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!

Slow Progress

Rainy days and the amount of rain for the month of May broke some records in Greenville, SC. As a result, progress on our new home was less than expected. To make matters worse the lot was too flat and had to be graded and a massive french drain was added to assure proper drainage. We are happy to see how the builder handled this unexpected issue and after seeing what they did -we do not see any problems when heavy rains occur in the future.

The pictures below show progress from day one:

A look at the lot when we first saw it. It really is a great lot with woods in the back leading to a retention pond so no buildings behind us. Ok, you must have some imagination to see what it could be.

 

Finally working on clearing the brush. We really wanted to keep as many of the trees as possible. Keep in mind this picture was taken when the leaves were just coming out.

 

The five or so trees you see on the left hand side could not be saved. They were laying lower that the rest of the lot and once the builder realized they needed to do some additional work to assure proper drainage they had to be cut down. Real bummer, but it beats a soggy lawn and potential problems with the foundation.

 

The whole lot was dug down by about 4 or so feet. The rocks were placed on the base of it; some large diameter pipes were run alongside the lot running back to the retention pond (french drains like).

 

Over the rock a special bio tarp and more rock over that.

 

One day they had a lot of equipment working on the lot. Glad the price for the house did not go up due to this unexpected drain issue fix. Will keep an eye to assure they do not cut corners some place else to compensate. Doubt it based on their attitude and approach so far, but must verify.

 

On top of the last layer of rock quite a few truck loads of nice dirt. Then the foundation perimeter was erected; no basement as you can see.

 

More rock within the foundation perimeter preparing the area for the concrete that will serve as the slab for our home; yeah!… no crackling noise when walking on the wood floors late at night or early morning.

 

My beautiful wife finally happy to see the foundation done, makes it look like she is sitting on her porch. Silly lady.

 

After three days of heavy rain and no progress at all, the framing started!
Yes, for those outside of the US, this type of construction may seem very weird and flimsy since you may be used to brick and concrete. Must admit I thought the same when I first came to the US in the early 1970’s. The first time I knocked on a wal-l I could not believe it sounded like cardboard to me.
Well, due to cost, speed and some advantages (??) this is the preferred type of home construction in the US. Wish it was cheaper, but so it is.

 

A view from my neighbor to the left of us (as we look from the street). Our home is about 25 feet from her lot.

 

This was yesterday (June 11), glad to see lots of progress. Tomorrow the roof should be closed in…

 

The guys directing the crane were walking on 2×4 pieces of lumber…did not look safe, but it did not seem to bother them or slow them down at all.

 

A view from the back, the screened porch will be a nice place to be during cool summer nights.

 

This was today (June 12), as you can see the roof is just about covered. This will allow them to do work inside even if there is some rain (expect some tomorrow). Must say the framing went fast as they had a good number of workers and the truces were pre-made at a factory.

 

View from the middle of the entrance hall looking into the family room. Now that it is partially framed the hallway looks normal size. Prior to this it looked way too narrow (it actually is 5.5 feet in width.)

 

View from the back. Just about done with the roof and sides. Yeah!…we are looking forward to seeing faster progress during the next few weeks. The hotel suite is getting very small.

Thanks for visiting!

Summer - July 23, 2013 - 9:43 am

Beautiful house, nice & peaceful town. Imagination when I am retired. 🙂

Nicholas - June 27, 2013 - 11:13 am

Hello Carlos,
Thanks for share your wonderful live to me. You house seems to be a baby growth up day by day. I wish the progress will be successfully completed in time. And I aslo hope the rain brings rainbow for you:) Take care and keep in touch!
Best Regards,
Nicholas

Scottish Festival

Another of the big events held during Memorial Day weekend was the Scottish festival held in Furman University campus (Greenville, SC). Furman University, founded in 1826, is a private liberal arts institution with a rich history of educational excellence – amongst its most famous alumni are Charles Townes (laid the foundations of the laser), John B. Watson (American Psychologist, founder of Behaviorism) and Devyn Noyce (OK, not famous yet, but is a personal family friend that went there and just graduated from Law School; you wait and see what she will accomplish). Furman has beautiful grounds that were a perfect backdrop for this festival (will do a post of it in the near future).

A sample of what we saw:

We were told that the opening ceremonies was something not to be missed. We were glad we listened and got there before it started. The whole opening honored members of the US and Scottish armed forces that lost their lives in service to their country. The sound of bagpipes is simply unique and often gives me goose bumps; yes I got them as the Atlanta Pipes & Drums opened the ceremonies with a Scottish song I heard before, but must admit do not know its name.

 

The North Atlanta Pipes & Bags is a large band, impeccably dressed delivering strong and powerful sounding sounds. A true crowd pleaser.

 

This gentleman led the Royal Highland Fusiliers, Second Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland serving as the Guard of Honor during the ceremony. Look at the intricate and colorful attire. Must say that the crowd was silent and as respectful as I have ever seen any crowds, as the band the trail this soldier entered the field and positioned itself in front of the honored guests.

 

One of the Royal Highland Fusiliers had a prosthetic leg; will assume as a result of injury during combat, but not really sure. Regardless, another example of how far technology has come in returning to as normal a life as possible for those suffering amputations.

 

The stand with the honored guests overseeing the parade and ceremony honoring those who sacrificed their lives serving their country.

 

Greenville representatives of the Miss America Teen (left) and Miss America (right) took part of the opening ceremonies.

One of the 44 Scottish clans represented during the clan parade. I never knew there were so many Scottish clans. Chose to show this one as it was my mother in-laws family name.

 

Part of the opening activities also included a parachute accuracy stunt by three veterans. They did a great job landing on the designated spot even though it was a windy day.

 

The opening activities ended with the folding of the American and Scottish flags; that were later presented to the honored guests. Here we see two naval officers during the folding process; a solemn moment.

 

The Scottish games involved strength activities such as hurling a 45 lb weight over a bar. Concentration being an important part of this event.

 

It may look easy, but having witnessing it, must say it is far from it. This event involved gentlemen that were 55 years and older. The younger ones used a 55 lb weight.

 

This big gentleman was the clear winner within the over 55 group. He looked about 6 feet 5 inches and at least 280 lbs. The bar they had to clear continued to be raised until there was only one that cleared it; he was the winner.

 

Another game was the famous telephone pole toss. Timing is critical as we saw several that did not time the throw properly; could be dangerous as you are leaning forward expecting the pole to move in the same direction, but it does not.
This one was good toss, but not sure if he was the winner (farthest throw).

 

Ok, for those wondering why are these guys wearing skirts…

 

In addition to games there were several groups that got the crowds engaged in old-time activities. This gentleman was part of the group that taught visitors to use the big heavy swords used in the Scottish highlands of old. His get-up looked really authentic.

 

One of my favorites was the birds of prey exhibition. In addition to hawks and falcons, this horned owl was a “hoot”; always looking for the treat (red spot on the stool is a small piece of raw meat) before making any effort expected by her handler.

 

Always liked the looks of British cars, so when I heard that the Scottish festival included a British cars exhibition I was really looking forward to it. There were many different brands represented. This 1967 Triumph Herald I remember well.

 

Never seen this Morgan model. A three wheel two-cylinder car with a very odd look. It has my wife’s attention since it is a convertible, but no, we are not in the market for one.

 

This Austin Healey 3000 MKIII is one of my all time favorite cars. The classic lines and handling are legendary. In addition to these cars, there were many Jaguars, MG’s, Sunbeams, Land Rovers, etc.

Thanks for visiting and stay tuned for the next posting. Remember, you can get auto messages sent to your email each time a new post goes live. To get this click on the “Follow Us” button found on the upper left corner of this page.
Have a great week!

Vicky - May 31, 2013 - 3:32 am

I got the message of the update this time. It’s interesting to see the Scotish event in the USA. Do you believe that there is nothing under the Kilt? 🙂

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