A Love Letter from Abbie Pribble

Abbie:

Let me paint a picture for you:

It’s the summer after my freshman year of college at ECU.  My crazy 19 year old self batted my eyes at daddy so I could use all of his airline miles to visit the best big brother ever in his new city for the 4th of July.  Michael has always taken care of me and always thought I was the best thing since sliced bread. I don’t blame him… I’m a pretty cool little sister—just kidding. Anyway, it’s safe to say we are pretty darn close. We were excited to get to spend time together as siblings AND friends, just the two of us. 

So, my dad had to give me step-by-step directions on how to fly on my own. I followed them to a T, changed planes, and finally arrived at CHS! Do you ever have those random moments that you look back on and you can remember every detail? That’s how I feel about this trip. As we drove away from North Charleston and towards Mount Pleasant, I couldn’t help but point out the awful smell. Michael replied, “Oh yeah… I farted. Just kidding…that’s the marsh. It always smells like that. You’ll get used to it.” Great… this sounds wonderful. “But if you look that way, you can see the bridge.” Super cheesy, I know, but it was a good moment.

Abbie and her brother Michael

Abbie and her brother Michael

We spent the week doing touristy Charleston things. We took a carriage ride through downtown. We took a ferry ride out to Ft. Sumter. We went to a Charleston Riverdogs game. We went to the beach on Sullivan’s Island. We took lawn chairs out one night and just sat on the Battery. We bought a book, waited until dark, and did a self-guided ghost tour of the city. I had so much fun exploring the city and just being friends with my brother.  

Then it came time to leave… I was dreading this. I just had one of the best and most memorable weeks of my life and now I was going back home. Not ideal. He hugged me goodbye and I started crying. I couldn’t let go. I fell in love with the smells (except for the marsh), the trees, the food, the activities, the lifestyle, and charm of this town. I decided right then and there that I would get to call Charleston home one day, too. 

As I was preparing this letter, I realized that we didn’t take any pictures of us that week for our mother. I’m sure that made her mad. But since that trip, I have made countless visits and spent some more memorable days with my brother and his growing group of friends and I have made sure to take a picture every time. Many more July 4ths, birthdays, Spring Breaks, holidays, and even a wedding have been great excuses to go back to my favorite city. 

Abbie with her dog-niece Dori

Abbie with her dog-niece Dori

Fast forward 6 years:

Michael is married to beautiful Janeen, they have two dogs and the most thought-out, perfect garden you could dream of. I have been teaching kindergarten in northern Virginia for 3 years and I’m ready to make a change. I finally decided that it’s time. I’m moving in a week and a half. It’s really happening. Closing on a condo today (thanks Emily!) and nailed down a job at Memminger Elementary teaching 1st grade.  Pieces are falling into place for my new life that I’ve wanted for so long. This is about my love for the South and my love for this city, but mostly about my love for my family. I can’t wait to see how this new life plays out. 

Abbie, Janeen. and Michael

Abbie, Janeen. and Michael

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.

A Love Letter from Michel Hammes

Dear Lowcountry,

I love your lowlands surrounded by tidal creeks and marshes. I grew up swimming endless hours in the creeks of Mt. Pleasant and searching for seashells at low tide on the beaches. Although I cannot purchase places similar to my childhood home, I found the perfect 1940's restored cottage in Park Circle, North Charleston. We can easily walk to the river, to the neighborhood park we all call "the Duck Pond" or bike to Riverfront Park. Often we make our way down E. Montague - our area's main street - to sit outside and drink a pint or order a pistachio pesto pizza from Evo Pizzeria. When we do drive, we are so close to everywhere- 15 minutes to downtown for a nice dinner and walk along the Battery, 20 minutes to the Isle of Palms and Sullivan's Island and 10 minutes to Charles Towne Landing State Park where you can see an array of wildlife and scenic views on your hike. And when we don't wish to venture far form home, we sit on the porch and visit with neighbors or watch birds and butterflies in our flower beds. Life is good in the Lowcountry. You will always be my home. 

With love,
Michel

Bio:
Michel Hammes is a professional book peddler and is happily married. She and her husband Cary Jones have two dogs and two cats tho Michel would like to have a yard full of cats and is very put out that her husband has not warmed to the idea. She is finally going to Botswana, Africa next year to see elephants, lions and hippos in the wild. If she gets eaten, she said to not be sad- it was a good way to go...although she hopes it is fast. 

Charles Towne Landing

Charles Towne Landing

Michel and her husband Cary at the Park Circle Duck Pond

Michel and her husband Cary at the Park Circle Duck Pond

A Love Letter from Stacey Lathem

My Dearest Lowcountry,

Thank you. Thank you for being a glorious backdrop to life. The smell of confederate jasmine and honeysuckle wafting in the spring make me feel like I live in paradise. Your spectacular sunsets, charming traditions, and loving people make me feel grateful on a daily basis. I often have moments where I genuinely think, “I live here?” and have to remind myself that I am not on vacation.

I am grateful for your beautiful parks where we spend warm days by the water and playing with our dogs. The quality moments of walking around the historic district and having Adam teach me about the architecture and history of the buildings he learned about in his historic preservation studies. Even the times in traffic when stuck behind a horse and carriage… how can you really be mad?

I realize I am especially lucky to get to live on the peninsula where I can bike to work, walk to my favorite restaurants, and be a part of the cultural growth of this great city. When I leave the peninsula I get to travel over bridges with fantastic views of marsh, harbor, sailboats, and container ships. My favorite is sharing a bucket of Coronas on the deck at Red’s Ice House, watching the dolphin, paddleboarders, and boats go by.

I love hearing when others move to town is that there is “always so much to do”. It’s true. Sometimes you exhaust me with your plethora of options: oyster roasts, fundraisers, movies in Marion Square, concerts in the park, Second Sundays on King, Farmers Markets, and more. Can I just get some sleep sometimes?!

Thank you for introducing me to the Ultimate Frisbee community and all the wonderful people who make exercising fun and give me a reason to see 50+ of my nearest and dearest each week.

Not to mention the Theatre 99 crew who literally make people laugh for a living. You mean to tell me on a Wednesday night I can see live improv theatre and drink a beer for less than $10? Seriously, where else?

Most of all, thank you for bringing Adam and I together. The lowcountry is where we have fallen in love, made our home, are renovating a house, and getting married. You provide the sites, sounds, and smells for the movie that is our life. We couldn’t be more grateful.

With love,
Stacey

Bio:
Stacey is a proud resident of the North Central neighborhood on the peninsula with her husband-to-be-this-week, Adam, two dogs, Bella and Diego, and diva cat, Julian. She came to Charleston in 2004 to attend the College of Charleston and never looked back. She likes to stay busy playing ultimate frisbee, performing at Theatre 99, project managing at BlueKey, Inc. Days off include long Hampton Park walks, trips to Revelry Brewing, and trying to make it to the beach.

Stacey with her fur-children as captured by her fiance, Adam

Stacey with her fur-children as captured by her fiance, Adam