Short Takes: November/December 2017

Positive Press



1. Cruising the Augusta Canal on the Petersburg Boat Tours
2. The Summerville Tour of Homes
3. Westobou
4. Tire City Potters
5. Fruitland Augusta Peach Vodka



Insider Tip

Presented by Morris Museum of Art: Budweiser True Music’s Southern Soul and Song with Suzy Boggus

Dec. 15 at The Imperial Theatre

American country music singer and songwriter, Suzy Boggus will perform at The Imperial Theatre. During the creative explosion that was country music in the 1990s, Suzy Bogguss sold 4 million records with sparkling radio hits like Outbound Plane, Someday Soon, Letting Go and Drive South. In 2014, Boggus released Lucky, a collection of songs written by Merle Haggard and interpreted the tracks through her crystal vocals from the female point of view. Aces Redux was released in 2016 and celebrates the 25th anniversary of her platinum selling album Aces and features fresh acoustic arrangements with signature sparkling vocals. Join in a night of Christmas music, Merle Haggard interpretations and new material from Aces Redux with Suzy Boggus.                              




Kicking the Goat Silly

Victoria S. Hardy

“Abbey feels like something is not right. Everywhere she turns there seems to be another hint of a very wicked and dark secret. She also knows there is a predator in her world, but who is it? Could it be Richard, her husband? He appears to be actively trying to drive her insane with his habit of hiding things around the house that defy any logical explanation, among his other odd behaviors. Or is it Uncle Rex, the man who forged Abbey’s own adoption papers and is also not her real uncle? Perhaps it’s Larry, the martial arts master who was hired by Uncle Rex to follow her around? And what of the voices that Abbey hears in her own head, her vivid dreams and mysterious visions? Do they bespeak of her own skeletons in the closet? Something is about to happen that will rock this tiny Georgia town and an unexpected hero will rise up to challenge the forces of evil.”

“I’m just as surprised as the reader is at what happens in my stories,” says Augusta-born author, Victoria S. Hardy, about her “unconventional” style of novel writing. She plans nothing, makes no outlines, and she doesn’t even know how the story will end until the moments before she writes it. She literally watches the story unfold in her mind as she scrambles to transcribe it. The stories themselves sometimes turn out as full-length novels (she’s written four so far), novellas or short stories. “Something just compels me to write, and I write!” she explains. Her style is a hybrid of suspense, drama, horror, paranormal, and a bit of religious influence, sort of like Dean Koontz meets Stephen King.

Other novels by Victoria S. Hardy include The Thing Inside Lucy Doyle (a psychological thriller dealing with mind control and exorcisms), Rotten  (an action-packed zombie apocalypse novel) and Under The Dream House  (a good old-fashioned ghost story).

Kicking the Goat Silly and other novels are available at The Book Tavern and on




Christmas in the Capital

Enjoy the holiday season including Christmas tree lighting ceremonies, holiday open houses, candlelight tours, concerts, shows, light displays, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa events and more. The spectacular holiday displays and events in Washington, D.C. are certainly worth seeing once in your lifetime.

Where to Stay
Every year, millions of visitors go to Washington, D.C. to enjoy its historical and cultural attractions such as the White House and the National Archives. As one of the most visited cities in the U.S., Washington also offers an array of accommodations for its tourists. From luxury hotels to quaint B&Bs travelers will find a plethora options of where to stay while they visit the nation’s capital.

Gaylord National Resort
This resort offers a variety of immersive activities in the hotel’s exhibit hall. Upon entrance, guests will discover a decorated Christmas town square, complete with holiday merchandise, a hot chocolate stand, Santa’s sleigh and a carousel ride.

The Jefferson
This hotel, a Beaux Arts beauty dating back to 1923, is for grown-ups who prefer traditional to trendy, formal to familiar, and serene to a scene. Its clubby bar, snug library with fireplace and myriad quiet corners give guests ample choice for places to meet over a drink or relax with a newspaper. Meanwhile a table at Plume, its seasonal fine dining restaurant, is one of the city’s most sought-after reservations. Guests love the Jefferson’s impeccable attention to detail, from the white orchids set in silver cups on the breakfast tables to the fine chocolates left on a porcelain tray as a turndown treasure.

What to do

National Christmas Tree
Visit the National Christmas Tree. Open Nov. 30 through Jan. 1. The National Christmas Tree and the Pathway of Peace is illuminated daily at dusk until 10 p.m. Each night in December, musical groups from the Washington, DC area entertain visitors on the Ellipse, in front of the White House. Public transportation is recommended. For more info, visit

Santa on water skis
See Santa waterski at the country’s longest-running water ski Christmas show on Dec. 24. In 1986, a group of friends drew straws to see who would go out and water ski in a Santa Claus suit on Christmas Eve.  The one who lost did so, at which time he decided he would do it again next year. While you might say, he initially lost the bet, he definitely won it for the sake of children and families alike. It continues today, after more than 30 years.

Gaylord National’s ICE! -Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. As part of Christmas on the Potomac, the Gaylord National Resort’s ICE! is a special holiday event in the Washington DC area you won’t want to miss! Nov. 8 to Jan. 1. This popular holiday attraction returns with a brand-new theme. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer tells the story of how Rudolph’s red-nose first helped Santa guide his sleigh.

Where to Eat

Le Diplomate
Le Diplomate, pays homage to French café culture by providing a comfortable place for everything from a cappuccino and croissant on a lazy weekend afternoon at brunch to a celebratory dinner out with friends or just a drink and dessert at the close of an evening. The extensive menu features a variety of classic favorites including Onion Soup Gratinée, Steak Frites and Escargots as well as daily plats such as Bouillabaisse and Entrecôte de Boeuf.

Founding Famers
Founding Farmers, downtown DC, Potomac, and Tysons. Folksy American fare—bacon lollipops, pimiento-cheese flatbread paired with an ambitious cocktail menu. The values of the American family farmer are at the heart of everything they do at Founding Farmers. More than 47,000 family farmers majority own the restaurant and they strive to work hard and operate with a genuine concern for land and the community. They believe that everyone should be able to enjoy high-quality food that is delicious and grown with care.


Kapnos/Kapnos Taverna, U Street corridor, Reagan National Airport, and Ballston. Modern Greek restaurant that features open rotisserie grills and spiked lemonades plus shareable plates. Two wood-fire grills with rotating spits and a large oven for stone-baked flat breads service the 160-seat restaurant. Guests enjoy carvings from whole animals that have been spit-roasted all day, including lamb, goat, duck, chicken and suckling pig.


Kristi Jilson

This year marked Kristi Jilson’s fourth year serving as Executive Director of Westobou Festival. While it has been a blast for her to help transform downtown Augusta into a vibrant, creative playground, these days she is also enjoying transforming her new home into her very own creative playground. “I just bought a house in Olde Town in February and am taking on a renovation,” she says. “I love the charm and diversity of the neighborhood and its close proximity to downtown…I went to school to become a metalsmith and jeweler and practiced for many years…I am now looking forward to getting my studio set up in the new house. I’ve been without it since I moved to Augusta in 2014.”

Jilson is also a Downtown Advisory Panel Member, Downtown Soul City Board Member, Georgia Forward Young Gamechanger Alumni (2016) and TEDx Augusta Committee Member, but says her nephew Shawn is her real boss and also the coolest five year old she knows.

As part of Westobou Fesitval, Jilson has been dedicated to enriching the cultural fabric, economic sustainability and social vitality of the region. She just wrapped up the 2017 festival, which marked 10 years of art, music and fun.



Article appears in the November/December 2017 issue of Augusta Magazine.

Have feedback or a story idea? Our publisher would love to hear from you!

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RSS Augusta Magazine’s Front Porch

  • Episode 11: Jay Jefferies
    Jay Jefferies stops by to deliver the weather and much more!
  • Episode 10 - Nesia Wright
    We had the pleasure of sitting down with Nesia Wright, owner and CEO of the Georgia Soul Basketball Team. Ashlee and Nesia discuss life as the owner of a basketball team, retirement and more.
  • Episode 9: Venus Morris Griffin
    Venus Morris Griffin, one of the top real estate agents in the Augusta area, stops by our front porch to talk about her success and her upcoming book. This episode is sure to set a fire in you to go for your dreams!
  • Episode 8: Michael Romano
    Michael Romano, self-proclaimed carbohydrate king and executive pastry chef for Edgar's Hospitality Group stopped by our front porch to chat with Ashlee.


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