July 2011

On July 1st we left the Columbia area and headed to Charleston, So Carolina.  We got set up in our site and then headed to Lighthouse Church to see our 7 year old granddaughter perform in a musical “Everday Heroes.”  She went to camp for a week at the church and it was amazing what they accomplished.  After the play we went to Sonic and all had an ice cream sundae.  Yummy!

What a wonderful idea this distillery has.  They open the distillery grounds for free, have lunch trucks come in to sell food, ice cream and soft drinks, hire a band to play all afternoon – everyone brings lawn chairs and enjoys the day.  The distillery sells firefly, which is a flavored tea vodka and they do have a tasting room where they charge.  It brings lots of people to the property but yet they make lots of money on tours and tastings.  It was located on Wadmalaw Island which is about 30 miles from Charleston.  We enjoyed the food, company, and wonderful music.

The 4th of July we celebrated in the morning by going boating with our daughter’s family and her in-laws.  The weather was just perfect and we had fun – even stopped and swam for awhile.  Back at the marina we had lunch and the girls went on the waterslides.  Back home for showers and rest and at night went to a couples home on Sullivan Island for dinner and then fireworks on the beach.  What a wonderful way to celebrate a holiday.

Makenzie, my four year old granddaughter, and I had a nice day out alone.  We went to the Children’s Museum first and she enjoyed playing and painting.  Next we hit Target for a special toy that she picked out and then out for a nice lunch.  She is such a job to be with but then again I say that about all my grandchildren.  I think they bring out the best in us, don’t you?

On the 8th of July we left Charleston with our 12 year old granddaughter Emily for some summer fun.  We arrived at the Rutledge Lake Rv Park in Fletcher, North Carolina and had a time getting parked.  Nice campground but narrow streets and people park on them so lots of tries before we got parked.  Emily and I went over to the swimming pool and as soon as she got in the water it started to pour.  She just laughed and smiled as usual.

Our excitement for the trip was going whitewater rafting on the Nantahala River.  We checked into the Rolling Thunder River Company in Bryson City and were outfitted for our adventure.  I got alittle scared and do not believe I would have done it but Emily really wanted to so chicken grandmom went.  Tim, Emily and I all loved it, we were in a raft with 2 other guys and a guide.  The water is freezing  even in July being only 45, you sure did not want to fall in.  It was an adventure and I did something new. Thanks Emily for pushing Grandmom to do something different.

Hiking on the Blue Ridge Parkway on the Craggy Pinnacle Trail was pretty cool also.  When you reach the top you are suppose to have a 360 degree view but we saw nothing – the fog was just too thick.  It was great exercise and gave Emily a feel for hiking.  Our next hike was climbing up Mount Mitchell in the Black Mountains.  It has an elevation of 6684 feet which is the highest point east of the Mississippi.  The average temp in July is 68 for the high and 53 for the low.  The state park covers 1946 acres and was a refreshing stop.

We drove into Hendersonville to check out the Mast General Store.  Their original store opened in 1883 and carried everything from cradles to caskets back then.  Today they carry alot of different things, lots of old fashioned toys, all kinds of penny candy that we loved as kids, shoes, clothing, tents, sleeping bags etc.  It was fun to look around and Emily was delighted to find gifts for her family.

We walked around town checking out different stores and Tim trying to remember where his school was.  He went to a private high school back in 1960 – 1962 time frame.  We found out the school no longer is here – now a shopping mall sits on the property. 

If you ever want to see how the wealthy live stop in at the Biltmore.  As a bachelor George Vanderbilt built this 250 room home on 8000 acres.  Three years later he married and they had one child.  The home has 101 bedrooms and 43 bathrooms.  His library had over 23000 volumes – do you think he liked to read?  Would you want to clean this house – today they have 1800 employees to keep up all the work.  Yikes.  My 300 sq foot home sure was small when we went home.  LOL.
We had a nice lunch in the building that used to be the stables.  They still have the stalls with tables in them to enjoy lunch.  We shopped the shops and then went over to the gardens.  Just beautiful but so hot we did not stay too long.  I think I would like to go here in the fall or early spring when the temp is cooler to enjoy the grounds.  All in all it was a nice day.

It was wonderful spending this alone time with our granddaughter – she is such a delight to be with – so lucky to have her in our lives.

We traveled back to Charleston and bought a 2005 Hurricane boat with Susan and Jerry.  We all fell in love with it and it brought us many happy times for the month of July.    Between the boat and the beach we enjoyed the remainder of July.