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Catch Baseball Fever at “The Joe”

The Shady Umbrella has caught baseball fever this Summer!  Aside from the constant televised games we watch and the fantasy baseball I play (Kristin says it’s nerdy, but that’s ok…I already tricked her into marrying me) there’s also local favorite The Charleston Riverdogs

Watching a game on a warm summer night while having a cold beer and a hotdog just feels right.  Joseph Riley Park, called The Joe, offers a ton of family activities and some great food.  They do a great job keeping fans involved with between inning antics and contests with Charlie the Riverdog and friends! (check out the video)

The Riverdogs have also really stepped up their promotions.  Listed below are the nightly promotions from their site offered at the park!  If you haven’t been, the next home game is the perfect time to start!

“We’ll see you at The Joe!”

Kristin and Jason


FUN. . . Seven Days a Week!

Mondays: Dogs With a Cause Night: The RiverDogs partner with a local non-profit organization to generate exposure and funds for a specific cause presented by 98X & 105.5 FM The Bridge.  A bonus for 2010 is the addition of Hair of the Dog Mondays, which features $1 beers in the Ashley View Pub to shake off the rust from the weekend. 

Tuesdays: BI-LO Two-for-Tuesday/Kraft Singles Tuesday Tickets: Two-for-one ticket discounts available on general admission and lower/upper reserve seats presented by 98.9 Chick FM.  To ge the discount fans can either present a BI-LO Bonus Card or a Kraft Singles wrapper to the box office window the day of the game.

Wednesdays: ALL-U-CAN-EAT Wild Wednesdays: Face-stuffing, rib-sticking buffet available for just
$20 in the Ashley View Pub.

Thursdays: Budweiser Thirsty Thursdays: Makes its return and features $1 food and beverage specials in the Ashley View Pub presented by 95 SX. 

Fridays: Force Protection Industries, Inc. Red Shirt Fridays: Makes a return as fans that wear red to the ballpark on Friday nights receive $1 off their ticket then can donate those savings to a military family in need presented by 103.5 FM WEZL.  Every Friday will be punctuated with explosive post-game fireworks, presented by Piggly Wiggly.

Saturdays: Presented all season by Kia Country of Charleston, every Saturday will have giveaways available to the first 1,000 fans.  This year’s freebies consist of Webkinz, RiverDogs Chia Heads, umbrellas, Snuggies and curveballs, to name a few.  Plus all kids 12-under will be able to run the bases following the game.

Sundays: Family Sundays: Presented by the Charleston County Parks & Recreation Commission & Apex Broadcasting, Sundays at Riley Park have Free Parking and Kids Eat Free, pregame catch on the field, reading with the RiverDogs and the popular postgame autograph session with the team and loveable mascots Charlie T. RiverDog, Chelsea and Bark.

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Daily Vacations? Go on, Sneak one in…

    Yesterday, I had to go into downtown Charleston to run what I thought would be a quick errand.  I had been given the duty of tracking down an item that was to be a wedding gift for Kristin’s sister and fiance.  When I got out of my truck,  I wasn’t super pumped about the weather…It was cold and windy, and I was tired.  However, as soon as I turned the corner onto King Street, my attitude changed. 

Why?  It’s because I really enjoy the vibe of downtown Charleston. 

    The item I was seeking literally led me on a scavenger hunt that took me in a 2-3 mile loop through the city.  As it turns out, no one had what I was looking for, but when I got back to the truck I couldn’t have felt better.  I had just spent about 2.5 hours walking around in the cold and wind loving it!  Then I realized that yeah, it was a “waste” of my time, but it was therapeutic for me.  Kristin and I have both been really busy lately, and just strolling around somewhere I love had helped to clear my head.  

    Most people have an area around their home town that levels them out.  You don’t always have to be on a vacation to relax and wind down. Sometimes you just need to do something you enjoy…Don’t stumble into it like I did.  Make a point to go, you’ll be glad you went…

Happy Travels,

Kristin and Jason

King Street, Charleston, SC

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Our Middleton Place Experience…

    This past weekend Kristin and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary.  Knowing that wood was the proper gift to be given on a fifth wedding anniversary, I decided to put my own twist on the occasion by taking her to the woods at Middleton Place Plantation


Ok, Ok….in reality, I thought of this on the way there after Kristin told me about wood being the traditional gift for five years.  Pretty nimble with my words if you ask me, but she didn’t buy it for a second…I did plan something special though, so I have that going for me.

    At any rate, The Inn at Middleton Place had a fantastic two day “Winter Getaway” package that we took advantage of.  It included two nights at the inn, dinner at the restaurant one night, wine and chocolate covered strawberries for the room, and free roam of the grounds.  We decided to make a weekend of it and not leave the grounds for the two days.  
    We arrived in the afternoon and checked in with the desk to receive our vouchers and keys.  The property is gated for security at night, which is nice since it is so secluded.  We opted for a Riverview room, which is middle of the road as far as accommodations at the Inn go.  The room was very cozy and comfortable, but wasn’t extremely lavish like we assumed it would be.  However, it did offer beautiful views of the Ashley River and the oak trees outside through a wall made completely of windows covered in plantation shutters.  The room was very much like staying in a cabin in the woods, which is fitting for the surroundings.  A wood burning fireplace was the perfect accessory to the room, but unfortunately the available wood was pretty damp from recent rain and snow.  I pulled out my very best boy scout style skills to no avail.  I could only manage a slow smoky smolder in the fire place.  Kristin thought it was hilarious that I couldn’t get the fire blazing.  In hindsight, I should have realized that I was fighting a losing battle with the wet wood, but I am stubborn…

    Since, we never left the grounds during our stay we had many opportunities to try a variety of dishes from the restaurant.  Standouts on the menu included the seared sea scallops, grilled new york strip, and a peppered yellow fin steak that was a special.  Other mentionables were the she crab soup and shrimp and grits.  All of the food was very well prepared and tasty.  Nothing really wowed us, but overall everything was very good.  The service staff were all very friendly and attentive to our needs.  Unfortunately, due to operator error on my part the food pictures were lost…on the upside we have many others to share of the grounds.


     The Plantation as a whole was gorgeous even in the middle of winter.  The gardens and immediate property surrounding the House Museum were ryed and were very green and lush.  The outlying areas were brown with dormant centipede grass, which has it’s own beauty when properly maintained and weeded.  The House Museum was beautiful, and contains many Middleton family heirlooms and priceless antiques.  Many beautiful paintings are on the walls also.  I am nowhere near a history buff, but I found the guided tour to be very informative and entertaining.  It is definitely worth taking.

    The stableyards have also been preserved, and give a glimpse of what many of the slaves did day-to-day on the plantation.  There are many people employed in this are to reenact and explain their duties and the significance of them during the time period.  Everything is very tastefully done with respect to the heritage of all involved.  The stableyards are also home to many animals that I considered unusual like peacocks, water buffaloes, and guinea hogs.  There are also chickens and horses roaming about. 

    A few things that we didn’t do, but would have if it had been warmer included kayak rentals and biking at the Outdoor Center.  There is also an Equestrian Center if you are into horses or the riding of them.  Also on the property are a garden market and museum gift shop that offer snacks and gifts to remember your trip.

    All in all, we had a very nice time.  It was very relaxing, and informative.  There is just so much history to the family and grounds that you really have to be there to take it all in and appreciate it’s significance.  If you’d like to visit Middleton Place, we’d be happy to help you with your arrangements!

Happy Travels,

Kristin and Jason

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A Little Winter Magic For Ya…

    Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone!  We hope y’all had a good one.  We just got back from a nice dinner at Fuji Sushi Bar, which was a solid ending to a good day as usual.
    Something crazy awesome happened this weekend!  I know what you’re thinking…”Does he mean the Olympics?” Nope.  “Could it be the NBA All-Star game?”  Keep guessing…”Oh, Oh, The expo…The Southeastern Wildlife Expo!”  No.  Give up???



    Depending on what part of the globe you’re from will surely dictate your reaction to that news.  You see, down here in the Lowcountry it has only snowed three memorable times in my 29 and 1/4 years. Once after Hurricane Hugo in ’89, then again in 2000, and finally February 12, 2010.  That’s it…

    For everyone that just read this and thought, “So, who cares?” snow is a nuisance, and a normal part of your winter months.  Down here, snow is a myth of winter that seems more like fiction than fact.  Admittedly, after it loses that light and fluffy texture and turns to slush it’s pretty lackluster.  However, for that small window, it’s a piece of life that most locals have been deprived of their whole lives.  I remember in ’89 getting my dad to take the trucks and wheels off my skateboard so that I could ride it down the big hills in the neighborhood.  I ended up with some road rash, but also memories that will last forever.
    So, thanks to the North for letting us have a small taste.  Y’all can take it back now, as it is stinking cold outside!  I’m all ready for Spring, bring the pollen!


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Valentine’s Day Ideas Around Charleston, SC

    Valentine’s Day is coming up soon and to kick off our “Raised on Salt Air” series we’re going to give  you some romantic spots to take that special someone around Charleston, SC!

Places to Stay

Woodlands Resort & Inn

We have stayed at the Woodlands a couple times, once on our wedding night before we flew to Jamaica and on an anniversary.  The grounds and rooms at the inn are beautiful.  The staff went above and beyond what we expected even in a five star hotel.  The Woodlands is located in Summerville, SC which is only about 25 minutes outside of Charleston.  It is the only hotel in the state to have a five star rating in both lodging and dining. 

The Vendue Inn

We stayed here on an anniversary also.  The Vendue Inn has a unique personality.  It is very beautiful, and offers guests many different common areas to enjoy like a music room and a reading room.  There are also two very good restaurants on the grounds, The Library and Rooftop.  The Library offers traditional southern cuisine, while the Rooftop offers great appetizers, views of the city and harbor, and live music.  I think younger couples would enjoy The Vendue Inn very much because of it’s many options.

The Planter’s Inn

The Planter’s Inn is in the running for our anniversary this year.  We have dined there, and it was outstanding.  However, I wouldn’t feel right writing a review, so this is how they describe themselves…”Nestled in the heart of the historic district of Charleston, South Carolina, the hotel dazzles guests with sumptuous detail. Take a soak in a whirlpool tub, enjoy a glass of wine, or simply sink into the exquisite handmade bed. Enjoy a glass of sparkling champagne or cool refreshing iced tea on the piazza overlooking the Garden Courtyard, or on a balcony overlooking the history of Charleston, SC. You will feel both revived and indulged at Planters Inn!” -plantersinn.com

Places to Eat

Peninsula Grill

The Peninsula Grill is a four star restaurant located inside of The Planter’s Inn.  The restaurant is very elegant and open, but not at all pretentious.  It is actually a little loud inside as guests pour through bottles of wine and cocktails.  However, the food is outstanding.  It is one of our favorite places to eat in Charleston because of the light atmosphere and quality of the food. Try the Lobster “3 Way”.

The Dining Room at Woodlands Inn

The Dining Room at Woodlands Inn is a five star restaurant located in the Woodlands Resort & Inn.  The food is inventive and creative.  We have eaten the a few times, and have never seen the same menu twice.  The chef is always changing the menu to keep things fresh.  The dining room itself is very beautiful and intimate. 

Charleston Grill

The Charleston Grill is located inside of Charleston Place Hotel.  The restaurant offers traditional cuisine with a nod to invention.  Every time that we have been it has been excellent.  There is typically live jazz being played inside to accompany your experience.  The dining room is very open and beautiful. 

After Dinner Sights

Waterfront park

Within walking distance of all of the hotels and restaurants mentioned, Water Front Park offers beautiful views of the harbor and surrounding areas.  There are many swings and benches to sit and admire the view or just spend time with each other.  A stroll through the park is a great way to end a romantic evening.

The Battery

The Battery offers beautiful sunset views of the harbor.  It is also across the street from many gorgeous historic Charleston homes, and White Point Gardens which has many large oak trees and civil war monuments.  It is also a nice place to stroll through and just be together.

Just Take It All In

I think a lot of us take for granted just how beautiful Charleston is at night.  Just taking a walk down East Bay or King Street at night is great.  There are many places that you can duck into for a night cap if you choose.

We hope this has helped you with your Valentine’s Day plans around the Lowcountry! 

Kristin and Jason

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Check out our Favorite Spots around Charleston in the series “Raised on Salt Air”

    Through all of our travels, what Kristin and I always love the most about a trip is pulling into our driveway here in Charleston, SC.  Don’t get me wrong, we love seeing new places and meeting new faces, but there is just something about Charleston. 
    We were both fortunate enough to grow up here, and find employment in our married life together that allowed us to stay.  We’ve been sharing some tips and tales about our travels around the globe, and we are going to continue to do so.  In addition, we are going to start telling y’all about what we love most about our hometown and life in the southeast.  We’ve been coming to your hometowns on vacation, but we think you might like to check out ours too!  So keep and eye out for a new series on the blog called “Raised on Salt Air”.  In it we’re going to be sharing our favorite spots on land and water, some awesome food, and anything else we think you might be in to through video and written stories. 

We hope you like it!

Jason and Kristin

The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, Charleston, SC

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