Spring Break Adventures Continued

Hola!

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Just finished up a taco dinner (ironically, I did not do that intentionally) and am settling down with J for our weekly Monday night ritual of watching “The Voice.” Obligatory side note: WHAT did Adam do to his hair!? That blonde needs to go. 

Vacation in Charleston

Well, it’s been officially over a month since our little vacation, so I should probably finish up that part two post I promised, huh? Let’s get right down to it!

As I said in part one of my spring break re-cap, Justin and I spent the first two days of break visiting friends in the Chapel Hill, NC area. On Sunday morning, we packed up and headed south to Charleston, SC.

Upon arriving Sunday afternoon, Justin and I were super excited about our hotel. We stayed at the Holiday Inn-Riverview and it was in a killer location! Our window offered a fantastic view of the Ashley River and peninsula.

The rest of Sunday and the entire day Monday was devoted to exploring the peninsula downtown. Our hotel provided a shuttle service to and from the downtown area, which was awesome since we didn’t really want to pay for parking. The shuttle dropped us off at the Historic Charleston City Market and we could easily walk to so many cool downtown places from there!

Highlights from our exploration:

Charleston CoastThis boardwalk was awesome! There were swings to relax in, and plenty of benches as well. We enjoyed just feeling the ocean breeze and gazing out into the water. We could also see Fort Sumter, which was cool since we didn’t actually have time to go out and tour it.

King StreetKing Street shopping! Justin was a real trooper and let me indulge in my window shopping habit. What a guy 🙂

Gilroy'sGilroy’s Pizza Pub. Since Justin indulged me in my shopping habit, I indulged him in his pizza habit. (Seriously, the man is a freak about pizza. He could eat it every day!) We checked out a couple different pizza places but this was by far our favorite! Delicious pizza and a really cool atmosphere. It was the perfect place to eat and watch some March Madness!

Verde VerdeSpeaking of food, my favorite place was Verde, a locally owned and operated build-your-own salad/wrap restaurant. They use super fresh veggies in all their food — my wrap was delicious! A great way to fuel up with some healthy food since vacations are typically times to over-indulge (reference above pizza picture).

Rainbow RowRainbow Row. This colorful strip of townhouses is so unique and definitely worth checking out! Plus, it’s right on the coast and within walking distance of Battery Park. We loved walking around this area — so many amazing homes to see! Like this one:

CharlestonBeautiful!

Tuesday morning we headed out early and hit up the South Carolina Aquarium. We loved checking out all the exhibits and even got to see a dive show. I have to say though, my favorite part was definitely seeing Justin attempt to hold his breath as long as a sea turtle. He didn’t quite make it 😉

20140324_102053After the aquarium, we headed to Magnolia Plantation. We toured the house, which was cool, but by far the best part for me was the gardens! Absolutely breathtaking! I loved walking all the paths and checking out the flowers and unusual plants — so much to see and it was all so beautiful!

Magnolia Plantation

Magnolia Plantation Magnolia Plantation Magnolia Plantation Magnolia PlantationIt started to rain after we had been walking around for about an hour so we headed back to our hotel and relaxed the rest of the evening.

Wednesday we had breakfast at the top of our hotel (the top floor was a hotel with a beautiful panoramic view of theHoliday Inn ViewAfter breakfast, we said goodbye to Charleston and headed back home. Seriously, this was the perfect long-weekend getaway! We had a fantastic time and will hopefully get to visit again someday!

***

Spring Break Adventures, Part One

I’m back!

Last week I took a blogging hiatus because Justin and I took off on VACATION! It was spring break for him so I took some time off work and we hit the road and headed south!

We spent the weekend visiting friends in the Carrboro/Chapel Hill area of North Carolina. Leah, one of my best friends from childhood, and her husband Kraig moved there about a year ago and it was so great to get to visit them and explore the area!

We got into town on Friday night and it just so happened that UNC was playing in the NCAA tournament so Chapel Hill was a happenin’ place! Every restaurant and bar with a TV was packed so since none of us were super invested in the game we decided to just walk up and down Franklin Street (an absolute must-see if you go to Chapel Hill; this strip had so many amazing little shops, restaurants, and bars) and soak up the atmosphere. It was so much fun! There was so much energy and excitement after they won– it made me wish that we lived in a college town again. So fun!

We spent Saturday walking around and exploring Chapel Hill. We hit up several markets and grocery stores (yes, you read that right. I love grocery stores and the fact that Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods were close by was enough to put me in a grocery shopping mood!) and also walked around UNC.

UNC Campus

Justin and I both went to smaller colleges so we were blown away by how huge the campus was! All the buildings were so beautiful and we really enjoyed checking it all out! Justin especially enjoyed getting to sample the water in the drinking fountain under the trademark gazebo. 😉

UNC Chapel Hill UNC Chapel HIll

Sorry about the light streaks; all these pictures were taken on my phone and it doesn’t take good night pictures!

After a day full of walking, we were all super hungry. We decided to eat at the famous Top of the HIll restaurant. We had a pretty long wait to get out on the patio, but it was definitely worth it! The restaurant rooftop is perfectly placed on the corner of a major section of Franklin Street so it has a great view!

Top of the Hill Top of the Hill

The food was so delicious that I scarfed up all my food before I even thought to take a picture! We all four agreed that the food was top notch and the guys loved the house beers they chose. My favorite part was just looking out over Franklin Street and people watching (yep…I’m one of those creepers who love watching other people!)

We also hit up Yogurt Pump after dinner which was the best decision! Their frozen yogurt was the perfect way to top off a great day and I only wish we lived closer so I could further fuel my fro-yo addiction.

Before we knew it, Sunday morning rolled around and we packed our bags, said goodbye to Leah and Kraig, and hit the road to head even further south to Charleston, SC! More on that adventure tomorrow!

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A few outfit catch-ups from the last few teaching days!

pink cardigan, checked shirt, skinnies, leopard flats, chunky pearls

Cardigan: Target (similar here)~ Checked Shirt: Target (similar here) ~ Navy Ankle Pants: Target (exact here)~ Leopard Flats: Target (exact here) ~ Necklace: Maurices (similar here and here) ~ Renegade Bracelet: Stella Dot (exact here)

blue striped shirt, white jeans, nude pumps, statement necklace

Shirt: Target ~ Jeans: Target (exact here)~ Pumps: Target (exact here) ~ Necklace: Purple Peridot (exact here) ~ Link Bracelet: J. Crew Factory (exact here) ~ Bracelets: Chloe Stack (exact here)

purple cardigan, floral shirt, skinnies, black boots

Cardigan: Old Navy (similar here) ~ Flower cami: Old Navy (exact old) ~ Courduroy skinnies: Old Navy (similar here) ~ Boots: Forever 21 (exact here) ~ Necklace: Lia Sophia (exact here) ~ Earrings: Lia Sophia (exact here)

A “Grand” Christmas Vacation

Hello 2014!

I have been on Christmas break for the past two weeks and it has been WONDERFUL! At first, I set out with the intention to blog at least once or twice, but once our travels started I got way too involved with our family and friend time and decided to unplug entirely. It was so nice to just soak up every minute with loved ones!

Step one of our break was to go visit my family in Ohio. Since they live about 7 hours away from us, I don’t get to see them often. This was the first time I had been home in six months! It was SO nice to be back for a few days.

When we were home, Macie was introduced to my sister’s cat, Simba. After a rather timid greeting, they both got along well for the time we were home. I was very impressed!

simplifythechaos.com simplifythechaos.comChristmas morning, Justin and I woke up SUPER early . . . to go to the airport. Not exactly your typical Christmas but we were excited nonetheless! And at least it was a white Christmas!

simplifythechaos.comWe flew out to Phoenix, AZ for my college roommate’s wedding. The wedding wasn’t until Saturday, but we wanted to go out early to get the chance to explore the area. From the airport, we got a rental car and drove up to Flagstaff. By the time we had arrived, it was dark; however, we were able to drive around and see some beautiful Christmas lights!

simplifythechaos.com simplifythechaos.comWe also hit up a Sonic because it was literally the only thing open. Justin had never been to one before (!!!) so he was excited. How’s that for our first married Christmas together?

simplifythechaos.comThe next morning we woke up super early and headed out to the Grand Canyon. I really wanted to catch the sunrise! It was SO worth the loss of sleep!

simplifythechaos.com simplifythechaos.com simplifythechaos.comSTUNNING! Pictures simply do not do it justice.

We traveled back to Flagstaff for lunch and hit up a place called NiMarco’s Pizza. It was recommended to us from a friend who has lived in Flagstaff and it did not disappoint! Definitely a must try if you are in Flagstaff!

simplifythechaos.comI wish we would have had more time to explore Flagstaff but we needed to head back into Phoenix for the bachelor/bachelorette party so we got on the road after lunch. The drive was so scenic — I loved every minute!

simplifythechaos.comAfter a super fun lingerie party for the bride-to-be, we headed out into Phoenix for a joint bachelor & bachelorette party. We hopped around to a few different bars and restaurants before ending up at a place called The Duce. Honestly, I had some reservations when we walked up to what seemed like a huge warehouse but inside it was like no place I’ve ever seen before! A combination bar/karaoke lounge, it has ping pong, hula hoops, a clothing store, milkshake/sweet shoppe stand, and tons of other random and fun things to do. It was absolutely amazing! We loved it.

simplifythechaos.com simplifythechaos.com

After my friend Kelsey and I rounded out the night with a crowd-pleasing rendition of “It’s Gonna be Me” by N’Sync (crowd-pleasing in that they liked the song choice…not necessarily our singing!) we called it a night. So fun!

Justin and I were able to do a lot of sightseeing and some hiking in the days before the wedding. Our favorite was a morning hike that overlooked all of the Phoenix area. It was breathtaking!

simplifythechaos.com simplifythechaos.comThe wedding took place at a winery about an hour outside of Phoenix. It was such a beautiful setting and the weather was perfect!

It was so good to see all of my best friends from college and celebrate my friend’s wedding! Justin and I both agreed we have to come back to Phoenix sometime. We loved everything about it and had such a great time there!

simplifythechaos.comAfter a super-early flight back, my family picked us up at the airport on Sunday for a quick lunch and reunion with Macie (she was VERY excited to see us!)

simplifythechaos.comAfter lunch, we hit the road to Virginia to celebrate Christmas with Justin’s family.We had a great time visiting with them! I especially loved playing with our little nephew, who absolutely loved playing with my phone and taking pictures of himself.

simplifythechaos.com simplifythechaos.com

Overall, Christmas was a HUGE success and we loved every minute! Now it’s back to work and starting out a new year!

Happy 2014! May your year be blessed!

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Today’s outfit was almost entirely composed of Christmas presents. What a fun way to start the new year!

01-02 Outfit

Sweater: Old Navy

Blouse: New York & Company

Pants: New York & Company

Pumps: Maurices

Bib Necklace: Forever 21