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SC Botanical Gardens

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By Laurie Bower Epps


Clemson is just next door to my current town of Anderson, so it makes sense that I've gravitated to places close to home. My daughters and I started coming here as a regular thing just a few years ago, and have found it a perfect spot for pictures. I finally realized that I've not shared this gem with my readers, and decided that the time is now.

With summer being well underway, my companions on this trip are my daughter and her bestie. I think they really enjoyed being included in my blog too. Nothing says summer like a pair of flip-flops with a cute pair of shorts. 


Last time, we'd come here the girls from my Girl Scout troop were earning their hiking badge. It was November. Much cooler than our hot, summery, June day.

A Truly Pretty Place in Greenville

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By Laurie Bower Epps

Terraced above nearby Greenville, SC there is a chapel with a spectacular view. For Memorial Day, I went with my dear friend, Jeff who is a vet. It seemed to be the perfect way to spend my holiday.

I first learned of "Pretty Place," as it's called by locals, from my classmate's Mary's Facebook cover photo. I just have to know where this spot is, I told her. That was my first knowledge of Symmes Chapel which is actually part of a YMCA campground. The best advice I received when visiting was to check their wedding schedule on the website before you go. It's a popular place for weddings.

Artisphere 2017

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By Laurie Bower Epps

Since 2005, folks have flocked from all over the upstate to Artisphere in downtown Greenville. Although my middle daughter, Ellen had performed in it for Carolina Ballet Theatre, it wasn't until this year that I was able to go to see it. Artists from all over the country rent booths for this arts & culture festival. Throughout its brief 12 year history, it's become recognized as a premier cultural event both regionally and nationally. Usually on Mother's Day weekend, I decided to head out with my youngest and 2 friends.

Fort Hill at Clemson University

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By Laurie Bower Epps

Since before I moved to the upstate, I've followed websites like http://www.upcountrysc.com/, travel websites, and chamber of commerce boards. I'm one of those who wants to know a bit about where I'm going to be living, and be aware of what's around me. I believe that we all should be aware of what's around us, since none of us are an island in this life.


Due to this curiosity, I've got quite the laundry list of places to visit while I live in this region. One of these places is the John C. Calhoun home on the campus of Clemson.

My Almost 49er Gold Rush Adventure

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By Laurie Bower Epps

Although I've spent 28 years of my life in California, I'm really from Georgia. Therefore, I know the histories of both states pretty well. Most people have heard of the giant gold rush of 1849, and no offense to the NFL team, the 49ers, the first major gold rush in the United States was actually in No. Georgia 21 years earlier (1828).

Although I didn't deliberately make this parallelism, I went to Dahlonega, GA for my 49th birthday. Housed in the oldest courthouse in the state of Georgia, you'll find GA State Gold Museum (aka the Dahlonega Gold Museum).

My Glitzy, Girlie, and Green St. Patty's Day

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By Laurie Bower Epps

Since my daughter did ballet for 12 years, I'm on the mailing list for the Peace Center. One day this past fall, I received the brochure for the shows of the upcoming season. When I saw that Celtic Woman was playing, and on St. Patrick's Day, being a good Irish lass, I had to go. To accelerate my excitement, it was also just 2 days before my 49th Birthday. By January 5th, I had the tickets for the show and the excitement was building.

As a former stage mom, I'd always heard about the great restaurants around the Peace Center, but I'd never been to any of them. I was always bustling around with Subway sandwiches or pizza from a nearby shop for the girls between showtimes. So I wanted to try one of the restaurants that I'd always heard so much about. My top 2 choices were Larkins on the River and Rick Erwin's West End Grille. I planned out the entire day. I started with getting my hair and nails done before heading out.

Fashion Incognito

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By Laurie Bower Epps

Sorry about my delay on writing this post, but I was sick with type A flu, or Chinese flu for most of the month. But this exciting post is too good to not put it out there in the cyber universe.

Many of you that know and love me, know that I'm a classic movies buff. I adore Audrey Hepburn, and I can actually say that she's influenced my own personal style to this very date. Other power hitters for my palette for fashion include also Jackie Onassis, Nancy Reagan, and my beloved mother.

The main reason I wanted to go to Columbia, other than my friend (of course), was to go to the exhibition called "Cut: Costume and the Cinema." My dear friend and college buddy was good enough to take me. I confess, I did believe the exhibition to focus on the classic movies from the 50s and 60s that I so adore, but instead, the focus was on period pieces that are more recent. No harm done, as an English major, I'd seen them all, and I adore them too.