Map Quest did me right for most of my trip, but it did not get me to my Uncle’s house in South Carolina. Twenty minutes away from my destination, things went wrong and it took me over an hour and several phone calls to find my Uncle and Aunt searching for me in their cars. It wasn’t so much Map Quest as it was the SC road signage. The roads are not clearly marked. Some of the important signs needed to navigate my way are the size of postage stamps. Some, only slightly larger, are surrounded by so many other signs, you can’t find the one you are looking for. And I have never seen so many country roads shooting off of country roads. Many of them veer off. You can’t tell if you are veering or forging straight ahead. I had travelled several hundred miles, alone, since I left home and had not been lost once until this moment. I won’t bore you with any more details, but believe me when I say you must be prepared if you come to rural SC. I would invest in a GPS before I would try to find my way around there again.
My Aunt and Uncle’s house is fabulous and welcoming. You should see the porches that take advantage of the view and the tranquility.
After resting a while, we drove to downtown Greenville, a beautifully restored town. My Aunt met with her painting group, a fund and friendly bunch. My Uncle and I left their good company for a walk about town. I was very impressed. An hour and a half later, we joined my Aunt for dinner at Smoke On the Water. The wild salmon, greens and mashed potatoes were complimented by a nearly full moon as we sat outside. How perfect is this?
There were several highlights on this part of my trip. One unexpected highlight was coffee, breakfast and one-on-one conversation with my uncle each morning. Priceless. My Uncle had a couple of people he wanted me to meet, mainly Maxie. He said she is always in her workshop making wooden bowls. But not today. She was not at home either. Perplexed, we drove to her sister’s house. No one home there either. Surely Tom, a local artist, will be home. Nope. He says we will try another day…I should not leave without meeting Maxie. A little while later we drove to Erskine College in Due West, SC where my Aunt’s artwork was showing in the Bowie Art Center and where a reception was held in her honor. The building is lovely and the turn out was good. My Aunt gave a talk about plaine aire painting and demonstrated the items she uses when she goes out to paint.
Afterward, we drove to Abbeville for dinner at Windows on Main. Very nice.
Before dinner, we took a little walk first as my Aunt wanted us to see the Opera House built in 1903. It is still used for performances. The main room is small with a few box seats and a balcony. I tried out seats in one of the boxes and the balcony…one should know where to sit if one were to ever buy tickets. I also tried out the stage. The view is nice from there. During my self-guided tour, I found myself in the upper hallway where I was greeted by 2 police officers. They hold city court in the Opera House because the Court House next door is not big enough. Today they are hearing a DUI case. Well, I had to ask.
The next day my Aunt and I went for a demonstration on the new Open Acrylics. They are creamy like oils, but dry faster and they blend like watercolor, but dry slower. After the demo, all who attended scattered among the trees in this wooded area by the lake at Furman College. We painted until around 2:00 PM and then headed home. This day was another highlight for me.
My Uncle and I left within 30 minutes of my return to the house to try again to visit Maxie and Tom. That requires another blog.