Cold plunges, peaches, and pulled pork sandwiches

by Angela on July 12, 2012 · 12 comments

We ended Greenville on a high note — out in nature, amongst gorgeous ravines, tall trees and pork products. Perfect for the Hollicks!

On our last free afternoon before leaving Greenville, we took a drive up to Pisgah National Forest, about one hour north on the way up to Asheville, on the advice of locals Chris and Brandon from CrossFit Reaction. It was exactly what we were looking for.

Pisgah is located in Transylvania County, North Carolina, also dubbed “The Land of Waterfalls.” We stopped at the rangers’ station near the entrance of the park to ask where the best waterfall and swimming holes were for kids. The old timer looked at us, hesitated, and said, “You wanna go to Looking Glass Falls. It’s only 2 miles up. But… no one is allowed to swim within 30 feet of a waterfall. Too dangerous. You never know what hazardous rocks are surrounding it or what’s coming over the top.” With that, he pushed the map and brochure towards us. I could have sworn he winked.

We were disappointed, because the idea of swimming under a waterfall was what got us out of bed this morning. But Mike is a stickler for rules, and as such, we decided to visit Looking Glass just to take some photos and then play it by ear on whether to venture to the other destinations within the forest.

When we got to Looking Glass Falls and parked along the side of the road behind what seemed like a long line of cars, this is what we saw through the trees:

We kept going, and followed some stairs down towards the falls. We turned a corner, and suddenly, we saw a huge crowd headed down in front of us! And we could see people in the water, under the falls!

Mike turned to me and said, “There’s no way we’re not swimming today!” and ran back to the car to get our towels. I realized that the park ranger had to give us the procedural rules, but knew full well what we’d find here. Rules? What rules?

The water was bracingly cold. Max dared not dip any part of his body in, and would curl up to avoid the chill when Mike would try to dip him in.

“Haha, Daddy’s the only chump who wants to get in this icy pool!” And Mike admitted that dunking his whole body under the falls left him breathless.

I am waaaay less adventurous in the water. It was plenty cold up to my shins, and the rocks below were actually cutting into the soles of my feet. Hmmm.

The terrain and rock structures around us were amazing. I never went on hikes with my family as a kid, and the trips I’ve gone on with nature-loving Mike in the past ten years have been life-changing.

Our son will hopefully follow in his dad’s footsteps and yearn for the outdoors and nature. He may not have jumped headlong into the icy water today, but he got his feet wet. It’s a start.

We followed up our waterfall adventure with food! Duh. At the entrance of the forest was a BBQ joint called Hawg Wild, and we stopped in for a bite.

The decor reminded me of my days bartending at Brother Jimmy’s in New York City. Pigs everywhere.

We joined the drawlin’ lunch crowd in the busy dining room.

Got Mike in the midst of an inhalation of a pulled pork sandwich, sweet tea, fries and baked beans. You know the ride home would not be pretty.

We darted across the street to Dolly’s Dairy Bar to join the masses of camp-going kids for a cone. Max actually doesn’t dig ice cream — again, too cold. But he was a sport and gave a little lick before disavowing the rest.

Sure enough, on the way home Mike got some major heartburn, and we had to pull off on the side of the road to switch seats. According to him, he needed to recline and sleep in order to feel better. And then Max passed out in the back, so I took the opportunity to stop at a roadside produce stand and investigate the veggies and fruits while the boys snoozed.

Sydney Manor, Max’s Greenville art teacher, told me that South Carolina peaches are way better than their Georgia counterparts. They look luscious, don’t they?

The woman running the stand gave me a sample of fresh cooked corn, and one bite of the sugary juiciness of the kernels had me sold. I bought three ears for $1.00 and one solitary peach for 15¢.

These are the simple things in life. A plunge into an icy watering hole, a bite of Carolina-style BBQ, and my two guys snoring in the late afternoon. Who would want to leave?

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

steve mccarthy July 12, 2012 at 6:41 am

i’ve been to that “neck of the woods” before and it is truly stunning. the carolinians know how to enjoy their nature and their bbq!


Angela July 16, 2012 at 5:24 am

Steve, it’s so nice to experience a place like the Carolinas at some point in your life! We do the BBQ enjoyment maybe a little too much 😉


ANGELIQUE July 12, 2012 at 1:42 pm



Angela July 16, 2012 at 5:25 am

Angelique, you’re so awesome.


Jen H July 13, 2012 at 1:01 am

Your son’s smile could melt icebergs! What a wonderful little family you all are! God bless you all!


Angela July 16, 2012 at 5:25 am

Thank you so much Jen!


PW July 13, 2012 at 3:18 am

This is a great website, and I look forward to following your family’s travel in the future. We enjoyed the Lion King in Greenville and hope to see it again sometime in the near future.


Angela July 16, 2012 at 5:26 am

Hi PW, thanks for your kind words. We (and the whole Lion King crew) really enjoyed Greenville to the fullest. What a wonderful place to live!


Ron July 13, 2012 at 3:53 am

What I wanna know is who ended up eating that other ice creamcone that Max disfavored? Do tell!


Angela July 16, 2012 at 5:45 am

Haha Ron, that’s my cone. We don’t let anything go to waste — it’s the Asian in us. 😉


Lion King Fanatic July 13, 2012 at 6:31 am

I am in love with this blog. Please keep this up forever!


Angela July 16, 2012 at 5:26 am

We will try to do it as long as we can! Thanks LKF!


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