Life Part Two

The adventures of Fay and Bob as they move beyond the 9 to 5 life


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Trip to MN

In mid April we spent 8 nights in Minnesota.   We returned mainly to see Bob’s 93 year old mom and also get caught up with family and friends.   We visited with Helen over 5 days.   She had her “to do” list for Bob to take care of.   Pretty cute.  We stayed two nights right in the guest room that Walker Methodist has so very convenient   We slept in 5 different beds, visited with 28 family and friends, including a nice long lunch gathering with my Randen cousins and some of their spouses, and got introduced to our friends 9 dogs!    I definitely got my four legged furry friend fix!

When we got there no leaves on the trees and the first day was cold but then it warmed up and by the time we left you could definitely see spring was sprung!   A good trip but tiring.

One thing of note was the price of cigarettes.   $8 a pack!   Glad we don’t smoke.  Minnesota has a tax of $3 a pack and South Carolina tax of $ .57.

Bob was thrilled to go have his White Castle burger with his mom and we both enjoyed lunch at Culvers.   We do have a Culvers coming near us soon so looking forward to that.

One last thing, we took our first Uber ride from the off site (not at the airport) car rental place to the airport.   Flawless experience.

We felt like we really had quality time with everyone.

 


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Hanging out with the Millennials

A great week spending time with those younger than us.

Bob and I each had our second interview with the Furman students who are in a class studying aging.   This week the questions were about our experience and perceptions of health issue.   Good interviews and getting to know the students better.

Yesterday Bob went out to Dorman to work with his three junior boys on drones.   He has them researching the rules and laws of drone flying and also they get to improve their flying skills on his two quadcopters.  He says they get REALLY excited doing their flying.   In early October Bob has Upstate Aerial coming out to demonstrate large drones at the track.  They do commercial aerial photography with their drones. Pretty exciting.

While he was doing that I was in Travelers Rest for the first 3D printing club at the middle school with 16 seventh and eighth graders.   I did show and tell, history and future of 3D printing, materials and answered LOTS of good questions.   I think I helped the teacher quite a bit.

Today a very interesting meeting with Jessica.   It’s been 43 years since I graduated from Mankato State and she is a fellow graduate that contacted me and moved to Greenville a few months ago. Only alumni that has ever contacted me, if you don’t count the ones that want money!   Turns out in her new job she needs to redo the company website and asked me for my advice.   What a small world.   She is a very articulate, personable, bright and ambitious young lady.   It was a great pleasure to spend a couple hours with her today teaching her the web development program weebly.com.

I have great hope for our future if there are lots more people as talented as these are.


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Valentines cards, chocolate and music, Madam Curie and more

I met with my girlfriend G. Ann and made Valentine cards.   I sent them before I took pictures.

With three other girlfriends I went to a chocolate party. Dinner was included with the party at the Hungry Drover restaurant.  I had a yummy loaded baked potato.  We made a gooey low calorie chocolate cake with no eggs or shortening (except for the real whipped cream on the diet cake).  The liquid was coffee and I didn’t especially like that but that is my personal preference.  Then we made little circles of chocolate,(think like pie dough) into what should have looked like roses.   Mine were a dismal failure.   Next on to making truffles.  Oh my goodness, they were delicious.   I did share those with Bob.  We also made chocolate boxes with lids.   Some were heart shaped and mine was a swan.  Her head is on the left.  Really pretty easy to make, you just need the molds which are pretty inexpensive.  It is about 5″ wide and really lovely.chocolate_swan chocolate_swan._openjpg

Last Sunday we went to the Warehouse Theater for Viva Las Divas, two women and a great 6 piece band that performed love songs from the 40’s and 50’s.   A very enjoyable evening to get us in the mood for Valentines day.

In my OLLI history of the south class we are up to WW ll and the early 50’s.   As horrible as the war was it really helped the south because much manufacturing was built here along with many military bases and the prosperity continued into the 50’s.   I imagine the next class, which will probably be cancelled because of the snow storm, will be the Civil Rights movement.   Can’t wait.

I took about 15 OLLI students to the History Museum here in Travelers Rest and then on to the Honey Bee store.   People really enjoyed it and as always, I learned so much.   Learned how the Swamp Rabbit Railroad got it’s name, because it was a small railroad and the cars kind of hopped down it.   Does not sound like a smooth ride.   Also learned that for a few years the city was divided in two because of a feud.   Our speaker at the Bee store was fabulous.   What incredible insects they are. The store sells all kinds of local honey and honey products as well as provides supplies to other bee keepers.

OLLI had a Chautauqua program featuring Madam Marie Currie.   Those performers sure make history come alive.  Also was appetizers and wine before the performance.  I think this is the fourth Chautauqua program we have seen.  Can’t wait for summer so we can go to some more.

Bob and I have become involved with a group at OLLI that wants to bring some programs or classes or field trips around 3 D printing.   I have heard of it but had no idea it had grown as much as it has.   The potential sounds like something from a science fiction movie.   Definitely will be a disruptive technology as it continues to grow.

We went to see Eric Dittleman, a mind reader who was on America’s got talent, at Furman.   We were the only two people in the audience over 20.   He was great.   Can’t figure out how he did most of his tricks.    It was a cross between mind reading and magic.  He seems to play mostly on college campuses but was also just on the Ellen Show.   It was free!

On Saturday night we went to Newcomers Cocktails R US which is always fun.   There were just the right number of people there, including 4 couples or singles that were brand new to the area and of course many people who Bob and I knew well.   What a great group this has been for us to get to know people.

Also went out to lunch with a Meet Up group in Travelers Rest.   Met a woman who is a middle person for the sale of hemp seeds.   I had never heard of them but now I want to learn more.   They are very good for you.  It may be hemp but it’s not marijuana.  I hope to get her to speak at an OLLI class.  We had a very interesting conversation.

Of course there are the usual trips to Furman to go swimming 3 times a week and I have quite a few websites I am working on right now.   Also still have meetings with our Travelers Rest Artist Alliance group and the OLLI Art on the Wall committee and the OLLI bonus trip committee.   I had a hard time getting in my naps this week.

If you are wondering if this is an unusually busy couple of weeks the answer is no.   Most weeks are like this.   Bob and I continually say we can’t believe how busy we are and how much fun we are having.   This week lots of things are being cancelled because of the snow and ice storm coming in.   There are lots of big fluffy flakes coming down right now.   We have plenty to eat and Bob has the generator ready to go if we loose power.  Cats have plenty of food and kitty litter so they are happy too.   Sabrina does not like the snow at all.   Smoky won’t even venture out.   We have dozens and dozens of birds at the bird feeder.   They must be filling their little tummies to get through the storm too.   The squirrel keeps trying to eat too.   He crawls right in the feeder, it is just a domed open feeder.

bluebird

Lots of bluebirds, cardinals, finches, wrens, tufted tit mouse, mourning doves and lots that I don’t know what they are.


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Coolest Small Town Contest Update

Travelers Rest overnight moved to the number three place in Budget Travel’s Coolest Small Town Contest.   In my wildest thoughts I would not have expected this to happen.   Thanks to everyone out there who continues to vote for us ever day.   We have almost 900 votes and 27 comments.   Right now the number two spot has over 1200 votes.   The first phase of this contest goes till the end of the year so anything is possible.

Vote here http://www.budgettravel.com/contest/is-your-town-the-coolest,15/#nomineesT

The top two spots are in West Virginia, then us followed by number four in Colorado and number five is in Virginia.   Definitely the south has some cool small towns but I already knew that.

Last week we went to the 2013 number one coolest small town, Beaufort NC.   This was a side trip from an outing we took to New Bern NC, another spectacular town.   Beaufort was charming.   Lots of nice shops and boardwalk along the ocean.


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Local arts fundraiser offers sneak peek at Hotel Domestique renovations

I am on the board of the Artists Alliance and here is the press release on a fantastic event we will be having next month.   I’m really excited.   The place is gorgeous.   Tickets are only $35 for an individual and $60 for a couple.   It will be well worth it.  Hope to see some of you there.

TRAVELERS REST, SC – Arts Alive, a fundraiser for the Travelers Rest Artists Alliance, will be held at Hotel Domestique on Saturday, July 20. The public is invited to support the local arts community while getting a first glimpse of the newly and extensively renovated boutique hotel.

The evening event will celebrate the artists, makers and performers who represent the cultural fiber of Travelers Rest and the surrounding area. According to organizers, live visual and performing arts demonstrations, local musicians and cuisine provided by nearby food artisans and restaurants will offer attendees an enjoyable and lively arts experience.

“We are so pleased to have the opportunity to honor our local arts culture.” said Debbie Wilson, founding board member of TRAA. “We can’t think of a better way to introduce Upstate residents to our organization then to bring them face to face with the wonderful arts community that they will be supporting.”

The venue for the Arts Alive event, Hotel Domestique, is owned by Rich Hincapie and his brother George, a 17-time rider of the Tour de France and retired professional cyclist. The 13-room property, the former La Bastide, is surrounded by 29 acres of gardens, courtyards and vineyards and has scenic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The hotel is scheduled to officially open in August.

“It’s my pleasure to support the Travelers Rest Artists Alliance,” said Rich Hincapie. “I believe in supporting the arts, and with the recent renovation of Hotel Domestique and our focus on the Travelers Rest community, this seemed like a perfect opportunity to show our support.”

In addition to enjoying an evening of art and entertainment, Arts Alive attendees and TRAA members will have the opportunity to bid on silent auction items, including a watercolor painting from a local artist, Sunday breakfast for two at the Café at Williams Hardware, stained glass work, hand crafted jewelry, couture fashion and many more donations from local artists and businesses.

“We are thrilled that the Hincapies have so generously offered Hotel Domestique for our first fundraiser,” said Beth Sicignano, managing director of TRAA. “This is the perfect setting for Arts Alive. Proceeds from this event will enable us to fund our 501(c)(3) application so we can continue to build quality art events, education and programs into our community.”

Tickets for Arts Alive, which is scheduled to run from 7 – 10 p.m., can be purchased in advance for $35 per person and $60 per couple or $40 per person the night of the event. For more information, call 864.607.6233 864.607.6233  or visit www.artintr.org.

The Travelers Rest Artists Alliance is a multidisciplinary arts organization whose mission is to develop, promote and maintain quality programs and events that foster the arts and encourage community participation through collaboration with artists, local businesses, city organizers and other private/public groups.

A volunteer committee from TRAA is organizing Arts Alive. Kristin LaRoy serves as the event chair and co-chairs are Fay Choban, Debbie Wilson, April Morris, and Peter and Sarah Godfrey.


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Emancipation Proclamation, Children’s Museum and Moonshine

I had a very busy day yesterday, Friday.   The day started with a two hour class on the history of the Emancipation Proclamation.   What a story.   I really learned a lot.   Lincoln was quite a brilliant politician!  For a quick history lesson read this article.   I would almost guarantee you will have several surprises.    I did.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emancipation_Proclamation
It was signed Jan. 1, 1863.

After that I got a quick lunch and headed to our wonderful Children’s Museum to coordinate a tour of about 20 people from OLLI.   I have been there twice before but it was the first time for all the others and they were quite impressed.   If you visit Greenville and have kids under 16 they will love it.

Back home for just a little while and then off to the ribbon cutting of Travelers Rest’s newest business – Copperhead Mountain Distillery.  They make four different “moonshine” beverages in their copper stills.   Two corn liquor and two sugar based like rum but it tastes nothing like rum you are used to.  All are 100 proof.   Quite a kick to it.  We will have some at our house for you to try when you come visit.    Very nice family that run it and it is their dream come true.   A very nice turn out by family, the Travelers Rest Chamber of Commerce and others for the ribbon cutting.   A fun little treat on a Friday afternoon.   Cute store with branded clothing, flasks and of course a tasting room.   It’s kind of funny, they are next to the new honey store and a gun shop.   They joke it is “Bees, bullets and booze”.   Only in the south!


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Coolest Small Town Contest

Thanks so much to all of you who took the time to vote for Travelers Rest in the Budget Travel Coolest Small Town Contest.   After the first round of voting we were in the top 15 and go to the second round of voting which finished last week.   I don’t have any official results yet but it looked to me like we were in 11th place, .2% behind number 10.   I don’t know how many votes that was, they just showed percentages.   Last year they featured the top 10 towns but had a tie for first place.

This year’s first place winner was very clear.  The winner was Lititz, PA a town of 10,000 or twice Travelers Rest size.  They had about 25% of the vote and the next town had about 14%.   Unless they give us a tie for 10th place this is the end of the road for this contest.

My community really got involved from business owners, schools, churches, City Council, Chamber of Commerce.  At the very least it was a great community building effort and we did get in Budget Travel as one of the top 15 which I am very happy about.    Will see what we can do next year!

Thanks to all of you for sharing in my fun.

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