When your fiancé pops the question and asks you to spend forever with them, this is the very beginning of ALLLL the fun and exciting festivities! Some people throw Engagement parties, then venue hunting, cake tasting, color scheme choosing, dress shopping, registry making, suit fitting, attending your Bridal Shower, wedding band sizing, invitation sealing, Bachelorette Party going, and ALL THE LIST MAKING! I got engaged on Christmas Eve of 2016 and we decided that our wedding would be in October of 2017. This means we had LESS than 1 year to do all of those things! (Should I do a blog post about our wedding planning process?!) I had many laughs, tears, sleepless nights, stressful days, and great memories during 2017 that led up to our big day and it all turned out PERFECT but man, I was so thankful for it to all be OVER! (completed, I mean! Right? haha!) During this process, I truly understand why taking a Honeymoon is a thing and I said this a million times. It's for the Bride to finally relax now that her brain is dumped and cleared and she doesn't have to think about another check list for a while! Haha! No but really, our Honeymoon was one of my favorite trips that Brian and I ever took together. We were finally MARRIED! And we get to show it off to the world! (We literally did! Wait till you see the car sticker that went on our back window! Haha!)
When we finally started thinking about what we wanted our Honeymoon to look like, it didn't take long before we knew what we DIDN'T want. We did not want to spend a week laying on a beach all day doing the same thing every single day. We need ADVENTURE! We need to constantly be doing different things and seeing different places! Then we decided -- a ROAD TRIP HONEYMOON! What?! Tons of people gave me such ugly faces when I told them that's what our honeymoon was going to be. It's not for everyone, and it doesn't seem "relaxing" to most people, but it was perfect for us. So where should we go?! When we decided we were set on this plan, I had one stop in mind that I was DYING to go to for such a long time. The colorful, southern and charming city of Charleston, South Carolina! And before we knew it, our adorable Airbnb was booked and we were GOING TO CHARLESTON! Just wait till you see where we stayed! So now that this was booked, we decided that an East Coast road trip is what we should do! So where is our next stop? Since Charleston was a city atmosphere by the water, we wanted to do something that was completely different than that. THE MOUNTAINS WERE CALLING! With tons of research, we found the most perfect mountain-y destination for our honeymoon. A cabin in The Smoky Mountains!!
Our wedding was Thursday (yup! It totally was!) and we wanted Friday to have a day to spend with family and relax after the wedding festivities, and then Saturday morning we were OFF! We definitely didn't want to wait to do our honeymoon, we wanted it to be RIGHT after the wedding while we were still on cloud 9 with fresh newlywed bliss! So our trip to The Smoky Mountains was going to be from Saturday to Tuesday, and then Charleston is Tuesday to Thursday, and we kept the end of the trip open for any option of going to a 3rd location or start to head home! So Saturday morning came with a 4:00am wake up call, and we were OFF!
One of my FAVORITE parts about our Honeymoon was that we recorded the WHOLE THING! We got a GoPro Hero5 as a wedding gift and we captured our whole trip with it!! The video is all the way at the bottom of this post so stick around till the very end! I had so much fun making that video and it definitely sparked up a new hobby for us! We might take this thing with us on all of our adventures!
One of my favorite pictures EVER! ^^ This is the photo that I posted to social media at 5:00am as we packed up our rental and hit the road. I can promise you that at this time in the morning, I did NOT look like this! Haha! We got everything ready and we had about an 10 hour drive ahead of us! I'm so thankful for my Dad for gifting us our rental car for the Honeymoon! I have no idea anything about cars so I couldn't tell you what this was but it was HUGE and so comfortable! Haha! A couple weeks before the wedding I bought this Kate Spade "Just Married" sticker to put on the back of our getaway car and it was so cute how many people honked at us along the way! When we stopped at a truck stop to stretch and take care of business, a trucker saw me putting the sticker up on the window and he came over to us to give us marriage advice!! It was the sweetest thing! I had to write them down so I could remember this moment! He said --
1. Always have good communication!
2. Never go to bed angry!
3. Before you leave the house, always say goodbye and I love you!
We finally made it to our cabin and we were blown away! You know when you book something online and the pictures look amazing but you think it's too good to be true, and when you arrive, it's not what the pictures seemed to be? This place was BETTER than the pictures! This cabin was huge! And the view we had was amazing!! This was our home for the next 4 days and we were not sad about it!!
The first day we got there after our long drive, we unpacked, ate out for dinner and explored the area! This place was breathtaking!
One of my favorite memories at our cabin was the first night here! I brought along our guest book and our card box because we didn't have time to look through them all after the wedding and I thought it would be so fun to go through them together on our honeymoon! So we sat out on these chairs at night on one of our TWO back decks we had, and went through everything! Our guest book involved polaroid photos and cards for everyone to leave us messages and I loved how it turned out! We got to see the smiling faces of each one of our guests and read a personalized message to us from our wedding day! You can see our guest book HERE from our Wedding Day blog post! Then we went through all of our thoughtful and generous cards we received from everyone! We had so much fun going through everything that night and I'm so glad I brought it all with us!
Sunday morning, October 8th, we woke up to a foggy and rainy day in the mountains as the last of Hurricane Nate was passing through. We had a pretty relaxing morning after our long day of travel the day before, so we soaked in the hot tube for a while on the back deck. Then we decided that we should probably go to a grocery store soon so we could eat during this trip! Haha! We didn't want to eat out for every meal while we were here because we spent a good chunk of money on this cabin so why not spend a lot of our time IN it! We had to search for the nearest grocery store because we were a half an hour up a mountain and nothing was around us! We found a Kroger that ALSO had a Starbucks close by so, win win! We ate breakfast and coffee and relaxed inside for a while as we talked and talked about how we were actually FINALLY married! Another favorite memory :) We goofed off and shopped for food for the next couple of days and went back to the cabin. Brian got back in the hot tub and I spent some time sipping on wine that I was gifted at my Bachelorette party and documented my thoughts and memories from what happened so far. I'm a big "write it down" type of person.
Another favorite memory from the Honeymoon was from Sunday night, we relaxed on the couch and watched a movie while we snacked on OUR WEDDING CAKE!! Yup, after I took a slice and put it in our freezer back home for our anniversary, I packed the rest in our cooler for the trip! We ate one slice at the wedding, so it was going to go to waste! So we brought it along and ate it as our bedtime snack the first couple of nights! :)
It was Monday October 9th, and it was HIKING DAY for us! I woke up at 6:30am to start making us a big breakfast (in that amazing and huge kitchen we had!!) Sunday was a relaxing day for us and now we wanted to get some adventure in! Our plan was to leave the cabin pretty early because it was an hour drive to get to the top of the mountain where we wanted to start hiking, but our plan changed. I made us bacon, eggs, sausage, toast and coffee in our new Mr. and Mrs. camping mugs that were gifted to us and it was still dark outside. Since the morning before was so foggy and rainy, we didn't get to see the sunrise over the mountains from our cabin and Tuesday we were planning on sleeping in a little before we hit the road to Charleston. So this was our morning to see those mountainous picturesque sunrises we only see online. We finished breakfast and sat out on the deck with our coffee and waited for the sun to rise. It was AMAZING! The colors, the view, it was breathtaking! And I also took another one of my all time favorite photos with our mugs! <3 LOVE IT!!
After over an hour drive to the very top and many pit stops along the way to see things, we finally it! Watch our video to see the beautiful scenic route we had! We could not have came at a more perfect time of year because all of the trees were at its peak with vibrant colors! There were orange, red, yellow leaves everywhere!!! My fall loving heart was so happy!
I was so excited to finally wear my new jacket with my new shiny monogram on it! I got it online from MarleyLilly HERE!
After hiking the Appalachian Trail and taking in the mountain air, we were starving! We made our way back down the mountain and ventured to the cute little town of Gatlinburg, TN! This town had shops, things to do, things to see, restaurants everywhere, and we were in search for one thing. FOOD! We stumbled upon the Smoky Mountain Brewery where Brian got to try 5 local beers and we had lunch. While we were there, we decided to look around the shops and things to do! So many people told us that we needed to do the Sky Lift while we were there so we did! I am terrified of heights, but I did it! The view was amazing! You can get a better feel from it on our video! We were SO high up!
Tuesday October 10th, our time in the cabin had quickly come to an end. We made so many fun memories here that I will always remember! Now we were off to CHARLESTON! OMG! It was about a 6 hour drive to get there and I was SO excited!
Charleston and "the south" in general is known for their warm welcomes and hospitality. We stayed in a cottage Airbnb and our host was just the sweetest! He welcomed us when we got there to get the keys to our place, told us all about things and places to see while we were here and he was just so friendly and nice! The cottage was stocked with snacks and the fridge had waters, pop, a bunch of local beers (yay for Brian!) and he even had a bottle of champagne chilling for us for when we arrived! This place was so cute! And I was IN LOVE with the location! There was a canopy of Spanish moss draping over the entire yard! My first time ever seeing the famous Spanish moss, and I know exactly why people love it! It's SO DREAMY!
There was even a REAL magnolia tree in our back yard! UGH! It was all so pretty! Our cottage was right along a flowing river that went out into the ocean and made such a cozy feel! Once we got settled in, we were ready to explore this city! Downtown Charleston was about a 15 minute drive from where we were staying and once I started seeing all the colorful buildings and cobblestone roads, I was like a kid in a candy store. I was obsessed with this city!
We walked around and recorded a lot of our views (see the video! This place was amazing!!) and it was time for dinner. We were starving after the long drive. I was on the hunt for a place I could get fresh East Coast sea food! Brian is allergic to fish so we had to find something that also had other things! I had a grilled Shrimp Alfredo dish and it was SO good! After dinner we made it back to the cottage to relax and figure out what we wanted to do on our first full day here. I REALLY wanted to do a horse carriage ride so we could see and learn about the city! And I also wanted to explore and take TONS of pictures! This place was a photographers dream! I also really wanted to see the iconic Avenue of Oaks at the Boone Hall Plantation and since we were so close to the ocean, maybe we could even make a pit stop at the beach! We figured out a game plan, and went to sleep!
It was Wednesday October 11th and our adventure in Charleston begins! We bought tickets and reserved a time for our horse carriage ride for 10:00am so we got ready and drive into town. But first, coffee. Right? The Rise coffee bar had such good coffee and there was marble everywhere! It was a good choice! We made it to the horse barn at Charleston Carriage Works and got ready for our tour!
The tour was an hour long and we learned SO much! We learned about the history of the town, the buildings, the businesses, why the roads are named how they are, and our tour guide was hilarious! He was born and raised there with generations behind him also born and raised so he knew A LOT about the city. I definitely recommend doing a tour with them if you ever get a chance to go to Charleston because yes, this city is beautiful but it was so much fun learning about the history of it! After our tour was over, it was time to explore! We headed straight to one of the most iconic and photographed places in Charleston -- Rainbow Row!!
Everything here either was painted a pretty pastel color, was marble, or had a pineapple on it! All of the things I LOVE! In the south, a pineapple was a symbol of welcome and hospitality.
I've seen this huge pretty pink house in pictures everywhere, and while we were on our carriage tour we went past it! I almost didn't recognize it because it had boards in all of the windows! Almost every house on this street still was boarded up because on the other side of the street was the ocean and this was right after Hurricane Harvey passed through. Thank goodness it didn't seem like it left much damage to these beautiful homes.
After hours of walking and exploring, we were starving. I heard tons of great reviews for this place called Husk! It was the cutest restaurant ever! It was in a huge old home and we sat on the upstairs porch! This place said "charming" all over it! I still say to this day, that I had the best burger and fries that I've ever eating in my life at this place! Maybe because I was so hungry and exhausted from walking all day? Or maybe it was THAT good! I think I'll go with that it was that good haha! The reviews did not lie! I also forgot to mention in this post how HOT it was here. It was close to the middle of October and it was in the 90's !!! And HUMID! My face in the next picture can tell you how hot it was! That was the one and only thing that I was sad about in Charleston! I am a "cool weather, snuggle up in a sweater and drink hot cocoa" type of girl. When I start to overheat and sweat, I get crabby! Haha!
After we were done with lunch, we decided to get back to our car and go to the next place that was on our list to see and OMG I was so excited for it! We were en route to the Boone Hall Plantation! This place was absolutely breathtaking. The Avenue of Oaks that were covered in Spanish moss was literally the most dreamy thing I've ever seen. The driveway went on and on and you couldn't see the other end from where you started. It's that long! I could of stayed here for hours and hours just looking up at the trees! I'm so glad I brought my camera to capture just how beautiful these trees were!
This is the mansion on the property that we took a tour in. Because we came so late in the day, we missed the grounds tour which we were so sad about because the property is SO BIG!
I wish I could of taken one of these trees home with me as a souvenir! Haha! Or even just a bag full of the moss! We started exploring some of the grounds and came across this pathway and this sign! We literally laughed and would NOT go passed this point! Haha! Only in the south! Once we left the plantation, we looked up how far away a pier was and maybe we could grab dinner and watch the sunset! This is one of my favorite memories. We found a beach, parked the car, and walked along the beach as the sun was setting. (This is Brian's iPhone photo that he is so proud of and wanted me to include it in this post! haha!) It really was beautiful! Our video has a couple shots of us walking along the beach and you can truly see how pretty it was!
It was Thursday October 12th and our last day in Charleston. We decided not to visit another location and start heading home today but since we knew we were going to have to find a place to stay halfway from here and Chicago, we didn't rush to leave at all. We packed and checked out of our cottage and drove to another place that I really wanted to see while we were here. The Angel Oak Tree! It is estimated to be about 400 years old and it was massive!
Anyone else think this looks like the Whomping WIllow from Harry Potter? Haha!
Next stop, we headed to the beach! Once we finally made it to Folly Beach, we stopped for coffee. Then got changed, packed the cooler with some snacks and got to the sand! We rented out some chairs and an umbrella and relaxed for a couple hours before we ended our trip.
After a few hours of swimming (check out our video to see some intense wave shots!) we went on the pier to grab some lunch and drinks. I had the BEST fried shrimp I've ever had! It was SO good! Then we changed back into our clothes and hit the road back to Chicago. (waaah!)
And somehow those were the last photos we took on our trip! Haha! We stopped halfway at a nice hotel to rest before we finally get back home. The whole drive home we just talked and I documented about EVERYTHING! Our wedding, our honeymoon, what we saw, what we ate, what we did, everything! I am so glad I took these pictures and recorded our video so we have this to look back on years from now, and we can show our kids what our honeymoon looked like! It was amazing! And I miss it every single day! Now we are hooked on road trips and are already planning our next one (maybe this spring!!) Once we got back to pick up our little pup while Brian's parents were watching her during our trip, and we made it back to Schaumburg, it was back to real life. All the wedding festivities were over. Our story is in the books, and all we have left are the photos, videos and memories. 2017 was such an amazing year and planning for the best day of our lives was such an experience. I'm so happy to finally be Mrs. Goggins and live our lives together as husband and wife! <3
Don't forget to watch our video down below!! :)