Monday, June 27, 2016

2016-06-24 High Falls on the West Fork of the Tuckasegee

High Falls
on the West Fork of the Tuckasegee
Jackson County, NC
Friday, June 24th, 2016

I planned on making a few stops along the way to the Team Waterfall Kayak Camping Weekend.  I decided to pass on Silver Run Falls since the parking area was overflowing with vehicles.  Instead I ended up at High Falls on the West Fork of the Tuckasegee.

High Falls on the West Fork of the Tuckasegee

There is a Dam a short distance upstream so the water flow of this one can vary greatly depending on how much water they are releasing.   I still need to get back here during one of the scheduled full releases!  I hear it is a spectacular sight to see.

High Falls on the West Fork of the Tuckasegee

I continued downstream to check out Rough Run Falls and was very unimpressed.  The poor photo conditions and No Trespassing sign in front of the falls did not help matters.

Rough Run Falls

 The hike to High Falls is a little less than a mile (one way).  However it descends about 700 feet in elevation.   I built up quite a sweat hiking back up.  Fortunately the Thorpe Reservoir is located right across the road from the trailhead, so I was able to cool off by taking my first of many swims of the weekend.

 The Thorpe Reservoir.
A great place for a swim after the hike to High Falls

Taco!  My Kayak Transport
Onward to the next part of the Team Waterfall Kayak Camping Weekend!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Amy's Birthday Weekend Getaway to Charleston, SC

Jack and Amy's Weekend Getaway to Charleston, SC
Friday, June 10th through Sunday, June 12th, 2016

Amy and Jack at the Botany Bay Sunflower Fields

For her Birthday weekend Amy requested a little weekend getaway to the Charleston, SC area.

Friday, June 10th, 2016

We both took Friday off from work and made the 3 hour drive down to Charleston, SC arriving just in time for lunch.

 Amy at the Fuel Cantina

After lunch we did a little shopping and exploring around downtown Charleston. 

 Waterfront Park - Downtown Charleston, SC

Waterfront Park - Downtown Charleston, SC

 Amy at Waterfront Park - Downtown Charleston, SC
 Downtown Charleston, SC

  Downtown Charleston, SC

  Amy in a church cemetery - Downtown Charleston, SC

We also stopped to get me a sample flight at the Southend Brewery.

Enjoying a Flight at the Southend Brewery

After checking into our accommodations we hit the Tradesman Brewing Company, which turned out to be my favorite of the (5) breweries we would visit on the weekend.

Enjoying a Flight at the Tradesman Brewing Company

We then drove on down to Folly Beach for dinner and an early evening stroll to check out the Morris Island Lighthouse.  

The Morris Island Lighthouse 

 Amy and Jack at Folly Beach

Folly Beach

 The Morris Island Lighthouse from Folly Beach

It was a very enjoyable start to our weekend getaway!

Saturday, June 11th, 2016

For Saturday, we would spend most of the day at Botany Bay Plantation heritage Preserve on Edisto Island, SC

Several years ago Amy and I made a visit to the Botany Bay and declared it one of our all-time favorite beaches!

 Botany Bay Beach

During that visit, one of the preserve volunteers recommended that we come back in mid-June to catch the sunflowers in bloom!

About 400 of the 4,630 acres at Botany Bay Plantation are covered with fields of Sunflowers and Corn.

Therefore, one of the main things that Amy wanted to see for her Birthday Weekend was the Botany Bay Sunflower Fields.  We were definitely not disappointed!

 The Botany Bay Sunflower Fields

Amy at The Botany Bay Sunflower Fields

 The Botany Bay Sunflower Fields

 The Botany Bay Sunflower Fields

Even when the sunflowers are not in bloom, Botany Bay Beach is still an amazing place to see!

 approaching Botany Bay Beach

 from Botany Bay Beach

 Amy exploring Botany Bay Beach

 Pelican over Botany Bay Beach

Botany Bay Beach

Despite the 0% chance of rain forecast for the day we ended up getting caught in a rain shower, which was actually quite refreshing on a hot and humid June day!

Botany Bay Beach

Amy in the Rain

Later when it got too hot to do anymore outside exploring, I quenched my thirst by visiting (3) Charleston area breweries.  Holy City Brewing,  Freehouse Brewery,  and Westbrook Brewing.

 Enjoying a Beer at Holy City Brewing

At the Freehouse Brewery

The Westbrook Brewing Company tasting room

Here are my rankings of the (5) Charleston Area Breweries we visited:
1.  Tradesman Brewing Company
2.  Holy City Brewing
3.  Freehouse Brewery
4.  Westbrook Brewing Compnay
5.  Southend Brewery

Note:  In case anyone is interested, here were our accommodations for the weekend

Basically it was a studio apartment above a garage attached to a really nice single family home located in a residential golf course community about 15 minutes outside of downtown Charleston.  It additional to what is shown, there was also a full bath and laundry room with full sized washer and dryer.

It was very clean, spacious, comfortable and came equipped with everything we could need.  The cost was fairly reasonable especially compared to some other downtown accommodations that we looked into!  I would highly recommend it! 

Sunday, June 12th, 2016

Before heading home on Sunday, we decided to check out Charles Towne Landing.It was an enjoyable visit, but Charles Towne Landing is not a destination I would put on your must see list!

 Charles Towne Landing

 Charles Towne Landing

Charles Towne Landing

It was an awesome weekend with my Love and a great way to celebrate her birthday together!

The complete photo sets are posted here:

Day 1 - Charleston, Folly Beach, and the Morris Island Lighthouse

Day 2 - Botany Bay - Sunflowers, Beaches, and Beer
Day 3 - Charles Towne Landing

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Munich Germany 2016-05-30 thru 2016-06-03

Munich Germany
May 30th, 2016 through June 3rd, 2016

I had the opportunity to fly over to Munich, Germany for some business meetings with a few of our customers.

Memorial Day Monday, May 30th, 2016

JC and I left GSP (Greenville-Spartanburg Airport) on Sunday afternoon and arrived in Munich on Monday Morning. Since we didn't have any meetings until Tuesday, we had almost the whole day to explore the city of Munich.

Here on some shots from Monday, May 30th:

My first Bier and Pretzl in Germany

Inside "The Residence"

 JC Enjoying a Bier

The Nymphenburg Palace

The Nymphenburg Palace

The Nymphenburg Palace

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

On our 2nd day in Munich we did not have any business meetings scheduled until the afternoon, so JC and I took the opportunity to head downtown and explore a little. Most of our time was spend strolling around the English Gardens which is about 1,000 acres of Green Space in downtown Munich.
The English Gardens

 The only waterfall I would see on my trip

 The English Gardens

 River Surfing in the English Gardens

 The English Gardens

Cool Graffiti Art in the English Gardens 
Many of the pedestrian/bike paths go under the roads.  
Most of these tunnels feature some really cool Graffiti Artwork

I also decided to climb to the top of the Church of Saint Peter tower which offered an awesome 360-degree view of Munich!
The stairway up to the Church of Saint Peter Tower

view from the Church of Saint Peter Tower

 view of the Neues Rathaus at Marienplatz

Here are a few more photos from Tuesday:

The Neues Rathaus at Marienplatz

Not sure what is up with the guy painted in silver

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

I was on my own for Wednesday Morning, and since the Munich Olympiapark (site of the 1972 Summer Olympics) was located right across the street from our Hotel, I decided to take a hike through the park.  

 Munich Olympiapark

  Munich Olympiapark

  Munich Olympiapark

  Munich Olympiapark

  Munich Olympiapark

BMW World is right outside the Olympiapark, so I decided to check that out as well.

BMW World

BMW Headquarters

Inside BMW World

I also decided take the elevator to the top of the Olympiaturm (the Olympic Park Tower) which is the tallest structure in Munich.  The view was worth the 7 Euros!

view of the Olympiapark

view of BMW World

Later that afternoon, I met back up with my colleagues for a little off-site strategy / team bonding session.  We took a drive to the Andechs Monastry and Brewery about an hour outside of Munich.   Leave it to the German Monks to have a beautiful church with a Brewery in the basement!

Walking up towards the Andechs Monastry

View from the top of the hill

View from the top of the hill

 Inside the Andechs Monastry

 Me enjoying a Bier from the Andechs Brewery

Bryan having a little afternoon snack with his Bier

JC bringing another round
Note: Hes is only bringing (3) Biers since Roland was driving

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016
Thursday was all business and therefore no photos.

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

Friday, we had a visit scheduled with one of our customers near Stuttgart (about 200 km outside of Munich).  It looked like a long drive on the map, but Roland took us up to 210 kph (about 130 mph) on the Autobahn and we made it there in no time!  That was by far the fastest I have ever travelled in an automobile! 

On the Autobahn  (210 kph = 130mph)

We were done with work for the week so JC and I decided to take one more ride on the U to downtown Munich.  We picked up some last minute Souvenirs, and watched the storm clouds roll in while hanging out at a Biergarten.
 Storm Clouds rolling in over Munich

Enjoying a well deserved Bier

 JC Enjoying a well deserved Bier at Dinner

We ended up getting caught in a Torrential downpour, so we hopped back on the U to enjoy dinner closer to our hotel.  Once we finished our meal the rain had stopped, so we decided to walk back to our hotel through the Munich Olympiapark.

We were treated to an awesome rainbow and nice sunset.  The perfect way to end our trip to Munich.

 Olympiapark Rainbow

 Olympiapark Rainbow

Olympiapark Sunset

This was a very enjoyable and productive trip!  Even though this was a business trip, I very much appreciated the opportunity to have a little time to explore the city of Munich!

Here are the complete photo sets:

Day 1 = Monday, May 30th, 2016

Day 2 = Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

Day 3 = Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

Day 4 = Thursday, June 2nd, 2016
All Business = No Photos

Day 5 = Friday, June 3rd, 2016