Hello from sunny Kiawah Island, South Carolina! I’m forgoing this week’s Things I’m Loving Friday roundup in favor of a peek into our Babymoon so far because pretty much everything I have on my list of Friday Favorites this week centers around our just-the-two-of-us getaway.
We’re planning to head into Charleston today to explore and check out some of your recommended hot spots so, as always, thank you for your recommendations!
Our Babymoon plans came together FAST thanks to my mom who was kind enough to offer to watch Chase during a time that coincided well for Ryan to take off work. When we realized we had the opportunity to get away as a couple, Ryan and I were so excited and began asking friends for vacation recommendations. Planning something so last minute doesn’t come without some obstacles but we quickly decided on Kiawah Island since it sounded like the perfect mix of activity and relaxation.
We left for the island around lunchtime on Wednesday and the drive from Charlotte was a breeze. We lucked out with no traffic and commented a number of times on how even the drive to Kiawah Island felt special because we could just relax and talk and not multitask as we tried to entertain a toddler. (We also commented on the fact that our roles of Mom and Dad have completely infiltrated our brains because we were both tempted to point out every school bus, digger truck and construction crane we saw on our drive.)
Before we arrived on the island, we took the advice of one of Ryan’s coworkers and made a pit-stop to see Angel Oak Tree, a giant, historic tree thought to be more than 400 years old.
The tree is located on Johns Island just outside of Charleston and right on the way to Kiawah Island so it was an easy stop and a great place to hop out and stretch our legs before we continued on.
We arrived at our hotel on Kiawah Island a little after 4 p.m. and immediately loved the feel of the whole island. The salty sea air, gorgeous beaches and miles of marshland made the island feel like an oasis and we knew immediately we picked a great place for our Babymoon!
We checked into The Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, a resort that includes the hotel along with rental villas and stunning private homes, and were greeted by incredibly friendly faces who called us by name and clearly wanted to make our stay feel extra special.
When Ryan and I decided on Kiawah Island for our Babymoon, a friend highly recommended The Sanctuary Hotel to me and I reached out to the resort to mention our very last-minute plans. I was absolutely thrilled and very, very grateful when they provided some wonderful recommendations on things to do in the area and kindly offered to host us during our stay on the island. (Full disclosure: We received a complimentary room at The Sanctuary Hotel but I was not compensated for this blog post.) Our room was bright, clean and comfortable with a southern flare.
Our first official activity of our Babymoon was without a doubt our most luxurious and included his and hers massages at The Sanctuary Spa. I’ve been dying for a prenatal massage and Ryan was on board for a little pampering so we booked his and hers massages before dinner. I cannot remember the last time I had a massage and I soaked up every minute as Natasha expertly worked on the tension in my lower back, hips and feet. There is something about foot massages when I am pregnant that feel unreal and I told Natasha the prenatal massage was worth it for the foot massage alone!
It was heavenly!
Once our massages were done, Ryan and I changed back into our casual clothes and headed out to dinner. A couple of you recommended checking out Freshfields Village during our stay so we headed over to the charming village to walk around and grab a bite to eat for dinner. Tacos called to us, so we ended up ordering an assortment of tacos from Cantina 76 and they were all fantastic!
After dinner, we couldn’t resist grabbing dessert from Beaches & Cream before heading up to our room to crash. The ice cream at Beaches & Cream was so creamy but had an almost whipped texture and Ryan and I immediately agreed we’ll pay this adorable little shop a visit again before our Babymoon ends!
Our first full day on Kiawah Island began bright and early since Ryan and I are both pretty terrible about sleeping in. Despite our best efforts, we were up at 7 a.m. and since my nausea doesn’t let me chill in bed for more than 10 minutes before breakfast these days, we quickly changed into comfy clothes and took advantage of the breakfast buffet at Jasmine Porch. Can every day begin with thick-cut French toast and an omelet, please!?
After breakfast, we decided to rent some bikes to explore Kiawah Island via the miles and miles of shady paved bike paths and hard-packed sandy beaches.
The weather was perfect – low 70s and sunny – and we had so much fun climbing the lookout tower, searching for gators, pedaling in and out of the shallow surf, gawking at the stunning beachfront homes and exploring together.
We biked around 7 miles before breaking for lunch at The Ryder Cup Bar, a beautiful restaurant overlooking the final hole of The Ocean Course golf course.
A great meal and a great view!
After lunch, we biked back to our hotel and quickly changed into our bathing suits.
We were craving some chill time by the pool and lounged in the sun for a few hours before heading back to our room. I wanted to begin writing this blog post and Ryan had some emails to attend to, so we showered and then worked for a bit before we put our computers away and changed for dinner at The Ocean Room.
Dress: Leith via Nordstrom (not maternity – I just ordered a size up and it’s currently 40% off and available in black and white, too!) / Shoes: Charles David via RueLaLa
I actually put on heels for what I’m pretty sure was the first time this pregnancy and it was admittedly fun to get a little dressed up since I feel like I am living in leggings and sneakers these days.
Our dinner reservations were on the earlier side which was perfect because The Ocean Room did a wonderful job of extending our dining experience and making our date night feel extra special. (Thank you guys for this restaurant recommendation, too!) Ryan and I often claim to be the fastest eaters in the land (Chase did NOT inherit this trait from us), so it felt amazing to truly relax through dinner and enjoy our meal as our courses were spaced out over a couple of hours.
The food was absolutely fantastic and everything from my lobster bisque appetizer to my octopus and stuffed pasta entree was fresh and flavorful.
Though we were quite full by the end of our meal, when our waiter recommended the restaurant’s signature chocolate brownie dome dish to us, we couldn’t resist and polished off every last bite of the indulgent crisp chocolate dome that was filled with homemade ice cream, brownies, pecans, brandied cherries and topped with hot butterscotch.
Before heading to bed for the evening, we made sure to call to check in with my mom and Chase (okay, so this was actually the second time we talked to them yesterday because we cannot help ourselves) and hearing Chase’s little voice filled my heart right up. Motherhood in a nutshell: Craving a moment away from the responsibilities of motherhood and then missing your child like crazy the entire time your gone.
We have two days left of our Babymoon (well more like 1 1/2) and I’m currently wrapping up this blog post while inhaling a breakfast sandwich before we hop into the car and drive north to Charleston. We have a walking tour booked and hope to hit up some of the restaurants you guys recommended to us for lunch and dinner today. I’ll be sure to recap the final days of our trip on the blog next week!
Hope you all have the best weekend and thanks so much for stopping by PBF today!
I literally can say nothing else except that this trip looks absolutely perfect! I think I now need to convince my husband to go there before our baby arrives…..
You would love it!! We really wanted something that would combine relaxation with opportunities to explore a new area and Kiawah Island is a perfect mix. Big congrats to you on your little one!!
Ginger G. says
That hotel is beautiful! Enjoy! Looks like a great time and the amazing weather.
Looks beautiful, and so do you both!
ps: if you’re a biscuit fan you must go to Hominy Grill in Charleston, or if time doesn’t allow for a wait at least get one to go! You might get a table on your early morning schedule, though 🙂
a biscuit sounds perfect right now!! right in my carb-loving wheelhouse!
What did you say to the hotel to get a complimentary room!?
Curious about that too! How do you approach companies for that purpose? Would love to hear your insight. Enjoy your babymoon 🙂
Fiona @ Get Fit Fiona says
Sounds like your trip has been fun so far. Hope the last few days are just as great.
This looks like the most relaxing vacation! I’m going to call it now – it’s a girl!! 🙂 Enjoy the rest of your trip!
i’m hearing that from a lot of people lately! i still feel rather clueless but lately cannot help but picture a boy! we’ll find out soon!!
Your dress! Your shoes! Your fresh hair! That incredible location! You look fantastic and so does your babymoon. Hope you’re loving every second! 🙂
Thank you, Theresa!! <3 I am still not crazy about my hair (it's a little too blonde for my liking and I was definitely after a more balayage look) but I really appreciate your kind comment! I hope you have a fantastic weekend!
That octopus looks phenomenal! Enjoy your weekend away! Looks like the perfect escape!
it was so good! i am a huge fan of octopus and jump at the chance to order it if i ever see it on a menu!
Lauren M Chemplavil says
Your comment about motherhood in a nutshell is spot on. I swear even every weekday feels like that – struggling to get a 3 year old and almost 5 year old out the door to pre-school and just looking forward to a few minutes of peace to take a shower before heading to work…and then school sends pictures of them playing and I MISS THEM SO MUCH!
The Sanctuary looks beautiful! We live in Charlotte and have talked so many times about going to Kiawah but haven’t made it yet. Hopefully we’ll get the chance soon, because it looks spectacular!
Enjoy the rest of your babymoon!
Exactly! Isn’t it crazy!? Sometimes we absolutely need a breather but it blows my mind how quickly I miss Chase!
Lauren M Chemplavil says
At the risk of too many hashtags – #truth #momlife!
Well, my vote is for a boy, because allegedly “girls steal your beauty”, and you are looking good, mama!
Also, your hair looks terrific! I love the bright blonde color for summer.
It seems like you’re doing a lot of physical activity – have you had any SI joint problems this pregnancy? I ask because my last pregnancy I was totally fine and this time around that’s giving me a lot of issues. It seems like something that would keep happening in subsequent pregnancies so that’s why I’m curious. Enjoy the rest of your trip!
I had horrible sacroiliac pain with Chase and it was absolutely miserable. I’m so sorry you’re going through that now! How far along are you? I haven’t had the same pain (yet) this pregnancy but mine didn’t start until 33/34ish weeks with Chase if I remember correctly. It’s so tough! I hope yours eases up soon!!
I hope it doesn’t come back for you! I’ve had it off and on since about 20 weeks (I’m almost 25 weeks now). If you had any stretching/exercise tips in your old posts, I might have to check those out!
Patricia @Sweet and Strong says
Looks like the perfect mix of fun and relaxing! I can’t wait to see where you go in Charleston, I’ve been once and LOVED the food!
You look adorable in that pink dress.
The Tacos look awesome!
Octopus ~ egads!!! Uh Uh…. I ain’t doin’ it!! 😮
Looks like a fun & relaxing time for you both…. or 3! 😉
Hey Julie!! Enjoy your Babymoon I LOVE Charleston!!
I was wondering what your current favorite leggings are.. I’m having a hard time find some that are soft and stretchy (currently 20 weeks pregnant) but will still pass the “squat test” at the gym!!
Oh wow, it looks absolutely beautiful!! You are adorable, Julie! Your pink dress, shoes, and everything about you is just gorgeous! I love all of these pictures, it looks like you are having a great time! Enjoy!! Xoxo
jordan @ dancing for donuts says
omg this trip looks and sounds absolutely incredible!! my parents went to kiawah a few years ago and have been raving about it ever since. also, reading about that ice cream had me legit drooling…enjoy the rest of your trip!!
I had no idea sc had beautiful beaches like that! Sounds like an amazing trip!
http://trendkeeper.me .. #1 Fitness Motivation Tip!
Katie @ Live Half Full says
That pink dress looks so adorable on you!!!
Colleen @ Frenchie Farm says
Your babymoon looks amazing! I’m ~28 weeks pregnant with baby #2, but life is way too hectic right now to squeeze in a vacation so I’m definitely a bit jealous! Enjoy mama, you deserve it! 🙂
Charleston has always been on my bucket list and now I feel like I really need to book at trip! Also, you look amazing in that pink dress – such a beautiful mama!!
Alaina Burran says
I just wanted to say that I recently read something saying how much bloggers appreciate when those who read leave behind some “love.” This is purely just to let you know how much I enjoy reading your posts daily. It is a part of my day and you are a beautiful person inside and out. I am very excited for your baby to arrive, as well, and hope this vacation is exactly what you and Ryan needed to readily welcome your precious gift! I know after everything you’ve gone through, this addition is going to be a pure joy for all! Lots of love!
I love your hair and that dress is so pretty!!!
Every time my husband and I are in the car alone, driving to dinner or going on a date, we will say, “Motorcycle!” and point out any cool vehicle – ha! Because we’ve been doing it for so many years! So I can so relate to that comment in your blog!
The good news is, it doesn’t stop. It’s just that now my seven year old son is more excited to see “cool” cars and is always on the look out for a Bugatti! (I didn’t even know what a Bugatti was months ago!)
Have so much fun! I can’t wait to read more about your trip!
The Curious Frugal says
So great that you and Ryan were able to get away on a little trip just the two of you. And I love your pink dress, it’s so pretty!
Enjoy Kiawah! We’ll be going at the end of May with my husband’s family, and I can’t wait for a breath of fresh air, sunshine and relaxation. It’s such a serene place and I’m glad you’re getting to experience all the highlights. I’ll be sporting a 27 week baby bump at that time!…do you have any recommendations for wear to find cute swimsuits?
You will LOVE Kiawah! Honestly, I’m STRUGGLING with bathing suits right now and wore an old bikini for our babymoon this time but I’m definitely in the market for a maternity suit! I’ve heard great things about Athleta’s suit for growing bellies so I’m planning to check them out!
Hi! Unrelated and random, but as a fellow book lover, wanted to make sure you knew that Amazon has free Kindle downloads for 9 books to celebrate World Book Day! I think it lasts until April 24th. You should have gotten an email about it if you use Kindle!
Hope you’re having an amazing time!
Kim from MN says
Just popping in quickly to say how much I enjoy these vacation posts. Making time for yourselves is so important and what a great place to do it! I’ve always wanted to spend time near Charleston. Also that dress looks so cute on you, plus it looks pinker on you then it does on the Nordstrom website. Do you think your pic is more true to the real pink of the dress, or do you think the Nordstrom pic is closer to the true pink? Their pics seem to be a soft, baby pink, and yours seems deeper (I don’t look good in very light pinks, but darker pinks are my jam!)
Hope you’re still enjoying yourselves! Have fun!
Thank you Kim!! So great to hear from you as always!! <3 To answer your question, I think the pink is definitely deeper pink than the color looks online. It's not a baby pink at all and more of a rich almost salmon color pink.
I visited Charleston a few years ago when I was in the States and it’s just as beautiful as I remember it. Enjoy your special time together.