Lowcountry Love

Thursday, June 5, 2014
I think part of being a Free Spirit is being able to recover from trying times fairly quickly. Not letting a lot of things get you down. Definitely an optimist.

With that said, this anniversary weekend was one to remember; both in a good and bad way. We had a blast exploring but we were thrown a lot of curve balls.

Let's Begin.

Friday morning we woke up early and anxious! We packed our bags (procrastinators unite!) stopped for coffee, and hit the highway...headed to the Coast. I am a full blown beach lover and if you throw spanish moss trees in the mix, my heart goes in overdrive. I was SO excited for what was to come!

We arrived in Charleston around noon and immediately went to the first place on our weekend itinerary; Boone Hall Plantation.

Famous for it's Avenue of Oaks and of course, where THIS was filmed. Yes that is the gate Ryan Gosling ran his truck into. This was Allie's Summer home in The Notebook.

The Avenue of Oaks is absolutely breathtaking. Honestly, it's giving the Biltmore Rose Garden a big run for their money when it comes to being my favorite place in the world. 

Yup, I think this is my new favorite place. We took literally hundreds of photos of this Avenue and I can't wait to return and take 100 more. No photo can do this view justice, you absolutely have to go.
There was a wedding reception setting up towards the end of the day and when they started playing music and lit the tiki torches.......................be still my heart.

When we first got there the weather was perfect. I had my camera out, pretty dress on, ready to go! Then to make my excitement levels rise even more, we started to hear thunder rumbling in the distance....


Look at that face.

So lightening started to strike, the thunder started to become ear piercing, normal people ran for shelter, and what do you think I did?

Poor Mitch, such a sweetheart risking his life to capture me in my element. At least he had a giant oak tree to hide under.
Silly me on my 'thunderstorm high' completely spaced what else comes with storms....

Rain. For hours...and hours...and another hour after that.
I thought for sure it was just going to be a passing storm.
Luckily we made due with the soggy hand we were dealt and took a tour of the inside of the house, hung out in the local cafe, and went on a covered car tour of the entire plantation.

The inside of the house is really cool! The Notebook was not filmed inside because someone actually lives there. They live upstairs but the entire downstairs floor is the same as it was in the early 1900's.

The tour of the entire plantation was really informative and fun. We learned that Army wives (I don't watch TV so I have no idea what this is) is filmed in their big backyard field. They have cotton fields, cantaloupe fields, strawberry, blueberry, corn fields... you name it. They even have thousands of pecan trees! I got hungry real fast.  So I went and ate homemade butter pecan ice cream from their on site cafe.
Yeah, it was heavenly.

And of course I screamed with joy when the barn cats started to come out and play!

After a couple thousand photos and begging Mitch to take them all home, he pried me away and we went to take some photos around the plantation while we had the sun on our side.

Pretty sure a bunch of bugs fell off the moss and into my hair. Pretty sure they're still in there today.

 A lot of people cleared out once they realized the rain was here to stay. I'm so glad we waited out the storm because in the afternoon we practically had the place to ourselves.

The staff there is awesome. They were all so friendly and always smiling. Plus they didn't give a rats ass that I was running around barefoot and dancing.

I didn't want to leave at all. I was tempted to try and fit in at the wedding, dirty feet, ripped dress and all, so that I could stay all night and party it up amongst the moss trees.

But, we were tired from a long day of driving and had to get up early again to head to our next and final destination....


Morning came, we got up early and headed to Starbucks to get our usual coffee, ran into some famous wrestler named Ric Flair (again, no idea who this is, but Mitch was pretty excited) then headed South to the beautiful, world famous:

 Side story: On our way down we were passing through Wadmalaw Island where the famous 'home with the blue shutters' from The Notebook is located.  Ya know, the home Ryan Gosling revamps for Allie.
Turns out a family lives there and it's private property. They actually put up a wooden fence that I'm assuming is to prevent creepers like me from taking pictures. Well, we still went and got a glimpse of it. It lies at the very end of a long dirt/sand road and boy is it heaven on earth. Surrounded by a big yard, large trees and the river, it looks exactly like the home in the movie. Minus the pretty blue shutters.
It will forever pop into my mind when I envision my dream home. Although I could have taken a photo to share with ya'll, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I value my privacy so much and I certainly wouldn't want someone plastering my home all over the internet. So, sorry friends. But there are some people who have taken photos so just Google it if you're curious. Don't say I sent ya. ;)

We arrived to Hilton Head Island a little before noon and I liked what I saw. People biking everywhere, spanish moss trees galore, and THE OCEAN!!!

It was a bit on the crowded side but that's expected since it's the beginning of Summer.
Someone remind me again why I got married in June

After checking into our hotel we rushed down to the pool to play with our new toy: underwater camera!

I can't wait to use this thing in the Caribbean.

So after a little more casual exploring of the island and having lunch at the famous Salty Dog Cafe (thank you Pinterest - this place is delicious and so fun, by the way.) we went back to our resort to lounge around and enjoy our ocean view balcony we paid so much extra for...

Ok let me tell ya somethin'. I am so not one to bitch about really anything, but the guests above us were constantly outside on their balcony cranking butts. Cigarette after cigarette. I don't even know if they came up for air. Knowing we were on the ocean, the wind blew it straight into our room. Into our faces, into our luggage, into our bedding. GROSS. Long story short we spent our first night there on the phone with the front desk until about midnight and nothing got resolved. The next morning, our anniversary day, we woke up optimistic, opened our balcony door to enjoy the sunrise, and BAM.
Smoke all up in yo face.
This guy.....

So Mitch marched down to the front desk and took care of things. We got a new room on a top floor and $100 credit towards anything on the resort. Thanks for the anniversary dinner, Marriott. I also wrote them a complaint once we got home because that situation really stunk. All pun intended.
" Dear Marriott: I'll have you know I am typing this with my middle fingers...."


Happy 1 Year Anniversary to us! June 1st, 2014.
I feel like it was just yesterday I was wrapping up our Starfish cake toppers in a dirty paper towel and writing on it: Do not open until 6-1-14. I remember looking at the year thinking, whoa, 2014. So far away....

I was so excited for everything planned on this day. So moving all of our smoke infested luggage to a new room didn't bother me too much.

We started off our morning with a couples massage, champagne, and chocolate covered strawberries that were gone in under 38 seconds. (thank you mom, you spoil us completely rotten.)

Then, we decided to join the rest of the islanders and rent bikes!

We rode miles and miles, it was a blast. and a great way to burn off the half dozen chocolate covered strawberries I inhaled for breakfast.

But I was really excited for 4:00PM. We had a dolphin, nature, 'vanishing island' cruise booked for months that I was ecstatic to go on. I had all these photos planned. Anyone who knows me knows that I scream and cry when I see dolphins. If you read my wedding post from a month or so ago, you know our honeymoon got completely rained out and our big dolphin tour was cancelled.

Well, guess what.

Around 2:00PM I get a call from the company we booked the cruise with to inform me our tour had to be cancelled due to high wind.


This is not a staged photo. After I got off the phone I yelled the F word 80 times got very angry, then very sad, then sat here on this dock and got quiet. So not like me.
But come on.
What are the odds that this happens TWO damn years in a row?

In this moment I was saying things in my head like 'this only happens to us'
But the truth is, it's so not. And I quickly reminded myself that I am alive, healthy, have two arms and two legs, and I have the health and money to even GO on a dolphin cruise. I should be thankful. And I am.

I told Mitch to take photos of me mid breakdown because I wanted to share it with you. I always focus on the happy and the positive of my life so I feel some people may forget that everyone 'has their shit' and no one's life is perfect and happy all the time. Especially not mine.  I just choose to keep my struggles off social media and handle them through different outlets. #Moonshine


So with a little research and a few more chocolate covered strawberries I found a really cool, quiet, private beach to go check out.  Turns out, it's an absolute gem.

It's called Calibogue Sound Beach.

After an evening here, I'm glad our dolphin expedition got cancelled. We saw dolphins, sharks come right up to the shore, giant horseshoe crabs, and even live conchs! Not to mention it's the perfect location for the sunset....

Check this place out:

Here's a shot to show you how close the dolphins came to shore. Could have easily walked out there and rubbed their lil' bellies.

They were everywhere! Chowing down on some fish, smacking their tales on the water (Anyone know why they do that? Guess I'll have to Google it)
It was fantastic.

And then we found rocks to climb and explore while the dolphins swam around us.
Is this real life?

Have you ever seen a horseshoe crab this big!? The answer is No, no you haven't.
Did my hands smell like a nasty rotten carcass after I put this down? The answer is Yes, yes they did.

Besides for being full of wildlife and short on humans, this place also has probably the best view of the sunset on the entire island.

Absolute wonderful way to end our first anniversary.


We both woke up with the sunrise the next morning and decided to enjoy our last day of vaca to the fullest. What better way than to start your day off strolling along the beach on a bike with no one around...

It was one of my favorite parts of the trip, hands down.

So we said our 'See ya Laters' to lovely Hilton Head and drove an hour out of our way on the way home to stop at this place I've wanted to explore for a while called Cypress Gardens. We get 5 miles away and find out a bridge recently collapsed and the detour to get there would be nearly another hour. What else can you do at this point besides throw your hands up and laugh, I mean shit lol so we hopped on the highway and went home.

While this trip had it's ups and downs it was still one for the books. I wish I got more photos of Mitch and I together but hey, what can ya do. Guess I'll have to invest in a tripod and YouTube how to use my self timer.


Coming back home to a mailbox full of Happy Anniversary cards made the transition back to 'reality' a lot easier. Thank you all who sent us a card, we love and appreciate it <3


I can't even.


THANK YOU GUYS for taking time out of your busy lives to check up on mine.
I can't believe how much support and love I've been getting on my photography and this silly blog.
It means the world to me.
Just ask Mitch who watches me jump up and down clapping my hands, yelling 'DID YOU SEE THAT!?'  whenever someone compliments one of my photos  ;)

May your weekend be filled with adventures, my friends


  1. This is just awesome and your photos are beautiful! !

    1. Thank you very much Kayla! Means a lot :)

  2. Hahaha I laughed a lot in this one. As usual, awesome photos and I think it's so cool the way you share your stories. I felt like I was there! Glad you had a good anniversary :)

    1. Kristin, you are so good to me :) THANK YOU!!

  3. You are an 'inspiration' my friend. And Mitch, you are one good guy. You have quite a hand full there ~~


    1. You're a nature lover and you know it!

  5. I just LOVE your blog! I was doing my research on Charlotte (I am moving this summer) and I stumbled upon your page. After looking at your blog I am not nearly as scared to move! I have been on here all night, taking notes from your posts. I would love to hear any recommendations you may have for me while I am down there!!

    1. Lindsay - This comment totally made my day! :) Have no fear moving down here, my husband and I packed up and moved down here from NH with NO jobs and not knowing anyone. Just for pure adventure. We both had jobs within 2 weeks and live in a very affordable, brand new apartment! I have so, so many recommendations! But first, where are you moving from? Have you decided on a neighborhood to move to yet?

    2. I am moving from Michigan, the Ann Arbor area! I will be working in the Steele Creek area so I was looking at neighborhoods around there. I fell in love with NC this past summer so I am very excited to be down there, but still don't know much! Any neighborhoods I should look into/avoid? Thank you!!

    3. Hey Lindsay sorry for the delay, I've been out in Arizona for work these past few weeks! Michigan is on my bucket list, I've only briefly visited Indiana Sand Dunes park on Lake Michigan but that's about as close as I got lol!
      Steele Creek is a very nice area, I run a lot of my errands in that neighborhood. They have some new apartment complexes that are very nice and quiet! The only neighborhood I would suggest avoiding is East Charlotte and a little spot near the airport. I live in a beautiful town called Fort Mill right over the border in SC! It has some of the best schools and lowest crime rate. A beautiful greenway to go hiking/biking at...it's perfect. And not too far from Steele Creek! ;)


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