Fresh Local Loves

We hope you've noticed that a few things have changed on this site since we first started out; our listings and buyer clients (thanks, guys!!!), motherhood, hairstyles (bangs much?), and even more to come, as you'll see later this week on our Facebook page, but the one constant has been our LOVE for local around the Lowcountry.

Today, we'd like to get your feedback on freshening up our Local Loves section. We're updating our own (see below), but would also like to incorporate yours from your different go-to spots around town. This short questionnaire will take less than 5 minutes. Leave your name, if you'd like us to credit you as a source.

Share your Local Loves!

Angela's Local Loves:

Coffee- Muddy Waters Coffee Bar
They always get my order right even when I'm mumbling and half asleep.

Brunch- Baguette Magic
Try the French toast, you can thank me later.

Garden/ Home- Hyam's Garden Center
Serving Charleston since 1981, this local business keeps our yard in bloom. They recently helped me design a cute flower box under my kitchen window.

Library/ Bookstore- Free Little Library
I love stopping by my neighborhood's Free Little Library. (Click the link to find out if there is one in your neighborhood!) 

Mobile Office- In and Out Car Wash
It might sound odd, but I've gotten quite a bit of work completed while having my car detailed.

Boutique/ Clothing- Style Dwell
Style Dwell has perfect outfits for a night on the town or for a fun work look. Bonus: they have great small gift ideas!

Lunch- Cory's Grilled Cheese
This place is a hidden gem. In addition to an amazing grilled cheese, the burger is pretty delicious.

Grocery/ Farm fresh- Sunday Brunch Farmer's Market
Situated behind the Pour House, this market is where we like to shop for local fresh produce, eggs, meat, and pasta.

Park- James Island County Park
With miles of trails, a fantastic dog park, and an awesome playground for the kiddos, this one is hard to beat.

Emily's Local Loves:

Coffee- Collective Coffee
Beyond impressive selection of brews with a knowledgable staff.

Brunch- Edmund's Oast
Babka wasn't even a thing I knew about until I selected it from EO's menu. Every dish is creative and of premium quality.

Garden/ Home- Abide a While
We have big plans to take Grant here soon for his first (but not last experience) to get our flower boxes started.

Library/ Bookstore- Village/ Poe
The public library is my soft spot, so I'd list all 16 of them if I could, but I love the quaintness of the Village and Poes library. Cannot wait to take Grant to see the Easter Bunny at The Village Library next year. 

Mobile Office- Vintage Coffee Cafe
If I could go here every day, I would. Lots of outdoor seating, with a play area for children. It's like sitting in your backyard with endless fancy toast options.

Boutique/ Clothing- Two Cumberland
It just so happens that I don't buy clothes for myself very often anymore, but when I do need a quick option for a wedding or fun event, this store never disappoints. Bonuses: Their staff is incredibly nice and they have two locations (one downtown, one in Mt.P).

Lunch- Rutledge Cab Co.
While it's been around for a while, I recently discovered their $5 burger deal on Mondays from my friend that calls Charleston #vacationland. Truly.

Grocery/ Farm Fresh- Boone Hall/ Wishbone Heritage Farms
Convenience is a big factor here and with Boone Hall being across the street from our house, we never have a problem stopping by to pick up the veg we need for a meal. Now, for our meat and eggs, my husband schedules a weekly pick-up with Wishbone. Their bacon is one of a kind.

Park- Palmetto Islands
This spot has been a go-to since I moved to the Lowcountry. Great for dog walks, dog park, and now baby walks! We recently went with a large group of friends and explored on a gorgeous winter day. The views are spectacular.

Did you know April is Eat Local month? There are lots of events and ways to get involved.

Your turn to tell us your favorite spots around the Lowcountry!

 

A Love Letter for Tater Burney-Wicke

David Wicke:

This past weekend, I had to say goodbye to one of my best friends and beloved family member.  It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.

I met Tater "Buzz" Burney-Wicke over 4 years ago when Angela and I began our relationship.  I had set my jacket down on the couch and Tater hopped up, laid down in it and promptly went to sleep.  Normally, very territorial, Angela was surprised Tater was so comfortable with my presence.  Never once did he snap at me.  He was always tolerant of guests after some initial barking and sniffs, but he instantly liked me and would nuzzle up to me.  The affection was mutual.  Angela once told me that Tater was a major factor in deciding to be with me.  If Tater didn't like me, then I just wasn't good enough. She also told me that she thought I married her to be closer to Tater.  I'm a lucky man that the both of them decided to keep me.  

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Over the years, we went on many travels.  He would hike with us on Hunting Island, comb the beaches on Dewee's Island and Folly Beach, and James Island County Park.  He loved walking through Hampton Park and Downtown Charleston and especially around our neighborhood in Riverland Terrace.  We would take him to visit Angela's parents in North Carolina and my parents in Goose Creek.  He wasn't the quickest dog to walk with, though. Every ten feet, he had to mark his territory.  Tater would turn a 10-minute walk into an hour., but it was worth it to see his happy little tail wag back and forth.

Tater at his Riverland Terrace homestead

Tater at his Riverland Terrace homestead

For a man who loves the water so much, I was a little disappointed that Tater wasn't a water dog but, I think I understand.  Tater was so fiercely loyal and protective, he would literally drown himself trying to rescue you from the water.  Bath time wasn't his favorite, either, but he loved to be chased afterward.

Angela and Tater on Dewees Island

Angela and Tater on Dewees Island

We would often fall asleep and take naps together on the couch.  Sometimes, he would sleep next to my face and let one rip.  Oh so polite, that little guy.  He loved being chased throughout the house ending with belly rubs.  Sometimes, we would search the house for him only to find him curled up in our laundry.  If we ever had to leave him at a family or friend's house, we would leave one of my recently worn shirts in his bed.  He felt more comfortable that way.

Tater was a very punctual dog, too.  Each morning at 7, he would let us know it was time to get up.  At 4pm, he would be by the door, letting Angela know that I was on the way home.  At 5pm, I would come home and he would be under foot, ready to greet me. 6pm was dinner time and at 9pm, it was back to bed.  And if we didn't go to bed? He would get up every few minutes to let us know, "It's bedtime!".

Sometimes, if he was sick or scared, I would stay up all night with him, even on a work night.  I was never angry, I only wanted him to be comforted.  It worked both ways, too. He was there to comfort me on my not so great days.

In the past year, things took a turn.  Tater's heart was failing.  It was becoming too big for his body.  It's called dilated cardiomyopathy.  Pushing against his trachea, he struggled for breath sometimes.  Eventually, it became a chronic cough because it was the only way he could breath, if he became too excited (which was always around me).  It was hard, but he was still happy.  We could still walk through the neighborhood and I could still chase him around the house.

With this past year, we added another member to our family, little Ruby.  While Tater was never playful with Ruby, he didn't mind her either.  And Ruby was enraptured with Tater.  She wanted nothing more to pet Tater, her older "brother".  Some days, he would actually let her.  As she began to learn how to crawl, Tater would always stay just out of reach.  Now, Ruby can race along pretty well.  I think she learned faster than normal with Tater motivating her.  I'd also like to think that his heart got so big because it was so full of love for our family.

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This weekend, Tater lost his appetite.  It was surprising because he was always a big fan of my cooking.  Soon, he couldn't walk for very long.  We took him to the emergency vet.  It was a whirlwind of bad news.  We could tell he was in pain and exhausted at this point.  So, Angela and I made the decision to make his last moments as comfortable as possible with the family he loved so much.  With Tater in both Angela's and my hands, we had to say goodbye to our dear family member, our "son".  Four years was not enough for me and fifteen years was not enough for Angela.

I tell you Tater's story, not because I want you to be sad, but because I want you to know the love we knew by being Tater's family.  It may seem ridiculous to those of you without a pet, but knowing Tater's unconditional love is important.  Even as my keyboard is dotted with tears of sorrow and joy, I want you to feel at least a little of that love.

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We're coming up on the holidays which is a special time of year that we spend with family, friends and loved ones.  So here are a few tips for those of you who will be around your four-legged friends:

- Beware of poultry and pork bones as treats.  They can splinter, become sharp and damage the esophagus, stomach and intestines of your animals.  Cooked beef bones are best.

- During celebrations, loud noises and bright lights can frighten your animals.  Make sure you keep track of them during the use of fireworks and such.  More dogs get lost during 4th of July and New Year's than any other time of year.

- If you are planning on getting a pet for your family this holiday season, check out the local shelters, first.  There are a lot of wonderful animals waiting to be loved and join you for your adventures in the next decade plus.

Thank you for listening to my story.  Thank you Tater for being such a fierce warrior, loyal companion and loving brother.  Thank you for being my "son" and thank you for teaching me how to be a good dad!

See You Later Tater!

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Peace and Namaste in the Lowcountry

This post has been inspired by the upcoming tickets Emily and I have for the James Island County Park Starlight Yoga . It takes place in the center of the Holiday Festival of Lights , this Wednesday, December 9th. Tickets will still be available at the gate, if you're interested!

Angela:
When I first moved to Charleston about five years ago (I can't believe that it's been that long!), I was surprised at how many yoga studios I saw around town. You name it, it was here; Community yoga, Baptiste yoga, Bikram yoga, Prenatal yoga, Vinyasa yoga, Hot yoga, Ashtanga yoga, Jivamukti yoga...and the list goes on. Before moving here, I had really only practiced yoga at my regular gym, as part of cooling down after a hard cardio workout. I was curious to find out what all of the hype was about. Since I was new to the area, didn't know anyone, and seemed to have plenty of time on my hands (I'm not a big fan of socializing as a party of one), I decided to try it out. I started with a Groupon for Charleston Power Yoga. After that first class I couldn't decide if I was hooked or going to die, but one thing was for sure, this wasn't my old gym's afterthought of a yoga class!

I think that we must take the time to pause and take a big breath during this hectic time of year. Yoga helps to keep the soul centered. There truly is something magical about being forced to stop and concentrate on your breath. Being pregnant, I have found a great solace in my prenatal yoga practice (Holy Cow Yoga has a great class). As my body is changing and I'm anxious about becoming a parent, I find some peace in laying it all out on my yoga mat.

So much of living in the Lowcountry and the lifestyle here can be centered around the beauty of the environment that surrounds us everywhere. I was at a complete stop in some traffic last week and began to be frustrated, thinking about everything on my 'to-do' list, when I looked up and just took a minute to breathe. The view was amazing. It's crazy how no matter where you are here (with a few exceptions of course) that if you just take a moment to look up and breathe, you will be comforted by the beauty of the Lowcountry.

View from my car while stopped last week.

View from my car while stopped last week.

Whether you are a yoga enthusiast or have never tried it before, here are a list of some of my personal favorite events that occur around town:

  • YogaPop - a whimsical night of yoga, live music, entertainment, shopping, and community fun held several times throughout the year!

  • Charleston SUP Safaris offer SUP Yoga- basic paddleboarding instruction and a full-on water yoga class. Several paddleboarding companies around the area sponsor this type of yoga.

  • Yoga at the Beach - Folly Beach Yoga with Serenity Tree Yoga instructors allow you to wiggle your toes in the sand, breath in the salty air, and connect to the relaxing waves of the ocean. Several of our beaches offer yoga classes such as these.

  • Walk and Restore Yoga at McLeod Plantation - lead by yoga professionals, this restorative walk leads participants along short walking loops stopping intermittently to stretch, relax, and practice restorative yoga.

Emily:
Oddly enough, my first experience with yoga in the Lowcountry was also through a Groupon, but it happened to be my first experience with yoga, ever! I visited Jivamukti (now, Satsang) in Mt. Pleasant, where they played Michael Franti, lit incense, and turned the temperature up a bit, while we moved through all of the poses. Since then, through my years in Charleston, I’ve experienced yoga in many different formats:

  • Bendy Brewski- Yoga for beer lovers. A casual environment (read: local brewery) to enjoy an hour long class followed by a pint or flight. $15 pays for both. Class frequency slows down a bit through the winter, so always check their schedule for times and locations.

  • East Shore Athletic Club- Where I should go more often, since I’m a member. Classes offered many times throughout the week, but I prefer the morning beginner class on Johnnie Dodds for a good stretch to start my day.

  • Serenity Now- Yoga for all levels. This studio has a gorgeous mural on the wall that at the end of the day, centers me and takes away all of the day’s distractions. My friend Janeen and I find it easier to make it to this class during the winter nights, when our calendars aren't quite as full.

  • Bikram Yoga- Hot yoga. If you’ve never taken yoga before, this may not be the place to start, but can be enjoyable, if you read up on everything you’re getting ready to experience; simple poses, high heat. Cautionary tale from yours truly, who did not do her research and ended up dehydrated and aching hours after exiting the class.

  • Senior Center Yoga- Ok, so this isn’t one I've been invited to join, yet, but my Mother-in-Law attends frequently. If you ever saw her get up from the floor, with the same ease as a teenager with my one year old nephew, you’d be impressed at her flexibility and inspired to participate.

Bendy Brewski yoga at Holy City Brewing, the day after our friend Stacey's bachelorette party. Bold move. Photo credit: @hugerlove

Side note: Angela is always calling me her most 'hippie' friend and yet here she is talking about yoga, calmness, and peace. I love it.

Looking forward to Starlight Yoga on James Island this week. Hope you can join!

Charleston is Where the Heart Is... written by David Wicke

David in the second grade at mokulele Elementary, Hawaii

Son of a Navy Sailor from Minnesota, I am what you might call a Military Brat.  I was born in Charleston at the Naval Hospital that has now since closed.   Due to my father's occupation, we were able to live in exotic locations such as Guam and Hawaii.  However, we always came back to Charleston.  This area was my father's favorite.  As a child, I never really understood.
 
We lived mostly in the Goose Creek area right next to the woods.  I remember tromping through them with my older brother seeking one adventure after another.  My sister, brother and I attended the local schools, Westview Elementary and Middle as well as Stratford High School.  I think out of the three of us, I loved going to school the most.  You couldn't keep my head out of a textbook.
 
My father would also take us out to Short Stay on Lake Moultrie with our little Jon boat.  He would spend the day teaching my brother and I how to fish.  Needless to say, I wasn't very good at it and was usually the day's catch.  Luckily enough, we could always stop by our favorite restaurant in Moncks Corner called the Dock Restaurant on the Tailrace Canal. Unfortunately, it closed a few years back but the hush puppies were amazing.
 
After high school, I had the choice of staying local or going to another state.  Although home is Charleston, I decided to go off to Indiana to a private engineering school.  While I met some amazing people in my time in Indiana, I always looked forward to coming back to Charleston during holidays. 
 
My palate has considerably changed since college but what I would look forward to most when being back from school was Wild Wing Café at downtown Charleston.  My sister and my parents never had to ask where I wanted to eat.  I could order 30 wings at once along with a side of their delicious buffalo chips. Afterwards, I would visit my sister out on Isle of Palms.  Two blocks from the beach, it was very enticing to visit all the time. Being a Navy brat, I fell in love with the ocean at an early age and Charleston's beaches are wonderful.
 
After college, I had a few offers of employment in Indiana and some other states but Charleston called me back.  I was able to find work as a government contractor due to the burgeoning technical scene here.  I believe they want to call this area Silicon Harbor. I still lived in Goose Creek but I had more chances to go downtown when I was working on my Master's degree.  While I love a good hot wing, my new favorite restaurant became Basil, a Thai Restaurant on King Street. Their ginger chicken is amazing and a recipe I secretly want to learn.  I also learned to love "big as your head" burritos from Yo Burrito! and spicy New York style pizza from Andolini's which was right next to the computer science building at the College of Charleston.  I also had a wonderful group of friends who would meet up at Kaminsky's on Market Street.  We would each order a separate dessert, take a few bites and then rotate so everyone could enjoy their delicious treats.
 
As a student of the College of Charleston, I was able to take sailing lessons out of the historical Patriot's Point, home of the U.S.S. Yorktown.  We were able to take out our little J/22 sailboats into Charleston Harbor.  I remember one eventful lesson where the instructor had to chase me down after passing Fort Sumter heading for the harbor mouth.  I felt like I was ready for the ocean.
 
 After getting my Master's degree, the government decided to bring me on and send me to Germany.  I had an amazing time in Europe, don't get me wrong, but after a little over three years, I really missed the ocean.  This time, I chose to move to James Island.  What a change.  Goose Creek is amazing if you have or want a family and don't mind commuting.  James Island, however, offers a mix of being close to the beach and close to downtown with housing for families or for singles.
 
It was while I lived in James Island that I fell in love with surfing.  Surprising considering I lived in both Guam and Hawaii and never surfed.  Everyday after work, I would race home to grab my board and head to Folly Beach.  Whether the surf was good or not, it was amazing to get into the water.  If there was the off occasion where I didn't feel like surfing, I could always go to James Island County Park to walk the beautiful trails that run along the intracoastal waterway or play on the climbing wall.  Some days, I would even walk across the Ravenel Bridge to take in a beautiful view of Downtown Charleston.
 
It was in Charleston that I would meet my beautiful wife.  We both met on the job although, as my wife would tell it, I'm terrible at reading signals.  It took me a while to realize the beautiful young woman that continually bumped into me in the hall was actually interested in me.  Our first date was at a wonderful sushi restaurant on King Street called O-Ku.  We were both pretty nervous but luckily the beautiful music from Seth G., the violinist, helped drown out my stammering.
 
After a wonderful courtship we decided to tie the knot.  We held our wedding at McCrady's Restaurant in historic Unity Alley.   Catered by Sean Brock's team of chefs, our menu was full of wonderful Lowcountry cuisine.
 
Well, now I see why my father loves the Lowcountry so much.  I have so many wonderful memories of this place.  

Catching waves during the winter on folly beach

Catching waves during the winter on folly beach