Being from Florida, I’ve ventured in, out and through plenty of beach town’s, communities, and neighborhoods over the last [almost] thirty years. Yet, it’s interesting. None have left me with such warm, genuinely fond memories as the small community of Rosemary BeachÂ® has in less than two months time.
In the middle of May, my friend Whitney [you can find her here … thank me later], invited me to be apart of her and her best friends’ girls trip. She lives in Nashville and we had a budding friendship, so I had never met her friends, but was quick to say yes.
I love an adventure, and I love saying yes to things most people would say no to. Skydiving? I’m sorry. I mean … Jumping out of a plane at 14,000 feet? Done. Would LOVE to do it again in Hawaii one day. Snorkeling with sharks? Give me the goggles. I’m in. A tattoo? Been thinking about it for years, finally know what I want and am having it designed right now. Stay tuned. Inviting a casual acquaintance to come visit you in Florida because her idiot boyfriend decided to be the ultimate idiot? WHY NOT!?! There’s something about these potentially uncomfortable, “you just never know” situations that reel me in. What if it turns out to be an experience that changes your life? Or shapes you into something better? Or teaches you something really valuable? Now … I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I scare people who are closest to me with this bold willingness sometimes. They wish I was a little more weary. And, I admit. There have been times my “yes’s” have yielded a couple “I wish I had said no this opportunity. Stupid. Haley. Stupid.” instances. But … being a go-for-it girl, I guess that’s the risk I’m willing to take, the price I’ll have to pay, sometimes.
I arrived in Rosemary back in May and walked into a group of girls who didn’t just know each other well but wore the badge of ‘best friend’ to each other. That’s a big deal. They all had a history, had been in each other’s weddings, had countless laugh-til-you-can’t-breath moments to reference, yet welcomed me with warm smiles, open hearts and arms. During our short time together, with Rosemary’s charm as our backdrop, we talked about our heartbreaks, where our faith came from, what drives us, what dreams light our hearts on fire with plenty of laughter, wave jumping, wine and dancing infused in between it all. The truth is, I was surprised and I couldn’t quite pinpoint why at first. Then I realized … We live in a world of “you can’t sit with us” kind of girls. It’s such a sad thing. I can’t tell you how sweet it was, comforting it was, inspiring it was, to have been surrounded by girls who weren’t too proud to ask me hard questions, to want to know me, at my core, and accepted me and loved me right where I was at the moment, for who I am and what I love and where God has me.
I left crying, thankful the experience was everything I always hope these situations will be when I say yes. It left me with something beautiful. A beautiful, refreshing experience and perspective. How these women were to me is how I want to be to other women. How I want to leave other women feeling. Because the truth is … we all know how it feels to be shunned for no reason. Or the awkwardness of being in a group of girls who are acting as if you’re not even there because you’re not ‘one of them’. It’s terrible. And hurtful. And, I’ve come to find, that it’s not something that gets better with age, but still present no matter our age. What others think of us isn’t what defines us, that’s not what I’m saying. But God wanted us to do this life together, with each other. And I think He gives us each other, to encourage and support and remind each other that we’re not alone. But, I also think that we, as women, get really prideful about accepting other women. Either prideful, or lazy. ‘I don’t have time to get to know new people. I have my people.’ Have you ever heard girls say that? I’m using the word ‘girls’ for a reason. Let’s grow up, ladies.
Let’s think about it differently …
What if we all just embraced each other?
What if we welcomed the women we didn’t know into our circles more?
What if we put our comfort aside, acknowledged when another woman needed us, and said ‘hey, wanna come sit with me’?
Ugh. Let’s be those women, y’all!
This, in a nutshell, is why Rosemary is so special to me. So, when 30A Street Style and Rosemary BeachÂ® approached me about coming back a few short weeks later, the answer was a given … an IMMEDIATE yes. And who else would I bring with me … but my Whitney!
Rosemary BeachÂ® is a small community located in the Panhandle of Florida, along the Gulf Coast, and it’s captivating. All of it. The turquoise water. The Spanish style architecture. The many tree covered walkways. The “you can’t go wrong” in-town restaurants. The cobble stone streets. The endless number of charming ‘I want to sit right there for a while’ porches. The way you see God’s artistic mastery in the sunset sky each night. The way you feel as you’re standing small at the threshold of his wildly vast ocean. So many little things about this place quickly reminds me of His all-encompassing, charming, beautiful love. Whitney and I agree that this place is like His love letter to us.
From the moment that I opened the doors to our beautiful carriage house [scroll for more photos and go here to book the same unit], there was so much to enjoy! We were greeted by welcome bags with sweet gifts from Rosemary Beach Trading Company; enjoyed beach chairs & umbrella reservations every day; were treated to massages and blowout’s at Vivo Spa & Salon [Thanks Tina & Ilyssa!!], a photoshoot with the very talented Ryan Manthey from Pure 7 Studios, and a shopping trip to Willow + Mercer, the newest addition to the Willow Boutique family, whose stores are popular in both Rosemary Beach and Seaside. More on this shopping trip to come!
Whit and I enjoyed meandering around the community and discovering new little places that are now a part of why we love Rosemary, like this little sitting area outside of Amavida Coffee, where we would walk to every morning to fulfill our bodies caffeine requirement, and the rooftop bar at The Pearl Hotel, where we sipped on margaritas with new friends [Jami, our amazing host from 30A Street Style, and Jessica Fay, her good friend and fellow blogger from Lipstick, Heels & A Baby] and ‘here’s-to-cheer’s-to’ beautiful sunsets, big dreams and amazing opportunities.
Getting lost in a book underneath a beach umbrella with sand on my feet and salt in the air, then cooling off in the gentle waves of the gulf was also a huge highlight for me. I live very close to the beach, but there’s just something different about Rosemary’s … like, oh I don’t know … the beautiful and clear turquoise water! Swoon!
While we loved being out and about, but I think we loved going back to our Village Carriage House just as much. It really was like walking into a home you’ve lived in for years. It was cozy and quaint and comfortable. We were always so excited to go back to it. Whitney would sit outside and read her devotionals and Bible, and I preferred the inside breakfast nook area to write and pray. We kept a full stock of smoked tuna dip and aloe spray in the little freezer. We might have feared for our life a few times going up and down the stairs. [No one got hurt. We’re just babies!] We would lay on the couches, perusing social media or, more often, spilling our guts over whatever we were thinking about. One night, we sat outside, sipping wine and listening to good jams, while I filled out the goal workbook that Whitney has put together to help inspire and motivate the dreamer in all of us. On the last night, after a few margaritas, we laughed until we cried in bed and shared some of those silly moments via Snapchat [never know what you’re gonna get on there! Ha!].
It was literally a dream come true to call the Village Carriage House our home for a few days. It was breathtaking from the start, but I think it’s even more beautiful to us now that we made so many memories there and it was part of what we loved so much about this trip. I highly recommend it if you’re looking to stay in the area. To book this exact unit through Rosemary BeachÂ® Cottage Rental Company, head HERE to proceed.
I’d love to answer any questions you may have about Rosemary BeachÂ® or the Village Carriage House rental. Please leave one for me in the comment section below and I will get back to you as soon as I can! Thank you so much for taking the time to see why I love this place so much, what my experiences here have taught me, and why this trip was one for the books! Make it a great day, y’all! xo.
With love & sequins, Haley “I love when you visit Rosemary Beach. You just radiate with happiness and that makes my heart smile.” My friend, Nicole, on an Instagram photo from our time in Rosemary A huge thank you to 30A Street Style and Rosemary BeachÂ® for their generosity in hosting Whitney and I! We enjoyed your little slice of heaven on 30A!