Monday, July 20, 2015

Green Room, Bocca Italian, Southern Culture, The Greenville Drive and "Camp Kimilee"

Kimilee at Fluor Field just prior to singing the Anthem

Andrew Bryant taught Improv to our Tweens and Teens ( here with him)

"Camp Kimilee"  Tweens
 July 21, 2015

Hi Y'all from Greenville, SC! I've been back in SC now for four months and have had a great time catching up with old friends! Of course in doing that, I've had the chance to sample or return to many of Greenville's best restaurants . I've also had the opportunity twice now to sing our national anthem for our pro ball team, The Greenville Drive and just last week conducted a week of musical theater classes for kids ages 9-18. I invited two guest teachers and a guest accompanist who helped make the week a success and , I believe fun and exciting for all the kids.

First up as promised a few restaurants:

Bocca Italian is on Poinsett Highway near Furman University and is about as authentic as you can get here in Greenville. The owner usually drops by your table to make sure you have enjoyed your meal. I first dined there a couple of years ago when visiting and now It's a minute from where I live! I met a friend there a couple of weeks ago and we both had a lovely Cabernet and I opted for the house salad, angel hair pasta with Fra Diavolo sauce and meatballs. I was warned it would be spicy, but it was not at all, in my opinion. I do tend to love spicy food though , so that doesn't mean others won't find it spicy! I loved it all , but the bread, I think you can skip. Save your calories for the pasta!

The Green Room  is on Main Street in Greenville. I walked in and felt I was in an Irish Pub in NYC or even Ireland. I loved the booths and wooden bar, brick walls . I had the salad and sandwich lunch special which I highly recommend ( take some of it home). The green room salad and Indian chicken Sandwich was really lovely!
"Camp Kimilee" dancing with "Miss Candice"

Aidan, looking sharp for church
Southern Culture is a casual spot with southern fusion favorites. They have live music beginning at 7:30 most nights, but I have yet to catch it
(check events on their site). The stage looks very inviting! I had Shrimp and Grits and Aidan helped me eat the grits (first grits for him). My little "yankee" (born in NYC) approved! My friend and I had ordered macaroni and cheese for him, but it took much longer to bake and seemed a bit more "grown up" mac and cheese. We took it home though and Aidan seemed to like it better the next day! The have a huge selection of beers and spirits. Only a few bourbons ( my favorite), but plenty of Whiskeys and Vodkas. I can't wait to try the "Greenville" drink.

The Greenville Drive is in FULL swing! I have been to a couple of games now and it seems our "home" team is a real hit with Greenvillians. They have themed nights ( we were there this past week on "90s" night and dollar beer and pepsi night. I didn't have a beer, but a diet pepsi, and shared a funnel cake ($5) with my guests who chose to eat BBQ. They also tried the Greenville Drive Signature Drink ($7) which is quite delicious ( Midori, Curacao, Vodka and Sierra Mist). The field has a playground for kids, plenty of food offerings and a restaurant, ice cream stand , several merchandise shops and The Upper Deck with it's "boxes" is air conditioned. My gang enjoyed the game ( The Drive won), with it's fireworks and entertainment by J Dew ( emcee) and "Reedy Rip-it" ( mascot). Great entertainment for all ages and even this "theatre geek" who doesn't attend too many sporting events. OH yeah, I was on the Broadway Show league (softball) though and played catcher on many occasions. I even got a few RBIs and maybe even a few runs!

Check out our links below for more pictures and videos of our recent adventures ( camps, games etc). Let us know what you think !

Next week we're in NYC, so I hope to make it to a few of my favorite restaurants and perhaps a show! We'll let you know, stay tuned!


Kimilee ( you can "like", tweet etc from here)

Friday, July 10, 2015

Greenville and Slater-Marietta July 4th Events Review!

Slater-Marietta "Moon Boom" with the author, her son, Aidan
 and Mrs. SC 2015 Ronnetta Griffin

Downtown Greenville, SC "Red, White and Blue" July 4, 2015
July 10, 2015

Of course, now we're closer to Bastille Day , but here are my thoughts on recent events in the Upstate for our Independence Day!
I would not have known about the "Slater-Marietta Moon Boom", were it not for a friend who lives nearby.  My Mom and I took a ride and were worried we wouldn't find a spot ( they did offer a shuttle from the nearby elementary school, but some friends said they could see the fireworks from there as well). My friend and fellow former "Miss SC" was there as "Mrs. SC" promoting her platform "Get your Iron Up" and had a hand in crowning "Little Miss Slater-Marietta". There were some vendors selling crafts, t-shirts and snacks. We opted for salt and vinegar pork rinds...interesting. And Aidan was given a cupcake by "Briar Patch". There was a pretty big crowd, but not too crazy and the fireworks were pretty impressive. I have seen the Macy's Firworks in person many times and Disney as well, but SC did a pretty darn good job!

The Downtown Greenville event, was, of course much bigger and much more crowded. I always say I'd like to try it, even when folks warn of the crowds! This time I recruited my sister and paid the $6 parking, unpacked the stroller and off we went. The rides, unfortunately , were not appropriate for a 15 month old and the snacks and drinks overpriced for nothing really special ( I mean salt and vinegar pork rinds are pretty special).  They have folks pay for "tickets" for rides, snacks and drinks and do not give refunds. I'm not sure what the answer is, but this was not a friendly system. Luckily for one patron, I was willing to buy her 5 tickets since she needed to take her child home. She would have been out $5 and that doesn't seem fair. Was the money going to charity? That might make me feel differently about that, but it wasn't clear and still no one should be cheated. That all said, we had a good time and the fireworks were pretty spectacular. We chose a spot near the Peace Center as it was really too crowded and too loud near the Falls. The band might have been good, but it was too loud for me to tell and sadly we missed the military band, which seemed most appropriate.

We had a time getting out of the parking garage ( reminded me of all the bigger cities where I toured with Phantom). Worth it? Yes, to watch Aidan see the fireworks and rediscover my hometown. Next year? We'll see. Best for kids age 3 and up .  $6-$10 parking  Most Drinks $3 ( tickets) Ice Cream 4 tickets, funnel cakes 5 tickets etc.

We had "Cotton Candy" Ice Cream by Brewsters which was not bad and a "Lime -a -Rita" , which was poured from a can and not at all special. Now I want a real margarita! Rosa Mexicano, anyone?

Next up: Bocca Italian, Green Room, Southern Culture. 

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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Good Afternoon All!

Just a quick Hello and Introduction! Long before anyone knew who or what a "Kardashian" was, I had a column ( remember those) in a local newspaper in SC called "Keeping up with Kimilee".

At that time I was "Miss SC" and was traveling the Carolinas making appearances. Sine then I have traveled the world and lived in NYC for over 25 years. Folks are always asking for restaurant recommendations, how to get tickets and what shows to see. I created a blog a while back, but sadly it's "Lost in Space".

Now I'm back in Upstate SC, a new Mom and with a new outlook! Still performing and traveling so I still have many recommendations! Now, I'll also add "Family Friendly" when appropriate!

First I'll direct you to my website and archived newsletters which often contain NYC recommendations if that's what you need! Go to the first page and scroll down to Latest Newsletters. The 2013 letters have lots of NYC and SC restaurant and Show recommendations ( many shows are still running).

Next Blog I'll talk about some 4th of July celebrations in Upstate SC ( never to early to plan for next year) and some restaurants I recently patronized in Greenville and Anderson, SC.

Kimilee ( "Mrs. Darling")  in recent production of Peter Pan with Candice Bryant as Peter Pan and Jeff Perkins as Captain Hook. ACT theatre in Anderson, SC

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