Our wedding day feels simultaneously both so far away and just like yesterday. I can’t believe it’s already been five years! The wait to get married felt like an eternity, and now, five years have zoomed by, and I’m teasing Brandon about how he’s almost 30 and starting to gray!
Every year, for our anniversary, Brandon and I have traveled to a place we have never been to before. I don’t remember when we made the decision to do this, but it has been the highlight of our summer every year! I thought, since five years is kind of a milestone anniversary, that I would reminisce and look back at all of our anniversary travels and share them with you!
Driving to South Carolina for our honeymoon was one of the most surreal feelings. It was a joyful, overflowing, and free feeling! I had never lived on my own before getting married, so I had multiple levels of adjustment to get used to in those early years. I was driving into a totally new way of life, and literally everything was exciting to me! I remember when we got to our hotel in Myrtle Beach, we ordered Chinese takeout delivery at 10 o’clock at night, and I was SO excited about it because, for some silly reason, it made me feel grown.
After a few days in Myrtle Beach, we drove down to Charleston, South Carolina. Neither of us had been there before, and it was just beautiful! We stayed at the John Rutledge House Inn, which was a fancy B&B in downtown Charleston. If you ever have the money to spend on a B&B, I’d highly recommend it! It was seriously so fun. They serve you breakfast every morning, plus tea time every afternoon, and it is just so quaint and adorable! We also went on a shopping spree on King Street where we splurged on some new shoes and clothes. Then, we went to a restaurant called High Cotton where we paid more money for a meal than we ever had. We really lived it up our first week of marriage!
We didn’t have nearly as much money the next year for our first anniversary! After debating whether we had enough money to take a trip at all, we finally were able to find a cabin in West Jefferson, North Carolina. There was a couple who lived up there who had built a cabin on their land specifically to bless people who work in Christian ministry. Since Brandon was the youth leader at our church at the time, they let us stay there for a long weekend very affordably! We even went to church with them on Sunday and lunch afterward. They were a such huge blessing to us that year! West Jefferson was a sleepy, relaxed little mountain town, and we were able to just slow down and mosey around the cabin, casually shop, go to the old-timey movie theater (where we watched Guardians of the Galaxy), and eat at the local restaurants.
Year two took us to the other side of North Carolina, to Buxton at the Outer Banks. This trip was a much needed break from our busy life! We stayed in a sandy motel just a short walk from the beach, and we found the most delicious breakfast place with the best apple uglies (which I had never even heard of such a thing before going there)! Sometimes we still talk about how we loved the food at the Orange Blossom Cafe! Another great restaurant we went to was Buxton Munch…loved the fish tacos! We also visited the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, but we were bummed we didn’t get to go to the top because there was a thunderstorm. Fun fact, it was on this trip that I first started trying to practice my photography skills with my grandma’s hand-me-down camera!
Our third anniversary was by far our most ambitious trip! I LOVE road trips, so I planned out a 10 day road trip that took us to San Antonio and back! It was one of the most fun things we’ve ever done! On the first few days of the trip, we were able to stop and visit both sets of Brandon’s grandparents in Georgia and Louisiana. Then, we drove to San Antonio where we spent most of our trip. Brandon was SO not excited about going to San Antonio, but I, on the other hand, was SUPER excited! We have very different ideas of fun, but I think he was pleasantly surprised.
San Antonio is a really cool town! A river runs through the city, so there is a gorgeous riverwalk with lots of restaurants and shopping with beautiful bridges that cross over the river every so often to connect the sidewalks. We even went on a river boat tour through San Antonio which was really beautiful. Of course, we had to go see the Alamo, which Brandon was surprised to find that it was, in fact, not in the middle of a hot, boring dessert but was actually right across the street from our hotel! We stayed in the historic Crockett Hotel (my parents also stayed there on their honeymoon in the 80’s, how cool is that?). Later on, while on a ghost tour of San Antonio, we learned that a housekeeper had fallen down the elevator shaft in our hotel many years ago and supposedly now haunted the elevators. We took the stairs from then on! Brandon and I have a tradition of going on a ghost tour wherever we go. It’s such a fun way to see the town you’re in and get the local history!
When it was time for us to leave San Antonio, we took a different route home. First, we stopped to visit my grandma and Brandon’s aunt on our way out of Texas. Then, we drove all the way to Memphis, Tennessee where Brandon’s grandparents from Louisiana met us and we stayed in the Heartbreak Hotel (woah Elvis was everywhere!). The next day, we all went to Graceland together and ate some famous Memphis barbecue! The last stop on our road trip before going home was Asheville, NC. We woke up the next morning, got some breakfast and coffee at Double D’s, which is a coffee shop inside an adorable, red, double decker bus, and drove home. We had such a blast on that trip, and I loved planning it!
Finally, last year, for our fourth anniversary, we took a short weekend and went to Greensboro, NC. Since we had used all of our vacation time to go on a mission trip to Peru, we were only able to stay for a couple of nights. We still had fun though! The O. Henry Hotel was SO beautiful and interesting. The staff knew it was our anniversary, so they had the most delicious truffles and a handwritten note waiting for us when we got there! We spent the weekend eating at different restaurants, swimming in the pool, and, of course, going on a ghost tour! It wasn’t as extensive as the year before, but we always make the most of all our trips!
Well, there you go. A short history of our anniversary adventures! I love quality time with Brandon so much, and these trips are my favorite part of the year! In a couple of weeks, we will be going to Wilmington, NC to celebrate our fifth anniversary! I’ll be sure to blog about it when we get back. Happy Anniversary, Brandon. I love you so much, and I love how exciting you make my life! Cheers, babe!