Aiken, South Carolina!

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We’ve been having a great time in Aiken! What a lovely small city this is. The downtown is charming, with tree lined boulevards, lots of shops and restaurants. We’re digging it down here and are adding this to our retirement possibilities list.

We’ve spent a couple of evenings visiting with Bob’s cousin Larry NoΓ«l and wife Sandy. They have a lovely home, most of which has been remodeled by Larry. It must be something in the Viens genes that these guys can fix anything and everything! They also invited us to a Christmas at a horse farm where he works, so that should be fun and interesting! The NoΓ«ls are full of southern hospitality and family love.

Since Tessa is good enough to put up with riding in the motorhome and the car for hours on end, we like to pay her back by giving her some fun every day. We found the local dog park on the property of the beautiful SPCA shelter in Aiken. It’s an awesome park with friendly people, well-behaved dogs, and even a doggy-height water bubbler and a doggy pool. We went inside the SPCA and, oh my word, what a beautiful facility! It was built thanks to an endowment by a local family. They have 65 dogs waiting for homes and I don’t know how many cats, and they are a no-kill shelter. A volunteer told me that the local county-run shelter takes in about 400 dogs a month, and they euthanize most of them because there is no space. That’s why shelters in New England are bringing southern dogs like Tessa up and finding homes for them. Why are there so many homeless animals in the south? It’s very, very sad!

Here are some pictures from the last couple of days:

Larry is the 2018 C-Gas Champion. I have no idea what it means, but I’m always willing to learn something new!

A beautiful tree canopy. (Too bad it was garbage day!)

The Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame. This is horse country, and there are training farms, a race track, polo and even a steeplechase track here! Unfortunately, we missed the season but hope that we can come back here on our way home in the spring and check it out.

The taproom in downtown Aiken has dozens of beers you can try and buy.

The old facade of the police station was left when they built a new City of Aiken building. The rocking chairs out on the sidewalk are a great touch!

Big human, little human, doggy water bubbler at the dog park …

Where’s Tessa? Off running like a crazy dog with a new friend! See the pool with fountain? Great park.

The SPCA building with adoption center, veterinary office and training center.

Walking into the SPCA, there are cats living in glass-walled individual habitats. They have elevated places to lay, litter boxes, toys, all kinds of stuff that cats have at home.

I guess all the cats get time in the playroom. Here are 3 cats sleeping in the play room! Duh!

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