Tag Archives: exploration

Exploration Post: Abbeville, SC

I’ll be honest. I didn’t expect to come back from Abbeville as inspired as I am. I couldn’t wait to get back home and start on this article. This town may be small, but the memories I brought back were anything but mini. I’ve never brought my mom on one of my explorations before, so I brought her + we met up w/ my friend Janae who just happens to be a local 🙂

It’s rare to go someplace you’ve never been and feel more at home than ever. Everywhere I ventured came with new experiences. HUGE thank you to Renee Smith of the Belmont Inn. I’d also like to thank William Savitz of the Village Grill along with his wife Molly. The Belmont provided us with a complementary stay for my article + the Village Grill gave us a complementary meal. They also did everything they could to give us the best experience possible <3

The history of the Belmont Inn screams from every nook and cranny. I was exploring + I found a large scrapbook. It held pictures of the Belmont Inn’s grand opening in NINETEEN EIGHTY FOUR. Why is this hidden gem the perfect place? Because instead of wiping away all the history, the owners kept it updated. You’ll find antiques all over the inn. From typewriters to a gorgeous sleek black piano casually piecing the space together. It’s the cleanest + classiest place. Renee + everyone along with her made sure our stay was exceptional.

“Currently, the Inn has 25 remodeled rooms. Enjoy the dining room, serving freshly prepared food in a casual elegant atmosphere; and the “Tinker’s Alley,” serving a bar menu and libations, now open for business. The Inn also has ample meeting space for corporate retreats, meetings, and seminars, as well as wedding receptions, class, and family reunions. The Belmont Inn offers a perfect getaway for your corporate clients and family with comfortable rooms, meeting space, and exceptional food. Our room was stunning. Drapes swept over the blue walls, christened by the sun. The furniture was perfectly placed from the brown oak desk to the couches by the window. Our view was like no other, staring right out into the square.”

the belmont inn scrapbook

For dinner, we headed out to the Village Grill (110 Trinity Street Abbeville, SC 29620) I discovered this place during my Abbeville research. They’re most popular for their homemade food + incredible service. It was Friday night + packed. Even so, the wait was only 10-15 minutes! We were led into a lovely waiting room covered in love seats. The couple across from us told us all the desserts were to DIE for. They also advised us to check out the specials! As a vegetarian, I was excited to see what options would be available.

A few minutes before our names were called, one of the workers came in to take the trash to the back. As the couple was describing the desserts the lady exasperatingly fell to the ground, expressing how amazing the food was. Y’all it was HILARIOUS + she was so sweet. We later found out she was the owner’s wife Molly!

First we all ordered a house salad. It came with iceberg + leaf lettuce topped with grated Monterey Jack cheese, diced tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, chopped eggs, bacon and almond slivers. My mom also ordered a Ruben sandwich. It was a thin sliced spiced beef brisket topped with swiss cheese and sauerkraut, with spicy mustard and mayo. Served on grilled rye. Janae ordered the Blackened Chicken Fettuccine. The fettuccine was tossed in a rich parmesan cream sauce with cajun spiced chicken, baby spinach and mushrooms. All together I had the salad + an order of their SUPER CRISPY FRIES they were so good. BTW I know some of you guys are vegetarians like me, I asked for no bacon on my salad + it was no problem 🙂

I actually got to sit with Molly for a few minutes! She makes the desserts with REAL marshmallows + graham crackers. Also, I thought it was neat that she never buys cookies, like most restaurants do. When asking what I should order, she said “Each pallet is different, so go with your craving.” Point is, you can’t go wrong 😉

janae <3

For dessert my mom got the cheesecake with raspberry sauce + I ordered the turtle cheesecake. The pecans + caramel/chocolate on the top of my cheesecake made the whole cake extra delicious! *insert heart eyes* lol. I can HONESTLY say it was the best cheesecake I’ve ever had.

Saturday was just as exceptional. Breakfast was SO good. It’s continental + they have all your favorites from oatmeal to fresh orange juice. Literally everything is fresh + the coffee is home brewed. Most of the items are in the breakfast room 24/7, which totally helped my midnight cravings haha! During breakfast I ran into a lady named Beck. I remember her so well because I recall her being incredibly sweet. I believe she said she was the inn’s event planner. Also, I thought it was neat that she was a teacher for over THIRTY years. Every employee in that hotel is so down to earth + truly care about their town + it’s history.

After breakfast I decided to do some thrift shopping. There’s a Goodwill only 20 minutes from the Belmont Inn. On my way out, Renee told me there was live music in the square that night at this place called Natty’s on Trinity! It’s right across from the Village Grill.

I heard the music AS SOON as I pulled onto the street. It was love at first sight. As soon as I walked into Natty’s everything hit me at once. Words nor pictures can do Natty’s justice. I was consumed with positive vibes as creativity poured out of every being around me. Fortunately, we got there just in time for the band to start. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard real music that strong. They bled their hearts out on the stage + I felt every emotion + every pluck. To my left, there was a table covered in food + art supplies. A notebook left open, displayed these INCREDIBLE drawings. I wanted to take a picture but I refrained out of respect for the artist.

In the back of the building there was a table set for chess, which I shamelessly destroyed my mom in. Across from that table there were a set of stairs that led to a loft. You could see the entire restaurant from up there. In the corner was a stand with every record you’ve ever wanted. Like I said, as much as I try words can’t do it justice. Lucky for you guys, I took pictures 😉 Natty’s also has open mic, trivia, karaoke, and more! If you’d like more details on events happening, feel free to call at (864) 366-6288.

Overall, I had an amazing trip. As usual thank you guys for reading + supporting 🙂 see you on my next adventure. xo, mikayla

“When you’re traveling, you are what you are, right there and then. People don’t have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road.”
— William Least Heat-Moon

5 Ways to Be Blissfully Happy

I feel like I’ve been the worst mood lately. You know it’s bad when you constantly wake up aggravated, haha. I put together a list of stuff I’ve been doing to get myself back on track. Kind of a self-help thing. Hopefully it helps you guys as much as it helps me!


  1. Start doing new things. It seems pretty basic but I’ve found so much relief in exploration. Whether it’s trying a new recipe or discovering a cute little coffee shop. GET OUT OF YOUR EVERYDAY ROUTINE. “The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” -Anna Quindlen
  2. Take care of yourself. Buy a new face mask. Get your nails done. As odd as it may sound, it’s so easy to forget the little things. Which brings me to number three-
  3. Appreciate the little things. Whether it’s food, movies (no matter how sappy), animals, or even those favorite pair of fuzzy socks! “Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you are supposed to.” -Susan Cain, Quiet
  4. Forgive. As much as I hate to admit, I have the hardest time showing forgiveness. Until, I realized that if I keep carrying that burden with me, I’m never going to be able to accomplish my goals. It SUCKS, but showing a forgiving spirit in all things totally helps. People are horrible, but it doesn’t mean you have to sink to their level. Before you know it you’ll end up being the one gasping for air. “When you forgive, you heal. When you let go, you grow.”
    MUSIC MUSIC MUSIC. You’d be surprised how much your fav album picks up your mood on a gloomy day. If you want my advice: curl up with a good book or that essay you haven’t finished. It’s the little things 🙂 “You only hear the music, When your heart begins to break.” -My Chemical Romance
  5. The best for last: FRIENDS! I don’t know what I would do in a world without my closest pals. Having incredible people in your life means everything. Especially when you feel like you have nothing.

Thanks for reading guys! see you soon, xo <3 enjoy the poetry except below.

“I think I must’ve been
a traveller of some sort in
some past life I cannot recall.
Because my blood boils and
and my mind drifts,
I yearn to leave this place,
and every place I’ve ever been.I cannot stay.
My soul does not let me.
That can be the only reason as to
why I feel so trapped in your arms,
or caged by this city, stuck in this
maze of people and buildings that
are getting too old.”

I’m going on tour?? // how to be truly happy :-)

One city after the next, hotel to hotel, getting to meet your fans all over America. The Jam Tour (also known as the Social Jam Tour) seemed like everything I wanted. It actually WAS everything I wanted. Especially getting to meet you guys. I’ve had the privilege of meeting some of you randomly in North Carolina, Georgia, and South Carolina. As much as I wanna travel to every city and every state FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE, I can’t. I was emailing back and forth with the tour manager, Ann, who’s the sweetest woman. This opportunity was everything I’d dreamed of. The Jam Tour has featured stars such as: Taylor Caniff who now has his OWN tour, Sammy Wilk who now spends his weekends with the Kardashians, and LohAnthony who starred on Jimmy Kimmel. The tour was created for young people who got their start on social media whether they’re singing, dancing, or maybe it’s just their presence. Starting in October they’re hitting Florida, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Chicago, Nashville the list keeps going.

As Ann asked me what cities I was interested in, my mind wandered to what I was ACTUALLY interested in. There’s so many goals I have, like teaching people about the bible. Traveling with my friends and my family. Getting to truly know myself. You get what you put into, so if I knew I wasn’t gonna put 100% into this tour then it wouldn’t be fair to myself to invest in it. As a new graduate I need to take time to expose & explore the world around me right now. It still sucks to see my friends I met online go on tour & getting to do all this cool stuff. Honestly, it was an honor to even be considered. But for future notice, if any of you guys ever wanna check it out I’ll put the link here.

I kinda just wanted to share my real life example for anyone who may be going through the same thing. Even though I don’t plan on spending my entire life in the same place, I know that the time will come but now’s just not that time. There’s gonna be so many things trying to distract you from what you want to do. ONLY YOU KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO DO IN LIFE. All this awesome stuff is gonna happen but if it’s doesn’t go along with what you see in your life & your future, you can’t go along with it. You were blessed with the opportunity to do what ever you put your mind to. I needed someone to tell me that, so hopefully I can be that person for someone else. You are amazing & you are truly one of a kind. It sucks doing life, but it sucks a little less to have things & people in your life that make you genuinely happy.

“YOU ARE NOT STUCK.” -unknown