Driving Our Vision - Open Road Tour

Sunshine and Gratitude

Independence Day has a double meaning for us this weekend. It is also our declaration of independence to leave behind our stick house for one in perpetual motion. The opportunity to be of the world, rather than simply on it.

It’s raining now. Again. So, the “sunshine” of Sunshine and Gratitude seems a misnomer. But, somehow, upon reflection, it fits still. The smiles of the people listening to the music. The camaraderie of the 75 exhibitors; a brief community of like-minded individuals who come together to share their passions. A family of artists, if only for a moment.

We have joined a community of people who want to share their passions with the world and have found a way to do just that. They are characters of their own making and their stories are as varied as are they. We have been blessed to have such wonderful neighbors as Alicia with the purses. She’s from Argentina and lives in Miami. Miss Alicia took care of us like a mother hen.

In the heat of Georgia’s summer, she loaned us a table fan to keep us cool. When rain threatened on Saturday, July 4th, she offered her tent as shelter for Matt’s equipment. When the rains came and our canopy bowed in, Alicia and her daughter dumped the water off. We arrived on the third and last day to a dry canopy and the little amp wrapped securely in a plastic IKEA bag thanks to our neighbors. You’d think the story ended there, but Alicia shared the contact information for her good shows and my favorite part…she taught us about trading within the festival circuit. I got a lovely new top for the price of three CDs. Alicia is a gem and if you’re looking for a great machine-washable purse, tote, bag, top, or dress.

Please check out Alicia’s stuff at https://www.etsy.com/people/treasuresbyalicia# or if you’re really up for an adventure, come find her at a show somewhere in Georgia or Florida this summer.

Across from us were Lillie and Luna, a shabby chic boutique, whose core selling item was the Kudu Clip. If you’re old enough to remember the banana clips from the 80s; these are so much better! They’re better for your hair and your wallet because, for one thing, they don’t break. If you have thick hair like I do or just a LOT of fine hair, these clips bend and stretch leaving no wisp untethered. I loved my first one so much, I got a second because, well, they’re AWESOME! Beyond the clips, Samantha (Sam) is an artist with stone silk wrap bracelets and necklaces. I could have stayed all day in her booth, but we just won’t have that kind of room in the RV.

Sam and her husband, Greg, also from Florida were just great people. Though we knew going into this lifestyle half the fun would be meeting people who shared and understood this lifestyle, I still get excited and tell Matt, we need to hang out with them! Whether you’re looking for gifts, something to keep your hair up in these sultry summer months, or just want to check out what they’re up to or where they’re going, check out their website at http://www.lillieandluna.com/shop/.

It’s not just the exhibitors that make a festival, it’s also the visitors and guests. It has been such a delight to meet the people from St. Simons Island, Brunswick, Atlanta, and other Georgia cities, as well as those from Tennessee, Arkansas, and so many other locales. Whether the guests simply stopped and listened or bought a CD or three, we felt a sense of belonging and a desire to return. Whether the return is next year for the festival or sometime for a holiday so we can really enjoy the area, we look forward to either and both.

Our festival family is being built and for our first stop out of the gate, St. Simons Island’s 4th of July Sunshine Art and Craft Festival has been a great start. If you missed your chance to grab a CD or wish to download another album, please visit: http://www.vibedeck.com/nowordsrequired.

A few tips should you find yourself in the area:

Red Roof Inn in Brunswick of I-95 is pet friendly and your pet stays free. There are also some pet friendly accomodations on St. Simons Island, but be sure to book early as they fill up fast.

Iguanas Seafood Restaurant on Mallery Street has been our go-to place for dinner two times out of three after the gig. They offer outdoor seating which is pet-friendly and they are, shrimply fabulous. Can you guess which type of fish is their specialty? Oh, and if you’re not too full after dinner, they offer free soft-serve ice cream. http://www.iguanasseafood.com/#about

Tailwaggers is a doggy daycare, grooming, and boarding facility in St. Simons Island. They offer half and full-day daycare, overnight boarding, grooming, training, and are a boutique and bakery for all things dog. Della loved her time there and always came back to us happily exhausted. http://www.islandtailwaggers.com/

We would like to thank the organizers, Lynda and Christina, of the Pier Village Association and the people of St. Simons Island for welcoming us into the 57th Annual St. Simons Sunshine Festival.

Next stop – Art in the Park – Plymouth, Michigan – July 10-12, 2015. Follow us on the road as we drive to Savannah, Georgia tomorrow for some famous Leopold’s ice cream and a stroll through Forsythe Park on our way to Michigan.



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