A day in Clover, SC

This past weekend my mom and sister made the long haul down from Ohio to visit me in North Carolina.  7 hours in the car, and they still had smiles on their faces when they arrived Open-mouthed smile

I’ve been so excited for them to come down since I relocated to Charlotte in April.  When you’ve spent your whole life in one area, it’s really bizarre to pick up, move, and plop down in an entirely new city without physically sharing it with your friends and family.

One of our excursions over the weekend led us to Clover, South Carolina to visit my mom’s friend Lucy.  My mom and Lucy met on the internet.  Apparently, that string of crazy runs in the family Smile.

Clover is a very rural town about 45 minutes away from Charlotte and about 30 minutes from Rock Hill, SC.

By rural, I mean there was a whole lot of this going on:


I don’t know what it is about this photo, but I absolutely love it.  Maybe it’s because I don’t often get the opportunity to photograph animals in such close proximity, or maybe it’s just the look in this guy’s eye.  Doesn’t he look like he’s posing for the photo??

Lucy lives on a beautiful property dotted with wildlife and rustic buildings.


It’s crazy that such a short drive out of the city brings you to this peaceful, seemingly simple, town.


If it weren’t for the sweltering heat (holy triple digits!) I could have walked around taking photos for hours.  Every nook and cranny bubbled over with picturesque country charm.


Are you ready to hightail it to the countryside yet?


By the time we finished touring Lucy’s house, we were starving (when am I not?) and headed to Lell’s Café in Rock Hill for lunch:


Lell is a friend of Lucy’s, and her café is about “real food and quality products.”  They specifically focus on using fresh local ingredients with an emphasis on keeping the menu as organic and natural as possible.  They don’t even serve pop (soda for your southerners), given the artificial ingredients and chemicals it contains.

How awesome is that?


I eyeballed the menu and the specials and spent some time drooling over these fabulous looking scones:DSCF7003

But decided to go with Lucy’s advice and get the French Connection sandwich for my meal:DSCF7012

The French Connection had sliced ham, a generous portion of deliciously melty brie (welcome to heaven), and fruit spread:DSCF7009

I’m not usually big on mixing sweet and savory, but I am so happy I stepped outside the box and got this sandwich because the combination was simply fabulous.




Jenny tried the veggie wrap which featured the hummus of the day.  Unfortunately, the hummus of the day happened to be olive hummus and Jenny happens to hate olives (even more than I do!).  She took most of the wrap home with us, and Mom, who adores olives (she must be adopted) had the leftovers for a midnight snack and said it was fabulous.  DSCF7007

I tried to be sneaky and snap a photo of mom on my way back from the bathroom.  Of course the light shining in the window washed out what could have become THE ONLY photo in existence with her actually smiling.


Apparently the gods are on her side and intervened on the photo op, thus destroying my hopes of getting a natural photo of her.

One of the many great things about Lell’s is their serious coffee selection:DSCF6999

I went with the mocha latte:


So friggin delicious.  One of these days I am going to get a job as a barista so I can learn to make delicious coffee concoctions for myself.  A girl can dream, right?

Lell’s carries their local focus from the table to the walls and displays artwork of several local artists.  Lucy was one of the artists featured.  How cool!DSCF7014

Lell's Cafe on Urbanspoon

After lunch we drove around Rock Hill, scouted out downtown Clover, then hit up the Goodwill where I found a new pair of running shorts (tags still attached!) and a gap skirt for $3 a pop.

Can I get a Boo.Ya.?

Dinner was courtesy of Lucy’s husband Tommy, the Red-Neck-Chef.


Hello Moroccan Chicken!


As soon as I saw the olives, I had to giggle.  Poor Jenny Smile


Even with the olives, this meal was deserving of a golf clap for the chef!  I adore anything with cumin, so this dish was right up my alley.  Ok…  yes, I picked out the olives. Maybe the Red-Neck-Chef will post this recipe to his blog so we can all enjoy it again Smile

We ended our visit in Clover on a sweet note courtesy of a large slice of Lucy’s homemade peach pie:DSCF7028

Only in the south Smile

I may not have gotten any photos of the people in this post, but every person mentioned has a website so feel free to get your stalk on Winking smile


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  1. You are so funny! We love you, Mare–you are THE hostess with the mostess! Next visit will be cooler, in more ways than one! Love, love, love you (and miss you too)!

  2. Beautiful food; I don’t like olives either! Country travelogue; too short Michelle and Jennifer? Mary, you left home in Ohio like I did, only a little later in life – 19 for me. Stayed in California 18 years before coming back to the Midwest.

  3. I love adventuring into South Carolina (gasp!). So many of my Charlotte friends think life ends at the 485 loop. I used to live a stone’s throw from Fort Mill and Lake Wylie, so I’d point my car toward the SC line and see where the road led me.

    Now you’ve got me itchin’ to take a road trip…

    Ever visit the Peach Stand on 160 in Fort Mill. The butcher shop is one of the best around, and there’s tons of locally grown produce.