Thursday, March 28, 2013

My Aiken, Breakin Heart

Sometimes we pick a place to stop just because there happens to be a Passport America park there.  Being members of this fine organization entitles us to a 50% discount on the normal daily rate at RV parks who subscribe.  When it is extremely cold, or hot we usually look for a place to plug in the coach to have electric heat, or A/C.  At $15 per night it makes more sense to stay in this park, than in the Walmart parking lot running our generator for hours....especially when it is cloudy, and we can't recharge our batteries with sun.  For instance....our Kohler 7.5 kw propane generator consumes about 1/2 gallon of propane an nearly $4/gallon that is $2/ just over 7 hours we have spent $15.  The little Honda 1000 watt gas generator we have works great for us when it is not too hot, or cold, but it won't run the A/C.  We could use the propane heaters, and we have done so on many occasions, but if it is down in the 30's and 40's we can go through a lot of propane quickly......just that 4 day stretch when we dry camped in St. Augustine we went through over 10 gallons of propane running the propane heaters, fridge, stove, and water heater.

Looking for a Passport America park to spend a couple of days at while we wait for it to start warming a little more north brought us to Aiken, South Carolina.  Other than the couple of hours we spent on Hilton Head Island the other day, I have never spent any time in South Carolina.  Aiken is like a little hidden gem you stumble upon one day quite by accident.

This is horse country according to Pine Acres Campground manager, Dave.  There are three thoroughbred racetracks nearby, and a lot of thoroughbred ranches......hmmm, or they called ranches, or farms?  Dave had suggested when we came in Tuesday that we check out the Aiken downtown Wednesday, so we did.  What a lovely place Laurens Street is....about 3 blocks of diagonal parking giving easy access to restaurants, boutiques, antique shops, and other local businesses.  Most eateries offer al fresco dining, but no one was taking advantage of that this day.....not even me.....just too chilly.

Our immediate goal when we drove into town was to have lunch at Aiken Brewing Company.  Yelp has ABC rated at a solid 4 stars......I would give it 4.5.  I had the Hot Pastrami, and TLE guessed it.....the Rueben.  This is a brew pub, right? I ordered their Oatmeal Stout, and TLE ordered their Nitro Stout....both were delicious.  TLE rates the Rueben on a scale of 1-10 a solid 9.

ABC has a LOT of al fresco dining

A lot of the old town area is composed of these old red brick buildings many of which still boast some of the old signage from years long past.

Some of the old signage

Laurens Street is a divided street with a center island, which has a number of these horse sculptures, plus additional diagonal parking.

After lunch we walked up and down the 3-4 block old town area poking our heads in several antique shops.  Nothing caught our collective eye but we enjoyed poking through other people's stuff for a couple of hours.  

Aiken is a lovely town, and I'm glad we were able to spend a couple of days here.....we'll move on up Interstate 26 about 99 miles toward Asheville, NC Thursday, and then arrive in Asheville Friday.  I think the high temperature Wednesday was 60.....big improvement, but we are still moving slowly north.....looks like the highs the next 10 days in Asheville are in the mid 50's.

Thanks for stopping by!

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