The Aiken Steeplechase


I was in Aiken South Carolina this weekend. A family friend of ours has a place down there and welcomed us for some of the fall horse festivities! I got to go to my first steeplechase and my first polo game (watch for another post).

To put it simply, it’s a world away from barrel racing. It’s on the opposite end of the horse spectrum, but man is it something I could get used to. We just don’t have open bars and buffets in the rodeo world.

Enjoy some gorgeous athletes (and their riders). I had a wonderful time watching them in their zone.

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6-4-17: A Late Afternoon Photo Diary


I realized late afternoon yesterday that I need to start carrying my giant DSLR around with me again. I’ve gotten really lazy about it because my phone has a camera like everyone else (even though it really needs an upgrade, even if just for the camera). I forget how much that giant camera makes me want to take pictures and I forget just how much there really is to take pictures of.

I’m a strong believer that we shouldn’t be recording every second of our lives, but I forget how beautiful some of those moments are. For example, yesterday afternoon after a flash storm. My yard was overcast and it seemed to be calling me out to come take pictures of it.   Continue reading

Ya’ll’d’ve Done it Different: How I Define the South


I saw a post recently on Tumblr that stated only in the south would a monstrosity like ya’ll’d’ve be both used normally and considered grammatically ‘correct’. Another one I really like? All ya’ll, because ya’ll isn’t plural enough. This is a side note, which might not be the best way to start a post, but I enjoyed the humor.

I’ve been meaning to write a post on how I define the south, since it is after all part of my URL. Anna Down South was not chosen just because I love the south, but because the south is a big part of my identity. This blog was never meant to be a travel blog where I post all the southern hot spots or a place where I only talked about southern topics, it was supposed to be a lifestyle blog, and I just happened to feel like my lifestyle was southern enough for the name.

So how does one define the south?

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Equine Study: Field Mates


At some point I figure people will start unfollowing Anna Down South simply because I post too many horse pictures. Is it a risk I’m willing to take? Clearly. It’s hard not to when these creatures pose so easily and are already such a huge part of my life. I do, honestly, try to switch it up a little and not only post my horse D’Artagnan (the spotted one of past posts (XX – X). So with that being said, here are some of his field mates. Grazing away just days away from fall foliage taking over.

Reasons to Live in the South:


  • The Weather is known for being warmer, I feel like that is enough reason to live down here, but lets go into this: There is less snow which means less shoveling, salting, layering eight layers on to get mail (and ironically more snow days from work and school). There is more time for summer activities such as swimming, boating, fishing. Flowers are out longer. Fresher foods because our food season is longer.
  • Our Twang is really cute. We say “ya’ll” and “all ya’ll”. We even deliver insults in a way that sounds strangely nice. We call people honey and darling, and it’s all so endearing. You don’t often hear “I really want to date a boy with a Boston accent” or “Oh New Jersey accents are so charming.”
  • The music might be known all over the world, but it’s roots are here. Country music and folk sound different but their all from the same core. Banjo? Mandolin? Boot stompin’, windows down radio up. It sits in your soul well, doesn’t it?


  • Community is everywhere, and I’m not going to pretend it isn’t, but there is something about southern community that hits home. College students go back for homecoming games at their high school. Neighbors drop by pies when they hear both good news and bad. Everyone waves at everyone. You talk to strangers in elevators. You generally know neighbors by name, and generations are always mingling.
  • Our food speaking of pies. It’s not great for weight loss, but it sure is good for comfort. Apple pie, biscuits, corn bread. The list can go on and on and on.

There is a lot lacking in the south, but it’s home, and I’ve noticed that people who leave always seem to come back. People retire here. We move a little slower, and talk that way too, but it’s a way of life that should be cherished! So whether you want to live here or not, I think you should at least visit it. It needs to be experienced by everyone.

Charleston Market:


Oh me oh my. This was perhaps my favorite part since I could afford the market but not the higher end stores! I didn’t exactly buy anything from either, but it’s much more enjoyable to look at things that you could buy if you truly wanted too. Sadly most of the artwork I couldn’t take pictures of for legal reasons, but I was able to take a few. There were a ton of amazing art prints, but as for unique art the butterflies below were my favorite! The baskets at the end were all made of sea grass and the women at the stands were even making a few as we passed by. Definitely a must see while in Charleston. IMG_1560 IMG_1555IMG_1558IMG_1561

Charleston South Carolina: Sea Breeze and Southern Charm

IMG_1563IMG_1572IMG_1566 IMG_1574IMG_1576IMG_1568IMG_1580 IMG_1573IMG_1585IMG_1564© Anna Katherine Oates, 2015, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

My sister’s bachelorette weekend took place in Charleston, and though it’s only a state away, I’ve never been before! We spent a ton of time on the beach, but it was the city that stole my heart (which if you know me well you know is not normally the case!). The charm is undeniable, and it was everything it was talked up to be. Good food, good shopping, horses, and beautiful houses (worth more than I’ll make in my life). I wish I had been there for longer to really explore everything it has to offer, and I’ll tell you, I will be back! For now let me share some of my favorite shots, none of them being of the buildings you normally see of Rainbow Row and the Battery. There was much more to see than that!