Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mr. C's Big Adventure - In Pictures

It was a nice vacation to journey up to North Carolina and visit for the twins' 3rd birthday party.  It turned out that both my daughters were there so we had three 3-year-olds in residence, plus the 5-year-old "big sister."

I know my younger readers are well aware of this, but some of the old farts might have forgotten what a joyful noise four young girls can make.  And it's non-stop!  Except when they're asleep.  Like a light switch, off-on.  But there is no greater joy than having a three-year-old run up to you and give you a big hug around the neck.  Or climb all over you like a bouncy-ball when you're trying to watch the Schu make a move at Spa on TV.  It's what life is all about.  The people you love, and those who love you.

Anyway, the drive from Baja Georgia to Charlotte can be a real pain in the ass.  The construction around Brunswick is ceaseless and I-95 in South Carolina is a throw back to the 60's, at 80mph.  So, I usually get off of the interstate just north of the SC line at Ridgeland and take the backroads from there, often stopping for lunch at the Hampton Inn, a little soul food diner in Hampton, SC.  But not this time.  This time I decided to take 601 and 521 straight through to the Big C.

Having done a little reconnaissance the night before, I discovered an old plantation just north of the Congaree Swamp and decided to stop and check it out.  Only problem was, it was closed for the Month of August.  Drats.  But when I pulled into the drive, I discovered something even better than the plantation.  It was a swarm of butterflies attracted to something in the pavement.  The air was alive with beautiful little yellowish green butterflies who would gather, and then take flight, over and over again.  Really fascinating.

 This was just south of Camden, SC where I knew, because of my previous sleuthing, there was a Revolutionary War site.  It was apparantly a major battle and featured some big name generals, including Cornwallis himself.  The Redcoat's headquarters was an old mansion that was rebuilt in the early 70's.

Camden proved to be a really pretty little town with a bustling downtown and stately old homes on tree-lined streets.  Enough history and beauty there to warrant another visit.

Just north of Camden, in Kershaw, SC, I ran across this gorgeous old tobacco warehouse.

The reason, or excuse as the case may be, for me going to NC in the first place was the twins' 3rd birthday party.  Popi couldn't miss that.

It was a great party, complete with a pinata horse and games.  Later that evening, the men gathered in the back yard for a friendly game of badminton.  My team won, but I was left with a blue toenail.  Can't tell whether I actually won or not.  The next day, we took the 3-year-old cousins for a walk on a greenway, blue toe and all.

On Tuesday, I drove over to Asheville to visit the North Carolin Arboretum.  It's quite beautiful and I suppose if you visit it during each season it changes quite a bit.

Of course, Mr. C can never resist taking photos of flowers.  Nothing more beautiful.  Mother Nature's gift to creation.

After the arboretum, I jumped over the Blue Ridge Parkway to the road through Bat Cave, Chimney Rock and Lake Lure.  Just a flat out beautiful drive.  By miracle of fate, I had the road to myself and was happily putting my little VW through its paces.  On one particular stretch of windy, curvy mountain road I was getting it on when I passed a speed limit sign.  35mph.  Ooops!  I anxiously looked down at the speedometer, 35mph.

Fortunately, bruised ego and all, I came across an old memory, stopped and loaded up.

A short distance later, I stopped at an ice cream shop in Chimney Rock, got myself a double scoop of vanilla in a cone, walked down to the Broad River, found a place on a shady rock, kicked my shoes off and soaked my feet in the icy water.



  1. Great photos! Sounds like a very relaxing get away.

  2. Nice. I flew into and out of Charlotte once, and visited Kershaw while I was there. Actually I was visiting someone in Lancaster, SC. The rest looks like places I would also like to visit.

  3. You just finished the one thing I really, I mean really need...a road trip away from this place. Too bad I need the right kind of car for the road trips I prefer and won't buy one.

  4. Thanks Punch. A needed rest.

    Andrew... Lancaster is just down the road from where my daughter lives, in Waxhaw. Know it well. South Carolina is a dichotomy or beautiful and skinned-up. But I guess every place is like that.

    WM... I've often thought about renting a hot rod and taking off for a weekend romp. Would love a Ferrari but a 'Vette would do.

  5. C, It relaxes me just to read this and of course looking at the photos. I have spent many vacations up in them thar hills.

    As to the little ones, having two of those myself at such a late date, introduced me to what is truly meaningful. I would never had known otherwise.

    Welcome back.

  6. Loved the butterflies. Too bad the girls couldn't chase them.

  7. you contribute to my itchy foot syndrome!

    but the really big issue is: why, oh why, would you get vanilla ice cream when theres so many other flavours?

  8. Try a Wrangler with an after market V8 and no road to tell me where to go, just a compass on the dash to tell me which direction I am headed and a winch to get me out of boggy spots.

  9. jj... I guess I'm so uptight over so much these days that I've gravitated towards humor and relaxing with my blogs. Glad it was infections.

    Trish... I thought that same thing when I saw them. If you walked into the middle of them, they would all fly up and it was like a blizzard of color.

    Kylie... vanilla? I guess I'm just a simple man.

    WM... that works for me.

  10. Nice trip. I like taking the back roads. Hate the interstate, especially 95. Boring and more boring. But there is much to stop and photograph in little towns, some of which seem forgotten.


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