Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Virginia Beach, VA

May 1, 2023

Relationship Monday: Our First (Dating) Anniversary Recap.

       I've got a different type of Relationship Monday post for you today!! Ryan and I celebrated one year of dating on April 24th. I thought it would be fun to share a little recap of how we celebrated, as it involved a fun day trip that I hope we can make an annual tradition!

     We matched on the dating app Hinge in February 2022, but we consider 4/24/22 to be our anniversary as it's the day Ryan officially asked me to be his girlfriend. We were long distance at the time, and he wanted to ask in-person on a trip to Virginia. He asked me while we were on a day trip to the charming town of Cape Charles in Virginia's Eastern Shore last year on April 24th. (There's kind of a funny story with that too which I'll share someday!) Anyways, I told Ryan a couple months ago that I thought it would be fun to make it an annual tradition to do a Cape Charles day trip in the springtime. It doesn't always have to be over our exact anniversary weekend, but I'd like to try to make it a thing we do each year sometime in late April or early May. The Eastern Shore is a lovely part of Virginia filled with so many charming towns, and thanks to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, it's really not very far from Virginia Beach! 

Cape Charles day trip 2022!

Cape Charles day trip 2023!

      I had a volunteer event with Junior League and a friend's birthday party on the Saturday of our anniversary weekend, so we decided instead to do our Cape Charles day trip on Sunday. We lucked out with beautiful spring weather! Cape Charles is one of the southernmost towns in Virginia's Eastern Shore, and (without tunnel traffic) is under an hour from Virginia Beach. There are a few streets of historic homes, a lovely public beach on the Chesapeake Bay near downtown, and a historic main street that has lots of shops and restaurants, as well as a couple boutique hotels. It reminds me a lot of my favorite little southern town, Edenton NC! Edenton is a little bigger than Cape Charles, but similar vibe overall.

      On last year's day trip, we started the day a bit north of Cape Charles with a visit to nearby Chatham Vineyards winery, and then explored downtown Cape Charles. This year we decided to pass on the winery, and instead started our day with lunch at Kelly's Gingernut Pub, which is an Irish pub downtown. We walked the Cape Charles Fishing Pier and recreated the first photo that we ever took together last year! We then continued our window-shopping tradition and enjoyed seeing some new shops that had opened since we had last been to Cape Charles. Then it was time for some sweets. We got some candy to take home with us at Cape Charles Candy Company, and ice cream to enjoy right then at Cowlick's Creamery. 

     We also got to start a new hobby on our anniversary this year! Ryan recently asked me if I had ever heard of geocaching before, and I got so excited when he asked. When I was growing up, I had a close friend who would often go geocaching with her mom. I even got to tag along on a few of their adventures! I always wanted to pick it up on my own, but never got around to it and then forgot about it over the years. If you haven't heard of geocaching before, it's essentially a free real-life outdoor treasure hunt that happens worldwide. You use the GPS powered geocaching app to locate geocaches, which are cleverly hid containers in outdoor public spaces. 

    We decided to give the geocaching app a try while we were up in Cape Charles to see if we could find our first one. We picked one out on the app, and set off to find it! It took us a good 15-20 minutes of searching, but Ryan finally found it based on the clues! It was so much fun, and my favorite part of the day. I'm looking forward to seeing what other geocaches we can find in the months and years to come. There are a ton in Virginia Beach and Norfolk, so we have lots of local opportunities to find more. 


      After finding the geocache, we headed back to Virginia Beach. We stopped briefly. at a scenic overlook on the Chesapeake Bay that was right before the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Speaking of the tunnel, the CBBT is the longest bridge-tunnel complex in the United States! And it used to be the longest in the world. Crazy to me that we live so close to such an engineering marvel! Tunnels are a part of many people's daily commutes in Hampton Roads. There are five tunnels in the area, but the CBBT is by far the longest. 

     After getting back from Cape Charles, we opened anniversary gifts and cards. Since we had been out all day. we decided ahead of time to postpone an anniversary dinner for a weeknight. We went to dinner on Tuesday at Il Giardino, which is a great local Italian restaurant at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront resort area. Their Penne Vodka is my favorite dish, but I decided to mix it up and tried a new-to-me chicken dish this time. 

      And that was a wrap on our first anniversary! What a wonderful first year together! Ryan is my first long-term relationship that I've ever had. I never had much luck with dating in my early and mid 20s. I'm so glad that in my late 20s I decided not to give up on dating apps and kept putting myself out of my comfort zone with dating last year. (Read more about that in this blog post! If you've been single for a long time, I'd definitely give it a read.) 

      Ryan and I have each had some tough things arise in our personal lives throughout the past year, but we have each worked hard to be each other's support person throughout these circumstances. And having a supportive and encouraging significant other when life sends difficult curveballs is a wonderful gift that I don't think either of us takes for granted.

     Here's to year two!

     God Bless,

      xoxo Annaliese


1 comment

  1. Congrats on 1 year! Hoping the best for the both of you!


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