Moving Day in Asheville

One of the best things about living in Greenville is that it is just a short drive to Asheville, North Carolina. Asheville is a great city for food, music, and nightlife, and we visit often to see some of our closest friends.

Recently, our friends Dave and Lisa who live in Asheville bought a new house, and we of course offered to help them move. They didn’t end up needing our help at all though, because they hired an amazing moving company in Asheville: Smith Dray Line.

Dave and Lisa were excited but nervous about moving, especially since they have had bad experiences with movers in the past. There was no need to be nervous after all, Smith Dray Line made the entire process a breeze. Everything from the initial consultation, to the day of the move, went smoothly and easily.

The movers were on time, professional, and very hard-working. We were all so impressed at the speed of the move, and before we knew it, it was over–and time for cocktails on their new deck!

Before they left, the movers informed us that they also handle long-distance moves, as well as commercial and international moving. Mike and I probably won’t be moving anytime soon, but it’s nice to know that there is a dependable moving company who can help us if we do.

Snow Day

While winter in Greenville is nothing compared to what we put up with in Buffalo, we were surprised to find that it actually does get cold in South Carolina. Sometimes it even snows! And when it does, everything comes to a grinding halt–no school, no work, no driving–no complaints! There’s nothing like cuddling up on a snowy day with Netflix and a cup of cocoa, safe and warm in your home. Unless, that is, the heating unit in your new house is broken. Which is exactly what happened to us this winter. The problem was, we are so accustomed to the cold that we never even turned on the heat until it was freezing cold and snowing. And lo and behold, nothing but freezing air coming through the vents. Brrrrr!

Luckily, a friend of mine told me about a heating and air Greenville, SC company that saved the day! Despite it being a snow day when virtually every business was closed, they answered on the second ring and came to our rescue. Our heat was on in no time and we were able to enjoy the snowy view from our toasty refuge! We’ve got winter covered, now we just have to survive the sweltering Greenville summer. Fortunately, this company can help with that too!

New Orleans

Now that we are officially living in the South, Mike and I figured we should take advantage of all the region has to offer and go on our first road trip to….

New Orleans!

While driving from Greenville to New Orleans is doable, the nine plus hour trip is far from easy. Fortunately, we are seasoned travelers and already have a glove compartment full of road trip CD’s and we always pack a cooler with cold drinks and sandwiches. We took the quickest route via I-85 and I-65 which takes you through Georgia, Alabama, and finally, Louisiana. After ten hours of driving in pretty much a straight line we finally made it to The Big Easy!

We checked into our hotel, a delightful 18th century inn in the Garden District. It had a beautiful courtyard with an overgrown garden full of hydrangeas and bougainvillea. The tropical plants and old architecture made us feel like we were in a different country and a different time!

After settling in, we hopped on the St. Charles Streetcar (an experience in itself) and headed to the famous French Quarter. We wandered into one of the many restaurants and ordered some amazing shrimp and oyster po’ boys. After strolling around the French Market and admiring the St. Louis Cathedral, we approached the iconic Cafe du Monde. Although the line was well out the door, the cafe au lait and beignets were well worth the wait. We ate on the banks of the Mississippi in the waning afternoon light and knew that this weekend would be one for the books.

And it was! We spent our time strolling through the old streets and admiring the courtyard gardens. We ate New Orleans favorites like gumbo, muffaletta sandwiches, and even turtle soup! A trip to New Orleans wouldn’t be complete without jazz, and we saw an amazing performance at the famous Preservation Hall. We had an amazing time in New Orleans, my only complaint is that it was too short! We can’t wait to go back, and I hope that this post will inspire you to visit one of America’s most unique cities!

The Big Move

As many of you likely noticed, we kind of like Greenville. So, guess what?! We decided to move to Greenville!! Yup, this is my very first blog post as a new Greenville resident. We’re very happy with our decision and loving everything about this place even more every day. Probably our favorite part of this move is that now we can focus on traveling elsewhere again! We’d fallen so in love with this city that we were traveling here more than anywhere else and no longer able to venture out. Now it seems we have the best of both worlds.



So a little bit about our moving experience… Fortunately it was actually a rather smooth transition. Everything was going just as it should. Better, actually. We both got job offers within a month of trying, found a house only one week after officially deciding to move, packing was no problem, we got the U-Haul and everything well organized ahead of time, and when the day came, we hit the road Jack.

Once we moved into our new home, which is a lovely, quaint older home near downtown, we settled into our new jobs and both made a couple friends there who all helped to show us the more “underground” spots in the area. We were finding our groove and nothing could stop us!


One morning, we both woke up with swollen, puffy eyes and stuffy noses. We figured we had caught a common summer cold so we went about our days and both noted feeling better by the time we got home from work. We enjoyed a nice home cooked meal, and then sometime later noticed we were feeling less than whole yet again. It seemed fairly normal seeing as sickness is always worse at night and morning.

So we carried on like this. For a week… Then two… And 3. Finally by the 4th week we had canceled out the idea of this being a mild summer cold, stress from moving, mere allergies or a fluke. We visited a doctor, we tried medicine, a neti-pot for the first time (very interesting experience), and couldn’t find the root.

Then we met a friend who had the same problem when he moved into his new house. He asked if we’d checked or changed our air filter since we moved in. Gasp! No, we hadn’t! Very excited to find out if this could be the culprit, I rushed home after work and went to the air duct first thing. And sure enough, it was absolutely filthy! Layers of dust and particles and goodness knows what else from who knows when.


The same friend told me about a company who does duct cleaning in Greenville, SC and we got the job done first thing the next morning with no problem at all. The company, Steamatic, was wonderful and I would highly recommend them to anyone looking to get a fresh start in their home. (Air quality really is everything! I know from first hand experience).

Within only a couple days, our problems were all cleared up and we were able to go back to our new awesome Greenville lives feeling better than ever before!

Wedding Bells

Although a South Carolina wedding in the middle of summer wouldn’t usually be my first pick, the one we just got back from turned out to be pretty amazing!

The friend we usually visit in Greenville, SC just got married (woohoo!) and as this is now one of our top destinations to travel to, we knew what to expect: Hot. Heat. Sweat. And while, yes, it was indeed very hot, the wedding itself was wonderful and quite comfortable! I believe I have to thank the wedding venue, Twigs Tempietto, (fancy, aye?) for that.

The ceremony was in a beautiful and large garden area with vines hanging all around it for an intimate, and well-shaded setting. It even allowed for a little breeze! Usually I have to worry about my hair looking like I came straight off of the Magic School Bus, but not on this occasion. We were able to enjoy the ceremony outdoors while still being comfortable and without having to squint as we watched my friend, the stunning bride, walk down the lovely stone isle.


The reception was held under a large tent out by the terrace where the ceremony was held, which was very convenient! Especially for us ladies who aren’t used to walking long distances in high heels. We boogied the night away with plenty of room… and plenty of food and beverage. Of course, the latter is one of my favorite parts of weddings, and I’m happy to say they did not disappoint. However, I think I perhaps indulged a bit too much as the boogieing seemed to get much more difficult after round 3. Oops…

All I can say is that of all the Greenville, SC wedding venues, I’m sure happy that the newly Mrs. Hamilton chose this one. It was an amazing time and a beautiful wedding. Congratulations, you guys!! And have a wonderful honey moon. I’m sure we’ll be visiting again soon in no time.

Tile Time

Floors don’t usually excite me. Especially not when I’m traveling. As a matter of fact, they’re probably the last thing I notice or remember from any given trip. However, on a visit back to the South, I happened to encounter a company I wanted to mention because I’ve not seen much like the service they provided.

I was with a friend who was replacing his carpet for ceramic tile. Of course, tile can be expensive. And the process can always be a pain. The experience for me has usually consisted of searching for the right company, then going to their store and browsing a daunting selection while waiting to be tended to before deciding on something… All just to get a quote I can’t afford. Well, this was not that experience.

First of all, my friend called this company, Floor Gurus, who he’s used many times now. And rather than going to any store, they came straight to us! They arrived at the house with several samples already prepared based on the conversation they’d had on the phone. The Floor Guru did a thorough inspection of the space, which was the bathroom this particular time, and took his measurements. After this speedy process, he sat down with my friend and I (not that I was doing much participating) and they were quickly able to find what my friend was looking for.

They then set up a time for the company to come by and get the job done. All of this took only a little over an hour. And about one week later, the entire project was finished.


So I was thinking this must cost an even greater fortune, having a house-call. But it was just the opposite! All of the prices, not just the ceramic, were all better than just about any prices I’ve ever seen on flooring. I’m telling you! If you’re ever in search of ceramic tile Greer, SC, give the Floor Gurus a call. I wish I had a company like this close by. It would tempt me much more to care about my own floors… Which, since I got home, I realized they could certainly use the help.


… that was the floors talking. Not me.

Trip to Asheville

As Mike and I have family in South Carolina, we decided to venture out and see some of the different cities and sites close by. One of these was Asheville, North Carolina. And let me tell you: there is nowhere like Asheville.


We’d heard about Asheville for the first time when one of Mike’s work buddies mentioned going there for camping trips and some music festivals. He talked about the unique characteristic of the town and people, describing it as “high-class hippy.” With only that description to go off of, we didn’t really know what we were going into. But we were intrigued, none the less.

Now having experienced it for myself, “high-class hippy” is actually a very fitting description for this amazing city. The people are definitely quite earthy (as in probably a quarter of the population has dreadlocks), but it’s also an extremely clean city. It’s very green and sustainable and also extremely supportive of local business.

While we were there, we visited the Early Girl Eatery which was amazing! They had lots of organic options and all of the ingredients used there come from a local farm. Then we explored the city which had tons of really neat little shops and treasures. While in one of these shops, a local told us to visit the West side of the city.

When we got there, it was as if we’d found a little piece of heaven.We got to sit outside of a large area that used to be warehouses but have recently been converted into small art studios and a micro-brewery. Again, hello heaven! And of course, as a rule of thumb, where there is outdoor beer, there are food trucks. Which are my favorite! We chose a Mexican food truck which had the most amazing tacos. Until we went up the street to White Duck Taco Shop and got the truly most amazing tacos! (Mike and I like tacos).

However, after all of the tacos and beer, we had to get moving. We decided to trek up to Black Mountain which has some of the most stunning hikes and views I’ve ever seen. We chose a relaxed 3 mile hike, which became increasingly hurried as the sun started to set, and enjoyed breathing in the North Carolina air.


For our stay, we found a quaint little tiny house which sits on the side of a mountain close to Black Mountain. (We found it on Airbnb). And in the morning, we got to enjoy the first sunrise I’d seen in far too long.

Just typing all of this up has me ready to go back and continue adventuring on. Asheville was one of the most interesting and romantic cities I’ve ever been to. It’s a guarantee that we’ll be back for more.

Foodie Frenzy

Oh my goodness! I’ve lived in Buffalo my entire life and am so excited to share my very favorite restaurant I’ve ever found in the area. Drum roll, please…

Osteria 166! Seriously, if you like Italian food… And if you’re from Buffalo, you have to like Italian food… Actually, I think humankind has to like Italian food… then you will absolutely drool over this place. Much like I am right now.

Let’s start with the meal I had: Stuffed cannelloni in a panchetta rosemary cream sauce. Uh, excuse me? Can I get 3? And let me tell you, it tasted better than it sounds by about 11 fold. On top of that, they have HOUSEMADE PROSCIUTTO! Yeah. Housemade. And it was extraordinary. My husband, Mike, went with the sun dried tomato basil risotto which was also to die for. You can see the picture of it below:


… Can you tell I love food yet?

Anyhow, seriously, this place is right in the heart of downtown Buffalo off of Franklin St. The decor has a clean and almost rustic feel which matches the style of food. Well, the food tastes rustic, but the presentation is quite charming.

Their menu has something for everybody. Whether you’re looking for something new to spice up your Italian cuisine collection or craving the classic spaghetti and meatballs, you’ll find it at Osteria 166. I’m also pleased to say that it’s well priced, officially giving you no reason not to go check it out. And when you do, ask for Marco. He’s from Bologna, Italy and was our gracious server. He truly made the experience that much more enjoyable with his happy-go-lucky personality and wealth of knowledge on Italian food.

Oh, Christmas Tree

It was a holly, jolly Christmas. The first white Christmas Taylors, SC had had in a while. And of course, my family and I happened to be visiting from Buffalo, NY in hopes of escaping the usual winter mess. Everything was fun and holiday cheer at Nana’s house when, in the midst of our Christmas gift exchange, we heard an earth-shattering commotion which came from over head. The entire family ran out to check out the scene; even Nana came out in her slippers.

When we stepped outside, we looked up to the roof, come to find a beautiful evergreen tree peacefully lounging across Nana’s sweet little home. Of course, this realization was followed by chaos (and excitement from the little ones). Apparently the trees are just as clueless about snow as the native Carolinians.


We didn’t want to ruin the holiday spirit and so we sent my husband to check the damage of the roof. There were a few small leaks that we had to take care of, but once we made sure things were sound enough for the time being, we carried on as if nothing happened. (Except for the kids — still excited).

However, the next day it was time to take care of the very large mess. Being from out of town, we didn’t know who to contact and Nana, having never dealt with this sort of problem before, was just as clueless. Thankfully, a neighbor who came over to help us clear some of the brush suggested a wonderful company who takes care of any sort of tree service in Greenville, SC (right next to Taylors). We immediately called the company, Tree Works, and they quickly took care of everything for us. They made removing an enormous tree, practically snapped in half, off of a roof look like a cakewalk. And on top of that, they were wonderfully friendly and easy to work with. (I suppose that’s the southern charm that everyone is always raving about).

Of course, something like this is never ideal. Especially once you see the quote. But what Tree Works charged for their service was incredibly reasonable! We were very happy with the entire experience. And I was happy to leave my mom’s house tree-free before leaving.

If it hadn’t been for Tree Works, I’m not sure how long it would have taken to get the tree taken care of. But with their promptness, we still had a couple of days left for our trip and so we spent most of our time exploring the town and surrounding areas – which was wildly charming. However, it seemed nothing topped the excitement of the unexpected Christmas tree. It will certainly be a holiday to remember.