When the year began, I made some goals for myself. Some were the cliché "be healthier" and "pay off debt," but others were to take care of myself, in ways that many people I feel neglect. You see, I'm at a point in my life where everyone is getting engaged, and married, and buying a house, and having kids, and going on lavish vacations. If i'm being honest, I have a bit - okay a lot - of envy. At almost 26, I feel pressure, like I've missed my chance, to find someone to marry. I feel like I'm behind the curve. All too often, society tells women you need a man to do all the things you've wanted to do. You need a man for his paycheck. You need a man for his security. You need a man to start a family. You need a man to see the world with.

And you know what I realized? I'm not waiting anymore. I'm not waiting on someone to go chase the things I want to see in life. I'm not going to wait on a man to start a family (don't freak, I really just mean my dog). I'm not going to wait on a man to buy my perfect first little house. I'm not going to wait on a man to see all the cities I've been dying to see.

So this trip to Charleston was the first step of that. I've always, always wanted to see Charleston. I've dreamt of seeing Rainbow Row in person. I've anticipated finding Spanish Moss for portraits. I've craved the fresh seafood. So when my best friend told me she had time off work and wanted to go somewhere, we decided on Charleston, and made plans immediately. The timing was perfect for both of us, and so needed.

So I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them. I also hope you stop waiting on life to do what you've always hoped to do.

We stayed in the most perfect AirBnB that was a steal for how close we were to downtown! It was both our first times staying in an AirBnB, so I can't compare experience, but I can tell you our apartment and our host definitely did not disappoint. We were just a few blocks from where everything started on King Street. If you're interested in renting this AirBnB, check it out here, and be sure to say "hi" to Jay for us!

We ate dinner at Coast Bar and Grill, a perfect little hole-in-the-wall place. Kelcey tried fresh oysters for the first time (they were delicious!), and we both had awesome seafood. She had crab-crusted tilapia and I had the shrimp and crab pasta. We both had cocktails; I ordered the Golden Bear because, well, I love bourbon, and it was the perfect cocktail for the night!

Our first full day there, we stopped at Virginia's on King for breakfast. We both shared their yogurt parfait with fresh seasonal fruit and granola, and then each had the bacon, egg and cheese biscuit. My only complaint is that the biscuit was a little crumbly, but the yogurt parfait was one of the best I've ever had! From there we continued our journey down King Street, stopping into the Savannah Bee Company. You guys, the honey is AMAZING. And pay the $7 and do their mead tasting! They teach you all about the history of mead and let you try five different meads. The Apple Pie was our favorite!

The best part for any photographer in Charleston is ALL. THE. COLORS. You can't go anywhere without seeing at least 12 different shades of the rainbow. Lavender. Teal. Apricot. Emerald green. Sky blue. Blush. The colors are everywhere!

The next best part about Charleston for photographers is the history. Charleston is old, and beautiful, and full of character. It has so many stories to tell, a new one around every corner. The cobblestone streets, the barred windows, the antique fire lanterns hanging next to some doors. Charleston is full of stories to tell.

While on the pier on the Battery, we saw dolphins! So many of them! My best friend absolutely loves dolphins, and she has only ever seen them once before in person. It was the perfect surprise.

We walked all the way down King Street and then back up Meeting Street, stopping into all the local shops we could. While in downtown, we visited the open air markets (pictures bottom right). This was building after building after building of local artisans selling jewelry, artwork, clothing, woven baskets, and even more. Later that afternoon, we ate at the classic Bubba Gump for lunch! Our waiter even quizzed everyone in his section on pieces of the movie, and told plenty of Bubba Gump jokes.

Next we spent a few hours at Folly Beach. It wasn't too touristy (except maybe the shops selling all kinds of touristy crap) and had plenty of local restaurants that offered great, fresh seafood. Our lunch destination of choice was Folly Beach Crab Shack. Even though all I had was the crab stuffed mushrooms, I would definitely go back for those!

And saving the best for last, on our final night there, I convinced (more like insisted) my best friend to let me drive around Charleston in an outfit I had picked out for her until we could find the perfect location for pictures. Oh Charleston, you did NOT disappoint.