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.
What is a blog post without a sunrise? Here are pictures from our last day in Gulf Shores and Traverse City.
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.
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.
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.
Yes, there will be sunset pictures. Here is one off the deck in October.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Over 100 falls very close to us. Here are some recent shots taken with fall colors as a back drop.
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.
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.
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!
Larry and Jan