On a road trip absolutely FULL of amazing adventures, this couple of days was probably my favorite. The weather was probably a huge factor in that it was the only day where the sun was out it wasn't too chilly (side note - year of the polar vortex was probably NOT the prime time for a trip trying to escape the crappy weather - it was uncharacteristically cold everywhere we went, even Florida). It was nice to enjoy the beach in appropriate beach weather, haha. The water was still kinda cold, but that was easy to get over once I discovered all the pretty things to see under the waves. This day spawned a new obsession - hunting for seashells! I found the prettiest one of the whole trip (above - a pear whelk), and one of the few unbroken finds of my haul.
I spent the day at Pensacola Beach, and towards late afternoon I headed east a few miles and parked the van by the dunes on Santa Rosa Island, where bay was visible to one side, and the gulf to the other. I hung out in the van that night, played lots of Clue Express with the bf, and soaked up the amazing beachy atmosphere. There weren't any signs prohibiting overnight parking (that we saw) so we stayed the night, and I woke up to a beautiful sunrise that turned everything a gorgeous mix of pink, purple, and blue. Walking on the beach and watching the sun rise that morning was a truly spiritual experience. I don't know if I've ever seen anything as lovely. This was the night/morning that really sealed the deal for me, van road trip wise. I got to enjoy this spectacular area, sleep overnight practically right on the beach, and wake up to this view all without seeing another soul, and it cost nothing. Van life, people, is where it's at.
The sun eventually hid behind the clouds and it became significantly chillier than it had been the previous day. I decided to forgo completely suiting up to snorkel, but I ended up getting pretty wet as I collected shells along the shore anyways. The best finds from this beach were an unbroken giant cockle, a fighting conch, and a perfect teeny tiny whelk. Little did I know that, even though it was colder, these would be the best days for swimming and shelling. I thought it would remain pretty much the same throughout my time in Florida, at least, but dang, it was cloudy and low fifties for most of it. Hopefully next year I'll catch some more actual sunny beach days! (I'm already planning on coming back to this area and maybe down to Sanibel Island where I hear the shelling is top notch!)
Unfortunately I wasn't able to fix the problem with my Lafayette Cemetery photo file so I still can't post them. On to Mississippi, I guess! I drove from New Orleans to the town of Ocean Springs, Mississippi and was so stoked to finally be near a beach! My boyfriend was scheduled to play at a bar called The Julep Room that night, so in the meantime we went thrifting (I found $19 in the pocket of a pair of horrid '90's shorts, woohoo!), and took a long twilight walk on the beach.
The next day started off with a free doughnut from Krispy Kreme (they were running a Daylight Savings promo that I had heard about on Twitter, and I know I said this in an earlier recap post, but getting free food when you're on a road trip is the effing bomb). Yum. It was then a short drive on over to Biloxi where Trixy was lovin' the beach view parking spot we got her. The early part of the day was spent soaking up the sun, eating ice cream truck treats, attempting to swim at Biloxi Beach (where the water was suuuuuper chilly and shallow for days), and exploring a local cemetery. After the crazy winter up in Wisconsin and the chilly weather at the beginning of the trip, the beach was, by far, the best thing about Biloxi. Even though I knew I was going to be experiencing lots more beach on the trip, seeing it for the first time here was really memorable. It wasn't long, though, before the van was packed up and we were crossing the Alabama border.
All the snow is ALMOST GONE! After the veritable blizzard we had about a week ago, I think this part of the Midwest is finally getting the fact that winter is SO over. There have been a few rainy days and a few gorgeous days, and, thankfully, no more snowy days. Come on, spring!
I started packing to move this week. I just moved this past November, and now the house I'm renting has sold (it was on the market), so I have to up and move just like that BOOM at the literal WORST TIME EVER to move when you live in Door County. Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuut...you guys! The house I'm moving into is SO perfect. It was FATE that I happened to look on craigslist when I did because I was the first person to inquire about the post, look at it, and make an offer. I am so lucky. I'll be able to ride my bike to work, into town, and to the beach! I signed the paperwork yesterday so it's official! I'm so excited. However, from now until May 15th I'll be in that weird limbo phase where some of my crap is in boxes, at the wrong house, lost forever, ect. You know. Ugh. But it will all be worth it in about a month. I can't wait!
I've been bringing home home lots of great thrift finds lately. My local thrift store has been having mad sales because they're closing for renovations and such, so I've stopped a few times this week. There is only ONE thrift store in my area (It's Door County, people. It's awesome 'cause there's no big box stores up here, but there also aren't a lot of other things that would be nice...like thrift stores. Well, except for this little tiny one I'm talking about.) So I made sure to take advantage of the only sale at the only thrift store in my area, and I scored! I bought some great velvet pieces, a bolo tie (I am obsessed with bolo ties), some pretty maxi skirts, and a cool Hard Rock Cafe tee.
Here are some other things I've been doing this week... Scrolling through every single page of Coconut, Lemon, and Lime. And stalking all over her Instagram, too. She wears white like I wear black and is the absolute queen of wonderfully beachy flatlays.
ReadingA Ride Into Morning: The Story of Tempe Wick by Ann Rinaldi.
The first time I saw a style blogger rocking a pair of Litas I didn't care for the appearance of the shoes at all. It looked like the girl was trip-trapping about on hooves! But then I saw them again and for some reason it was like Cupid emerged from behind two clouds and shot the hell out of me. I fell in love. It was almost as if the boots were so ugly that they were pretty. So, as a girl who can't just drop incredible amounts of cash on a pair of shoes (or anything, for that matter), I admired them from afar. Every so often I searched for them on eBay and was astounded that the prices that were still way out of my range. But then a few weeks ago it seemed as if the eBay fairies were smiling down upon me. I found them for a mere $65.99 (which is still high for me, but was the lowest that I'd ever seen the Litas by far!)! Plus I was able to buy them immediately instead of bidding on them, which never seems to go well for me anyways. They arrived at my door a few days later. You guys. These are the most amazing shoes I've ever owned. They are BEAUTIFUL. I am totally hooked on Jeffrey Campbell now. (I even scored a pair of O-Wildes on eBay a week later for only $24.99!! Eeep!) And the best part is that they were pre-owned so they already have scuffs and scratches on them and I won't have to be devastated when I accidentally bang them up a bit, which I am definitely wont to do.
Today was the most perfect day, weather wise. It was about sixty degrees with a sweet cool breeze. If every day could be like that I'd never ever complain about the weather! I decided on all black, all velvet, big hat, and big shoes. I guess none of that is really out of the ordinary for me, haha. I found this gorgeous Marc Jacobs blazer at a thrift store for around $5 and I am in love with all the details! The shoulders, the buttons, the cut, and even the sweet bow in the back are all just excellent. And then there's the fact that it's black and it's velvet, I should really just never take it off. I love how it looks with this long velvet dress. So delightfully witchy.
velvet skirt - thrifted // Marc Jacobs velvet blazer - thrifted // hat - ASOS // Jeffrey Campbell Litas - ebay //
crystal ball ring - c/o Victory Jewelry // shield ring - Target // claw ring - Claire's // necklace - DIY'd
The reputation of the cemeteries in New Orleans for being aesthetically kick-ass was something I was aware of before my trip. However, no matter how much I researched and how many photos I looked at online prior to my visit, I was definitely not prepared for how insanely awesome the cemeteries would appear in person. The atmosphere is something that's hard for me to put into words. Of course the traditional adjectives associated with graveyards and cemeteries come to mind: spooky, creepy, eerie, ect. And the overcast skies definitely added to the gloomy scene. But there was so much more than how it looked! There was definitely an almost tangible energy in the air - as if someone was holding their breath, waiting to whisper the stories and secrets of the dead into my ear. Gah, I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about it. For someone who loves cemeteries and spends a fair amount of time exploring them, the ones I wandered into in New Orleans were the most beautiful I had ever seen (until I visited Savannah, Georgia, but that's a post for another time...).
These photos were taken in the St. Louis Cemetery. There are three parts of the St. Louis Cemetery, but unfortunately I wasn't aware exactly which one I stumbled upon. I could have spent hours examining each and every marker, but sadly didn't have the time. Planning on visiting New Orleans? Definitely make sure you visit! Hopefully I'll have more photos coming from the Lafayette Cemetery, but unfortunately somehow the file folder those pics are saved in became corrupted and my computer keeps crashing every time I try to open it. Major bummer (that cemetery looked so much cooler than this one...and clearly that's saying a lot!).
When I moved into my current house last fall I was delighted to find a cute little 'fort' space built into my room. It became my designated reading space because who doesn't love reading, or doing anything for that matter, in a fort?! You need a ladder to gain access and all the warm air gathers near the ceiling so it's pretty perfect for snuggling up with a good book. I even taught Luna to climb the ladder (which was mighty hilarious), and now it's one of her favorite places to perch. I'm going to be moving into a different house next month, and that place, though it is a much more awesome house in pretty much every way, it definitely doesn't come with any sweet built-in forts. Hence the setting for this installment of 'Girl Reading.'
I kinda want you to think that it was my idea all along to publish these photos with the illustration effect, but shemurr, it wasn't! Don't you hate it when you work really hard to take some awesome photos but then when you finally upload them you are kinda like well that was a gigantic waste of time because these all look like crap like woah they will be banished to the dark and dusty annals of my photo files where no one will ever see them. Well that happened to me today. Ugh. I was just about to close up shop when I started playing around with my editing software and turned myself into an illustration. I kind of loved it. So I went with it. So now I feel like the frizzy haired bespectacled heroine of some spectacular spy novel. Or something. And I have a furry black sidekick. I don't know, just go with it.
I'm reading A Break With Charity - A Story of the Salem Witch Trials by Ann Rinaldi. I am obsessed with historical fiction and this woman is the best. I literally have seven books of hers checked out from the library at the moment. (Yes, most of them are for Young Adults...but hey, I am super busy and in the middle of moving and sometimes a little YA is just what the doctor ordered. DON'T JUDGE. Plus, isn't 24 still a young adult? I'm going with yes.)
top - thrifted // glasses - Dragonfly Vintage, Milwaukee // ring - Claire's // berry crown - DIY'd
After my tour of Graceland I jumped back in the van and drove straight to New Orleans. I arrived after dark and parked the van on Dumaine Street in the French Quarter. The night life was pretty exciting what with the almost tangible energy about the place and the loads of free live music. I walked up and down the streets and stopped to listen to some of the bands before heading back to sleep in the van (so much better than a hotel, guys, it was awesome). Actually seeing the French Quarter the next morning in the daylight was a pretty wonderful experience. The buildings are absolutely gorgeous! I was smitten, for sure. And visiting a mere day or two after Mardi Gras, I got to see everything still decked out with festival decorations. It was also great to sample some of the local seafood! I tried crawfish, oysters, and catfish for the first time. I loved the catfish, and the fried oysters I had here were way better (in my opinion) than the raw ones I tried later on in Florida. I really think that tasting the local food is a huge part of the traveling experience, and even though I don't include meat or seafood in my daily diet, I did want to at least give it a try on my trip. I'm glad I did! I managed to get out of the FQ to investigate some of the famous cemeteries in the area, but the cemeteries definitely deserve their own post, so stay tuned for those! I only got to spend a couple days here and I was definitely wanting to stay and explore, so I will definitely beplanning another visit to beautiful New Orleans in the future.