20 Things to Do in Charleston Before the End of 2019

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20 Things To Do Before the End of 2017

By Minta Pavliscsak

1. Call an old friend who you haven’t spoken with in a while.
It may take you a few minutes to dial that number. Take your time, just don’t back down. Someone has to open that line of communication; it might as well be you.

2. Go for a sunrise walk on Folly Beach.
We have some of the most beautiful sunrises you will ever experience, and if you haven’t yet you are missing out! So drag a friend out of bed, or just go spend some time by yourself and enjoy the majesty of the morning. (Roasted is a coffee shop inside of Tides that opens at 6am. I like to stop by there first and take my coffee on the beach. Plus, on these chilly mornings it will help to keep your warm!)

3. Send Christmas cards.
Everybody loves getting mail! …as long as it’s not a bill. Sure you could just send an email or a text, but doesn’t your loved ones deserve a personalized, handwritten card that they can treasure for years to come?

4. Forgive that person who may not deserve it, but needs it most.
This ain’t easy, but believe me when I say you need this too! We all make mistakes, we all forget things, and it honestly might not have even been on purpose. The past is the past and as long as it’s not habitual or destructive to the relationship, forgiveness may be the only thing keeping you from having that amazing relationship.

5. Hug your parents.
Do we really do this enough? I feel like hugs are things we tend to take for granted. Humans need touch, and sometimes this is the only way we know how to communicate our emotions towards each other. A simple hug can go a long way.

6. Visit at least one touristy attraction.
This is the best time of year to do it! Places aren’t as crowded, it’s not blazing hot, and some places will even have discounts on admission.

7. Pour a glass of wine or pop open a beer, crank up the music, and dance around the house in your underwear.
Yes, this is just as fun as it sounds! Don’t worry about how you look, you’ll be alone so who cares. Just move your body in a way that feels good. You might just find yourself carrying this tradition over to the New Year!

8. Make the decision to Let It Go!
We carry so much with us from one day to the next. Most of it we cannot control, or is not our burden to carry in the first place. Stop worrying so much, things have a way of working themselves out without any input from you. Take a deep breath and as you exhale, just let it go.

9. Do one random act of kindness.
This can be something so simple like paying for the next person in line’s coffee, or putting $10 on a pump of gas. There are also many opportunities around the community, such as donating to Toys-for-Tots, volunteering at The Lowcountry Food Bank, The Ronald McDonald House, or at an animal shelter, and many area businesses are collecting canned food for the local food bank.

10. Watch Love Actually.
This film is about an eclectic group of characters who all seem to be connected in London during Christmas time. It is charming, funny, and will pull on your heart strings all at the same time. Trust me on this one when I say it is a must see, and even better when you watch it with a good friend or loved one. Doesn’t sound like you? Then make sure you watch The Charlie Brown Christmas special instead!

11. Take a “me” day.
Although they do not happen very often, I absolutely love having my “me” days. You can do anything, or nothing for that matter, that you want to, as long as it is stress free and makes you happy. I prefer to get a nice massage, then take a stroll down King Street or the Market to find something, no matter how small, for myself. My favorite “me” day trinket is a small ceramic dragon with a silly smile on his face. Enjoying a nice light lunch outside somewhere and people watching is also a great idea.

12. Change the batteries in your smoke detector.
This is your friendly service reminder courtesy of Charleston Daily. Come on, when is the last time you checked those batteries?

13. Get outside of your comfort zone.
Do something you wouldn’t typically do. Go somewhere you wouldn’t typically go. Sing karaoke with friends, climb the ropes at Wild Blue Ropes, put on that sexy dress you never wear and have a night on the town!

14. Finish that project.
We all have some project, big or small, that is sitting somewhere waiting for us to complete it. Slow down, make the time, and finish that project.

15. Choose to be happy.
This can be tougher for some than others, and that’s OK! Surround yourself with things, and people, that make you happy. When those negative thoughts come up, replace them with positive ones. Practice self-love, such as telling yourself that you are enough, reminding yourself how beautiful you are, and say daily affirmations. Don’t forget about the simplest thing you can do…smile.

16. Re-evaluate your priorities
Life has a tendency of taking over and we tend to get off our course from time to time. It is important that you bring your priorities to your conscious and see if where you are is where you want to be. This is how we stay connected to ourselves and move forward in life and in love.

17. Eat at a great Charleston area restaurant.
We are so lucky here in Charleston to have so many amazing restaurants. How many have you been to? No more excuses not to go to that one you have always wanted to go, but have never made it.

18. Disengage from the opinion of others.
You are you, and you are wonderful. Who cares what others think about you?! Here’s a little secret…if they make you feel bad when you are around them, then they probably shouldn’t be in your life. Once you learn to separate who you are from who you think everyone else thinks you should be, you will be amazed at how much happier and stress-free you will be.

19. Go play.
We have easy access to tennis courts, basketball courts, Frisbee golf, putt-putt, laser tag, paintball fields, trampoline parks, and open fields where you can play a pick-up game of whatever middle school/high school sports that you can think of.

20. Tell somebody you love them.
We don’t say this anywhere near enough. You never know what tomorrow may hold. Today is the day to tell your friends and family how much they mean to you. And keep it up; personally I have never gotten tired of hearing someone say they love me, nor do I tire of expressing it. Both make my heart smile every time!

Fundamental Truths of Humanity

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By Mark A. Leon

By no means is this an all encompassing list.? For some, it is the seeds to plant the tree.? For others, it is a blueprint to build upon.? Whatever place you are in life, these fundamental truths will help set you on course for a life of goodness, happiness and fulfillment.

We value the thoughts of our readers and welcome comments to build upon this list.? Here are our basic fundamentals to provide you with a life filled with warmth and love.

Fundamental Truths of Humanity

  • All humans are born innocent without hatred, prejudice or ill will toward others
  • Happiness and success are earned, not entitled
  • Fair and equitable behavior toward all should be practiced every day
  • Color is all around and it is beautiful
  • Love is unlimited. Never be afraid to overuse it
  • Fear can always be defeated by the power of the heart
  • Loneliness is an illness that can be cured by the extension of a one’s hand to another
  • All true happiness is found from within.
  • Balance is a necessary part of brain health
  • Positivity can neutralize and destroy negative energy
  • Your legacy will be measured by your actions every day
  • Our time on this Earth is a gift and should never be taken for granted
  • There is a freedom in honesty. Truth possesses the power of trust and feeds the roots of relationships
  • Find a single value once a day and you will have a complete day
  • Exhaust all emotion daily. Be free to express laughter, tears and joy
  • A sunrise can be more powerful than any medicine
  • There is something unconditional, generous and comforting about family
  • Never lose the sensation of your inner child
  • You are never too old to feel young
  • Generosity is not measured in dollars, but acts of kindness
  • Never give and expect something in return
  • Exercise the mind, the body and the soul
  • Actual reality will never replace virtual or augmented

Motivate for a Better You – These Speeches/Videos can change you from unhappiness to happiness and success

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How often do you wake up miserable, dreading work, or lacking the energy to even get out of bed?
How often does it feel like the world is closing in on you?
How often are you strained by financial worries, lack of support or just a fear of failure?
How often do you feel like you will never find the happiness you seek?
How often does depression take over your life?

I would be surprised if anyone could not identify with one or more of those questions.
Take some time each day (5, 10, 15 minutes) and listen.? Listen closely to the words of these inspiration videos and find the inner confidence, peace and happiness you seek.

It will change you…


Bonus – Montages

Desirable Places in Charleston, SC to Escape Life

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By Minta Pavliscsak

Ever have one of “those” days? Sure you have; we all have. The type of day where you just want to be alone and escape life for a bit. Between work, school, family, friends, and the constant connection with technology, places where you can just be alone are difficult to come by.

However, as long as you do not check in on Facebook or Yelp when you get there, you can seclude yourself and escape life if you wish to do so. Turn off your phone, bring a book, magazine, your puppy, a notebook, or simply your own thoughts, take a few deep breaths and enjoy your solitude.

Here are a few of the best hidden places in Charleston to escape life, if only for a few minutes.

Folly Beach: You have a few options here. The best places to go to be alone with your thoughts are as far east as you can go on the island, and as far west as you can go. On the east end you will enjoy a scenic view of Morris Island Lighthouse. The far west end is a bit further of a walk, but totally worth it. The walk there is part of the destination itself.

Charleston Waterfront Park swings at night: There’s not a sound much more soothing than the sound of water, and when accompanied by the feeling of gently swinging back and forth under the moonlight, worries seem to melt away. Bring a comfy sweatshirt, even in summertime as it tends to get a little chilly.

Melton Peter Demetre Park (formally Sunrise Park): If you want a unique view of Charleston and the surrounding areas, here is your spot. Nestled deep within James Island, this is the perfect place to start your day or spend the afternoon in peacefulness.? In the distance you can view the Cooper River Bridge or the church steeples of the peninsula.

Allan Park

Fishing and Crabbing Dock at James Island County Park: Even if there is someone fishing, they usually just nod to say hi and focus on catching a big one. The dock is large enough for you to have your own spot to yourself. Bring your fishing pole, crab net, or just sit and enjoy the view.

Allan Park: Located just off of Ashley Avenue near Hampton Park, Allan Park is a splendid half acre of tranquility. There is a large fountain in the center and plenty of grass for picnics. There are also benches around the fountain if a blanket is not your thing.

Caw Caw Interpretive Center: Located about sixteen miles from downtown Charleston, Caw Caw Interpretive Center has remained virtually untouched over the years. Once several rice plantations, it is now home to a multitude of wildlife which you can enjoy along over six miles of trails winding throughout swamplands, cypress trees and boardwalks.

Magnolia Cemetery: Not many people think “relaxing” when it comes to cemeteries, but trust us on this one. Magnolia Cemetery is located on the banks of the Cooper River and in our opinion has to be one of the most beautiful places one could spend their resting days. Taking a stroll through this 92 acre stretch of land can give a whole new meaning to “escaping life”.

MUSC Urban Farm:? Right in the heart of the medical district off of Bee Street between Ashley and Courtenay is a safe haven.? In the heart of this square escape is an educational community garden where you will find everything from lemons, to rosemary to sunflowers with free gardening and nature lessons weekly.? Just outside the garden are open grassy areas and benches to relax, have a meal or just daydream.? Also, enclosed in this area are stretching equipment to keep your body physically fit.? This is a true mental and physical realm of health and solitude in the heart of the Charleston peninsula.


Magnolia Cemetery

We know there are more, but we do not want to give away all of the secrets! If you have a favorite spot that you like to go to escape life and would like to share, please comment below.

What Not to Do In Charleston

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By Minta Pavliscsak

It seems everywhere you look these days there are blogs popping up about what to do in Charleston. Having information about what to do and where to go is great, but sometimes it is good to know what not to do. Fear not! We have you covered. So enjoy your time in Charleston, but please keep in mind the following things not to do in Charleston, South Carolina:

– Do not stop in the middle of the road to take pictures of the big, beautiful houses. Again, that goes for cars and pedestrians, although we see it happen mostly with cars. Simply pull over and park, get out and walk around. You will get much better photographs and see so much more!

– Do not block the sidewalks. We all have places to go and people to see. While this is the south and time does seem to run a little slower here, we are still in a rush to get to where we need to be. Please be considerate of those behind you when walking down the sidewalk and make sure they have plenty of room to get around you.

– Do not let the door slam on the person walking in behind you. We are taught at a very early age to “hold the door” for others, especially southern gentlemen. When you don’t, it is nothing personal, but we take it as such. And it’s simply rude.

– Do not stop in the middle of the intersection. This goes for cars and pedestrians. The light stays green for only so long, and trust me it’s not very long. If you are unsure of where you are going, just get out of the way and then figure it out.

– Do not eat at Hymans. With so many other amazing options, try not to fall prey to the hype. But you definitely don’t have to take our word for it.

– Do not walk in the bike lane when walking across the Ravenel Bridge. The bikers will warn you that they are coming up behind you, but they will also come pretty dern close to running you over if you are in their lane.

– Do not pay for a taxi when getting around downtown. You have a couple of free options. The city has the DASH, a free downtown shuttle that has different routes that will get you all over the peninsula. There is also Scoop Charleston, a free electric taxi service that will get you anywhere you want to go in downtown Charleston.? The Rickshaw is just a fine Southern tradition and cozy way to get around town.

– Do not get to the bar late if you do not want to pay a cover charge. Going out at night? Try upper King Street or hit up the Market and East Bay area. However, be warned that there will be lines and cover charges.

– Do not bring alcohol on the beach. Folly Beach was the last beach in the area that allowed drinking on the beach. They banned alcohol on their beach in 2012 following a last straw Fourth of July incident. Some say just be smart about it; we say why risk it?

– Do not forget that everyone has their bad days. Sure, Charleston has been named one of the friendliest cities but whether you are a local or a tourist, things like what are listed above can -and will- bug anyone from time to time. Just be patient, smile, and remember the golden rule for in the end we all want our Charleston experience to be a great one.

A Folly Starfish Christmas Story


By Minta Pavliscsak

It was Christmas Eve in our little slice of Folly Under the Sea. This year things around me seemed more calm than usual. Everyfish seemed to be ahead of the typical hustle and bustle of the season. That is, every fish except for me. I like to live in the here and now, which means I am really good when it comes to what others view as procrastinating. I like to think of it more as I work well under pressure. That aside, I was bobbing from store to store as quickly as I could but a starfish can only go as fast as the current takes him and today the current was in no rush.

Somehow I managed to squeak in grocery shopping, picking up my famous last minute –but always perfect– gifts, visiting a few friends, and even getting a relaxing arm massage at Sacred Arm Massage & Healing Arts. Floating home, I looked around at all the happy fish. It was such a beautiful day. The sun was glistening brightly through the waves. There were even surfboards overhead, and not a shark sighting all day. The small fish were playing with each other and singing carols in anticipation of what tonight would bring. The bigger fish were holding hands and sneaking kisses, just as giddy as the little ones.


Finally making it home, I put on my favorite Michael Bubble Christmas album and started wrapping presents. Later that evening, I enjoyed the sunset in my back sand where I could see the human’s Folly Christmas tree off in the distance. Those humans are so creative! Who would think to put a Christmas tree on the beach anyway? ?After Christmas Eve dinner and appeasing carol singers who literally would not leave until I gave them figgy pudding –good thing I picked up dates at the store– I finally settled in to rest until Christmas day.

However, it was a restless sleep, and when I did drift off I had crazy dreams. One was of a psychedelic octopus. He just kind of joyfully floated in one spot, smiling and waving almost glowing in the surf. And then I woke up. Then there was the dream of a sandcastle Santa Claus. Had I seen the humans building one on the beach? Had Santa visited me and I sleepily caught him? Was Santa Claus really made out of sand? The psychedelic octopus seemed to make more sense than that! Maybe I was just as excited as every fish else that I had seen the day before. After all, Christmas is my most favorite of all the holidays. And even after all these years, I have never stopped believing. I gave into my excitement and floated out of bed, cranked up the Bubble, and got ready for the day.


As I put on my funny Santa attire, the smile that would remain ever present for the day crept across my face. How silly of me to think there would be sleep on the eve of today of all days! The doorbell rang. My friends and family had arrived. It was the beginning of another perfect Christmas Under the Folly Sea.

From our family to yours,
Happy Christmas, Merry Everything!

Never Stop Believing

Why do we accept the love we think we deserve, not what we truly deserve – Editorial


By Mark A. Leon

Do you want to be loved or do you want others around you to find happiness at your expense?
Do you want to settle or define of a life of happiness?

These are loaded questions filled with many options.

The pursuit of love is a passionate ride filled with bumps, obstacles and for some devastation. Too take another life and grant it permission to your heart, the most fragile thing in all existence is one so many of us are hesitant to do. You never want to willingly put yourself in a bad place and if you isolate yourself from emotional vulnerability, you won’t get hurt.

But if you do not live these moments, embrace the beauty in front of your eyes and realize that life is not about infinite happiness, but about individual moments that collectively make us infinite, then you are missing out.

What is it about our inalienable unconscious decision to settle that makes us so damn cliche in our pursuit of unhappiness and boredom that sets in and manifests itself into a slow journey to death?

Do we wake up one day and decide we no longer want to try?
Do we look in the mirror and realize this is the best we will ever be?
Do we accept that time is our deep rooted enemy and no matter how hard we try, they will win?
Do we just say, screw it. You like me, so why not.


We all deserve better
We all earned better

We are all kings and queens. That doesn’t stop when you turn six and start seeing the harsh realities of life. That little boy and girl on top of the snow hill with the whole world in front of them needs to be you, always.

Ask yourself this: What moments defined you?

  • Was it a song?
  • Was it an event?
  • Was it a movie?
  • Was it a kiss?
  • Was it a tragedy?
  • Was it a success?
  • Was it the first time you felt scared?
  • Was it a quiet moment alone in reflection?
  • Was it when you looked in her eyes?
  • Was it the first touch?
  • Was it a line in a book?

Think very hard and don’t just remember the moment; remember the feelings you had and the thoughts running through your head. ?You know what those thoughts were.

They were dreams, ambitions, ideas. ?All things that make us great. ?You wanted to run through the fields screaming in joy. ? You know this. ?You can feeling it all rushing back now.


Find that again.

  • Find the first record that made you cry and cry all over again
  • Find the first boy or girl that helped you discover love and thank them
  • Remember your greatest accomplishment and then make a list of five more better than that and achieve them
  • Make a better tomorrow for yourself
  • Find love; true love; great love; infinite love

That is when you will stop accepting the love you think you deserve and starting loving the way you are meant to.

A Lifetime of Happiness: Communication, Love and Family – The Glue and the Fuel

By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

Is it possible to spend forty-three years of your life, fifty weeks a year, 86,000 total hours, 8600 plus hours commuting, 1375 hours in travel in a place and be satisfied?? More importantly, can you leave behind a legacy that makes yourself and your family proud of the career you have made?

That was a mouthful to swallow.? Let me take a step back.? How many remember exactly what they did at work yesterday?

Sometimes that is even a hard question.

We work our little butts off making crafts and climbing robes in elementary school and junior high.? Then we fight for a reputation in high school and then start right over again redefining ourselves in college.? If we are lucky, we get to stay a little longer in graduate studies.? Then the big decisions happen.? What do I do next?

What do you like, you ask yourself?

  • Sleeping in
  • Drinking, partying and dancing
  • Hanging with the friends
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Afternoon naps
  • Road Trips
  • Play Station

Not the most transferable skill sets.? We obviously have a dilemma.? How do we translate current state to future state and still find the same level of happiness we had for the first twenty-two years for the next forty-three?

happy2If there was a simple answer, we wouldn’t have all these blogs and articles on career planning and career management and happiness in the workplace, blah, blah, blah.

Throughout history, we have seen very content and satisfied employees that have had roles ranging from extremely complex to overly simple.? From Thomas Edison to Fred Flintstone, Einstein to Homer Simpson, one constant is true, finding value in your work and balancing it with the true elements of happiness:? Love and family.

Maybe we found our variable.? Love and family.? So, we have two wandering puzzle pieces:? Crazy fun you and responsible consistent you.? Both are running for the hills in opposite directions.? What if….What if, there was a magnetic glue that could push the two together and then hold it tight.? Love and family.

I believe we have solved the greatest mystery of life.

Let’s take five minutes to do a little assignment.

Take these three categories and list five things you love about them and five things you do not love

  • Social / Play Life
  • Work Life
  • Family

Next, find the common elements in all three.

Put those common elements on a piece of paper or index cards with the title “Things that make me happy in my social, work and family life.? What are yours?”

Now mail these cards to five of your closest friends and family members.? No texting, no emailing, no cloud sharing.? Mail!!!!!? Stamps and all.

Add a post it asking them to find five things that make them happy at work, life and family and then share it with five people.

Besides the fact that this is a great way to communicate and a unique and fun exercise, it will open some eyes.

One of the areas so many of us fail at in life is communication.? We hold back and bottle up our feelings in fear of confrontation, loss or disapproval.? This is a passive method of letting others know, there is happiness in all we do and sometimes we need to look to others to harness this.

This is an exercise that can be done at work in a team building session as well.? Don’t rule that out.

Love and family may be the glue, but communication is the fuel that will lead down the road of a lifetime of happiness.


Live with Purpose – Inspirational Editorial

By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

We are not soldiers, but shepherds to humanity armed with the ammunition to feel
We are human beings with the compassion to feel; to love to understand

Our thirst for knowledge will cure disease, send us to the endless corners of the universe and bring our planet closer together

We have the infinite force of possibility resting on our fingertips
The power of the heart can move mountains, bring down the parasites of dictatorship and spread peace
The heart breathes life into all of us

Life, a gift as precious as a flower holding firm surrounded by the winds of power
A powerful storm; unpredictable and fierce

Science, technology stimulate innovation and growth. Powered by the machine and fueled by ambition spreading throughout society. But the purity of existence is the core foundation given as a birth rite.

At birth we accept an empty jar with open arms
In a lifetime, we fill it with memories, accomplishments and the blood of our legacy, warm and comforting

Stand proud, not behind the actions of others, but the leadership of one step

You and only you can be defined
By your losses
By your wins
By the symphony of inspiration you impart on those along your life path

People will come and go.
You will change lives; lives will change you
How was accept each crossroad will script that legacy

You will love
You will love to the point of pain
Embrace the pain and move forward

Machines will rise making our lives easier and bringing the world closer together in instantaneous communication exchange
The will guide us to the stars and beyond

Only we can capture the essence of life
The machines greatest flaw is our greatest gift; the ability to feel

Be amazing
Discover wonder
Create the soundtrack
Draw the journey with a feather tip pen
Paint the sunlight that warms the soul with simple breast strokes

Live with purpose
Bury fear in the pits of coward piled onto an abyss
Don’t look back

Chose life and embrace each new crossroad with curiosity and without limit for you, your children and the dreamers all smiling under the same sky

Love needs to always prevail…or else what do we have?

By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

“People have a habit of blinking and missing the moment” – Hank Moody

Have you looked deep into someone’s eyes and saw right to their soul? The moment when you relinquish the hold you have on your heart and let it escape to the protective custody of another. It is the ultimate risk of putting your life in someone else’s hands that is the ultimate happiness and pain all wrapped in one.

Why would we leave the comfort of our inner skin to enter into an unknown abyss with the promise of perfection or the torture of a thousand needles penetrating our skin and reminding us of the chance we took; the chance that brought us down?

Because it is worth it! Death is the most studied, analyzed, interpreted, fear and yearned for entity we ever face and it is sitting on a pedestal of blackness defying gravity and reality. It is that moment when for all eternity, our being changes. What we become is not for us to judge, nor is it science, nor is it faith. It is a moment of eternal redemption.

Some believe life is a test; a test of the strength of our spirit. From the moment of conscious thought to the final breath, we are faced with the opportunity to choose a path. Destiny is not written in the stars, but the words we chose, the actions we face and the path we walk on. We are the gift of creation and the end product of death. We have the rarest of gifts bestowed on the truest of beings and that is the free will to live.

I fell hard three times. A few years since I had those feelings. Was there a common factor that drained my soul and left a deep embedded emptiness? No, there wasn’t. That is the mystery of love that no book, magazine or therapist can answer. It is that feeling you have when you close your eyes and see a slide show in your mind of every moment you spent together, every touch of each other’s skin, every gaze into their eyes and every emotion magnified by a thousand percent.

We so often read books or articles trying to explain love, that we fail to realize there is no right or wrong and in most cases feelings and emotions do not have a definition. Without definition, there is no meaning and explanation. We enter love as a blank canvas, but are equipped with the paint and brushes to make an artistic masterpiece.

Love is a promise. Not of eternal partnership, but one of committing mind, body and soul to someone that pumps life into you, makes you believe in something bigger than yourself, gives you the inspiration to achieve greatness and is always there with a hug and a moment of comfort. It is that moment when you want to make that promise, that you know your heart found it’s match.

Love is not something that you grow into nor is it earned. It finds you like a bullet finds its victim. With a force of a hundred horses, it penetrates your skin and tears letting blood flow out of you, making you vulnerable and weak. In a way, when love finds you, you become a victim to the most amazing roller coaster ride of your life.

If you haven’t taken the ultimate risk, there is no reason to wait…

Don’t seek out a catalyst or life changing event to give you a reason.? Take your state of mind and body and if you find someone that shares that mutual thrust of emotion, dive into the deep end and let yourself drown. If it is right, you will be rescued.

“For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.” —–Judy Garland

“I’m lucky to have known you.? I’m lucky to have loved you.” – Karen, Californication