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Winter Wanderings Day #31-32, Sapphire, Brevard, Lake Powhatan, Asheville, NC, Diamond Lakes Regional Park, S Augusta, GA

On Valentine’s Day, we had a late lunch/early dinner at favorite, Blue Ridge Bakery in Brevard, topped off with their Valentine’s cupcake of the week, chocolate covered strawberry, a strawberry cupcake, filled with homemade strawberry jam, frosted with strawberry buttercream and chocolate ganache then topped with a hand dipped chocolate covered strawberry. Divine! We got provisions for the next few days and propane, then headed to Asheville to visit with Holly and family at her sister’s. That night we camped at our Asheville standby, Lake Powhatan, getting our favorite campsite #8 in the Big John Loop. Good camping karma. Perfect spot for the night, before heading south.

The following day, we drove, just south of Augusta, GA to Diamond Lakes Regional Park. It was an impressive complex with several baseball fields, basketball, tennis, playgrounds, library, fishing, hiking, and campground, right on the lake. There were no lakefront spots available, but our campsite #11 was on a little bog, full of peepers, who serenaded us all night long. Love the froggies!

We hiked about 2mi from the campground, around the series of lakes. It was just beautiful. We saw tons of turtles, herons, egrets, ibises, anhingas, Canada geese, deer tracks, beaver dams, and wetlands. Pippa did lots of pouncing along the shore, trying to get frogs and minnows, to no avail. Nigel played ball, the entire hike and jumped in the water a couple of times, splashing and digging. They had big fun on the gorgeous, sunny day, 15 degrees warmer than at home in WNC. Yea, for going south!

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Winter Wanderings Day #2, Brevard, NC, Greenville, SC

Monday morning, we woke to terrestrial rain in Brevard. Wiley and the puppies left early in the Happy Camper, headed to Greenville. I stayed at Hollywood until Holly returned from carpool and boot camp. We had breakfast together at the house then I ran to Next Venture outdoors to do returns, consign, and try to exchange the hiking boots that have been hurting my feet. Sadly, they didn’t have any in my size. I’d have to look in Greenville. I found a few other things of course. Love Next Venture!

I drove from Brevard straight to Bar Louie in Greenville to meet my dear friend, Roxanne for lunch. We had a wonderful time together, as always. After lunch, I went in search and found some new hiking boots at Dick’s then went to visit my fabulous, comedian friend, Kenny at his beautiful home. We had a ball catching up and reminiscing.

During the rainy day, Wiley, Nigel, and Pippa were parked at Cleveland Park, Wiley working in the van. With a break in the rain around lunchtime, they hiked the Eagle Trail. They just got drizzled on a bit towards the end of the hike, making their way back to the van. After work, they hiked from the Greenville Zoo towards Falls Park on the Swamp Rabbit Trail, then hiked back on the dirt trail through the woods.

That evening, we met at Publix to do our shopping for the week then went to meet the Wimberly family for dinner at one our favorite Thai restaurants, Kannikas. We had a big crowd for dinner, including my father in-law, Wiley Sr., mother in-law, Jolene, Wiley III, his wife, Alex, and Wiley’s stepbrother, Mark. The meal was fabulous. We had a ton of leftovers, ours and were gifted other’s, so will be enjoying Thai food for days on the road. Yea! It was great to see everyone. After dinner, we drove to Wiley’s parents’, where we moochdock a lot in their perfect parking spot for Happy, overlooking the lake, always with a honking goose and train symphony. We visited with them inside the house until bedtime. They gave us lots of leftover holiday cookies and sweets, and some chicken and dumplings, Jolene had made. We’ll eat like kings for the next week and, probably, regain all the weight we lost with the flu. The in-laws always support our cause, sending us on our travels with food donations. Grateful!

Sorry for the lack of pictures. It was a nasty rainy day, Wiley and I were not together to hike, he is not the family photographer, and I was so busy enjoying my friends and the family, I forgot to take pictures. I will do better from here on out. I promise.

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Winter Wanderings Day #1, Sapphire, Brevard, NC

And here we go! I got the house all cleaned up, ready for showings, and hit the road in my car to Brevard, yesterday morning. Wiley had a dental appointment in Cashiers, first thing in the morning, so he took the van then drove to Brevard. We took both vehicles, because they both have to be serviced in Greenville, our next destination. Happy before we head south then we will leave my car there, while we are traveling for the next 3wks, picking it up when we return for Wiley’s company meetings mid-February. When the house sells, we will be selling my car.

Yesterday was a great day in Brevard, despite the rain. My soul sister, Holly and I went out for sushi to celebrate our shared New Year’s Eve birthdays then I met my wonderful artist friend, Betsy for coffee/tea. She gave me the most beautiful little ceramic owl ornaments, she had made. I just love them! I was thrilled she liked the amazonite and hemp choker, I gave her. It was great to see her and catch up too. After tea, I swung by my friend Dennis’. We have been friends for 17yrs and have become family. Dennis is like a second father to me. We were friends in Greenville then he moved to Brevard and I to Sapphire, so we still live close, despite the fact we both moved. So grateful for Dennis in my life.

After seeing my friends, I got my hair trimmed. Not to worry, nothing dramatic. I am still a long haired hippie. Between the rains, Wiley and the puppies hiked at lunch on the Eastatoe Trail in Pisgah National Forest and after work they’d played ball and hunted at Hap Sampson Park. Wiley and I met at Holly’s “Hollywood” in Pisgah Forest in the evening. Sadly, Holly and the kids were not home. They were at Braden’s basketball game at Carolina Day in Asheville. We hung out in the house with Greta and Onus, Holly’s two Jack Russells for a while after the four puppies had their fill of chasing each other around the backyard. We adore Greta and Onus, like a niece and nephew. Nigel and Pippa, being like cousins with them. Greta and Onus are couch puppies, just like our two, as you can see in the picture. Also, check out Holly’s Mardi Gras tree and dreamy jungle sunroom. After visiting with the puppies, we returned to the van to eat dinner and hunker down for the night. Still recovering and having not regained my strength totally, since having the flu, I was exhausted. I am so happy to have my health and energy back, I may have overdone it, which is so me. I was in need of a good night’s sleep, as were the puppies after their big play date.

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Transylvania County Farmers Market/HalloweenFest, Caesars Head, Greenville, Keowee Toxaway 10/27-29/18

We packed a lot in to this couple of days, but what a perfect fall weekend! We were going to camp at Hollywood on Friday night, but the weather was rainy and cold, so we stayed in Sapphire at home by the fire. We got up bright and early Saturday morning, packed up Happy, grabbed the puppies, and headed down the mountain to Brevard for the Farmers Market and HalloweenFest. Where better to celebrate Halloween than Transylvania County?!! We walked around the Farmers Market, shared a Great Harvest triple berry bar while listening to some great bluegrass, then walked over to Quotations for chai, coffee, and a breakfast sandwich. So many fabulous costumes passed on their way to the parade, as we sat outside enjoying our breakfast and beverages. We ran into Brevard and Cashiers friends at the festival, which was fun. We really do love Brevard and all the time we spend in our “big city” down the mountain. It is a wonderful small town with such a vibrant spirit and great sense of community. It is like going back in time. Reminds me of my years on Nantucket. Special place.

We left Brevard and drove towards Greenville via Caesars Head. We stopped by the Connestee Falls “Park” for the first time. We were disappointed that it was merely an overlook with no park or trails to access the area. The falls are part of the Conesstee Falls neighborhood, which has the most fabulous extensive trail system, but is not open to the public. We are fortunate to have hiked there with friends that live there. We were blown away by the trails and the beauty there. It rivaled any state park, we’ve visited.

 

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“Hollywood”, Rained Out Craft Fair, Pink Beds, Mt. Pisgah 7/20-22/18

This weekend was a lemons to lemonade weekend. Went to Brevard Friday to camp at “Hollywood” in order to be ready, bright and early Saturday morning for the Relay for Life Craft Fair, where I planned on showing my jewelry. I cooked dinner at Holly’s while she wrapped up her tie-dying to get ready for the show the next day. The three of us, humans and our four Jack Russells (our two and Holly’s two) had a lovely evening, as always. Hollywood is hippie and puppy heaven atop a mountain in Pisgah Forest. Grateful to have such a dear friend with such an amazing site for us to camp.

Sadly, we woke very early Saturday morning to severe thunderstorms. Called the craft fair organizers, who cancelled due to weather. Two hours later, just as the craft fair would have begun, the sun was out, the sky was clear and blue. I was beyond frustrated and disappointed, as were Holly and Odile, who were going to have artist booths at the show too. We had all done a lot of work to prepare. Wiley and I left Holly’s, went to the Transylvania County Farmers Market, then decided to go hiking in Pisgah. We settled on Pink Beds, where we had not been in a few years. Boy, did we hit it right! We had the place to ourselves with the wild flowers putting on quite the show. There was even a field of sunflowers! What a way to turn my day around. It gets better. While picnicking after our hike, Wiley suggested, we go up to Mt. Pisgah to see if we could get a campsite for the night. I welcomed the suggestion and we were off up the mountain to the Parkway. We stopped at several overlooks en route to the campground. Perfect afternoon for fabulous long range views.

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Sapphire, Asheville, Brevard, Asheville, Sapphire, & Summerville, SC 5/25-28/18

Really? You ask yourself upon reading the title of this post. Yes, really. This is the story of my life, except for the new addition of Summerville, this go around. Busy Memorial Day weekend, lots of driving and rain, but lots of fun! After driving back and forth to Brevard all week, taking care of a dear friend, who had retinal surgery, I drove my car to Asheville Friday to get a jump on moving Miles out of the dorm before Saturday’s pick up after graduation. Upon arrival, Miles insisted we drive across town to Moe’s to eat. Afterward, we packed up his room and I headed back towards Brevard to meet Wiley and the puppies in Happy at Hollywood. We boondocked at Hollywood for the night to enjoy White Squirrel Festival in downtown Brevard with Holly, her children, and her sister, Kristi. We ate dinner from the Oskar Blues Chub Wagon and listened to some great music outdoors on Main St. It was a lovely evening with only a few sprinkles, thank goodness.

Saturday, we met Holly & Co. at Mayberry’s in Brevard for breakfast. We sat outside with the puppies, which was nice. Mayberry’s is our breakfast/brunch spot downtown. They have these insane waffle or pancake breakfast sandwiches with eggs, cheese, and sausage or bacon. Once every 6mos, we’d treat ourselves to one, but now we are on a gluten free/low FODMAP diet for Wiley’s IBS, so we got a yummy scramble bowl without the evil cheese, mushroom, or onion. We are adapting.

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Brevard 4/27-29/18

Took a 30 minute trek down the mountain to Brevard for the weekend. Friday was a beautiful night for my HMH jewelry’s Brevard premiere at the Color Wheel Gallery’s Grand Opening and Artist Reception. We had a great turn out, funky tunes, and delectable food. Thank you, HMH friend, Joy for the lovely pictures of the evening!

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Easter/Passover Week 2018 Greenville, Sapphire, Asheville, Brevard, Greenville again, & back to Sapphire

 

Happy was all over WNC and SC this past week. We were only home in Sapphire, from our last trip to Greenville, for two nights before loading up again and heading out. We left Friday afternoon to go to Asheville School to see Miles play baseball. It was cold, windy, and drizzly, so we should get parents of the year for staying the entire game. Miles played a new position at 3rd base. Both, he and the Blues, had a great game with a 5-3 win over Asheville HS. So glad we were there!

We left Asheville after the game and drove back to Brevard, where we spent the weekend camping at Hollywood, my friend Holly’s mountaintop property. One of our fave boondocking spots.

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