Redneck Yacht Club

It doesn’t get better than living out the lyrics to “Pontoon,” “Redneck Yacht Club,” and about 100 other country songs.

Photographed via Fuji Instax and Kodak Waterproof Disposable Cameras (yup, they do still exist, and they’re just as fun as they were in 1995).

Back this hitch up into the water, untie all the cables and rope.
Step onto the astro turf, get yourself a koozie…let’s go…

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Who said anything about skiin’? Floatin’ is all I wanna do…

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You can climb the ladder, just don’t rock the boat while I barbeque…

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On the pontoon, makin’ waves and catchin’ rays up on the roof…

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Jumpin’ out the back, don’t act like you don’t want to…

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Party in slow motion, out here in the open…

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Mmmmmmm…motorboatin’…

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Reach your hand down into the cooler…

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Don’t drink it if the mountains aren’t blue…

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Try to keep it steady as you recline on your black inner tube…

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Pontoon…makin’ waves and catchin’ rays up on the roof…

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Jumpin’ out the back, don’t act like you don’t want to…

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Party in slow motion, out here in the open…

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Mmmmmm…motorboatin’…

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Special thanks to:

In memory of the turquoise Dior sunglasses who now lay peacefully at the bottom of Percy Priest Lake. 

And of course, there was a perfect playlist.

Take Me To Louisiana

For as long as I can remember, my [Mark's] family has gotten together in my parents hometown of Rayne, Louisiana for an Easter crawfish boil. I don’t know when the tradition started but it is understood that regardless of if everyone can make it, there will be 200 lbs of locally grown crawfish waiting for us at my Pappy’s camp to end the Lenten season. It started with immediate family but as the kids have grown up and gotten married it has grown to include friends, extended family, and in-laws. I have been absent for more Christmas mornings with my family than crawfish boils. Caroline and I make the 10 hour drive for 36 hours of gluttony and laughter every year and don’t anticipate ever stopping.

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One of our favorite road trip stops – The Abita Brew Pub for a beer and a po’ boy. If you’ve never visited Abita Springs we highly recommend it. Make sure to save time (and eat before you go) to make a visit to the Abita Brewery Tasting Room. It’s free, you pour your own glasses, and it’s unlimited. Pretty much the best tasting room ever.

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Dessert stop in Baton Rouge for a plate of beignet fingers at Coffee Call. If you’ve been to Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans, never go back. Coffee Call puts the New Orleans tourist trap to shame.

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Welcome to Rayne, Lousiana – Frog Capitol of the World.

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The Camp – Mark’s grandfathers 40 acre property. The camp was built out of the old Lafayette Parish Court House that was located in down town Lafayette. Pappy and one of his brother-in-laws purchased all the wood when the court house was being torn down. They built the camp on weekends and holidays until it was finished in 1959. Some minor improvements have been made over the years to keep it maintained.

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Pappy!

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The green walls in the kitchen were originally mahogany from the courthouse judges paneling. 

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The utensils are from Mark’s great-great Grandparents house. The pictures in the camp were given by different people. The picture just above the banner is one Mark’s aunt made when she was young. “Saw someone do it so I tried. Pappy liked it so he hung there because really, Granny didn’t want it in her house.”

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The Coonass sticker was given to Pappy by a friend. Granny hated it but couldn’t keep Pappy from putting it up because “The Camp is Pappy’s house.”

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Pappy started the bottle collection years ago. His friends and family know he collects so they pick up bottles for him.

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“The Camp” isn’t located in a town. It’s in Lafayette Parish, and the nearest town is Indian Bayou, about 4 miles away (population: about 30).

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Pappy built the smokehouse with the help of the next door neighbor. The telephone sign was added about 10 years ago.

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The 200 lbs of crawfish comes from Mark’s great uncle’s (Uncle Keke) crawfish farm a few miles down the road, where Granny grew up.

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Florida

Two weeks ago, Mark and I drove to Santa Rosa Beach to spend a week with my parents. They’ve fled Montana and rented a house there for the month, so we had to take advantage of a week away from the Georgia weather shenanigans. To our surprise, we discovered that our great buddy Jamie would be in town shooting a wedding in Seaside, so we got to have some fun with him, too.

Here’s a bit of the exploring, relaxing, and beach beauty – shot on both digital and film (Canon Mark III, Nikon One Touch on Kodak Gold 400 and Tri-X).

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25740015Meet Jed, the newest Fontenot family member. We got him 6 weeks ago and he is awesome!

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IMG_7113On Jamie: VoyVoy shirt, ASOS swim trunks.

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IMG_7097Photographed in Santa Rosa Beach + Seaside, Florida.

Another Weekend in Alabama

It didn’t occur to me until I became an adult that not every boy grew up with a father around. Even then, some that did grow up with a dad didn’t get to grow up playing catch. I consider myself blessed to have had both of these things as part of my childhood. On more occasions than not, my dad was asking me to play catch instead of me bugging him until he caved in. He was rarely too busy and was always encouraging.

My dad and I have two main things in common; our faith, and our love of team sports, particularly LSU. When Southeast Toyota approached us about doing another road trip*, this time to the LSU vs. Alabama game, I couldn’t believe that it was even a possibility. My dad and I haven’t lived in the same state for the last 13 years so opportunities like this are rare.

Toyota outfitted us with a sleek 2014 Corolla for the trip and it did not disappoint. I was most impressed with was the gas mileage, as we averaged 35 MPG the entire weekend!

The outcome of the game wasn’t what we wished but we had an experience we won’t forget.

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Corrola-005The folks at Southern Living were kind enough to invite us to visit their headquarters while in Birmingham. I photographed some staff in Good Looks (being posted soon) and they gave us the grand tour. Mom and Caroline were jealous, to say the least…

A favorite stop on our tour – the Southern Living test kitchen where they test and perfect hundreds of recipes a year to feature in their many magazines.

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Corrola-006When Texans who don’t live in Texas see a Whataburger, they stop, always.  Luckily, there was one across the street from our hotel.

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iPhone03Saturday was our first time to Tuscaloosa, so we parked our Corolla and wandered toward campus. We toured the grounds and tailgate spots and then did a little bar hopping. Steamers, The Houndstooth, and The Bear Trap treated us well with beer and football until game time.

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Corrola-020GIF time…

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Corrola-023Photographed by Mark with Fuji X-Pro 1 and iPhone.

*Full Disclosure: Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC (“Toyota”) provided me with us of a 2014 Corrolla for a short period of time, event tickets and a gas card. I am receiving no other compensation from Toyota. The opinions I have shared about this vehicle are my own. 

Glamp

On October 26th, we Glamped. Same crew, new location, better bar menu, cheese plate, wine selection, quinoa chili, one tent, midnight snacks, and on and on the Glamping goodness goes. This is hands down one of the best nights of our year every year, and we strongly encourage the rest of the world to start their own Glamp Train. Enjoy a little video, some favorite photos, Caroline’s cocktail recipes, and the Glamping: Vol II playlist all in this one epic Glamp Out 2013 post.

Glamping-038Glamping-002 Glamping-019 Blog03 Sarah: J.Crew necklace and vest, LOFT tee, Gap cords, Target gloves, Father in law’s old boots.
Will: J.L. Powell hat, Oliver Peoples glasses, Gap plaid, Timex 1600 watch, J.Crew khakis, Bean Boots.

Glamping-023 Glamping-033 Glamping-043 Blog05 Tig: Ray-Ban’s, Target flannel and deer shirt, Shiner Bock, AG Stevie jeans, Lucchese boots.
Mark: Buffalo Jackson hat and ‘Redwood’ flannel (c/o), J.Crew pants, Bean Mocs.

Glamping-040 Glamping-055 Blog06Allyson: Forever 21 chambray and jeggings, Target deer waffle, Mom’s socks, Bean Boots.
Matthew: Patagonia ‘Better Sweater’ jacket, Ralph Lauren plaid, Glass of Malbec, REI pants, Bean Boots.

Glamping-039 Blog04 Glamping-116 Blog07 Caroline: Tradlands ‘Alamo Square’ flannel (c/o), Gap vest, LOFT leggings, Smart Wool socks, Bean Boots.
Shiner: Oktobertfest can.
Glamping-065 Glamping-010 Glamping-083 Glamping-081 Glamping-122 Blog08 Glamping-124 The Tres: 2 oz wheated bourbon (we used W.L. Weller), 1/2 oz Mexican Coke syrup, 2 dash Bad Dog Sarsaparilla Dry bitters.
Glamping-139 The Plaid Hatter: 2 oz bourbon (we used Four Roses), 1/4 oz cinnamon syrup, 2 dash apple bitters.
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The Mr. BOF: …is a Bourbon Old Fashioned. 2.5 oz bourbon, 3/4 oz simple syrup, 2 dash orange bitters.
Glamping-184 Glamping-213 Glamping-242 Glamping-245 Glamping-247 Glamping-249 Glamping-253 Enjoy the Go Glamping: Vol II playlist.

See also: The 2012 Glamp Out, in case you missed it last year.

An extra very special “thank you” to Buffalo Jackson, Tradlands, and Bad Dog Bar Craft for contributing to the Glamping goods. Also, thanks to Jess Graves for gifting The Fontenot’s our 7 person Eddie Bauer tent.

Birmingham

We went to Birmingham a few weeks ago for the first time. As some of you may have seen, we were honored to be part of a #Rav4Inspired* road trip. We decided that where we stayed, ate, and drank would all be recommended by you – the readers. So thanks to Twitter, Facebook, and comments on this here blog, we began a list. An unachievable list of recommendations to be able to conquer in less than 2 full days.

So, we booked a room at Aloft, invited our friends Kristen and Tyler, and picked up our sexy 2013 Rav4. The short trip ended up being over a rainy couple of days, but luckily, the four of us like beer. A lot. So our Birmingham adventure turned a bit into a brewery tour, and we didn’t complain about it one bit. Now, onto the photos (and a few short videos) of our adventure!

We were already on the road when I received this Tweet from Antoine, a reader turned friend: Be sure to try a locally brewed @Back40tweets Ale. At that point, I’d yet to hear about Back 40 Beer from anyone, so I did a quick search and saw it was in Gadsden, a town we were going to drive through in 30 minutes. It closed in 40…so we quickly made way. Brewery stops on a road trip are only one of the greatest things.

We made it to Birmingham, checked into Aloft, and enjoyed dinner at Chez Fonfon. After, we went to Dram Whiskey Bar, a place we’d definitely visit again.

We spent our rainy Friday early afternoon antiquing (Hanna’s being our favorite and most successful spot). What we did Friday morning you’ll have to wait to see – it involved a lot of photo taking to launch a new series that’s coming soon.

Really, we were passing time until 3:00 rolled around – when the breweries opened. First up, Good People.

Next, Avondale, where we didn’t expect to spend almost the remainder of our day and night.

Frizzy hair don’t care.

Saw’s Soul Kitchen…YES. PLEASE! We walked down and got dinner to go, and took it right back to Avondale.

We were spent. On our drive back to the hotel we saw Cahaba, a brewery only one person recommended, but was on my list. “Let’s rally!!” And so we did.

On Saturday morning, we said goodbye to Birmingham over a delicious breakfast at Over Easy and a quick city view from The Vulcan. One day, we’ll go back to hang out with the ghosts at Sloss Furnaces.

Thanks, Birmingham, for a great time. We’d totally come back.
Thanks, Rav4, for being a fun car to road trip in. We’d totally drive you again.

*Full Disclosure: Southeast Toyota Distributors provided us with use of an all-new 2013 RAV4, and a gas card,  for our trip to Birmingham. We received no other compensation from Toyota. The opinions I have shared about this vehicle are on my own. 

P.S. We do not think irresponsible drinking is cool, especially when driving is involved. For that reason, I (Caroline) was the DD for the later half of the day and night. 

Glamping

On Saturday, some Atlanta friends drove North, and some Nashville friends drove South, and together the seven of us dominated Fort Mountain State Park with one word: glamping. Yes, we slept in tents, but we did not leave home without three cars full of gear for one night including proper lighting and music, a well stocked bar, cheese selection, homemade chili, partybooth, camp chic attire and hearts ready for glamorous adventure. We glamped hard, and everyone around us was jealous.

Will: J.L. Powell hat, Persol sunglasses, Gap waffle shirt, J.Crew khakis, Timex watch, Bean Boots.
Allyson: Tory Burch sunglasses, Target flannel, Banana Republic puffer vest, J Brand jeansBean Boots.

Sarah: Plaid and stripes, oversized thrifted men’s Target shirtJ.Crew bubble necklace.
Mark: J.Crew beanie, Buffalo check flannel, 9 year old beat-to-hell Carhartt’s, Jack Donnelly koozie, Bean Mocs.

There is much more where that came from, but you’ll have to wait until the next issue of SouthernLeague Magazine, which will include our full glamping details and story.

BONUS: The official Glamping playlist on Spotify.