Driving along the Gulf on Highway 98, we felt the tug to make the turn onto Magnolia Bluff, toward our former sweet home on the bay. That’s when the first wave of nostalgia hit, and the true knowing that we have forever closed that chapter of our lives.
Trying To Capture The Feeling
We spent several days in a cozy house in Apalachicola, thanks to the kindness of a dear friend of my parents. It gave us the opportunity to say goodbye to this picturesque, authentic, rough-around-the-edges town that has managed to avoid the blight and the conveniences of progress.
My dad was born in Apalachicola, as was my grandfather. I’ve been coming to Apalachicola since before I was born. And for the past two decades, Eric and I have come here together to visit my folks.
Although we never planned to live here, this was our home for the past three years. Looking back, we’re grateful that we landed in a place that provided safe harbor during a time that was extraordinarily painful and challenging, both personally and globally.
There is much that we will miss about this area—the utter lack of traffic, for one. The peace and quiet and dark night skies. The exquisite sunsets over the bay. The incredible bird life. The uniqueness of a truly small town, where everyone knows everyone, which is delightful—and also means you better watch what you say.
The truth is, I don’t know how to capture in a post all that this town means to us. And I don’t really think it’s possible. I’ve lived many places in my life, and traveled to far more. There are a handful that are part of the fabric of my soul, and Apalachicola is one of them.
A Walk Around Town
So I’m going to take you on a photo tour, much like the walking tour that Eric and I created for ourselves back in 2020. We’ve walked variations of this five-mile meandering loop countless times, always finding something to catch our interest.
A Working Waterfront
Strolling along the waterfront makes it obvious that this is a working fishing town. It’s certainly not prettied up for the tourists who come to Apalachicola to experience the “Real Florida.” But that’s part of what makes it authentic, and picturesque.
Apalachicola was once the third busiest port on the Gulf Coast, first as a major cotton trading center, and later as a lumber producing and seafood processing center. Seafood still reigns as the primary industry here, evidenced by 10-foot tall mountains of oyster shells tossed out by the oyster shucking houses and the shrimp boats docked along the waterfront.
Hurricanes sweep through, and although the town has mostly been spared, buildings along the waterfront that were devastated remain…sometimes for decades. Nothing in Apalachicola happens quickly. It’s just how things are.
The Historic Downtown
The wide streets of Apalachicola’s historic downtown offer expansive views of the waterfront. Former cotton warehouses, ship chandleries, and other historic buildings now house art galleries, eclectic boutiques, bars, music venues, and restaurants. Sadly, although there is fantastic fresh seafood readily available, there are currently no great restaurants in town. Which is why we mostly ate at home for three years. Restaurant owners have a hard time finding help.
Click on photos for a larger image
The Working Fleet
Wandering The Historic Neighborhoods
Apalachicola boasts more than 900 historic homes and buildings dating back to the 1830s. We always enjoy wandering the tree-shaded streets of the historic district, admiring the beautifully restored homes originally built by sea captains, river pilots, and lumber barons. The advent of railroads, the Civil War, and the demise of cotton plantations had an adverse effect on the town’s export trade, which led to its isolation and economic hardship.
A town that is “forgotten” for more than a hundred years has the benefit of retaining its historic personality.
There are always fun things to discover in the neighborhoods.
We’ll Be Back
It was not easy to say goodbye to Apalachicola. And it was not easy to say goodbye to our friends Shannon and Ken, who have been with us from the very beginning of our unexpected long, long stay in the area. We feel certain that we’ve made a good decision in moving to North Carolina…but we’ve already booked a week’s stay at an Airbnb in Apalachicola in October. This is a place we just can’t totally let go of.
Wow! I had no idea your history ran so deep in Apalachicola!! It must be very hard to leave such a beautiful place but having new adventures on the horizon hopefully will help those sad feelings. I loved the tour of “your town!”
Thank you, Janna. Apalachicola really is an interesting town, and of course, having so much of my family history rooted there makes it even more special for me. But we do feel like we’ve made a good decision in moving to North Carolina. Updates coming soon! :-)
I love every single photo you posted. The town looks so quaint and peaceful feeling. Thank you as always for sharing your adventures.
I’m so glad you enjoyed the photos, Christine. It’s hard to capture in photos and words a town that holds so many decades of memories for me. It definitely is quaint and peaceful. Thanks for coming along with us in this new chapter of our adventures. I hope you’re doing well!
Totally agree with Janna and Christine, what a wonderfully informative beautiful tribute to a Floridian town “outside of the mainstream” of tourists. Hope it keeps its “shabby chic” character!
“Shabby chic” is a perfect description of Apalachicola, Terri! Although I sometimes wish that someone would just clean up the buildings that are falling down, there’s also something picturesque about them and the rusty old shrimp boats. By the way, any news on your tiny house project?
So glad we got a tiny slice of Apalachicola while we were there. We found the town enchanting, and the tour guides top-notch. 😊 Here’s to joy in your new adventure!
Janie, we’re so happy that you and Russ came to visit us while we still had our home on the bay! We were delighted to show you around, and regret that we moved right when you were planning a return visit. Thanks so much for your good wishes. Hope you two are enjoying time at home after your winter travels. We would love to meet up with you somewhere!
As beautifully preserved and showcased here on your blog as it is in our memories of being there with you. I can feel the salt breezes and smell the water and hear the birds, and I know it will always hold a primordial piece of your soul. Even though we first met in beautiful Catalina S.P. and planned to meet again next in Utah’s national parks, I’m glad Apalachicola was where we got to spend the most time together (so far!) It will forever remain a magical memory in my heart.
Oh, dear Sister Wife, the time we spent together at our home on the bay was wonderful and memorable, despite a stupid pandemic that kept us socializing outdoors in the COLD. We’re so glad that you and TBG came to visit and that we were able to share Apalachicola with you. Your visit was a bright interlude in a time that was very challenging. And you two really understood the appeal of the incredible nature that surrounded us. (Sorry about that tick you left with, though.)
We are currently plotting a west coast trip for sometime next year…we want to see you guys!
I can see why it was easy to live there. If it weren’t for the hot summers, and hurricanes it looks like a lovely place to live. That oak is phenomenal, and what a sweet house for your Dad to arrive in life.
It’s good to take your time disengaging, knowing you can always visit, and won’t have yard work to do.
Happy trails to you both.
Sheila, it really was a delightful place to live, in so many ways. Except, as you said, for the hot summers and the threat of hurricanes, which weighed heavily in our decision. The lack of a decent grocery store and other amenities also played a role, I must admit.
It’s nice to know that we can return for a week or two to enjoy Apalachicola, but that we won’t have to deal with the day-to-day challenges of such a small, remote town. I know you understand, since you live on Lopez—but at least you have the benefit of great local food available on the island!
Laurel, you captured this wonderful little village beautifully. We totally agree with you, it is a delightful place to spend as much time as possible just enjoying the atmosphere. We have also been there several times. Our favorites are Lynns, walking through the cemetery, and enjoying a tasty beer or Oyster City Brewing. Of course just walking around town is a lot of fun too. Thanks for sharing. Jim
Hi Jim, great to hear from you! I wish that you and Carmen had been able to visit during the three years we were in Apalachicola. I know you understand how lovely and unique it is.
My little photo tour only captured some of what we love about the area. I completely agree with you that Oyster City Brewing is fantastic, and the cemetery is fascinating. Lynn’s was just a couple of miles from our house and was one of our regular stops for fresh seafood, along with Thirteen Mile in town. We miss that fantastic shrimp, snapper, and oysters! Hope you two are doing well, I’ve been enjoying your tales of Alaska.
What a beautiful story, Laurel. Having visited Apalachicola for the first time back in 2002 and then again to visit you and Eric in person so long ago, it was wonderful seeing photos of things I remember from being there. I can imagine how difficult it is to leave it all behind, but I am sure leaving behind Lopez Island and Ashland had as much difficulty as well, or maybe close. You two have friends all over the country, but as you know, getting across this wide land gets to be more and more difficult as the years go by. Looking forward to seeing the rest of the story about your new digs.
Sue, we were delighted that we were able to meet up with you and Mo and Mattie in Apalachicola. I’m sorry that was before we were living there, because we would have loved hosting you at our sweet spot on the bay! You are absolutely right that Ashland and Lopez Island are two other places that will forever be “home.” We’re hoping to find the same in North Carolina.
And yes, you’re right…it does feel more difficult now to make that long cross-country trip. I’m thinking part of it has to do with the fact that we’ve had so much change over the past three years, and part of it is that we’ve made that journey at least 10 times. But we’re starting to feel inspired to travel west again, perhaps in summer/fall 2024. We would love to finally kayak with you and Mo!
Thank you two for sharing with us your “Sweet Apalachicola”. I don’t think we would have ever known about this beautiful old Florida town if you had not invited us to visit. Hope to return the welcome next week, as you two drive south to Bluffton, SC to be in our town. Ed and Diana
Aww, we were thrilled that you and Ed came to visit us, Diana! It was so wonderful to share Apalachicola with you. As you know, we are SO excited that we’ll finally be visiting you in your beautiful hometown of Bluffton! Now that we’re closer, we expect to be spending a lot more time with you guys. You can’t get rid of us, LOL.
I had no idea Apalachicola is such a cool place. Lacking any real knowledge of the place, I assumed it’s like the rest of Florida, crowded, paved and commercialized. It’s good to see this remains. Thank you for the tour.
Allison, I think you would really enjoy Apalachicola. It’s radically different from the image that many people have of Florida. I hope it manages to stay as beautiful, authentic, and peaceful as it is now. Although a better grocery store would be a welcome addition, that means the downside that comes with progress, LOL. Here’s hoping North Carolina is a good compromise!
This post made me really sad. Covid got in the way of my visiting you at the beautiful home you restored on the bay. We stayed at Saint George many times over the years and enjoyed Apalachicola. I wonder how long it can “avoid the blight and the conveniences of progress.” So perfectly put. I have found it harder and harder each time I return to Charlottesville to watch the “nothing matters but money” crowd “develop” the city. Thanks for the wonderful tour. If I were going to be in Florida in October, I would look for a site at St. George though I’m probably too late. But fall in Virginia is beautiful and there are those grandchildren.
Sherry, if I remember correctly, we first met you and David many years ago on one of your trips to St. George when we happened to be visiting my folks in Apalach! I do wish you had been able to visit us at our home on the bay at some point over the last three years. I think you appreciate Apalachicola and St. George Island as much as we do.
I’m sure it’s hard for you to watch Charlottesville change. Development is so often not a good thing. The blight all too often outweighs the conveniences. :-((
Absolutely loved the visual tour of your quaint hometown. Other than hurricane’s, bugs and snakes, it looks like a great place to live. So glad you have so many wonderful memories there and plan to enjoy it in the future. So looking forward to getting a sneak peak into your next adventure. Hugs to you both!
Hi Brenda! I’m so glad you enjoyed the tour of Apalachicola. It really is a unique and wonderful place, except for the hurricanes and the horrific heat and humidity in the summer, LOL. The bugs generally aren’t bad, and we don’t see many scary snakes. :-) I hope you and Morey are doing well and enjoying spring on the Oregon coast. Hugs to the two of you from both of us!
It’s another journey you are making and you will bloom where you are planted!!!! I believe that and once settled in NC you will thrive there!!!! Memories go with you and then all the folks you have met now have another place you will share!!!! Love your writing and your peace!!!! You belong so many places because you have been walking this journey getting ready for your forever home!!!! Bless you each day!!!! Can’t wait to see you again!!!!❤️
Thank you so much for your loving good wishes, Julie. We’re feeling very happy that we made the decision to live in North Carolina. And you’re right, we do carry the memories of places and people we’ve loved with us. We’re so happy that you two came to visit us in Apalachicola. We hope that all of our friends will come to visit us in our new hometown, including you and Martin. Now that we’re so much closer to you, we plan to see you more often! ❤️
What a lovely town! I’m glad you’ve booked an Airbnb for a future visit. It’s never easy saying goodbye to a well-loved community/home. Fabulous photos, as always. I especially love those with the boats. I need to drive down to Yaquina Bay and get some photos of the fishing boats. I forget to play tourist in my own town!
Lesley, it’s always interesting to play tourist in our hometowns, isn’t it? Apalachicola offered us a lot of photo opportunities, including the always picturesque shrimp boats. I’m so glad you enjoyed our photo tour!
Once I realized that it’s not really all that far for us to return for a visit, it eased my feeling of loss. I wish we were only a few hours away from Oregon, too! Then I could have all of the places I love close by.
This is a lovely summary of the charms of Apalachicola — the absence of development pressure has kept it charming and quaint, with a surprisingly good stock of historic structures. Even including the ones that probably should be torn down for safety! It is certainly like no other place we’ve lived. On the other hand, you know how much we long for some of those modern conveniences like a decent grocery store or just one appealing restaurant. I’m very glad to hear that you’re planning a return visit in October. That should be a great time to savor the small town atmosphere and also see plenty of wildlife! And us, of course. :-)
Shannon, you and Ken understand better than anyone the charm and the challenges of living in Franklin County. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a well-stocked small grocery (with items that are NOT past their sell-by date) and a couple of excellent small restaurants? Oh well…if it was more “civilized” you probably wouldn’t be getting those incredible photos of the Milky Way that you recently took!
One of the things that we’re most looking forward to on our return trip in October is seeing you guys. :-))
This post made me feel like I was there again, gawking at the sunsets and wandering by these old buildings and boats, enjoying the quaint and character-filled environment.
I know you’re sad to leave, but I’m also convinced you’re going to love your new hometown. What you will lose in terms of personal history you will gain in terms of pounds from eating all the delicious food in Asheville. :)
Plus, like you said, you can always go back and visit. There are many more Air bnBs to clean, you know!!
Laura, I think we made a great choice in moving to Western North Carolina, given all that we enjoy…including excellent food choices everywhere! We’re already reveling in our options (but I hope without adding pounds, LOL).
We’re so glad that you and Kevin and Thor came to stay with us so that you could experience Apalachicola first hand. Our time with you guys definitely added to our stash of fond memories. We’re looking forward to going back in October, but I sure hope I don’t have to clean that Airbnb. I really am tired of cleaning up the southeast one Airbnb at a time, haha. Hugs to you three! 💕💕
Laurel, you did a wonderful job of highlighting everything that is special about Apalachicola. I love the picture of the house where your dad was born. I’m sure I’ve driven by it many times. I hope all is going well with your new home build and you will be settling there soon. Farewells are bittersweet.
Thanks, Suzanne. I know you appreciate the rustic charm of Apalachicola. As a native Floridian, you understand how unique it is! It was a bittersweet farewell, but it helps knowing that we can return to visit. And honestly, visiting will be much easier than living there. We’re deep in the middle of home building decisions, and are loving North Carolina!
What a wonderful, nostalgic tour of your family’s sweet old town. I wish we had been able to see it through your eyes while they were still there! I loved seeing the little blue cottage that cradled your dad as he came into the world and all the other slightly shabby but oh so charming homes and gardens there. Knowing you made the right decision doesn’t make it any easier to leave such history but onward to new memories! We’re both looking forward to seeing you two soon!
Sue, we really regret that we left before you and Dave could visit us in Apalachicola. I know it’s a place you would appreciate! You’re right, even though we feel confident that we’ve made the right decision in selling and moving, it was still difficult to leave all of the history we have there. It makes it easier knowing that we can return for visits.
We are so excited to see you two! We’re exploring and making lists, often saying to one another, “Sue and Dave will love this!” Safe travels and we’ll see you soon!
Thank you for such a wonderful and heartfelt tour of Apalachicola. I’m sure there are moments when it’s difficult to leave, but also exciting to be moving on to a new adventure. I’m sure you’ll enjoy return visits. I look forward to hearing all about your new chapter in NC.
Ingrid, we’re very excited about North Carolina and our tiny house! After all of those years in the RV, we think we’re well prepared. We’ll see, LOL. I’m glad you enjoyed our tour of Apalachicola. It’s a place you would have fun photographing, much like the Texas Gulf Coast that I know you enjoyed so much.
It’s been quite some time since I caught up with you both so when I saw your post in my email feed, I was excited to read it. I was not disappointed, I honestly savored each lovely photo and all the feelings and emotion that are what this place means to you. It’s so heartwarming… the photo of the little blue house where your father and grandfather were born. Wow! How many people can point to a house still standing, with so much personal history?
I get the charm, grit and authenticity of Apalchicola from your post. I had never heard of it before, but then again, having not grown up in the U.S. there are probably lots of small places that fit into that category.
I am excited for you both! Are you going to Asheville in North Carolina? We spent a wonderful week there with one of our sons when we met up with him after he had completed a summer farm internship. We loved it and if there was ONE place I would consider living in the U.S. this would probably be it! (Based on that one week…. )
Best of luck for his new chapter of life!
Peta (and Ben)
Hi Peta, I’m so happy to hear from you! We’re building a tiny home in Flat Rock, which is about 30 miles south of Asheville. We’ll be going often to Asheville, I’m sure. We love this whole area of North Carolina, and after spending quite a bit of time here in our travels, it feels like exactly the right place for us to begin a new chapter of our lives. I love that it’s a place you’ve visited and loved!
Apalachicola is definitely authentic, gritty, and charming. We will always have a deep connection to the area, especially given that my father and grandfather were born there, and my mom and dad lived there for almost 40 years. It’s hard to let go, but we know it isn’t the right place for us long term. I’m sure you understand. Thanks for checking in on us. Love to you and Ben!
Laurel, this is such a heartwarming and poignant tribute to Apalachicola. The town holds tight to its own gritty history and generations of your family’s history, as well. You must have been experiencing a jumble of emotions throughout your farewell tour, and I trust that your lovely photos will do much to keep your memories close at heart in the years ahead. You did right by Apalachicola, telling its story well in both words and photographs. My heart was drawn to the old Apalachicola Ice Company. Our family lived near the ice company in the small city in which I grew up. That one has remained a working ice company, although the staff no longer goes out to the lakes in winter to harvest blocks of ice. Sadly, unlike the re-imagined Apalachicola Ice Company, it does not offer debauchery.
Mary, how cool that your ice company is still a working ice company! I always laugh when I see the sign advertising debauchery at the ice company in Apalach. People love to party in Apalachicola!
It’s a town I will always dearly love. Sometimes it’s hard for me to see it as others do…I often wonder, “Are friends going to be appalled by the decrepit conditions of some of the old buildings along the waterfront?” But most people seem to find it charming and picturesque, which it most definitely is. There’s a crazy mix of absolutely gorgeous places and run down shacks. It’s real, that’s for sure.
Thanks so much for this lovely photo tour. Our winter trip to Florida was cut short this year.Shelly’s medical needs delayed our start and we ended up with only a couple of nights on the gulf coast @ Fort Pickens. We did spend the entire two and a half weeks in Savannah @ the music festival (where we met you and Eric a couple of years ago)
Looking forward to hearing about your transition to tiny home life…
Pat, I’m so sorry to hear about Shelly and that your winter trip was delayed. I trust that all is well now.
You certainly seem to have had a wonderful trip once you got on the road! How fabulous that you spent two and a half weeks in Savannah at the music festival! We went to a couple of days of the festival several years ago and have always wanted to return. We had tickets in 2020, but our plans were derailed, of course. We have fond memories of meeting up with you guys at the state park in Savannah. :-)
What a beautiful ode to a place, time, and community. Thank you for the armchair tour and best wishes to y’all.
Nancy, thanks for your good wishes! Our three years in Florida was an unexpected detour…and yet, it was exactly where we needed to be at the time. My non-Southern born friends have always good-naturedly teased me about saying “y’all” LOL. But I can’t get by without it! :-)
Thank you for the tour of Apalachicola. How comforting your new NC home awaits you ;-)
Hi Kathryn, we are still many months away from being able to move into our tiny home, but we really are glad to have a plan. As you said, it’s very comforting after a time of so much change. I hope you’re doing well and feeling “at home” in your new place.
Ahhh … such poignant memories you’ve shared in words and lovely photos! Can feel your tearing away of the old roots and tenderly clinging to the essence of what makes home, “Home” , so you can take it with you! The heart you so graciously share will find a new “Home” … and we will all join you there in spirit and laughter as soon as you’ve settled!
Hello my sweet friend, we still wish so much that you and John could have visited us at our home on the bay. I know you both would have absolutely loved it! I appreciate your loving, encouraging support as we move from one home and create another. We miss you both!! Let’s make a plan to get together. ❤️
Awww! What a great summary. All the feels!!! You do know, however, that wherever you are, becomes the most special place, just by virtue of you being there!
Hahaha!!! “Spreckles” is writing to me, too! OMG you crack me up. You know if you keep calling your dog the wrong name you are going to confuse me forever and there will be no hope of me EVER getting it right.
Thank you for your loving thoughts, Tessa. I’m so glad you guys are still willing to be friends with us even though we so rudely moved away after inviting you to stay with us. 😂❤️
I, too, didn’t realize that your dad and grandfather were both born in Apalachicola and what a cute cottage. You certainly do have a long history in that adorable town. Leaving such a history certainly makes it a little more difficult. But when the next hurricane hits you’ll be thanking your lucky stars you made the decision you made. As you’re doing, you can always return:) Luckily, you are settling on the east coast not terribly far from you hometown. Thanks for this wonderful tour. So many sweet cottages and homes and uniqueness. I loved going down memory lane with you:)
Pam, I always love walking by that little cottage in the historic district! My dad told me all kinds of stories about growing up there, including burying ‘treasure’ by the huge cedar tree. It’s kind of remarkable that the little house is still standing, and I’m very glad that the people who own it are taking such good care of it.
Even with the memories that tug on my emotions (and the birdlife that calls to Eric), we are very happy with our decision to move to North Carolina. We hope you guys will come visit!
After so many years of this being a part of your life, it’s wonderful that you had this last three years later in life to really appreciate what the place means to you. Love the tour, it feels like a larger Cedar Keys in many ways and a little like Bay St Louis – both favorites of mine. Glad you’ve make plans to return so this was truly not a good-bye.
Jodee, I’ve often thought that it was a gift that we ended up staying in Apalachicola, even though it was not our original intent. It gave me time to sort through memories and also provided the opportunity to share the town with so many friends that visited in the three years we were there. It was a time we will treasure. And you’re right, it definitely has a lot in common with Cedar Key!
I’ll forever be thankful for the short time we spent visiting with you as we passed through a few years back. The walk through town with you two being our guides was memorable, luckily we had a decent take-out meal from that restaurant on the corner. Your description is so accurate about town, and the slow pace, which is why our visit was so special. It’s our kind of speed, maybe not the cleaning ladies😬, but quaint.
Best wishes on your new digs and experiences.
Mark, we loved having you and Joodie stay with us. We have such great memories of our town walks, and beach walks, and many hours around the fire pit with you guys. And the fabulous breakfasts that you made and served from the window of your fancy food truck (AKA motorhome)! :-))
Thanks so much for your good wishes for our new adventure in North Carolina. We really hope we can entice you two to come back here for a visit.
One more set of thanks for bringing me into a place I have yet to wander myself. If we do get back to road-trippin’, I’ll try to make your daddy’s home turf a priority–for those live oaks, if for nothing else! (OK, the view, the birds, the seafood…)
But bienvenidos to my home state now!
Gretchen, we are loving your home state! Spring here has been absolutely stunning, and the hiking, as you know, is fantastic. If you include Florida in one of your cross-country winter trips, I know you would enjoy Apalachicola. :-)
Great summary and beautiful pictures! I’m so grateful that Helen and I had the opportunity to visit you and Eric at your home. COVID was raging, but we made the best of it, and now that you’re going to be a little closer, hope we can do it again. We’re planning to camp at St. George this year, so we’ll take another stroll through Apalachicola, but this time, we’ll know what to look for. Best wishes for a stress-free move. Joe
Joe, we’re so glad that you and Helen came over for a visit while you were staying on St. George Island. What a crazy time that was during the pandemic, but we sure enjoyed sitting around the fire pit by the bay and enjoying happy hour and great conversation with you two. We’re looking forward to seeing you guys, hopefully sometime soon!
I knew your parents had ties to the community here, but I didn’t realize just how deep those ties run! This was a lovely tour of the town, thanks for sharing that with us! I am looking forward to all that you have in your future as your new tiny home comes together!
Hi Linda, we’re excited about our new tiny home, and we’re making progress, one teeny tiny step at a time. Although it was very bittersweet for us to leave Apalachicola behind, we feel like we’ve made a good decision. We’re glad we’ll be able to return to visit, but we’re happy we don’t have to deal with the threat of hurricanes, the intense summer humidity, and the Piggly Wiggly, LOL. Thanks for checking in on us!
I too have great memories of your hometown. It was here that we first met you and Eric. Then on our second visit you gave us a tour of your out of the way quiet town. We were very fortunate to have visited you there. I missed the fresh shrimps and oysters!
Mona Liza, we’re so happy that we spent time with you and Steve in Apalachicola. The wonderful little restaurant Tamara’s where we had lunch together the first time we met went out of business last year. :-(( We need to come visit you guys in Arizona, and we hope you’ll come to visit us in NC. Hugs to you both!