Secret Proposal, Northern New Jersey

Mark reached out to me to document his secret proposal to his girlfriend, Michele. They were flying in for a long weekend to attend their friend’s wedding. Little did Michele know, Mark and I had secretly devised a plan of how he was going to surprise her with a proposal on the dock of Lake Mohawk in Sparta, NJ.

It was a warm day, mostly cloudy, with the sun peaking in and out. There were a few people that were walking around or getting in their boats to take off onto the lake. I was ready for action as I hid behind a big rock and waited for the two of them to arrive.

Once Mark & Michele were in place and I knew that they were looking away from where I was concealed, I started to photograph. Mark said a few words to Michele, then he got down on his knee, holding the ring, and asked her to marry him.

She immediately said yes and was completely blown away with what had just happened! When Mark pointed out where I was, Michele started laughing and I ventured out to give them a big hug. Michele was still shaking! She was in complete shock and totally overjoyed! I was so happy for them I had some misty eyes as well.

After Michele was able to calm down and catch her breath, she was ecstatic that we were going to go right into a photoshoot. We stayed close to the lake, as that location is where Mark grew up and it has special meaning to both of them. Michele was even wearing a necklace with Lake Mohawk inscribed on it.

It was so much fun photographing them! They had a blast in front of the camera, and being silly with each other helped show off the chemistry and connection that these two share.

I loved my time with Mark & Michele and I could have photographed them all day! They’re just so cute. After we said our farewells, I knew that they had exciting news to share with their families at dinner. I’m sure it was an amazing night and that the rest of their weekend spreading the news was an added bonus.

I’m so happy for Mark & Michele and I’m sending them big hugs and more congratulations! Cheers you two!

 
 

Interested in documenting a proposal?

 

New York City, East Village, Engagment Session

These two love birds had an early-morning sunrise engagement session in the East Village in New York City. Dave proposed to Kelly this past December in the most romantic way, a nighttime stroll on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, with candles as a backdrop, Dave – the dashing man that he is – got down on one knee to ask for her hand in marriage. I love it!

We started by Astor Place, stopping along the way as we walked towards Stuyvesant street. Hopping in a cab, we went to another picturesque location with lots of graffiti right alongside a pathway of trees and shrubs nestled next to the bustling NYC streets. It was really beautiful there with them as my subjects. I’m so glad I got to explore this NYC neighborhood and find new places with these two!

Kelly and Dave are best friends, have so much fun together, and they love to be silly. I laughed so much with them. Besides being funny, Dave and Kelly are absolutely adorable and very romantic souls. They’re so in love and bring out the best qualities in each other.

Dave always looked out for Kelly as we walked around. It was obvious to me that he cherishes her. Kelly never wanted to let go of Dave and always smiled whenever she looked at him. They just gushed love and adoration.

I’m so thrilled for this couple! They’re going to make an amazing team and go on fun travels together, both to places near and far, and just through the journey of life. I am wishing them a fun rest of their engagement and an amazing wedding and marriage! Congratulations you two and big, big hugs!!

 
 

Want to capture sweet moments in NYC?!

New Jersey Outdoor Wedding | Monmouth University Wilson Hall

This beautiful outdoor wedding in New Jersey felt like the perfect way to start the Summer! It was the first day of June and the weather was gorgeous.

Ashley & Thomas contacted me just under a year before their wedding date, so I’ve gotten to know this couple during that time, and I consider them friends. I couldn’t be happier for them! They are so much fun and know how to kick back, have a good time, and thoroughly enjoy the company of whomever they are spending time with. When we did their engagement session in Sandy Hook, we hung out afterwards at a local spot off the bay and had some drinks. Tons of fun! You can see that session HERE.

Armed with my knowledge of how lovable this couple is, I found it quite fitting that Ashley & Thomas were surrounded by tons of friends & family, as well as a large bridal party of awesome friends. I loved the time in the early part of the day when Ashley was getting ready. All of her friends adore her and were fighting back tears as Ashley shed some of her own while reading Thomas’s letter to her. I admit, I shed some tears too – it was so touching! And, they gushed over her when first seeing her in her dress, just the best group of girlfriends!

Our first look and bridal party photos were taken at Monmouth University Wilson Hall, which was a beautiful backdrop! I wish we had all day there. After our early-in-the-day fun, we headed to the venue and photographed their families and ceremony. Ashley & Thomas each had a glass filled with sand (Ashley’s sand from Long Branch beach, & Thomas’s from his golf course, Emanon) and they poured the sand together as a representation of their union. Once they spoke their vows and sealed their marriage with a kiss, it was time to party! Their band, Mission Dance, was so energetic and no one could resist going out on the dance floor.

Ashley &Thomas had a tower filled with cupcakes, topped with a single layer cake, which they cut together and enjoyed feeding to each other. Ashley couldn’t resist taking a few extra bites to enjoy the tasty confection :). At the very end, they pulled me aside and told me how happy they were to have me there and thanked me. I was so touched and moved, I had to hold back some tears, again! It seriously made my day. I felt so special!

Thank you Ashley & Thomas for the honor of being your wedding photographer. I’m so, so happy for you both and can’t wait to see you again soon! Big, big hugs, and cheers to you!


Interested In Working Together For Your Upcoming Wedding?

First Look & Bridal Party Photos: Monmouth University, Wilson Hall
Ceremony & Reception: Branches Catering
Florist: Marquis Floral by Kim
Cake Artist: Chocolate Carousel
Makeup Artist: Vanity and Mascara
Hair Artist: Belleza Salon
Bride’s Dress: Seng Couture, Stella York
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids
Men’s Suits: Mens Wearhouse
Videography: Blue Moon Productions
Band: Mission Dance
Photographer: Rachel Watkinson Photography

 

W Hotel, Hoboken NJ | Intimate Wedding | Kimberley & Tom

It was at the W Hotel in Hoboken, New Jersey that Kimberley & Tom shared their intimate wedding ceremony with family and friends, as well as their fur-babies, Gamma & Waffles :).

Kimberly and Tom have their own businesses, running a nonprofit organization WE of Hudson County, and The Cuddly Cottage which involves caring for the doggies of Hoboken and beyond! Their love and passion for their dogs––Gamma and Waffles––is clear, so it’s obvious why they made sure to include them as part of their big day. Gamma wore the cutest little tutu dress, and Waffles looked sharp in his tiny tuxedo. I think everyone was dying of cuteness overload!

Kimberley and Tom took care of everything for their wedding day by themselves, and really succeeded in making it creative and special for their guests. They had a Photo Booth station, a guest sign-in book, Polaroid cameras, disposable cameras on the tables, a lovely brunch buffet, delicious oysters, and mimosas and bloody Mary’s that were free flowing. It was a fun atmosphere!

I can tell that Kimberley is an artist at heart and chose to do things that spoke to her. Her red dress was the statement piece and her crown and veil were unique. All of the vendors that they used were local, speaking to this couples love and appreciation for local artists. While exchanging their vows, they used inspiration from the HBO series, Game Of Thrones, and spoke the words as they put rings on each other’s fingers - “I am yours and you are mine, from this day until the end of my days”. That was a fun moment!

Once the sun came out, we went out on the path next to the Hudson River and captured some beautiful shots of the new Mr. & Mrs. Coming back to Lulu’s, at the W Hotel, there was dancing, fun activities, and lots of pictures & Polaroids taken against the photo backdrop. I was so sad to say goodbye to that wonderful day with this amazing couple, as it was filled with positive vibes, caring people, and fun energy. However, I know it won’t be the last time I see them:).

Congratulations Kimberley & Tom! Please give Gamma & Waffles a treat for me, and I can’t wait to see you again and have fun talks over coffee!


I love photographing intimate weddings, let’s work together!

Ceremony & Reception Venue: W Hotel, Lulu’s
Florist: about-designs
Hair & Make-Up Artist: Marisa Dreesen
Lashes: Amazing Lash Studio, Hoboken
Bridal Gown Alterations & Crown: Adrienn Braun
Veil: Adrianna Gonzales
Photographer: Rachel Watkinson Photography

 

New York City, The High Line, Engagement Session

I was super excited to photograph Brendan & Megan’s engagement session at New York City’s iconic High Line Park! I had the privilege of capturing their secret proposal last Labor Day weekend (which you can see HERE) and I was simply bubbling over with joy in anticipation of documenting their wedding day this August!

I highly recommend planning engagement photo sessions very early in the morning to avoid the heavy crowds. But, if you decide on an evening session, we can still use a few tricks to find good, unsaturated spots :).

In this case, Megan & Brendan chose a session near dawn, being the early birds that they are. We photographed our early morning engagement session on the High Line, starting on the cobblestone streets just below it. We loved exploring the different sections with their variety of trees and plant life, benches, and sitting areas that overlook the city streets.

We ended our session at the northern part of the High Line, at Hudson yards. It was so cool to see the new honeycomb spiral staircase landmark standing as the centerpiece of the area.

This couple is so fun to be around, always smiling and giggling, and up for anything fun and adventurous! I had so much fun laughing and joking with them. I simply adored the tender moments that they shared and allowed me to capture through my lens.

I love it when couples can just enjoy the quiet moments with each other!

 

Would you love to explore NYC with your sweetie and take some portraits?!

Intimate Wedding Ceremony in the Mountains of Northern New Jersey

Erika and Eric eloped in the beautiful mountains of northern New Jersey at The Mohawk House in Sparta. They had an intimate ceremony inside the lodge followed by a walk outside to take portraits. Their ceremony took place in mid-March and we were lucky that there was still snow on the ground because I think it made for a beautiful backdrop. Erika and Eric are so sweet and I was really excited to be a part of their secret wedding ceremony and I truly felt very honored to document it for them. Eric was in awe of his bride, as she looked stunning, and it was so touching how he helped her with her dress, opened all doors for her, and did his best at every turn to make sure she was having an amazing time.

They wanted to share a special first dance to the song, “Earth Angel.” They also emphasized the importance of photographing the first slicing and tasting of their cake. I must say, that cake – made by Vaccaro's Bakery – was incredibly delicious.

From the first time I chatted with Erika, I could sense she was a very sweet soul and I really loved talking to her. Eric and Erika's love of their fur-baby kitties made me so happy, especially because one of their cats reminded me of my very first cat :). They decided not to bring them to the ceremony, but honored them with little cat cut-outs that were put on top of the cake. Yay!

Capturing elopements is such a lovely privilege because, by the end, I feel such a connection with everyone involved and I’m overjoyed for the couple and their family and friends! The fact that I was able to witness and document these kind-hearted, wonderful people getting married makes me feel really special.

Erika and Eric, thank you so much for choosing me as your photographer. I’m incredibly happy for you guys and wish you the very best on your new adventures together as husband and wife!


Are you interested in eloping or having an intimate wedding ceremony? Let’s talk!

Ceremony and Reception Venue: Mohawk House
Cake Artist: Vaccaros Bakery
Officiant: Pure Bliss Ministries

 

Farmhouse Garden Outdoor Wedding | Kelsey & Bill

It was a beautiful and warm afternoon for Kelsey & Bill's wedding day in the backyard gardens of The Sage Farmhouse. The soon-to-be-newlyweds were very relaxed, but at the same time, so excited to get married!

Kelsey had her bridesmaids on hand to help her get ready, and her Mom to help specifically with her wedding dress. I loved that Kelsey decided to wear Tieks for her wedding day shoes. She preferred their comfort and knew that donning a pair of golden flats was the right choice for her.

When I took Bill outside to get him ready to see his bride, he was so happy and couldn't stop smiling and laughing. When Bill finally got to see Kelsey for the first time that day, he managed a little twirl so that she could check him out, too – it was really cute!

They had an intimate ceremony and were excited to spend the rest of the night hanging out with their friends and dancing. Kelsey was super excited to do a bubble exit, and I have to admit, I also love bubbles! Of course, it was awesome to photograph them under a cloud of bubbles. All the kids loved it too! We had so many people there to help create the magical world of bubbles that surrounded the bride and groom.

Their wedding cake was also really important, because not only was it fabulously delicious, but it was a wedding cake in the shape of a lighthouse! Bill had proposed to Kelsey at the Barnegat Lighthouse in New Jersey, so they thought it would be really fun to incorporate that into their wedding.

Kelsey and Bill were just the sweetest people and were so laid back the entire day. Nothing would stand in their way of having a great time! I'm so happy I was able to get to know these two and to help them document their wedding day with their closest friends and incredibly sweet families.

Congratulations Kelsey & Bill!


Interested in my wedding photography services?

 

Ceremony and Reception Venue: The Sage Farmhouse
Florist: Kenny's Flower Shoppe
Cake Artist: Creative Confections
DJ/MC: Chris Marx Events
Bride’s Dress: Modcloth
Bride’s Shoes: Tieks
Hair and Makeup: Chrome Salon
Second Photographer: Jes Terkowski

Sandy Hook, NJ | Engagement Session | Ashley & Thomas

Right after the Labor Day holiday weekend, I met with Ashley and Thomas at Sandy Hook, NJ to photograph their engagement session. It was a beautiful sunny day, and very, very hot! These two will be getting married in June of 2019 and I’m so excited to have the privilege of photographing their big day. Ashley and Thomas were a little nervous at first, but I told them by the end of our session, they'd be pro models and ready for more!

We started off simple, first by the beach entrance, then walking out to a patch of wild shrubs where the light was pouring in beautifully. Next, we got sandy by some small sand dunes, then cooled down a bit by walking at the water’s edge, and of course got wet from the waves. The water felt SO good. After being at the beach, we all ventured out to a little walkway that led out to the bay. The light was gorgeous at this point and Ashely and Thomas were plenty warmed up in front of the camera.

We ended our session as the sun set over the bay and we took advantage of every last bit of light. Ashley and Thomas were amazing – they braved the heat, the waves, the sand and all those buzzing bugs. But, it was all worth it in the end for the amazing memories they made and the moments captured between them.

After their engagement session, we stopped at the little bungalow on the mainland overlooking the bay. We had some amazing thirst-quenching sangrias, shared stories, and had lots of laughs. It felt so good to connect with them!

Ashley even showed me the video of when Thomas proposed. It was brilliant! They went on a hike and when they got to the top of the mountain to take a break, Thomas suggested they take a picture. So he set up the phone to snap a few photos. Little did Ashley know, he actually had it recording them! After a moment of “cheesing” for the camera, Thomas turned to Ashley said a few words to her, and got down on one knee. Ashley was surprised but was quick to take off her glove and give him her hand. It was the cutest thing! When they got home, it was also a surprise to Ashley to have their families waiting in their apartment ready to congratulate them both!

Reviewing their engagement session photos brought a smile to my face. Thomas always knew how to make her laugh, and I loved seeing the smile on his face as he looked at his fiancé. I’m so excited to document their wedding! They are going to be such an awesome bride and groom. I know that they are going to have a blast and will party hard with their friends and family. Thank you Ashley and Thomas for a great evening at the beach, I can’t wait to see you again soon! :)


Interested in photographing you & your love?

Secret Proposal, Ocean City NJ

When Brendan first reached out to me about wanting to propose to Megan and have it photographed, I was super excited! Proposals can happen really fast, so I think it is really cool to be able to document the moments.

He had his approach all planned out and was preparing for this special day for a while. Megan, of course, had no idea. So, on to the sneaky planning of how to capture Brendan proposing.

The secret proposal was going to take place in Ocean City, NJ. This is where Megan had been going every Labor Day weekend with her family since she was a little girl. Brendan started accompanying the family almost every year while they were dating, so this place held a very special meaning for the two of them.

The couple first met in college and they were good friends for a while, got to know one another over time, and began forming a special bond that would lead them down this beautiful road.

Brendan told me where he would like to propose, and because there was rain in the forecast, we waited until the day of to pick the right spot. As I waited on the boardwalk, as a normal pedestrian enjoying the day, the Sun came out ten minutes before Brendan and Megan arrived. The light literally came out just for them!

As soon as they arrived and turned the corner to walk to the designated area, I went into photographer stealth mode, making sure I stayed down and out of sight and started shooting. The two talked for a moment, and before I knew it, I could hear an exclamation of joy from Megan, right before Brendan got down on one knee. Whatever he must’ve said, definitely gave away what was about to happen! Brendan kneeled and Megan’s reactions were just the best! She was so happy and surprised! Once I finally revealed and introduced myself, even I was giddy and high off of their amazing energy!

As we went on to take photos of the now newly engaged couple, it was only natural we discussed all that went into the planning. The little details that were revealed all made sense to Megan at that point; trying on a family ring that her Mom was curious about, her Dad suggesting to wear something nice to dinner that night, the fact that Brendan and Megan were staying a whole extra week for a little vacation. There were other little clues along the way that Brendan was good about keeping under wraps.

We walked down to the beach, played in the water, nestled in some sand dunes and grass, then ended up back near where the proposal took place, by the boardwalk. These two were so adorable in front of the camera! I loved every moment with them. We made some wonderful memories and captured amazing moments together. I am SO happy and excited for them as they start this journey. And, I am extremely thrilled and honored to have been there to witness and photograph their love. Congratulations you two!!


Interested in documenting a proposal?

Booth Park, Nutley NJ | Simple Summer Wedding Inspiration

This past Summer, my Photographer friend Olivia, wanted to put together an inspirational shoot and collaborate with other local vendors.  I was honored when she asked me to join the team!  Olivia wanted a wedding style that was simple and could be put together easily, even in one’s own backyard. We went to Booth Park, in Nutley NJ, and everyone joined in to set it all up. It was a perfect Summer evening (besides the loads of bug bites i got, haha) and we started about two hours before the sunset so we could take advantage of that beautiful, evening glow.  Our model, Marie, looked like she stepped out of a fairytale in her Vesa Brides dress.  We even got a surprise visit from Olivia's cute pooch!  Every vendor that came together for this was awesome and I am a fan of them all. Below are the photos that I had taken, but please visit Olivia’s page and Instagram for more of her images. I hope you find some inspiration!

Be sure to also visit Red Oak Weddings to see the featured blog post there!

 
 

Creator:  Olivia Christina Photography
Photographers:  Rachel Watkinson Photography & Olivia Christina Photography
Florals/Wardrobe & Prop Stylist:  Ronya And Co.
Bridal Gown:  Vesa Brides
Model:  Marie Hickey
Makeup:  Makeup By Samantha Linn
Hair:  Styles On Location
Rentals:  Party Rental Ltd
Hand Lettering:  Lace And Belle
Chalk Drawing:  Chalk + Co.
Cake:  Flour Bomb Cake Co.
Cake Pops:  Jou Jou Pops

NYC | Lifestyle Session | Baby Zooey

James and Joy welcomed little Zooey into the world in early October. I photographed their newly expanded family a little over a month later, so Zooey had a little time to relax and acclimate to her new surroundings before being captured on film :). 

James and Joy’s cozy home was the perfect spot for our session because we wanted to make sure everyone was warm and relaxed, and we also wanted the family pets to get in on the action! I love photographing in-home, lifestyle sessions because of these reasons. It gives the family an opportunity to just – be.  

We started in the living room area by one of the windows, moved into Zooey’s room, and then ended our photography session in the master bedroom where there was ample, beautiful light.  We shared lots of laughs and made some great memories.  

I hope both parents and Zooey will look back at these images and feel the love that was palpable in the air.  There were so many sweet and precious moments during our time together, and I am proud to share some of those here.


Interested in having a family photography session?

Princeton University, New Jersey | Wedding | Alyson & Jordan

Princeton University was the perfect spot for Alyson and Jordan to have their wedding.  They met back in 2006 when they were both at Princeton acting as resident advisors for a Summer school program.  Since they were both attending different colleges, Georgetown and University of Wisconsin, they kept their long distance connection alive by staying in touch, occasionally meeting up, and even studying together abroad in London.  Over the next few years, their relationship grew and they were finally able to move in together in New York City! (You can see their NYC Fall engagement session here)  It was back at Princeton where Jordan proposed to Alyson, the same place where they had met.  So sweet!

It was a perfect summertime wedding, and the two chose to do their reveal where Joran proposed.  The expression on his face when he turned around was so cute, he could not stop smiling, and why would he?  Alyson looked stunning, a picture perfect bride in her two-piece dress.  Alyson kept the florals fresh and natural with a variety of greens and pops of white.  The bridesmaids wore a neutral, elegant palette of creams and beiges, while the groomsmen looked very handsome in their navy blue suits.  During the ceremony, Alyson and Jordan read their vows to each other which were touching and also brought out the laughs.  When Jordan got a little emotional, Alyson reached over and touched his arm so sweetly which calmed him down and centered him as he went on to speak his words.  There were small emotional tears, including the bridesmaids, as the two exchanged their stories and love for each other.  The ceremony and reception took place at The Nassau Inn.  During the cocktail hour, the bride and groom joined their alumni friends for photos while singing their school songs, and laughing and cheering each other on. 

It was my sincere pleasure to get to know this lovely couple.  I’m grateful they chose me to be apart of their day as they start another chapter in their journey together.  I can’t wait to see them again and hear about their awesome Grecian honeymoon!

 
 

Ceremony and Reception Venue:  Nassau Inn
Florist:  Kristin Rockhill Design
Cake Artist:  The Caketeria
Band/DJ:  Ambient DJ Service
Makeup Artist:  Make Me Up Eva
Hair Artist:  Kimberley Maugeri
Bridal Gown:  BHLDN
Bridesmaid Dresses:  Show Me Your Mumu
Officiant: Lauren M. Seber
Stationary:  Alaina Ching -alainaching@gmail.com
Ceremony and Cocktail Music:  Sweet Harmony Music

Morristown, Speedwell Park | Engagement Session | Jamie & Mark

When Jamie told me she would like to take her engagement photos in the Winter, I thought, “How cool and different!” I know that I was really hoping to get some amazing snowy shots and I had visions of fresh powder and being lost in an enchanted forest! I’m not sure if Jamie was thinking about getting lost in a forest, but I was pretty sure she was thinking the same as me…fresh, white snow!  Well, the season changed to Winter, and we only had one snow storm, and the rest of the Winter season was quickly going by with no snow in sight and unseasonably warm.  I thought, well, we can still go on a great nature walk and capture some beautiful moments!  We set our date to get together for the engagement photos, February 9th.  And, wouldn’t you know it…a big snow storm was coming our way! I made sure to get my snow tires on so that I can be prepared.  Unfortunately, the blizzard raged on throughout the day and Jamie was smart enough to tell me to not go driving, thank you Jamie! ;) So, we decided to wait for the morning after.  Jamie and Mark looked amazing for their engagement session with pops of red and classic jackets.  And, Jamie's hair was ridiculously gorgeous!  I'm very jealous :) After a quick run-around with cute, little Roxy, their Boston Terrier, in the front yard of their house,  we all made our way down to the park that Mark and Jamie walk Roxy often.  The fresh snow and the brisk, cold air was exhilarating!  Mark had Jamie cracking up so much, which in turn had me laughing too.  Watching their love and connection was so sweet and I am so happy for them.  We went back to their house to capture some fun, warmer moments inside their first home together.  Once again, this fun couple had me cracking up!  They are so funny and sweet with each other.  And, their home is so cute!  I loved hearing about what they did to fix it up and renovate their kitchen to make it truly theirs.  I can’t wait for their beautiful, intimate wedding in April, the countdown is on! 

Charleston

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

Rebecca

.  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!