On our way back from Ireland Stephen asked me what my favorite thing was about the trip. I had to say that it was the pubs and music that impressed me most. I loved the atmosphere and life that radiates from those places. While they all seem similar and familiar, each is unique. If I could do one thing over, it would be to spend more time in the pubs listening to traditional music. Granted, we did quite a bit of that anyway.
As promised, here’s the brief day-by-day rundown of our trip to Ireland. I’m only going to include the time that I was there. My brothers went out a couple of weeks early and saw sights up in Dublin, Belfast and further north. I came out for the last part of the trip.
Stephen has shared his photos from that part of the trip, and I guess I could snag their journals. However, I’ll leave it to them to tell that part of the tale.
We were on our way back from Ireland, waiting in the Philadelphia airport, when we got the news about the massacre in Charleston. It was a sobering, shattering reminder of the world to which we were returning. Ireland had seemed idyllic. Everywhere you looked it was green and peaceful. Everyone we met was so friendly. … Read More “Reflections on Charleston and the Confederate Flag” »
Having a great time in Ireland with my brothers. However, I don’t have reliable Internet. Haven’t been able to update the blog or post photos to Flickr. I’m sure I’ll be catching up for weeks when we get back. The photo above is of a wedge tomb called Poulnabrone, located in the Burren. It’s 4000 … Read More “Hello from Ireland” »
It’s a story that’s been told to us many times by our father. Nearly 240 years ago our ancestor, William Taylor, Sr., loaded his family onto a ship called The Earl of Donegal and sailed for Charleston, SC. They left Belfast in 1767 and landed in Charleston in 1768. William was given a land grant for 350 acres in Laurens County. He donated a few of those acres for Rocky Springs Presbyterian Church.
The first home I can remember was on a farm that had once been part of that land grant. As children we scrambled over the rocks and stream that gave the the church its name. We would wander through the old cemetery and see generations of Taylor ancestors, starting with my great-grandfather and going back from there. With so many of our ancestors close at hand, it’s no wonder that our family developed a keen sense of genealogy.
I was looking for something to do for a Friday night. Laura was out of town, and I didn’t just want to sit around the house. Then my friend Mark Elbrecht reminded me about an event over at Taylors Mill. Not only was it a First Friday, which meant open art studios all around town, but the mill was having a “50 Years Later Relaunch Party” to commemorate closure of Southern Bleachery in 1965, and a reopening of many of the studios to the public. I decided to check it out.
I have long lamented the dearth of German restaurants in town. There are three of them – Schwaben Haus, Bavarian Pretzel Factory, and Hans and Franz. Compare that to the number of Asian and Hispanic restaurants of different varieties dotting the culinary landscape. This is even more surprising given that there is such a strong German industrial presence with BMW and others.
I voiced these concerns on the Greenville Subreddit, asking if anyone knew of any other options. The list included the usual suspects, including Gerhard’s in Spartanburg (which I still need to try) and my two favorites – Haus Heidelberg in Hendersonville and Black Forest in Arden. Unfortunately, all three of those are quite a drive. I wouldn’t call them exacty…”Greenville.”
Each of the local places has been disappointing in one aspect or another. Bavarian Pretzel Factory is pricey, and their quality seems to be declining. I think they overextended themselves with the move to Haywood Road. Schwaben Haus has excellent food, but is expensive and doesn’t have some of my favorites – simple wurst and kraut. That would be kind of like going to The Peddler Steakhouse and ordering a hamburger. That leaves Hans and Franz, and my long troubled experience with it. My fellow Redditors insisted that I give it another try, so I did…
I had posted one or two of the photos from my recent trip to Sparkleberry Swamp on on eof the paddling groups to which I belong on Facebook. A commenter suggested that “Sparklberry Swamp” sounded like the name of a drink, so the challenge was on.
The commenter stated that the base should be rum of some kind. It obviously needed some kind of berries, and some sort of carbonation to add the “sparkle.” I put for the question to some of my other Facebook friends to see what they might suggest. Some of these sound more appealing than others…
NOTE: This restaurant has closed.
Laura was in Florida and I was craving bratwurst and sauerkraut. My usual partner in crime for such cuisine is Keith Dover, so I gave him a call. He’d already made plans for the evening that didn’t involve German food, but invited me to tag along. That’s how Keith, Tony Sane, and I wound up at Danny’s Briar Patch Restaurant in Marietta.
Last week Dwight sent me a message asking if I’d be up for a mid-week paddle. Laura would be out of town with family, so I thought it would be a great chance to head down to one of my favorite paddling venues, Sparkleberry Swamp.
The sky was a bit overcast and there was a chance of thunderstorms for the afternoon, but it looked to be a good day of paddling. Laura had an early flight that morning, so I dropped her off at the airport and headed on down to rendezvous with Dwight and his son Adam.