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A Tavern Full of Books

“T.V.—If kids are entertained by two letters, imagine the fun they’ll have with twenty-six.”—Unknown

The handwritten quote by some unknown person welcomes me into The Book Tavern from the sidewalk chalkboard and makes me smile.

There are two ways that I like to spend my free time during the summer in Augusta. Sitting in the shade somewhere with a good drink and a great book, or hiding inside from the heat with a good drink and a great book. So, naturally, The Book Tavern is one of my favorite places.

There’s a really cliché saying: “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” I hate to say it, but I’ve discovered that this is true on a few different levels, thanks to The Book Tavern. The first time I walked into the store, I thought “Man, this is so small!” and it kind of is, if you compare it to some chain mega book store. But you’d be amazed at how many books there are inside. Seriously, I could probably spend at least half the day in there if I tried to look at all of them. They’ve got a couch, so if you’re one of those who has to read the first chapter to see if you want to buy the book, have a seat.

Today I’m looking for a book. Any book, to be more specific. I’ve got a weekend with nothing planned, so I know I need some new reading material. I also have $10 bucks on me, so I know that’s my limit. Now, at a chain store, $10 bucks might buy you some keychain book (you know, the kind that has 10 pages of really stupid jokes or cocktail recipes) but not here. A really big part of The Book Tavern’s inventory is used books that are priced WAY cheaper than the original retail value (can I get a “hallelujah!”?)

If by chance you ARE looking for something specific, like a rare book or a signed book, then the staff is always very helpful and friendly. For example, I went last year looking for a book called “Dracula: The Undead” (Yes, I’m a vampire book reader. Don’t judge.) and they didn’t have it in stock yet, but they ordered it for me, which was a pain free and pretty awesome experience.

So, I find my book for the weekend (“Real Life & Liars” by Kristina Riggle) and head to checkout. Since I go there pretty often and I’m a HUGE believer in recycling books after I’ve read them a few times, I have store credit. (The Book Tavern offers people the chance to bring in their used books to sell to the store for credit.) Since I applied my store credit to half the price of the book, I ended up paying $4.48. Mission accomplished.

The Book Tavern

1026 Broad Street, Augusta Ga

(706) 826-1940

http://www.facebook.com/thebooktavern

I scream! You scream! We all scream for….strawberries!

Just 15 minutes from downtown Augusta, Georgia, is a great place to pick your own strawberries, blackberries and asparagus – Gurosiks’ Berry Plantation. We recently went on a field trip with William’s 4K class to pick strawberries and they loved it.

It is a big farm with lots of activities for the kids. Of course, the main attraction was picking strawberries. You are given a quick class on the proper way to pick and which berries not to pick. And then you are sent out to the field to discover and uncover strawberries. With lots of squeals from the class of adventurers, we collected two containers full in about 15 minutes.

But the fun was not over yet, the Gurosik’s next took us to see their bee hive. We did not actually get too close to the bees, but we did get the sample their honey. Fantastic.

From there they took us to see their catfish pond. And yes – everyone fed the fish. The kids loved it, but not as much as the fish. There were tons of them.

Then it was lunch time under a covered pavilion on picnic benches. It was a really great day. Before heading off I made William walk through the market with me. The farm market had clean restrooms and ample parking offering pre-picked berries, a full variety of fresh produce, many professionally processed products from the Gurosik’s, hanging flower baskets, fresh cut flowers, hybrid blackberries, blueberries, peaches, purses and jewelry.

Gurosik’s is a 100 acre family farm. Clyde and Marilyn Gurosik have been working on the farm since 1981. Clyde attributes his passion for land preservation and strawberries to his deceased parents, who established strong values and principles. Marilyn was a school teacher until the farm got off the ground – and you can really tell on these school visits about her background.
Seasons:
Strawberries – April through July 4
Blackberries – Late May through July 4
Asparagus – Early April through May

Gurosik’s Berry Plantation

345 Briggs Rd

North Augusta, SC 29860

803-278-0594

http://gurosiksberryplantation.com/

The Chop House

This great steakhouse located at the Promenade at the Augusta Mall is a wonderful restaurant you must try!

This restaurant offers a great variety of everything on their menu. They are known for their well marinated steaks-which are just fabulous! I also really enjoy their salads-they are always fresh and have the best ingredients! Don’t forget dessert either, they offer great choices-but their chocolate cake with ice cream is worth feeling miserable after all that good food!

The service here has always been wonderful too, they really know how to take care of their customers with wonderful service and a smile on their faces!

The Chop House is located on Augusta Mall's Promenade

The other great thing is they will take reservations. If you have a larger party, or if you don’t, you can still call and reserve a table, which is a nice service they offer! Even if you do have to wait for a little while, you can shop at the mall, and then head over for a fabulous meal!

The Chop House
3450 Wrightsboro Rd # A203
Augusta, GA 30909-2432
(706) 733-2244

The Augusta Mall
3450 Wrightsboro Road
Augusta, GA 30909
(706) 733-1001

Artists’ Row – Downtown Augusta

Guest Blog Submission by Lori Cogan, Bristol, VA

I am an artist at heart. If I could quit my marketing job tomorrow, I’d grow out my gray hair, put it in a bun on top of my head, don a smock, and turn my home office into a studio. Ah, well, that will have to wait another decade or so. In the meantime, I enjoy the artistic endeavors of others. And if it’s really good, I just revel in it.

Such was the case when I ventured through Artist’s Row shops and studios in downtown Augusta last week. 

Artists’ Row was started in 1994 as part of Augusta’s revitalization project in the historic buildings along Broad Street. According to their website, www.augustaartistsrow, Galleries, working art studios, specialty shops, restaurants and coffee houses have flourished in the beautiful historic district. There are close to a dozen shops that are part of this destination shopping experience.

 

A couple truly stood out for me. A quiet walk through Gallery on the Row admiring the original jewelry, paintings and handcrafts turned into a party when we got to the display of Margaret Ann Smith’s work. My colleague Melissa and I literally started jumping up and down clapping at what hung on the wall before us. It was a riot of color—and the style was part Dali, part Escher, part Van Gough—yet all Margaret Ann Smith. What was most delightful was that her artwork depicted historic, architectural and happy scenes all around Augusta. The gallery manager was happy to tell us all about the artist, which gave us a deeper appreciation for the work. Our favorite was titled, “Round Midnight at the Clock, ” but we loved them all. We promptly bought a set of all the images printed on note cards.

I also enjoyed every moment I spent in Art on Broad, especially talking with owner. It’s evident she loves her artists and their work brings her daily joy. She gushed right along with me about some of the pieces I was admiring out loud. And I could tell she wasn’t just being polite.

There were little pieces of art easy to buy—great tiny finds—like button rings for $2 and beautifully textured clay magnets 3 for $12. When I picked a couple of rings as fun gifts to bring home to friends, the owner insisted on boxing and bagging them beautifully with tissue as if they cost 20 times as much.

On the other end of the investment scale were gorgeous painted canvases, unique copper bricks covered with graphics and inspirational messages, whimsical colorful pottery…and so much more. There were items priced in-between, as well, of course. Melissa purchased a beeswax honey pot candleholder for her mother. A quirky clock insisted I take it home. It now hangs in my office, a reminder that someday it will hang in my own art studio. And that makes me smile.

 

I highly recommend a trip to Artist’s Row. It’s just the right place to find something that will make you smile. And when you do…take it home. It will be time and money so very well spent.

Artists’ Row
Broad Street – Downtown Augusta, Georgia
http://www.augustaartistsrow.com/

 

Let Your Kids Build-A-Friend!

If you are in Augusta and you are looking for something fun and memorable for the little ones, then look no further.  Build-A-Bear Workshop is located in the Augusta Mall and is a favorite for kids, teens and adults alike.

Its slogan, “Where Friends Are Made,” could not be more accurate. It offers an interactive make-your-own stuffed animal center!

Creating your own stuffed animal is much more exciting than buying one of hundreds that are made exactly the same.

Your child can choose from several different stuffed friends, not just teddy bears. There are panda bears, dogs, cats, frogs, bunnies, pigs, monkeys and more!

Once your child has chosen their animal it must be stuffed; a Build-A-Bear associate will help your child with this process. Then it’s time to give it a heart, and sound if you want. You can even record a personalized message and place it inside the animal!

Then it’s time for even more personalization! They offer hundreds of teddy bear sized outfits, shoes, hats, sunglasses, toys, jewelry and more.

Your kids will have a blast and also have something special to take home with them! It’s a souvenir unlike any other.

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