So long, 2022… and hello, 2023! We started off the New Year in Hawaii for a little longer before heading back to the East Coast. We slowly made our way out of the winter weather, as we made our way south through the Carolinas to Georgia.
Oahu is not short on hikes by any means. The Aiea Loop Trail is a great woodsy hike at the top of Aiea Heights, the hill I grew up on! This 5 mile loop is shaded for almost the entire time, but you’ll still feel the 1,300 ft total elevation gain by the end of this. On part of this loop, you can see the H-3 Freeway going into the mountains!
It’s never a trip home without stopping at one of my favorite beaches. I used to come to this little beach all the time in high school to get away from all the *drama* of teenage life. It’s still a nostalgic place for me to visit to this day! Plus, it’s never crowded, so you feel like you’re on a semiprivate beach.
After 24 hours of flying from Honolulu to Los Angeles to Chicago to Norfolk, we made it back to the east coast! We enjoyed our housesit for a sweet beagle named Daisy. The neighborhood it was in had a great running path along a river, so we bundled up and made sure that we had time to get daily walks/runs in around this gorgeous town.
Charleston, South Carolina
After Norfolk, we headed to Charleston, because I had a work retreat to attend! Unfortunately, the hotel they put me in was not pet friendly, so my husband and the pup had to stay at a different neighboring hotel. But we still got to spend the evenings walking around and exploring this historic town!
This picture above is at Rainbow Row, an eye popping row of pastel painted homes. The old Southern charm architecture in this city has been really well preserved, which makes this town feel like you stepped back in time in the Soouth.
Charlotte, North Carolina
We spent about a week in Charlotte housesitting right in the heart of “Uptown” – which is technically their Downtown, but no one really knows the history as to why it’s called Uptown! This picture is the view we had from the condo we stayed out, and it was such a stellar view of the city skyline.
Charlotte is a fast growing city, with so many people moving here for the lower cost of living and *relatively* mild weather. But I can see why! There are a bunch of hip and trendy neighborhoods, with food halls and a ton of breweries to go around. We were very surprised as to how much we enjoyed Charlotte!
Asheville, North Carolina
While Asheville may be known for their brewery scene and the next hit destination for bachelor and bachelorette parties, we got to enjoy the nature as well!
Asheville is nestled up in the Blue Ridge mountains at just over 2,100 feet. This somewhat secluded nature town has a long list of hikes that can be explored almost year round. What we were surprised to find was how many waterfalls we could hike to, and how close we could get to them!
Tybee Island, Georgia
We capped off January back at the beach…but this time, on the Atlantic coast! This little off-season sleepy beach town is located right outside of Savannah, Georgia, just south of the South Carolina border. Since it was off season, it wasn’t crowded at all. But we still enjoyed daily walks along the beach, and just taking in the chill, relaxed ambience of the beach town.
Although we could see some great sunrises off the coast, if you head southwest side of the island, you can watch the sunset as well. I never thought I could watch a sunset over the water on the East coast until now!
We’ll continue our travels south and spend the next month in Florida! We’ll visit some theme parks, check out some springs, and hit the beach again. And hopefully we’ll encounter some Florida wildlife along the way!
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