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I always find the period of time between Labor Day and Georgia-Florida weekend a bit tedious. Summer has ended, and the biggest party weekend of the year is looming on the horizon, just taunting those of us who enjoy dressing from head-to-toe in red and black, welcoming people we haven’t seen in a year, attending oyster roasts and cocktail parties, and of course, cheering for the Georgia Bulldogs. This fall that period has seemed longer than it usually does. Maybe it’s because Mercury has been in retrograde. Planets move from east to west around the sun. But, when Mercury is in retrograde, it appears to move from west to east, which results in the areas of life that Mercury tends to rule (according to astrological “experts”) – including travel, communication and technology – are disrupted. Now that we’re on the other side of that, we are free to enjoy all the upcoming things.

Georgia-Florida weekend is certainly its own event, but from a long-lens perspective, it also kicks off the fall and winter social seasons. While some events are still being configured a little differently because of the lingering effects of COVID-19, others are in full swing. Those include the upcoming RSM Classic Golf Tournament, the Victory Gala for the American Cancer Society, the St. Simons Land Trust Oyster Roast and the Brunswick Stewbilee – all scheduled within the next three months.

This issue celebrates this fun time of year. In our Coastal Illustrated feature, we talk to both Bulldog and Gator fans about their favorite places to eat, drink and shop during the legendary weekend. We hope – based on our recommendations – you’ll be able to return to some favorite restaurants and shops and perhaps discover some new ones as well.

In our Coastal Home feature, four families – all of which have children who are students at University of Georgia – give tips on hosting huge crowds of young adults throughout the weekend. These parents run full-service lodging operations over the course of the busy weekend and are pros at serving large meals and coordinating sleeping, transportation and recreational arrangements and barely blinking an eye. These folks make it look simple, but we’ve peeled back the curtain to let you in on the behind-the-scenes prep that goes into running such seamless operations.

Our Local Q+A features Christina Godwin, a St. Simons Island native who, after a career in show business, returned home and has operated her own dance studio for more than two decades. Christina’s enthusiasm for her hometown and its people is infectious, and she shares with us some of her favorite things.

In our literary column, Cary Knapp reviews actor-author-television host Stanley Tucci’s new book, “Taste: My Life Through Food.” In it, Tucci explores his Italian heritage, love of food and battle with cancer. It’s a “delectable” read, according to Cary.

Our local social scene is slowly coming back on track, and the proof was the recent Hunt Ball to benefit Habitat for Humanity of Glynn County. The elegantly casual crowd, some clad in hunt attire, gathered at Frederica Golf Club, noshed on dishes from top area eateries and participated shopping and a top-notch live auction. Entertainment was provided by the Salt Water Gypseas. We were on the scene, and have photos from the event.

In our real estate story, reporter Gordon Jackson speaks with a couple of Realtors who talk about the current state of the real estate market and whether they foresee prices increasing or decreasing within the next few months.

Our Realtor Q+A shines the spotlight on Brad Davis, who took an interesting path to becoming a real estate agent. Brad and his family live on St. Simons Island, and enjoy spending time outdoors. He has some great advice for time management, too!

Horticulture columnist Anne Ditmer discusses the importance of knowing which turf to choose for lawns that a green and lush all year around. It’s a little trickier than one might think.

In Shore Things, Cheri Leavy has some great red and black finds (both apparel and accessories) from retailers including Meo’s Suite and Bullington’s in anticipation of Georgia-Florida weekend.

And finally, our Events page is filled with lots of interesting events, so get out there and have fun! Enjoy the issue.