southern family is living with a boring girl from Seattle.

JennV said...

Great pictures of Leeds! Makes me want to hop in the car and head off that way today! Alas, I'll be heading in the Other direction entirely for a wedding instead. The Sonnet House is where a friend of mine got married in June! She has had nothing but great things to say about it and it's just a gawgeous on the inside as on the outside! If I can find the blog with her wedding pics on it, I'll post it to you so you can see their red bath tub.


Anonymous said...

I LOVE Leeds. If I weren't already married, I'd go to Sonnet House and get married. Maybe I can talk him into it again LOL