We’ve returned from our summer vacation! A fantastic, relaxing road trip to the Carolinas with destination Hilton Head Island.
Milo was a trooper in the car. Five hours to North Carolina to stay overnight with Eric, Kate & Alden, then another five to Hilton Head. We tried to schedule around nap time, and then made sure to include one food stop where he would get a chance to run free for a little while.
It’s great great great to have Eric & Kate close. We loved visiting them in Boston in the spring, and can’t wait to do a couple more visits in NC before their next move at Christmas. They always can be counted on for fabulous meals and local treats. This time we enjoyed custard at Goodberry. It was delish.
As soon as we arrived on the Island, we headed to the beach. It was ideal! Softer than soft sand, long, wide shore, really gentle warm water and a steady, subtle incline into the water.
Milo ran around in his suit, then it fell off (skinny kid) and he ran around in his swim diaper-which I created by taking the liners out of a cloth diaper…leakproof without absorbency, just like little swimmers! We finished up sandy and sweaty and then enjoyed some Carolina BBQ with Brandon and Liz, who graciously hosted us.
On Thursday we spent the morning in Savannah, Georgia. I never thought I would ever go to Georgia. It’s just not really on the vacation radar for most people growing up in the West, I guess. Well, l am so happy we made it. I loved every bit…
Charming cobblestone streets lined with giant trees dripping with Spanish Moss. And a street artist, silently brushing the corner colonial with such impression that I wanted to take it home.
Boutiques like One Fish, Two Fish, where I could literally transplant every display into my home as-is, and be elated. Have you ever seen oyster oil paintings? I’m in love.
“Dinner” (or “lunch” for us) at Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room. Line up at 10 am to shuffle in at 11 am and join equally hungry strangers around the family-style ten-top tables. Then the food comes, no need for a menu, because they bring you everything. You bet that our seasonal vegetarianism went on pause for the best fried chicken and pulled pork we’d ever tried. And the creamed squash, fried okra, sweet potatoes, butter beans, sauteed cabbage, macaroni & cheese, cornbread and buttermilk biscuits? The best. I wanted to take some biscuits home in my pocket. Okay, I did. But in my purse.
Milo cleaned his plate. Which really means that he dirtied his whole sitting area, but by double-fisting the Southern goodness. All I can say is that it’s a good thing that I don’t eat like that every day (and that I will be happy to offer free diabetes education to anyone from Savannah.)
After rolling from the table, we walked along River Street. It is a darling, shop-lined street next to the…ahem…river. Milo led the way.
I couldn’t resist buying a bag of Savannah Salt Water Taffy. You couldn’t either if you watched it pull right in front of you. It was Mm-good. Actually, it made me crave the Salt Water Taffy from Trolley Taffy Station. If someone happened by and picked up some cinnamon, peppermint, chocolate, apple pie and banana and sent it our way, I wouldn’t be sad. Just sayin’.
I wore a white top because that’s what you wear in the South. After the afternoon, I figured I should have worn white slacks, too. And a hat. And carried a polka-dot bag with a monogram. Next time.
On the way home we stopped at the Beaufort Farmer’s Market, just off of the Island. It was a darling affair with several very local-looking booths, These beautiful purple peppers caught my eye. Aren’t they incredible? We snagged some eggplant for parmesan, and a watermelon (which later exploded…a funny story for another time!)
Friday was another beach day. Milo dug holes. Then I dug some and he walked in and out of them, very interested in how the ground changed. We also swam in the ocean, and saw a live sand dollar and starfish.
Then Milo ate grapes with Ellie, his second cousin who is just a couple months older and a couple inches shorter. Liz’s other girls were in school, so it was a relaxing afternoon on the sand.
That evening our hosts generosity burst through the roof as they offered to watch Milo at home while Dave and I went out on a date. A rare and wonderful opportunity. We chose to eat at the Skull Creek Boathouse restaurant, which sits right next to the water. In fact, our table was feet from the marsh.
We chomped some more delicious, rich fare and laughed together about silly things. It is always refreshing to go out and have a few minutes to look at each other while we talk, rather than one or both of us ensuring the safety of the silverware from Milo’s grasp! I sure love this man of mine.
Luckily, our table was covered, so when the rain began to fall, we just enjoyed the view. They pulled plastic down from the roof to keep us dry, and I loved the alive feeling of sitting outside, watching the drizzle blur the panorama of Skull Creek. We added dessert to our already full bellies just to linger a little longer.
Saturday was Dave’s golf day. Though not a regular golfer, he’s athletic enough to hold his own on the course. And it was really fun for him to get to hang out with his cousin Brandon all morning. Meanwhile, I went with Liz and the little girls thrift shopping. I found a couple awesome vinyl records which will shortly be in the mail to Emmy, and a bulls-eye handkerchief that I have plans to repurpose into a top…sometime.
And then we began the drive back home. We hit North Carolina in the evening, and Milo got to hang out with his new cousin Alden a little…
He got so excited to see him and would bee-line over, pointing and saying “baby, baby…” And then he’d say hello as only a toddler can.
With a “gentle” pat onto baby Alden’s nose. Okay, so we’re working on gentle still.
Sunday morning Kate showed off her inner foodie with Creme Bruleé French Toast topped with fresh berries. We got ready for church and headed out. Milo was sad for the vacation to come to a close, but I can tell you he slept well in his own bed…so did I.
Overall I give the Carolinas two-thumbs up.
And how about a gold star for summer vacations in general…they are part of what HAGS is all about!