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Upstate Living

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.

Upstate Living

TD Saturday Market

The only thing better than downtown Greenville, is downtown Greenville during a festival…and downtown Greenville on a Saturday morning during TD Saturday Market season! We’ve gone to Saturday Market a time or two since we’ve lived in the Upstate, but last year I really fell in love with it and became a regular.  It all started with my quest to buy farm fresh eggs without having to drive out to a farm in the country. Well, a year later and I have yet to purchase eggs at the Market! Typically,the vendor is all out by the time I get there, which is crazy because I’m get there before 9am and the Market is 8am-12pm. Upstate folks love their eggs, I guess. However, by striking up a convo with a stranger one morning, my super power, I discovered I could get farm fresh eggs anytime I wanted from here! So, no worries.

Like most events downtown, Saturday Market is very family friendly. There is a booth for the kids and once a year they do “touch a truck”. Both of my guys joined me once last year, let’s just say Hubby wasn’t giddy about waking up early on a Saturday to buy fresh flowers and zucchini. He was one and done. RJ will still accompany me, if I promise him King of Pops. However, they both rush me, which I hate. I prefer to venture alone, shop and then enjoy some shrimp and grits from the Soby’s food cart and people watch. It’s also a great event to meet up with some of my girlfriends who can appreciate homemade goat’s milk cheese and locally grown arugula.

The TD Saturday Market runs May 6th – October 28th from 8am-12pm on Main Street at McBee Avenue. Most vendors accept credit cards. The official website says pets aren’t allowed, but people bring their dogs. They just keep them on the sidewalks and not on the street.

 

Does your city or town have a weekly farmers market? If so, do you go and what do you buy?