We had quite a travel adventure in the Southeast part of the country to celebrate and visit with our loved ones for Thanksgiving. As with most of the country, Thanksgiving trickles right into Christmas, and this was evident even more so this year. Not only are Thanksgiving and Christmas closer together on the calendar, but it was also our only chance to celebrate the holiday with our east coast family and friends.
That’s a lot of festivities to squeeze in, but the region certainly helped out by getting all dressed up for us! Allow us to take you along on our journey, and at the same time, we’ll show you how the Southeast shows off their Yuletide spirit.
After landing in Atlanta, we traveled just north of the city to the little town of Lawrenceville. This was to be just a stopover hotel stay before making our way to the Charlotte area to visit with family. We drove into town in search of dinner; however it turned into much more!
We noticed streets closed down and residents running toward the town square, so we quickly found a parking spot and followed the crowd. To our surprise a Christmas celebration was happening complete with a tree lighting, caroling, parade, and visit from Santa. And to top it all off, the three of us got to try boiled peanuts for the first time. Bergen was a huge fan, but Slaed and I are pretty sure we will stick to the roasted variety.
Next up on our tour of the southeast takes us to North Carolina and the adorable small town of Waxhaw. Waxhaw is just south of Charlotte, and very close to the South Carolina border. My sister and her family will soon call this community home as they are building a house here, so naturally we decided to take time to play, shop, eat, and just explore!
During our visit, we hit up the playground, with remnants of Santa’s visit (in the form of artificial snow) left behind from the previous night, and then started to make our way over their local coffeehouse to warm up. The railroad runs through the center of town and our timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Just as we were ready to cross over the foot bridge, the train payed us a visit! You can probably guess that Bergen (2 years old) was the most excited.
Making our way back down to Georgia, to breakup the mini road trip, we stopped in Columbia, South Carolina. We knew the Riverbanks Zoo would be the perfect spot for Bergen to burn off a little steam. We also did our homework and knew that our admission would be free thanks to the zoo’s reciprocal relationship with our Woodland Park Zoo back home in Seattle.
We were very impressed with everything this small zoo had to offer, and felt that the exhibits were well designed and made for easy viewing. Needless to say, they are decked out for Christmas and we can only imagine how pretty it must look at night with all the lights twinkling, bonfire going, and all their other cheery festivities. We just happened to be walking by when one of the staff members was testing out the snow machine. Made for some fun memories of dancing around; with Bergen wondering why his parents were so giddy!
Our last stop on the Southeast tour was Augusta, Georgia to visit our dear friends who have recently relocated there. Though my hair wasn’t thrilled with the 100% humidity, we were happy to put our coats and hats aside and enjoy balmy temperatures. Augusta has so much natural beauty with pine trees everywhere and hanging moss adorning the oaks. We especially loved visiting the Augusta Canal and learning all about their lock system along the Savannah River.
What really got us into the Christmas spirit though was stopping by the Surrey Center not far from where all the Masters (annual golf tournament) action occurs. The chic women’s clothing store, Soho not only had a Christmas tree made of coke bottles, which we kept Bergen at least 10 feet away from at all times, but the owner also fashioned a tree using just deer antlers. Such a fun way to show off the uniqueness of the town and surrounding area.
Where are you celebrating the season this year? Have you discovered any new towns, cities or communities? We’d love to hear from you!
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