Tag Archives: hotel

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

5th Annual Samaritan’s Foot Gala: we had no shoes??

I’d never heard of the Samaritan’s Feet organization until a few months ago. This life changing organization LITERALLY help children by washing their feet and providing them with shoes. At the same time, these amazing people keep them believing that anything is possible. One step at a time. (If you’d like to check out the website, I’ll leave the link HERE.) EVERYONE was barefoot. The message was beautiful with a smudge of creativity. We checked in our shoes when we checked into the event.

everyone's shoes

SHOE CHECK-IN

“Samaritan’s Feet is a 501 (c)(3) organization that shares a message of hope and love through washing the feet of impoverished children around the world and adorning them with new shoes.”

This years 5th Annual Gala was held at the Le Méridien in Charlotte, North Carolina. A GORGEOUS LOCATION along with fine dining. Jacinta Jacobs and Fly Ty on Air were our emcees for the evening. Last but not least, the founders. Manny and Tracie. They started out in their garage, with faith. Determined to make a difference, both in his homeland and around the world, Manny and his wife, Tracie began Samaritan’s Feet in 2003. Through Samaritan’s Feet, Manny has the opportunity to continue the legacy of love and hope he received when he was given his first pair of shoes and make a difference in the lives of millions.

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Did you know there are 2.2 billion people living in poverty who can’t afford education and basic articles of clothing like shoes? Did you know over 1.5 billion people are infected with diseases that are transmitted through contaminated soil? Did you know shoes and socks are reported to be in the “Top 5 Items Needed” by students in school? We take advantage of the fact that we have so much more than the average child in foreign countries. Keep them in your prayers. Although this organization has made a difference in millions of lives, there are still so many without the privilege.

A volunteer went to Nigeria and told the story of a boy. A boy in a school with no school supplies. She was washing his feet and discovered a razor in his sock. When she asked his teacher why he had such a thing, she said it was his pencil sharpener. It’s the little things. While giving ice cream to children, she noticed they weren’t eating it. Since it was their first time eating ice cream, the kids were trying to save it for later. It’s the little things.

“The place to improve the world is first in one’s own head and heart and hands, and then work outward from there.” -Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values

If you’re interested in hope for mankind, check out this beautiful article HERE. xo

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

My Phone Was Stolen in Myrtle Beach!

 

It was spring break 2k16 at the Monatary Bay Suites. Palm trees gently brushed the crisp air. I traveled to Myrtle Beach with an iPhone 5 & came home empty handed.

On the last night my friends Janae, Qieana & I went walking down the boardwalk. There wasn’t a soul on the beach, everyone seemed to be caught up in all the hype. Horns were blaring as we squeezed through the crowds of spring breakers. To my left, four girls jumped out of their car at the red light and started dancing in the street at the beat of the crowd. We proceeded to make a turn into a cute little souvenir shop. Hoodies & t-shirts seemed to swallow us up.

As we trailed down the scattered aisles, we stopped at the messy counter. While my friends were talking to the store employee, I set my phone down & lost focus. As we head out the store, my mind was on the ice cream shop on the corner. Little did I know that as we were leaving, the thieves passed right by us. Five minutes later we raced back to the store to retrieve my phone. It was nowhere to be found. My friends frantically called an employee over. She frightenly said that the guys who came in at the same we left, took it while at the register. All frustration aside, we asked for a description. One had a red hoodie and the other had a black t-shirt. On spring break. In Myrtle Beach. Population: 27,109. After hours of searching, my friends were so supportive. They actually went up to these guys in a group who fit the description PERFECTLY and asked them to empty their pockets. Even though we couldn’t find anything, we only searched the two.

I suddenly remember that we arrived in an Uber! Janae quickly called our driver but sadly, it was nowhere to be found. To be honest, the worst part of the entire experience is having to loose all my memories. When we got back home, a few days later I got an iPhone 6 plus.

As I’m typing this, my phone is laying right beside my keyboard. I’ve still got all my contacts, my notes, and my Candy Crush progress. I lost all my photos/videos. The concerts, the shows, my friends. I felt like a huge part of my life was missing. Then I had a revelation. All my memories swirling around in my head, I usually type up. I don’t need videos. I don’t need a “timeline”. I have ME. I have my writing. I don’t need media to show you guys my experiences, when I can use my words to put you IN them. Yes, I may have lost one of the only good selfies I had. But in the end, I have all I need. Pizza Hut on speed dial. Til’ next time Myrtle Beach!

“Society taught us how to hate. Hate taught us violence. Violence taught us regret. Regret taught us pain. Pain taught us love. Love taught us how to laugh and laughter makes every moment far more beautiful then we could ever imagine.” -Robert M. Drake

Charleston Fashion Week: I sat across from Fern Mallis??

CHARLESTON FASHION WEEK WAS ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE. Huge thank you to the staff for providing our passes. On Saturday March 19th, I had the honor of covering this event with upcoming designer/close friend Makaila. You can check out her shop here and I’ll put her social media here. She’s also an upcoming photographer from Atlanta who kindly agreed to come along and photograph the event.

First of all, just being in Charleston was fascinating. Although it wasn’t my first trip, getting to explore on our own time was such a breathe of air. The palm trees gently brushed against a nearby Urban Outfitters, while the smell of food intoxicated the air. For those who don’t know, most of the movie The Notebook was actually filmed on King Street in Charleston. Plus, even though the fashion show was in Marion Square, we were walking distance from Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Passing the church where so many innocent people were killed was eery, but inspiring. Just another addition to a life changing night.

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The Youngest Models of the Night

 

On arrival of the event, we headed to the media section to pick up our press passes. I was literally shaking with excitement. Fern Mallis was the lead judge of the show, who traveled all the way from New York. As Creator of New York Fashion week, she leads fashion shows worldwide including Miami, Los Angeles, and Moscow. Fern was a host of 92Y Fashion Icon series with guest such as Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, and Dian von Furstenberg. She appeared on Project Runway, America’s Next Top Model, She’s Got the Look, and The Fashion Show. I actually read an article before the show from September. Fern was offered a front row seat at Kanye’s Yeezy Season 2 collection but Kanye was a little upset that she didn’t show up. You can read the article here.

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Makaila (right) and I

The lavishly furnished tents reeked of preparation for what lie ahead. Security guards and policeman surrounded the tents. There wasn’t a model in sight, just eager guests waiting to see what the designers had in store. (You can watch my video of the BELK tent here.) I arrived to my seat early. Sparking VOSS waters comfortably sat on each chair. The seats on my row were all labeled media. I was seated on the second row mid stage.

During the show countdown, I noticed a lot of commotion on the other side of the runway. It turned out, all the designers and special guests were right across from me. Including Andrea Serrano. She arrived in a stunning red dress, gracefully greeting the guests around her. Andrea wasn’t only a weekly judge, she’s a popular fashion blogger in the Charleston area. Not only did she do the costume shopping for Army Wives, she also worked with national brands such as Refinery 29, Williams Sonoma, Macy’s, QVC, Maybelline, Sony Records, and more. You can check out her blog here.

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Fern Mallis (middle) acting as Lead Judge

I was fortunate enough to acquire press passes to the Emerging Designer Competition. (You can watch my videos of the other lines hereherehere, and here.) Everyone’s lines were so unique but the one that really stood out to me, and apparently the judges as well, was Destani Hoffman’s line. She expressed her emotions in her pieces which were dark, leaving everyone hopelessly mesmerized. As the winner, she received $10,000 as well as an internship. You can see the clip of her line I got here.

After the show we skipped the after party and headed back to the hotel. Some locals informed us that even at such a late hour, most of the restaurants on King Street were still open. So we headed into a taco shop. Thankfully they had a vegetarian menu. On our way back to our car, I noticed there was a women behind us trying to get through. I moved to the side and she noticed my swag bag from the fashion show. “Were you guys at the show?” she asked. We explained that we were press and she introduced herself as ONE OF THE JUDGES. There we were. Walking down King Street with Karen Lee Grybowski. She served as the director of scouting for Wilhelmina, Pauline, and Elite Model Management, as well as traveled the globe looking for new faces. In 2009 she started the Karen Lee Group, a scouting firm that places models with amor agencies around the world. (You can check out her website here.)

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Andrea Serrano (left) and Karen Lee Grybowski (right)

As we walked down the dimly lit street, I jokingly asked her if Makaila and I had any chances at becoming models. She stopped in her tracks and immediately studied us. Although Makaila didn’t reach the height limit, she said that I had an interesting look but I needed to get in shape. She proceeded to give me her phone number and encouraged me to shoot her an email. I was dumbfounded.

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The BELK Tent

As we made our way to the car, tacos in one hand and swag bags in the other, we both silently knew that what we experienced that night was so rare. Everyone on that runway was stunning and I’ll never forget how fortunate I was to be in attendance.

“Clothes mean nothing until someone lives in them.” -Marc Jacobs