Happy last week of May!
I have been sort of living in a cave (no cool activities) from February onward to the point I constantly felt like I need to escape somewhere to save myself from major depression. I don’t know about you, but I am the type of person who if possible, would prefer not to travel alone. I know some people would say it is better to travel alone than with someone annoying, but luckily I have pretty good travel buddies (the best!) going on mini explorations whether in Japan or now back in the US.
A. came down for business trips around the area before taking off for a big conference in South Korea. I haven’t seen A. in a really long time so it was exceptionally nice to be able to sit face to face for some awesome catch up and activities. Neither of us have been to Greenville in the past so we decided to use one Sunday to do a mini exploration since luckily, it’s about 1.5 hours away from the Queen City.
Words cannot express how excited I was about this last minute surprise trip since I haven’t really been out of Queen City at all for a real long time and it’s nice to get some fresh air and drive out of the city with a wonderful travel buddy.
On our way there we saw the giant peach (known as Peachoid) water tower. According to A. there’s actually an episode in House of Cards that talked about the peach! Hard to believe in the middle of no where in a town called Gaffney would have something that’d be the theme in such a famous TV show. Of course, we had to take some photos because we are proud tourists 🙂
The drive to downtown Greenville was quite pleasant. It’s so nice to have someone chat and joke about random things on the way. We also passed by an impressive BMW factory! Although we didn’t get to stop by or visit (I don’t even know if it is open on a Sunday) A. told me about it since A. had the opportunity to visit during the MBA program. I bet it must be a really neat experience!
We were quite hungry by the time we arrived in Greenville so we decided to stop by Menkoi ramen shop for lunch before we start our adventure. I’ve been to Menkoi once in Columbia by the Vista and remember they had pretty authentic ramen. The store looks nicer here in Greenville and the selection is broader. I decided to try the spicy bbq ramen with a side of fried squid. They sure hit the spot 🙂 I was also very happy to find out they sell Calpis! I haven’t had those in a long time…. sure miss the convenience of SoCal when you can literally buy large bottle of Calpis at any of the Asian super markets.
After lunch we decided to walk on the main street and followed a sign that took us to a nearby river walk/park. It was a gorgeous day to do some walking, and I do enjoy the fun things I got to see along the way – bridge with decoration, art illustrations, historic buildings, fun shops, etc. To me, I think Greenville is sort of a mix of Columbia+Asheville to me. I wonder what would other people think if they’ve been to these places?
This water fall is perhaps the favorite part of my trip because it was such a beautiful and unexpected surprise. Little did we know towards the end of the park walk would lead us to this beautiful fall. The view is spectacular from the newly built bridge. There were a lot of people chilling by the rocks enjoying a nice Sunday out with family and friends. A. and I were definitely part of the crew enjoying Greenville to the fullest we can – at least the downtown area 😉 We were also told that the day before we went there was a rubber duckie fest where they dump a ton of rubber duckie at the fall to see which one would reach the end the fastest. Too bad we didn’t get to see it, but we did catch some poor ones stuck between the rocks!
On our walk back to the main street I was super surprised to catch a sign that says ‘bubble tea’ 😀 Knowing me, I am always down for a cup of boba milk tea (although strangely, I never crave them working in Taipei… I suppose this is the kind of thing you start missing and relate to your hometown when you are far away?). I excitedly told A. I need to get a cup since I haven’t had one in a long time… So here’s my hand proudly presenting jasmine milk tea with boba from Ocha tea bar! To be honest it’s not the best I have… the boba were kind of hard, but you can’t really ask for too much at this part of the US, so overall I was still very happy to be able to sip a cup of boba milk tea on a great Sunday touring Greenville with besties!
Somehow becoming a strange tradition for A. and I, we decided to visit another University during this trip… this one is called Bob Jones University. I have never heard of this school prior to this trip… but was told it’s a small private Christian school A. had a roommate who attended for undergraduate. The buildings were uniformed but the overall campus quite small. Knowing myself I am glad I went to a school like UCSB that offers a lot more in terms of options, activities, etc. Nevertheless, it was fun to check off another University on our list of the SC/NC travel 😛
Before we ended our day trip en route back to Charlotte, A. and I stopped by the Upcountry Museum that had decent review on line. Originally we were debating between a museum or a zoo but just based on the time we have left we felt a museum would be more appropriate. If you have a AAA card be sure to present it at the ticket booth to get a slight discount!
The museum is not very big but provides interesting and educational information about the upcountry life and people back in the days. One thing A. and I feel about the museums here in the Carolinas are… they often offer too little information that makes the space quite empty. The only impressive history museum I’ve been in the Carolinas is definitely the ones in Raleigh.
However, sort of a perk of this museum trip is they had a small special exhibition on Dr. Seuss paintings and figurines. I was not a big fan and didn’t really read much of Dr. Seuss growing up, but it was still very neat to have the opportunity to see them in person. I know one of my friends is a big fan of Seuss’ work so I shared the images I took. She was of course, very jealous 😉
It was one fine Sunday and a great last minute decision to visit Greenville, SC before I say goodbye to the Carolinas this summer. I enjoyed every minute, every moment of it with A. We also swing by the Gaffney outlets to do mini shopping / window shopping before we returned to Charlotte for some excellent German pretzels and queso.
Now looking at the photos I sure am reminiscing this fun trip in Greenville. If you are around the area be sure to check it out! However, I am not sure if it’s really worth it for a second time though 😉
dreaming of more adventures from the cube,