Holiday Message 2017

Joyous holiday and Christmas greetings from the Palmetto State. Jan and I love this time of the year as we celebrate the reason for the season and as we catch up with friends and family. The move has been good for us as we work through the lifestyle changes of living in one place and in South Carolina. It has been a lot of work, although the good news today is there are now more “knows” than “unknowns”. We love the Upstate area with all the recreation opportunities and living in the country takes us back to our roots. Our goals for the move have withstood the test of time as we strived to be in a moderate climate, good location and have more time to do the things we like. The move is now behind us and we are more than ready to spend more time doing the things we like!

Well the diversion of the move did keep us off the road. Well maybe not the road to Lowes as typical with the Snyder household there was a project or two in play. In the last month, finally there has been time to get out and explore and more importantly get back in the swing of things with the camera.

The opening shot is the guard lion at the Biltmore Mansion in Asheville, North Carolina. This is a Vanderbilt residence. This is one place that gets into the Christmas spirit big time.

Biltmore Lion wishing you a Merry Christmas.

What is a blog post without a sunrise? Here are pictures from our last day in Gulf Shores and Traverse City.

Our last morning in Gulf Shores the sunrise did let us down. Do miss the walks on the beach. Heading back in March!

Waiting for the movers to take us South…the sunrise over West Bay gave us a nice show

Our summer did have some down time while we looked for a house and then the six weeks it took to close on our new house. We started out at Twin Lakes a Corps of Engineer park. We loved being there but worn out our time welcome as we stayed way too long. After that we move to a private park on Crooked Creek which was less than two miles to our new house.

Twin Lakes RV campground on Lake Hartwell. Great stay…great weather…

Sunrise on Lake Hartwell…fine time of the day!

Crooked Creek Campground…nice place to stay if you don’t like trees. But a nice place if you like a nice pool and want to launch a Kayak.

This is Crooked Creek behind the dam. Just a bit downstream is Lake Keowee.

Yes, the weather can be rough in this part of the world…storm moving in!

Just like us, the Canada geese on the move

The new house is great. We love the location and the neighbors. As expected there is extra time spent on the road getting into town. We are just four miles from a small village, West Union and seven miles out of Seneca.

Here are the new digs. To bad the truck won’t fit in the garage. However there is plenty of room for tools…

Love the country but maybe the two acres not that much.

Would you believe a zero turn mower that can mow at 20 miles per hour?

Lots of mature trees…even have a Pecan tree.

Rojo and Tummy keep us entertained. Guess they must take the place of “Lefty” our favorite Alabama Alligator

Jan loves the Crepe Myrtle trees there are a lot of them

The average snow fall here is around three inches. Interestingly our first snow last week was five. The locals tell us probably no more this year. It only lasted a couple of days and today will almost hit 70.

Our first snow fall…

New trees here…River Birch which are very interesting

Nice view

The snow is short lived and most generally gone by noon

Yes, there will be sunset pictures. Here is one off the deck in October.

Looking west off the deck…

Our new home is great. The layout is good for us and meets our needs. However, once we got settled my life of being a gym rat came crashing down. Being out in the country translated to a half hour drive to Clemson to get to a decent place to work out. There was a large unfinished room in the lower level which was soon determine could be transformed to solve the problem. Evidently, I lost my project planning skills as it took twice as long and cost twice as much as the original plan. That being said it turned out great and last week the project finally came to an end…

Room with potential…the vision was a fitness room to support the workout habit. The old use was a work shop and storage.

Jan’s job was to fix the insulation plus the helping hand with all the drywall

Drywall, not my favorite job however we did survive.

The final take on the fitness room. It is already getting a “workout” almost every day.

Being in the path of the solar eclipse was a great experience. Shored up my camera equipment just a bit. Although the equipment was truly lightweight was able to catch there “mood” of the event. Here is a selection of shots from the start to the finish.

Before the eclipse

Getting underway

Near the total eclipse

Total Eclipse August 21, 2017

On the other side…

Eclipse is over…

Looking forward to having lots of folks come to see us either from the North or South. There is excellent guest accommodation for you take advantage of if you are passing by or want to make us a destination. Paul and Marty spent 10 days with us where we got to catch up with each other plus explore North and South Carolina.

Paul and Marty checking out Hendersonville, NC

The weather was good enough to check out the Doodle Trail

Paul checking out the Brasstown Creek and the several falls

Here are some shots from our recent explorations…

The Chattooga Belle Farm is a go to for us. Good food and lots of great produce. This farm was owned by Grouch Marx in the past. Setting on the Georgia state line is outstanding.

Chattooga Belle Farm…very cool place in the fall

Lots of places at Chattooga to check out

Great view at Chattooga. What do you think?

You can see forever?

Lots of trails, falls and mountains very close to home. It is a short drive to Georgia or North Carolina. We are less than 100 miles from the Smoky Mountain National Park. Here are shots from a great trail on the Georgia State line.

Recreation opportunities abound…if you like to be outside this is a great place to hangout

Chattooga River…sluice

Clemson University has a lot to offer. The South Carolina Botanicals Gardens are located there. It was a good experience for us. If you get the chance it would be worth your time.

Visitor Center at the South Carolina Botanical Garden support by Clemson University

Fun shot and a nice day for a hike

Extensive plantings of insect eating plants

Plantings represent the entire state…educational plus nice to look at

Nice walk in the woods

This was a fun spot to take a photo

Good color plus liked the way this was done

Everywhere you go here you can find a dam. Lake Keowee just down the road from us is one huge body of water created from the many rivers and creeks in the area.

This is the Cane Creek Dam

Over 100 falls very close to us. Here are some recent shots taken with fall colors as a back drop.

One of many shots…it is alway hard to choose

The color is just getting started. Nice to be back in the four seasons. This seems to be an attractions for the “Half Backs”

One of the Brasstown Falls

The color does get more intense over time

Peaceful, don’t you think?

Found this with a walk in the woods

This bridge was worth a shot

Bridal Falls at least my take…

Hope you all like pictures of waterfalls…still over 90 to go to see everyone

Plenty of action here. However had to bushwack to get there…the trail was not for the faint of heart

If you have not seen or heard of the Biltmore Estate check it out. Jan and I have done large estates before but nothing like this, it is truly exceptional. The estate is over 8,000 acres. We have secured an annual pass and will make this a regular stop this year. There are excellent hiking and biking trails. Christmas decorations are over the top. My favorite room is the library.

Taking on the Biltmore Estate…

Biltmore Botanical Gardens with the a mountain backdrop

Just getting started on the tour and it gets better…

The library is beyond compare…

Every time we come back home the Airstream calls us as it is just sitting there. The travel plans are starting to fall in place for the coming year. There will be a trip South this spring and the plan is one Northeast this summer. Plus, there is a very long list here for the five-state area. Next year we are back to heading West, hopefully all the way to Alaska. We will see how it all come out. Still 15 National Parks to check off the bucket list. Just three more states to cover since we retired eight years ago.

Soon we will be back on the road…

Life is good…

Again, remember we love to have guests so look us up.

Jan and I send our best holiday greetings out to you and wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Stay in touch!

God Bless,

Larry and Jan

One thought on “Holiday Message 2017

  1. Peggy

    As I traveled with you through your beautiful photos I just oohed and awhed all the way!
    Best Christmas Card ever received! Thanks a million for sharing. You are TWO SPECIAL PEOPLE that God placed on this beautiful earth and you certainly are capturing and sharing it with many who never get to travel so much.
    Thank you and Happy New Year…….and many wonderful Christmases to come!


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