A Love Letter from Dawn Visceglia

Dawn:

From my first visit in spring of 2003 and each and every day, I am amazed by my continuously growing love and excitement about the Lowcountry. For a new spin on Lowcountry Love Letters, I am not going to focus on what to see and do, but rather I’ll focus on moments that make me smile in the form of a top 10 list.

10. Referring to this place as “Vacation-land” and having others instantly understand why.

9. Walking by the ornamental concrete dogs and pigs flanking home entrances on the Battery, all decked out for the various holidays. 

The fanciest ornamental pig you'll ever see

The fanciest ornamental pig you'll ever see

8. Seeing the Spanish moss hanging from the live oaks in Hampton Park.

Taking a walk through the oaks in Hampton Park

Taking a walk through the oaks in Hampton Park

7. Directing lost tourists downtown and having them be surprised people are so “helpful and friendly.”

6. Attending a show or concert in the Dock Street Theatre and thinking about all the performances and audiences that have been there before me.

Waiting for a show to begin at the Dock Street Theatre

Waiting for a show to begin at the Dock Street Theatre

5. Watching fireworks from "The Joe" (Riverdogs stadium) whether you’re at the game or down the road.

Dawn and Emily before fireworks at ''The Joe'' with the Joe Riley

Dawn and Emily before fireworks at ''The Joe'' with the Joe Riley

4. Crossing the James Island Connector into town, seeing the city, and again realizing, “I live here.”

3. Sitting on a rooftop, any rooftop and taking in the view. Ok, really, it’s about sitting outside taking in the view, regardless of the altitude.

2. Finding a new “go-to” restaurant or bar or going to one already in your personal rotation.

1. Planning what activities to do as there’s always something going on in the Lowcountry including cultural, sporting, arts, music, and farmer’s markets.

Another colorful day at the downtown Farmer's Market

Another colorful day at the downtown Farmer's Market

The Lowcountry offers so much. What would you add to this top ten?

Bio (by Emily):
Dawn lives in Downtown Charleston with her husband Peter and their two dogs, Atlas and Monza (yes, she's named after the restaurant on King). Dawn enjoys her time in the Lowcountry, along with various travels throughout this country and others. Her next adventure is to Slovakia. Dawn is a Senior Technology Project Manager. She formerly served on the Charleston Friends of the Library Board of Directors as President and is active with the Center for Women. Emily first learned the term 'vacation-land' from Dawn approximately 6 years ago.

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.  

Trick or Treat Lowcountry Style

Children, adults, and pets alike can all agree that Halloween in the Lowcountry is packed full of fun! In honor of the spooky holiday ahead, we decided to break down some of the many events happening around our area this weekend.

For the Kids:

Trick or Treat in the Park (Friday, 10/30, 4-6 p.m., FREE) Join the City of Charleston Recreation Department at Hampton Park in an exciting afternoon of trick-or-treating, pony rides, hayrides, games, jump castles, and a costume contest for kids 12 & under.
(Photo: @charlestonsc)

Family Fright Night at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens (Friday, 10/30, 6-10 p.m., FREE under 6, $10 ages 6+) is perfect for the family looking for pirate stories, monster games, and haunted train rides

Halloween under the Oaks (Saturday, 10/31, 6 p.m., FREE) in the James Island neighborhood Riverland Terrace is one of the largest trick or treating events on the island. Wappoo Drive will be closed to traffic to allow for pedestrians only starting at 5:30 p.m.

Visit your community library branch (All week, FREE) for Halloween events like; Afternoon Adventure in Goulish Makeup, and Friday Night Fright Halloween party at the Main Library.
(Photo: @edhirst5876)

If you’re searching for that last minute costume for your kiddo, these are some of our favorite costume spots when you’re on a budget:
Tiny Tadpoles  -  James Island
Consign Charleston - West Ashley
Once Upon a Child  - West Ashley
Angels & Rascals - Mt. Pleasant

For the Pets:

Kia Boo and Bark (Saturday, 10/31, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m., FREE) is the best Halloween Pet Party in town.  There will be a pet costume contest with all proceeds benefiting the Charleston Animal Society's Pet Food Bank.

Fall Festival and Trick or Treat at Towne Centre  (Saturday, 10/31, 12-4 p.m., $10 to register your pet) in Mt. Pleasant is a great place participate in the Annual Pet Costume Contest benefiting Pet Helpers- and the kids can trick or treat through the center.

For Adults:

Black Cat Halloween Dance (Saturday, 10/31, 6-11 p.m., $5) Join the Charleston Swing Dance Association for a night of costumes, dancing, and donations to help Pet Helpers at the Knights of Columbus located at 143 Calhoun Street.

Taco Boy Halloween Party (Saturday, 10/31, 6 p.m., $5) in our opinion, has one of the best group costume contests in town. (Side note: Emily and a group of friends won the group contest last year!)

Last year's Taco Boy Group Costume Winners (Photo: Taco Boy Facebook)

Last year's Taco Boy Group Costume Winners (Photo: Taco Boy Facebook)

The Charleston Symphony Orchestra presents Frankenstein Live (Friday, 10/30, 7:30 p.m., Prices vary), a night of fright with the 1931 classic Frankenstein movie with orchestral accompaniment featuring an all new score.

Ohm Radio's Halloween Fest (Saturday, 10/31, 12:30 p.m., Prices vary) will feature an entire day of live music to benefit Charleston's non-profit, commercial free radio station, hosted at Palmetto Brewery.

The Coastal Carolina Fair (10/29- 11/8) is also a great way to spend All Hallow's Eve!

There are plenty more happenings than even we could list; check out these links to other useful resources:

Bonus Halloween Treat:
We're happy to announce that the Lowcountry Love Letters family is growing and that loyal pup, Tater Wicke is going to be a big brother. The Wicke's are expecting the arrival of a Baby Girl in Spring 2016!