Travel | Deep South, USA

blue ridge mountains

I’m definitely getting itchy feet at the moment. I like to travel; I always have done. Every year of my life, I’ve made time to take at least one holiday and in the past I’ve been lucky enough to manage to take more than one, whether that’s abroad or somewhere closer to home. At the moment though, it’s been more than a year (15 months I believe) since my last holiday (aside from a weekend in the Peak District), and I’m really starting to crave getting some proper downtime and sunshine! I’ve always been a big believer in making sure you’ve got plenty of downtime in your life to spend recharging and with the family, and as I’ve got older, I’ve found this has become more difficult. Now that I no longer have the long holidays that you get at school and uni (and when I was teaching), I can’t fill them up with breaks away. And I also seem to fill up all my free hours at home super quickly with things like blogging, Brownies, seeing friends, choir, sewing…the list goes on! Sometimes for me, I just need a break from the internet too since both my day job and this blog are rooted in the internet, so I like to try and switch off on holiday (although not that much, I still need to keep up to date!).
But no fear, I do have a holiday booked! Next month I’m going to America with the family and Ben.   As I mentioned the other day, it’s a big birthday for my dad this year, so my parents booked a big holiday to match. They’re jetting off a week earlier than us and travelling around a bit in a fancy car, which they’re then swapping for a proper one to fit all my our stuff when we join them a bit later. We’re spending a week up near Atlanta in Georgia (although when I say near, we’re actually out in the mountains), then we’re heading down to the coast on a long drive to spend a week at Hilton Head Island in South Carolina near Savannah. We’ve dipped into that area before back in 2007 (I think!) when we took a camper trip down the Blue Ridge Mountains on the East Coast, but we haven’t properly seen it. We’ll be returning to a couple of places from that trip (and there are more I’d like to return to but they’re apparently too far away/we’ve seen them before, boooo!), and a couple of the photos illustrating this post are from that trip (look how baby my sister and I are!), but we’re also really excited to see some new places too. The US is probably my top place to travel as for a single country there’s so much to see and do, and within only a few hours’ drive, you can be in a completely different place where the landscape and climate are totally different (Yellowstone was the perfect example of this!).

blue ridge mountains
So I wanted to make sure I write about this trip, since last time I managed to let it get away with me and never got round to publishing proper posts from my travels. And since I’m so excited, I thought I would do a “pre-trip” post with a few of the things I’m looking forward to and places we’re planning to go.
It sounds silly, but one thing I’m super excited for is to buy fabric! In the US, fabric is FAR cheaper than it is here (from the sounds of it, at least!) and easier to get hold of. At the moment, I can only really buy fabric from two places: Hobbycraft, where the selection is very small and expensive, or a local sewing shop which has limited opening hours, and is even still pretty expensive. Both of these are still not exactly local, being around at least a half an hour trip from home. My other option is to buy online, but I do like to see my fabric in person first really and to feel it, and if I’m ordering online, I want the parcel to be worth it, so I have to order a lot and then you’ve got the expensive problem again! But in the US I’ve been told that JoAnns usually has a good stock of fabrics (and ALL the fabrics too, ie. swimwear fabric which I could only find in a single place online in the UK!) as well as patterns and other supplies really cheap! My intention is to take a half empty suitcase to bring home with fabric. I’ve also been promised, seeing as it’s my birthday 2 days after we arrive home, that I can choose a present while we’re out there, so fabric it is!
Okay, so I got carried away by fabric there. I am excited about other things, I promise! Such as the fact that we’ll be going to Charleston which I loved last time – it’s a proper Southern city and, despite the bad press it’s got at the moment for the recent shootings, I really enjoyed the city last time.
We’re also planning a day out to Gatlinburg in Tennessee, also known to us as “Tacky Town” due to our previous visit where all we did was wander tacky shops (and Beth nearly got her 14 year old self abducted when a man asked her to join his band travelling to Knoxville!). I’m a very nostalgic person, as you can probably tell, so I love going back to places I’ve been before!
The Smoky Mountains are another place we’re planning to spend some time exploring. We did visit this area last time, but unfortunately they were a more rainy than smoky at the time so we didn’t get to see a lot. One of our favourite things to do when travelling like this is to explore the nature of the area, probably due to the fact that previous trips have all been spent in a camper basically out there with said nature! So I imagine there’ll be a few awesome walks to go on and viewpoints to see.
And finally, what would a holiday be for me if I wasn’t excited to spend some time in the sun?! Our last week is near the ocean, so I’m hoping I’ll be allowed at least a day by the water (although if there’s sand, my dad and sister won’t be anywhere near it!) and I can catch up with some reading.
Obviously we’ve got a lot more planned than just this – we’ve already picked out a good chunk of restaurants we’d like to visit, for example – but this post would go on forever if you allowed me to keep going. So my question to you all now is, have any of you visited this area before, or do any of you live there? I’d love to hear your recommendations of where to go, what to do and what to see!


  1. Raquel
    August 14, 2015 / 2:26 pm

    I’m sure you’ll hear this a hundred times…but Joanns has 50% off a single cut of fabric coupons all the time.
    Enjoy your time in Ga. I’m 40 miles west of the city. (Dallas ga)

    • Sian Thomas
      August 14, 2015 / 2:32 pm

      Ooh, thanks for the tip Raquel! I hadn’t heard that before, so I will definitely be keeping an eye out 🙂
      I’ve really looking forward to it, can’t wait!

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