Being the “Traveling Newlyweds”, we look for destinations that inspire adventure, that inspire discovery, that most importantly, inspire romance. Places that are off-the-beaten path - but easily accessible, places where we could escape for the week - or visit for an epic weekend getaway, places that we’ve heard about before - but never knew just how special they really are….

Places where our love story can further be told. Places like Virginia.

That’s right, Virginia. Their slogan “Virginia is for Lovers” was created 50 years ago, and it’s as true today as it was in 1969. From the rolling green hills to the quaint, family-run wineries... I guess you can say that we’ve fallen in love with this enchanting state. It’s approachable and down to earth, but at the same time Virginia is one of the most romantic and enchanting places we’ve been. It’s the perfect spot for a honeymoon or anniversary. And when their slogan is “Virginia is for lovers”, can you expect anything else?


We’re the kind of people that will take any excuse for a photo opportunity. Whether it’s a funny sign or a pretty mural, you better believe we’ll stop and strike a pose (or two). When we found out that Virginia has more than 150 LOVE artworks across the state, we immediately went into planning mode, hoping to see as many as possible.

While we didn’t get to see ALL 150 Loveworks signs (that’s a goal for next time), we did visit quite a few. This map was a super helpful tool for finding the Loveworks signs on our itinerary (which you can learn more about and gain inspiration for other LOVE trips here)!


The hotels we stayed at in Virginia were something out of a postcard. They were quaint, and classy, and all of them had a story to tell.

Hotel Laurance is an inviting and historic boutique hotel in Luray, that dates back to the 1800’s. All 12 rooms have a full kitchen, luxurious amenities, and perfectly fluffy beds. It’s located right on the Main Street of Luray, and they’re incredibly dog friendly. It’s not very often that we get a hotel room with a full kitchen, so being able to have a freezer for ice cream and make our morning smoothies was a game changer. Not to mention the whole staff at Hotel Laurance were all incredibly friendly and welcoming… We could’ve easily stayed for a week!

The Stonewall Jackson Hotel, located in Staunton, is another Shenandoah Valley hotel that’s rich in history and charm. Dating back to 1924, this Colonial Revivalist style hotel is still as enchanting and grand as it was when it first opened. The Stonewall Jackson Hotel is steps away from Staunton’s main street, Woodrow Wilson’s Presidential Library, the American Shakespeare Center, and so much more. Plus, they have a beautiful indoor pool, hot tub, and spacious work out room!

Located in the Shenandoah National Park, the Skyland Resort is an oasis for nature lovers. With sweeping mountain views, snug cabins and spacious suites, it’s a destination that will leave you breathless. Our jaws dropped the moment we stepped out onto our balcony, and it became our go-to spot to watch the sunrise and sunset. The rustling of the leaves, the birds chirping, the crisp, mountain air… The Skyland Resort is truly a calming and tranquil escape. Even our pup, Sally, was obsessed!

The biggest fan of the Stonewall Jackson Hotel

Hotel Laurance was so cute!

More cozy Hotel Laurance vibes

Views from our room at the Skyland Resort!


Being “big city” California kids, we’ve always just assumed that quaint main streets exist only in the movies. Little did we know that almost every city and town in Virginia has a bustling main street that belongs in the next big romcom. Lined with locally run boutiques, cafes, wine bars, ice cream shops… these main streets are typically the hub of the town! (And they’re typically adorable.)

Luray, Virginia is a small town in the Shenandoah Valley that has a darling main street that dates back to the 1800’s. It has everything from family-owned antique shops, cute restaurants like Moonshadows and Gathering Grounds, and a stylish (and popular) wine bar, The Valley Cork. It’s easily walkable, fun for the whole family, and the perfect spot for an afternoon of exploring. (And the ice cream at Stephan’s Sugar Shack is not to be missed!)

Staunton, Virginia (also in the Shenandoah Valley), has one of the most iconic Main Streets in the USA! Architectural Digest, USA Today, Fodor’s, Huffington Post, and the Reader’s Digest have all featured Staunton’s Main Street in countless awards and publications. And in the name of love, Expedia even recently named Staunton one of the “Best Places to Propose in the US”! (We agree!) With its striking brick buildings, lush green trees, and quaint shops and cafes, Staunton’s Main Street gave us “heart eyes” nearly immediately!

Exploring beautiful Luray!

Keeping our day low-calorie by starting with a yummy treat from Gathering Grounds :)

Love the stunning Staunton Main Street!

Family photo in Staunton!


We were instantly amazed (and inspired) by Virginia’s respect and commitment to their local economy. From the restaurants that we frequented to the boutiques where we shopped for souvenirs, these places celebrate and support their local farmers, entrepreneurs, and businesses. Most everything we purchased was indeed “Made in Virginia” - and we LOVE that.

Reunion Bakery (Staunton) serves melt-in-your mouth pastries (their croissants are to die for), freshly baked quiches, and bold, strong coffee. Inspired by the high-quality bakeries in France, Reunion Bakery’s owner and head baker, Bryan Hollar, has worked hard to perfect his baked goods… and it shows.

The Yelping Dog (Staunton) is a family-run wine, cheese, and gourmet shop that has just about everything we love in life. Delicious wine, mouth-watering charcuterie boards, fancy grilled cheeses, and a love for dogs. The owner, Nancy, is as warm and friendly as they come - you instantly feel like family!

CrossKeys Vineyards (Mt Crawford) is a family owned and operated winery set on 125 stunning acres in the Shenandoah Valley. Chances are that when you come for a tasting, you’ll be greeted by one of the Bakhtiar family members, who will graciously welcome and invite you to try some of their 12 delicious varietals. And what’s more romantic than a day of wine tasting?

Reunion Bakery became a daily routine. So good!

Yes, we loved the wine. But oh my goodness, the grilled cheeses at Yelping Dog are INCREDIBLE!

Nice little afternoon of wine tasting at CrossKeys

Vineyard views at CrossKeys


The Shenandoah National Park is one of the most naturally beautiful, picturesque National Park’s we’ve seen in awhile. Not only that, but it’s a mecca for hiking enthusiasts, with over 500 miles of gorgeous trails! We could talk about its beauty for days, but we’ll let these pictures do the talking instead..

If you haven’t heard of the Luray Caverns before, are you living under a rock? (Pun intended!) They’re the largest and most popular caverns in the eastern United States, dating back over 4,000,000 years! This U.S. Natural Landmark is quite the adventure for you and your lover - and if that’s not enough, you can even get married in the cave!

Stunning views all over Shenandoah National Park

The drive through Shenandoah National Park (and view points) is worth the trip!

Those views!

Touring the caverns

Luray Cavern reflections are INSANE!

10 Perfect Mini-Moon Destinations for 2019

10 Perfect Mini-Moon Destinations for 2019

Any engaged couples out there have a short engagement, a tight budget, and the desire to do a huge honeymoon when you can afford it? Allow us to persuade you to embark on the mini-moon! Our mini-moon was a 4-night roadtrip up the California coast, and it was perfect. (Later that summer did our “real” honeymoon in Panama - so we basically had two honeymoons!) We thought we were being so original, but have since learned that a lot of millennials take the mini-moon route these days. (Hey, we’re working people here!) But not everyone knows where to go on such a tight time frame. Here’s our top 10 favorite mini-moon destinations that are romantic, relaxing, pampering, bustling, accessible and DO-ABLE! Heck, visit them all!

Do You Guys Ever Fight? Behind the Scenes with Alli & Bobby

It seems as though the more we share our lives through our travels, the more fascinated our audience is with the “behind the scenes”. If we had a dollar for every time someone asks us, “Don’t you get sick of each other?” - well, we’d have a lot of dollars. We get it all the time! Questions about our relationship, how we live, work, travel together - even people wondering where our dog goes when we’re not home! (Valid question.)

So, we decided to devote a blog post to just that.

The Traveling Newlyweds as you’ve never seen them before… (lol!)

How do you guys do it? 24 hours a day, 7 days a week together?

Alli: It honestly isn’t as much - or as hard - as some people think. Maybe that’s due to our easy going personalities, or maybe it’s luck… but we really haven’t had many issues with spending so much time together. Sure we get on each other’s nerves every once and awhile, but it’s never anything that lasts very long.

We’ve definitely learned patience. For me, that means lingering a little (sometimes a lot) longer at certain spots so Bobby can get the “perfect” shot. My intuition is always to go go go - and that’s not always conducive to content creating. It’s something I’m still working on. For Bobby, it’s patience when we’re (well, mostly me) deciding where to eat. I need to research, look on Instagram, survey my surroundings and compare menus before I land on a decision. Bobby’s “hanger” used to show itself a lot more than it does now!

One thing that I think we do really well is support each other. We’re each other’s biggest cheerleaders. Whether Bobby’s working on a new photography project or I’m writing content for a tourism board, we’re the first to encourage each other. We have to daily remind ourselves that we’re on the same team - and with that kind of mentality, you can do anything.

Bobby: It’s challenging to follow Alli on this, because I would say most of the same things.

Our personalities mesh together in a way that compliment each other, and we don’t get sick of each other. But don’t be fooled... we also work hard to keep a strong marriage. We listen to each other, have date nights, we’re intentional about spending quality time together, we’re quick to apologize and forgive, we laugh often and our inside jokes get weirder by the year, and we are each other’s biggest fan. As Alli said… patience is really important in our world. I get pretty neurotic and particular about photography sometimes, and Alli can just go with the flow. And instead of getting upset when I’m hungry, or “hangry”, I’m getting better at being grateful that my wife is going to find us the most epic spot to eat. See, I’m saying the same things as Alli.

With all that in mind, Traveling Newlyweds is so much fun for us - we see it as a season of life that is uncertain, so we’re cherishing every moment!

You guys look like you’re living the DREAM. Do you even work?

Alli: Believe us when we say that content creating and travel blogging is hard work. It’s extremely long days when we’re in-destination, it’s late-night editing and early morning hustling. It’s a lot of writing, it’s a lot of planning, it’s a lot of busy work, and it’s a lot of being “on”. Being on a “press trip” may sound cool and exclusive, but typically it means red-eye flights, full days packed with meetings, gathering content, interviewing tourism boards and brand agents, and experiencing hosted activities that we’re capturing content for. You may see a snapshot of us laying out at the beach, but the times where we’re actually laying out are few and far between. 98% of the time we’re running around from dawn to dusk!

That being said, we’ll be the first to say that we ARE living the dream, because we LOVE what we do.

We love the destinations we travel to and the clients we work for. We thrive on new experiences and new locations, and learning more about this magical world we live in is truly our favorite pastime. We feel SO BLESSED to call this our job, and we’ll never take it for granted!

Bobby: What she said. We work hard.

How do you work, and who does what? What’s a day in the life of the Traveling Newlyweds?

Bobby: Every day is different. For the most part here is what I do: pursue new opportunities, cook good scrambled eggs, plan out logistics, edit photos, pick up Sally’s poop, take photos, and manage our website.

Alli: Just like Bobby said - no day is the same. Our travels and projects are so seasonal, that it’s constantly changing and evolving. It’s usually a pretty even mix of emails, travel research, phone meetings, picture taking, and editing. It’s incredibly easy for us to spend an entire day looking at a screen - so we try to break it up with evening walks, dinners with friends, and an occasional card game. I always win. ;)

How do you balance work life/personal life?

Alli: It definitely gets tricky when your work life is so personal. We try to be intentional about having date nights where our phones are put away and we make time during the week to hang out with family and friends. Having a dog also helps, as we try to take her on nightly walks where there’s no “business talk” allowed. We’re still figuring out the balance - but so far so good.

Bobby: This was really hard for me when I was teaching (I taught high school math). All of my students would dig into our personal life and it drove me crazy for the first year or two. But then, like an older brother that teases their sibling to get a reaction, as soon as I got over it, they mellowed out. Now that I’m not teaching, the new struggle is finding balance… I sometimes feel like a work-a-holic even though all of our friends would say, “You work?” Alli and Sally force me to slow down a bit, and I’m grateful.

What kind of camera do you use, and who takes your pictures?

Bobby: Alli uses her iPhone Xs, and I use a Fuji XT-1. Not sponsored, I just love the feel of all the dials and the quality of the glass. But if you work for Fuji and want to sponsor me, let’s talk.

What’s been your favorite destination so far?

Alli:  I LOVED Japan. The people, the food, culture, the pride in their culture and country. It’s by far the cleanest country I’ve ever been to - even the subway in Tokyo is pristine! It’s hilariously quirky too - hedgehog cafes, robot shows, teeny tiny bars that hold only eight people… And don’t even get me started on Kyoto. One of the most magical, truly “zen” places I’ve ever been. Japan is otherworldly.

Bobby: South Africa. We’re definitely spoiled living in California, and South Africa reminded me the most of home. When in Cape Town, you can be at the beach in the morning, playing with penguins in the early afternoon, and sipping wine in a spectacular wine region in the early evening. There is so much to see and do… and whiskey is really cheap :)

What have you learned from working together?

Bobby: Alli isn’t afraid to dream big. She loves thinking of the next destination, strategy, or campaign that we’re going to go after, and nothing is out of reach. She also tries really hard to hear me out when she doesn’t like one of my far-fetched ideas. She’ll let me go on and on about why I think an idea or product is what our next move should be, and then will gently (most of the time) let me know that it’s not a good idea.

Alli: Bobby is SO driven. He’s the first to wake up and start working in the morning, and he’s usually hustling on projects and emails until he falls asleep. He’s always coming up with new ideas for TN, and for having zero marketing/social media experience - he’s really caught on quick!

Is it hard having a dog and traveling as much as you do? Where does she go when you’re gone?

Alli: It’s only hard because we miss her so much!!! We try to take her on as many trips as we can, but most of the time she stays with my parents. She’s the closest thing they have to a granddaughter, and they love her just as much (if not more) than we do! Shout out to Mama and Papa Swan for being the best puppysitters EVER!!

Bobby: Yeah, it’s not that hard. We love Sally so as long as we know she’s being taken care of and getting lots of love, it’s not that big of a deal. We’re super blessed to have Alli’s parents, as well as an amazing doggie-daycare right down the street.

What’s one thing you can’t travel without?

Alli: I don’t go anywhere without my Aloha bags. I’ve been traveling with them for nearly four years now, and they’ve completely changed the way I pack. They’re waterproof, machine washable, durable, incredibly lightweight - and even make cute clutches when you’re on the go! I LOVE THEM. (not sponsored.)   

Bobby: I can’t travel without my earplugs. Nothing special, just the squishy ones you get at a Rite Aid. Whether it’s crying babies on a plane, or Alli talking in her sleep, I am always thankful when I have a pair of earplugs in my backpack.

What’s your dream destination?

Alli:  Samoa. It’s perfectly underrated - and I’ve wanted to go for years… Turquoise waters, rugged rainforest, friendly locals.. It’s going to happen.  

Bobby: Tahiti was a destination that caused us to start Traveling Newlyweds, thinking it was a place we could never afford on a teacher’s salary. So I think if/when we go there, it will be pretty special.