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Christmas Fun in "The Loveliest Village on the Plains"

Last weekend Steve and I headed down I-65 and Hwy. 280 to one of our very favorite towns -- Auburn, AL -- to spend the day "doing Christmas things" with our good friends Bill and Kay Thagard. We met Bill and Kay when our daughters, both named Laura, were randomly assigned to be roommates at the university. It proved to be a fortunate match. The girls roomed together for several years and were attendants in each other's weddings. The four parents have kept in touch. It was a really good time to be in Auburn. Graduation ceremonies were being held, holiday activities were in full swing, and the weather was pleasant.

(This is a closeup of the Auburn Family Christmas Tree in the lobby of The Hotel at Auburn University).


I think it is always interesting to get a glimpse inside people's homes, admire their decor, and even get ideas for my own home. Last Saturday, the Auburn Preservation League was hosting its 15th Annual event. As it so happened, Steve's brother David's house was on the tour, so that's where we began.

David and Susie recently relocated his business from Montgomery to Auburn, bought a home in the historic district, and completely remodeled it. They LOVE living in Auburn and are a 5-10 minute walk to Toomer's Corner.

Next, we made our way to Bridgewater Boulevard to the home of Sarah Brown, who is a designer and former store owner in downtown Auburn. Everything was beautiful, but we especially loved the back porch with its view of the woods. The house is perfect for entertaining.

The Women's Club was next. The cottage was originally built in 1853 at the corner of College Street and Thach Avenue. In 1960, it was cut in half and moved to its present location, where it was then completely restored. Members of the club were gracious hostesses.

The Mary Boyd Home on Moore's Mill Road is a very tasteful example of revitalizing a mid-century style into a functional family home for today while maintaining the uniqueness of the original design.

We made our way to The Hotel at Auburn University to see the largest Gingerbread Village Display in the state. It's jaw-dropping what you can do with 280 lbs. of gingerbread, 130 lbs. of icing, 90 lbs. of candy, and 1000 hours of time.

After a tour of the new Culinary Science Center, we headed to an early supper in Opelika.


For several days during the season, portions of 8th and 9th Streets in the historic district of Opelika are decorated and showcased primarily for those who want to drive by, but on Saturday night, the streets were closed for folks to enjoy walking past the lovely homes. Heritage House Bed & Breakfast at the corner of 2nd Ave. and 8th Street was where the festivities began, so it was best to find a parking space in that vicinity.

Carolers dressed in Victorian garb were in several locations along the path, and a choir of elementary school children sang their hearts out from one of the large porches. That, of course, was where a large crowd congregated. No doubt, the parents. :)

Both the Auburn home tour and the Opelika front porch tour had to be canceled for a couple of years, so everyone was glad to be back in full swing this year. Mark your calendars for the 2nd weekend in December next year. It's a great way to spend a lovely day with friends.

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