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Sunflower Over Clemson

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By Laurie Bower Epps

My affinity for sunflowers began as a lover of art. Very influenced by the Impressionists in my own painting, I loved the cheerful look of the sunflower as depicted by Van Gogh and Monet. I had hoped to see the famous fields that Monet recreated in some of his paintings while I was in France, but alas, I did not. 

My first experience witnessing them in the wild was while I was working as a tour guide for Lombardi's Ranch just north of Los Angeles in the quaint little suburb of Santa Clarita. They had massive display of them near Halloween called Scarecrow Alley, where local groups would stage scenes of everything from favorite movies to television shows. These groups would participate for prizes too, and mostly, it was just a lot of fun. 

Since moving to the upstate of South Carolina 11 years ago, about mid-summer, they can be viewed in the controlled wild in almost any direction of my home. I've come to look forward to seeing them every year, and I hope my f…

Traveler's Rest in Toccoa, GA

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By Laurie Bower Epps

Since my week off from work proved to be really hot and uneventful, my youngest and I set off on an adventure. Not to be confused with Traveler's Rest in South Carolina, instead this is a homestead in the Northern Georgia mountains. Throughout its history, Traveler's Rest served as a post office, an inn, and even a makeshift hospital. Evidence of this is throughout the property.

Just to share with my readers, although I live in South Carolina, I actually live quite a bit closer to many points in Georgia than in my own state. Anderson is very close to the border, and this frontier home in Toccoa was only about a 45 minutes drive total.

Cowpens National Battlefield

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By Laurie Bower Epps

Being a Southern girl, I've been bombarded with Civil War history my entire life. Not only is it a focal point of fifth grade history class, it becomes exasperated when you move to any other part of the country. It's as if my new school chums wanted me to defend the southern stance of The War of Northern Aggression. However, due to my passion for genealogy, my family lines are far more invested in the Revolutionary War. My ancestors are predominantly Tori's, but as most historians know and my family history will dictate, we have ancestors on both sides whom are usually brothers.

The first real history book I read out of school about the Revolutionary War is Jimmy Carter's book entitled, The Hornet's Nest. Through the years, my copy of the book has been lost, however, I did remember a crucial piece of information which places Cowpens National Battlefield at the turning point of the Revolutionary War. Due to this, I've been wanting to go since …

My Dirty Dancing Adventure

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By Laurie Bower Epps

My two most watched of my favorite movies are Breakfast at Tiffany's and Dirty Dancing. Since a trip to the Big Apple wasn't in this blogger's budget, this blog is dedicated to the latter. Also, Dirty Dancing celebrates it's thirtieth anniversary this summer. Settled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina is the picturesque community of Lake Lure. This region is no stranger to the filmmakers using the natural beauty to their best advantage. Within walking distance of where Dirty Dancing was filmed is Chimney Rock State Park, the backdrop to the movie Last of the Mohicans. Just forty minutes north by car is Biltmore Estate in artsy and chic Asheville.


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.