Mystery at the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail

As if the Swamp Rabbit Trail wasn’t already perfect, Swamp Rabbit Station @Berea has released an interactive children’s book.

 

IMG_9871Mystery on the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail grabs your children, (and maybe you, if you’re a kid at heart), and hops on the trail with Officer Jack Rabbit to solve a mystery!

IMG_9873I decided I liked the book after flipping open to the first page. Jack Rabbit shares a list of rules to follow when using the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail. Parents, you will appreciate this part. I loved the life lessons towards the end of the story and you will too.

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DSC00547A section of the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail runs through Furman University. On the day we visited, the weather was perfect for scooters and story time!

Please note, JP (my pre-teen) son, hanging out in the swing because he is “too old for that book.” So, when thinking about your target audience, it’s definitely under twelve. The other three kiddos are four, seven and eight. They were hanging on every word.

DSC00548Having said that, if you live in the area, it’s a book you should own, regardless of your age. Especially if you’re a fan of the trail.

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IMG_9894Scattered along the trail, you will find the characters from the story. These three had the best time searching for them.

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DSC00561You can purchase your copy of the book at one of the following locations:

Swamp Rabbit Cafe & Grocery205 Cedar Lane RoadGreenville, S.C. 29611

Greenville Memorial Hospital/Gift Shop701 Grove RoadGreenville, S.C. 29605

Reedy River Storage305 McAlister RoadGreenville , S.C. 29607

Elephant’s Trunk2222 Augusta Street #8Greenville, S.C. 29605

Pedal Chic250 Riverplace Unit BGreenville, S.C. 29601

The Cafe @ Williams Hardware13 S. Main StreetTravelers Rest, S.C. 29690

As The Page Turns, 21 Plaza DriveTravelers Rest, S.C. 29690

Expressions Unlimited Inc.921 Poinsett HighwayGreenville, S.C. 29609

Upcountry History Museum9540 Buncombe StGreenville, SC 29601

Also, the mystery will “be released” at a Release Party on the trail.

WHEN: Saturday, September 22, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Various children’s activities will be featured, and copies of the book will be available for purchase ($12.50/each)

Hope to see you at Swamp Rabbit Station @ Berea located at Sulphur Springs Road and Pinsley Circle

 

Explore the 47: Paris Mountain State Park

IMG_9313Can we talk about this outfit for a minute – no – let’s talk about the CHILD for a minute. One thing you should know about Preston… he is never wearing normal clothes. Ever. A couple of weeks ago, we planned to visit Paris Mountain State Park for the day. The kids’ water/river shoes had holes in them (we bought no name brands at Walmart, and I guess  you get what you pay for). We headed to Sunrift Adventures in Travelers Rest to buy new shoes before we went and this is how he dressed.

Fireman coveralls, a shark shirt and, most importantly, snow boots. You gotta love this kid.

IMG_9316It took all morning (almost) but everyone left with a new pair of KEENS. He picked these out – how cute are they?!

IMG_9323After a healthy amount of morning drama (because, with kids, there’s always drama) we finally made it to the park.

IMG_9320Due to it being five hundred degrees, we made him change into shorts. But he had his hiking stick, so all was right in his world.

IMG_9324I love the trees at Paris Mountain.

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IMG_9329During President Roosevelt’s time in office, he began a program called the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). When Paris Mountain was created, the CCC used cost-efficient materials to produce “parkitectures.” This bridge is one of those structures. IMG_9327

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IMG_9344We weren’t able to take advantage of everything the park has to offer on this day. The lake is really nice and offers pedal boat, kayak and canoe rentals for a minimal price. Please note: private boats are not permitted in the park lake. 

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IMG_9338This is my favorite spot. The porch is lined with adirondack chairs and offers complementary Wifi (not that internet service is top priority if you’re exploring a park, but if you work from home and need a change of scenery, it’s the perfect “office”)

IMG_9345 I’m not sure why this photo is a different size?

This is Ranger Shawn. Preston totally wants to be just like him when he grows up. Is it too early to job-shadow at age seven? If not, give us a call, Shawn!

Be sure to check the park website  for special events and other news before you go and have a GREAT time!

*Speaking of special events, Paris Mountain hosts Music in the Woods on Saturdays from 2-4 during September and October. The music is included with park admission. Check their Facebook page  for schedules and updated information*

A Thank You to the Man on the Beach

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DSC00515(I promise this is my last post from last week’s beach trip)

With all the negativity in the news and all the storm coverage, I thought it would be nice to take a little break and share photos of Preston fishing with his new island friend. I’m not going to ramble on. Enjoy the photos (taken with my Sony) and I’ll share my Instagram post at the end.

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IMG_9722From Instagram: 

Dear Stranger on the Beach, I can’t thank you enough for inviting Preston to fish with you. You let him reel in your small catch and showed him how to remove it without getting hurt (because you also taught him that Bluefish have teeth and can be aggressive). What you DON’T know is, his new fishing rod broke before he got a chance to use it and cried because he couldn’t bring it to the beach. The 30 minutes you spent sharing this moment with him, made his entire day! 

There are good people in this world and I am thankful to have met this one.

 

 

 

 

Explore the 47: Huntington Beach State Park

*This post is very delayed. Our internet service was not 100% so I had trouble uploading the photos while there. I planned to relocate to write the post and we ended up evacuating the island. So, please forgive the delay but I hope you enjoy the post. FYI, we are back in Greenville, safe and sound and keeping our island friends/family in our thoughts and prayers*

Hello from Pawleys, friends! We arrived in town this morning and suffocated from the heat the second we got here. The thermometer registered at (only) ninety-one degrees, but OH. MY. GOSH. We were sweating like crazy as soon as we got out of the car.

IMG_9665I would do it all over again to experience the views from the Marsh Walk in Huntington Beach State Park.

IMG_9669The boys LOVED, LOVED, LOVED watching the (literal) hundreds of crabs walking through the marsh.

IMG_9667Don’t forget to click HERE to purchase your Park Pass! It is 100% an investment.

IMG_9786JP and Preston are learning SO much about nature, history and wildlife. We wouldn’t trade these experiences for anything in the world.

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IMG_9680The oversized adirondack chairs are always fun!

Aside from the beach, the really big (really nice) gift shop and all the science and nature stuff, the biggest attraction at Huntington Beach SP is Atalaya Castle.

For all my history buffs out there:

Atalaya Castle was built by Archer and Anna Huntington between 1931 and 1933. Archer designed the house to be a summer home after Anna was diagnosed with tuberculosis. Anna was an artist and sculptor. She designed the wrought iron grills that are on the windows to serve as protection from hurricanes.

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IMG_9689There are thirty rooms in the castle. In the middle of the courtyard stands a forty foot tall water tower, in which the castle got its name. Atalaya means Watchtower in Spanish.

Because Archer was a philanthropist, he insisted the home be built by local laborers in the hopes that it would boost the economy during the Depression years. The house is by the ocean and originally consisted of over 9,000 acres of mixed land. Part of that acreage is home to the first public sculpture garden, known as Brookgreen Gardens. The Gardens were built to showcase Anna’s work.

The Huntingtons left Atalaya during World War II to let the United States Air Corps use it as a barracks. A radar unit operated from the house and, other than a crashed plane on the beach, the house was completely unaffected.

In 1960, the property was leased to the state of South Carolina for free and Huntington Beach State Park was formed.

“Atalaya Castle was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984 to preserve the history of Anna Hyatt Huntington and her husband Archer Huntington.”

*Thank you to SC State Parks for sponsoring this post*

Photos from my New Camera

Hello and happy Friday, guys! Last week I promised that I would share photos I took with my new camera, so that’s what I am doing today. Just know, I still have no idea what I am doing. Best Buy (where we bought the camera) has classes once a month. It is becoming VERY clear that I need to take advantage of those. Having said that, the Sony 6500 does most everything for you. I am super impressed with the automatic lighting features. Everything is so much more clear. I will definitely continue to use my iPhone as well – it’s just so much faster, but I’m really excited to explore this new toy.

DSC00296I took these photos in Pawleys last week. The sun was about to set and JP wanted to play around the water. The perfect night.

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DSC00361You can see how the lighting began to change as the sun went down. I love the colors of the sky. On the backwater, the sunset it orange and gold. Here on the beach, the sky turns purple and pink.

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DSC00344We love it when the tide goes out – the further it moves, the longer we can walk this stretch of rocks. DSC00348

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DSC00352Sunset on Pawleys Island is, indeed, a Happy Hour!

I don’t know about you, but I am SO glad the weekend is here. JP leaves with his dad today and I’m heading to the lake cabin with my BFF for much needed girl time!

Sunday morning we leave for Pawleys AT THE CRACK OF DAWN (ugh). I have some work in Charleston on Monday, so it will be a quick and busy trip. Of course, you know I’ll squeeze in a sunset or two while we’re there! 

JP’s homeschool started this week and I think it went pretty well. Although, if you ever want to feel (even more) inadequate as a parent, homeschooling is your ticket! I’ve taught school for over twenty years but, when it comes to JP, I am 110% intimidated.

I am so thankful for all of your comments, feedback and shares of my Alice Flagg post. I had no idea so many history buffs visited my little space each day. I’ve heard what you have to say and there is lots more where that came from, so stay tuned…

TGIF!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table Rock State Park

IMG_9364I have visited Table Rock State Park on so many occasions, but apparently, I’ve been entering through the wrong gate.

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IMG_9370I can’t get over these views.

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IMG_9377I’ve been entering through the West Gate that leads to the lake, playground and hiking trail. While I love those areas, I could kick myself for missing the Visitors Center!

IMG_9379When I was in college, my dream was to live in a log cabin. My friends and I used to hike every week. I wanted to graduate, marry and live in the middle of the woods. You know, in a place where you have to drive thirty minutes just to get to a store.

IMG_9380Saturday, I had an entire day planned by the water at Table Rock. I probably don’t need to tell you that we spent the majority of our time in this spot. The boys enjoyed it as much as I did.

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IMG_9382This was my favorite view for obvious reasons. Look at the skyline. We couldn’t have asked for more beautiful weather. I’m not going to call it perfect because it was a TAD too hot for my taste (and by tad I mean, WAY TOO HOT), but it was definitely a beautiful day.

IMG_9384Always looking for fish.

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IMG_9389We did FINALLY pull ourselves away. Up next was the waterfall…

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IMG_9406They changed into their swimsuits and geared up for some time in the river.

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IMG_9399We woke up Saturday morning and headed to Sunrift Adventures in Travelers Rest to get these guys new KEEN shoes for these type trips.  They love them, but what’s the first thing they did when they hit the water? Kicked off the shoes! And what’s the FIRST thing that happened?!? Preston slips on a rock… don’t worry, he wasn’t hurt. Of course, if he had been wearing his shoes, that wouldn’t have happened. They both put them back on pretty quickly!

We didn’t end up staying at the falls too long because there was a poisonous snake lurking around. Needless to say, that made our time a lot less fun.

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IMG_9409Unfortunately, we didn’t get to enjoy the lake this trip. The Rangers were closing things up by the time we got there. We’ll definitely have to go back. The kids want to rent a kayak next time.

Did you guys enjoy your Labor Day? I worked till about noon and then spent the remainder of the day by the pool. It was very relaxing. We’re going to try and keep the pool open through October.

Our schedule this week isn’t too busy, thank goodness. JP goes to his homeschool class for the first time Thursday. I’m pretty excited about it but he’s a nervous wreck. He’s never been one for change and isn’t looking forward to “meeting new people.” I’ll keep you guys updated as to how that goes.

Friday we have a fun little (mini) day trip planned. Stay tuned for more…

*Thank you to SC State Parks & Mast General Store for sponsoring this post*

The Legend of Alice Flagg

IMG_9079Dorothea Benton Frank is one of my favorite southern authors. On the (rare) occasion that I get the chance to read for pleasure, you’ll most likely find her newest book in my hand. I used this quote on my Instagram page last week – it’s a favorite. And SO true!

One of the things I love most about Pawleys Island is its’ history. The area is full of stories and legends that every South Carolinian should be familiar with.

IMG_8866I am AMAZED at how many people have not heard of Alice Flagg. Even my closest friends had no idea who she was until we took them to visit a couple of weeks ago.

IMG_88481767, it’s unreal to me that the property is THAT old.

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IMG_8862Alice Flagg was born into an upper class family in the early nineteenth century. Unfortunately, she fell in love with a man who was not “suitable” for her to marry. His social standing was not acceptable to her family.

IMG_8859Alice’s brother was a prominent doctor and extremely outspoken about his disapproval. Like most sisters, Alice completely ignored her big bro and eventually became “betrothed” to her secret love. Since we live in the 21st Century, let’s use the word engaged. 

She hid the engagement by wearing her ring on a necklace around her neck. Once her family found out about the relationship, she was sent to a boarding school. Alice eventually came down with Malaria and was brought home so her family could care for her. When the brother found the ring around her neck, he took it and threw it away. Sadly, Alice grew delirious with sickness (probably compounded by her broken heart) and spent her final days begging for the ring back.

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IMG_8851Alice is buried in the Flagg family plot at All Saints Cemetery in Pawleys Island.

Here’s the Legend:

Begin at the right bottom corner of the grave and walk counterclockwise six times ending at the A in Alice. Repeat the steps clockwise. Place a small token (gift) on top of the stone and make a wish. (I’m not sure how hair ties, mini liquor bottles and Dum Dum suckers fit into the legend, but whatever). Some even say, if you’re wearing your engagement ring or wedding band, you’ll feel a slight tug on your ring finger. 

IMG_8860We visited in the pitch black dark, which you’re not supposed to do, and had the best time trying to summon her ghost. We may or may not have fled the graveyard screaming because someone in our party thought it would be funny to hide and scare the *#@^ out of us! 

Whether you believe in ghosts or would rather chalk Alice up to a sad love story, the grave is historical and something you should see when in the area. (Please note, there are several versions of the same story).

All Saints Church, 3560 Kings River Rd, Pawleys Island, SC 29585

Happy Labor Day! We’re in town (yay) and will probably hang by the pool most of the day. I hope you guys have a great day!