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Sullivan's Island & Shem Creek

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This is the last of the posts from my American Road Trip. I'm sad not to have an excuse to relive the memories but I'm excited to plan some fresh content!
For the final day of our trip we decided to unwind on Sullivan's Island, and do one of my favourite activities: Brunch! (A much bigger deal in America - but thankfully it's catching on over here.)
Charleston is a cyclists city and thankfully our hotel included bicycle hire in our resort fee (most places do this but it's still a good idea to check). So we borrowed a couple and headed out to the coast. We passed by the picturesque Shem Creek en the way and were drawn back here for a last meal before heading for the airport.




Charleston's Charm

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I am just going to say it... I think Charleston is possibly the prettiest city I have ever visited. Not to mention the most warm and welcoming. It really showed us some amazing southern hospitality.
We only stayed a couple of nights, but I could easily live here. 


On our first evening we arrived starving after a long, long drive. I had heard wonderful things about Magnolias but sadly they couldn't squeeze us in. So here is my hot tip: head next door to it's sister restaurant Blossom. Which is every bit as good and much less crowded. 



For shopping; you can't beat King Street, but the market hall was fun to wander through and we also found a fun farmers market on the square (held once a month).


Mostly though, I spent my time in Charleston drooling over dream houses and other pretty places.








Oh, and if you want to splash out on a fancy dinner - try this place. I celebrated by birthday with a Bison steak which I am still talking about now.

The Smoky Mountains: Part 2

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We hadn't made any firm plans (except for horse riding) for our time in the Smokies so on the second day we headed out to explore with no real destination in mind. 

Taking the scenic (and somewhat slippy) route down the mountain. I'd have been a bit less nervous on this road with a driver who spent a bit less time admiring the view...

...but then again it was pretty spectacular so who can blame him?

When we reached the valley floor we were greeted by this handsome chap. 

Elk don't usually appear during the daytime (we were very lucky!) but they can somtimes be seen on the meadows at sunset/sunrise.

After bidding adieu to the Elk we made our way to the Boogerman trail (thanks to the advice of a friendly mountain ranger we met en route). 


Walking the Boogerman trail is a pretty magical experience - with all the different coloured butterflies dancing on the breeze you could be forgiven for thinking you were in a Disney movie.
Our walk was cut short a few miles in (one of the…

The Smoky Mountains: Part 1

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I've been dreaming of visiting the Smoky Mountains ever since I first heard Dolly sing "In my Tennessee mountain home..." but none of the songs really do justice to their scale or beauty.

We picked up our rental car and wound our way into the mountains.



We headed to the highest point: Clingman's Dome

It felt a little like standing on top of the world.

When I could finally tear myself away from that view, we headed back down the mountain and made our way to the edge of the Smokies - to Maggie Valley and Cataloochee Ranch.

When we arrived at the ranch, our lovely hosts fed us enough to put us into a food coma.  We awoke the next day to this beautiful view.


After another feast for breakfast, we decide to spend the morning exploring Mingo Falls.

I have been lucky enough to visit some of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world on my travels, and while these didn't quite match the scale of others, they were by far the prettiest.






After soaking up the beauty of the…

Sights and Sounds of Nashville

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When I was eleven, I discovered Leanne Rimes (thanks to Coyote Ugly) and Country Music became my guilty pleasure. (Believe me, for a teenager in the UK it was not cool, but I fell in love with it anyway.)
I love almost all genres of music, but Country is the clear favourite.
There isn't much of a country music scene in the UK, so visiting Nashville has been on my bucket list for a very, very long time... and if you can't do something special for your 30th birthday when can you?? 
We rose bright an early on our fist morning in Nashville (very early in fact - thanks jet lag!) and didn't waist any time heading Downtown. I have been following Kelsey Montague's art on Instagram for ages, and literally stumbled into her famous wings not long after we left the hotel. 
I think this picture accurately sums up my feelings about being in Nashville for the first time...


Why can't every city have bike stands in the shape of music notes?




After the obligatory walk down Broadw…