A Jazzy Start to Fall

Angela:

It was your typical Friday night. An evening stroll with baby had led us to Crust, the local pizza eatery. As we head home David suggests that we take a peak into newly remodeled How Art Thou Café. We've heard that this is the spot for local jazz music, but being new parents we are rarely out past 7pm. In our pre-parent days, we would often end evening bike rides here to have dessert and tea outside.

As we peek inside, we recognize jazz great Richie Cole.  I swoon and feel slightly embarrassed that I am in workout clothes, no makeup, and smell of baby spit-up. We are introduced and find him to be absolutely delightful. I'm running through justifications in my mind to keep my baby out past her bedtime so that we can hear him play; music is stimulating for baby's brain, right? Alas, we must go, but not before promising each other that we will see Richie perform before he leaves the Lowcountry.

Baby Ruby meets Jazz Great Richie Cole.

Baby Ruby meets Jazz Great Richie Cole.

We decided to make a trip out to Bowen's Island the following Sunday for the 7th Annual Charleston Jazz Jam to catch Richie Cole's performance. The weather was gorgeous, the bugs were at bay, and our seven month old baby was mesmerized. Food was provided by the always delicious Home Team BBQ and drinks were flowing from Coast Brewing Company.

Just when you think that you have seen all that the Lowcountry has to offer, you stumble into another event, community of people, or little pocket of greatness.

You can catch a Jazz Jam at How Art Thou on Wednesday nights and you will want to keep an eye on their events calendar. Once a month they will bring in a nationally recognized musician to perform. It is a small intimate space and just the place for an amazing date night. I think next month we will get a baby sitter and get jazzy with it!

Looking for other awesome things to do this Fall? Here are just a few suggestions:

 

A Love Letter from Kristen Cobb

Kristen:

In May 2008, my then boyfriend (now my ride or die, hubby, Walker) and I graduated from the fabulous, beautiful College of Charleston and packed up his 1997 Tacoma truck with a suitcase full of clothes, climbing and Ultimate Frisbee gear and our 2 fur babies to head out West. Charleston had been good to us, but we had the itch for travel and adventures. Little did we know how this big adventure would drastically change our lives. After 3 months of living the dream of climbing, playing Ultimate every day, and hiking I had this feeling that I needed to take a test to determine our next move. This test: First Response. And as soon as those two little lines appeared, our lives were positively changed forever. Two, wild at heart, hippies, that couldn't seem to keep a plant alive for more than 2 days, were going to be parents. Excuse me, what? Now instead of deciding of what sick, new mountain to climb or what Ultimate tournament to go to we had to decide on the best place to raise our “Cobblet” (as we came to call her); Boulder or Charleston. It did not take more than 10 minutes before we looked at each other and said in unison, "Charleston". Walker's mom and our amazing college friends lived in Charleston and my family was only 3 hours away in Charlotte. Growing up, we both loved the idea of living at the beach. Fast forward 8 years, with another beautiful Cobblet added to our line-up, and hundreds of life experiences under our belt, we know we made the right decision. Charleston is simply the best place to start and raise a family. Not only is it a beautiful place to live, but this city is more than that, it is a community that loves and supports each other. 

Walker and Kristen, being fancy at a wedding last year

Walker and Kristen, being fancy at a wedding last year

Our Cobblets, 2 beautiful girls, Brooklyn (7) and Hadley (almost 6), are perhaps the luckiest and most loved children in Charleston, better yet, the world. My girls have the best family and extended family one could ask for (Charleston Ultimate Frisbee community). Not only do these girls have an awesome support system but they live in a city with a different beach to choose from every weekend day and endless activities to keep their minds growing. Some of our favorites:

These girls have not 1, but 3 beaches within 15 miles of their backyard. Our favorite beach is Sullivan's Island. Sullivan's Island is also where Walker and I said “I do” in front of mating dolphins (sound clip here), family, and friends. Perhaps our favorite part of Sullivan’s is Station 30. This is where my girls first felt sand in their toes, got taken out by their first wave, picked up jellyfish, and practiced their swimming.

Babies at the beach

Babies at the beach

Cobblets after a day on Sullivan's Island

Cobblets after a day on Sullivan's Island

Aside from the beaches, Charleston has many museums, plantations, parks and tours to educate and entertain your children. From Magnolia Plantation to Charlestowne Landing to McLeod Plantation to the Charleston Museum to the Yorktown to Fort Moultrie and many more. Our family favorites include but are not limited to Boone Hall Plantation, Waterfront Park, and the Children's Museum of the Lowcountry.

Boone Hall Plantation offers many fun activities throughout the year. Our favorites are the Lowcountry Oyster Roast, strawberry festival and the Pumpkin Patch/Fright Nights. The Strawberry Festival and the Pumpkin Patch offer so many activities from trail rides, 3-story slides, jump pillows, petting zoos, local foods to try, and so much more.

Waterfront Park is nestled right under the Ravenel Bridge with beautiful views of downtown, the Yorktown and water. Besides having a great playground there is a huge field for families to have picnics, throw a frisbee, or kick a soccer ball. The park also offers a pier for fishing, sitting on porch swings, a monument to our Veterans in the Lowcountry, and a shop where you can buy souvenirs, sandwiches and most importantly it has soft-serve ice cream, a Cobblet favorite.

The Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry is a non-profit organization in the heart of downtown and offers a wide range of creative things for children of all ages to get in to, even babies. For the first couple of years of my girls life, we spent many days there hanging with friends learning and exploring our imaginations. And during the summers when school is out, the Children’s Museum offers a great summer camp for kids ages 3-10 from Jedi Training to Iron Chef to Harry Potter and so much more!

A young, Brooklyn, at the Children's Museum of the Lowcountry

A young, Brooklyn, at the Children's Museum of the Lowcountry

Making that decision in 2008 to move back to Charleston turned out to be the best idea we ever had and probably the best thing we could have done for our girls. The Cobblets are growing into curious, caring, active, supportive, and driven individuals and we have to say that along with our parenting and framily (friends + family), the Charleston community has had a big impact and we are so thankful.

 

Bio (by Emily):
Kristen lives in Mt. Pleasant with her husband, Walker, the Cobblets, and their fur baby, BoBerry (like the biscuit). This month, she is graduating Magna Cum Laude from the MUSC Accelerated Program with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Just last week, she passed her boards. In her free time, she can be found playing Ultimate Frisbee or completing a marathon or triathlon.

Kristen and friends at a Triathlon 

Kristen and friends at a Triathlon 

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!