Firefly Distillery , Our Perfect Combination of Tea and Grapes

Firefly Distillery

If you are ever in the Charleston area, The Firefly Distillery (must be 21 to enter their website) is a unique place to visit. It is only 30 miles south of Charleston. It was a beautiful day to visit the Firefly Distillery, we had the windows down and, as always, we were enjoying our music. We all have different tastes in music so we are never listening to the same genre twice. It was nice to see all the beautiful Live Oaks as we got close to the entrance of Firefly Distillery. It was a bit hard to spot the entrance, so when using a GPS you will have to pay close attention. As you enter the Firefly Distillery, there are 11 acres of grapes along a winding dirt road. There was plenty of parking as we arrived. There were plenty of picture opportunities. One being the old Fashioned Out House. We stuck Josh in there to snap a hilarious photo.

Josh Checking Out the Old School Outhouse

The Firefly Vodka tasting was the most fun part of the day. We were welcomed in by the bartender. She made us feel right at home. Firefly was opened right from the families’ backyard and is the only Distillery in South Carolina. My favorite flavor during the tasting was the Lemonade Vodka. I think it was Shawn and Nick’s favorite also because they ended up buying a bottle each. I ended up saving my money for the wine tasting next door. That way I could bring back a bottle of wine for my girlfriend. It’s one of the very few dual Winery and Distilleries. We ended up doing two tastings which made us feel quite tipsy(no driving involved)!

Tasting at Firefly Distillery

It’s a unique and exciting place to visit if you’re planning a trip to Charleston, SC. Just don’t try to visit in January. They are closed the entire month. All and all, it was a well spent afternoon with my close buddies! I can’t wait for our next Tasting! Thank You Firefly Distillery!

Congaree National Park, No Paddle Necessary

After working from 7 pm til  3am on a Saturday night at one of the busiest night club in South Carolina, we decided to take a road trip up to Congaree National Park. I was worn out from the busy night of work.  The Congaree National Park is the  largest remnant of old-growth floodplain forest remaining on the continent. It’s about a two-hour drive from Myrtle Beach and located right outside of Columbia, SC. Shawn did some research and found out that they offer free canoe trips guided by the park rangers. Have to make reservations ahead of time in order to do this activity. The park is way out in the middle of nowhere, which is the type of places I love to visit when on road trips.. Once we arrived at Congaree National Park (around 9am) ,  we had to sit in a class room and get the run down on the park and how our canoe trip was going to go. There was about 14 people in our group, the ranger asked the group who had experience canoeing, Shawn and Josh both raised their hands quickly like little children at school that knew all the answers in class.

After the brief discussion we had to get back in the car and follow the tour guide down to where we put the canoes in the water. We had light rain during most of the canoe trip. I was selected to be in the canoe with the park ranger while the “experienced” Shawn and Josh were in their own canoe. The water was a little low that day, so Shawn and Josh had a hard time getting around in the water. Out of all the canoes, they had the most weight in their canoe. When the water is low it take more time and effort to navigate around the shallow spots on the river. The Congaree National Park had a lot of shallow spots and broken tree limbs in the water. For most of the canoe trip, Shawn and Josh were way in the back and it was hard not to laugh at them. The park ranger had incredible paddling skills to the point that I decided to lay my paddle down and enjoy the scenery. We saw a few snakes hanging in trees, and we also saw a beaver dam which was a first for me. We were on the water for about 2 hrs and we covered a lot of water. The video below was shot from Shawn and Josh’s canoe.

I highly suggest taking a trip up to Congaree State park. The canoe trip was totally free and worth riding down the river in the rain.

Riverbanks Zoo

Josh and I headed to Columbia, South Carolina to the Riverbanks Zoo. I never knew we had a really good zoo in South Carolina until I started this project, I was kinda shock learning this. In the beginning I didn’t have high expectations for the zoo I figured they had some farm animals roaming around inside the fence and that was it. I was very wrong about that idea. They actually have about 3000 animals and I didn’t see one sheep the whole time there. Here is our breakdown of the zoo:

Price:  I thought the price point for the admission(11.75 for adults) was a bargain and I had no problem paying that for two to three hours of enjoyment. Even though we didn’t eat inside the zoo because we were going to enjoy some great burger later, the zoo menu had reasonable prices.

Crowds: We went on the Tuesday not expecting to see much of the crowd because kids were in school. But there were still a lot of kids running around because the zoo is a popular field trip spot. I imagine the weekends and summer would be very busy. Parents love taking their kids to the Riverbanks Zoo because it’s a good excuse for them to be a kid too.

Time: We arrived around 11am and left about 1:15pm, so we roughly stay about two hours. We could have revisited some sleeping animals to see if they we awake which would have extended our time. They have a garden section but being guys that didn’t interest us so we avoided that area. If you decided to do everything and do it right than making a whole day of it could be done.

Pros: I like the kangaroo area, where I could walk inside the fence area and be up close to the kangaroos. My favorite animals were the elephants, meerkats, penguins, grizzly bears, and the monkeys that were swinging around their area. You could feed the giraffes and birds. If you like birds and snakes this place is for you, they have plenty of both.

Con: The only real con was that most of the popular animals were sleeping when we visited in the morning. I kinda understand that certain animals are more active at night than they are in the day. It’s no fault of the zoo for this, it’s just nature. Josh and I miss the location of the maps at the entrance area, so we were working without a map so we got lost a few times. So make sure you grab a map at the beginning.

Below is a video of the trip highlights