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It's springtime in Charleston. That means virtually perfect weather, blooming azaleas, downtown streets filled with out of town visitors, and the desire to blow off the indoors as much as possible. Here are my Top Five favorite things during this magical time we call spring in Charleston.


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The 2017 Southeastern Wildlife Expo (SEWE) kicks off in full fashion tomorrow, February 17th. SEWE is celebrating it's 35th year in Charleston and remains the biggest art and wildlife expo of its kind in the south. The first expo, held in February of 1983, had approximately 100 exhibits including the first featured artist, Lee LeBlanc, and some 5,000 attendees. Now in it's 35th year, SEWE boasts 40,000+ guests annually. Year after year, it's easy to see why it's grown. It is, in my opinion, one of the best bang for your buck events in Charleston.

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When I was a kid, I lived about two hours outside of Orlando, which meant my family made a trip to Sea World occasionally. One of the big shows at the park starred Shamu, an orca, in the ocean tank. One quickly learned that there was a "splash zone" at this show, and if you didn't want to get wet, you stayed out of the first five rows. This weekend at the Southeastern Wildlife Expo (SEWE), I learned there is also a splash zone for Dock Dogs competitions.

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At the end of 2013, I wrote a year in review blog. Traveling Ink had launched that year, so there were a lot of firsts, and I was happy to look back on what had been accomplished and, more importantly, learned in 2013. Now that 2014 has passed, and I find myself struggling to write a '15 instead of a '14 on my dated material, the thought of another end of year blog came to mind. This one would be a bigger challenge however. You see, I've had something of a case of writer's block for a number of months now.

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Hands down, one of my top three favorite things about living in Charleston is all the art. I can’t say that owning a big house fits well with my personality, but admittedly, the one great argument for it in my book is the potential for turning it into a gallery full of beautiful and unique pieces of art. For now, though, I settle for window shopping in the local galleries and attempting to gain some skills by visual osmosis.


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I remember the early promos for Jersey Shore highlighting the cast and their excessive amount of hair products. The press made fun of their accents, hair styles, and fist-pumping ways. When the show went to air, people scoffed at their excessive drinking, inappropriate behavior, and lack of sexual discretion, especially on the part of the male cast members. Some thought the show would be a gigantic bust. It was much too ridiculous after all. But it was like a fiery train wreck. We couldn't look away. Saturday Night Live welcomed "Snooki" to Weekend Update with Seth Meyers. You know you've hit it big when SNL uses you for material. All of a sudden, members of the Jersey Shore cast were making over $100,000 an episode. I don't know if that makes things more or less ridiculous. Regardless, the show was a hit. All that partying paid. As the new Bravo show Southern Charm comes to air at 10:00 p.m. tonight in Charleston, the city it uses as its backdrop, I can't help but wonder if it is simply a gussied up version of Jersey Shore, with the bottom line being a buck.


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Traveling Ink is a website dedicated to the great city of Charleston, SC, the surrounding area, and those who love travel. It is part travel writing venture and part online concierge service. When it comes to travel, it is not just about the amazing places we explore, the summits we may climb, or the things we learn along the way, but who we share those adventures with. Let us know how we can help/inform/inspire/serve you today.

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Check out these stellar nonprofits doing incredible work in Charleston and beyond.

Water Missions International ]

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