health insurance agent in Seabrook Island
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Health Insurance Plans Made Easy and Affordable
Trying to find the right health insurance plan for you or your family can be a complex, often difficult task. Just trying to find the best carrier can be stressful and confusing on its own. That is why the Health Insurance Solutions was founded - to take the stress and confusion out of the health insurance process. Our goal is to help hardworking men and women find the best protection for their unique needs.
Unlike some health insurance brokers, we make every effort to learn about the kind of health insurance you really need. When you speak with an agent from The Health Insurance Solutions, know that we will never try to upsell you on a plan that you can't afford. Instead, your knowledgeable, helpful health insurance agent in Seabrook Island will help you navigate the uncertain waters of the health insurance world. Once we understand the health insurance plan you need, we will explore your options. That way, you can leave our conversation feeling informed about your health insurance options and confident that you are making the best choice possible.
We are proud to have served people just like yourself for more than 15 years at the Health Insurance Solutions. We have helped countless individuals, families, and business owners find the coverage they need at a price that won't send them into bankruptcy. If you know that you need health insurance but don't know how to start or what to look for, we've got good news - you're in the right place.
Do You Really Need Health Insurance?
Before we talk about the solutions that our health insurance broker in Seabrook Island provides, we should address the elephant in the room. Everyone regardless of age or health, can benefit from a health insurance plan. Even the healthiest of people want to maintain their health and have protection in the event of a catastrophe. One of the best ways to stay healthy and plan for unexpected events is to visit your doctor for an annual check-up. When you have a health insurance plan, these visits are often fully covered by your insurance carrier when you choose an in-network doctor. Without health insurance, you will be responsible for the full cost of any medical care - even routine check-ups with your primary care physician. If something horrible happens, and you don't have health insurance, you may have to pay the full amount for the emergency care you receive. Even young, healthy individuals can benefit from the right health plan. After all, nobody plans on getting sick or injured, but bad things can happen to anyone. Something unexpected like a broken leg can cost more than $7,000 to treat when you don't have coverage. A three-day stay in a hospital can cost upwards of $30,000. That can be an incredible amount of money to pay out of pocket. Having a health insurance plan set in place can help you get quality care at a much more affordable price, especially if something unforeseen happens.
Who We Serve
At the Health Insurance Solutions, our mission is to educate and empower our clients so that they can get the best access to medical care possible. Because everyone has their own unique set of needs when it comes to health plans, we serve a wide range of clients.
Individual plans, also called personal health plans, are health insurance policies that you can purchase solely for yourself. When you work with Health Insurance Solutions, your health insurance agent in Seabrook Island will go over your health plan options and help find the best fit for your needs. Individual health plans are not tied to your employer, so you can make a career change without having to worry about losing your health insurance. For individual plans, we offer major medical, short-term, and fixed benefit plans that include life, dental, vision, and other coverage options.
Finding the right health plan for your family can be a real challenge, but our experienced health insurance agents are here to help. We understand that not all members of your family will have the same needs. To help your family get the best coverage possible, we search for custom plans that will meet each of your family members' needs. Whether you're looking for major medical coverage or fixed-benefit plans with no deductibles, our experts are here to serve you. Common coverage options include vision, dental, life, STD and LTD, long-term care, and more.
Entrepreneurs have their own set of needs in terms of health plans and how much they can afford to spend on coverage. Once thought of as a small percentage of the workforce, 57 million Americans freelanced in 2019 alone, according to the Upwork and Freelancers Union. If you are a consultant, independent contractor, or freelancer, the Health Insurance Solutions will find a plan that caters to your current needs and future endeavors. Common health insurance plans for self-employed people include vision, life, dental, and stand-alone prescription coverage. We also offer major medical, supplemental, short-term, and fixed-benefit plans at a range of prices that you can afford.
Offering health insurance to your employees is one of the best ways to keep your team happy and attract diligent workers to your company. If you are a business owner who wants to provide health insurance to your employees but cannot do so because the cost of benefits is too high, worry not. Our experienced health insurance agents will work directly with your employees to help them find the coverage they can afford. We also offer hybrid plans that can be customized so that both you and your employee's needs are met. Whether you need a major medical package or voluntary benefits only, the Health Insurance Solutions has got you covered. Common small business health insurance plans include life, LTC, medical, vision, 401K administration, and dental insurance.
If you travel regularly for business or pleasure, it pays to plan ahead and protect yourself. Because unexpected events happen all the time, you could lose a lot of money if your business trip or vacation is canceled at the last minute. Situations like this can be particularly concerning on international business trips and on long vacations. Whether you get sick before your trip or have valuables within your baggage stolen, traveler's insurance can help minimize expensive cancelation fees and costs.
Most Popular Types of Coverage
Figuring out the kind of insurance you need is a crucial part of the health insurance process. Do you have a prescription for eyeglasses or contacts? Do you have a condition that requires you to visit the doctor on a regular basis? Health insurance plans change depending on what you need. At the Health Insurance Solutions, we will provide you with a trusted health insurance agent in Seabrook Island to help you choose the best plan for your budget.
Here are a few of the most popular types of coverage that our clients ask about:
This type of insurance covers minimum essential benefits and meets the standards of the ACA for family and individual coverage. Major medical insurance is a fantastic option to choose if you want to be sure all of your medical expenses are covered. Major medical plans usually cover ten essential benefits:
- Outpatient Procedures or Ambulatory Care
- Check-Ups and Preventative Care
- Prescription Medications
- Emergency Services
- Pediatric Care Services
- Laboratory Services
- Newborn and Maternity Care
- Addiction Counseling and Mental Health Care Services
If your goal is to cover a full range of care, major medical plans are often the best choice. We recommend you contact our office today to learn more about the major medical plan options available to you. As a licensed, private health insurance broker in Seabrook Island you do not need to wait until Open Enrollment to protect yourself with a major medical insurance plan.
From basic cleanings to complex procedures like root canals, dental work can be awfully expensive. When you have dental insurance, you will have peace of mind knowing that you won't have to pay for your procedure out of pocket. In general, a quality dental insurance policy will cover some or all of the following:
- Routine cleanings and checkups (copay may be required)
- Filling Cavities
- Bridges, Implants, and Crowns
- Root Canals and Repair Work
- Emergency Services Oral Surgery, etc.)
It should be noted that some types of dental equipment and services may be covered at higher levels of coverage. While preventative work like cleanings is typically covered, some procedures require out-of-pocket costs.
Usually purchased as an addition to your medical insurance, vision insurance helps cut back on costs associated with eye care Like dental insurance, vision insurance is great if you know that you will regularly visit the eye doctor or just want to protect yourself for a "worst case scenario." In general, a quality vision plan will cover some or all of the following:
- Routine Eye Exams
- Medical Eye Care
- Vision Correction Products (Eyeglasses, contacts, etc.)
- Surgeries for Vision Correction (LASIK, etc.)
It should be noted that not all types of vision insurance will cover medical issues related to eye care. For instance, if your optometrist discovers a medical problem during your eye exam, they may refer you to a different doctor. While vision insurance may not cover all eye-related medical services, major medical health insurance often does.
It might be hard to imagine at this stage of your life, but as you age, there is a chance that you will need long-term care services. The question is, how will you or your loved ones pay for this kind of care? Many people choose to eliminate the burden of senior care by purchasing long-term care insurance. Services like meal preparation, medication assistance, and help with day-to-day activities like bathing are not covered by regular health insurance plans. Long-term care insurance will help you or your children lessen the expense of care when you have chronic medical conditions, dementia, or disabilities. When you speak to one of our health insurance agents, ask if you can purchase a policy that reimburses you when you receive care in the following locations:
- Routine cleanings and checkups (copay may be required)
- In a nursing home
- In your own home
- In an assisted living center
- At a long-term residential senior facility
Expert Help Is Only a Phone Call Away
We call ourselves the Health Insurance Solutions because we are committed to finding you the best, most affordable options for your health insurance needs. We work with all the major insurance carriers, such as:
- Advent Health
- United Healthcare
- National General
- Many More
Unlike some health insurance brokers who only care about making a sale, we don't view you as a financial transaction. We believe that serving others never goes out of style. That's why we prefer to educate you on your health coverage options so that you can make an informed decision. As your health insurance agent in Seabrook Island, we would be honored to help you seek out a plan that is the perfect fit for your life. You will receive the same excellent level of service whether you are a business owner with employees or a single individual.
When you're ready to protect yourself and your family with quality health insurance, we will be here to help guide you along the way. Contact us today so that we may discover your insurance needs and provide you with a quality insurance solution that will give you peace of mind for years to come.
Latest News in Seabrook Island, SC
Seabrook Island neighbors push for short-term rental cap, mayor says no cap needed
SEABROOK ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - Seabrook Island neighbors are petitioning their leaders to cap the number of short-term rentals, stating there is overcrowding due to what they called over-tourism, but the mayor said the town has no plans to do so.Seabrook Island homeowner Ted Flerlage says over 700 of his neighbors want to cap the number of short-term rentals on the island.“What we’re trying to do is cap, not end the process of short-term rentals, cap at roughly the present numbers, evaluate what happens after that,&...
SEABROOK ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - Seabrook Island neighbors are petitioning their leaders to cap the number of short-term rentals, stating there is overcrowding due to what they called over-tourism, but the mayor said the town has no plans to do so.
Seabrook Island homeowner Ted Flerlage says over 700 of his neighbors want to cap the number of short-term rentals on the island.
“What we’re trying to do is cap, not end the process of short-term rentals, cap at roughly the present numbers, evaluate what happens after that,” Flerlage said, “and then, determine whether or not we should lower the number of short-term rentals.”
As of June 19, there are 484 of these properties on the island, which residents said has led to overcrowding on the island’s streets and amenities.
Mayor John Gregg said for this year, data gathered over the past few months suggest otherwise.
“We’re not going to be looking at imposing limitations on the number of short-term rental units,” Gregg said.
Coastal Getaways owner Nancy Buck said more people are starting to call the island home, and good rentals are full for around 40% of the year.
She says all of her clients are property owners who rent to help offset the costs of the amenities, taxes and insurance.
“We’ve also gone from 35% permanent residents to 60% residents in the last two years,” Buck said. “Twenty-five percent of the properties have turned over since 2019.”
Buck also adds the majority of the amenities are mostly used by members and not rental guests.
However, the homeowners want the town’s government to hear them out.
“I’d like him to reconsider,” Flerlage said. “I’d like him to look at the reality and listen to the people who are property owners here, the residents on the island. You know, 700 people is a big number.”
“Let’s wait and see how this year goes,” Buck said. “They instituted the short-term rental ordinance couple of years ago, or actually, last year, so let’s give it a full year to see how it goes.”
Both Buck and the homeowners said they want to work out their differences over the next several months to come up with a solution that works for everyone.
Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.
MUSC Health breaks ground on Sea Islands Medical Pavilion
The more than 20,000 square foot facility will be located at 1884 Seabrook Island Road, near Bohicket Marina. The Sea Islands community is expected to undergo significant population growth over the next few years, especially those residents 65 and older. The Sea Islands are also geographically isolated, situated more than 20 miles from the nearest hospital. The area also accommodates a large seasonal population of tourists, many of whom have trouble navigating local health care services.“It can take up to 45 minutes to get to th...
The more than 20,000 square foot facility will be located at 1884 Seabrook Island Road, near Bohicket Marina. The Sea Islands community is expected to undergo significant population growth over the next few years, especially those residents 65 and older. The Sea Islands are also geographically isolated, situated more than 20 miles from the nearest hospital. The area also accommodates a large seasonal population of tourists, many of whom have trouble navigating local health care services.
“It can take up to 45 minutes to get to the nearest hospital from the Sea Islands. That’s too long for an emergency situation such as a stroke, where every minute counts. As the state’s only comprehensive academic health system, we are committed to delivering the best possible care, closest to home,” said David J. Cole, M.D., FACS, MUSC president. “This new medical pavilion will provide rapid access to outstanding care for the entire Sea Islands community.”
As part of the MUSC Health system’s overarching strategy, the MUSC Health Charleston Division has worked to provide better community access and local care in the greater Tri-County region, as well as coastal communities to the north and south of Charleston. This enables better capacity at the flagship facilities, which offer specialized and complex care downtown while enhancing overall accessibility and continuity of care for patients and families, especially in underserved communities. Since 2019, four new multispecialty ambulatory care platforms have opened in West Ashley, North Charleston and Mount Pleasant.
In addition to 24/7 emergency care, the facility will offer two trauma rooms, a rooftop helicopter pad, and a medical office building that will provide primary and specialty care, including imaging and lab services, cardiology and physical therapy. A telemedicine network will connect the entire facility to some of the nation’s top providers at MUSC Health in downtown Charleston. The Town of Kiawah Island donated $1 million to create a healing, restful green space and garden adjacent to the new facility.
“Accessibility to the wonderful health system and hospitals we have here has been a concern, so it was exciting to hear about this project,” said Town of Kiawah Mayor John Labriola. “My hat’s off to the MUSC Board of Trustees and the institution’s leadership, because getting a certificate of need is not easy… personally, I look forward to the ribbon cutting and seeing our garden that will be named for the Town of Kiawah.”
The project was made possible in part by Kiawah Partners, which was acquired by South Street Partners in 2013, who donated 6 acres of land to the Medical University Hospital Authority (MUSC Health), valued at $4.85 million.
"This project was initiated to meet the huge need for medical services on Kiawah Island, Seabrook, and Johns Island. With no convenient emergency healthcare options currently available, we have been working for seven-plus years to figure out a way to bring accessible healthcare to the Sea Islands,” said Chris Randolph, South Street Partners. “Thanks to MUSC, we will soon have a world-class medical facility that provides so much more than what we had originally envisioned. We couldn’t be more pleased to have been able to donate the land for this project and feel very grateful to partner with such an excellent health care system.”
Of the estimated $30 million needed to fund the project, MUSC is committed to raising $17 million in private support. To date, it has received more than $9.5 million in confirmed gifts, with many coming from local residents.
“Private support is critical to the long-term success of the MUSC Health Sea Islands Medical Pavilion because of the many financial challenges that come with operating a medical facility in this community,” said Kate Azizi, vice president for Institutional Advancement. “One challenge is the low population density of the Sea Islands. While this is an aging population that needs timely access to medical care – there aren’t enough people living in these communities full time to sustain our operations. Philanthropic support helps fill those gaps, allowing us to deliver the best care possible where and when it’s needed.”
Donors Chris and DeeDee Gibson are giving $2 million to the project. In recognition of their generosity, the physical therapy space will be named in their honor. “My family has been coming to Kiawah for close to 40 years,” Chris Gibson said. “When my wife DeeDee and I built a home here, she had one request: that there was a hospital nearby in case of an emergency. All these years later, we are excited to contribute to the new MUSC Health Sea Islands Medical Pavilion and to help make these vital medical services available to our neighbors on Kiawah, Seabrook and Johns islands.”
“The construction of a full-fledged medical facility with emergency services is a dream come true for all Johns, Kiawah and Seabrook Islands,” said local resident Pam Harrington, who donated $2 million and will name the emergency department after the Harrington family. “As our population continues to grow and more folks are retiring to our area, the demand for medical services grows with it! Being a Kiawah/Cassique resident for many years, the addition of a medical pavilion fills a real need that has existed over several decades. Prior to my 40-plus years in real estate on the islands I was a practicing ICU nurse. This medical center is near and dear to my heart! As a thank you and show of appreciation to all who have been so supportive of my success, here, on the Sea Islands, it seems befitting to take this opportunity to give back in a meaningful way.”
Construction is expected to conclude in late 2023.
Seabrook Mayor John Gregg – “It is indeed my pleasure to welcome MUSC to Seabrook Island, as our local community will be well served by the capabilities of this facility and the practitioners who will staff it. We look forward to having better availability of care, ranging from emergency room treatment, to advanced diagnostics for the ailments, bumps, pains, scrapes, stings, and strains that come with having an active and diverse population.”
MUSC Board of Trustees Vice Chairman Charles Schulze – “On behalf of the board, I want to acknowledge, commend, and deeply, deeply thank you for your dedication hard work and the public private collaboration that is taking place to get us to where we are today. As an air force veteran of the Vietnam war, I know the importance and necessity of teamwork. When you have a complex mission ahead of you in those situations, your unity as a team is your biggest strength… And it didn't matter where you live, where you were from or what your background was in our military. You learned that persistence, perseverance, collaboration, and expertise are critical to the success of a mission. And it's been no different in this case. When the board began to discuss the feasibility of this project, we knew it wasn't going to happen without teamwork and vision. Not only from everybody at MUSC, but also from the community here in the sea islands.”
MUSC Health System CEO and Executive Vice President of Health Affairs Dr. Pat Cawley – “What makes this project challenging is that it doesn’t fit into normal health constructs. We spent a lot of time with the community, trying to gauge what was needed and it was clear that there was tremendous community support for this project and it was the engagement with the concept of neighbors caring for neighbors and the work of the community to reach out to state officials and regulators that helped make this project a reality. MUSC Health is proud to be a part of this community and its health care provider of choice, and we are humbled by the level of support we are receiving to bring this shared vision to reality.”
Founded in 1824 in Charleston, MUSC is the state’s only comprehensive academic health system, with a unique mission to preserve and optimize human life in South Carolina through education, research and patient care. Each year, MUSC educates more than 3,000 students in six colleges – Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy – and trains more than 850 residents and fellows in its health system. MUSC brought in more than $327.6 million in research funds in fiscal year 2021, leading the state overall in research funding. MUSC also leads the state in federal and National Institutes of Health funding, with more than $220 million. For information on academic programs, visit web.musc.edu
As the health care system of the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC Health is dedicated to delivering the highest quality and safest patient care while educating and training generations of outstanding health care providers and leaders to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Patient care is provided at 14 hospitals with approximately 2,500 beds and five additional hospital locations in development; more than 350 telehealth sites, with connectivity to patients’ homes; and nearly 750 care locations situated in all regions of South Carolina. In 2022, for the eighth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the No. 1 hospital in South Carolina. To learn more about clinical patient services, visit muschealth.org.
MUSC and its affiliates have collective annual budgets totaling $5.1 billion. The nearly 25,000 MUSC team members include world-class faculty, physicians, specialty providers, scientists, students, affiliates and care team members who deliver and support groundbreaking education, research, and patient care.
I was a Love Island bombshell and here's what you DON'T see in the villa: Jay Younger reveals how much is really shown in Casa Amor and what new Islanders are told before their debut
Rebecca Lawrence For Mailonlinehttps://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-11802491/Love-Island-bombshell-Jay-Younger-reveals-DONT-show.html
Love Island star Jay Younger has revealed exactly what it takes to be a show bombshell and the secrets that go on behind villa doors.Jay, 29, appeared on the 2022 series and quickly made an impression on his fellow Islanders, luring Ekin-Su Culculoglu away from Davide Sanclimenti before having his head turned by Paige Thorne....
Love Island star Jay Younger has revealed exactly what it takes to be a show bombshell and the secrets that go on behind villa doors.
Jay, 29, appeared on the 2022 series and quickly made an impression on his fellow Islanders, luring Ekin-Su Culculoglu away from Davide Sanclimenti before having his head turned by Paige Thorne.
After failing to win Paige's affections, and upsetting partner Antigoni Buxton in the process, Jay found romance in Casa Amor, opting to bring Chyna Mills back into the main villa.
Yet things weren't meant to be and the couple were dumped from the show after admitting their relationship was a platonic one.
Now watching the current series, Jay has predicted that the new bombshells have ‘zero chance’ of success on the series and explained Casa Amor filming isn’t as intense as you think.
Bombshell: Love Island star Jay Younger has revealed exactly what it takes to be a show bombshell and the secrets that go on behind villa doors
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Speaking to Ice36.co.uk, Jay revealed how much bombshells are told about their fellow contestants prior to entering the show.
He revealed that they are encouraged to watch the programme like regular viewers in order to get a taste of villa life, however, the amount they can see is restricted.
Jay explained: 'When I went out I had to quarantine for two weeks and in that two weeks, we were allowed to watch up to one [episode] behind what you guys were watching at home.
'I was delayed, but I was allowed to watch all the episodes so I got to know all the contestants in the villa, their names, what they looked like and how they were as a person, so I was able to get a good measure of what it was going to be like before going in.'
He added that when it comes to the success of a bombshell it's all down to timing, predicting that newcomers Rosie Seabrook and Keanan Brand will end up leaving empty handed.
Jay explained: 'It's all down to timing. If you go in as an early bombshell, you’ve got just as good a chance to get to know someone as anyone else does.
'If you come in as a late bombshell and the timing isn’t great, you’ve literally got zero chance.
'In our series, there were four new bombshells that came in during the last week, they were never going to get a chance. Timing is really important.'
Good luck! Now watching the current series, Jay has predicted that the new bombshells have ‘zero chance’ of success on the series (bombshells Jessie Wynter and Rosie Seaford pictured with original stars Lana Jenkins and Tanya Manhenga)
This year's series has seen the villa face many ups and downs in the wake of Casa Amor, including a toxic femininity row after the female Islanders were accused of gaslighting and manipulating the boys for their behaviour in the second villa.
Yet having experienced Casa Amor firsthand, Jay revealed that things aren't as intense as they're made out because they only film for a few hours a day.
When the cameras aren't rolling the boys and girls are separated to ensure no juicy moments are missed, with the Islanders banned from discussing villa life until the film crew returns.
Jay explained: 'One day they’ll be filming the girls during the day and then at night they’ll be filming the boys - when they’re on the other villa is off.
'Typically they’ll separate the boys and the girls when you’re not filming. For example, I was in the original villa with the Casa girls, we would all be separated and we wouldn’t be allowed to talk to each other and then the boys weren’t allowed to talk about villa life, your relationships with other people, you just had to let it be.'
As for the drama that occurs when partners stray from their couples, Jay confessed: 'The producers know that Casa Amor is the highlight of most of the series, it’s where most of the drama happens.
'Ultimately, they just want to make a good TV show, so if there is someone in there who seems to be in a stable couple or relationship, there will be someone in their ear probably saying "I think you should explore and be open minded to getting to know this person," and they can kind of gently push you into maybe exploring a connection where you probably wouldn’t have.'
It's a problem that Jay encountered himself on the show, admitting that he was too easily swayed in the villa.
Wasn't meant to be: Jay, 29, appeared on the 2022 series and quickly made an impression on his fellow Islanders, luring Ekin-Su Culculoglu away from Davide Sanclimenti
He confessed: 'At the start I think I was easily swayed to do certain things, maybe had I been a bit more independent in my thinking, things might have been different but it’s the way I played it and the way I was told to play it.
'I trusted the process. I don’t have any regrets, but obviously I think everyone could probably play things differently had they known what they know now.'
Yet there are no plans to return to the villa like Adam Collard, with Jay more than happy back at his 9-5 job as an Investment Analyst.
He confessed: 'Nah, I don’t think it was for me! One was enough for me, I’m grateful for the experience and I’d be grateful if they asked me but, I’m all good, I’m OK thanks.'
Name: Tanya Manhenga
Occupation: Student and model
Something not many people know about her: 'I have Vitiligo, which is a skin pigmentation, you may not even notice it.'
'It's on my lip and I have a stripe on my hair. Not many people know that but I think it's quite cute.'
'I don't care about covering it up all the time, I think it's a vibe.'
Name: Lana Jenkins
Occupation: Makeup artist
Something not many people know about her: 'In my work as a makeup artist I've worked with lots of celebrities.
'Also, when I was 6-years-old I used to live in Spain and I was in an episode of Benidorm as an extra.'
Name: Tom Clare
Occupation: Semi-Pro Footballer
Something not many people know about him: I'm a High School Musical fan
Name: Samie Elishi
Occupation: Senior Estate Agent Coordinator
Something not many people know about her: 'I’m a really honest person and I have no filter. I won’t take rubbish from anyone, especially when it comes to guys!'
Name: Jessie Wynter
Occupation: Personal Trainer
Something you may not know about her: She was on series two of Love Island Australia
Name: Kai Fagan
Occupation: Science and PE teacher
Something not many people know about him: 'I'm a Jamaican citizen. Because of that I played rugby 7s for Jamaica.'
'I play semi-professional rugby now for Burnage RFC.'
'I've technically got three different degrees and went to three different unis.'
Name: Ron Hall
Occupation: Financial advisor
Something not many people know about him: 'On meeting me, you'd never know I am blind in one eye.'
'It was the result of a football injury when I was 8. I've got two different coloured eyes, one blue and one green.'
Name: Will Young
Something not many people know about him: 'Every night I light a candle and meditate for 20-25 minutes.'
'A girl I was seeing told me to meditate, I tried it and loved it. I stopped seeing her and carried on meditating!
'It's a nice way to self reflect.'
Name: Shaq Muhammad
Occupation: Airport security officer
Something not many people know about him: 'I'm a very emotional person. It can be a blessing and a curse.'
'Every time I watch Dear John I cry.
That's my favourite film. Any time I'm with someone and they say, 'Let's watch a romantic film', I'm like, 'How about Dear John, how does that sound?'
Name: Sanam Harrinanan
Occupation: Social Worker
Who did she have her eye on in Casa Amor? 'Kai is my number one. Job wise I think that we’d connect a lot and I think he’s cute!'
Why does everyone love Charleston so much? We have some thoughts.
CHARLESTON, S.C. — “Well, look at you in that fancy skirt! Don’t you look sassy,” said the woman at the front desk of the Charleston Place hotel. Frankly, we’d fly two hours from Boston just to be called “sassy” by someone with a Southern accent.How was it that we’d never visited Charleston before? This gorgeous, historic city in South Carolina has cropped up on so many “best” lists, it should have its number retired. We decided to plan a girlfriend getaway to the Holy City &...
CHARLESTON, S.C. — “Well, look at you in that fancy skirt! Don’t you look sassy,” said the woman at the front desk of the Charleston Place hotel. Frankly, we’d fly two hours from Boston just to be called “sassy” by someone with a Southern accent.
How was it that we’d never visited Charleston before? This gorgeous, historic city in South Carolina has cropped up on so many “best” lists, it should have its number retired. We decided to plan a girlfriend getaway to the Holy City — so-called due to its 400 places of worship — to meet up with an old friend, Courtney, and see what we’d been missing. Would this coastal Carolina burg (population around 60,000) live up to the hype?
We’re suckers for beauty, and this place nails it. The oldest city in South Carolina, Charleston has nearly 3,000 historic buildings reflecting eight architectural styles: Colonial, Georgian, Federal, Classic Revival, Gothic Revival, Italianate, Victorian, and Art Deco. Not to mention, it’s a short (just over two hours), nonstop flight from Boston. And the weather is pretty darn fine.
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Since we love to explore on foot, we chose lodgings in the heart of the action, the independently-owned Charleston Place (from $400; www.charlestonplace.com). It sits alongside King Street, a major shopping and dining zone. Good museums are a short stroll away. Oh, and one of Charleston’s must-do restaurants, FIG, is just down the block. Plus, the hotel has a terrific on-site spa — a girlfriend getaway requirement and its own much-lauded eatery, Charleston Grill. (Chef Michelle Weaver, props to you for the best scallops we’ve ever had.)
Everyone you meet is quick to tell you how friendly Charlestonians are, lest you expect a passel of sour-pussed Lindsey Grahams. “Good cheer” seems to be the default setting. But it’s not all sunshine and sweet tea. Local folks — tour guides, museum docents, pedicab drivers — aren’t shy about discussing the horrifying aspects of hometown history.
In Colonial America, Charleston was the fourth largest city, and the richest, its wealth built on the backs of enslaved people who farmed rice, indigo, and Sea Island cotton. “About 40 to 60 percent of enslaved people in the US came through the port of Charleston,” says Tyler Page Wright, tour guide and owner of Walk & Talk Charleston ($30; www.walkandtalkchs.com). Placards marking slave auction sites dot the city. The Charleston Museum (adults, $12; www.charlestonmuseum.org) offers an in-depth look at the lives of enslaved people on Low Country plantations. And everyone is buzzing about the new International African American Museum, slated to open later this year.
Set between the Cooper and Ashley rivers, which meet to form Charleston Harbor, Charleston is a peninsula. Handsome pastel-hued stucco homes with ornate ironwork line downtown streets, comprising a 2-square-mile historic district. A walking tour offers an excellent overview of all this, including famous sites like the Circular Congregational Church. Horse-and-carriage tours are also popular. Wright is a gregarious guide, happy to answer questions like: What is a haint? (Answer: A trapped spirit.) Why does Charleston have so many window boxes? (Answer: It’s a thing here, and residents are super-competitive about it.) And, who are the ladies selling woven sweetgrass baskets? (Answer: Gullah Geechee women, who are descendants of the enslaved Africans who worked on the plantations.) Their beautiful baskets are the ultimate Charleston souvenir.
Besides sweetgrass baskets, what else makes a wonderful souvenir of Charleston? After prowling the shops on King Street, we’d say a goldbug from Croghan’s Jewel Box (www.croghansjewelbox.com), a century-old jeweler known for designing every Charlestonian’s engagement ring. This sparkly shop sells Charleston-themed pieces like cuff bracelets inlaid with the city skyline. But we fell hard for goldbugs, a whimsical take on the cockroach (a.k.a. Palmetto bug), designed by founder William Croghan’s great-granddaughter, Mini Hay, and featured in Vogue magazine. Yep, we’re talking gilded cockroaches.
Want to get a conversation going? Ask a Charlestonian about pluff mud. This squishy marshland material, made of decomposed grasses and sea life, smells foul to visitors, but to locals, it smells like home. We got a good whiff (it smells earthy and slightly rotten-eggy) on a sunset kayak tour of Shem Creek with Coastal Expeditions (from $65; www.coastalexpeditions.com), just over the bridge from Charleston in Mount Pleasant. On this guided sea kayak tour, fine for beginners and families, you paddle alongside tall spartina grass and, yes, pluff mud. We saw great blue herons and egrets along the creek; sometimes paddlers spot manatees. Heading back toward a passage lined with seafood shacks, we encountered a pod of dolphins, who came thisclose to our vessels. “Paddles up!” our guide, Morgan, instructed, so we wouldn’t coldcock the cetaceans. After that, the creamsicle-hued sunset was anticlimactic.
Speaking of creamsicles, we quickly discovered the place to go for that girlfriend getaway staple, a spiked milkshake: Carmella’s Café & Dessert Bar (www.carmellasdessertbar.com) on East Bay Street. And they do mean bar; there’s a full bar at this spot, along with gelato, excellent cookies, Italian pastries, and sandwiches. Carmella’s has indoor seating, and some outdoor bistro tables, but it’s double the pleasure if you munch/sip as you walk along the waterfront. In Charleston, winter temps are typically in the high 50s and lower 60s — that’s shorts-and-T-shirt weather here in Boston.
Charlestonians — and the 6 million tourists who visit each year — are obsessed with food. We were practically delirious to secure a coveted reservation at FIG (Food Is Good; entrees from $39; www.eatatfig.com ), a Charleston mainstay co-owned by James Beard award-winning chef Mike Lata. It’s a splurgy night out but, wow: The ricotta gnocchi ala Bolognese was a triumph of pillowy deliciousness. Chef Lata also operates a seafood restaurant in the city, The Ordinary. But we were eager to try another buzzed-about seafood place, 167 Raw (from $8; www.167raw.com). The owners also operate a place on Nantucket (which may explain the lobster roll on the menu), but we went local, opting for crab dip, a shrimp po’boy, and shrimp tacos. We never got around to ordering shrimp and grits during our trip, the most popular dish among the tourist set.
We never made it to the beach, either. Oops. “Everyone comes for the history and the food, so the beaches are kind of a secret,” says Ike High of Explore Charleston. Located about 25 minutes from the city proper are beaches including Isle of Palms, Kiawah Island, Sullivan Island, Seabrook Beach, and Folly Beach. We’re told they’re wide and firm, with tawny sand, but we’ve never actually seen them. And it wasn’t until we were at the airport that we realized we’d forgotten another major item on our to-do list: the 12-layer Ultimate Coconut Cake at the Peninsula Grill (www.peninsulagrill.com). It is, quite possibly, the best thing to eat in food-crazed Charleston, says everyone.
Guess we’ll be back for some cake — maybe in springtime, when the temps edge up to the 70s or so. We’ll pack swimsuits for the beach — and a fancy skirt or two. We’re aiming for sassy.
Some Seabrook Island residents call for cap on short-term rentals
SEABROOK ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - An ongoing battle over short-term rentals is brewing on Seabrook Island, where homeowners say uncontrolled growth of properties is affecting their quality of life.Homeowners Ted Flerlage and Paul McLaughlin said although they do not want to end short-term rentals on the island, the effects of recent growth have prompted them to call for a cap on short-term rentals.“If you come here in July, around July Fourth, as a resident walking out boardwalk one, let’s say, to north beach, there&rs...
SEABROOK ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - An ongoing battle over short-term rentals is brewing on Seabrook Island, where homeowners say uncontrolled growth of properties is affecting their quality of life.
Homeowners Ted Flerlage and Paul McLaughlin said although they do not want to end short-term rentals on the island, the effects of recent growth have prompted them to call for a cap on short-term rentals.
“If you come here in July, around July Fourth, as a resident walking out boardwalk one, let’s say, to north beach, there’s no space, and that is a rental issue,” Flerlage, who has lived on the island since March 2020, said. “That is a noise issue. It is a parking issue because every spot on the limited parking area is taken.”
The two homeowners have spearheaded the Preserve Seabrook effort. A letter sent to residents as part of the effort says concerns “center on the uncontrolled growth of short-term rentals, especially on streets where there are many full-time and private residential properties.”
“We aim to retain a reasonable offering of properties that can be rented by guests who love to visit and vacation on our beautiful island, while ensuring Seabrook does not gradually morph into a resort community,” the letter states. “We believe adding a cap on the number of resort properties on Seabrook would protect the unique qualities of our island while allowing revenue generated through rental properties to continue to flow back to the town through state and county accommodation taxes that the renters pay.”
Over 300 residents have signed a petition to cap the number of short-term rentals on the island, according to McLaughlin.
The petition seeks a single question on the Nov. 2, 2021 ballot that asks if voters support:
“Seabrook, when I bought here in 2002 and built our house here in 2009, it was more like ‘Cheers,’” McLaughlin said. “Everybody knew your name. Now, with the influx of 500 rental properties and growing, it’s changed a lot, and the quality of life on the island has changed a lot.”
Seabrook Island Mayor John Gregg said a petition from those calling for a cap has been sent to a committee, which will conduct a factual inquiry and then report to town council with recommendations.
“The object for the ad hoc committee was to identify inquiries of factual matters that could inform council as it considers whether or not it is warranted to do further regulation,” Gregg said.
The mayor added that to operate a short-term rental on the island, homeowners need to have a business license and a permit from the town.
McLaughlin and Flerlage said they welcome the data-driven effort but want more communication from the town and to work with them on a solution.
“Our question to them: What is the tipping point? If 500 isn’t the tipping point, is it 600? Is it 700? Is it 800? So, in the meantime, we need to figure it out,” McLaughlin said. “We need to halt what’s going on. Everybody keeps what they currently have, and we study the problem, and we figure out what the solution would be. We don’t make the problem worse while continuing to study it.”
“These are people who live in South Carolina and vote in South Carolina who live on the island and vote on the island,” Flerlage said. “These are the people who are their direct constituents – the people who vote for the mayor and the town council. It’s more than 300 of those people who signed up, which is nearly as many as who voted for them in the last election on Nov. 2, and in our opinion, there has been no communication and we’ve been getting fairly short-tripped on the issue.”
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