A Lake, a Revolutionary War, and a Town Named Pauline

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Now that the weather (minus this week) has cooled off ever so slightly I've been able to jump in the adventure buggy (aka my car) & go go go!!!  This past adventure Saturday took me into the Upstate.  I honestly have not spent a lot of time touring the upstate & I found that 1. it's beautiful, 2. it's somewhat cooler than the concrete jungle where I reside, that's right I'm talking about you Columbia, and 3. there is some great Mexican food to be eaten (have we discussed my love of Mexican food, if not it's probably because I don't want to admit to everyone that I could eat Mexican food everyday & for serious talk I eat it at least twice a week (sometimes more, no judgment!)). 

First stop:  Croft State Park
I'm still on my journey of visiting every state park in South Carolina.  It's a great inexpensive way to travel the state.  Croft is beautiful.  Once I turned into the park entrance, paid my $2 entrance fee, and began my drive to the visitor center/gift shop/brochure central I could not get over the beauty that surrounded me.  Once I arrived at my destination, straight ahead was Lake Craig.  Lake Craig is breathtaking & it was even more so with the sun beaming down on one side and these huge dark storm clouds rolling in on the other side.




Croft covers 7,000 acres and has over 20 miles of biking, hiking, and horse trails.  Croft is definitely a great equestrian park!  And also a great place to camp as they have both primitive camping spots and camper spots.  I walked around for a little while and saw that they have boat, canoe, & kayak rentals as well.  If you haven't visited Croft get out your pen and paper and add it to the list.

Second Stop:  Pauline
I didn't realize that there was a town in South Carolina that had been named after my Grandmother.  Ok, so it's not really named after my Grandmother BUT had they known her they for sure would have named the town after her!  With that being said, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to visit Pauline, South Carolina so to Pauline I went.  It is definitely one of those towns/communities that if you blink you'll miss it (basically like where I grew up, here's looking at you Mars Bluff) which is why I went through the town twice to make sure I saw everything!


With the walking I had done at Croft State Park and the excitement of visiting Pauline, South Carolina, it was time for lunch.  Through Tripadvisor (one of my all time go to sites), I found Bronco's Mexican Restaurant located in Spartanburg.  Heavens to betsy was it yum to my tum!  In Spartanburg, give Bronco's a try....great food, great service, friendly staff, and clean restrooms!

Final stop:  Musgrove Mill State Historic Site
Musgrove Mill State Historic Site is located in Clinton.  A Revolutionary War site, Musgrove Mill was the site of the Battle of Musgrove Mill.  The education/visitor center has wonderful staff and many hands on items and reading panels that all provide visitors with information about the historic site.  A wonderful very informative lady was there to answer any questions regarding the site.  There are 2 easy hiking trails.  I hiked the British Encampment trail.  The trail, which is mostly in the woods, takes you all through the site of their encampment and down to the water (Enoree River) where the old grist mill was located (remnants of the mill can still be seen).  I stayed awhile enjoying the river before I continued my hike through the remaining encampment.  After I completed the British Encampment Trail, I drove to the next trail (you have to drive to it) mainly to see the water fall.  The water fall was beautiful.  I didn't walk down to the falls (there is access) due to many people making it their watering hole.  However, I was able to get a picture of the falls before leaving. 







Any recommendations of places to visit and/or eat in the Upstate?  Also, as I was writing this blog post & kept typing Croft and Musgrove, I kept picturing Jane Austen's Persuasion.  I may have started calling the Upstate, Uppercross...anyone else with me on that one?

Happy Travels,
Amber

A Little Trip to North Carolina

Monday, July 31, 2017

How exciting that in July in South Carolina, there was a 'cooler' day which meant I was finally able to have an adventure day!  I adore traveling & was beginning to go a little stir crazy hanging around town weekend after weekend.  Adventure was calling  & I jumped in the Adventure Buggy (aka my car) & hit the road!  Adventure day was to Charlotte, Pineville, and Waxhaw, North Carolina with a quick stop at the North Carolina welcome center.  I love a welcome center because it's a host of travel information & this Southern Girl and her suitcase as always looking for new places to explore.

First stop, the Billy Graham Library (Charlotte).  So I have been wanting to visit here since I first learned about it many years ago & I honestly have no idea why I never went until this weekend.  This place is wonderful!  A must see, spend a couple of hours (or more) kind of place.  I had no idea what awaited for me when I pulled into the parking lot of the Billy Graham Library.

I toured the Graham family home, the library and the grounds.  The family home was built in 1927 (for $9,000.00) and was originally located an estimated 4 miles from its current location.  Billy Graham grew up with his 3 siblings in this house.

 Love this wallpaper!
 Portrait of Billy Graham



After touring this beautiful home, I began my tour of the library.  Upon entering the library there is an introduction part (a talking cow & a short film).  After the film our tour group was directed into the somewhat self-guided individual rooms to tour.  Each room tells the story/history of Billy Graham's life and what an amazing life!
 The library.
 A beautiful lamp in the Ruth Bell Graham room (Footprints of a Pilgrim)
The Cross (by Thomas Kinkade).

Ruth Graham (wife of Billy Graham) is buried on the property and after learning so much about her during my tour of the house and library, I wanted to pay my respects.

"End of Construction - Thank you for your patience" was a construction sign Ruth Graham saw while going down the highway and stated that she wanted that saying on her tombstone.  While touring the library you learn that Ruth Graham had a great sense of humor which was reflected throughout her life and on her tombstone. 

The Billy Graham Library is a fantastic place to visit!  If you haven't been, I suggest making this what you do in the near future because it is truly a beautiful, inspiring, and very moving place.

After leaving Charlotte, I headed to Pineville, NC.  President James K. Polk was born in Pineville, N.C. and his birthplace is now a historic site where visitors can learn more about the life of President Polk.  There was a great museum dedicated to the life of President Polk and self-guided and guided tours of the outside portions of the site.




Adventure day came to an end in Waxhaw.  Waxhaw is an adorable town.  I stopped at one of the antique stores located in Waxhaw & purchased a beautiful vintage 1972 Hurricane lamp.  (Side note:  oh the 70s from the music to the pyrex, I can't help myself I LOVE it all so it's fitting that the 1972 hurricane lamp is 70s orange/brown/green floral.)  I definitely would like to return to Waxhaw to spend some time touring this adorable town. 

Waxhaw has a great museum which provides history of the area & Andrew Jackson who may (or may not) have been born in Waxhaw.  The Museum of the Waxhaws:  A History of the Region & Memorial to Andrew Jackson has amazing volunteers who love telling the history of the area.  At the museum there is an outdoor area with a living history section.  A wonderful volunteer told our group the history of living/farming over 200 years ago.  Our group was given a tour of the garden, learned about plants, toured the cabin, the blacksmith shop, the smokehouse, and the springhouse.  After a very enjoyable living history tour, I toured the museum.  The museum provides history of the area from 1650 to the 1900s.  The museum has some very fun upcoming events planned:  8/26 The Great Pirate Invasion, 10a-3p ($6 per person); 9/10 (will continue the 2nd Sunday of the month through November) Spinners & More; and 10/21 Historical Haunted Walk, 7p, 8p, & 9p ($6 per person).
 Lamb's Ear.  Grown/used 200+ years ago for toilet paper and bandages.  The leaves of this plant are extremely soft.  I stayed a little bit after the living history tour & museum visit to talk with the lady who ran the gift shop about growing lamb's ear.  I have tried & failed at growing it so she gave me some good pointers & I'm going to attempt growing lamb's ear again!
 Beautiful garden!


It was a great joy to be back on the road traveling, meeting new people, exploring new places, and learning new things.

Happy Travels,
Amber

That 70s Show

Sunday, July 9, 2017

With the warm hot weather upon us here in South Carolina traveling for me has slowed way down.  However, what I like to call travel season (September-May) is coming up soon and there are some really great places on the books that we will be visiting! 

Today was a nice indoor outing to the Columbia Museum of Art to view "That 70s Show."  I'm extremely interested in the 70s so going to view this exhibit was a given. 
One of the very first things that I noticed about this exhibit is that instead of the viewing benches they had bean bag chairs...SO COOL!  The exhibit also had a wall of reading information giving interesting information regarding each year of the 1970s.

 Poster, Our Unfinished Revolution, 1976 (Alexander Calder)

 Cat Paws, 1974 (Robert Rauchenberg)
 Firebirds, 1979 (Romare Bearden)

 Portrait of a Poet:  Kenneth Koch, 1970 (Alex Katz)
 Rose Room, 1971 (Phyllis Sloane)
 Muntu, 1975 (Karen M. Hendricks)
Women's Equality, 1975 (Marisol)

This exhibit was really rad!  That 70s Show is on view at the Columbia Museum of Art until September 17th.  It's really a must-see especially if you love the 70s!

After a quick stop in the museum gift shop (really great unique items), it was time for ice cream.  Sweet Cream Co. on Main St. in Columbia, SC gets my vote for best ice cream in Columbia!  They are locally sourced and everything is homemade. 
Today's choices were Caramel Popcorn with Peanuts and Dark Cherry with Pistachio.  Both were great choices but as always as we are sitting and eating our ice cream, I'm reading the chalk board with other flavors like Watermelon Mint Sorbet, Orange Coriander Ice Cream, Not Too Salty Pretzels Ice Cream, and more!

Have you been to Sweet Cream Co.?  Any flavor recommendations?

Happy Travels,
Amber

Museum & Ice Cream

Monday, June 19, 2017

I've said it before but I'll say it again, one of my all time favorite things to do on Sunday is go to brunch then visit a museum.  Well this past Sunday was one of the best!  Brunch took place at Real Mexico.  Have you been?  I think, who am I kidding I know that I could eat Mexican food every. single. day.  I should start keeping track of how many times in a month I eat Mexican food but I'm pretty sure I would be embarrassed waiting for my well deserved gold-plated jalapeno only to be disappointed when it didn't arrive sooo...  After stuffing our tums with yummy food, we headed to the Columbia Museum of Art to view their newest exhibit, Retooled.  At first I wasn't exactly getting the exhibit but after reading through some of the first exhibits, I was hooked, & thought it was unusually awesome! 

 Hammer and Nails, 1980 (Hans Godo Frabel)
 Cut, 1986 (Polished Steel / Christopher Plowman)
 Summer Tool, 1983 (Oak / F.L. Wall)
 Rake Back Chair, 1981 (Lee A. Schuette)

 I Nailed Wooden Suns to Wooden Skies, 1972 (Red Grooms)

As we were exiting the Retooled exhibit, to the right was an amazing pop-up exhibit by artist Sana Arjumand.  The talent that this amazing artist has is just out of this world fantastic!  If you haven't checked out Retooled or been introduced to the art of Sana Arjumand then drop what you are doing and get to the Columbia Museum of Art!
 Reflection, 2017
 Trust and Faith, 2017
 Pursuit, 2017
Clarity, 2017

On the walk back to the car, a discovery was made and by discovery I mean a life-changing event occurred and by life changing event I mean Lemon Poppy Seed Ice Cream.  Once I hear/see/smell lemon, I can't pass it up.  This doesn't just apply to desserts this extends all the way to cleaning products!  I've been hooked on anything lemon since I first smelled Pine-Sol (lemon scent) as a child & ate lemon curd on a scone!  Speaking of lemon curd, while I don't make scones (yet), I purchased a jar of lemon curd the other day from Trader Joe's just because one never knows what other great food product lemon curd could take to the next great level!
Sweet Cream Co. on Main St. is a must!  Have you been?  Flavor recommendations?  Their Lemon Poppy Seed Ice Cream and Lime Cardamom Ice Cream are so tasty!  Looking forward to our next trip to Sweet Cream Co. to try one of their other tasty flavors even though let's get serious it'll be lemon w/a side of something else!

Happy Travels,
Amber