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The downside of living in a city where you have access to pretty much everything is that you forget sometimes to look for something new among the commonplace.

You get into a routine — your usual coffee shop, usual pizza place, that ice cream shop you always go to. You might drive past a place and think, “We should check that out!” but never actually get around to it because you have a routine.

For this day trip we did just that — checked out some places that have been on our radar for a while.

Stax’s Original

1704 Poinsett Highway, Greenville

This is quintessential Americana nestled in the midst of the Cherrydale area. It’s your basic diner, complete with wrap-around counter seats, worn tables and walls decked out in local collegiate propaganda. There’s nothing pretentious happening here. We went on game day, so everyone was decked out in their team colors. Family-friendly to the max — both with atmosphere and price.

Michelin on Main

550 S. Main St., Greenville

I am not sure why, exactly, but my 10-year old really, really likes Michelin. Maybe it’s because we see the Michelin headquarters off of Interstate 85 a lot and the building impresses him. At any rate, we finally decided to check out Michelin on Main. It may be a little touristy, but the interior of the building is beautiful. They sell all types of Michelin merchandise. If you happen by during a weekday, you might even catch of a taping of one of the local television news programs on WSPA Channel 7 that use the store as a studio.

Adventure Mazes

125 N. Main St., Greenville

This is one of those places that we’ve walked by several times, my boys begging me to let them try it out. I thought it was laser tag, but it’s actually two separate activities.

There’s a mirror maze, which is a fun challenge even though it’s not terribly long. My boys kept finding their way back to the entrance rather than to the exit. The maze is lit with changing colored lights to help you find your way. I wouldn’t recommend letting kids younger than 8 go through it by themselves just because they might get scared.

The other activity is a laser maze. You select a level of difficulty, and then use your ninja skills to work your way over, under and around a series of laser beams. Once you get through to the other side, you punch a button on the wall and work your way through the beams again. You’re timed, and you lose points if you break the laser beam. At the end, you get a printout of your score to compare to your friends’ scores.

The boys had fun, but be warned of the cost for a half hour of entertainment — $15.95 per person for ages 7 and up, and $12.95 for ages 4 – 6. That does, however, include two runs through the laser maze and unlimited attempts at the mirror maze.

The Chocolate Moose

120 N. Main St., Greenville

It was too cold for our usual day-trip ice cream, so we stopped in at The Chocolate Moose for generously-frosted cupcakes. I love the casual atmosphere — and, of course, the cupcakes. They make real not-from-a-powder-mix hot chocolate, and have several fun varieties of cupcakes to choose from each day. You know a place is good when the line at the register never shortens the entire time you’re there.

And I love that it’s owned by local folks who live in our community.

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