Anguilla Day!

Yesterday was Anguilla Day which celebrates the Anguillan Independence with lots and lots of partying - it was an amazing day to be here. The official celebration centers around an island wide  regatta..... and the locals take it a step further by renting charter boats (that literally chase the regatta) full of booze and other "island life" activities. If you want to celebrate with a few hundred of your best friends, then you grab a ticket to hop onto a party barge. You may not be quick enough to keep up with racers but you get a band and who knows what else to help you celebrate Anquilla Independence. 

We spent the day with new friends in a cabana and had the perfect view of the festivities as they roared by. 

Cabana Life

First site of the party barge

Party Barge





 We've decided that today has to be a Honeymoon Office Day...not super romantic but with a house under contract, another on the market and Justin moving to Maine in a matter of days, we need to get on some things. Plus, someone I know is a bright shade of lobster and needs a break from the sun worshipping. 

headed towards tan, fat and happy!



xoxo,

S


Honeymooners



I just couldn't resist making ya'll wait just one more minute! I waited for teeeeeen months to find out - ya'll can make it through a teaser blog post!

So, yesterday our travel schedule went a little something like this:

Richmond, Virginia to Charlotte, NC

Charlotte, NC to St. Maarten

St. Maarten to Anguilla! 

(commence googling)

Anguilla is in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles



We are currently Honeymooned up at the Viceroy Anguilla - which I'm pretty sure was created with Honeymooning in mind....



We'll keep Anguilla as our home base but travel to St. Barths, Saba and some of the more rustic islands in the Antilles. 

The secret is out! Justin did a perfect job and I am dying to get off of this computer and go get breakfast (mimosas) and a tan!



We love ya'll, I'll be back soonish to post a thank you for all of the love, support and dance moves we witnessed on our Wedding Weekend

xox,

S

Where in the World?


Good Morning! Are ya'll wondering where I'm blogging from?? There were so many fun guesses both on the blog and at the wedding activities....and not one single person guessed where we are...and where we'll continue to venture to! 

Despite some thinking they absolutely knew, there were only two people on this Earth who knew besides Justin. Many, many thanks to my sorority sister/20 something roommate/bridesmaid Jamie and her amazing boyfriend Alex for being our Honeymoon Accomplice Team. Neither of you let on that you knew and were perfect secret keepers! 


And yes, we managed to make it through flights, ferry rides, multiple custom stops and travel hazards without me having a clue where I was going. Justin managed to pull it off!

So, where are we??


Guess you'll have to check back and see.....

xox,

s

A Wedding Week in Photos



1. Our marriage license! (that's the white square across the bottom)
2. Peony from my mom's front yard 
3. Sweet wishes
4. Double Rainbow on our drive home to Virginia to get married

Today is full of celebrating my bridesmaids, manicures, mimosas, rehearsing and toasting. 

Have a wonderful holiday weekend and I'll see you Tuesday with an update on where my husband and I have landed for our honeymoon! 

xoxo,

s

THE Best Surprise Of All Time

Ya'll, can I tell you a secret? I am of course super excited to get married and celebrate this weekend full of festivities with our amazingly supportive friends and families......but....I literally can.not.wait. to leave for our honeymoon. Why? Because I have no idea where we are going. 

None.

10 months ago, Justin told me that he wanted to plan our honeymoon as a surprise for me - so that I would have one less thing to worry about our stress over during the planning process. He originally wanted me to pack a cold bag and a warm bag and spent a few months teasing me that we were honeymooning in Alaska. That ceased to be funny the day he told me we were moving to Maine.

Aruba
Here's what I do know:

we will take at least 2 flights (one time he told me 3)
once our last flight lands, we need to take a boat to get to our final destiantion
we are going for 2 weeks
we need our passports
it's somewhere that I've never been 

So, a warm bag it is! Every single female that I know has asked me What On Earth I'm going to pack - I've packed 12 bikinis (too many??), cover ups, anything in my closet that falls into the "resort wear" category and like 10 pairs of shoes.  

He is holding our passports, made all flight reservations and is adamant that I will not know where we are going until we literally get there. 
New York City
I consider myself hard to surprise because I like (ok, need) to know everything but I will say that this is without a doubt the Best Surprise Of All Time.

Any guesses on where we are headed?? Comment below! Our friends have been guessing for 10 months and I love to hear the dream honeymoon destinations that everyone comes up with!

We take off on Monday so make sure the check the blog on Tuesday to find out where in the world we are!

Today we're off to get our marriage license!

xoxo,

s
Charleston, where we met

Old House Love


While I'm super excited about our new house in Maine, I'm having major moments of nostalgia over our current house in South Carolina. This house has so many memories and I have worked hard to make this house a home (when I moved in, it was without a doubt, a bachelor pad). I have a feeling that when the movers arrive I'll have to hide for a minute and collect myself....or I'll just sob hysterically in front of them a la the home inspection hysterics.
Note the Tiger on the front steps









We'll miss this house so much.

Justin built this house 3 years ago and at the time was the youngest homeowner in the neighborhood. This was our first home together and I have had so much fun decorating it and making it ours. 
We've hosted football weekends, get togethers, Junior League holiday parties and countless family visits.
Without a doubt we have fought hard here, loved hard here and laughed hard here. 

But, as Justin is always reminding me, home is wherever we are together.

Farewell Mercer Drive, we'll miss you!

xo

s

P.S. If you want to buy this little memory maker, please let me know and I'll send you our realtors info!

New House Love



Our New House is in Downtown Bangor and was built in 1920. It has quite a few original details and lots and lots of New England Charm.

And get this ya'll - the current owners are a young couple from New Orleans - so there are tiger eyes everywhere in this house! Justin definitely thought this was a sign! I feel good that a cute Southern couple made their home here and didn't freeze to death or die of starvation in the winter. That gives me hope.



I love the deep front porch. I can't wait to get a rocking chair or two and some bright pillows to add some color. You can't tell in these shots but the front door is a fun coral color!

The kitchen and bathrooms have been updated (which is great!), the floors are original and all of the dark wood that you're about to see is original as well. We have some plans to update paint in the main living spaces, some of the lighting fixtures and some of the dark wood.



Open cabs for the inspection

Love those floors and the cute built in!


The dining room has gorgeous built ins - including this one that is original to the house

I can't wait to fill this with all of our gorgeous wedding gifts!

 Things are about to get a little dark...I can't wait to get the painters in there to brighten things up!






Downstairs we have a super creepy basement (with the laundry room in the creepiest part), upstairs we have 4 bedrooms and a bathroom. And as a bonus we have a completed finished attic that we'll use as a tv room.

Stay tuned for lots of updates posts on the changes that we make to our new home! 

xo

S

Trust

It's a big week around here at Newlyweds:North - it's our Wedding Week! By Saturday we will have earned the name of our blog - after 10 months of planning and 3 years of dating, we will officially be  Newlyweds. 

Wedding Bells will ring this Saturday
So in the name of forever commitment, today's post will tell you a story of complete trust and tolerance. It's the story of "That Time Justin Bought A House That Stephanie Had Never Seen".

As you know, the first (and only) house hunting trip to Maine was a complete bust. I will admit that even though we considered putting in offers on a couple of houses, they weren't houses we would have considered options if we weren't in this unique situation. To put it simply, we are in a rush. We need a home and we need it quick. 

We flew home to South Carolina without a plan. We weren't scheduled to go back to Maine until Justin started work, 2 days after we returned to South Carolina from our Honeymoon. 

And the rest, for me, gets a bit fuzzy. Somehow, Justin got a hold of a listing for a house in Maine...I have no clue if he found it online or if our agent sent it to him...but what I do know is that I was in Virginia celebrating the wedding of a dear friend. My bridesmaid schedule kept me from being attached to my phone but I do know that I started getting text like this:

j: check out this house I found

j: look at that house and tell me what you think!

j: I think I want to put an offer on that house

j: where are you?? I have a conference call scheduled to put that house under contract...

me: (i haven't even looked at the link) just do what you think is right! I can't talk right now

j: ok, I put it under contract

And that my friends, is how we decided to put our new house in Maine under contract. Via text. Site unseen. By either of us. 

Before any of you with real estate experience (or common sense) have a coronary, let me say that we had every kick out clause in the book in our offer that allowed us to back out upon personal inspection. 

We immediately put Justin on a plane (most expensive flight ever) and he got to see our house that weekend. I, on the other hand, got to look at the online posting....and try not to panic. 

Justin loved the house (as much as he could with the pressure that he was the only one who had seen it) and we moved forward with buying that bad boy. 

Flash Forward One Week:

Our home inspection in Maine was scheduled to take place on Saturday and one of us had to be there...at this point, it seemed important that I get up to Maine to witness what my fiancé had gotten us into...and the home inspection seemed like the perfect time.


Our travel day to Maine was miserable - we sat on the runway in Dulles for hours waiting for a storm to pass. We finally made it to Bangor at 2am....and I couldn't take it any longer. I made Justin drive me to the house. That has people living in it. At 2am. Creepers. I don't know if the 2am showing made me feel better or worse but at least it had taken the edge off of the suspense. 


The next morning it was, of course, pouring. We pulled up to the house and the home inspection team met us in the driveway. They were so amazing, if you ever need a home inspection in Maine, please call Dan and Melissa Smart at Affordable Home Inspections. But anyway, in their amazing-ness, they had arrived at the home early because rain is the best time to find surprises in a home. They immediately launched into the condition of the siding and the age of the home etc..I literally put my hand up to Dan and said "should I tell you now that I haven't even laid eyes on this house yet?"

Dan's mouth literally fell open. 

He rushed me inside so that I could explore the house while he continued on with Justin and our real estate team in the yard.

It was probably best that I was left alone to wonder the house. Ya'll, I was SO effing nervous. I mean, this deal was done. Barring something showing up in the inspection that said the house was about to fall down, this place was going to be our home. 

I think I held my breath through the door....but just a few steps in and I knew...this was our home. 

And here is how I handled the situation like the mature, soon to be married woman that I am:

I sprinted out into the side yard, knocked Dan out of the way, and fell onto Justin hysterically crying.

I was just SO relieved! Justin (who has 3 brothers and doesn't really understand girls all that well) asked me if I was hurt....or sick.

I just couldn't believe this house that we bought site unseen was THE house, OUR house, and it was going to be the perfect home for us in Maine. 

After I composed myself (kinda), and apologized to the all male team around us, we carried on with the home inspection. At this point, we are all set to close on June 26th, 16 days after we come home from our honeymoon.

I don't usually brag on Justin very often, but this time he deserves all of the credit for finding us the perfect home and being brave enough and confident enough to go after it in a unique situation. 

Tomorrow I'll post more pictures of the house! 

Blooms in the Backyard
xoxo

A Week in Review



This Friday morning is a bit too hazy for a full post - blame it on the copious amounts of pasta, bread, booze and gossip from Thursday night's Downtown Alive (a Summer tradition in Greenville - a must do if you're ever in town!). I think Friday's are going to be a photo post kind of day on Newlyweds:North so I'm launching the tradition today - hence forth (oh, fancy!) Friday posts will be "A Week in Photos". 

Now maybe Justin will stop complaining about me taking pics of everything with my phone!

Aaaaaand, maybe my friends who are too busy to read the super long and wordy posts I tend to favor (you know, because they work!) will appreciate some light reading on a Friday (love you, will miss you the most!).

1. Penobscot River, Downtown Bangor
2. Artisphere, Greenville, SC 
3. Rain boots in the wine store
4. Tracks
5. Gummy Land, Bar Harbor
6. Lobster Lunch, Bar Harbor 
7. Little River, Downtown Bangor

Have a wonderful weekend ya'll!

P.S. For more photos follow Newlyweds:North on Instagram! Theres a cute little button on the right of the blog that will take you directly to us, or search for the user name snfreeman

P.P.S. Newlyweds:North is on twitter too!
There's another cute button on the right for our twitter page or search @NewlywedsNorth

P.P.P.S. I love Pinterest, too! 

In Flight Entertainment

Between trips to Maine and trips home to Virginia for Wedding Activities, I've had ample time to absorb the "peaks and pits" (thanks Kardashians!) of killing time during air travel. Below, I will highlight some of my favorite forms of In Flight Entertainment. 

Comediennes


Are ya'll watching Mindy Kaling's new show? It took me a few episodes to get on board and really get her style of humor but now I honestly laugh out loud when I watch it. I hoped her book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me, would be at least giggle out loud funny but honestly, it was very tame. It is clearly written in Mindy's trademark style and she stays true to her voice throughout - but I just didn't love it. It's very G-rated which lead to a feeling that it might have been written for a younger audience (and considering I still, to this day, love Twilight, that's saying something) 


Sweet grainy iPhone shot!
Ya'll, you HAVE to read this book! My Matron of Honor let me borrow Jenny Lawson's Let's Pretend This Never Happened while we were in South Beach for my Bach Weekend. Sadly, I wasn't up to reading it on the flight home (I was too busy vomming, gross) but I tossed it in my carry on for my most recent flight to Maine. I looked like that crazy person who was cackling to herself the entire flight but it was SO worth it. I love Jenny's style and her tales of childhood are just too good not to share.

Disclaimer: this book is not G-rated...if you don't like swearing or general craziness, this book isn't for you. I think that might be what I loved most about it, but no judgement. 

People Watching

And by "people watching", I mean "fiancé watching". Justin is an engineer and flying with him can be amusing. Every.single.time we fly he says something along the lines of "flight is SO cool....I mean, I get how this plane flies, but I mean, HOW does it get in the air?!" I typically try to hide behind the latest In Style during this little scientific a-ha moment but on our last flight I couldn't help but laugh at him. We were sitting in different rows and he had still managed to get a window seat - the kid always gets a window seat so he can watch the plane take off and marvel at the sciencey-ness of the whole thing. From my aisle seat a few rows back I could see him perfectly and for the first time I noticed what a little kid he is when he flies. He literally leans as far into the window as possible and blocks the entire window from view - he grins and shakes his head as if to say "this is SO neat!"



(He's really not a science nerd in real life, like at all, only when he flies, which is why I think it's so amusing. Guesses on how long it takes before he calls me from work and tells me to edit this post??)

Eavesdropping

This is my most tried and true method of tolerating a long boring flight. Other people talking on planes can sometimes feel like an ice pick to the ear so I say embrace it and listen in. If they choose to yell and share their story with the entire plane, who are you to deny them an audience?

On our flight out of Bangor we were again separated and I shared a row with three 20 something girls who were flying to a work conference together. As one of them was across the aisle sitting with me, they needed to yell across the plan to chat. Fun huh?

Here are the highlights from their conversation:

Girl 1: I don't follow labels at all (holding an In Style in her lap).
What's Lilly?

Girl 2: Oh you know, they make the matching mother daughter stuff...

Me: eye roll so hard my contact fell out

At this point I put my headphones in and turned up the soundtrack to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (featuring Donny Osmond - that's the best version) as loud as it would go. If Broadway can't drown a bitch out, nothing can.



45 minutes later, my iPad dies...

Girl 2: I was telling someone that I used to be conversational in French...you know, when I was in high school. And then I realized that high school was 15 years ago...FIFTEEN YEARS AGO! I graduated FIFTEEN YEARS AGO!!!!!
Hand gesturing and panic ensues.

Me: (in my mind) Why the eff isn't my iPad working?!
Glare across isle in the hopes that she'll self soothe.
I mean, come on, it's nothing to be upset about. Grandfather time robs us all...and honestly, no one speaks French. Like, no one.

Time to let go of the glory days. 

If you stuck it out through this whole post, you are now armed with at least one new book you can read on your next flight and probably a few questions about my taste in music.

You.Are.Welcome!