Recently I’ve gotten a lot of questions about my move from the Queen City to Pawleys Island, and I swear, the full story is coming to SIS soon. In life, I believe in working hard over getting lucky, trusting your gut, and letting God handle the rest. A strange combination of the three landed me on the coast, and I can’t wait to share the details with you guys (soon).
I’ll also confess that while my new home is just as beautiful as it is warm, long distance relationships are tough. Since we met, Rook and I have never been apart for more than a few days at a time. So naturally this new setup – him in Charlotte, me in Pawleys – has been an adjustment for us, mostly answered by our burning up the roads between the Carolinas whenever we can.
I’m lucky to have the flexibility to work from anywhere with SIS. However, scheduling gets tough. When we are together, it’s either rushing to get to an engagement party, meeting our parents for dinner, or stuck in traffic on I-77. There’s less “in-between” time.. Sunday conversations during SVU marathons, our standing Tuesday night date at our place off Providence Rd., texts during the day about who’s picking up the groceries. This is my favorite time and simply put, what I miss the most.
So, our immediate relief for this long-distance hangover, you ask? A 14-hour drive to our favorite little fishing town along the Gulf Coast. Just me and him.
The best thing about Boca Grande is the laid back atmosphere of the island. Most people you meet are either fresh off the boat or the beach and always in a bathing suit. This makes for quick and easy outfit planning. I’ve rounded up my Must Pack for a Tropical Getaway items and my Cannot Leave Home Without items below, starting with my main suitcase.
Brics Luggage – My Holy Grail of all luggage brands. The company that never lets up on design or durability. I paid homage to my favorite Brics collection last year, including a piece that was actually a hand-me-down from my mom (read about it here). Yes, the bags are pricey. But also, yes, they will last forever. And finally, no, you won’t want to carry any other luggage again. Just ask my college roommates.
Comfy PJ Set – I prefer to travel with PJ sets, and Eberjey makes them as soft as they come. There’s something about waking up in a different place and making coffee in good PJs. Plus if you run into anyone in the hall – hotel staff, boyfriend’s parents, etc., you look put together while still feeling comfortable. These have saved my life on bachelorette and wedding weekends! My home PJs are more of the flannel pants meet old college t-shirt variety.
Flowy Maxi Skirt – Easy to dress up or down for dinner. I like having a dressier backup plan just in case a restaurant is nicer than anticipated. I also love this skirt as a cover-up/accessory. It’s easy to throw on over your bathing suit bottoms for an evening walk along the beach.
Favorite Bather – I’m all about blue & white bathing suits this season. I found this cute nautical stripe bikini at Target this week. I love the lace up back detail!
Good Jean Shorts – Another item that can be multi-functional. I love wearing jean shorts over my suit. They also pair back to a tank or body suit for an easy exploring look.
Favorite Sneakers – I can’t travel without a pair of durable sneaks. You guys know I love my GG’s.. they are the perfect combination of edgy and comfortable. I love styling them in unexpected ways.
Fun Hat – What’s a beach trip without a new hat! I picked up this Bandana style at Anthro recently. I love scrolling through their hat collection online – they are so unique!
Current Sunglasses – I just got these Le Specs in, perfect timing for our trip! They have great styles at reasonable prices. I’m rough on sunglasses and I like to switch them frequently. It’s nice with brands like Diff and Le Spec, because I don’t have to invest too much, and I don’t have to compromise on quality.
Slide Sandals – My go to option for the summer are here and under $40.
Flattering Bodysuit – Such a great addition to any suitcase. This can go under my maxi skirt or my jean shorts. This Free People one is comfortable enough to ride bikes in – we plan on riding around the island one day!
SPF Sun Shirt – We will be offshore fishing part of the week, so I have to have a long-sleeve shirt with SPF for sun protection. I usually put this on about mid-way through the day. The Florida sun is no joke. I size up to a Medium in these.
Slip Sleep Mask – I love traveling with a sleep mask because it helps me get more rest in an unfamiliar bed. I tried this one after falling in love with Slip’s silk pillow case (which I highly recommend). The material is anti aging, anti sleep crease, and anti bed head. Traditional pillowcases don’t slip, so they continuously tug at delicate parts of your face, neck, and hair.
Favorite Moisturizer – I wish I could bathe in Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Moisturizing Cream. Their cult classic is the Moisturizing Balm, but I found it’s too heavy for my combination skin. The cream version delivers the moisture without leaving my face oily.
Foundation – I found Luminous Silk by GIORGIO ARMANI in high school. I try a new foundation every so often, but I always end up back with my first true love. It’s buildable and breathable.
Oribe Royal Blowout Thermal Protectant – My stylist recently got me hooked on this stuff. It works well as a heat protectant, but the real MVP is the smell.. so. addicting.
Dry Shampoo – I don’t leave home without it. I’ve tried salon versions, but Dove works just as well for me.
Rollerball – Sometimes we go straight from the boat or beach to dinner, so these come in handy for freshening up.. I alway throw one in my purse or beach bag.
Smoothing Creme – My hair frizzes at the first sign of humidity. A quick pump of smoothing creme helps keep it at bay. Kenra’s version smells amazing.
I’ll be posting a full recap of our trip when we get home. In the mean time, follow along on my Instagram page & stories here. If any of you guys have been to Boca Grande before, send me your tips! As always, thanks for reading.
Hi there! I’m Alley, the voice behind Styled in September. I’m an ex-buyer turned lifestyle blogger, currently getting my MBA in Paris, France. With SIS, I try to share my style, beauty, and travel stories, sprinkled with a few unfiltered musings in my digital diary. Currently on tap: some behind-the-scenes takes of an American expat in Paris. Thanks for stopping by my corner of the internet!