I really wanted to visit a small town with cute shops and scenery for my birthday this year, but because the best was an hour away and the day was rainy with the coming hurricane, we decided to postpone it until after our birthday season and make a girl's day out of it <3. So today, Mama, Tori, Bethi and I took a day trip to Aiken! (And little Isaac was a very well behaved little party crasher, of course ;) <3...) It was so much fun <3! Aiken is a gorgeous little town (which was apparently awarded south's best small town of 2018!), and there was so much to enjoy.
First we stopped for coffee, which was a feat to accomplish, because everything was against that coffee... haha. But we persevered and enjoyed our drinks anyway ;), and were on the road! Our first destination was Hopeland gardens, which was a gorgeous small park. It had huge trees and lots of fountains/ponds.
Also, snow. Or the SC equivalent, Christmas lights being prepared for next month ;)...
Isaac was mesmerized by the water fountain!
This right here was some sort of gum tree... I don't remember which, because there were several variations there. But this one is supposed to be known in the south as one of the best for fall foliage, with lots of yellow leaves whrn the season turns... see how "yellow" they are? That's our fall this year, y'all ;P.
Tori said these little wood/tree whatever they ares looked like meercats sitting by the water :).
Our little buddy in the back <3. He did SO good the whole trip!
Yes, my phone camera is bad. Yes, this town is adorable anyway.
Isaac matches the horse in the art store! (And I do not, I know. Ignore me, he couldn't hold himself, hahaha! I wanted to get him "riding" it, but of course there was a sign that said do not touch :P...)
I really liked the clay sculpture art, for some reason! They were unique and fun.
We stopped at a couple of antique shops while we were there, and one of them had a whole wall of shelves... all of them ticking all together, it was such a fun sound <3!
Baby found himself in an antique mirror ;). He was adorable talking to his reflection. (A lady who passed us just could not handle how cute it was, haha, she had to tell him!)
Sadly, those books were not real, hahaha! But I thought this was gorgeous!
We stopped by a little sweet shop, and we had to pick up some taffy and other candies ;). We enjoyed some chocolate covered caramels on the way home, they were delicious! I overheard another lady in the shop saying that no small town was complete without a candy shop, and I whispered to Mama, "truth", haha. This particular candy shop sold popcorn - on the cob! I had never seen that before!
That window display <3. Decorating with candy - and so beautifully! I loved it!
I loved these flowers!
We stayed pretty much until the the shops we wanted to window shop through closed - and we didn't even make it to a couple, because they weren't open on Mondays! The town has a thing for horses (hence the horse Isaac matched ;)...), and it was cute to see the "yield to horses" signs with the traffic signals. (There were also signs to "please do not park for the health of our trees" around what looked like a dirt parking lot?) There was so much beautiful architecture, and cute items in all the local/handcraft/art areas, it was definitely everything I was hoping it would be!
As everything closed, we stopped to grab some snacks and head home, bringing home a pizza party so the rest of the family could help us finish up our amazing day!
Do you like small towns? What is your favorite thing about them/to do while you are there :)?!
Rejoicing in Hope,