[Above the din and smoke enveloping the plains of Waterloo, rose the steady clear lilt of a solitary bag-piper, dressed in his Gordon Highlanders tartan . . . and the melody of "Johnnie Cope, Are Ye Wakin'?" flooded into the valley and into the hearts of the troops.]
This is Chumley, founder of Explore Up Close, writing with some words of encouragement. (As for the above passage . . . sometimes, only the music of the Scottish Highlands can capture a particular feeling.)
We're obviously experiencing a lock-down on all travel and routine activities, which will stretch on for several weeks. There will be updates from officials and experts about the specifics of the lock-down, and the duration -- so we, like you, will monitor and reassess our world of travel possibilities as those updates roll through.
Here are a few notes that I hope are comforting to us all.
First of all, on the personal side: If any of you who live in our immediate area (i.e. the Greenville / Spartanburg areas) need anything -- a grocery store run, help getting to an appointment, toilet paper from my wife's stash -- please contact us. Call me, leave a message, and I'll respond.
Related to our scheduled travel during the next month or so:
We are taking the approach of wanting to reschedule trips that fall between mid-March and mid-April. As I said above, we'll keep monitoring developments about the virus and safety restrictions, and make smart decisions about later trips -- and whether we can take them as scheduled or need to reschedule. So, if you're signed up for a spring trip, we'll be in touch with details about our plans.
We will also take this unexpected free time to share some wonderful travel photos, and snippets of great stories from our archives, which we hope will help lift your spirits and normalize your lives.
Among the true joys that we've found during our years of Exploring Up Close are the friendships we've experienced along the way with our fellow travelers. So, in our present dislocation, we'll continue to keep in touch . . . and we'll look forward to some great backroads exploration in our future!
Explore Up Close Founder
Posted on March 16th in Small Group Travel
As this year comes to a close, we're reflecting on our favorite memories from 2019 . . . and from the past decade. It's been a big year for our small family company, and we couldn't be more excited as we look ahead to 2020!
Here's 2019, by the numbers . . .
Over the past decade . . .
Posted on December 31st in Small Group Travel
This Southeastern Trip of Discovery took us through the scenic backroads of South Carolina's Old 96 District, with a stop in Edgefield, South Carolina, before crossing the Savannah River into the Georgia Piedmont. We then visited the beautifully decorated private homes and historic buildings of Washington, Georgia, as part of the town's annual Christmas Tour. Holiday fun at its finest!
The Thomson, Georgia home of Thomas Watson - prominent Southern Populist politician and lawyer.
Our group enjoyed a private tour of the impressive Edgefield County Archives, which contains some of South Carolina's rarest historical documents and best preserved records.
The stately Chantilly at Brookhill, a former cotton plantation and dairy farm.
Keeping warm with some hot cider.
Does anyone else love vintage Christmas decorations like we do?
Posted on December 15th in Small Group Travel
- Virtual Travel Video: Limestone Springs, South Carolina
- Virtual Travel Video: Northern Ireland's Presbyterian Heritage
- Virtual Travel Video: The Major of Saint-Lô
- Exploring South Carolina's Rosenwald and Equalization Schools
- Virtual Travel Video: Due West + Erskine College
- Virtual Travel Video: Historic Glenn Springs, SC
- Virtual Travel Video: Porto and the Douro Valley
- Virtual Travel Video: Rosemont Plantation & Ann Pamela Cunningham
- Virtual Travel Video: Conestee Mill + McBee Chapel
- Virtual Travel Video: Cokesbury College