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E x p l o r e, travel

That Thing Called A Honeymoon // Prince Edward Island, Canada

October 18, 2017

“You never know what peace is until you walk on the shores or in the fields or along the winding red roads of Prince Edward Island in a summer twilight when the dew is falling and the old stars are peeping out and the sea keeps its mighty tryst with the little land it loves. You find your soul then. You realize that youth is not a vanished thing but something that dwells forever in the heart.
|  l. m. montgomery  |

 

If there’s one thing every girl dreams of at some point in her life, I’m pretty sure it’s being Anne of Green Gables. I never read the books as a girl, but saturated myself in the movies. So often I took the name of “Anne” as I put on my makeshift edwardian clothes and traipsed through my backyard as I pretended to be the heroine. She had an extra hold on me I guess because I was a writer, or wanted to be, so the personality seemed to fit. But there was one thing that I could never quite get past in this pretend world. I could make due with my clothes not being “just like Anne’s” but the backyard I played in, my backyard of creek gravel driveways, pine trees and the smell of rural Tennessee, just wasn’t Anne’s Avonlea with sand dunes and Island smelling countryside. I longed to see Prince Edward Island for myself someday. There was a little girls dream, that went on hold for the unforeseeable future.

 

 

Fast forward 10 or so years later, my wonderful fiancé spills the beans on where he wants to take me on our honeymoon. . .you can imagine the huge smile that lit up my face when he told me. We planned things sparingly the next few months, contacting friends who had been to the island about their “must see’s” but leaving most of the exploring til we got there. It added so much fun, and more than a few adventures by taking this route.

 

 

 

 If staying in a little yellow cottage like Rachel Lynde’s house for a whole week didn’t give me the shivers enough, staying at a place called “Shining Waters Country Inn” definitely sealed the deal. It was the most charming hotel I’ve ever stayed in; with painted white trim, and blooming flowers hanging from the porch. It looked like it had stepped out of one of L. M. Montgomery’s novels.
Each day on this storybook-like island etched memories in my mind that I will keep forever.

Here is the day-by-day in photos of our adventures. I’ll spare the words and let you just “drink it in”.

Day One: First view of the island + Cape Tryon Lighthouse. 

Day Two: Green Gables exploring + Cavendish Beach

Day Three: Rainy day on the island + Cavendish Boardwalk + Cow’s Ice Cream

Day Four: Heading off the Island, Confederation Bridge + New Brunswick and Nova Scotia

Day Five: Charlottetown exploring + Wharf

Day Six (Last day): White Sands Hotel + Stanhope Cape Beach + Covehead Lighthouse

And so ended our week of travels to the destination of my childhood, it seems a dream even now.
Every boardwalk street we walked, every coastal farmhouse we sighted, all the red cinnamon colored sand between my toes… I wish I could pack it all into a suitcase to unzip everytime a needed a little “vitamin PEI”.  Truly, pictures do not even do this incredible place justice.
It needs to be experienced, soaked up, explored.

I’m leaving a list of the highlights of our trip below, the “must see’s and do’s”.

Resturants/Food
1. Cow’s Ice Cream – Anywhere on PEI
2. The Lost Anchor – Cavendish, PEI
3. Cavendish Fish & Chips – Cavendish, PEI
4. Raspberry Cordial – Pretty much anywhere on the Island
5. Pizza Delight – County 911 Jail, Charlottetown

Beaches
1. Stanhope Cove Beach
2. Dalvay Beach
2. Cavendish Beach

Our Hotel
>Shining Waters Country Inn<
Great service, included breakfast, minutes walk from Green Gables and very central. We loved staying in Cavendish. 

Lighthouses
1. Cape Tryon Lighthouse
2. Covehead Lighthouse

 Places to Visit
1. Cavendish Boardwalk – we spent our rainy day here, great souvenir shops and just a fun place!
2. Green Gables (of course, it’s SO worth it!)
3. Confederation Bridge – Super fun, a bit expensive, but worth seeing what’s on the other side.
4. Victoria Row/Charlottetown – worth taking a whole day or a few days to explore, the wharf was amazing.
5. Anne & Gilbert Musical, Charlottetown – we made it a night on the town, definitely a must see!
6. Victoria Park, Charlottetown – breathtaking and a beautiful view of the town
7. “White Sands Hotel” or Dalvay by the Sea – bike rentals were here, and all the nostalgia. Beware, the inside is dated and not like shown in the films. 😉  But the outside it just beautiful.


8. NOTE* we tried finding the “Stanhope by the Sea” which was where the inside of the White Sands Hotel was filmed. But according to some sweet local ladies who informed us it burned down a couple months ago.  SADness.

 

Thanks for tagging along with these adventures! If you’re planning a trip to PEI, or want to one day, feel free to contact me for anymore info. I’d be happy to share a “tourists” favs.

A B B Y

 

heart writing, My Lifey

When An Unforgettable Summer Ends // A Short Life Update

September 12, 2017

“It’s the oldest story in the world.
One day you’re seventeen and planning for someday,
and then quietly, without you ever really noticing, 
someday is today, and that someday is yesterday
and this is your life.”

| n a t h a n    s c o t t |

 

 

Oh my, this long neglected little corner. I’m surprised it still lets me log in and doesn’t boot me out with a “Sorry, we’ve forgotten your username, please try again later.”

But if ever I had a good excuse for playing hooky, it would be these past few months.
I know I’ve used this excuse before so I’m probably loosing credibility with it, but let me give you a brief window into my recent life and let you draw your own conclusions.

A P R I L  2017  >> About exactly a week after I scribbled my last post,  I got engaged (eeeek!) to my long time childhood friend and love, Luke. I could gush on and on here, but I’ll keep it short for now *wink*. He totally surprised me with the most sentimental proposal ever at one of my favorite spots, the Chattanooga Choo Choo. I’ll have to post our proposal story soon as a whole separate post of it’s own, because it will need it’s own word space. Needless to say my April 22nd on was pretty much spent completely in the clouds.

 

 

 

 

 

M A Y 2017  >>    Family high school graduations, beach vacations, the start of wedding planning and engagement pictures. The merry month just flew by, such a fun start to the summer, it was a packed month! Oh yes, and I was still in the I-just-got-engaged clouds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

J U N E  2017  >> Wedding planning. Getting to sit down and finally plan a wedding with all my dream Pinterest boards open was so surreal! Getting to choose a color palette, style, outfits, food and decor. It was so fun, and a little overwhelming at times even though I chose to do the “simple, small wedding” route. But what a fun season of my life it was.

 

 

J U L Y  2017  >> Packing up all my *cough* many belongings, and active wedding planing. Nothing triggers emotions more than packing up a bedroom which you’ve shared with your two sisters all your life, boxing up your office/studio and moving to a place without your family which you’ve lived and breathed with for your whole 20 years. There were so many “Oh my gooosh, is this really happening? I’m so EXCITED” days, and there were also the “Am I really doing this, and leaving home and getting married?” days. All such good emotions, but definitely threw this sentimental girl for a loop sometimes. I’ll always look back on those days with sweet savoring.

 

 

A U G U S T 2017  >> Wedding of my dreams and marrying the love of my life. When three months of wedding planning is finally done, family and friends surround you, and your wedding day dawns as the most gorgeous day in August, and you get to marry your best friend, it truly was the best day ever. I will do a post on our wedding day soon and share more of our beautiful wedding photos taken by the amazing Allix Ruby. August also saw us honeymooning for the first time/out of the country for the first time in my long dreamed of trip to P.E.I  Canada, and coming home to start a new life as a wifey in our little city apartment in Chattanooga, TN. (detailed posts coming soon).

 

 

Which brings us to today, S E P T E M B E R  2017.
So,  I am so tickled and happy to be back writing in this little corner and for the first time in my new home… a little apartment across the river from the bustling Chattanooga, TN. I’m back from our honeymoon travels and this crazy transition of moving, marrying, and becoming a wife. Now I just can’t wait to jot down all these stories to share. I have quite a few of them coming your way in the next couple o’ weeks.

The smell of fresh muffins made in my new muffin tins just came out of the oven, I made a walk to our little P.O. box to check our mail, and now I’m happily situated on our new couch amidst the throw pillows with my laptop writing these stories down to share with you.

It’s been the very happiest summer of my life, complete with every kind of emotion that comes with the territory of big life transitions.
It’s crazy to think the summer is ending, and with it my days as a single girl. I welcome autumn, as a new season in a new season of my life, living admidst a new city with lots of new things to learn and explore.

So much new, it’s exciting and daunting at the same time. I long to hold on to past days, and to hold on to even these new exciting days as a newlywed forever. But I’ve been realizing something, if we always just held on to old sweet memories, we would never go make new amazing ones.

“… go have a new adventure.”
| e l l i e ,  from UP |

 So here’s to the new; new seasons of the year, of life, and new seasons of memories.
It’s been a completely unforgettable summer.

How was your summer? What memories will forever be etched in your heart from April-August?

I’m so happy to be back!

always,
A  B  B  Y

Photo l o c a t i o n s: 

#1: Charlottetown Yacht Club, Charlottetown PEI Canada
#2-#5: Chattanooga Choo Choo
#6-#8: Navarre Beach, Florida
#9: Walnut Street Bridge, Chattanooga, Tennessee
#12-#13: Sunset Rock, Lookout Mountain, Tennessee

E x p l o r e

Front Yard // Spring Textures

April 13, 2017

I can’t get enough of wandering. . . some of us carry an inherent need to explore.
Textures. Fragrances. Sounds. Air. Shadows. Movement. Patterns. Light.”
// Victoria Erickson

 

I’ve been trying to figure out in my brain what it is exactly that makes spring so exciting.
Like, you know, the breath of fresh air that it is because it is, seriously. The pizazz that makes you want to do a happy dance or something. Or for those of us that aren’t as loose-limbed, attempting a happy dance. . . and looking much like a kangaroo on steroids (which I’ve never actually witnessed, but dug up the image from my brain files at this moment in a try-to-be-witty attempt. #fail)

 

 

But really, spring is just a happy season! Even the name of it sounds “bouncy” (fist bump to you if you thought of Tigger.) My travel/roadtrip/downtown shopping/car-riding itch is reenergized once again with the turn of the weather here in Tennessee, it always is when the sun shines 70 degrees.
Also, giving a boost to my new love of exploring different textures, because I wake up to some new sight outside every morning it seems like. Whether that be the slick green shoots of grass, the rough creek gravel of our driveway under my barefeet (hello, winter pampered feet), or the soft cotton touch of my new favorite tee.

 


My life is a constant crazy ever since the beginning of the year. I like to compare it to a hibernating bear, asleep and snoring for a couple years being normal and nothing too exciting to look at on the outside, but that is now waking up with a roar and an energy I didn’t know existed.
I want to slow it down. But ironically I want to go racing right with it too, matching it’s pace.


 

 

 

I hold on to these days tightly but gently, knowing they’ll slip through my fingers like sand if I’m not seeing them each day for what they are. I never want to be too busy to see the grace of God in every day, never too crazy to contemplate what story He’s writing for me, never too tired to patiently take steps knowing that He holds the ultimate blue-print of my life in his hands.

 

 

 

 

I’m a sucker for memory-triggers! Yep, a familiar place or sight, a smell, a type of music, or wearing the same outfit (you can officially freak out) will spur a memory in my probably much-messed-up head. So, all these spring textures. . . they are doing it for me. And I can’t help but smile.
I just love spring here at home, it holds a kind of beautiful promise for me of how the Lord brings change after a dead season (winter) and the vibrance of everything embracing that change. And to think, I get to be on the receiving end of this and see it every morning!

If I ever travel the world someday or leave my home, I will always want to remember my house, in the spring. The azalea bush, the brick walk, the creek gravel driveway. And oh yeah, especially the walk to the mailbox, which is probably my most favorite walk. And not just the house itself, but every single moment that happened under it’s roof or in the front yard.

 

 

My childhood is here. I see it so well in retrospect, the smells and sunshine of this season bring back a flood of memories. And while part of me wants to just grasp after those moments and relive them (ok, I’m a huge sentimental guys, you’re welcome) the more realistic and probably grateful side of me is just so ready to embrace the new memories, which hello! I’m making everyday.

 

 

 

 

See the textures around you in your own life, and not only the physical ones. But the ones of your life, the woven tidbits and texture of your own story that the Lord is weaving for you.
Textures are unique, different to the touch. So is your story, it has shape and uniqueness. . . some parts are rough, others smooth. Your life is a textured, beautiful work-in-the-making.

See that and embrace it.

 

Character Sketch, lifestyle

The Creative

March 7, 2017

“Here’s to the ones who dream, foolish as they may seem.
Here’s to the hearts that ache, here’s to the mess we make.”
// La La Land

 

     Creatives. They live in the world of possibilities. Seeing past the stark white canvas, blank page, bolt of fabric, the lump of clay. Or the undecorated sidewalk.
It takes a lot of “scope for the imagination” to be a creative, an eagerness to look past what you see in front of you and see instead what it could be. A work of art.
It’s a crazy thought to think that each creative eye is different, every move of the hand and idea spark in the eye, quirky in it’s own way. It makes us live in a world of curiosity, wondering just what unfinished and unthought of masterpieces lie behind that random person’s brain.


She’s a dreamer, go-getter, genuine firecracker. A creative if I ever saw one.

Today she’s a sidewalk chalk enthusiast, but what about a series of tomorrows?
Will she exchange her chalk for pastels or watercolors? Her canvas for something more permanent, not washed away with a later rain? Will being the next Beatrix Potter be an ambition?

 

 

Just observing this little creative was such a treat on this sunny and even more windy day. Watching her think and concentrate, putting so much brain power into her chalky creations. It reminded me so much of all the creatives whose path’s I’ve crossed over the years. The creatives who started small and were nobodies and are now well known, with thousands of followers on Etsy and social media. But also the creatives who go unnoticed, who are still starting out small with the dream to go bigger and share their work with the world. All alike is their desire to bring a little more beauty to the world with a creative gift they’re recipients of.

 

 


 

Sometimes, the creative gets slack. From a world that says the creative gift they’re pursuing isn’t grand enough or noticeable enough to bring to the table. Or that there are more important and worthwhile things to be devoting that time to, to put that gift back on the shelf so that we can be busy about a more important work. Because it probably won’t bring in the X amount of dough like the corporate world can, and you’ll probably fall on your face over and over again trying, and be asked the question, “Is it even worth it?”


 

      Yes, it’s worth it. Being a creative isn’t just choosing it as a title and donning it as a personality pin. Deep down, it’s in all of us. Whether we decide to draw it out or leave it hidden, it’s there.
Because we are made in the image of the greatest Creator. It’s worth discovering and rolling up our sleeves for, because by using that dose of creativity He’s given us, we glorify His creativity in the process.

 

     I witnessed so much creativity on this day back in the fall; the warmth of the last sunbeams of the evening, the whipping of the Indiana wind, the pigments of the green grass and the coloring trees. The small brunette with big brown eyes, orange smudges of goldfish cracker crumbs mixed with sidewalk chalk colors littering her princess shirt, the sketches “for mommy and daddy” scattered all over the driveway.
It all meshed so wonderfully together. I cannot help but think the Lord smiles when we embrace creativity, as a testament to His image in which He created us.


“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him;
male and female He created them.”
Genesis 1:27

//& special thanks to my candid subject, little Elise E.