Holiday with the girls

They are back home now, and we already miss them. It was great to have our two daughters visit over the Labor Day weekend. This was their first visit to our new home and we had a great time showing them around. Unfortunately, Monday morning came way too fast, and that meant time for them to leave for their trip back home. The good news is that we will be seeing them in a couple of weeks as we attend a wedding in MA.

Below are some pictures of the weekend. Wishing you all a great short week at work.

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Family photo thanks to a kind stranger that took it for us. We are standing at the Falls Park Reedy Bridge. Long time since our last family photo. Glad to see them both smiling.

 

While we did a lot of cooking at the house, we did find time to go out and sample some restaurant food with the girls. Here they are at Grille Marks  downtown Greenville. Very nice food. They had burgers and I tried their veggie burger; it was really good. Must learn how to make them without them falling apart.

 

On a different visit to downtown we stopped at Luna Rosa for gelato. They have great gelato, but also salads and pizzas (the thin type with excellent crust). Mother is soooo happy to spend time with her girls! It was hard to catch her without a big grin during the whole weekend.

 

We took a ride to Hendersonville, North Carolina for the much talked about Apple Festival. Was a bit of a let down since all we could think was about Johnny Appleseed’s festival in Fort Wayne, IN. Not fair as that festival is just fantastic and held in a much bigger city. Regardless, we had fun. On our way out we saw this hot dog sign – had to take a picture of it. Quite unique really, but we could not comment on the taste as we did not buy any.

 

Our last evening with the girls; we  had a cook off. Sarah cooked her rice and pan seared rib eye steaks. Jocelyn made chocolate chip cookies, Bethe made a potato casserole and I made fresh guacamole and sautéed baby eggplant with onions, hot peppers, soy and oyster sauce. My first time making eggplant period; need more practice.

 

Father and daughter cooking side by side. Nice to have room for it.

 

Sarah giving me some good tips on how she cooks her steak. After taking it of the pan she added to it some sliced onions, dijon mustard and red wine. Her steak and sauce came out really nice.

 

We played an old-time favorite of ours – Aggravation. We had two hard-fought games; both won by Jocelyn. Grrrr…I need revenge. I have had that same game since the mid 70’s; it is holding up well considering. Looking forward to our next game during our Thanksgiving reunion.

 

After dropping the girls at the airport we went to the Harvest Moon festival in Simpsonville (about 30 minutes from our home). Here you see what it amount to the customary fare at this type of festivals. Not a fan of it, but sure popular with many.

 

The next few pictures cover some of the “antique” cars we saw. We really like to attend old car shows, so when we read that this festival has some on display we knew we had to attend.

Very appropriate sign.

There were many cars displayed. It took us about an hour at least to see them all.

 

Never seen a Studebaker pickup truck. Made in South Bend, Indiana, this was a unique brand that had very different designs. Notice the road kill gag detail under the left tire…lol.

 

The classic Studebaker Starlight “Bullet Nose” car. This was a true classic from a car company that made a huge splash with this radical design intended to represent an airplane. Their design gamble paid very well in post war USA, it became a hot seller for two years in a row.

 

56 Chevy detail with a Ford in the background. Love the lines on these cars.

 

Detail of a 1928 Hudson Super Six! Hudson was a car company based in Detroit, Michigan that started production in 1909 and ended as Hudson in 1954. In 1954, Hudson merged with Nash-Kelvinator and formed the AMC (American Motors Company). I had a 1965 Rambler once, loved it. Anyways, this model sold fully loaded for about $1,450 ($19,500 in today’s dollars). Check the hood ornament (motometer) on this beauty! The forerunner of hood ornaments was the motometer, essentially a thermometer that screwed into the radiator cap. It’s purpose was to keep the driver informed of the engine’s temperature. The very first automotive motometer was introduced by Boyce in 1912, and almost every early motor car had one. With improved cooling methods and dashboard temperature gauges the hood mounted motometers were no longer needed by the late 1920’s.

 

When the motometer was replaced by what we know as hood ornaments, they became synonymous with the brands that created them. Many were works of art; unfortunately they became a thing of the past on all but a select few companies such as Mercedes and Rolls Royce amongst a handful others. This one belongs to a Packard and it was called the Goddess of Speed.

 

Interior dash detail from a 1964 Bel Air Chevrolet. Love the art deco look on these models.

 

Ok, a test for the old timers and car buffs. What US car company used the head of an American Indian in their ornaments? If you guessed Pontiac you are correct! Actually, the Pontiac brand name came from Chief Pontiac, chief of the Ottawa tribe that became famous as a result of the rebellion against the British as they attempted to occupy the Great Lakes region. I have never seen this specific ornament version; the detail is really amazing. The car owner spoke to me about it and unscrewed it off the radiator; wow, heavy and beautifully detailed indeed. It was a treat to hold it.

 

Just love the symmetry in cars; especially the ones with the big headlights. This Ford was beautifully restored. For sure it was black when new, but the orange really makes it pop.

 

My best friend Claudio’s dad had a Buick Special very similar to this one. His was a later model and different color, but very close in overall design. I remember the chrome on it; it was such a beautiful car.

Summer - September 4, 2013 - 8:39 pm

This is life looks like. Sweet, warm, full of love and happiness. Smile is the best cosmetic for everyone.

Finally…Home, Sweet Home!

It took longer than planned and it tested our patience, but we are finally moved into our new home. Have not posted an update because we have been extremely busy (heavy understatement here) unpacking and doing our best to make our new home presentable. Our daughters are visiting tomorrow and so is my niece, her husband and daughter – they are staying through Labor Day weekend. Yeah!!! We are very happy for that.

We closed on August 2nd, but we had a list of items that still needed attention from the builder. While it created almost two weeks of inconvenience, the list was taken care of. After taking care of the rework list we were able to focus on unpacking. We are not done, but we are ready to share a few sections of our new home with you. See below for more.

As we were waiting for the truck bringing our belonging I decided to take a walk to the neighborhood pool. We are three houses away from it; yeah! The best of both worlds; a very nice pool and we do not have to take care of it at all; just enjoy it.

 

Panoramic view of our pool.

 

Truck has arrived. Now this shipment contained only items we stored in the US while we were in China.

 

In addition to this load, another one without the trailer portion was the total US shipment. Must say we have accumulated way too much stuff. Time to review and donate lots of stuff -we have not really missed for over two years. Kind of shameful really.

 

Our new home front view. I did not take a picture of it, but in addition of placing many of our items inside the house, we filled the three car garage with boxes to be unpacked. Counting the China and US shipment we had almost 400 boxes. Did not look forward to unpacking at all.

 

This will be one of our favorite places to relax. The two white rocking chairs were given to us by one of the neighbors that was moving. My wife always wanted rocking chairs in her porch so we could not turn them away. Her plan is to paint them red as the front door. The idea is growing on me.

 

A different front view with some of the back yard. The sod is taking very well; I am certain it is because Greenville seems to have had the rainiest summer on record. Works for me.

 

The red door! My wife wanted a red door very much so here it is. I think it looks great, but must say that initially I had my reservations.

 

We have a nice lot with a good size backyard. We got a weeping willow on the center like area. I think it is in shock, but hopefully it will make it.

 

Different view from back.

 

We love to cook and have people over for appetizers or dinner. So we were particular on the kitchen layout and appliances. We have a great five burner stove I am sure will get much use. My wife loves her refrigerators with the freezer on the bottom and her double oven.

 

The floor plan is very open. We really like it as it works well when you have people over; you can cook and chat at the same time.

 

Dining area with a view of the screened porch; another favorite of ours.

 

Overall view of the dining area, kitchen and living room. A very open layout as you can see.

 

We seem to spend a lot of time in the screened porch. Like to have dinner in it; it is not that big, but very comfortable for 4 to 6 people.

 

Enjoying a delicious salad, roasted vegetables and avocado – YUM!

Well, this is it for now. While we have just about cleared the garage from boxes, there still is a lot of work to be done before we can say – complete!

Thanks for visiting.

Aileen - December 16, 2013 - 9:24 am

It’s beautiful!! So happy for you and Beth!! I need your address as i want to send you the girls Christmas card….you will be floored at how big they are. Have a Merry Christmas and a Great new year. Please keep in touch!

Summer - September 4, 2013 - 8:30 pm

Wow, looks like my dream house. 🙂 Congratulations.

Ana María Causillas - August 31, 2013 - 11:24 pm

Congratulations, esta preciosa y que bueno que todo esta bajo control.

Jessica Gregory - August 29, 2013 - 8:53 am

Your place is GORGEOUS!! We love your kitchen and I share Beth’s sentiments on the red door…I love it 🙂 My cousin and her family live in Greenville, and they love it there as well. We owe them a trip, so I’ll keep you in the loop when that happens, would love to see you guys and introduce you to Sophie! Keep the pictures and posts coming!

Brian Wong - August 29, 2013 - 7:33 am

Looks fantastic, congrats, Carlos! I love the fact that you have a red door – very Chinese thing to do! Looks like you picked up a few customs while you were over there!

Kathie Barros - August 29, 2013 - 6:27 am

Congratulations Carlos and Bethe on your lovely new home and recent retirement! We wish you the very best! Maybe someday we can visit you once we are settled in Georgia. Best wishes!

Teresa Oberlin - August 29, 2013 - 6:09 am

Congratulations Carlos and Beth! The house looks beautiful! Enjoy retirement!

Mercrdes - August 29, 2013 - 3:56 am

CONGRATULATIONS.
YOU DESERVE ALL THIS AND MORE. I HOPE ONE DAY I CAN SPEND SOME DAYS WITH YOU GUYS HAVING FUN . ALL THE BEST TO BOTH OF YOU, MY LOVE ,AND ALL BLESSINGS. HOPE TO SEE YOU SOON .

Hot Days

So far July has been very hot, but the rains have really not let up much at all. Many tell us that the rains are so unusual for Greenville, but that does not help us keep drier. It has also caused some delays on the construction of our new home; the builder still says we will close on July 31st – I have low confidence on this based on what still has to be done. Today we met with the big boss and shared our concerns, he is to review the schedule with our building supervisor and get back to us with date confirmation or delay. We are close, but that does not help us right now. Below I am adding some recent pictures of the house, and other topics.

Hope your summer is going well to you all.

We visited today (Monday, July 22) and the painters are preparing all surfaces for primer. Then, on Wednesday they are to apply the second coat. All the trim is in, these pictures do not show trim at all.

 

In downtown Greenville, there are a total of 10 bronze mice scattered across main street. There location is not mapped, but finding all of them is a popular game kids and newcomers are encouraged to participate in. Here you see one of the mice cemented on a corner of a street.

 

Check this poodle out! Fancy dog taking a stroll on main street.

 

In 1904, a two-story building was erected next to the Reedy river and downtown Greenville. The building housed a paint factory that provided materials to carriage factories. When the auto industry took off, demand for carriages went down and the paint factory was closed. In 1925, the old carriage factory paint shop became the first factory for Duke’s mayonnaise. In 1955, the Duke’s mayo factory moved to Lauren’s Rd (still operational today) and it was abandoned. In 1979, the building was placed in the National Register of Historical building. Today, the building is used for events such as weddings and large parties. It has also become a favorite place for portrait photographers.

 

One of the views from inside the two-story brick building. Here you see the Court Yard Marriott located across Reedy river.

 

A view from inside the mayo factory. As you can see it is a perfect place to hold large events. Plenty of light and fresh air for spring, summer and fall events.

 

Yes, it has been very hot. Downtown has several man-made water falls. This one is usually packed with kids cooling of and having some great times.

 

All along the Reedy River around Falls Park you find beautiful places to sit down and relax with friends, chat and or read a good book. The downtown planners have really done a very good job developing a downtown that is very welcoming and provides many fun activities and places to relax. They have done such a good job, that I have heard other small towns in neighboring states have contacted Greenville responsible parties for advice on how to best revitalize their downtowns.

 

After having lunch with friends on Sunday, we stopped at Luna Rosa for gelato. While enjoying our cold treat we saw this waitress with her many tattoos. See below for more on them.

 

Jeni is her name, when I saw her leaning on this wall I had to approach her and ask her if I could take some pictures of her just hanging out. Jeni said…”sure!”

 

Not a big fan of tattoos, but do appreciate the art on many of them. I did not ask many questions on what each tattoo meant since I knew she was on a very quick smoke break. As you can see she has a few and I am sure there is a story behind each one.

 

This one was really nice looking. I am too chicken to have a tattoo, plus I do not see the sense of marking my body with something I will need to live with for the rest of my life. Regardless, those who choose to have them seem to love them. To each its own for sure.

 

As I was quickly taking pictures, Jenna told me… “hey, check this one out”… now this is creative – what do you think?

Till the next post!

Sarah Xie - August 15, 2013 - 4:57 am

Do you know how hot it is in Suzhou last week?
40!

SOOOOOOOOOOO beautiful house! And biggggggggggg!

admin - July 22, 2013 - 9:50 pm

Ani, Yes, como cuete!
Mas fotos entre un par de días.

admin - July 22, 2013 - 9:49 pm

Jocie,
Almost, technically, that guy is applying drywall mud to the seams. He uses those stilt things unbelievably well.

admin - July 22, 2013 - 9:47 pm

Agree Alison, Greenville is really, really a wonderful small city. Thanks to Devyn for introducing it to my wife almost 5 years ago. It is because of her that we are now Greenville residents!

Alison Noyce - July 22, 2013 - 8:43 pm

I LOVE Greenville! Many of these beautiful photos bring back great memories for me of when Devyn was at Furman. Lucky you to live there!

Jocelyn C - July 22, 2013 - 7:08 pm

That guy is painting on stilts!!!

Ana María - July 22, 2013 - 6:54 pm

La casa esta quedando como cuete (that’s wat your Mom would say)
Espero que pronto les avisen cuando la tendrán lista. I can not wait to see more pictures.

June’s this and that

June in Greenville started kind of cool and very wet; as most of the east coast did. However, it ended with several days of sun and high 80’s with a couple of 90 degree days. The humidity so far, has not been uncomfortable, but expect it to ramp up in July and August. Still awaiting for our home to be completed, still planning on closing in July. See below for some miscellaneous pictures taken in June.

Southern hospitality seems to extend also to pets. We have seen several stores that place doggie treats and fresh water for dogs going by. Now that is friendly and considerate to our four-legged friends. This particular one is located in downtown Main Street.

 

One of the many falls along the Reedy River; such a soothing sound. We are planning on watching the July 4th fireworks from across these falls.

 

Just like we saw in China, bike rentals are being made very convenient in Greenville. Purchase a card and ride; add time as you see best. The setup seems identical to the ones we saw in Suzhou, China.

 

One of my all time favorite cars, the original Mini Morris Cooper. This one is in such mint condition. The earlier models such as this one were banned in the US for being unsafe. After many years, the new Mini’s are now made by BMW. They are nice, but none like the original.

 

What to get, what to get…. a family reviewing the menu while waiting for a table to open up at Sticky Fingers; a really good BBQ place right on downtown Main Street.

 

We all know that tattoos are increasingly popular. I am not a fan, but some are just memorable…this is one example of a very different one. We noticed this tattoo on our waiter and asked him if we could take a picture; he was happy to oblige.

 

The number of eateries in downtown Greenville is truly amazing. Just about every possible space is being used for business, but it does not look crowded at all. Here we see the outdoor space the Coffee Underground establishment; been told is quite good, but since we have stopped drinking coffee we can not comment beyond sharing this quaint spot.

 

We saw an ad for a Renaissance Faire and we thought, yeah. While in New England, one of our favorite festivals was the King Richard’s Faire in Carver. We thought this one was going tp be just like that Carver one, but far from it.
The ad end up being for a very small faire put up by one of the small local churches. All in all, we had a good time and was told that each year this faire gets bigger; well good. Lets see what they do next year…long way to Carver, MA standards.

 

Regardless, all kids we saw seemed to be having a great time. This girl was very proud of her face painting art.

 

Since we were talking about tattoos a few pictures ago, how about this one on one of the faire performers? Quite a statement hey?

Talking the owner for a walk…

 

The last remaining covered bridge in South Carolina happens to be about 30 minutes from where we will be living. A small one in comparison to those in Vermont, but very nice never the less.

 

It was the second time in two months that we see this lady working on her “busts”. She seemed to be painting their eyes and lips. Decided not to ask.

 

A panoramic view of Fluor Field – home of the Greenville Drive. As mentioned in a previous post, the Drive are a farm team for the Red Sox team in Boston, MA. Notice the green monster (wall to the right of the diamond)…yeah, that is what they call it. Click on picture for a larger view.

 

In June, we also visited one of the old race tracks in Greenville, SC; the Pickens Raceway. This track has some great history behind it.The April 10, 1971 race at Greenville-Pickens Speedway was the first NASCAR race nationally televised from start to finish, on ABC Wide World of Sports. Dale Earnhardt’s father; Ralph, was track champion in 1955 & 56. The track no longer has the pull it had in the 70’s and 80’s, but it is still used for many events during racing season. We had a good time on our first visit.

 

The main event winner is being congratulated at the finished line, while some future champions look behind the fence. Can you imagine what maybe going through their young minds?

 

July promises to be a hotter month; hope it will be drier. Till the next post…Thanks for visiting!

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