Monday, March 11, 2013

Local Flavors.

What a busy weekend! I enjoyed it by engaging in one of my favorite activities - trekking across the state to visit my best friends.

On Saturday I arrived in Columbia around lunchtime, and spent the afternoon with my childhood best friend,  Kristi,  for her baby shower. She's having a girl next month, so the house was filled with bonnets and butterflies. 

After the shower I drove the quick hour-and-a-half to Greenville to visit Alice, my college best friend. (I have different best friends for different life phases.) 

Greenville was quite the adventure. One of the highlights was definitely our meal downtown, which was topped by a conversation with a street poet, trying to sell us his spiritual musings for cash.

The poet, whose name was Ricky Jones, pressed a folded square of notebook paper into Alice's hand after she generously gave him a dollar bill from her purse. We unfolded it and read it later at the bar, where we decided that one dollar was a fair price.

The next afternoon we walked around the lake on the Furman campus (I got quite friendly with a black swan), then hopped into the car and started driving toward the Jones Gap state park, singing along to 90s songs on the satellite radio the whole way. 

The old saying, half the fun is getting there, definitely rings true when I go anywhere with Alice. We made a few pit stops on the way to the park, including a hardware store-cafe in Traveler's Rest, which Alice insisted had the absolute best blueberry pie to be found. Too bad they were out of the pie when we got there. 

Undeterred, we decided to pay a visit to the Tugaloo Junction, a quirky structure off the side of the road with signs that claimed we could buy boiled peanuts and fresh produce. While we didn't find the peanuts or produce (apparently, the Tugaloo Junction is just a place where miscellaneous toys, clothes and utter junk are sold to unassuming mountain folk), we still had fun chatting with the locals.

I told Alice that although I loved our stint in downtown Greenville, eating at the nice restaurant and walking around the city, I was even more inspired by the mountain trail, dotted with horses grazing the hillsides, interesting shacks and questionable produce huts.

"This is the real local flavor of the area," I declared.

The next time I go back to visit, we're definitely ordering that pie ahead of time and doing some more exploring.

1 comment:

  1. How sweet it is! The goat cheese blueberry pie is going to happen!