A top ten tasting room in the Finger Lakes of NY

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If you have never visited the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York, you really ought to put it on your travel bucket list. And when you do visit, make sure you stop by the Heron Hill Winery in Hammondsport, NY. These photos are of the winery and the tasting room which Travel and Leisure Magazine named one of the 10 most spectacular tasting rooms in the world. It truly is a world-class view and a wonderful tasting room with some very tasty wines to boot! Ask for Tambi, the tasting hall manager, and tell her Meg and Steve say “Hi.” She’s wonderful and knows everything about the wines and the winery. (http://www.heronhill.com/)

Heron Hill holds a special place for us as we held our wedding reception there 10 years ago and Steve also proposed to me in the bell tower at the top of the winery. It has a lovely view of Keuka Lake and Dr. Frank’s winery and the Bully Hill winery are nearby so it makes for an easy wine tour. The Finger Lakes are located between Rochester and Syracuse and make for a great vacation especially in the summer and fall. We had a great trip recently as Steve played in a golf tourney (The Finger Lakes Cup) along with 11 of his Syracuse University buddies. All the wives came along and we had a riot as we toured wineries while they golfed.

Steve grew up in the area so we also visited his family in Bath and it was fun to see them too. And if you’re going to visit the area, I heartily recommend staying at a B & B on Canandaigua Lake called 1837 Cobblestone Cottage (http://www.1837cobblestonecottage.com/). We had a fantastic stay there and enjoyed two incredible breakfasts. If you do plan a trip to the Finger Lakes, please contact me and I’ll be happy to share my favorite spots to visit.

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Heeeeeeeeere’s Johnny! (part two)

Heeeeeeeeere's Johnny!  (part two)HEEEEEEEEERE’S JOHNNY (PART TWO) Well I promised you I would update you on our friend and local boy Johnny Wactor, who is currently starring on the NBC show “Siberia.” We had a lot of laughs when we had lunch with him in LA in July and I posted a piece on him last month.

“Siberia” is on NBC at 10 pm on Monday night so check out the show and Summerville native Johnny Wactor. The ratings have steadied and it looks like Johnny even might have a season 2 lined up. He had some great stories to tell us about the show and especially the audition that got him the gig. Unfortunately we are held to secrecy but it’s great to see Johnny “making it” in Hollywood.

He says he misses the low country but auditioning, taking acting classes, and doing post production on “Siberia” is his life for now. But it sounds like LA is treating him just fine . . .

Steve and I have the show on DVR but you can also watch all the previous episodes online so enjoy the escapism and check your brain at the door!

We’re # 11! (Best minor league sports market)

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If you’re a sports fan or just enjoy a fun night out at the ballpark/hockey rink/soccer stadium, add another major ranking to Charleston for our minor league sports market! Charleston was recently named the 11th best minor league sports market in America by SportsBusiness Journal.

While Charleston is not a “major league town”, we do have plenty of family fun sports action all year round. Stingrays hockey, Riverdogs baseball, and Charleston Battery soccer are the mainstays and of course every year Daniel Island hosts the best of the women’s tennis world at the Family Circle Cup. Last year the PGA Championship was played at Kiawah’s Ocean Course and for top quality college football, Clemson and USC are both ranked in the top 10 this year and make for a fun road trip.

For more info, here is a link to the Post and Courier article: http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20130815/PC20/130819617/1032/charleston-named-11th-best-minor-league-sports-market-in-america
Play ball!

The Killers come to Daniel Island and rock the Family Circle Cup Stadium!

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Well tonight they were rocking the Family Circle Cup on Daniel Island. The Killers played here on Tuesday night and the place was packed with one hip and happy crowd. This was the report from my husband who is the rocker in the family. I stayed home but he went with our niece and nephew and a good time was had by all. The weather was balmy, the beers were super cold, and the crowd was in a wonderful mood they said. It all made for a great evening and I regret not going but alas, work had to be done.

My husband, Steve, did mention the hipness of the crowd and how it matched the venue. When people think of Daniel Island they sometimes complain about the cookie cutter lay out and how everything looks nice but the same. Well there was a buzz last night in our little town when the Killers took the stage and Daniel Island was the hippest place to be in the low country. Check out one of their videos here: http://youtu.be/mkkE7yDXr6g

For those of you who don’t know The Killers, they are a band out of Las Vegas that has been climbing the charts for the last 10 years. And they recently played in front of 90,000 people at Wembley Arena in London so it was a special event in our neighborhood to see them in such a more intimate venue. If you haven’t seen a show at the Family Circle Cup yet, you owe yourself to go catch a show. Hootie and the Blowfish next week!

We’re #1 and #5 in the friendliest city category!

charleston sceneWell thank you Conde Nast readers. In a recent reader’s survey, they voted Charleston the #1 friendliest city in the USA and #5 in the entire world! What a testament to the people of the region and to be honest, it’s a pretty influential sales tool for me. Who doesn’t want to live where the people are friendly? And I have to say, after living here for almost 8 years, I am hard pressed to find a place where the people are nicer. For the entire list, here’s the link: http://www.cntraveler.com/daily-traveler/2013/07/world-travel-dublin-auckland-cork-friendly-unfriendly-cities_slideshow_item0_1

My husband always likes to tell newcomers to the area, “you know, I was a nice guy when I first moved here but living here has really upped my game in the courtesy department.” It just rubs off on you and more noticeably, rudeness really makes you stand out. But I’ve seen it in others that have moved here “from off” and they too have softened their attitudes and seem quicker to smile. And what’s not to like? The weather, the food, the beaches, the easy living . . . combine that with the friendliness factor and it makes for a powerful draw.

And speaking of drawing people to live here, here is the sales activity for July on Daniel Island. http://www.danielisland.com/real-estate-activity/current-activity/
Sales continue to exceed expectations and with these accolades from Conde Nast and other publications, it is not surprising to see. Oh, if you’re looking for a road trip to friendly cities close to Charleston, visit Savannah and Asheville as they also ranked high in the survey. Congrats to them!

A beautiful swing, and she’s only 10!

lucy liIf you’re a golfer or even if you’re not, one has to appreciate the classic golf swing from 10-year-old Lucy Li who is playing in Charleston this week. She qualified to play in the USGA Women’s Amateur which is being held at the Country Club of Charleston so it’s a pretty big deal. It’s an amazing feat from this 4’8″/85lb dynamo and here is the link to her golf swing: (It’s a one minute slow motion video from her teacher, Jim McLean) http://vimeo.com/57413966

It’s exciting to have a USGA event in our town especially considering that the PGA was held here last year down at Kiawah. Charleston is known for great golf and this classic Seth Raynor layout at the CC of Charleston is honored to be chosen by the USGA for an event that started back in 1895.

I try to swing the clubs when I can and watching this 10-year-old has just inspired me to go out and hit the range. I do think it might be a little late in my life to qualify for the Women’s Amateur but maybe a bogey every once in a while would be nice.

Some nice publicity for an incredible home —

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This was a pleasant way to wake up on a Sunday morning. I opened up the Money & Jobs section of the Charleston Post and Courier (“the south’s oldest daily newspaper”) and right there on the front page above the fold was this article: Buyers returning to Lowcountry’s luxury homes http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20130804/PC05/130809773/1177/buyers-returning-to-lowcountry-x2019-s-luxury-homes-market

They featured one of my listings and one that I showcased earlier on this blog, 376 Ralston Creek St. This home is amazing and truly one of a kind. Someone will make it a home one day soon, and what a home they will have!

I would like to thank Tyrone Richardson of the Post and Courier for contacting me and writing an extensive article on this magnificent home as well as other high-end properties in the Charleston area. It’s a good read so enjoy it.

Thirsty for something new?

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One of Daniel Island’s newest businesses is one of my favorites, Sauer Grapes Wine Lounge. Located at 885 Island Park Drive down the street from Laura Alberts (a fantastic lunch spot), Sauer Grapes is owned and operated by Marie Sauer and opened earlier this year. Marie has a wide selection of unique wines and she is very knowledgeable about each one of them. I love my Publix on Daniel Island but their wine selection is naturally the “grocery store” variety so I patronize Marie’s shop when I want something different.

She is incredibly helpful and will help you host your own event at the lounge for free! It’s a nice casual spot to enjoy a glass (or bottle!) and to catch up with your neighbors. Her prices beat or rival anyone in town and she also has been hosting musical acts so it’s great not to have to go off island to get my musical fix. For more information, visit her website at http://www.sauergrapeswine.com or just stop by. As always, tell her I sent ya and thanks for supporting local business!