Wanderlust Posts

Wanderlust: San Diego

By: Shelby Adamson Pawlak

My husband and I recently had the chance to jaunt to the west coast, where I was a bridesmaid in a good friend’s wedding in San Diego.

Photo courtesy of San Diego Eater.

Photo courtesy of NBC.

Upon arrival we made our first stop at Liberty Public Market. Old navy barricades were transformed into eateries, bars, and craft vendors. What I loved about the space, besides the food and unique artful gifts, were the farmers market booths on the lawn and the vegetable garden growing out front. Spanish style architecture and bright paint helped us to appreciate not only the food but the detail in the structure as well. We loved it so much we went our first and last day in California.

Photo courtesy of California Beaches.

Photo courtesy of Traveldigg.com.

The next place on our list was Balboa Park. Rich in history, the park is home to multiple museums, performing arts venues, beautifully lush gardens, greenhouses, trails, and of course the San Diego Zoo. San Diego has the perfect climate for vegetation and it’s easy to lose yourself in the vast rose and cactus gardens. Our personal favorite was the greenhouse, which had an abundance of every plant you can think of. We even saw a staghorn fern that was close to 6 feet tall! Spectacular!

Photo courtesy of La Jolla Mom.

Photo courtesy of Hipmunk.

Our last leg of the trip was the wedding in La Jolla. The drive up was incredibly stunning with bright yellow and orange wild flowers climbing their way up the cliffs along the highway. We were lucky to have the venue directly on the beach, and allowed ourselves to get lost staring into the vast turquoise of the ocean and the beautiful topography of southern California. We treated ourselves to a night at La Valencia hotel, a Spanish style establishment built in 1926 that boasts original hand painted murals from the 1940s and is set right on the ocean. We did not want to leave!

We loved our visit to southern California and the only regret we had was not staying longer!

Wanderlust: Charleston, SC

By: Shelby Adamson

With the summer winding down, a quick jaunt to Charleston was the perfect cure for my wanderlust. Sure, there’s the beach, but Charleston has so much to offer at any time of the year. Let me take you on a little tour.



James Beard Award-winning chef Sam Brock only uses locally grown food indigenous to South Carolina to create rich southern cuisine. Brock has been known to say: “If it doesn’t come from the South, it’s not coming through the door.” He transforms traditional cuisine into modern fare that compliments the contemporary furnishings in a historic building. Husk is a feast not only for your eyes, but also for your stomach.


Ghost Tour:

After enjoying the low country fare, take a walk through Charleston’s historically rich streets. Black Cat Ghost Tours takes you by lamp light through downtown and weaves tales of darkly romantic ghost stories. The tour includes the gateway walk, a century old walkway that passes through several historic churches and cemeteries. Your tour guide will point out cryptic architecture and ironwork, and of course there will be talk of paranormal sitings. Educational and spooky? Yes!


Historic Charleston City Market:

In 1788 land was ceded to the city of Charleston by Charles Cotesworth Pinckney with the stipulation that it must be kept as a market. To meet this requirement, low sheds were built to house meat, vegetable, and fish vendors. In 1841 the current Market Hall was erected for meetings, social functions, and of course to house the vendors. When you visit these markets you will also notice beautiful handcrafted baskets made by the Gullah. (I could go on for quite a while about their rich and fascinating history; learn more here!)



What a stunner. It’s no surprise that 5Church has been featured in Architectural Digest. An old church with stained glass windows, the building was renovated and converted into a beautiful restaurant with a satin smooth masonry bar that runs the length of the restaurant. Not only are the cocktails are on point, but also “The Art of War” is written on the ceiling!


Angel Oak:

We will call it the Tree of Life. Angel Oak is a southern live oak located in Angel Oak Park on Johns Island near Charleston and is estimated to be 500 years old. Even so, it may not be the oldest tree east of the Mississippi (but is definitely my favorite). A walk around this tree makes you truly appreciate the beauty in nature, and the beauty that is South Carolina.

Charleston is a totally reasonable driving distance from Atlanta, so embrace the whimsy of a last minute adventure and go! I’m positive you’ll fall in love with the charming city just as I have.

Tihar: Nepal’s Festival of Lights

By: Stephanie Andrews

The end of October marks an incredible festival in Nepal called Tihar. Five years ago I got to witness this beautiful celebration in person in Katmandu, and it was truly an amazing experience. Dogs, cows, and homes were adorned with marigold garlands and lit up at night with candles, creating a breathtaking atmosphere.

One day of the festival is dedicated to cows, who are venerated with garlands and the best grasses because they signify wealth and prosperity.


Photo courtesy of Mashable.

Colorful earthen lamps are used to decorate the home during this festival of lights.


Photo courtesy of Avax News.

Cows aren’t the only animals celebrating Tihar. Dogs are also honored during the festival with flower garlands and vermillion (and food!).


Photo courtesy of Life With Dogs.

The festivities during Tihar are truly a one of a kind sight. Just another reason visiting Nepal should be on your bucket list!

Color Palette: Australian Coastline

By: Danielle Clockel


Photo courtesy of Daily Mail.

From left to right:
Farrow and Ball Cat’s Paw
Sherwin Williams Cape Verde 6482
Sherwin Williams Cotton White 7104
Sherwin Williams Calypso 6950
Benjamin Moore Northern Lights

Recently we’ve found ourselves drawn to shades of deep teal. Until we can make our way to salt water, this beautiful picture will have to do!

Wanderlust: Japan

By: Stephanie Andrews

After an incredibly beautiful trip to Italy last year, my husband and best friends and I began planning our next trip for 2017. It didn’t take much deliberating: we decided on Japan. We each have our own reasons for wanting to go, but for me it’s very personal. Japanese focus on simplicity, orderly and functional design, and attention to detail are values and aesthetics that I truly appreciate. And considering I grew up with Hello Kitty, love eating sushi out of Bento boxes, and created a Japanese modern garden in my backyard, I guess you could say Japan has always seemed magical to me.


The Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden in Tokyo features bountiful cherry blossoms, beautiful bridges, and rolling hills and paths. Formerly a castle ground of the Emperor, it’s now a national treasure for all to experience.


I am drawn to many forms of Buddhism. The Kiyomizudera Temple in Kyoto was founded in 780 on the site of the Otowa waterfall and derives its name from the fall’s pure waters.


Did you know that Japan has the largest number of architects per capita? Most people in Japan that can afford to buy a house build a new one rather that buying something pre-owned, so they build their custom dream homes without regard to resale. This tiny home has everything so well organized; it’s the epitome of efficiency and minimalism.


If you’re looking for historical Japanese art from the masters, try the Tokyo National Museum. I would love to learn the technique behind those iconic brush strokes and create some Japanese inspired art from my travels.


Obviously you can’t talk about Japan without mentioning sushi. Just look at that beautiful food! And getting to experience the real thing in Japan is sure to be a priceless experience.

Know of any hidden treasures in Japan? Must-see attractions? Comment and let me know!