RIP Bavarian Pretzel Factory

Dead BPF

Bavarian Pretzel Factory has closed its doors. The owners say that they will continue baking breads and taking orders for specialty goods, but the restaurant is gone. I guess the “curse of the RandomConnections review” strikes again.

It was Keith Dover who discovered the body, so to speak, and alerted me via text. He had placed an order for potato salad, but when he tried to call about it, there was no answer. I had to run a few errands, so I swung by to see what was happening. At what should have been a busy lunch time, there were no cars in the lot. I peeked in the window, and all of the furniture was gone. While their website still seems active, a quick check of their Facebook presence confirmed that it was closed. Continue reading “RIP Bavarian Pretzel Factory”

Old School Consumer Electronics

Don Jones Stereo-21

Our television gave up the ghost. While it was a fairly modern hi-def LCD TV, by today’s standards it was quite small. We still hold to the old “TV as furniture” ideal, and kept it in a cabinet in a corner. This was actually a design decision, as we have picture windows overlooking our back yard and lake, and didn’t want a large TV interfering with that view. Perhaps it got jealous of the big new TV in our newly remodeled basement. Who knows? The upshot is that on Wednesday I found myself heading out to buy a new one. Continue reading “Old School Consumer Electronics”

The Remote Savannah

Let the Wild Rumpus Begin! Lowcountry Unfiltered on the Savannah River.

We missed our traditional Second Saturday trek with Lowcountry Unfiltered. Laura and I were still in Florida, and Matt was tied up with moving. Several others of our group also had conflicts, so we decided to postpone the trip to the third Saturday. For this trip, we decided to tackle a wild and remote section of the Savannah River. We would be putting in at Burton’s Ferry Landing and paddling 15 miles downriver to Cohen’s Bluff. Continue reading “The Remote Savannah”

Key Largo Get Away – Part 1

Key Largo Evening-2

It’s been a stressful few weeks. We have been making trips to Florida to help out with Laura’s mother. While I’ve been able to make the trip to Ireland, Laura hasn’t had a vacation. So, on this latest trek down to Florida we decided to extend trip a few days and head down to Key Largo for an escape.

We drove down on a Monday. The drive from Fort Pierce to the Keys is not the most exciting stretch, until you reach the end of the Turnpike. There, US 1 takes over, and the two-lane route leads over wetlands and mangroves. While beautiful, the area is fenced, and there is nowhere to stop. Eventually we reached the bridge crossing Blackwater Sound and arrived at Key Largo. Continue reading “Key Largo Get Away – Part 1”

The Big Business of Piracy

Vero Pirate Fest-25

We were running errands up in Vero when I spotted the following sign along US 1:

Family Friendly Piracy

Hmmm….”3 Days of Family Friendly Piracy.” Sounds a bit…oxymoronic to me. Truth be told, I’ve always thought that the Disney ride “Pirates of the Caribbean” was a bit weird, long before the movie series even came out. I’m not a prude, but a ride celebrating raping and pillaging just didn’t seem quite right. Sure, the real violence has been sanitized into something suitable for kids, but given historical realities and real incidents of piracy off the African coast, I’m often left scratching my head over the popularity of pirates.

We had some free time away from household duties, so we decided to check out the Vero Beach Pirate Fest. Continue reading “The Big Business of Piracy”

The $10 Kayak

Inflatable Kayak Launch-15

Once upon a time Confluence Watersports in Easley would have a special sale for “friends and family.” Employees and even the general public could come purchase kayaks that were factory seconds, demo boats, discontinued products, and other items that couldn’t be put out for regular retail sale. The incredible prices are how my brothers and nephew have built up our fleet of kayaks.

Of course, you had to be careful. One of the boats we got had a warped hull, and had a distinct pull to the left. My favorite Pungo had all of the seat webbing sliced, and I had to replace it. One of Chip’s boats lacked covers for the storage hatches. For the prices we got these boats, we could cope.

The problem was that people started purchasing LOTS of kayaks at once and reselling them. This was undermining local merchants like Sunrift Adventures and Grady Outdoors. The sales were closed to the public. In order to attend the sale you had to have a ticket, and you were limited to two boats. Continue reading “The $10 Kayak”

New Waterproof Camera – Fuji XP85

Fuji XP85

Over the Fourth of July weekend we went down to Florida to visit Laura’s sister Amy and her mother. Since we’ve been going down regularly to help out I’ve left a bit of paddling gear and our tandem kayak so that I can do the occasional escape.

I was on my way out for a quick paddle when my trusty Fujifilm Z33WP slipped out of my hand and hit Amy’s tile floor, point down. It cracked the corner of the casing. The camera still works, but it was no longer waterproof.

Untitled Continue reading “New Waterproof Camera – Fuji XP85”

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