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Bee Day in Greenville 7/23-24/18

 

We had a busy week last week. After returning from Mt. Pisgah, we got word that we could see our grandaughter, Bee in Greenville. So, we repacked, loaded up, and headed down the mountain for a couple of days to catch up with friends and spend time with Bee and Wiley’s parents.

Monday night, I had dinner with my bestie, Melissa at California Dreaming while Wiley hung out with his parents. We boondocked in their driveway for the night. It was nice to see everyone and catch up.

Our time with Bee is so little, we jam as much as we possibly can into the days we spend with her. We ate breakfast in Happy after picking her up then started the day doing one of her favorite things, going to Barnes & Noble Greenridge. We got drinks and snacks at Starbucks then headed over to the beloved Lego Table. Bee gets bunches of plastic Scheleich animals and dinosaurs then builds a Lego Zoo for them as is her ritual. She made a little girl friend, who also loved dinosaurs. They had some epic T-Rex battles. After she left, some other girls came that Bee was not too happy about, so she took her dinos and left for the train table. The little boys at the train table didn’t know what hit them when Bee came bounding over with her T-Rexes. She propped them atop the train shed and water tower and roared ferociously. It was hilarious. Finally, one of the little boys bought in and played too. The others just backed away in shock. It was awesome!

We left Barnes & Noble and went to another fave, the Runway Cafe & airport playground. Wiley Sr. and Jolene met us to watch Bee play a little bit then we all had lunch outside overlooking the runway. It is such a fun experience playing and dining there. We had a ball!

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Greenville 4/25-26/18

Great couple of days boondocking in Greenville at the in-laws and keeping our granddaughter. I picked Bee up from school Wednesday. We went to have lunch with Melissa at Lieu’s, which is always yummy. It was a fun girls lunch! Bee and I spent the afternoon at Barnes & Noble Greenridge, building a zoo for all the Schleich minuture animals and reading books. We went out for Mexican Wednesday with Wiley’s parents, Grandaddy and JoJo, and played lots with Bee at their house Wednesday evening and Thursday morning. JoJo had gotten her a new tea set and serving tray, which provided hours of fun make-believe cooking, preparing tea, and serving all of us. It was fantastic to see all of the wonderfully imaginative pretend play that was going on. Bee melts me!

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Boondocking in Greenville 3/25-28/18

Wiley had to run some training in Greenville for a group from Minneapolis Monday and Tuesday this week. We boondocked at his parents’ Sunday-Wednesday. We spent time visiting with them, which is always nice. Over the several days, I was in town, I went to dinner at Kannikkas, tea at Starbucks and Coffee Underground, had an impromptu Asheville School Greenville moms “PTA” meeting at Nose Dive, and even went to the movies. Love catching up with my Greenville tribe and keeping up those friendships. I have been friends with some of those girls for almost 20yrs. I cherish them.

Tuesday, we had our granddaughter, Bee for the entire day. She and I made jewelry and played puppies in a “playroom” at the Next Building, while waiting for Wiley to break for lunch. We ate at Zoe’s Kitchen then played on the playground at Cleveland Park. Wiley had to return to work. I took Bee to visit dear friends, who gave her a harmonica. She was thrilled with the gift. She seems to be quite musical. She figured out which were the high notes and the low notes. She told me the low notes were sad notes. We need to get that girl some type of music lessons. She said, she and Pop (Wiley) could be a band with him on guitar and her on harmonica. I love it!

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Go West Travel Journal, Day #4 10/15/17 TN

Go West Travel Journal, Day #4 10/15/17 TN
Left Thompson Station, TN and finally got on I-40, which would be taking us across the country, almost all the way to the Grand Canyon. It really seemed like, we were doing this thing now, getting out of familiar territory for Happy. She’d never been this far West.

Going home. For a lot of people that means a lot of different things. For me, it’s difficult, and not something, I talk about much. My mother died of Leukemia at age 53, when I was 26 and pregnant with my first child. To me, Memphis takes me back to the horrific two weeks prior to my mother’s death. I hadn’t been to Memphis in 11yrs. Wiley had never been. We always meet my dad elsewhere to get together.

I was really excited to see my dad and share our journey with him. It made my heart happy that he was a part of this experience, seeing how he and my mom are the source of my passion for camping and the outdoors. All my fondest childhood memories are in tents, campers, or on the trail. We started as babies camping in tents, graduated to a Class “C”, then a Class “A”, before my parents became too High Maintenance in the 80’s, sold the RV, and bought a beach house. It happens.

We arrived in Memphis on my niece, Scarlet’s 4th birthday. It was perfect timing really, a celebration of life and her precocious little self, made it easier for me to be home. Scarlet is too cute for words! We had a ball celebrating her birthday at my dad’s house with lots of family and neighbors.

My sister, Peyton, had made tons of food for the party. She packed up a bunch of left overs and sent them with us, as we headed out the next morning. Nigel and Pippa saw some deer on the far side of my dad’s pond, right as we were about to leave. They came unhinged! So exciting!

I squeezed my dad, and we said our goodbyes. I was looking forward to driving through Memphis and downtown on I-40, so Wiley could see it. So many memories from a life, long ago, that now seems like, someone else lived it or I saw it in a movie. I left home for college at 18, a couple of years shy of 30 yrs ago. I’m a Carolina girl now. I’ve lived there for all the time, since I left Memphis, with the exception of a 2yr stint in Dallas.

We drove through town, and my heart beat faster, as I saw the skyline of downtown, the Pyramid, and the bridge over the Mississippi. As a teen with a car, I spent so much time downtown and on that river bank. I was flooded with memories and emotion, then we drove over the bridge into West Memphis, and it was all behind me, again. So long Memphis.

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Go West Travel Journal, Day #3 10/14/17 NGA-TN

Go West Travel Journal, Day #3 10/14/17 NGA-TN
Drove through some beautiful country from the GA mountains, into the TN mountains, and down into the rolling hills outside Nashville to the little suburb of Thompson Station, where Beth, my best friend since first grade in Memphis, lives with her husband and two sons.

Beth and fam live in a really neat traditional neighborhood development in a cute zero lot line house. Beth’s husband, Chip is a master woodworker and has created such a fabulous outdoor room, worthy of a magazine cover. We hung out there with the puppies prior to going to dinner. Pippa was immediately fixed on their small outdoor drink fridge. She spent an hour scratching, pawing, and whining at the fridge. Garrett, Beth’s son, finally, went over and lifted the corner of the fridge. As soon as he did, a little mouse shot out, and ran without Pippa even seeing, right by Nigel, who pounced shook, and killed the mouse, before Pippa even knew what happened. She had worked so hard, and Nigel got all the glory. It was sad for Pippa, and of course, for the mouse. After a few minutes of the puppies fighting over it, we disposed of the mouse. Pippa went back to the fridge, hoping to unearth another mouse to no avail.

Beth’s mom, my “AuntJean”, has moved from Memphis, into Beth’s neighborhood just down the street. We picked her up and went for dinner at a charming little restaurant in old town Thompson Station called Circa Grill, which was divine. Afterward, we went to Jean’s house for a tour. I couldn’t wait to share it with Wiley. Her home is a museum. She’s a master loom weaver and arts collector. I loved seeing all her art and having her tell the stories of each piece. It was fascinating. I so admire artists with their passion and admiration for others work, that they’ve collected. It’s as beautiful, as the art itself.

I took advantage of Beth’s nice home and showered the next morning before hitting the road. Beth prepared a fabulous breakfast before sending us on our way. No matter how much time goes by, or how little we see one another, when we do, we always pick right up where we left off, as if we were never apart. I’m grateful for my sister, Beth and our 41yr friendship. Love Friends that become family.

After a sad goodbye, we hopped in Happy, headed for my hometown of Memphis to stay the night at my dad’s. Going home!

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Go West Travel Journal, Day #2 10/13/17 WNC-NGA

Go West Travel Journal, Day #2 10/13/17 WNC-NGA
We were not expected in the Nashville area until Saturday, so we had another day and night to play with. We wanted to keep our driving distances as short as possible, being able to have time to hike and explore each stop along the way. We left Standing Indian, after a good hike and exercise for the puppies, and headed to my dear friend, Suzanne’s mountain home in Blue Ridge, GA. We had boondocked there before coming or going from Sapphire, but had not ever walked around the town of Blue Ridge.

We arrived in Blue Ridge in the afternoon and weren’t meeting Suzanne and Co. until that evening for dinner. We strolled through town with the puppies, had a snack, bought some gifts to take to my friend in Nashville and my dad and family in Memphis, and listened to a rockin’ street performer, who was a fabulous blues man.

It was the weekend of the Blue Ridge Fall Arts in the Park Festival. The town was bustling and so crowded. I believe all of Atlanta had emptied out and come to the mountains for leaf changing and the festival.

After an afternoon of walking around in town, we met Suzanne and a large group of Greenville, SC (our former hometown), Atlanta, and Blue Ridge friends for dinner at the Black Sheep Restaurant downtown. It was the perfect gathering spot for our band of black and tie dyed sheep. We had a table outside on the patio. It was a fabulous evening with a super fun group of people and a delicious meal. I was the designated driver and drove a rowdy group in Suzanne’s SUV from the restaurant, through the mountains, back to her house. Wiley rode with a wild woman in her convertible and was lucky to arrive alive. The party continued back at the house. It was a great evening and a really nice sendoff for us.

We got up, said our goodbyes, and hit the road early the next morning, heading to Thompson Station, TN, just outside Nashville, where my childhood friend, since first grade, Beth lives. Couldn’t wait to see her and her family and catch up. This TN girl was returning to her home state. It had been a long time. TN Bound!