Tag Archives: sc

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

my uncle: wide receiver for the NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS.

In honor of the Super Bowl today, I thought I’d do a little bragging 😉 My family are the most important people in my life. Ever since I was a little girl, with my purple Tamagotchi hanging from my backpack, they’ve always encouraged me to be the BEST I can be. It’s been stressed that I can do ANYTHING I put my mind to as long as I put God first. So, the way I see it is I owe them everything + I wanted to do a special article for my uncle: STANLEY MORGAN.

He lives in Tennessee but he & my aunt come to visit as much as they can. I can remember Stanley coming to see my grandma, hands full of football cards. He’d save the best ones for my brother, inked with his signature. School & grades were always  the base of our conversations. I always admired the way he’d focus on us, especially with all the amazing things he’s experienced. Although right now he’s too sick to travel long distances, he stays in touch with us as much as possible.

My dad would tell us stories of how he would watch all the games and meet all the coaches. They’d let him run out with the team & how he got to meet some of the greats. My dad ended up playing football in high school, his entire family fell in love with the sport.

NFL.com notes him as one of the most underrated players of all-time.

“For a long time Morgan was one of the most feared deep threats in football, averaging 19.4 yards per catch for his career. Slot guys today don’t record single catches of 19 yards let alone average that much. His numbers compare favorably with Pro Football Hall of Famers Lynn Swann and John Stallworth. But because he wasn’t flying around in January like those two, he’s not in Canton where he should be.”

Although he played from 1997-1989, he’s still remembered today as one of the best players of all time. Therefore, in 2007 he was inducted into the Patriots Hall Of Fame.

“He hauled in 534 career reception, a franchise record that stood for 17 years. He remains the franchise record holder with 10,352 receiving yards and 67 touchdowns. His career average of 19.2 yards per catch still stands as an NFL record for those with more than 500 career receptions. Morgan also holds the single season receiving record for touchdowns (12 in 1979) and yards (1,491 in 1986). A four-time Pro Bowl honoree, he also was a fine punt returner, ranking among the career leaders in Patriots history. In 2007, Morgan was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame.”

Even today, Patriot fans are OUTRAGED that Stanley isn’t in the NFL Hall of Fame. The reason he isn’t is because he was humble. He didn’t put focus on getting famous and putting his brand out there. Stanley put everything into the game and his team. As of today, Patriot fans everywhere are fighting to get him admitted. With his talent compared to his stats, the best things are worth waiting for.

thanks for reading guys, next blog post will be an exploration post so stay tuned!! also, make sure to follow me on instagram for faster blog updates @_mikaylahunt_ <3

xo, mikayla

Pentatonix & Us the Duo: live at Bon Secours!

I STILL can’t believe so many people showed up for an a cappella concert. Before we get to that, let’s talk about Us the Duo. Micheal & Carissa Alvarado. All they had was a piano & a mic but they were breathtaking. They truly tried to express themselves through their music. Carissa even sat on the corner of the stage and LITERALLY sang to the crowd. I can’t think of anyone better to open for Pentatonix.

img_4397

Before I knew it, Pentatonix were rising from the bottom of the stage. Screaming came from every which direction as they bounced onto the platform one after the other. Avi Kaplan, Scott Hoying, Kirstin Maldonado, Kevin Olusola, and Mitch Grassi. What left me awestruck was the fact that each voice seemed complimented all the others. According to some nearby fans, Mitch is the fashionista of the group so he’s definitely my next “style steal” victim 😉

fullsizerender-3

WHEN HALLELUJAH CAME ON THE VIBE OF THE ENTIRE VENUE SHIFTED. Phone flashlights lit the arena as Pentatonix honored Leonard Cohen in song.

img_4418

I’ll leave the setlist and a bunch of other cool pics below! Of course, I happen to leave my camera at home so everything are compliments of Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus.

Vlogging: starting my new youtube channel <3

I’m SO EXCITED to start this new adventure with you guys!! I’ve already finished editing my first video which I’ll upload soon. I had the GREATEST time filming it with my friends. Make sure to subscribe! You can click here to be directed straight to it. Thanks so much! (enjoy this quote by oscar wilde) 🙂

“With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?”

OFA’S 2nd Annual Spotlight Gala: walking the red carpet + speaking out on human trafficking

When I found out about OFA, I was ECSTATIC. OFA stands for Operation Freedom Awareness. It’s a non profit organization dedicated to raising awareness in local communities and ultimately preventing Human Trafficking, beginning inside the United States. The long term goal of OFA is implementing prevention, and later introducing and operating a rescue and rehabilitation shelter. Mallory Charette is the official founder. She currently works in the Marketing & Public Relations Department for a prominent restaurant group in Downtown Greenville, South Carolina. Her determination has made such a huge difference for victims everywhere.

The Spotlight Gala shed a light on the progress & success this dedicated organization has made. As we arrived, a sparkling red carpet led the way into a club no other than the Poinsett Club. A glamorous spot for most charity events in the Greenville, SC area. Vintage patterned wallpapers & gorgeous tan drapes made the perfect vibes for an event so powerful. The guest speaker’s name was Tajuan McCarty. She was trafficked all the way to Greenville. She started selling drugs at a young age to make her quota every night. She began to depend on her pimp. Soon, she started drugs herself. Hard drugs. She eventually developed Stockholm Syndrome. It’s where you defend your abuser because you’ve come to depend on them so profusely.

OFA has saved 115 children from sex trafficking. 15 just in the upstate. There have been 10 pimps arrested & 11 victims helped. Currently, there are 10 cases being investigated. If there was anything I absorbed that night, it was that human trafficking is happening EVERYWHERE. All over the United States. The hotspots are carnivals, fairs, truck stops, and sites such as Craigslist.

Greenville, SC is in between the #1 hub for sex trafficking in the U.S. (Atlanta, GA) and another city in the top 20 (Charlotte, NC).

For more information about this hard working organization, I’ll leave the link HERE. In the mean time, scroll down for a picture of a pretty cool ceiling I saw at the gala 🙂 THANKS FOR READING LOVESSS. (Huge thank you to OFA for giving me the privilege to cover the event & another to Janae Hunter for makeup and hair.)

“There is no time to be bored in a world as beautiful as this.”

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

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.

IMG_8690

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.

Danjoint Photography_19_3

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.

9X0H1788_0

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 here, here, here, 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.)

9X0H1539

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.

IMG_8643

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