In early October, I went down to Charleston, SC with my boyfriend.  It’s our third time going down there together, but I have been going down there for years.  This particular time was the first time my Mom had visited Charleston and the first time on a LONG time my Dad had been there.  I first went down to Charleston based on a friend’s recommendation, telling me it’s one of the most beautiful places and I will fall in love.  I was slightly skeptical, but they were right.  The first afternoon and evening I was there, I fell in love.  The smell of jasmine was everywhere, the houses, the gardens, the old glorious trees and the sound of fountains and frogs.  BAM, it was magical and I was under it’s spell.

After that first trip, I realized that my Granddad had been going down to Charleston for decades!  I always knew that he had been going down south to go to the Yorktown reunions, but I had no idea that the

USS Yorktown

had made it’s final resting place in the Cooper River.  So, once I knew that, I used that as a good excuse to go back down to Charleston at least once a year to go to the reunions with my Granddad.  The USS Yorktown is the ship that he was on in WWII, so it has a very special, deep meaning for him.  Today, my Granddad is 93 years old and lives in Charleston the majority of the year and volunteers on the Yorktown almost everyday.  People LOVE him!  They love his knowledge of the ship, his tours, his stories, his jokes (he’s full of jokes!) and the fact that he’s 93 and can get around that ship better than most people.  He is AWESOME!

The reunion weekend this year was a little different.  I was really looking forward to taking a lot of beautiful  pictures with my film camera and showing my parents the beautiful town.  Unfortunately, good old Hurricane Joaquin  decided to come through and really made a mess.  The reunion was cancelled along with pretty much everything that was planned for that weekend.  Museums were closed, stores were closed, tours were not running and restaurants….sooo many restaurants were not open.  It was kind of a struggle for all of us to find someplace to eat.  Luckily, the restaurant at the Renaissance Hotel was serving a limited menu of their bar food, which was very yummy.  They were so understaffed that people working in the hotel tried to help out the restaurant staff.  

Anyhoo, it was an adventure.  It was also an adventure trying to get back to our place.  We were staying downtown and there were so many streets that were flooded and roads that we dare not go down because our car was so low to the ground.  I basically said, “Screw it!”, and we put on our hazards and carefully drove down one-way streets.  Not many cars were out driving at that point anyways.  It was a little nerve-racking for a while there.  But, our car didn’t stall and get stranded and we made it back.  Charleston got hit, but other places in South Carolina got hit even harder.  Hurricanes and forces of nature are no joke and can be a scary and devastating event. :(

I felt really bad for my parents.  They really missed out on a lot of beauty and to top it off, they both got sick right at the end of the trip:(  I’m hoping my Mom will at least go back down soon to go to all the places she missed.

Putting the negative to the side, one place that was open was the

Firefly distillery

.  That was a good place to go sample some flavored spirits!  Too strong for me though.  I had more interest in the goat that was on the top of a spiral staircase outside.  And, although

Angel Oak

was closed, we were able to stop there and take some photos in the rain and through the fence.  I’ve had a magnet of a photo of Angel Oak on my fridge for years, so it was really cool to see it in person.

Also, I was able to meet a girl that I follow on Instagram,

Catherine Ann Photography

.  Catherine is a wedding photographer in Charleston and I’m not sure how I found her on social media, but I loved her work.  So, it was awesome to meet in person!  She’s talented, adorable, intelligent and was so helpful when discussing photography.  I look forward to spending more time with her and going around to photograph in nicer weather!  And, it’s always a pleasure seeing my friend


.  Also, another talented artist that specializes in painting and I’m a big fan of her work!

Well, I think that’s enough out of me.  I could go on forever, but I won’t and will post some of the pictures I was able to take while down there.  Until next time Charleston! 


I was just looking at my

Dog Park Publishing

Pitbull calendar and saw "Fall Begins" on September 23rd (along with Yom Kippur) and I couldn’t help but think about how time just flies by pretty darn quickly.

This Summer has been quite eventful and I've shared some great times with my family and friends. BBQs, fairs, long days, a massive lack of rain, camping and hiking are just a few of the things that come to mind when thinking about the last few months.

Although, I wasn't able to make it to one of my usual summer events, the local 4-H Fair, I did attend another event that brought a smile to my face -

The Annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning

. I remember trying to wake up at 5AM so I could avoid the bottleneck of cars that were sure to be stuffing the entrance. But, I couldn’t  get myself up until 6am :)

Luckily, I was still able to arrive right when they started setting the balloons off into the sky. The Star Wars song, Imperial March (by John Williams {yes, I'm kinda a nerd}) was blasting as I walked in because they had just let the Darth Vader balloon drift into the air. I have to say, the song gave me those fun, tingly feelings and I got really excited!

Even though the Summer has pretty much come to a close, I am looking forward to the cooler, crisper days of Fall. An extra layer here, a light jacket there, and a scarf for fun! So for this journal entry, I thought I'd share a few of the shots I took (35mm & medium format film) while the balloons at the festival were just taking off into the early morning light.