A fellow workamper asked me just yesterday, “So where are you and Bill going to explore this week?” Additionally, several of my blog followers have wondered where I’ve been. Well, the holidays are behind us (exhale) and we had a terrific time at home in NJ for what we call a “fly by!” We were able to see family – kids, grandkids, aunts, uncles, cousins – and friends – all in four days!! After a grueling drive back to South Carolina – everyone decided to drive on the day after Christmas – we have settled down into our winter routine here at Chickasaw Point. Still working three days and off for four, we really haven’t done much exploring lately, but I wanted to catch you up on our adventures.
Did I mention we had 3-4 inches of snow this weekend? Not real conducive to playing golf, but it appears most of the country experienced below average temperatures recently. This too shall pass!
We have attended two Clemson men’s basketball games in the newly renovated LittleJohn Coliseum on the Clemson campus. We witnessed a win against University of North Carolina Wilmington and then last week experienced one of the best games ever against UNC! Although Clemson lost in overtime, it was a very exciting battle, and we were surprised at halftime when Dabo Swinney and the Clemson Tigers took center court. What ensued was a mini pep rally for tonight’s championship game, which I am watching as I blog! GO TIGERS!
The Monday after New Year’s Day, we jumped in the car and took a ride down to Athens, Georgia, home of the University of Georgia. It was yet another ugly day and the campus was very quiet due to winter break, but we enjoyed our walk through the city. Athens is quite a large “college town” boasting lots of rather high end stores along with your typical college bars and every kind of eating establishment you can think of! I can only imagine what Athens looks like on a nice day when school is in session! Ah, those were the days!
So, that brings us to today. After a hard Monday workout at the gym, we decided to travel to Lavonia, Georgia for lunch at 211 Main Street. We had another very delicious meal there and while dining, decided to venture further to Helen, Ga. Why – you ask?. Helen is known as “Georgia’s Alpine Village” – a town of approximately 600 citizens that was once a logging town. As logging declined, the town resurrected itself by becoming a replica of a Bavarian alpine town, in the Appalachians instead of the Alps! South-German style architecture is mandated in Helen, so all buildings in town reflect that style, even the Subway and Wendy’s! You really do feel that you have traveled to another country, which I must say was somewhat disconcerting. Although the town of Helen hosts several festivals throughout the year, today it seemed like a ghost town with many of the stores being closed, but fortunately, we found a winery!
Habersham Winery has been producing Georgia wines since 1983 and yields about 15,000 cases annually. We watched bottles being capped and labeled and learned that the majority of the grapes utilized at Habersham are grown within 30 miles of the facility – truly Georgia wine! We tasted five of their wines, and then of course, bought a few bottles. Our favorite was a red called Scarlett, which interestingly, is produced by combining 2 varieties of red grapes in addition to two types of white grapes. Another delicious taste was the Habersham Chardonnay, which is aged in stainless steel rather than wooden barrels. They also have a very unique store, and you can also enjoy wine by the glass or experience a “Wine Slushy!” which was a new one for me!
Outside of Helen we stumbled upon the Old Sautee Store, a general store built in 1872 and still operating today! Although they have added rooms to the back of the original structure, the front room is still filled with original products and dry goods. The penny candy collection is unbelievable (Neccos, Lemonheads, Tootsie Rolls, Mary Janes – just to name a few!) and they are known for their Farmer’s Cheese which they import from Sweden. This eclectic store also sells beautiful jewelry, clothing, skincare products, and much more – out in the middle of nowhere! America is truly amazing, isn’t it?
Another thing we have been doing on our adventures is trying not to return home by the same route we used to arrive – if that makes sense. In that way we are sure to see even more of the area on the road less traveled. Today, we succeeded and were actually surprised where we ended up! All in all, another great day!