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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Hilton Head 2016

Dar and I are off on another adventure!  This time it is with her parents, Gran and Pa.  Never in a million years would I have ever suspected to see so much wildlife in such a densely human populated area.  Hilton Head is an absolute beautiful place.  I totally understand all the hype and all of those damn HHI stickers on cars now.

We stayed in Sea Pines Beachside Tennis.  I am still quite confused about all the different "plantations" or suburbs that splits the area up.  All I can say is that the location could not have been better.  We were in the "toe of the boot".  Hilton Head Island is shaped like a boot.  We were right where the ocean met the sound.

We had a unit that was on the first floor with a large deck that had stairs right down to the yard.  About 100 ft further was the protected dune area.  There were several large groups of deer in the scrub.

Since a friend of mine and I are taking sailing lessons because we have this hair-brained idea of sailing in the caribbean, I will add a shot of a really nice sailboat we saw from the deck.

We did some initial recon of the beach area right by our unit, we were fortunate to be very close to the beach access.  In the follow pic our unit is just off of Gran's left shoulder.

Darla and Gran

In just the past couple of years for some odd reason, I've finally begun seeing Eagles.  40 years of my life I've never noticed them.  Then with our St. George Island trip, we have been seeing them everywhere.

We took a long walk along the beach on the south side of the island and saw some fun wildlife.  Some of these things I have never seen before!

Horseshoe crabs

This crab was barely visible. It was at my feet and I am at full 500mm zoom

We happened to be there the week of the RBC Heritage at HarborTown.  We strolled through the marina and looked at all of the boats, shops, and the lighthouse.  I can imagine what the initial purchase price of some of these vessels would be, but the scary part is the cost to operate them daily.

Dar with her parents

Harbour Town Lighthouse

Harbour Town Lighthouse

Apropos SC 

Another day we explored this interesting little oasis called Sea Pines Forest Preserve.  It is off of Lawton road behind the water treatment plant.  You will think you are going into a business area, but keep going.  I will assure you that these pictures were taken at full 500mm zoom from inside the car.

On an evening walk along the beach we met a friendly porpoise.

Some of the best times we had was simply relaxing on the deck of the condo that we rented.  I was able to get a few more shots of a hawk and local water traffic.  Across the sound is Daufuskie Island.  I think they were trying to make it into a remote resort as there is no bridge for car traffic.  You can only access it by boat.  The locals said its pretty much locals only over there now and is pretty deserted.  Kinda spooky at night.  Every now and again we would see a light on over there and was wondering what nefarious things were going on.

We did, of course, visit the Salty Dog Cafe.  We got a couple of tshirts, had a nice meal, and really enjoyed the patio area.  It was a fun place and about what you would expect for tourist attraction that it is.  Beer selection was decent, had a local brew that we gravitated to and the food was decent.  It is worth a visit for sure.  There is some decent specific shopping that you can drop the girls off at and go have a couple of pops.  They also have some decent live bands on the patio as well.

One seafood place that you definitely want to check out is Hudson's.  We had a really nice meal there and the view right on the water was great.  Darla and I are big shrimp cocktail and grouper fans and we were very happy with our meals.  There are a couple of restaurants in that general area which I would say could be worth further investigation.

All in all, I would highly recommend a visit to Hilton Head Island.  The Shelter Cove Shopping area had some interesting shops.  We also spent some time in the Coligny Beach area.  We ate breakfast at Skillets Cafe, which has a decent bloody mary.  Coligny Plaza has some good shopping as well.  Darla found some pretty cool boots there and a few other things.

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