Southern Experiences

The Georgia Spa {Warm Springs, GA}

The Georgia Spa | Warm Springs, GA

Nestled amongst rolling hills, freshwater springs and steeped in traditional southern charm and hospitality is the small town of Warm Springs, Georgia. This small town, which served many years as an escape for the residents of Savannah in the late 18th century who were looking for refuge from yellow fever. However, Warm Springs gained national recognition due to Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1924. Today, Warm Springs is known for tourism and southern charm. Below is an itinerary for a weekend getaway to this charming town located just an hour south of Atlanta.

Saturday Morning

Warm Springs is located adjacent to F. D. Roosevelt State Park, Georgia’s largest state park. This park is a hiker’s and backpacker’s haven with more than 40 miles of trails. It is the perfect place to get your steps in for the day and explore one of Georgia’s gems.

F.D. Roosevelt State Park | Pine Mountain, GA

After a day of hiking, you are going to need some substance, and what is better than some delicious BBQ. Mac’s BBQ is located downtown and is an easy walking distance of most downtown attractions. After dinner, make the short drive over to the town of Woodbury to see Red Oak Creek Covered Bridge, the oldest covered bridge in Georgia.

Red Oak Creek Covered Bridge | Woodberry, GA Red Oak Creek Covered Bridge | Woodberry, GA

shirt // jeans // glasses

After exploring the countryside, you’ll be ready to tuck in early at the Hotel Warm Springs.

Hotel Warm Springs | Warm Springs, GA

Sunday Morning

For Sunday, explore one of the reasons this small town is such a large attraction, Little White House. Touring the property and the springs will take most of the morning. Take your time and learn more about our 32nd President and his love for Warm Springs, Georgia.

Little White House | Warm Springs, GA Little White House | Warm Springs, GA

After getting a dose of history, grab a delicious Southern meal at Bulloch House Restaurant followed by a wine tasting at Warm Springs Winery before heading back to Atlanta.

Bulloch House Restaurant | Warm Springs, GA Warm Springs Winery | Warm Springs, GA


Are you ready to explore this small town in Georgia?

Southern Experiences

The Holy City {Charleston, SC}

Charleston, South Carolina is known for its bright colored streets, southern hospitality, and rich history. It is a city that needs to be on your bucket list. With something for everyone, Charleston provides the perfect backdrop for a weekend getaway. Below is a suggested itinerary for a long weekend.

The Holy City {Charleston, SC}

Need a place to stay? Check out Andrew Pickney Inn.


There is more to Charleston than just the city. With several plantations dotting the countryside around the city, start your weekend off by exploring the land of the people who influenced this city. As I mentioned, there are several to choose from, but my favorites are Boone Hall Plantation, with its avenue of oaks; Middleton Place, the oldest landscaped gardens in the country; or Magnolia Plantation & Gardens, America’s first public garden. All of these plantations will take a few hours to tour, so map it out in advance. Luckily, Middleton Place and Magnolia are neighbors.

Middleton Place | Charleston, SCMagnolia Plantation & Gardens | Charleston, SC

Exploring many plantations will take a good part of your day, but if you have time swing by Charleston’s famed Angel Oak. This Southern live oak is located in located in Angel Oak Park (clever!) on Johns Island. The tree is estimated to be 400 to 500 years old and produces shade that covers 17,200 square feet. At its highest point, it stands at 66.5 feet. It’s a place you’ll not want to miss! Please note – The park is open until 4:00 PM Monday to Saturday and until 5:00 on Sunday.

Angel Oak | Charleston, SC Angel Oak | Charleston, SC

Saturday Evening

Spend the evening strolling through Charleston’s City Market. Charleston’s historic City Market is the cultural heart of Charleston since 1807, and one you must visit. Stretching down four city blocks, City Market is a great place to meet some of Charleston’s local artists and is a great place to purchase souvenirs from your visit, like Sweetgrass Baskets. The Market is open daily from 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM and from 6:30 to 10:30 PM on Fridays and Saturdays during the months of April to December.

City Market | Charleston, SCCity Market | Charleston, SC

Once you’ve done a little shopping, stop for dinner at Henry’s House. I’ll save you the trouble – this restaurant has the best she-crab soup in the city!


If the weather is nice, spend today getting to know the birthplace of the American Civil War with a trip to Fort Sumter. You’ll definitely want to check out boat times in advance of arriving so you don’t have to spend too much time waiting. If you have kids, the aquarium is right next door!

Fort Sumter | Charleston, SC

Upon finishing your tour of Fort Sumter, head back downtown for lunch at Charleston Crab House. Spend the afternoon exploring Charleston! The city is easy to navigate for pedestrians.

Charleston, SC

The two items you’ll not want to miss are the Pineapple Fountain and Rainbow Row.

The Pineapple Fountain is one of the city’s symbols and is located in Waterfront Park. This area of the Charleston is perfect for a resting spot and to soak up the sea breeze.

Pineapple Fountain | Charleston, SC

Rainbow Row is the nickname of thirteen colorful Georgian row houses due to their bright facades. In fact, this is the longest stretch of Georgian row houses in the United States and is one of the most photographed spots in Charleston.

Rainbow Row | Charleston, SC

shirt // shorts // shoes // watch

Rainbow Row | Charleston, SC

Sunday  Evening

Before dinner, grab drinks on the rooftop of Market Pavilion Hotel. You do not have to be a guest to access the rooftop bar, and it offers splendid views of the city from above. Then head off to dinner and grab some pralines for dessert at Savannah’s Candy Kitchen.


Before you leave Charleston, you must take a carriage ride. This is a fun way to see different parts of the city and to learn a little more history. After your tour, if you have time, take yourself on a walking tour of Charleston’s old churches.

Charleston, SC Charleston, SC Charleston, SC Charleston, SC Charleston, SC Charleston, SC


What are your favorite sites of Charleston?


30 Before 30: 12 Month Check-In

29 was one of the most challenging years of my life, and it did everything possible to put me through the ringer. I am proud of what I was able to accomplish this year and am totally fine that I didn’t accomplish everything on my “30 Before 30” list. Life is about setting goals, and those items I didn’t complete will just have to remain on my list until I can check them off.

30 Before 30: 12 Month Check In

  1. Take an international trip – IN PROGRESS
    • I have at least one international trips in the works! 🙂 My family and I are traveling to Ireland in September to celebrate all the milestones we have celebrated in 2018.
  2. Visit at least one new state – DONE
    • The weekend after my 29th birthday, my mom and I took a trip to Denver, Colorado.
  3. Read 30 books in a year (Taking recommendations!) – DONE
  4. Try a new sport – IN PROGRESS
    • I decided to take up hiking as my “sport”. I joined a women’s hiking group for the state of Georgia to help get out more. I look forward to continuing this “sport” as my schedule allows in the fall.
  5. Take a girls’ trip – DONE
    • My mom and I took a girls trip to Denver, Colorado and to Rome, Georgia. I also traveled to Chattanooga for my sister-in-law’s bachelorette party.
  6. Move to a new place – DONE
      • I purchased my first home in October 2017.
  7. Change jobs – DONE
    • 29 brought a lot of changes when it came to my career, but I think I have finally found my path. I started a new position in February as a Regional Recruiter for a university in South Carolina. I also have found more time to spend time on Southern Exhilaration, which I’m thrilled about the direction this space is moving.
  8. Grow my blog (Thanks for following along!) – DONE
    • In the past year, my blog has experienced a 23% increase in traffic. I hadn’t really set a specific goal for the year, but I’m happy with this news!
  9. Get to know my family history – DONE
    • Thanks to I have been able to track my father’s family back to my 4th great-grandparents, and my mom’s mother’s side back to my 5th great-grandparents. I have so enjoyed this project, and can’t wait to see what else I discover about my family.
  10. Challenge my culinary skills – DONE
    • I took a six-week cooking class with Publix’s Apron Cooking School.
  11. Do something that scares me – DONE
    • This year has been one of the most challenging years of my life. I experienced a lot of scary big life moments in the course of a couple of months. There were definitely times I wasn’t going to make it, but now standing on the other side I am happy with how things turned out and with how it made me into a stronger person.
  12. Work out more and on a consistent basis – IN PROGRESS
    • I consider this one a failure, because I wasn’t able to follow through on the “consistent basis” part. I have been increasing my exercise thanks to Spotebi. The programs work great for at home and when I’m on the road.
  13. Take a challenging hike – FAIL TO COMPLETE
    • I had every intention of hiking the tallest peak in Tennessee and/or North Carolina. Unfortunately, time got away from me. I’m hoping to accomplish this in the coming year as my schedule allows.
  14. Relearn to play the piano – IN PROGRESS
    • For Christmas, my parents gifted me a new keyboard. I’m teaching myself how to play again. It’s a slow process, and I’m doing it as I have time.
  15. Get back to graduate school size and weight – FAIL TO COMPLETE
    • Due to health issues this year, my weight has been a battle. This is still a goal of mine, and I’m looking forward to accomplishing it.
  16. Learn a new skill – IN PROGRESS
    • I started to learn crochet a couple of years ago, but never really got far with it. I decided to pick it up as a fun activity while I’m unwinding at night and watching TV. I have decided to crochet a blanket, but it is definitely taking me longer to accomplish than originally thought.
  17. Visit a new SEC stadium – DONE
    • I had the opportunity to actually knock out two SEC stadiums (Vanderbilt and Texas A&M) in fall of 2017.
  18. Be more spontaneous – DONE
    • I kicked off Year 29 with spontaneity by traveling with Pack Up + Go to Denver.
    • I also decided my theme for 2018 is to “say yes to adventures” so I’ve got some excitement planned as the warmer months approach.
  19. Climb another state peak – FAIL TO COMPLETE
    • See number 13.
  20. Learn a new language – FAIL TO COMPLETE
    • To be honest, I didn’t put any effort into this goal. Do you have a suggestion on a language I should learn?
  21. Improve my wine knowledge – DONE
    • I drank a lot of wine this year, and definitely expanded my wine palate. I had planned to take a class but financial limitations put a stop to that idea. I’m still hoping for a class in the future.
  22. Get a pet – DONE
    • I have two fish by the names of Marco and Polo.
  23. Participate in a race – FAIL TO COMPLETE
    • Since my health was not at a hundred percent this year, this one was a challenge. Plus, why do all the fun races have to take place when I’m out of town? This is still on my list of things to do.
  24. Attend another short-term mission trip – FAIL TO COMPLETE
    • I very much have a heart for missions, but I could not find a trip that worked with my schedule or budget.
  25. Travel somewhere alone – DONE
    • A three-day weekend in Charleston was just what I needed to reset for the 2018 calendar year.
  26. Put more money away into savings – DONE
    • This year was certainly a yo-yo year with finances, but I was able to accomplish this goal.
  27. Take on a monthly photography challenge – DONE
    • I did not take a structured photography challenge this year, but I ended up reading a lot on technique and going out to practice it. This past week I went back through my images and I’m proud of how I’ve developed as an artist.
  28. Expand my food palate – IN PROGRESS
    • This year, I didn’t say no to as many foods as I normally would in the past. I would still consider myself a picky eater, but I’m ok with that and the new dishes I’ve acquired.
  29. Spend a full day at the spa – DONE
  30. Learn how to show myself grace – IN PROGRESS
    • I’m a work in progress.


I’d say 24 out of 30 is a pretty great accomplishment! 🙂 30, I’m ready for you!


20 Lessons I learned in My 20s

Thursday, I cross into a new decade as I turn 30 years old. I used to think that by age 30 I would have it all figured out, but I laugh at that thought now. Age is simply a number, and with each number we learn some lessons. So as I kiss my 20s goodbye and welcome my 30s, here are the life lessons I have learned from the past decade.

Twenty Lessons I Learned in My Twenties

1. Happiness First

There is this thought out there that if we are successful then we will be happy. I sincerely believe this is not true. Being happy brings happiness. Don’t wait for success to be happy, because you will spend more time waiting for happiness instead of enjoying life. Soak up the happy moments every day.

2. What matters most now, might not matter later.

I tend to over think things and get stressed out easily. I have learned and am learning to take a step back and breathe. Will this situation really matter in 5 years? 5 months? 5 minutes? If the answer is no, move on.

3. No one is perfect; we’re all works in progress.

We are all guilty of putting the best versions of ourselves out there, so don’t judge people based on their social media accounts or even compare yourself to them. We all have insecurities and problems, and some people are really good at hiding them.

4. Just be kind.

This world is in need of big helping of kindness. Do your part to bring kindness to everyone you encounter. A simple smile to a stranger may make all the difference in their day.

5. Figure out your goals, but know they can change.

Setting goals are important in life to ensure you don’t get stuck. But know that it’s okay to change your goals based on the path life takes you.

6. Travel the world.

Travel opens up your world and mind to new possibilities. Never lose your sense of wonder. Also, it’s ok to see it in small chunks of time. Check out this article if you work full-time.

7. You don’t have to have it all together.

I saw a sign the other day that adulting is like folding a fitted sheet. No one really knows how to do it, and we are just doing the best we can. And you know what? That’s okay.

8. Be weird.

That’s all I’m going to say here.

9. There’s always room to learn.

Never stop learning. In my opinion, it’s essential to be a life-long learner. If you want to know something, take the time to research it, ask questions, and figure things out with trial and error. There is no way to be an expert right away.

10. Let it go.

This is a popular saying in my life lately, and every time I think about it I have to sing the Frozen song. I take things to heart. Learn from the comments and let it roll off your back.

11. It is okay to make mistakes.

There is nothing wrong with making mistakes. As I have said before, no one is perfect. As you long as you learn from your mistakes, you are growing as an individual.

12. Wear the lipstick and be bold.

Some days you just need to put on the bright red lipstick and face the world. Sometimes we are dealt shitty days, but it helps to put on a bold exterior to make it through those days.

13. Start saving money ASAP.

Don’t wait until you are older to put away money. Even if its a few dollars here or a certain percentage of your take-home check, make sure you are investing in your future by putting money away into the savings account.

14. Be alone.

Spend time by yourself, and get to know who you are. What do you really want? What are your hopes and dreams?

15. Invest in yourself.

You are important. Your dreams and goals are important. Take the time to grow your strengths and your passions. If you care about something, make every effort to help your dreams come to fruition.

16. Build healthy habitats.

Your health is incredibly important. The earlier you start managing your health, the sooner you build the foundation for a healthy mind and body. You will thank yourself in your 30s for staying in shape in your 20s.

17. Time is your most precious resource.

Learn to manage your time. We all have the same number of hours in the day. Learn how to prioritize your time so you can get everything done and spend time with people who matter.

18. Be grateful.

Life is messy, and it is easy to get bogged down with the day-to-day. Don’t forget you are lucky and you have much to be grateful. Find at least one thing to be grateful for each day.

19. Apologizing does not make you weak.

It is hard to set your ego aside and apologize. Admit when you are wrong or have made a mistake. People will respect you for it.

20. Things don’t work out for a reason.

Rejection hurts, but it also means that the right opportunity or person is still out there. Someday you will be happy that life worked out the way it did, even if you don’t realize it in the moment.


What are the biggest lessons you learned from your twenties?

Hotel Reviews, Southern Experiences

Checking In: Andrew Pickney Inn

Checking In is a series for reviewing properties, whether it is a hostel, hotel or other forms of accommodation. To suggest a property, please send us an email.

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links that help support Southern Exhilaration. 

Andrew Pickney Inn | Charleston, SC

For a quintessential Southern hospitality experience during your stay in Charleston, look no further than the Andrew Pickney Inn. Not only is the Andrew Pickney Inn is home to 41 rooms and Southern hospitality, but it is also located in the heart of the historic district. If you stay here, you are only steps from King Street shopping, the Charleston City Market, the Charleston Harbor, and countless other Charleston sights.

Andrew Pickney Inn | Charleston, SC

The Andrew Pinckney Inn encompasses two historic buildings that reside at the corner of Church and Pinckney Streets. With a colorful façade and vibrant window boxes, you cannot miss the two buildings that encompass the Inn. Once inside, you’ll be greeted by a soothing color palette of light blues, sage greens, chocolates and creams that embrace the traditional British West Indies design.

Andrew Pickney Inn | Charleston, SC Andrew Pickney Inn | Charleston, SC

We stayed at the Petite Queen Guestroom. This room is perfect for the light traveler, making it ideal for a weekend getaway. It is an interior room located in the Church Street building and decorated in soothing blues and greens.

Andrew Pickney Inn | Charleston, SC