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From the Mountains to the Sea (and Everything in Between): 2014 in Review


What a year. After the whirlwind that was 2013 (a year that included an awful pregnancy, two hospitalizations, the hellacious birth of my daughter, a rough postpartum experience, a house flood, and the death of my grandfather), I needed 2014.

Thankfully, 2014 was a huge improvement on 2013, and, over the last twelve months, I've had the opportunity to see so many wonderful things. My freelance writing has kept me busy (and in enough money to keep traveling!), and my daughter has blossomed from a barely crawling six-month-old into a running, thriving 19-month-old.

Let's take a look back at the year, shall we?


January
McClellanville, South Carolina
We started the year off with several home DIY projects, including built-in bookshelves and a kitchen renovation. At this point, I began to realize that I was over living in a construction zone with a baby!

That month, it also snowed and iced--which is very unusual for this part of South Carolina. Britton turned seven months old, and I shared my favorite literature-themed books for babies.

With everything else that was going on, we stuck close to home and explored a few places in Charleston: the quaint village of McClellanville and Mount Pleasant's Old Village.

February
In terms of travel, February was slow. Boo! I did live vicariously through my own past visits in my 5 Most Memorable Travel Moments post, though.

But, in a rare showing of domesticity, I shared my favorite recipes for breakfast hashbrown casserole and potato salad. And everyone's favorite Cosmos Mariners baby turned eight months old (and learned how to crawl)!

March
Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina
For a belated Valentine's Day gift, my husband and I headed to Brookgreen Gardens just outside of Myrtle Beach. On another weekend, we explored downtown Charleston during one of the Second Sundays on King. I wrote one of my favorite posts ever on how to have an inexpensive trip to Scotland!

April
Clemson University
As the weather started to warm up in Charleston, we went to the beach for the first time in 2014, celebrated Easter, and began planning our daughter's first trip to Disney World.

In a particularly proud alumni moment, my husband and I took Britton to visit Clemson University, our alma mater, for the first time!

May
Outside the Dali Museum in St. Pete, FL
This was an important month for me--and for the blog. During my trip to St. Petersburg, Clearwater, and Tampa, Florida, I realized that I wanted to focus on travel exclusively rather than in my former bloggy blend of travel/family/lifestyle/DIY/teaching that you'll find in some of the older posts on CosmosMariners.com. I like talking about all of those things, but I love traveling. I haven't looked back for a second since the re-branding, and I'm so excited to see where the new and improved blog will take me in 2015.

While in the St. Petersburg area, we realized how old we were at Busch Gardens, played putt-putt with alligators, enjoyed a beautiful Indian Shores sunset, and explored the downtown arts district. Landon and I also loved the food on that trip: from the pasta at Bella Brava to the Spanish influences at The Columbia, we enjoyed every bite!

Once we were back in Charleston, Landon and I celebrated our four year anniversary with a ferry out to Bulls Island (and had an unexpected--and unwanted!--snake try to be the third wheel!).

June
This month was when my sister and I attempted (and spoiler alert: completed) the 4 Parks/ 1 Day Challenge at Disney World. We also had tea at the Grand Floridian--another Disney first!

July

Landon, Britton and I headed to Edisto Island for a week with Landon's family. I kayaked with dolphins, explored the site of a well-known local ghost story, and did a lot more than just sit at the beach.

August
Charleston, South Carolina
I turned my gaze back to the beauty in my backyard as the heat of summer pressed down. Britton and I went for a stroll in downtown Charleston and visited the children's museum here. For my weekly sisters' night, Amber and I went to Vickery's (which has one of the best views in Charleston!) and Fuel (best pork tacos ever!).

September
Jekyll Island Club Hotel, Georgia
My sister and I headed south to Jekyll Island, Georgia, for a few days, where we learned about the incredible history of the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. Another favorite stop on that trip was the Georgia Sea Turtle Center!

October
Hampton Plantation
After much deliberation, we moved from our little townhouse to a much larger place further out from downtown. Even with the move, we had time to visit South Carolina's UFO Welcome Center, Hampton Plantation and the St. James Wambaw church!

November
Lake Lure, North Carolina
Just in time for the fall color, I headed up to Rutherford County, North Carolina, where I explored all that Lake Lure had to offer, visited a distillery that's doing things differently, got sort-of lost while hiking, and discovered that North Carolina had a gold rush.

December

We ended the year on a high note by taking our daughter to Walt Disney World for the first time. While my husband, parents, sister, and I had all been before, we all ticked a few things off of our WDW bucket list! Since we went with our family, Landon and I even snuck a date night into our vacation.
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WHEW! Check back on Friday where I'll share my plans and goals for 2015!

What were some of the standout moments for you in 2014? Overall, was it a good year?