I, Ladyhattan, was born in New York. But despite what my birth certificate says, I often get the remark, “are you from the South?”… and Yes, I’ll take that as a compliment, ladies! Whether it’s my love for garden parties, big hats, sweet tea, outgoing spirit or platinum blonde locks, I guess I’m a Yankee with a southern heart. Growing up as a little girl with frequent trips down to family homes in South Carolina, my love affair with the south started at an early age. After I graduated from Harvard and dealt with more blizzards than I can count, I ventured down to Georgia and Texas for a few years. These were some of the best years of my life – rocking cowboy boots, following college football like it was my fulltime job, having my first crawfish boil and of course, attending the good old rodeo! Although I’m finally settled back in my home sweet home of NYC, a part of me wants to keep holding onto my warmer roots. And I will. With the help of JetBlue’s new direct flights to Charleston, I am determined to be a more regular smiling face in South Carolina. So in preparation for my upcoming escape to Charleston, let me share with you my top 10 reasons why I just love the South oh so much! Perhaps you too will be inspired to make a weekend trip southbound. And if so, check-out JetBlue’s new direct flights from NYC to Charleston airport! Guess what? I found my roundtrip ticket for $148. A lady doesn’t lie. Get ready for a Charleston, South Carolina feature coming at Y’ALL this weekend! Yee-haw for some much needed sunshine and sweet tea! Until then, here is the best of Ladyhattan’s version of southern living!
10 Reasons to Love the South
1. Sweet tea on sweet tea! Sweet tea is served like water at the table in my favorite southern states. I can’t explain why it tastes so good and refreshing on a hot summer day, but it just does. Perhaps it’s the sugar and dash of fresh mint from the garden. Click here for a yummy recipe that you can try for your next BBQ or Garden Party.
Live oak trees covered by Spanish moss
2. What is it with those magical trees everywhere? Why did we all weep over movies like the Notebook and Gone with the Wind? Those trees had something to do with setting the perfect “scene” for the ultimate love story. Just like we find beauty in natural sites like the ocean and mountains, there is something absolutely phenomenal about the history of these trees. Still lost on the concept of Spanish Moss, click here.
3. But seriously, why is the football just so much better in the land of the south? And when I mean football, what I’m really talking about is the tailgating and camaraderie of the season! It’s a different world down there – and I love it! During my first trip to a restaurant in the south, I remember the waitress asking me what kind of “cup” I wanted to drink out of. What kind of cup? What in the world is she taking about — I’ll drink out of a normal cup? No. I had to make a choice. A very serious choice. Did I want an Alabama cup, a Florida cup, Georgia Cup, or a Carolina Cup?… I went with the South Carolina cup – go Cocks!
Historic homes and fireplaces
4. I love fireplaces, especially old historic ones with lots of charm. The south is filled with old homes rich with history. It’s always fun to find an old house that has a breathtaking fireplace right there in the bathroom! This is every ladies dream! Who needs a bubble bath with candles when you can just light a roaring firing? Check out this tour by Southern Living Magazine featuring the best historic homes of the south!
The Southern Gentleman
5. There’s no such thing as a “Northern Gentleman” for a reason, ladies. For my single gals who date in NYC – yeah we all know – it’s a nightmare! Why do you think they created the TV show, Sex and the City? Did you know there was even a REAL “Mr.Big” in NYC? Check it out. Who doesn’t love a Southern Gentleman… bonus points for the gentleman who rocks a seersucker suit! I think of my many (oops, I said it) boyfriends prior to getting hitched, 9 out of 10 of them have been southern! Funny thing is that I married a Midwesterner – hey, they are sweet and handsome too!
Golf Courses built for a Queen
6. Plenty of courses for a lady to learn how to swing a golf club. I’m eager to learn the game of golf. It’s a great way to socialize and compete with professionals or friends. Plus, the new Nike women’s line of golf clothes is pretty great too! Win win! The south boasts some of the most spectacular golf courses in the world and I’m excited to start practicing my swing on a few of them. Check out the clothes that make me want to golf at Nike – click here!
READING A GOOD BOOK ON A PORCH
7. Yes, it’s the simple things. A New Yorker can find peace and solitude in a classic wraparound porch. Imagine reading a book on a breezy February afternoon from your porch? Beats walking through a blizzard to the office. Need more porch inspiration? Click here!
8. That soul food, girl! Try some of those shrimp and grits next time you trek below the Mason-Dixon line and you’ll know what I’m talking about! Here is a link to a great recipe to try at home if you aren’t getting down south anytime soon! Click here for details.
Big Hats & Boots for Every Occasion
9. Hats, hats, hats and boots! Ladyhattan style brought to life. How sweet it is to wear a hat to a garden party and not catch the awkward reaction, “wait, this isn’t a derby party?” Derby or not, you can be a boss lady and wear a hat down south whenever you please. So I will. All day long. As for the boots… well, if you honestly had a choice and comfort was your only concern – would you go with the 4 inch Louboutin stilettos or the broken-in cowboy boots? Case closed. My favorite pair of cowboy boots come from Old Gringo and I have had my party hats custom designed by Dina Makowsky — you can shop her online store here!
Space for big dreams… and big homes
10. Last but not least – the south has the space for all your dreams. Living in New York City is great – I love it, I really do and I will likely be here forever! But no matter how much money you spend on an apartment, it’s never going to be quite that large. Simply put, there is just not enough space on the island of Manhattan (or even Brooklyn and Queens) to build your dream home. If you want to better understand what it means to live in “small spaces” in NYC, please watch this video – it’s incredible – click here! Would you ever want to live in the White House? If you answered yes, and if your chances of winning the next presidential election are looking slim, then just build your own White House down south — because unfortunately ladies, you just can’t get homes like this in NYC! I guess that’s the price you pay to be a City chick!
All packed and ready to go – back down South for a few days of relaxing from the daily grind we ladies face in NYC. I look forward to sharing with you some of my favorite spots and things to explore in Charleston, SC!