Category Archives: Travel

Streets of Charleston, SC

 

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When Oscar and I were planning out our honeymoon, we were all over the map. We had a lot of big ideas, but limited funds. We also wanted to do something a bit different than the beach vacation at a resort (it’s worth noting though that once all was said and done, we realized what a smart idea that would have been, we were exhausted!).

A road trip!!

We were getting married in the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains just north of Asheville, NC so we would be using that as the starting point. I’ve always been enamored with Savannah, GA and through my research was introduced to the town of Charleston, SC.

The plan was to drive to Charleston, stay there for a couple days exploring the low country, then head to Savannah for a few days before heading home.

Charleston, WOW!

We both fell in love. There are so many reasons why we love it there, but one of my favorite things is the architecture. We spent a lot of time just walking around taking in the houses and gardens.

This particular shot drew me in for multiple reasons. I love the visual of the decay on the wall, the cracks in the concrete revealing the brick underneath, as well as what looks like patchwork concrete work done at various points in time. I love the old-fashioned window with the exterior wood shutters, complimented by the interior wood shades. I’ve never had legit wood shutters, just the decorative panels placed next to windows on the exterior of our home.

The most intriguing part of this shot is the mini door near the sidewalk. Knowing nothing, my imagination has created a story that there are steps leading to a basement door, which was used regularly when originally built. These days however it isn’t, due to safety or security, so the stairs are covered up by the metal sheet and the wood “doors” are there to block the space that had been the top of the entry way.

If you have knowledge of what this could be, or was used as, I would love to hear.

We’re looking forward to returning to Charleston one of these days, especially as we’re now only about 5 hours away. I can’t wait to walk those uneven streets, marveling at the homes and dreaming about their history, while breathing the warm, salty sea air.

As for the remainder of our honeymoon, well that’s a story for another time. What I will say is that after one night spent in Savannah, we knew we wanted to spend the remainder of our trip in one of our favorite cities, Asheville, so off we went!

Have you been to Charleston, SC? If so, what was your favorite place/restaurant/etc?

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A Walk to Pearson Falls

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Over the past 16 months, I’ve spent more time driving than I think I have at any other point in my life. This has been due to 2 factors – where I live, and Isaiah.

I have also experienced a LOT of anxiety around his naps, and would get so overwhelmed trying to plan out and control our schedule and his sleep. The fact that it takes at least an hour to get anywhere (except the good grocery store, which is half an hour, ha-ha!) usually worked to my benefit. I was able to time driving to where we wanted to go with his morning nap, and driving home for his afternoon nap. Most of the time I would take the “scenic” route to get the longest possible nap out of him.

This has given me the opportunity to see much more of this beautiful land than I otherwise would have.

One of those such days, Isaiah and I had been out exploring the town of Saluda with my Mom. After a delicious meal at The Purple Onion I knew Isaiah was at the end of his awake time and we needed to get going.

When we left I decided to take the scenic route instead of I-26, so we headed off on 176. Wow, that has been my favorite drive to date! Maybe it was the golds, reds and greens of fall, but it was a stunning drive. Along the way we saw a sign for Pearson Falls.

Due to my need to control Isaiah’s naps, I refused to stop (lest he wake up and then all hell break loose, at least in my head) but noted that I wanted to return and explore.

A few weeks later family was in town for Thanksgiving and to celebrate Isaiah’s 1st birthday, and a day out in nature was suggested.

So to Pearson Falls we went!

It turns out that Pearson Falls is part of a botanical preserve comprised of 268 acres, maintained by The Tryon Garden Club, a non-profit organization. There was about a ¼ mile walk to the 90 ft. falls. It was fairly easy, but it was uphill most of the way. I took some photos on our hike, but the leaves were all gone, and while it was beautiful to walk there and be with nature, the few photos I took left much to be desired.

As we were leaving however, I looked up and something about the scene before me caught my breath. So this is what I share with you today. A little (or a lot) unconventional, but it’s the best representation of me that day.

This style is also part of an ongoing project I’ve been working on the past few years; you’ll be seeing more of it!

Have you ever unexpectedly ended up driving (or walking or biking) an unexpected place that left you feeling in awe of the beauty?

A Walk to Hooker Falls

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There are so many crazy beautiful places to hike here in Western North Carolina. When we moved I was big and preggo, so we didn’t get to explore much. Once Isaiah was born, we were able to get out here and there, but not as much as we’d hoped. We’re really looking forward to getting more exposure to nature as he gets older. Last fall we wanted to get out, but wanted a shorter hike. We had been to Hooker Falls in the Dupont State Recreational Forest many years ago, and remembered how pretty it was, so we decided to go there. It was the tail end of fall color season and we were able to enjoy a small amount of it. The Blue Ridge Parkway is a huge attraction in the fall because the mountains are just stunning in their golds, ambers and greens.

If you’re in the area and looking for an easy hike with a beautiful waterfall at the end, this is definitely it. Afterwards we picked up carry-out from Flat Rock Village Bakery in Flat Rock. It was about a 10-15 minute drive from Hooker Falls. They have delicious pizza, and I believe the BEST chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had.

Drop me a comment if you’ve been, or if you go, to let me know what you thought of the hike!

shifting time of year

Fall seems to finally be settling in. We had a few random days where it hit almost 100 degrees, but temps have come down, and today we have our first chilly, rainy day. Typically, the cold has me thinking of Florida, and our some-day move back there. Today however, it’s bringing me to Asheville, NC.

Those who know Oscar and I know that it’s our dream to move to Asheville one day. Actually, Asheville is our settle place. As in, when we’re ready to really put down roots, we want it to be in Asheville. If you’ve never been, I can’t recommend enough you take your next trip there. Asheville is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, at a low elevation, so you can experience all four seasons without any of the extremes. Here outside Chicago we get down to and below zero every winter, and come summer, we hit 100. I’m not a fan of those extremes. Asheville’s coldest month is January, and the average high is 47.

47!!!

That’s downright balmy in January to us here in the mid-west!

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Weaverville (outside Asheville) last Thanksgiving

So, my heart is in Asheville today, dreaming about the food(I could make a post just on this!), the culture, the art and the chocolate (oh, the chocolate!!). Oscar and I have had some talks about the life we envision when we move to Asheville, and a business idea. My thoughts are on that as well. The past year has been especially challenging, with life throwing things at me, at us, that at times I didn’t think I was strong enough to handle. I’m at a point today, however, where I see my  past and my future in one window pane. I realize that if it weren’t for my past, my vision of the future wouldn’t be what it is. The challenges of the past year have given me opportunities for growth, and lessons that I needed to learn from, to build a better foundation for my dreams of the future. I know, it sounds super deep and cheesy, but such is life!

As I write this I’m listening to the Mumford & Sons Pandora station, because that music always brings me to Asheville. Here’s a song from the Old Crow Medicine Show that just popped up, which feels like Asheville to me:

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Cuba Tugs at my Heartstrings

Today I watched a documentary on the Buena Vista Social Club. I’ve known their music for many many years, so when I was browsing for  movie to watch and it popped up, I was set! If you haven’t heard of them, you’re missing out, truly. By happenstance this group came together, comprised of some of Cuba’s forgotten legends, and ahhhhh. If you have Hulu, the documentary can be watched there.

Watching and listening got me thinking about my interest in Cuba. It started in college as I became familiar with Salsa, then a guy in one of my classes did his final project on the differences between America and Cuba.

His parents had been many times illegally, and took him with. He talked about the people, and how it hadn’t been Americanized with McDonalds and Burger Kings and Hiltons etc. This intrigued me.

I know there are deep emotions for some when it comes to Cuba, but my interest lies in learning the people, the culture. Hearing the music, feeling the rhythm of the land.

Some day I will make it to Cuba. I don’t know how, as I’m a bit of a chicken shit to try and do it illegally, but I fear if I wait until the United States has lifted it’s sanctions that Cuba as it is will start to disappear, be over run by us, as we tend to do.

It’s something that sits there though, in the background. Times like today it’s brought to the forefront, reminding me that it hasn’t left, and I need to make it happen.

I’ll leave you with this song, that from the first beat, clutches my heart, and won’t let go.

[youtube:http://youtu.be/UXwLBS3yUkA%5D

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Have you ever been to Cuba? Is there a place like this for you?

Architecture in Charleston

When we were in Charleston, South Carolina for our honeymoon last year, one thing I absolutely loved about the area was the architecture. Specifically the porches, or piazzas, built along side of the buildings.

Before air-conditioning they used this style of home to catch the ocean breeze, but block the hot midday sun. Not only does this style appeal to my senses visually, but I LOVE me some fresh air breezes!

This isn’t an award winning photograph by any means, but here’s one home that stuck out to me. (Oh, and the “front” door? Love. Love. Love.)

 

 

Is there any place you’ve been where the architecture has left an imprint on your heart?