Our Weekend Escape to Charleston

My first encounter with this beauty was during my "gap year" between high school and college.  My work required a lot of travel (which I loved!).  Somehow my 19-year-old self didn't quite grasp the scope of all that is Charleston.  Don't get me wrong, I remember loving it, but I also remember thinking how boring it was to hear about types of architectural columns on house tours.  

Ever since, I've wanted to return, with Ben.  I would think back to the incredible seafood, the upscale nightlife, and moonlit walks on the pier.  It is a city for lovers.  Perhaps this is why the magic was a little lost on a single 19-year-old.  

Visiting historic Charleston, South Carolina, for a day

This time, the city was brimming with magic.  Somehow, we were fortunate enough to be there on the final day of the annual Spoleto Festival.  Everywhere we looked we found culture, art in the park, and we even managed to walk into The Dock Street Theater, purchase tickets spontaneously.  You guys, this concert was waaay out of our league.  But, it was fun pretending I was well acquainted with the works of famous Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo.  

Hominy Grill

We arrived in Charleston late on a Friday night.  I'd finished shooting an elopement in Savannah and we were getting hungry.  I give full credit to Ben for unearthing this treasure.  You guys!  The swordfish and grits at this cafe, well, I still dream about it.  Ben still raves about the famous Charleston Nasty Biscuit (a brief hiatus from his hard core Keto lifestyle).  He promises me it was worth every delicious carb and calorie.

High Cotton

Saturday morning we decided to stroll around historic Charleston in search of the best brunch locale.  Um, yeah, sooo brunch is very busy in this historic romantic town.  We were picturing something more light and cafe-ish and less white linen tablecloth elegance.  But, with the crowds increasing at the same rapid rate as my hunger, we opted for something more posh.  Ahhh, best decision ever.  High Cotton played instrumental bluegrass in the background, with high ceilings graced with chandeliers and a fireplace in the center of the dining room.  The coffee was perfect and my Crab Cake Eggs Benedict to die for.  I was in Scarlet O'Hara heaven. 

Low Country Olive Oil

One place we popped into while in the city was this amazing Olive Oil establishment.  I was mildly curious until I began taste-testing.  I was amazed by how much flavor was packed into these olive oils and balsamic.  It was crazy.  We came home with their Strawberry Champagne White Balsamic and I've already ordered my second bottle (free shipping!).  I use it on my fave salad and it only has 15 calories - winning!  

Charleston Farmer's Market

As I mentioned, we were in town for the final day of the Spoleto Festival, so this market was brimming with art.  We perused the tents with prize winning pieces of artwork.  Just as I was getting a bit too warm for comfort, low and behold, a fresh lemonade and tea stand.  I had freshly squeezed lemon juice sweetened with cane sugar mixed with unsweet tea.  Uh. Mazing.  As live bluegrass played in the background, we rounded the corner finding an artist's work that completely captured my heart.  Amanda McLenon creates maps of cities with watercolor overlays.  Sooo pretty, definitely check out her work!  The piece that I bought is a map of Charleston with a watercolor overlay of Rainbow Row.  I'm obsessed.  

Rainbow Row

This was high on my "to see again" list.  A perfect line of pastel houses in southern architectural glory.  Yes, please!  They did not disappoint.  I wanted to move all of the parked cars so that I could get a perfect shot of the homes in all their rainbow glory.  No such luck.

The Vendue

We walked down the romantic waterfront vista portion of the city.  Large oak trees with low hanging moss line Waterfront Park, we strolled past a Saturday afternoon wedding ceremony.  We reached the famous Pineapple fountain where children squealed in glee splashing in the summer heat.  Oh, that summer heat.  We were ready for a respite.  Rounding the corner on Vendue Range, we discovered The Vendue.  While we didn't stay here on this visit, we hope to be back for a legit overnight stay.  Inside is the perfect blend of modern meets historic charm.  We enjoyed a coffee break inside of this boutique hotel's air conditioned Starbucks.  



Charleston is the kind of city that makes you fall in love all over again.  It is romance, charm, and everything southern grace.  I so hope this is just the beginning of many weekend Charleston escapes.  

Oh So Pretty Savannah

Oh, you Low Country, you.  Every time I visit the historic southern coastal cities I fall a little more in love.  

A dash of Paris in Savannah.  A table and two chairs outside Cafe M in Historic Savannah, Georgia.

Thanks to a sweet elopement, work brought me back to Savannah.  This time, I brought Ben along with me - which always adds more romance.  I don't know about you, but my fave kind of date includes strolling downtown with a well crafted coffee in hand.  Savannah offers plenty of eye candy with local shops and cafe's lined with moss laden oaks.  

Apparently, we were feeling a little Parisian inspired because the two big stops for the day were The Paris Market and Café M.  

The Paris Market

Even the outside of this Parisian shop has me ohhing and ahhing.  Cafe tables with marble tops, gilded edging around the windows, it's right out of a European dream.  Inside, you find a delicious coffeeshop along with two stories of artisan books, furniture, APOTHECARY, candles, and even a children's corner (where I literally wanted to buy it out and redecorate our playroom).  

They even have citrus flavored ice water to appease that the scorching southern heat.  It's more than a shop, it''s about entering a different world, one where you never want to leave.  

Café M

Ben and I love a good local cafe that offers hand crafted cuisine.  Café M did not disappoint!  Parisian mouth-watering CROISSANTS ordered with a server boasting a French accent, all of the restaurant details were oh so white and pretty.  Even a fireplace!  We opted to sit outside to take in the bustling city.  

The Elopement was in the Victorian District, which was a new part of the city for me to explore.  The architecture and charm were the perfect backdrop to intimate nuptials.  After the ceremony, we simply walked the southern streets, down by Forsyth Park, for all of our portraits.   More on that Later!

xoxo and "au revoir" Lovelies

Valentines Day Tallahassee Work Retreat

Picture of the United States Bankruptcy Courthouse in Tallahassee, Florida.

When chatting with others I'm often asked if my husband, Ben, works as a photographer with me at weddings.  

The simple answer?  No.

The longer answer?  He is too amazing at entirely different things than I am.  Ben is so gifted with system efficiency, logistics management, and financial foresight.  Plus, taxes.  He manages all of the taxes.  

Ben works as the Director of Finance at Halifax Health Hospice.  I am continually inspired by his dedication and heart with his work life.  

One of his jobs is working on a committee for Hospice in the state of Florida to help maintain the ongoing quality and integrity of this amazing health service.  Right now, there is legislation being presented that could compromise that quality.  So Tallahassee called.

Picture of a Starbucks coffee shop at the Double Tree in Tallahassee, Florida.

The best part is that I got to tag along for the road trip.  

Most of my time was spent at the hotel and in coffee shops immersing myself in work.  I love that though, a distraction-free retreat.  Accomplishing some major planning and writing for my business.

In between meetings we managed some Valentine romance over coffee and salad dates.  Plus, there was the long road trip.  We chatted all things work, family, also listening to episodes of Criminal podcasts.

Side Bar: you have to listen to Episode 59, "In Plain Sight"!  I need to know when they are making the movie.

Over a bowl of Pad Thai last night at Bahn Thai we talked about what life will look like in five years.  What do we hope for?  What are we nervous about?  We also laugh over our relationship app that has us always second-guessing who really knows each other better.

Sometimes we need that time to just escape routines.  Even if it involves squeezing in kisses between discussions at the state capital for legislation debate.