Tag Archive | greenville sc

Photo challenge- Games

I decided to participate in a photo challenge. The next step was to look for a theme. The theme for January was “Games”. I knew I would have a difficult time taking pictures relating to the theme. I am not usually very athletic and, in January, I prefer to be inside. Instead of passing on the challenge, I made up my mind that this is what challenges are all about. I hoped this theme, while outside of my comfort zone, would help spur creativity.

All pictures were taken with my iPhone.

Picture 1
I decided to do a challenge that starts on Feb 1. It is a exercise and diet challenge from Guru of Abs. I have this listed under the “Games” theme because I think that getting my body in better shape will help me play games this spring and summer.

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Picture 2
I had a Scentsy party (product party with concept similar to Tupperware sold by my friend Brittney). We were going to play games at the party. I was the hostess giving the party. This picture is right before it started when I had all the samplers organized. The Scentsy product is all about good smelling fragrances for the home, car, and body. They mainly sell wickless candles that are placed in a warmer. The melted wax diffuses the scent in the air without an open flame. I like them because they are good quality. Hubby likes them because there are no open flames (the firefighter in him will not let me burn candles). My favorite scent is Honeymoon Hideaway.

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Picture 3

Hubby built a grill. The ribs that he cooked later were award winning to me. I wish he would enter them into a competition (hence the inclusion in the “Games” category).

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Picture 4
My tennis shoes are Saucony brand. I love this brand because all the running shoes that I have bought from this brand have been very comfortable. This shot reflects “Games” because it is getting warm enough for me to shake off the icicles and begin training again for playing tennis in the spring. I am ready. Now that I know my size, I can buy Saucony Women’s Running Shoes on Amazon.

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I went ice skating with my friend. While this is not a game, I decided to include any physical activity in my games category. We went skating in Greenville SC. I recommend it because it is a fun activity, especially if you have children. It costs about $10 for skate time and skate rentals. Check the website for skate times because they only have so many sessions each day.

 

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If you want to see other variations on the same theme, this site to check out all the links.

Papi’s World Famous Travellin’ Tacos

Papi’s World Famous Travellin’ Tacos

Looking for something different in the downtown Greenville, I found Papi’s. This restaurant is located below Lazy Goat and I think it has the same owners. Like Taco Boy in Charleston, this is expensive Mexican food.

Tacos are $3.

I am a traditionalist. I knew I had to pass on ordering tacos when I saw that the taco al pastor had pineapple in it. I do not know what part of Mexico that is from, but that is not what I had in Mexico City or Cancun. And that is not how the local taqueria makes theirs either.

I decided on a torta al pastor. Sandwich with the chopped cubes of marinated seasoned pork, tomato. lettuce, avocado, queso fresco, jalepeno, minus beans and onions. I cannot eat Mexican street food without drinking a Jarrito (the only soda I drink since I usually ask for water).

What I like about Papi’s -the atmosphere – it is a cute place with a lot ambiance and character. The walls paintings are bold and colorful. There is Spanish music (salsa, bachata, merengue) playing that makes you want to get up and dance.

The food was okay. I did think they were stingy with the jalapenos. If you never ate real Mexican food at the house of somebody’s abuela (translated grandmother) or at an authentic restaurant (the local Mexican restaurant that serves tortilla chips before your meal does not count) where someone’s abuela is the cook (she will not think she is a chef), you might think Papi’s is awesome. If you do not want to venture into the barrio (translated ‘hood) for $1.75 tacos, Papi’s is your place for tacos and tortas.

In any other case, you will probably think like me. I thought the flavors were muted. Toned down for a different palate. Do not misunderstand me. I think that Papi’s is a nice place to eat. However, for me, there are more traditional, bolder flavors at other Mexican restaurants.

You may go for the Mexican food, but (to borrow terminology from my hubby)….

Dark Corner distillery

Looking for something to do if you are in downtown Greenville South Carolina? You need to make a stop by Dark Corner Distillery (241 N Main St Greenville, SC 29615).

I recommend doing a tasting but make sure you have had something to eat first. These liquors are potent. They will have your head swimming if you try to taste with an empty stomach.

Dark Corner is making legal moonshine. Some dress it up and call it “corn whiskey”. It is all the same.

Dark Corner have a cinnamon flavored liquor called Hot Mama. Since it is super spicy ( blend of 111 proof whiskey, cinnamon and chipotle peppers), to me, it is not good to drink by itself. However, it is awesome in mixed drinks. By itself the cinnamon intensifies the high alcohol content so much that it numbed my tongue and burned my throat. At this stage of my life, I like to savor the taste of my liquor. When using the same cinnamon flavored liquor in warm apple cider, it becomes a comfort drink that warms the insides. That is my kind of drink.

My favorite is Carolina Peach Shine. It is 70 proof and tastes really good on the rocks. Sip it if you want to enjoy the sweet peachy flavor. Since Carolina Peach Shine is very sweet on its own, the ice helps to mellow out and dilute it a little bit. Take it like a shot if you want to feel a pleasurable burn. I felt warmth as the liquid travelled down my throat, but it was not as overpowering as the cinnamon one. Nor did it have the numbing effect. Mix it in juice for a kicked up beverage.

What I most like about Dark Corner is the fact that they let you sample their flavors before you buy. When I went, it was not too crowded and so my friend and I were able to sample without waiting. If there is a crowd, you might need to be patient.

Don’t forget to TIP your server! You did just get a free liquor sample. Be appreciative.

Above all else, drink responsibly. Definitely do not drive if you are feeling tipsy.

 

Getting dirty: I did this on purpose

This was the dirtiest I have ever been in my entire life. How did this happen?

It all started with a conversation between me and my friend:

My friend: You know what would be really cool? This Mud run 5k. It is 3.5 miles with obstacles through the mud.

Me: Ummm sounds dirty.

My friend: Check out their website. It looks like a lot of fun.

Me: Yea. I am not making any promises.

A little history about me: Even though I married Mr Outdoors, I am not an outdoorsy chick. Under normal circumstances, I do not like to get dirty or sticky. I am a germaphobe. Antibacterial gel is my best friend. I do not like to wet unless I am swimming or in the shower. And in stereotypical black girl fashion, I worried about my hair. Laugh at that if you will, but I do not want it looking jacked up.

***checked out the website***

Me: It does look like fun. I am concerned about how dirty we would get.

My friend: Dirty? That is what soap and water are for!

Me: I just don’t want mud to get in my mouth.

My friend: (laughter)

***about a week later***

Me: You know what? I’m going to do it.

My friend: Awesome!!! We need a 4th person for our team.

My hubby: How come you get to have all the fun playing in the mud?

Me: You’ll do it with us?

Hubby: Yea. Why not?

My friend: Yay!

***two months of cardio. I am too busy working on my abs to worry about my upper body strength. This mentality was my downfall as I would find out later.***

Day of mud run.

  • I am wearing sports shirt and tennis skirt (my usual active wear)
  • Remove all jewelry. Check
  • Shoes duck taped to feet. Check.
  • Put on gloves. Check
  • Get team number 796 put on arms and legs with Sharpie marker.
  • I am ready. Let’s do this!

One and a half hours and 35 obstacles later, it was over. Crawling on knees through mud, sliding down mud hills, walking through mud pits waist deep, climbing over rope walls, and scaling 6 and 8 feet walls were some of the many obstacles. Thankfully, I did not get any mud in my mouth. Yay! But it was in every other crick and crevice. In my hair, behind my ears, between my toes, my belly button, and underneath my fingernails.

Overall, it was a memorable experience. It was a lot of FUN but I was so sore. Muscles I did not know I had were sore. The whole event made me realize two things (1) mud is slippery but gritty and (2) I have NO upper body strength. I thought I was strong but when it came time to lift myself up over obstacles with my arms, I was weak as a baby.

Thank goodness Hubby was there to help us, especially getting over all those 6 and 8-foot walls. He is a real team player that knows how to help get a job done. He definitely gets the MVP for our team.

My friend said, “Let’s do this again next year!” As you can probably guess, an adrenaline rush is a powerful thing.

Fortunately for me, my body’s muscle groups were screaming louder than any hormone could in an attempt to cloud my judgment, so I replied that I was not ready to commit to that…yet.

Would I do it again? Maybe. Getting dirty did not bother me as much as I thought it would have. I could have done without so many obstacles. And I know that I need to strengthen my arms. I am going to suggest to Hubby that he builds us a chin up bar. So if I am prepared physically, I could do it again.

If you are looking for challenge, I encourage you to try a mud run or similar event in your area. It is an unforgettable experience. And getting dirty was not too bad either.

Pho 99 – Wade Hampton Greenville SC

This is not a positive review. I don’t have many of these but every now and then I go somewhere and I am disappointed. I was not going to review them, but then I decided that I need to do my duty to my foodie friends who might see this place and think it is a hidden treasure dive waiting to be discovered.

This restaurant served Thai food. I went with my uncle just to check it out. When we entered, I should have known that we were not going to have a good experience because I felt a negative vibe. The server was at the cash register but did not greet us at all. He almost seemed as if he was annoyed that we dared to enter his restaurant. I decided that I could be misunderstanding his facial expressions and tone of voice because cultural differences. It should have been a red flag that there were no other customers in the restaurant, but I decided it was the time of day (that time period between lunch but not yet dinner).

Since he made no effort to seat us, I went to the counter and asked if we could sit at any table and if we could have menus. In a seemingly reluctant manner, he nodded his head and gave me menus.

The pictures in the menu do not match the food. I was surprised that they had fried spring rolls, but the picture looked tasty so I ordered it. I asked if there were any peanuts in the dipping sauce that accompanied the rolls, and the guy said "No" with a frown on his face (I do not know if the frown was because he did not understand what I said OR if it was because he did not want to me ask questions). Knowing about peanuts in food is important to me because I have a peanut allergy. I do not want to have an allergic reaction just because I was too polite to ask what are the ingredients in a food dish.

My uncle wanted a plain vegetable soup or simple broth. The waiter said that they did not have that. At this point, I was frowning because I could not believe it. I thought maybe the waiter did not understand our request or if he was being intentionally difficult in order to dissuade us from eating there. He said the only soup they had was meatball soup. If my uncle wanted soup that is what he had to order. Okay. Fine.

We got our orders. As you can see from the picture, I did not have fried spring rolls. Although not pictured, the dipping sauce did have peanuts. And the "meatball soup" had tough, un-chewable, meat of indeterminable origin. I ate the spring rolls since I ordered them. I felt like it was partially my fault for assuming that the picture was of the actual food. Plus I did not want to get into an argument with the server who I decided at this point probably did not speak enough English to understand my complaint. On the other hand, my uncle had difficulties choking down his soup. The meat’s flavor was just as bad as its texture. And the broth had so much of the meat’s flavor it was inedible also.

Not even finishing the food, I went to the register to pay for our food so we could leave. My uncle originally said he would pay for it, but I told him that I would take care of the bill since it was my fault we were there. As we were leaving, the waiter had a smile on his face. At this point, I was a little suspicious of our whole experience. Did he play a prank on us? Was it give-extremely-bad-service-to-the-English-speaking-people day?

I like good food and decent customer service. I understand that "decent customer service" may vary from country to country. But I have been to other Thai restaurants and the service was at the very least, polite. At Pho 99, I did not even think that they were being polite. I felt as if I was an unwelcome intruder into their restaurant. My experience there was horrible and, as much as it depends upon me, I am never going back.