If there’s one thing you should know about us, it’s that we love love LOVEEE to travel. Well… maybe our love for travel comes more from one side than the other in our relationship… ;) But the bottom line is, we love it and we do it as often as we can. We are so grateful to have family and friends all over the country and the world in very beautiful places and we take people up on their offers to let us come stay with them whenever we are able to. One day when we have a home of our own, our doors will need to be open all the time to repay all these kind people!! I’m not sure if anyone will ever want to come to DC, but hey, if they do… if YOU do… our home will be open!! :)

This mini vacation to Charleston was a long overdue trip to visit Justin’s Aunt Jeannine and Grandma Laura. I realized early on in our dating season that I was going to LOVE Justin’s family. They are seriously the most laidback, easy going group of people I’ve ever met, and I honestly think it must be in their DNA or have SOME sort of genetic origin because it’s kinda crazy how fun, silly, and chill they all are. I love spending time with them and this Charleston trip was no different!! Thank you Aunt Jeannine for housing us for 4 nights and for choosing such a gorgeously magical place to live ;) We so enjoyed ourselves!!

The first time I visited Charleston, I loved Folly Beach and the shops down by the water and the way the moonlight reflected off of the sea and the beautiful bridge all lit up in the distance… I remember thinking wow, this place is actually so romantic. But it didn’t strike me as the place I’d write home about or come back to visit again if we didn’t have family here. Then, something happened in the photo industry and it seemed like EVERYONE was visiting Charleston!!! I thought I must have missed something because the images I was seeing looked NOTHING like what I had in my memory of this little seaside historic city.

Well, it turns out that I didn’t see ANY of the historic part of Charleston the first time I visited! WHAT?! That’s what happens when you ask two teenage boys to show you around town!! Haha!!! So when Justin and I got to Charleston this month, the first place I typed into Google Maps was “Rainbow Row” … and after wandering the beautiful streets for about a half hour trying to find this so called Rainbow Row I realized we were already ON IT!!! The colorful houses are truly just everywhere in this city! It’s just magical!! I kept saying that it feels like a Caribbean island that’s on the mainland. I think that’s a pretty accurate description! Not many places in the US have so much culture and history… it’s truly an enchanting town.

We started our trip at Cypress Gardens, a popular place for the movie industry to film at. This is where Noah & Allie’s famous rowboat scene in The Notebook was filmed! And oh my was it beautiful… but so much less romantic than that movie made it look!!! Guys first of all, it was 98 degrees. Turns out Noah and Allie went on their boatride in the dead of winter and Rachel McAdams was actually wearing a fur coat on set. Ha. I get it now. It was SO HOT. And then, THE ALLIGATORS.

As we walked up to the little row boats (that you ride around the alligator infested swamp in by yourselves!), the two staff members putting people on boats made a comment like “Oh y’all picked a GOOD day to come! The gaters are fiesty this morning!!” I literally stopped in my tracks and asked, “What???” I thought he was joking! But he wasn’t!!! He then proceeded to explain to us that the two female alligators that “run the swamp” had been getting into fights all morning… and then he shouted, “There’s one right there!” And you could literally see the alligators!!! Snout!!! In the water!!!!! I know I sound pretty dramatic right now but that’s because I have two fears in this world……….. BEES and ALLIGATORS / crocodiles. I think the crocs are probably a lot more terrifying, but the gators are pretty scary too. Needless to say, I was no longer in my romantic boat ride mood after seeing an evil alligator swimming through the water just ten feet away from the tiny little rowboat I was about to step into with Justin.

However, I am proud to say that I stepped into the boat – very carefully and cautiously – and we started off on our adventure…

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…and it was beautiful.

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Until a giant black wasp landed on my hand causing me to almost lose my oar. So here I am in the middle of this swamp. Surrounded by scary alligators and black wasps that won’t leave us alone and I’m trying to paddle on Justin’s rhythm but I’m obviously just a little distracted and it’s really hot and humid and we’re both sweaty and then the sky opens up and it starts to pour with all my camera gear in a thin little Target purse at my feet and REALLY GUYS I JUST HAVE TO TELL YOU THAT THE BOAT RIDE SCENE WAS INCREDIBLY OVERROMANTICIZED. IT JUST WAS. SORRY NOAH AND ALLIE. Maybe we will come back in the winter when it’s not 1000 degrees and the alligators and bees are in hibernation. (That’s what I’ll tell myself.)

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I love him dearly. Thanks for protecting me from the alligators babe.

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Then it was off to explore!!!

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I told Justin that Charleston reminded me of London… and he looked at me like I was crazy. But honestly, the pretty buildings and the feeling of finding something enchanting around every corner reminded me so much of Londontown!!!

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This picture is out of focus… but I love it anyway. Thank you random tourist for snapping this!

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On Day 3 it rained, Justin was a little over having his picture taken 1000 times an hour, and so we didn’t take many photos… but what I do have, I love. We have fried green tomatoes, eggs benedict, and mimosas for breakfast at Magnolia’s and it was the best lil Southern breakfast I’ve ever had. And then we just wandered and enjoyed each other’s company even in the rain and I was reminded that I live for imperfectly perfect moments like this.

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We laughed way too hard for a little too long at these strange statues… Justin was like, “Who carved this? Who thought this face looked good??” Haha!!!

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Thank you for taking these pictures of me!!! I love them!

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Until next time, Charleston…

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