South Carolina Adventure: Hagood Mill and Twin Falls (and a bit of Asheville, NC)

22 07 2015

For my birthday in May, I made a 5 day fun trip to the Carolinas. I used to go to North Carolina every fall with my family as a kid since my mom loved the changing tree colors (which we mostly lack in FL), but I’d never really been as an adult (with a decent camera of my own.)

Cake made by a talented employee of mine - how sweet! No pun intended. Day before the trip.

Cake made by a talented employee of mine – how sweet! No pun intended. Day before the trip.

We drove up through South Carolina first to see the old family cemetery (yes, I realize how creepy it sounds) in the Easley/Pickens area – the Jameson Family Cemetery where my great-great-great-great grandparents are buried, and a few paces down the road happened across a U-Pick strawberry farm!

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Check out this loot, only after a few minutes of picking! We only did about 1/2 a basket since we would still be in the car most of the day with no refrigeration.

I’d found, thanks to Trip Advisor, that the cemetery area was only about 11 minutes away from Hagood Mill, which looked too good to pass up. We sat on picnic benches and ate our strawberries. It was a truly gorgeous site:

You can see the mill behind the stones. You can walk through it anytime, but they turn the wheel and make grits and things that they sell every other Saturday.

You can see the mill behind the stones. You can walk through it anytime, but they turn the wheel and make grits and things that they sell every other Saturday.

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View from up in the mill. Of course, had to sneak a few cell phone shots since I only brought my 50 mm lens which is really narrow.

View from up in the mill. Of course, had to sneak a few cell phone shots since I only brought my 50 mm lens which is really narrow.

I was enchanted by all the beautiful flowers – don’t quite know what they are, but they were covering the place in beautiful whites and pinks:

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Is it just me, or does that wooden box above look creepily like a coffin? I couldn’t get close enough to really check it out. Anyway, highly recommend checking out Hagood Mill. Even if it’s on a day when the mill isn’t turning, it’s a beautiful place to wander around. While we were there, there was even a group of musicians meeting up to play country/classic on the porch of one of the cabins.

After, we headed further north to a site nestled right in the mountains – and incredibly hard to find – Twin Falls. There are places called “Twin Falls” in various states; this one’s in South Carolina, and online directions are very tricky because the roads are very curved and with super tiny signs. And there are NO signs that say Twin Falls. I think that’s really weird, because it’s actually a big site, and worth seeing:

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Lots of greenery on the path approaching…

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This doesn’t properly convey the size at all; it was very impressive.

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We climbed down from the lookout to get the last couple shots, which may be difficult for some people  – a bit of a steep jump down and then some slippery rocks, but not that bad.

After Twin Falls, we said goodbye to South Carolina and rode onto Asheville, North Carolina. The bulk of our visit was spent outside the city (as I’ll show you in a few future posts), but I’ll include our little in-city experience here:

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These adorable pig statues (pigs are the cutest!) are in the heart of Asheville. We passed them on our way to the French Broad Chocolate Lounge, which I’d seen online and had to visit. Their descriptions of the different types of hot chocolate they had were drool-worthy.

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It took a while to find it, as the Garmin took us first to their old location. But here we are – so cute!

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Just a portion of their dessert case. I opted for a macaron, naturally, and an oaxacan hot chocolate that I’d been dreaming of since I’d looked up the menu online.

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The macaron was good, but I have to admit, the hot chocolate was – to put it plainly – a little gross. Not really sweet at all and full of clumps/graininess. Maybe I just don’t know what real hot chocolate is – I almost never drink it, so it’s entirely possible – but I honestly didn’t like it. Service was interesting…we ordered two hot chocolates and they brought us only 1 and were very confused about the other one. But, if I could, I’d try this place again. They had other things on the menu that looked good, and it’s a cute place with lots of seating.

Anyway, leaving there we walked around downtown a bit, peering into shops that were mostly closed in the evening:

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How cute are these dresses?

But my favorite storefront:

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Made we want to watch Alice in Wonderland all over again.

The next morning we went to another Trip Advisor find, the Sunny Point Café. This place not only met, but exceeded all expectations! Can’t recommend enough!

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Not much parking – have to find a space on the street. We were there around early-brunch time and it was pretty packed. We gave our name to someone on the patio and waited outdoors. Not too bad a wait though, maybe 15 min.

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Part of the menu, above… I was very hungry, which always makes it a hard decision, but I was really pleased when my choices arrived:

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Scrambled eggs, plain but just what I wanted (ala carte), delicious cheddar grits, and the most wonderful “organic cornmeal hotcakes,” which are gluten-free and have a slight orange flavor, topped with a berry butter. I can’t even describe how good those were. Like nothing I’ve ever seen back home.

After breakfast, we walked back to the car through the restaurant’s garden. Yes, they grow a lot of their own items right there!

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So pretty! Then it was on to our waterfall adventure, which I’ll write about next time…

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24 07 2015
Waterfall Heaven: North Carolina | Art Stuff by K

[…] our adventures in South Carolina and in Asheville, written about here, we next dedicated a day to the great outdoors in the Asheville area, primarily because the Pisgah […]

30 07 2015
Biltmore!: Part 2 (The Gardens) | Art Stuff by K

[…] you aren’t sick of greenery by now after my South Carolina and Pisgah Forest photos, you might be after this post, because I’m completely dedicating it […]

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