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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.

Continue reading Winter Wanderings Day #27-30, Fort Toulouse, Wetumpka, AL, Hard Labor Creek State Park, Rutledge, GA, Greenville, SC.
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Winter Wanderings Day #3, Greenville, SC, Chewacla State Park, Auburn, AL

Awakened to another rainy day in Greenville. Boy, is the rain getting old. Hope the Sunshine State delivers. I need some vitamin D, especially still recovering from the flu after 3wks…

Wiley visited with his dad before we headed out, early morning. Prior to Wiley going to the office for meetings, we drove out to Piedmont to leave Happy to be serviced at Christopher Trucks. We then made our way across town to drop the puppies off at the new location of A Dog’s Day Out across from Bob Jones, only after I had driven them out to Greer near Thornblade, to find they had moved, before I had met Wiley in Piedmont. It was kind of a crazy morning. Little did we know at the time, the afternoon would be much crazier.

I got Wiley to work then went to run a few errands, before meeting my friend, Julianne for tea. We had a major catch up then she headed out to yoga. My bestie, Melissa was home sick in bed, and a few other friends were at work, so I decided to take myself to the movies to see Little Women. Glad I was by myself, because I was blubbering like a baby. Great movie!

After the movie, I picked Wiley up at the office off Haywood. We still had to get the puppies on Pleasantburg, drive back out Piedmont to pick up the van, drop off my SUV on Woodruff to be serviced, then drive the 4+ hours to Chewacla State Park in Auburn, AL. When we come to Greenville, we have a lot of business to take care of, all the things we can not do in the mountains. On the way to get the puppies, the Christopher Trucks service manager, Brian called to tell us that one of the dualie tires on the back had a screw in it and was unrepairable. He said, they don’t deal with tires and could not patch it, only fill it with air. He recommended a commercial tire place down the road, that may or may not be able to help us. This was at 3:30, we still had to get the puppies, then make our way out there, and back into town to Powerstar, where we take the SUV for service. Luckily, they are open until 6:00 and have a drop box, so that was not an issue. I called Snider’s commercial tire to be told, they won’t work on RV’s, because of the weight and liability of putting them on the lift. Plus, they didn’t carry a small enough tire for us. She had no one to recommend either…At that point, I called our longtime trusted tire provider, North Hills Automotive on Augusta Rd. Nick couldn’t believe Christopher Trucks couldn’t help us. He said, “No worries. I’ll have what I believe is the right tire brought from the warehouse right now, we will put it on when you get here, and get you on the road this evening, but we close at 5:00”. Mind you, I’m talking to him at about 4:15, by this point. Once at Christopher Trucks, Wiley says, “I have a full size tire on the back of the van. Why can’t we just put that on?”. Glad someone was thinking like a winner! The mechanics hadn’t even noticed the spare on the back. They were nice enough to put it on, despite the fact, they “don’t do that”. With the spare on it was now 4:30. We arrived at North Hills at 4:45. Brilliant Nick, had, indeed, gotten the right tire with very little information. He confirmed the tire with the screw could not be patched. He had someone put the new tire on the back of the van, as a spare and we were on the road to Powerstar by 5:05. It was a stressful afternoon, but everyone involved could not have been nicer and it all worked out. We dropped the SUV at Powerstar, where we would leave it for 3wks, and got on the road towards Auburn at 5:40. Whew! The universe was looking out for us. I attribute everything working out to some good karma. Grateful!

We drove for an hour then stopped to eat at a rest area full of truckers, sleeping. Wiley had eaten a big lunch at Willy Taco with his team from work. I was starving. I had not had lunch. I just got a free popcorn at the movie, thanks to my Regal card. Wiley fired up the generator, heating up my Penang shrimp curry for me. He just had a quick snack while mine heated. I ate it while we drove on down the road towards Auburn. We hit Atalanta around 8:00pm. We couldn’t believe the traffic, even at night. We were so surprised. Google maps said, there was a wreck ahead of us with a 20min slow down. We switched to Waze, as is our custom and got around it without sitting in traffic for a minute. With an hour left to go to Chewacla, I started falling asleep. Wiley said, I could go to the back to bed, which I had never done before. I felt guilty for leaving him, but I just couldn’t stay awake. I still have not resigned my strength and energy after being taken down by the flu. I slept straight through to the campground, only taking off my clothes when we arrived, not even getting up to do the nightly ritual. I was wiped out. Thankful to Wiley for driving in the dark and getting us there after a long day. He rocks!

Again, no pictures, Folks. With the rain, being in the city, no hiking, or campground camping, there was not much to photograph. That all changes today, as we are at Chewacla State Park. Get ready for photos, coming your way from here on out!

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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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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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Greenville Meetings, Blue Ridge, GA Fun, & Standing Indian Hiking 10/12-14/18

Got dash puppy, will travel! Pippa has taken to riding in the dash cubby in Happy, lately. She hyper focuses for hours, hunting the leaves in the hood or caught in the wipers or imaginary critters when there are no leaves. It’s really funny! We drove down the mountain to Greenville, Thursday evening to spend the night in Julianne’s driveway, so Wiley could wake up to be there first thing Friday morning for company meetings. After work on Friday, we were to head to my longtime friend, Suzanne’s in the mountains of Blue Ridge, GA for the weekend. We woke Friday morning, ate in the van, then parked in Wiley’s company parking lot. I stayed in the van and hung out with the puppies in the morning while Wiley was in meetings. My friend, Kathy, who was also going to Suzanne’s, came to get me at lunchtime, so I could ride with her to Blue Ridge. Wiley and the puppies would come later. Kathy and I had a fun road trip. It ended up being an hour longer than normal due to Kathy missing a turn, but we were so busy chatting, we didn’t mind. I was thrilled to arrive and see Suzanne. It had been six months, which was too long.

Wiley arrived just in time for a big Blue Ridge dinner at Suzanne’s. It was a house full of friends and relations, totaling 11 people. Suzanne had cooked chili and cornbread, I made a big salad, and Suzanne’s mom baked a to die for coconut custard pie. I cooked a lamb shank for Wiley, as he’s doing the Low FODMAPs diet. Typically, I eat what Wiley eats since it’s just the two of us, but I was on vacation, so splurged and ate chili. We sat around the table and talked for hours. It was a really fun evening. Continue reading Greenville Meetings, Blue Ridge, GA Fun, & Standing Indian Hiking 10/12-14/18

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Freaky Friday & Wiley Sr.’s Surprise 80th Birthday Weekend Greenville 10/5-7/18

We drove to Greenville in separate vehicles, because we had family coming in for the big 80th birthday celebration and were going to be playing tour guides for the weekend. Sadly, the puppies had to go to the kennel in Cashiers, because the temps were going to be in the 90’s in Greenville, we had to entertain visiting family, and we had the party to attend. Poor puppies. It is a good thing we had Happy and the SUV and that we were in Greenville, because while I was waiting in the carpool line at Bee’s school in my SUV, the “check engine” light came on. I got Bee then headed to meet Wiley at the mechanic’s shop. We dropped off my car, which we would now be without for the weekend, piled in Happy, and headed to Paris Mtn. State Park for a little nature and hiking with Bee. We were on the way to Paris Mtn when we drove by Greenville Tech and saw the sign “Freaky Friday TODAY”. We made an obvious choice to turn into Tech and get our freak on. Bee was over the moon. She had an absolute blast at the fall carnival, complete with fun house, carnival rides, games, silly string, face painting, laser tag, etc. Bee won prizes, made friends, giggled with glee chasing us with silly string, was the only girl at laser tag, and loved me riding with her on the conference bike. We even entered the hula hooping contest. It was so special to share Freaky Friday with her, as I had done with my children and Wiley with his son. Bee is the 4th generation of Wiley’s family to attend Freaky Friday. Wiley’s late mother and Wiley Sr. used to volunteer when Wiley was a student at Sara Collins Elementary. What wonderful timing, right place, right time. It was hot, but so much fun!

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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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Sapphire, Greenville, Asheville Loop 4/11-13/18

So, I said on Facebook that I was in a Sapphire, Greenville, Asheville loop. I jokingly, asked for somebody to help me. One of my followers, said, “What a loop to be caught in! I’ll take it!”. I certainly wasn’t complaining, but her comment did lead me to contemplation and gratitude. We have been between Sapphire, Greenville, and Asheville, going to pick up and drop off Miles in Asheville for Spring Break then Spring Weekend, then visiting Bee, the in-laws, and friends in Greenville, and returning home, only to turn around and do it all again, constantly, since the beginning of March. When I paused, after I read the comment, I thought about Sapphire, Greenville, and Asheville. Each one is a fabulous destination in itself, that others only hope to visit or travel long distances to visit. I am so fortunate to be caught in this loop and have the opportunity to spend time in each of these amazing towns with people I love. Sometimes, it’s good to stop and smell the roses. Ahhhhhh!

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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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