Strong traditions aren’t really very significant to me.
I do remember my family having some as a child, but as we all got older and all the kids married off, our traditions steadily became more and more fluid. Although we don’t get together on holidays, we still get together at some point! For instance, this year we’ll be celebrating Christmas (along with a good ol’ Thanksgiving dinner) on December 11th. Hey, whatever works, right?
However, there’s one baby tradition starting to form that I’m 110% ok with – going to Charleston every year! The only part of me that hesitates to say that is the side that wants to go somewhere new every year, but we both love Charleston SO much that I think I’ll be alright with this for a while! Italy, Ireland, the Caribbean… those ones will just have to wait.
We first went to Charleston for our honeymoon in 2015, and again for our first anniversary this past April. Yes, I know – this is a delayed recap! I’m so excited to share these little tidbits of our trip with you all. I took only my Canon eos3 (35mm film) camera with me, so the following pictures were all a pleasant surprise when I got my scans back!I feel that taking only a film camera while traveling almost extends the trip in a way – you wait in anticipation to get your pictures back, and when you do you get to relive everything all over again!
Everything in Charleston is so magical, from the wrought-iron gates to the ivy covered walls surrounding them. Houses in colors of pink, yellow, and blue pop out of nowhere and add a whimsical charm to the city.
This time on our trip, Kevin even got to learn a little photography while we were out and about! (So I lied, I did actually take my digital camera with me to, but I didn’t use it one smidge myself.) We went over proper exposures, shutter speed, ISO, aperture, composition – all that jazz. I told him he’s not allowed to use Auto mode, and instead started him off in Manual right away. 🙂 One of the “assignments” I gave him in the picture above and to the left was an exercise in shutter speed – seeing how different speeds affect the movement of the water fountrain. I really should keep training him so I can trick him into second shooting with me. Shhh, don’t tell him!
My other favorite thing about Charleston besides its charm? THE. FOOD. Oh me oh my – give me all the food all day long. For our actual anniversary, we did a dinner date at Hall’s Chophouse, which is rated #1 on TripAdvisor. Look, I am all for finding those hidden, local gems to experience the true heart of wherever it is you’re visiting. In fact, I love that! But guys. I don’t care how touristy it may be – Hall’s Chophouse was quite seriously one of the BEST dinners I’ve had in. my. life. And it wasn’t just the food that was amazing. Everything from the drinks, to the live music, to the service was hands-down incredible. I don’t think I’ve ever been to another restaurant that treats you like family the way they do here.
This little honey store on King Street was also a fun find. One of my favorite treats as a child were honey sticks. I loved choosing different flavors and nibbling on them until there wasn’t a drop left. So an entire store devoted to honey? All different flavors of honey? Honey lotion? Honey lip balm? Honey honey honey? YES PLEASE.
One of the last little shops we visited was Le Prince Fine Art Gallery. While walking down King Street, we spied this open door and inhaled wafts of fresh oil paint. With nothing else to do, we wandered in and mosied around. The real fun about this gallery is that it houses a variety of artists, who on occassion come in to paint right there in the studio. As we looked at the art on the walls, we chatted with the woman who was in there at the time, learning about her artform, life, and more about the gallery itself. It was a truly inspiring space to visit and observe all of the different ways people see the world around them.
Finally, perhaps the greatest highlight of our time in Charleston this year was meeting Fabiola Isabel and having our anniversary session done by her! She is one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet, and I’m so glad that our simple session has turned into a friendship. She saw our little awkward selves and made something beautiful out of us. Here are a few favorites!
We were SO lucky to have had the opportunity to use the spot in the photos below! Literally just a moment of being in the right place at the right time. The three of us were walking along Rainbow Row when a lovely, older woman popped out of her house, heading out to walk her dog. She saw us and struck up a conversation… which eventually led to her saying, “You know, would you all like to come back and use my garden? I couldn’t possible do this for every couple taking pictures here or I would go crazy, but!”
She led us back through her passage way into a whole second world behind the row of houses. Fabiola and I just looked at each other in complete disbelief. Walls dripping in ivy, wisteria brushing across the tops of our heads, a private couryard, and a whole separate cottage-turned-library behind the house! It was incredible! Our new friend then just gave her blessing to use the space, only with the instructions to close the gate after we left. We felt like the luckiest people alive!
In all, this past trip was no less lovely than our first and I can’t wait to see what we get ourselves into on our next. It’s on my bucket list to do some destination photography in Charleston someday – whether it be an engagement session, anniversary session, or – the ultimate dream – a wedding! If you or your loved ones are interested in travelling down with me, just say the word!
“I knew when I met you an adventure was going to happen.”
– A.A. Milne