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Winter Wanderings Day #27-30, Fort Toulouse, Wetumpka, AL, Hard Labor Creek State Park, Rutledge, GA, Greenville, SC.

Saturday, we left Fort Toulouse. Pippa, immediately, jumped up in the dash, because there were leaves to hunt. After she tired of the fruitless hunt, she slept in dash. She’s a silly puppy! Nigel was in his daddy’s lap. I joked that they’re travel size. They really are!

We drove through rain and storms, again…It sure has been a wet winter. We arrived at Hard Labor Creek in the rain and freezing temps. The park looked wonderful. It had a really nice visitors center, where we checked in, golf course, mini golf, mountain bike trails, and brand new bathhouses from what I could see from the van, as we drove through. We had gotten campsite #20, in an empty cul-de-sac, in a gorgeous forest, right on Lake Brantley. We had the entire section to ourselves. Sadly, other than a trip to the bathhouse for a shower, and Wiley’s quick hike down to the lake front and back with the puppies, we were unable to hike or explore the park due to the stormy, cold weather. It’s a beautiful park with 24mi of hiking and equestrian trails, 17mi of mountain bike trails, campground, cabins, equestrian facilities, two lakes, beaches, and boat rentals. Only 2hrs from Greenville, with so much to do, this would be a great park to bring our granddaughter, Bree. Look forward to returning in better weather.

Sunday morning, we left Hard Labor in the deep “frozen fog”. As we drove north in Georgia, we saw plenty of snow left over from the previous day. We stopped at a gas station in Georgia, where Wiley walked the unimpressed puppies in the snow and threw a snowball at me in the van. Oddly enough, around the GA/SC state line, there was no more snow. The SC side had all melted despite the low temps. We arrived in Greenville to meet Bree and have a fun day with her. We packed in a lot, as always. We had lunch with her, Wiley’s parents, and his step brother. Afterward, we went to Hollingsworth Park to play. We were thrilled to find huge boulders of snow unmelted in the field. Bree was beside herself, because she had not made a snowman the day before. We made a pitiful grass covered South Carolina snowman with twig arms, carrot nose (left in the park), mulch eyes, and acorn buttons. She was delighted at her creation. We played on the playground, where she and I had a rousing game of hide and seek. What a blast!

In the afternoon, we went downtown, walked in Falls Park, then went for yogurt at Blueberry Frog, as is our custom. Bree expects it and loves the tradition. Nigel and Pippa, even got their usual pup cup with peanut butter yogurt and a milk bone. Happy girl and happy puppies! We walked and played some more then returned to Happy, as the sun started to dip and it got cold. We played several rounds of go fish and crazy eights in the van, which was a ball. There was plenty of giggling and fierce competition. Bree loved it, as much as we loved sharing the time with her. For dinner, we went to sushi, because that’s what we do when we have her with us. She loves squid salad, edamame, dumplings, and shrimp tempura sushi. All my favorite foods are hers, which melts my heart. Loved every minute of our time with our girl. So special! Always hard to say goodbye, but made plans to see her on our return. Can’t wait!

Monday, I spent the day with my best friend, Melissa. We ate, shopped, and had chai, like always. We did our big catch up, and reminisced, like we do. Love my sister, I got to choose. For dinner, we met Wiley’s parents, our son, WileyIII and daughter in-law, Alex. We had a lovely time celebrating Wiley and Alex’s first home purchase. Afterward, we went to see their house and get a tour. It was adorable! So happy for them. We parked Happy in their driveway and spent the night there. In the morning Wiley and his son drove into work together, which I thought was sweet. They work for the same cloud based computer company in Greenville. I ran errands in the morning, then picked up Wiley for lunch. We met our dear friends, Roxanne and Alan for Chinese at my favorite, Lieu’s. We had a great time. Lunch was divine! Afterward, I took Wiley back to the van, parked at the office. I said goodbye to him and the puppies, then headed to Sapphire to check on the house, do laundry, repack, and make campground reservations for Winter Wanderings Leg 2. Wiley had work meetings and a work dinner, so he would return to Sapphire, Wednesday. I looked forward to a hot bath, one of the only things I miss about a home without wheels. I was ready to get the plans in order and return south. Stay tuned for the next chapter in our adventure!