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Huge Update! December 2018-January 2020

After our family Thanksgiving trip to New Orleans last year, I pretty much quit blogging on my own website, exclusively posting my travel journal to Facebook. Part of it was the ease of Facebook posting and picture importing vs. less simple, WordPress. The other part of it was visibility. I felt like my thousands of followers on Facebook were actually reading, commenting, and liking my content, but no one was seeing it on my website. I got discouraged and stopped using my website, except for my High Maintenance Hippies Jewelry sales.

After much thought, I deactivated my Facebook account to focus my time and energy to complete the project of updating my website blog. My goal is to blog and interact with people through my website, not on social media. I will reactivate my Facebook account to launch my updated blog and invite people to follow our new adventures this winter here on my website, not on Facebook. I will be keeping my 2020 Winter Wanderings travel journal HERE, only using Facebook to post links to my blog posts. Hope to have you along for the ride!

Rather than attempt to cut and paste all of my Facebook travel blog posts from 12/18-1/20, I will summarize the last year, share the highlights, and pictures. It was an amazing year full of travel, adventures, family, and friends. So grateful!

WINTER WANDERINGS 12/7/18-3/9/19

12/7-13/18 Edisto Beach State Park, *Primo Campsite #12*, Edisto, SC: We stayed in the beachfront campground, under a giant live oak, just behind a dune, with a pathway to the beach, one of my most favorite campsites ever. It was a really chilly week at the beach, but I always love the beach in the off-season. We bundled up and took plenty of walks on the beach with the puppies. It snowed over a foot back home while we were gone, so I was happy to be at the beach. We ate plenty of seafood at SeaCow, Whaley’s, and Ella & Ollie’s. By chance, a friend, Holly Peterson from Greenville was at Edisto at the same time, so we got together several times during the week, just us girls and as couples. Fabulous week!

Continue reading Huge Update! December 2018-January 2020
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David & Caroline Visit Sapphire 11/10-11/18

We did not travel the second week in November, because we had our friends, David and Caroline from Greenville and Waynesville come visit us in Sapphire. We had all been together at LEAF Festival in October and planned to get together for some hiking and fun. Glad we made it happen so soon. It was great sharing our mountains with them. They arrived Saturday evening. We had dinner at home, followed by chatting around the fire, then an intense game of Rummikub, in which Wiley took all three rounds. I usually win, so I am guessing he was actually trying this time, because his techie friend was here, so yeah. I am competitive and don’t like to think he usually doesn’t care enough to play his hardest and just let’s me win…Anyhow, it was a lovely evening.

Sunday morning, I made bacon & egg muffins, which were a hit, then we were ready for the trail. It was 36 degrees, so we bundled up, loaded up the puppies, and headed to nearby Panthertown to hike the moderate 2mi. out-and-back Greenland Creek Trail. I highly recommend this one for children and inexperienced hikers. We were surprised the Cold Mountain parking area was as full as it was given the weather. Lots of cold weather committed hikers out there. We hiked through the typically muddy waterfull rhododendron forest to the giant boulders and fabulous Greenland Creek (or Holly) Falls. We took some pics, had a snack, then I wanted to attempt to go to the top of the falls, where I’d seen people in the past. We clawed our way up the steep dense left side of the waterfall, but did not find an easy access to the top of the falls, so we just kept going along the creek, past a beautiful cascade, until the trail petered out. When its warmer and we can be in shorts and river sandals, not worried about getting wet in the icy waters, I’ll return and make my way to the top. It’s a mission now. We hiked back on the Greenland Creek Trail until we reached the Mac’s Gap Trail. We decided to take this alternate route back to the parking lot, since we’d always taken the same in and out, and wanted to try another trail. It was definitely drier through the forest and away from the water, not a bad option if you want to see varied scenery. Greenland Creek is definitely one of my favorite local hikes and a great one to share with visitors. There’s a lot of bang for your buck, following the water most of the way, then the awesome boulder playground and gorgeous waterfall payoff at the end. If you haven’t been, get there!

After our hike, we’d worked up an appetite. We returned home to the curried chicken salad, I’d made. Our ethnic food loving friends were big fans. I was thrilled to find out Caroline has been a pomegranate fan since childhood, like me. She was overjoyed by the perfect pomegranate, I had for lunch and the pomegranate cutting hack, I shared with her. It’s the little things. After our late lunch, Caroline and David headed home. They were such wonderful, easy guests. We told them to come back anytime. Fun sharing our mountain wonderland with people, who enjoy it as much as we do.

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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