Love Letter to…Clutter Savannah

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Clutter, Clutter, CLUTTER!!!!

How do I love thee, let me count the ways:

1) Because you know my personality so well,

2) Because you know how to dress (my house!),

3) Because you always know how to bring out the best in me, errr, my home(!),

4) Because you make me push my (design) limits,

5) Because you make me try something new,

6) Because you remind me of what I love — rehashing and rearranging my favorite things in a new way!

Lynn, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU(!!!) for helping so much at my new old house in Thunderbolt (and Ardsley!!). I honestly would never have tried the furniture arrangement if it weren’t for you! 

Here’s a glimpse of some of Lynn’s BRILLIANT work at my Thunderbolt digs.

If you don’t know Lynn, her daughter Brooke, and Johnny, their crew is insanely talented. Not only does their retail outfit offer personalized design services (including staging, and fluffing what you already have), the store offers beautiful lighting options, furniture, original art, photography, and a plethora of gorgeous consignment pieces that all have their own style and patina (read: no mass-produced junk from China). It really is one of my favorite places to go in town (and now that Maison de Macaroons has moved downtown, I no longer need to stay away!).

This is my first love letter to Clutter. I hope you all won’t gag or roll your eyes when I say that THERE WILL BE MORE!

Here we go on IOH (I hope!)

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Tomorrow is the day!

Busy at Isle of Hope - our variance hearing is tomorrow

Busy at Isle of Hope – our variance hearing is tomorrow


I closed on my  lot after some difficulty on water and sewer requirements/ approval with the help of Joel Gerber’s excellent research team at Brannen, Searcy, & Smith LLP. Something to do with being able to connect to water and sewer  (call me crazy but thought this would be important).

After much debate with friends, fellow Realtors, and family members over tiny house plans I was interested in, Jeff Whitlow at Whitlow Construction, finally set me straight. Jeff convinced me that building a little larger (and opening up my pockets a bit more) was the better plan for long term, even if its a little (179 square feet)  than I had wanted. 

Since I have a background in city planning, you might expect that I’d be a huge proponent of the tiny house movement.  I am! Getting rid of your material burdens, or “stuff”, has allowed me more flexibility in my day-to-day life, work choices, and somehow this all equals out to mean more FUN for me. And that’s why it matters the most to me!  

I’ve gone from 1550 sf bungalow in Atlanta, to a 1300 sf cottage in Ardsley Park, to a my new old house in Thunderbolt,.  I really don’t use the spare bedroom at all anymore (except for Eve, the foster kitty that is missing one toe!) so I really think I’m ready to go smaller. BUT ALAS! The voice of reason sounding in the back of my head….something about everyone else who wants to live in Isle of Hope may not want 843 square feet!

When I go to RESELL, I want a plan that will speak to many potential clients.   I hate to say this, but I decided that an 843 square foot house plan by Southern Living was probably just TOO SMALL for the majority of people looking. Even though I was, (AM, still IN LOVE with the home), I realized the plan would probably not sell as well as the Allison Ramsey plan called the Beaufort River Cottage.

The Beaufort River Cottage is a two bedroom, two bath home has a deep front porch to welcome you home, an airy open-living concept for the living-dining-kitchen, and a built–in storage shed off the back of the home. Its absolutely PERFECT for anyone from a first time homebuyer to a vacation homeowner! Really a flexible plan to suit many lifestyles ALL WITHIN .7 MILE OF THE BLUFF! So…I decided to go for it. Here’s a picture of the cottage that another builder did:

Here's the house! Isle of Hope, here we (hopefully) come!

Here’s the house! Isle of Hope, here we (hopefully) come!

So tomorrow is the big day! We have a variance hearing on the cottage before we can get our building permit. I’m new to all this so I thought blogging about it would help me clarify the details and maybe allow me to share something with y’all as well!

savannah homes

The cottage has hardi-plank siding and I’ll will do a horizontal strip to protect the crawl space (no girly lattice for me!). I especially like the built-in storage that is to the right of the stairway. No need to fuss with building a shed!

Here’s the scruff: Setback requirements for unincorporated Chatham County say that we have to build 55′ back off the road. Since the little dirt road that is Government Road (don’t get me started on the name!), is only 15′ wide, we are asking for a setback variance so we will not be pushed even further back towards the rear lot line of the lot.

I will keep the blog posted with our progress! In the meantime, fingers crossed!

Dining out with the Pups

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Vinnie Van Go Go Pizza

Casey, Sadie, Katherine, Tango, Laurie, & Tondee at Vinnie Van Go-Go’s Pizza

I’ve got to hand it to Savannah businesses and restaurants. They KNOW that fur babies are a huge part of our guests’ lives and cater to make even the dogs welcome!

Here’s a recent picture with my friends out at Vinnie Van Go-Go’s Pizza down in City Market. Vinnie’s team is always very friendly towards dogs and allows you to dine al fresco with your pooch. They will bring out water for your dogs as well!  Whether you decide to give Fido the crust off your slice is up to you!

Here’s a good tip for dog-owners: when in doubt, CALL! Most restaurants with outdoor seating will allow you to have your dog outside but some places have rules about sizes. Check out our other Fido-Friendly Savannah tips throughout the blog.

A Busy Bee’s Summer Bucket List

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25 Ideas for Your Savannah Stay

I’ve been wanting to explore the many places that surround Savannah as well as take advantage of the experiences that can be only found in our lowcountry environment.  My friend, Molly’s son, Cal (5), gave me the brilliant idea to do a Summer Bucket List so that I will never have to say “I wish I’d done that – I’ve always wanted to.”  Cal, by the way, knocked off a couple of items on his bucket list while he was down visiting at Tybee Island. He rode in a golf cart and went on the Tybee Pier which were both on his bucket list for summer.

What a little inspiration he was to me!

I got out my pen and paper and started jotting down what I want to do this summer.

Without further ado, I give you the 2013 Busy Bee Summer Bucket List:

1. Mud Run with friends

2. Read “Savannah in the Time of Peter Tondee”

3. See a movie at the Lucas and then get Leopold’s Ice Cream after

4. Learn a History Lesson at a Georgia State Park

5. Bingo at the Tybee Island Legion

6. SCAD Museum

7. Take a Trolley Tour

8. Explore Darien, Georgia

9. Take  Ocean Highway (GA 17) fom Darien to Brunswick, Georgia

10. Watch a sunrise at Tybee

11. Camp at Little Tybee

12. Kayak under a full moon

13. Watch a turtle hatch

14. Go to Marshside Mamas on Daufuskie

15. Catch a big fish!

16. Go to a music festival like the Summer Solstice Festival

17. At LEAST one Floatilla

18. Watch the fireworks on the 4th of July

19. Stand Up Paddle Board in the waves at Tybee

20. Concoct a signature libation

21. Go to a Sand Gnats game

22. Do the Midnight Garden Ride (again) with the Savannah Bicycle Campaign

23. Cabaret at the Lucas

24. Big day on Wassau Island

25. Explore Cumberland Island

This is what I have so far!

Please feel free to comment and let me know what I may be missing out on. I’d love to hear your ideas and suggestions to further enhance my summer.

Best, Laurie d.

Savanah Is Full Of Puppy Love!

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Just as you’d expect, Savannah is all welcoming and overflowing with Southern charm and graciousness.  This city is so warm with affection, it’s no wonder Savannah is full of puppy love, too!

Tondee at the greening of the Savannah fountain

Here at Busy Bee Vacations, we know your dog is just like a member of the family and we want to be tops on your list for pet friendly travel.  Whether it’s just you and your dog or a big group with a wag pack, we’ve got just the right cottage or townhome for your visit.  Just take a look at how we can make your visit something to bark about! Continue Reading »

Savannah Music Scene

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Just like Gloria Estefan once sang, “The rhythm is gonna get you…” and our Savannah music scene is going to get you good!

This year’s Savannah Music Festival is in full swing with pianos, trios, quartets, big bands, blue grass and, of course, all that jazz.  Music is in the air, Savannah is on parade and you just can’t beat our low country vibe in the spring.  Don’t hesitate for a second thinking you’ll never find a place to stay because Busy Bee Vacations still has some dates open.  For instance, come on down to The Roost!  Continue Reading »

Savannah To A Tee

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The flowers are blooming, the spring fashions are popping and Savannah has never looked lovelier!  You know, Spring just suits Savannah to a Tee and Busy Bee Vacations knows just how to get you in the swing of things!

Savannah in Spring

The PGA Champions Tour Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf will be held in Savannah April 22-28, 2013.  The tour starts off that Monday with the Demaret Division, featuring some of golf’s living legends.  This PGA Champions Tour event provides an entire week of exciting golf action. Continue Reading »