Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Little sister to the rescue!

It was my sister’s first visit to Greenville as well as her first time in South Carolina. Along with her arrival in the hallway at the GSP airport came spring – she proved to be a breath of fresh air in a tired routine of diapers and dishes, inspiration to share our favorite spots in the Upstate, motivation to get out of the house and exploring. We packed our days together completely full, and although it all wasn’t play, it was all enjoyable.

I took advantage of Zinta’s visit to take care of my 6 month dentist appointment, and after the morning spent saying “aaaagh” we headed downtown to say “yum.” I hadn’t had an opportunity nor an excuse to try the new lunch place on Camperdown, Rick’s Deli and Market. The same group that owns the West End Grille and Nantucket Seafood opened this deli/market putting the Michelin-starred Chef Emmanuel at the helm. With fresh food, premium wines and beers, and a great location this business is primed for success, and we had a great experience. Upon stepping in I was instantly transported back to France as we were ushered around a rather long line of people to a register, just because we had the two boys with us. In turn, they behaved themselves perfectly, eating their lunch like perfect little gentlemen. The sandwiches were fresh and packed with meat and flavor, the fries crisp, and the atmosphere suitable for families as well as businessmen. This is a restaurant I will bring future visitors to, as the only hiccup came when my sister’s Rueben arrived with sauerkraut. This put a smile on my face, because I imagined the chef asking “who orders a Rueben without sauerkraut?” before deciding his creation would not taste right sans… just like frequently happened in France.

We loaded the boys up and headed down the street to Falls Park, hitting all the high spots; the falls, Liberty Bridge, the giant beech with its exposed roots. The park really was dressed to impress, everywhere we looked flowers were throwing forth color and cheer, and the bright yellow and green buds on the trees were fresh, the colors untouched by the heat of summer.

Continuing along the Swamp Rabbit Trail we crossed under Main Street, to reach the train water park. With a waterfall backdrop and a train seemingly emerging from a tunnel off to one side, the specially designed water play area has shooting water jets for the children to play in during summer. The sun was warm enough for the boys to shed their shoes and splash around some, but soon enough the Reedy River captured their interest and necessitated that we move on.

A little farther along the trail is the Children’s Garden, which is a multi-sensory outdoor experience for children teaching everything from biology, ecology, geology and pathology to colors, the senses and gardening with some art and music thrown in. Before our move to France the garden was a magical place; every inch of the park was lovingly maintained, the plants flourishing under a very green thumb. Since we’ve returned I have noticed it seems a bit run down, but on our visit the musical instruments had been repaired and it appeared the garden will soon be planted, so it is my hope that Lauris and Mikus will witness the magic return. For the geocachers among you, make sure to cross off the “Greenville Rocks!” geocache while enjoying this beautiful spot.

Worn out from the sun we headed home to a nice dinner and relaxed evening preparing for a very big weekend. More on that later, but I’m signing off with this confession; one day with my littlest sister and I was a new woman. Free to cook dinner without a one-year old pulling on my pants leg, free to take a few photographs without worrying I’ve taken my eyes off the boys, free to laugh and smile with someone who knows me well. It takes a perfect day like this one to remember just how lucky I am to have the family I do.

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