Letters of Gratitude - Our Personal Thanks

Today, we've decided to share our individual letters of gratitude. It has been a wild year for both of us, and as we wrap-up this Thanksgiving holiday weekend, we thought, "what better blog this week, than our own personal letters to the Lowcountry for you; our supporters, followers, and fellow neighbors?". Thank you to each and every one of you for following our posts and supporting us! 

Emily:
This past Friday, as our flight landed at the Charleston airport after a few great days with family in New Orleans, I was overwhelmed with happiness to be home. While our adventures frequently take us all over the world, that are spectacular in their own right, I can’t seem to get enough of the Lowcountry. It's hard to beat sunsets, bridge walks, dinners at our favorite restaurant, or evenings in with Trevor and our dog, Miles. It doesn’t matter where we travel, we’re always inundated with questions about the Lowcountry. These are the three most recent and popular:

  1. What’s the temperature like this time of year? High of 70 today
  2. Do you have any plans for the holidays around town? Starlight yoga, annual favorite things party and cookie exchange party with my girlfriends, Lowcountry Libations holiday party at Frothy Beard Brewing, watching the downtown Christmas parade with my colleagues, and more
  3. How are the homes selling there? Here’s a market report, but I’ll give you a hint, they’re hot

These answers typically result in another question: When can we visit? Luckily, our home has an extra bedroom that stays pretty full (it should have its own calendar). In the past month, my best friend from my hometown and my dad and his wife have visited. So, while I may live 5 1/2 hours away from my hometown and some of my family (Hi, Everett's and Bowman's!), which is difficult during the holiday season, we are grateful to live in a place where people love to visit.

If you would have asked me six years ago where I would be today, I highly doubt my prediction would come anywhere close to where life has taken me. Though it’s come with the hardest day of my life, when I lost my mom a little less than 3 years ago. It’s also come with the best day of my life, when I married Trevor. Moving to the Lowcountry was the best decision for my life, at the time, that pointed me in the right direction. I spent 5 wonderful years working at a dedicated non-profit, my best friend moved here with her kids from our hometown, I started a new career with the support from an amazing company and colleagues, my dad moved an hour closer to be in Asheville, my husband's family is right around the corner, I have met the best people in our community and continue to meet more through this blog and other outlets, and I get to wake up every day with my husband and dog in our house we made a home. So, thank you Lowcountry. You’re everything I ever dreamed of and some of what I could have never conceived and for that, I am so incredibly THANKFUL.
 

Emily and Trevor's Christmas tree, "Shorty", coming in at 9+ feet. Decorated by family on a fun, Sunday afternoon.  

Emily and Trevor's Christmas tree, "Shorty", coming in at 9+ feet. Decorated by family on a fun, Sunday afternoon.  

Angela:
What a year!  This ride called life has really started to speed up. I caught myself giving out unsolicited advice to a girlfriend in her 20s yesterday on how if I had known in my 20s how wonderful everything will work out in my 30s, I could have stressed a little less and enjoyed my earlier youth a little more (Mom, Dad, you were right). This year especially has been a 'year of change' for me.  I moved into a new full-time career, traveled extensively with my husband David, and together we decided to start a family. As I begin to move into this next exciting chapter in my life, I'm finding overwhelming support from places that I never expected. Neighbors, colleagues (from past and present), girlfriends, clients, and my new family gained through marriage, have made my support system here strong. Moving here five years ago and only knowing one person (Hi Kristen!) was one of the biggest leaps of faith that I had ever taken. Good news, so far all has turned out to be amazing and I give all credit to you Lowcountry, the friendly people that make your communities here great, and this beautiful environment that I enjoy daily. There is something truly spiritual about sipping coffee on my front porch swing (almost year round due to our very mild weather) and watching the sailboats float by.

I especially love showing properties and seeing the beautiful communities full of charm and character through my client's eyes. It's like my first day in the Lowcountry all over again. The "ohs" and "ahs" when I drive folks around Hampton Park, the twinkle that Sunset Park will bring to a first-timer's smile, the silence of approval experienced when eating your first Zia Taqueria taco or Moe's Crosstown Burger. All of these experiences are what make me truly grateful to call this place home.

Lowcountry, I feel that I should let you know that there are a few places where my life changed that will always hold a special place in my heart and connect us forever:

  • Folly Beach on 13th E. Street is where my husband loves to surf and where I have made a great group of friends who constantly show us support and love
  • O-Ku where (exactly three years ago) David and I met for our first date. It was followed by the most delicious homemade poptarts at The Belmont and ended with a kiss on the cheek goodbye in the Charleston Visitor's Center Parking Deck
  • Hampton Park where I walked my dog Tater for miles and miles daily contemplating life, if I was on the right path, if I was happy with the woman I was growing to be, and wondering if I would ever have a family of my own
  • Riverland Terrace where David and I have made a home and are preparing to fill it with love for a little one on the way

So, as we move into the hectic holiday season, I hope that we can all pause for a moment and take in the magic that exists within each of us and our community. Cheers to you Lowcountry! Today and everyday I pause to give THANKS to you.

 

Angela and David, Christmas tree shopping, in short sleeves, no less.  

Angela and David, Christmas tree shopping, in short sleeves, no less.  

Neighborhood Spotlight: Riverland Terrace

There are hundreds of neighborhoods in the Lowcountry area, but how do you know which is the right fit for you?  A truly unique characteristic of most neighborhoods in the Lowcountry, is their historical significance. This week, we focus on one neighborhood, a James Island community called Riverland Terrace.

Riverland Terrace started to develop in the 1920s and is James Island’s oldest neighborhood. The Terrace is located just a few minutes west of downtown Charleston along Wappoo Creek and the inland waterway. Neighborhood highlights include a public boat landing, Charleston Municipal Golf Course, a shaded playground, three city parks (Medway Park, Parkway Park, and Plymouth Park), and two ball fields.

Leading into the neighborhood is the historic Avenue of Oaks (recognized as one of SC’s most scenic roads), consisting of over 70 live oak trees believed to be over 100 years old. They once led to Wappoo Hall Plantation, owned by Lt. Col. George Lucas of the English Army and managed by his daughter Eliza Lucas Pinckney. She developed the indigo industry of the colony as a successful cash crop before the American Revolution. The plantation fronted the Stono River. Fort Pemberton, one of the largest confederate forts constructed in the defense of Charleston during the Civil War, was built in 1862 and remains today on the Stono River side of the community.

The Terrace consists of approximately 800 homes. Sizes and prices vary greatly. Smaller homes of 900 square feet in the front of the community begin around $300,000 and vary all the way to 2 million plus for deep water lot homes in the back of the community. There is an active volunteer neighborhood association that meets three to four times each year. The neighborhood's 'Hometown Feel' is attributed to the association actively working to preserve the historical integrity of the community.

Around the corner from the residential community, you will find The Terrace Theater, several restaurants (which include: The Lot, How Art Thou Cafe, Crust, Zia Taqueria, Maybank Public House), multiple antique shops including the Terrace Oaks Antique Mall and A World Apart, two florists, and two spas (check out Charleston Medical Spa if you are ever in the neighborhood). In addition, if you enjoy exercising, you can join in one of the boot-camps that meet at Medway Park, or check out Studio Barre where men and margaritas are always free on Fridays. The community also hosts a Sunday Farmers Market and Sunday community yoga in the cooler months.  The neighborhood is in the process of building a community garden for all neighbors to access, this endeavor is sponsored in partner with the Charleston Parks Conservancy.

The largest event of the year is Halloween Under the Oaks Trick or Treating. The community closes the streets to traffic and several neighbors turn their homes into scary haunted houses. It truly is a great time to be a part of the community.   If you’re ever in the area, feel free to park your car and walk the streets of the neighborhood. A volunteer community garden club keeps the neighborhood beautiful. There are multiple public swings and benches where you can rest and take in the scenery and the shade of the historic oaks not only keeps you cool, but makes you feel like you have entered a truly secret paradise.

*The Riverland Terrace Neighborhood Association (RTNA) is a not-for-profit volunteer neighborhood organization for those who live, work, or play within Riverland Terrace. RTNA is committed to promoting and protecting the beauty, safety, stability, cleanliness, and social and economic viability of the neighborhood by fostering alliances with the local residents, merchants, and government officials. RTNA seeks to represent community interests as a single voice.

**Facts throughout this article were from wikipedia.org/wiki/RIverland_Terrace