Upstate Living

It’s Like Riding a Bike

We had one full weekend with RJ out of town. I decided it would be the perfect time for Hubby and I to rent bikes and hop on the Swamp Rabbit Trail.  I’ve run on part of the trail and we’ve been on the trail with RJ when he was about 3. He rode his tricycle and we walked to keep up.  We don’t own bikes, though Hubby has been wanting one for a while now.  So, he was down to ride. I’d read this post  about places to rent bikes and called Swamp Rabbit Inn to reserve two. The pick-up process was easy. We arrived around 12:30pm. There wasn’t a wait and the pick-up process was fast.  The worker provided us with helmets, a map, pointed us in the direction of the trail and we were off on our adventure into the 90+ degree heat. Our plan was to ride to Traveler’s Rest and back. That would have been about 14 miles round trip.

Greenville is a big cycling town.  Like it’s serious business here. On any given weekend you are sure to run into a solo cyclist or group riding in their own little Tour de Greenville. George Hincapie, who actually raced in the Tour de France lives in the area. Now, Hubby and I both grew up riding bikes, but for fun. However, he seemed to have retained his knowledge of bike riding more than I had, but more on that later. As for me I grew up riding bikes in the country sometimes on dirt roads. So, I was not a huge fan of having to ride a bike across traffic, which as some points could be up to 4 lanes.  Right out of the gate, we had to make our way across car traffic. I wanted to walk the bikes across the street, but Hubby stayed on his seat, so I followed quickly and carefully.

Then, I began to realize I was nervous. My arms were shaking, I was swerving. Let’s not talk about how I barely kept my bike straight when approaching oncoming bike traffic. In other words, I was awful at riding a bike! Meanwhile, I husband looked as if he came out the womb on a 10 speed. I kept it together for the a while, however I was struggling with stopping at intersections and starting again. My restart after our 2nd intersection was a shaky/rocky one, couple that with oncoming bike traffic, me trying to change gears and a fence and I had a recipe for disaster. It turns out, the best way to stop a bike from moving is to press the brake, not grab onto the fence while the bike continues to roll downhill!! I’ll just say my arms have black and blue bruises and luckily my wrist was just sore and not sprained or broken.

Even though I saw my life flash before my eyes, we pedaled on. I continued to have mishaps, riding off the trail, nearly riding into massive holes, but with every mile I got better, less shaky and more in control. We cut our plan to ride to Traveler’s Rest short. It was extremely hot and though we had water with us and refilled along the trail,  we’d only had cereal for breakfast. I think cycling 14 miles would have been a bit much. Instead, we rode to the lake at Furman University which made our round trip about 8 miles.


When is the last time you rode a bike or did something you hadn’t done in years?

Upstate Living

The Perfect Friday Night Date

We, recently, had a Friday night to ourselves. Instead of our usual date night itinerary of dinner and heading home, we decided to add a few more stops to the evening.  We started with dinner at Kitchen Sync a fairly new restaurant I’d been wanting to try.  I’d heard good reviews and was itching to try it for myself. Like every new restaurant in Greenville, it was packed, but since we chose to sit at the high top overlooking the kitchen, we were seated right away. The reviews I’d heard were spot on! The service was great and the food was even better. I ordered the catfish with collards and grits. Hubby had the shrimp scampi pasta and zucchini noodles.

I’m not big on dessert, I’ll take an extra loaded baked potato over cake any day, but we indulged. I was happy there was a dairy free option as most restaurant desserts are centered around chocolate and/or ice cream and Hubby is trying to give up both. We settled on their Miss Betty’s Chablis Cake and it was delicious!! Who can go wrong with cake soaked in wine and butter?!

After dinner, we went downtown Greenville to Sip Whiskey and Wine rooftop bar for drinks. We were able to get shaded seating alone on one of the couches. Score! We enjoyed our drinks and and the live cover band.

After having the sweet dessert, I really wanted some salty popcorn. So, we left SIP and heading down a couple blocks to Poppington’s. They specialize in really off the wall flavors, but I’m not one for crazy flavors.  I opted for just butter and salt and Hubby got caramel.

The perfect ending to the perfect date night.

Day to Day

From a Boy to a Man in Blue

Near the end of June, we traveled to NYC to drop RJ off at his grandparents, but the main purpose of the trip was to attend my brother-in-law’s graduation from the New York City Police Academy.  When I met him, he was 12 years old. Now, 12 years later, he has found his way to realizing his dream of becoming a police officer.  I, also, love that he was able to go through this life changing experience with his best friend. As I told him, I’m happy he has someone so close who will understand the complexities of what he’s doing.

Though one of Hubby’s sisters is also a NYC officer and joined the force 12 years ago, I was not able to attend her graduation.  So, the ceremony was a new experience for me. I will say it was really nice. The ceremony was held in a theater within Madison Square Garden. It began with two of the most moving videos I’ve ever seen. I mean I was almost ready to sign up for the next academy class. Ok not really, but they were extremely well done. The NYPD band performed covers before the ceremony. The bagpipe band performed during the ceremony and Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner O’Neill spoke.  Also, because New York City is the melting pot, or salad bowl that it is, his class was extremely diverse, which was awesome! Shockingly, I did not cry, considering the fact that nearly ugly cried a few weeks earlier when my mother-in-law sent a picture of him in his uniform. I’m so happy we were able to share that day with him and our prayer is that he stays safe, does his part to keep the city safe and foster good relationships with the community he protects.

They were just pre-teens when I met the 3 of them!

Of course, there was a party!


Can you tell I’m a very proud big sister?!

I feel good

Thoughts on Whole30…or…Whole28

A few weeks ago I wrote this post about Hubby and I starting Whole30. We were about a week in at the time. Well last Friday would have been day 30. However, we were in NYC on vacation so, even with our best intentions, our Whole30 became Whole28. Anyway I wanted to share some thoughts on the experience. 

First, most people want to know if we loss weight. The answer is yes! I loss 8lbs and 2 inches from my waist. Hubby loss 14lbs. I can only imagine the results if we had been consistently exercising. So, let me jump right into what we thought about the plan.

What we didn’t like:

Is this something we will commit too or make a lifestyle. The answer is no. The restrictions of Whole30 are just too much for us. Giving up all the things, all at once is not sustainable for us. I cook at lot but to do Whole30 right you pretty much have to cook every meal you eat. Look, with work, maintaining home and RJ that’s not always feasible.  Not to mention the days when I just don’t want to be in the kitchen. Also, I miss rice or pasta as an option.  

What we liked:

We liked that we were forced to pay attention to the sugar content of everything. It’s everywhere and limiting our sugar consumption will be something we continue to do. 

My husband realized he can go with out dairy and is stomach is grateful. He will drastically cutback if not eliminate is dairy consumption completely. 

Though I miss pasta, rice and bread we will probably reduce the amount we eat. 

Things we didn’t expect:

Sticking to the plan for as long as we did. We even traveled earlier in the month and stuck to the plan while our friends ate all kinds of food, dessert and drank alcohol.  I took our snacks with us and when we ate out we stuck to the plan. Instead of alcohol, I took kombucha for us. 

I actually made my own mayo and ranch dressing and it’s something I wouldn’t even mind doing now!

Homemade ranch dressing

Friends and family questioning why we were doing it. I had one friend tell me we didn’t need to do something so drastic because we aren’t really big. True we aren’t obese, but we can be healthier. I think our overall health will be better because of Whole30. It was the jump start we needed. 

Now, the plan is to be more diligent about adding in the exercise piece of the puzzle and continue our healthy living journey.

Would you consider Whole30? What steps are you taking towards a healthier lifestyle? 

Child of Mine

RJ in the City

When we were making plans for our summer earlier this year, we tossed around the idea of letting RJ go to New York to stay with my in-laws for a week or two.  All of my husband’s immediate family, my sister, and godmother are in New York.   My mother-in-aw has been asking for RJ  for the summer since forever, but I wasn’t trying to let him go.

However, this year was the first time that we, seriously, discussed letting him go without us.  When we go for our yearly trip, it’s hard to split our time evenly between my husband’s parent’s and all the other family we have in there.  We figured he could go alone and spend a week with Hubby’s mom and a week with Hubby’s dad and they could do ALL the things without trying to cram it in.  We just couldn’t settle on when we wanted to do it.  When realized my brother-in-law’s graduation was at the end of this month and we’d be able to attend, we figured that would be the perfect time.  I reached out to Hubby’s parental units and came up with a tentative plan and my sister has agreed to shuttle RJ between the two, if need be.  Just like that, next week, we head to NY as 3 and will return to SC as 2.  Dontcha love when a plan comes together!

RJ and Grandpa during our visit last April

This will be the longest he’s been away from us. I know he’ll be well cared for, I just want him to have a good time and have everything go smoothly.  I think I was a teenager before I went to NY to stay with family summer without my mom.  However, I’m sure he’ll have a blast and it will give the 3 of us a break from each other.  Sometimes, that’s necessary!

Kid-free time? Yes, please!

As for Hubby and I, we plan to do ALL THE THINGS!! Unfortunately, we will only have one kid-free weekend because of when we have to pick RJ up. So, I see a lot of weeknight date nights in our future!


Are your kids going to stay with family without you this summer?