Acadian Events: Greenville Little Theatre’s “Hairspray”

GLT's Hairspray

Greenville is a truly great place to live for any theater lovers. In fact, it has more performing arts theaters than movie theaters. The Greenville Little Theater, which has entertained audiences since 1926, is the oldest center of performing arts in the Upstate. It offers a wide variety of theatrical fare: classic musicals, suspenseful mysteries, side-splitting comedies, and much more. As a true community theater, GLT gives Greenville a space for new actors to experience the craft while still providing theater-goers with a professional experience. It certainly helps that there are so many seasoned actors in the Upstate that grace the stage, but credit must be given to GLT’s directors, Allen and Susan McCalla. The McCalla’s took the helm as Executive Artistic and Producing Directors in 1993.  Ever since, they have solidified GLT’s legacy of excellence using their own professional theater experience. Recently, their son, Sam McCalla, has joined the team as Associate Artistic Director and Resident Actor; after working for several professional theaters, he has brought even more talent back to GLT and the Upstate. Of course, no great production is possible with just the Directors, excellent though they may be. The entire team at GLT, from lighting to set design, deserves the applause at the end of a production as much as the actors.

The Greenville Little Theater holds a special place in the hearts of the Freeman family here in Acadia.  Our own Mary Freeman has performed there nearly every year since we moved to Greenville in 1995, starting with the role of Nellie Forbush in South Pacific. She will be performing yet again in GLT’s production of Hairspray, which opens this Friday, June 2nd at 8:00 and runs until June 25thHairspray is a musical set in the 1960s, featuring comedy, romance, and chemically solidified hairdos. Those who know Mary personally know that she is a wonderful person, and many of the roles she has performed over the years help reflect this fact. On the other hand, her character in Hairspray, Velma Von Tussle, is the exact opposite of a wonderful person. Fortunately, Mary is a very good actor, so audiences should expect to have a ton of fun despising Mrs. Von Tussle. The show is sure to draw a crowd, so get your tickets as soon as possible, either online or by phone at 864-233-6238.

Acadian Travel: Universal Studios

Summer is nearly here, and Acadians are already planning their vacations to take advantage of the sun and fun. For many folks, the best place for a grand adventure is one of the country’s major theme parks; but what if you have already visited a certain famous mouse?  Fortunately, there is another great option in Orlando, FL: Universal Studios, located about 18 minutes west from the airport.

Universal Studios boasts an enormous variety of exciting rides based on the studio’s many popular movies and TV shows throughout the years. Unfortunately, they have retired a few of their old classic rides, such as the Jaws encounter, Back to the Future, and the King Kong “Kongfrontation.” You can still find homages to these beloved rides in the park, though, so you don’t have to go home without a picture of your favorite man-eating shark. Some of the parks current standouts include an entire section dedicated to The Simpsons – complete with a life-size recreation of Moe’s Tavern and the Kwik-E-Mart – and Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride, where you’ll learn to appreciate the joys of escaping from an undead Egyptian horror. All of this is found in the Universal Studio’s Park, but that is not the only option. You will soon be able to visit Volcano Bay, a new water-themed park opening at the end of this month, or Islands of Adventure, the home of the World of Harry Potter. You can buy tickets for each park individually, or get a combo pass and explore all three.

Volcano Bay is still a bit of a mystery, but Islands of Adventure is very well known. It features eight different islands, each with it’s own theme: the Port of Entry, Marvel Super Hero Island, Toon Lagoon, Skull Island, Jurassic Park, The Lost Continent, Seuss Landing, and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The latter has quickly become the most popular attraction in the entire park, and for good reason. Harry Potter fans will get to explore a fully-realized Hogsmead Village and Hogwarts School. The main attraction is “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey,” which takes guests through Hogwarts Castle to see scenes inspired by the books and movies. There are also two roller coasters: the larger Dragon Challenge and the youngster-friendly Flight of the Hippogriff. If you need a breather, you can enjoy a decadently sweet Butterbeer while you watch some of the performances that tend to pop up around town, like the TriWizard Spirit Rally. There is enough magic in the air for lifelong fans and first timers alike.

The Acadia Pool is now open!

Acadia PoolHouse 4

The Acadia pool and PoolHouse.

It’s official: the Acadia pool is open for business. Many Acadians are already well aware of this fact and have put it to great use. As a junior Olympic sized pool, it is perfect for swimming laps to get some exercise while staying cool.  However, there is nothing wrong with simply floating around and taking it easy, especially as the temperature continues to rise. While the recent rain and lightning have kept any swimmers at bay, the neighborhood still has plenty of time to relax around the pool until it closes at the end of September.

The Acadian Pool: 2017 Season Opening

With summer quickly approaching and temperatures on the rise, many Acadians are looking for ways to beat the summer heat. Fortunately, there are only a few weeks left before the opening of the Acadian pool for the 2017 season. Perfect for lap-swimming and free-floating alike, May 13th will mark the opening of the Acadia Community’s junior olympic-sized pool. Each year, the swimming season starts with a neighborhood cookout, serving burgers and hotdogs as fast as the hungry pool-goers can grab them. There is also a bevy of homemade sides and desserts to be found in the first floor clubhouse area of the Acadia PoolHouse. With all of the opening weekend festivities, it is reassuring to know that there are two workout rooms on the second floor of the Acadia PoolHouse.

The Acadian pool season will run sun-up to sun-down from May 13, 2017 through September 24, 2017.

Acadian Discoveries: Dragon Boat Festival

Everyone in Acadia is gearing up for the annual Upstate Dragon Boat Festival at Portman Marina on May 6. For the past ten years, the festival has raised over $2.5 million for cancer research at the Greenville Hospital System, and the 11th year is shaping up to be the best yet. Forty teams, each with twenty paddlers and one drummer, will arm themselves with paddles and vests to race for the best time on a 220 meter course on Lake Hartwell. The best three teams will then have a final, winner-take-all battle for the gold medal, glory, and- most importantly- fun. Between races, there is even more for racers and spectators alike to enjoy. Each team creatively decorates their own tent and brings plenty of good food to fuel their engines. It is always a great day, made even more special by the impact it makes on the fight against cancer.

The festival holds a special place in the heart of the Acadia Community.In fact, it was founded by Acadia’s own Caleb and Mary Freeman in 2006. Caleb’s brother, David Freeman, runs Portman Marina and has graciously hosted the event since its inception. Acadia’s neighborhood team, the Ragin’ Cajuns, has competed in the festival every year, bringing in several gold, silver, and a few bronze medals. While we were happy to bring home silver last year, we are hungry for another gold, so be ready for our team to live up to our name.

To learn more about The Upstate Dragon Boat Festival, visit their website here, and for more exciting posts, be sure to check out the Acadia Community Blog regularly!

Acadian Discoveries: Soby’s

For many Acadians, the most obvious destination for a nice dinner is 10 minutes away in downtown Greenville. Over the past few years, the downtown area has dramatically changed for the better, offering an ever increasing selection of delicious new restaurants to try. However, there are still many old classics that are well worth a return visit. One example is Soby’s, a Greenville standby since 1997. Soby’s is located on South Main Street in a beautifully renovated building that started its life as a cotton exchange in the 1800s. They offer a wide variety of traditional southern fare elevated to a true fine-dining experience. They use the freshest seasonal ingredients available to bring their customers dishes that are both comfortably familiar and innovative at the same time. You can expect to find many southern staples, such as shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, and barbecue, but don’t be surprised when they rival your mother’s recipes. There is plenty more to choose from, so be prepared to make several trips back. With 20 years under their belt, you know that Soby’s will be waiting for you.

To learn more about Soby’s, visit their website here, and for more Acadian Discoveries, be sure to check out the Acadia Community Blog weekly!

Acadian Village: Lock and Leave Lifestyle

Many Acadians have discovered the joys of a lock-and-leave, maintenance-free lifestyle in our Townhomes, Gatehouses, and Twinhouses. They are so popular, in fact, that we only have two of our Twinhouses available at the moment. There are plenty more on the way as we prepare to open our third phase later in 2018, but there is also hope for anyone who needs a home before then. We are accepting pre-construction contracts on the last set of Gatehouses on Cushing Street in our first phase. There will be six in total: two pairs, and two stand-alone Gatehouses on their own lots at each end of Cushing Street. The attached Gatehouses will be very similar to the first eight that we built on Village Mews Road. They are nicely appointed with a variety of styles, such as real, three-coat stucco or cedar shake siding, and provide ample living space with 2600-2800 heated square feet at your disposal. Our Gatehouses are also designed with aging-in-place in mind, featuring zero-threshold entries, wider doors and hallways, and the option to add an elevator whenever the need arises. The two stand-alone Gatehouses will contain all the same ingredients in an even more spacious package of over 3000 heated square feet. The attached units will start in the low to mid $400ks for land and home, while the single-family Gatehouses will be around $500k. For more information, please feel free to stop by Acadia’s main office at 1 Village Mews Road, Piedmont, SC 29673. We look forward to seeing you in the neighborhood.

Acadian Discoveries: Greenfields Deli

Bagels and delis are fairly ubiquitous around the country. However, like any regional specialty, it is hard to find a true New York-style deli outside of the five boroughs. Fortunately, Greenville, SC has enjoyed the real deal for over 17 years with Greenfields Deli. Founded by NYC transplants, Greenfields offers the hands-down best bagel and deli experience in town. Their bagels are the undisputed star of the show, made fresh each morning in a variety of sweet and savory flavors and served with many different options of homemade cream cheese. If you have trouble deciding between Double-crunch Cinnamon, Blueberry, Sesame, Cheese, and Jalapeno- to name just a few- you can always go with the ever-popular Everything. It only gets better as you use their almighty bagels to craft the perfect deli sandwich. They do offer more typical slices of bread, but there’s no substitute for their pastrami, egg, and cheese (provolone) on an Everything bagel. (with onions and spicy mustard, naturally) While it’s hard to beat their pastrami, Greenfields does offer the full panoply of deli meats, such as lox, corned beef, and more. Add one of their delicious soups or traditional deli sides, like pasta or potato salad, or simply grab a bag of chips. However, you’ll find that even the chips are no plain-Jane affair, especially if you happen to choose a bag of Zaps Spicy Craw-tator. If you can save room for desert, Greenfields has a huge selection of Jewish pastries to offer. There are plenty of bottled and fountain drinks to choose from to wash everything down, including more adventurous options like Dr Brown’s Cel-ray celery soda; it’s actually much more refreshing than it sounds. Of course, as a common breakfast destination, a tall cup of their Brazilian coffee is often the best choice. It beats Starbucks any day, unless you are really in the mood for a desert disguised as coffee. If you have never experienced Greenfields, you can find it in the Verdae Shopping Center at the corner of Laurens and Verdae. You will not be disappointed.

An Acadian Valentine’s Day

valentines-day-1

Valentine’s Day is here, a day to spend with your significant other and enjoy each other’s company. It is a day which can easily be spent eating just a bit too much chocolate, so sometimes it can be nice to do something a little more active. Fortunately for those of us in the Acadia community, we are surrounded by plenty of natural beauty to enjoy. The walking trails that follow the banks of the Saluda River and Hunter’s Creek are prime candidates. There are also several park areas that are perfect for a romantic picnic, such as Indian Rock or Mary’s Bridge. With the wonderfully warm weather we’ve been enjoying, you don’t even need to bundle up, although you may choose to snuggle together anyways. For a more relaxing option, you can always enjoy the view of the river from the deck of our RiverHouse. As warm as it is, the night air can still hold a chill, so you can always move to the screen porch and set up the fireplace. While there are certainly many things to do around Greenville at large, it is nice to know that we have plenty to enjoy right here at home in Acadia.

Acadian Travel: A Rome-antic Vacation

Valentine’s Day is on the horizon, and many couples are looking for the perfect destination for a romantic getaway. An obvious answer is the birthplace of the original romance language: Rome, Italy. The city has a rich history spanning over 2500 years, which means it has plenty to offer for travelers of every stripe. Its ancient roots are sure to tantalize any history buff. The decidedly modern city is dotted with many fantastic monuments from antiquity, most notably the Colosseum; fortunately, it is now cleared of battling gladiators, so tourists can enjoy it safely. As you move through Rome you get a glimpse of each layer of its history, such as the Medieval Torre delle Milizie, a fortified tower near Trajan’s Markets. The Renaissance made perhaps the most obvious impact on the city, which is fitting for an era marked by an explosion of creative and intellectual growth. It gave Rome most of its famous city square, or Piazzas, and allowed Michelangelo the opportunity to use the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel as a massive canvas for some truly fantastic frescos. It should be no surprise that Rome has many other beautiful Chapels and Basilicas considering it surrounds Vatican City, the seat of the Catholic faith. Even if you are not Catholic, Saint Peter’s Basilica is an astounding sight to behold.

Rome offers more than just amazing architecture, although it certainly has that in spades. As the capital of Italy, it is an obvious destination for anyone wanting to get a taste of the country as a whole. Naturally, this often starts with tasting the local cuisine, or cucina in this case. You will quickly find that Italian food consists of much more than just spaghetti and meatballs, although the local version of that dish will certainly keep you very happy. Delicious pasta and pizza can be found in abundance, along with wonderfully fresh seafood dishes, to name just a few staples. There is no shortage of fine Italian wines and cheeses to be enjoyed with, before, and after dinner, along with delicious breads and deli meats. Any meal is best concluded with a slice of Tiramisu and a cup of espresso. However, special mention must be made of gelato, ice cream’s creamier, more decadent older cousin. It can be found in nearly any flavor imaginable, from the old standbys of chocolate and vanilla to more unique varieties like fresh melon and lemon. You could probably try a different flavor every day for a year and not run out of choices.

To learn more about Rome, and to book with an agency that cares, visit the Acadian Travel Concierge here. For this and more, be sure to visit the Acadia Community Blog each week, where we sample activities, events, and travel destinations in our “Acadian Travel” and “Acadian Discoveries” miniseries.