The Smokies Peak Foliage

November 2017 Highlights: The Highs + Lows

[shareaholic app=”share_buttons” id=”20872686″]

Hard to believe it’s time for another monthly recap. It seems like I just wrote up October’s highlights! Then again, I was on the road a lot this month with little to no time to blog—this is only my sixth post in the last 30 days—and you know what they say about time flying.

In November, I spent 14 nights in hotels and rentals, though SVV was gone even more than that as he tacked on a bro camping trip in the Tennessee mountains to his agenda. The best thing about November was that, Smoky Mountains weekend aside, Ella was with us all month! Which means, yes, you can expect her to return to her dog-blogging very soon … when her schedule allows.

Tennessee Whiskey Trail


We completed the Tennessee Whiskey Trail! If you don’t know much about my state’s flourishing distillery scene, I implore you to go read the other posts we’ve written. We still have one final installment of our journey to share later this month, but man was that one FUN (and time-intensive!) project.

Tennessee Grains & Grits

We went to the Smokies during peak foliage. This was our third trip to East Tennessee this fall and the prettiest one yet!

The Smokies Peak Foliage

We took an actual vacation. Some ridiculously kind friends loaned us their beach house in South Walton for five days, and we kicked it with Ella. It was a bit too chilly to lay by the beach, but we got in some quality reading time, SUP and naps, went to aerial yoga at my favorite studio and visited a few of my favorite restaurants in the area.

South Walton, Florida

I’ve been working hard on improving my site’s SEO. This is a long process, one we started with an expert in Holland back in the summer, and I’m chipping away at the game plan in any downtime I have. It feels like every time I finally learn something valuable—10 years into blogging, no less—the algorithm changes! Grrrr, Google.

We visited Universal Orlando Resort during the opening of the holidays extravaganza. And what a magical experience it was!

Seuss Landing at Universal Orlando Resort

WE SWAM WITH MANATEES. On our drive back from Orlando, we swung by Crystal River for a quick 24 hours to see these peaceful creatures in their natural habitat. And it was life-changing! Blog post to come (obviously).

We’ve really started to chip away at our 2018 business plan. I feel like I’ve been on the phone nonstop for the past two weeks as we’ve had so many calls with new, potential clients that we’re really excited about.

We had a fun, delicious Thanksgiving with a boatload of friends. And I managed to not take a single picture, too! My sister and Josh were in Charleston this year, so Mom, Dad, SVV and I went to our good friends’ home and celebrated with all (20+) of them.


I had to back out of the St. Jude half marathon I was running. But it’s because of a high: I’m flying to D.C. tomorrow for a work project instead!

Visit Franklin, Tennessee

Was November as insane for you as it was for us?

  • December 2, 2017

    Universal Orlando and swimming with manatees would make my month pretty awesome, too.
    By the way, I love your monthly highlights posts! I think that posts like these are a big reason why blogging took off in the first place–we love to connect with real people through stories of their day-to-day lives or behind-the-scenes peeks.

    • December 15, 2017

      Thank you, Jenna! I LOVE writing about travel, but I really miss the day-to-day posts I wrote in the early years (unfortunately, my day-to-day now includes a lot of hours in my robe and nothing of interest!). I find writing highlights recaps are a happy medium—and a good point of reference for me when I’m looking back in time trying to remember what I was doing during that given month.

  • December 3, 2017

    Aaaand I’ve officially added the Whiskey trail to my to-do list!

    P.s. Who can’t relate to that SEO comment! It’s like speaking a foreign language sometimes.

    • December 15, 2017

      GIRL, FOR REAL. I’m working with three different entities on cleaning up my SEO, and it’s just about to make my head explode.

  • December 5, 2017

    I love the Smokies so much! I think I’m going to get myself back there early in 2018, just as soon as I can settle on an actual weekend to escape.

    • December 15, 2017

      Let me know when you do! Maybe I’ll meet you there 😉

  • December 15, 2017

    Last year I visited Iceland in November, which was pretty great. This year I topped that trip with a holiday in Cuba. I fell absolutely in love. What a fantastic country & lovely people. I’m completely smitten! It’s mid-December and I’m still dreaming about that trip.

    Btw, you swam with manatees? That’s definitely on my bucket list (if I would have one 😉 )

    • December 15, 2017

      I DID. Blog post coming, I just haven’t had time to edit all the footage. But GIRL. It was one of the coolest experiences of my life!

      I really want to go back to Cuba with SVV. I went a decade ago with a friend, and the situation just wasn’t ideal (we got robbed, we had very little cash, couldn’t use cards, etc.) so I feel like I didn’t really get to experience it like I would have loved to.

Leave a Comment