Monday, August 30, 2010

A Bad Rap

South Carolina often gets a bad rap because of...

1.  The Redneck (you can't get more redneck than at the Grits Festival that is held in St. George, SC every year...I'm not kidding y'all, 45,000 people actually attend this thing.)

2.  The million teenagers and motorcyclists (ahem, Biker Weekend) that flock to Myrtle Beach and cause Kings Highway to become a parking lot from Spring Break-Labor Day.

3.  The 500 tacky Wings, Eagles, and Bargain Beachwear stores that line The Grand Strand.  I admit, I used to LOVE these stores when I was 10 years old.  They were the very place I bought 5 hermit crabs and named each one after a singer from The New Kids on the Block.   But seriously, do we really need a beach store on every corner?

4.  The 1,000 South of the Border signs that are posted along 1-95.  (BTW, have any of you ever wondered what South of the Border really is???  I stopped there once to use the bathroom.  Next time I'll hold it.)

5.  Our Governor.  Enough said.

6.  And I couldn't end my list without including the lovely Miss Teen South Carolina.  She made all South Carolinians cringe the night of her speech.

The things on my list are not South Carolina's proudest moments by any means...but every state has its stereotypes.  California has its tree huggers.  Texas has its cowboys.  New Jersey has its housewives ;)   And South Carolina, unfortunately, has its rebel flags and rednecks.  As my husband always says, "They wouldn't be stereotypes if they weren't true."

Although some of these stereotypes might be true in a few cities across The Palmetto State, they most certainly don't hold true for the city of Greenville, SC.  I traveled to Greenville for the first time this past weekend to celebrate the marriage of Eric Dusel and Katie Sholler.  

Eric was Brad's roomie at Clemson and we couldn't be happier for the newlyweds.  (Y'all...they're off honeymooning in Barcelona right now...far, far away from rednecks and rebel flags...lucky ducks!)  

Here are the bride and groom.

And her red shoes ;o)

And here is where their reception was.  It took place in an old warehouse that has these beautiful open arched windows that overlook the river.  The river runs through downtown Greenville and is also known as "The River Walk."  The River Walk has revitalized the city and has filled the downtown with cute restaurants, dessert spots, and art galleries.   There are even a  million green spaces that are perfect for kids, family picnics, and romantic dates.  The river is breathtaking and there are so many places for you to walk and hike.  I can't wait to go back and spend a little more time there. 

Don'tcha just love the paper lanterns?  

They even had a photo booth where everyone could take pictures with their dates...very cool.  Very unique.  Very Eric and Katie.

The cake had three delicious layers...strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla.  A little something for everybody :)

We had a blast at the wedding and wished we could have stayed and enjoyed the Greenville city life longer.  However, work has summoned us back to Charleston.   We'll spend the next few weeks reminiscing about our visit, wishing we could have another long weekend to truly take in Greenville and all it has to offer. 

So next time somebody starts to stereotype South Carolina, tell them to take a vacation to Greenville.  I'm sure they'll be just as impressed as I was with the art, culture, and scenery.  And...if they're disappointed that they didn't see any rednecks, just have them drive about 10 miles outside of the city limits...all the rednecks will be out on their front porches waiting for 'em ;o)  

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