A lovely day, sitting out on the veranda with a friend/brother and enjoying two of life’s greatest pleasures–coffee and ice cream.
I enjoyed trying something new–a Mayan Mocha…bursting with steaming flavors of mildly spicy chilis and robust brewed beans, it was a huge treat for me–mixing spices and flavors together that I had previously never had blended together. My brother enjoyed a regular latte and enjoyed the frothiness and flavor as well as he is Classic Cookie and Cream Ice Cream cone.
While the coffee and ice cream are superb, the conversation with my brother was amazing. We caught up on items, discussed hopes and dreams, laughed, told cheesy jokes (the only kind I know, of course) and spent several hours just having fun together in the comfortable outdoor seating. The Cafe boasted faux lawn under the table, which added a nice touch and color.
Adventures are always more fun with a friend and brother.
A tunnel to…. nowhere! The train tunnel remains as an incomplete project but it’s very fascinating, rich in history! Located just outside of the city of Walhalla, Stumphouse Tunnel was initially meant to be a train tunnel, but it was never completed.
At one point, Clemson University even used the tunnel as a forum for aging their famous bleu cheese (Clemson University Bleu Cheese and Bleu Cheese products are still available for purchase at local venues, groceries stores and such).
The more indepth history can be seen in the photos and via the videos attached. I hope you enjoy!
While the holiday may be over, a winter wonderland is still something beautiful to behold. While living here in the lovely state of South Carolina, snow, true snow (not a powdered sugar dusting) is a rare event…and something to be cherished for sure.
While it’s true that I grew up in Colorado, living there sporadically through my adult life, I greatly missed experiencing true snow days (which I greatly underappreciated when I was in my teens, taking the break for granted.)
Technology and forecasting predicted the snow, which is a new-age perk, allowing those in the affected area to be able to prepare for inclement weather, which is a blessing on many fronts (pun intended). Forecasted fun and adventures, though, when there is a white out? Naturally!
Adventures at home are a true joy–a stay-vacation! While there is always a list of things to be done, a snow balling accumulation of chores to be done, projects to be finished (or begun), sidewalks to be scooped, animals to feed, etc.
The forecast allowed my Sweetheart and I to clean out and re-line his chicken coop with fresh straw before the storm hit, preventing chaos and worry about the health and well-being of his flock, avoiding the need to go out in the snow and icy roads to retrieve much needed items for the animals and house (and finding a place that is open)–like with any good adventure, a bit of pre-prep work is essential, allowing a much more enjoyable.
Speaking of a bit of prep work, while out and about, purchasing feed and straw for the flock, I did remember to pick up extra wicks for my oil lantern, just in case the electricity went out (which does tend to happen from time to time with bad weather.) My sister, on the other hand, already had the foresight to retrofit her house, when she purchased it, making the fireplaces and her stove natural gas (which is awesome, even without power, the stove and fireplaces still work!) But why prep in advance, one could possibly have everything at one’s hand or delivered while on an adventure? Well….things can get icy without a bit of forethought (okay, cheesy puns aside, nasty weather does make things a bit more challenging!)
And the adventure part? The flurry of choice is an endless blizzard. For me, the adventure is being able to get to read a book, unhindered, delving into the pages, skating through the characters’ lives, snow shoeing through the plot, enjoying the snow day, exploiting the comforts of my love seat as the gusts of a zephyr wind howl outside.
A low country boil, as I have been told, is very similar to a crab cracking party–either way, it’s a whole lot of good food and fun to be had with family and friends. I was put in charge of finding clean newspapers and a steaming pot (with the fire ring kit, etc) for the party. The fire ring kit and steaming pot was the easy part, I borrowed one from my neighbor (and invited him to come along!)
I obtained the clean stack of newspapers with a stroke of luck; I happened to catch a newspaper delivery man and asked if he had any unsold newspapers from previous days that I could purchase off of him–he gave me a stack of folded, untouched papers for free, which was a blessing as we needed a lot of newspaper to line the tables.
The low country boil was held outside in a friends backyard. Everyone brought something along for the shin-dig and oh, boy, what a party!! Music, dancing and of course great food!!!
The large steam pots were put over fire rings, using propane tanks. The guys steamed up potatoes, chunks of corn on the cob, sausage chunks of an assorted variety, and of course, shrimp, lots and lots of shrimp–people even brought homemade cocktail sauce, drawn butter, paper towels, and more!!
Even the pups got to enjoy some scraps (and no, they weren’t eating from the tables!)
Lightly steam the brussel sprouts with a little water, until thawed out and semi cooked. Let cool if cutting by hand. Slice/chop the brussel sprouts by hand or with a food processor, returning to the pan with 2 tablespoons of butter, lightly saute until fully cooked and tender.
Mix in the cheese, putting the pan on low heat until the cheese is melted. Serves 4-6 people a side dish/snack
A layover has never been more exciting. My flight on Icelandair proved to be very successful, flying from London to Denver, via Reykjavik, Iceland.
I arrived just little before midnight, went through customs (getting another stamp in my passport, woohoo!!) I was able to sleep a little on a terminal bench in a quiet area, which was super after so much adventuring and travel..
Upon waking up, I grabbed some coffee and a breakfast sandwich, and booked a round trip local bus ticket to the town of Reykjavik, where more unexpected adventures awaited, and the beauty was an unexpected surprise. The bus drove by the old lava fields (now covered in sparse shrub and grasses) and dropped off passengers not far from city center square.
The pictures tell the rest of the story, and I even sampled fermented shark (not shown). A rare delicacy I have never tasted or had available anywhere else!!!
Joe and the Juice Coffee
Atlantic Inlet to the coastline
Iceland sweater for sale at $400
Mural in the airport
Loki Cafe entree, amazing
Lief Erikson monument
Church hours in Nordic and English
Hallgrimskirkja Church, Iceand
The Loki cafe is an amazing place to dine and has some incredible views but be warned, Iceland is very expensive to enjoy, even on a basic level…be prepared to drop some cash on even basics. For example, a cup of regular coffee (roughly $2 to $3 in the USA) is easily $8 to $10 in Iceland, even outside of the airports. Why is everything so costly?? From what I understand, most things have to be important to Iceland and with a population of roughly 350,000 (for the whole country), costs are higher due to the enviroment and import costs, etc. It is worth seeing but plan accordingly…and apparently the higher winds and chill are constant, so dress warmly!!!