A reinvented Hawaiian island
Lanai, the smallest of Hawaii’s major islands, used to be home to the Dole pineapple plantation, said Beverly Beyette in the Los Angeles Times. But pineapple is no longer an economically attractive crop, and the island is now reinventing itself “as a resort destination.” Both the former Manele Bay Hotel and its sister hotel, the former Lodge at Koele, have been transformed into Four Seasons resorts. The island’s third hotel, the 11-room Hotel Lanai, dates to 1923 and was once a retreat for Dole executives. Lanai has only 30 miles of paved roads and not a single traffic light. “What’s there to do?” You can take a helicopter tour of Molokai and the West Maui Mountains or golf on a course designed by Greg Norman. Other activities include croquet, horseback riding, hiking, snorkeling, and rafting. Jeep rentals are available for those wanting to drive to the Garden of the Gods—“a canyon with eerie rock formations”—and Shipwreck Beach. Lanai’s regular denizens, though, love the island simply for its natural beauty and easygoing atmosphere.
Flannery O’Connor’s farm
The bloodcurdling screams of Flannery O’Connor’s pet peacocks are the only thing missing from her Georgia farm, said Bo Emerson in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The 450-acre estate in Milledgeville, which goes by the name of Andalusia, has been “kept in a kind of time capsule” since the lupus-afflicted author of haunting Southern gothic morality tales died in 1964. In her first-floor bedroom, “crutches still lean against the bookshelf,” a vintage Hotpoint refrigerator stands in the kitchen, and a box of Niagara starch can be found on a shelf. Peacock feathers sprout from vases in the first-floor hallway. O’Connor spent the last 13 years of her life at Andalusia, where she wrote two dozen short stories and most of her two novels. While the 1850s-era farmhouse and the outbuildings have been stabilized, you can tell from the cracked plaster walls and missing paint that restoration is far from complete. Several hundred literary pilgrims visit Andalusia every month.
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