Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Hiding Out...

I've been MIA for a couple of days, and it was on purpose. I needed it.

Work has been a little more demanding. My closest friends are really wrapped up in their own little dramas, and as it turns out, I was spending a little more time alone. 

Luckily, an old theater friend of mine invited me on a girls' weekend trip to Hilton Head Island. This hideaway island is only 3 1/2 hours from Macon and is nestled right there in the low country of South Carolina. A very typical southern beach getaway.

One of the friends happens to own a condo in the super exclusive resort of Sea Pines. (Apparently an investment property... not to be confused with a time share. They own it own it.) It was a gorgeous three bedroom, three bath, two story condo with an adorable deck and right across from the community pool and just one block from Harbour Town. Location, location, location.  

I took Friday off and met two of my friends at one of their homes and we loaded up the car and headed east. There were six of us going, 1/2 could leave earlier, and 1/2 had to leave after work. The three of us had a chatty ride down I-16 and across the bridge to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Once we got on the island, one of our friends in the car wanted to meet up with an old friend that she hardly ever sees, so we headed to the fantastic little Greek cafe in an area full of shops. 

The restaurant was called "The Market Street Cafe" and it was delish. Not stereotypical Greek with random photos of the blue domed churches of Santorini on the walls... but the food, oh the food.. hands down some of the best Greek I have had in a long time.

I ended up ordering the Greek Grilled Cheese. It was three cheeses melted together into the consistency of ricotta. It had lettuce, tomato, onion, and tatziki sauce wrapped in a warm pita. DELISH.

I kept referring to it as cheesy goodness.

After a quick meal and fun little conversation, we decided to stroll the little shops. I ended up not buying anything.. no need to. I was just going with the flow...

Next we headed straight to the condo and got settled in. I opted for a quick nap (which never happened.) Georgia was able to snooze a little and our friend Cindy decided to just go get the lay of the land. I am so glad she did, because she was like the little navigator of the group. About an hour or so, she came back and grabbed me and we took off for the Sea Pines Beach Club. We both were dying to find the beach - and we took some time to see what we would be dealing with the next day. 
We ended up walking a little, then heading up to the bar and ordering frozen fruity drinks and sharing some guacamole and chips. It was a nice way to kick off the trip.

We sat and caught up on life and work and what not and just let the cares of the we float away. This was one of those nice highlights of the trip. Just sitting, not really saying anything of importance, and letting the salt air, the frozen drink, and the sound of a saxophone soothe me away.

Cindy and I at the Beach Club...

Next we headed back and got ready for dinner. The other 1/2 of our group was on the road finally, but we knew it would be late before they got in. The three of us decided to walk the block and a 1/2 or so and explore Harbor Town. The light house was literally right behind our condo! We saw tons of yachts and heard cheesy beach music. It was good times for sure.
We ended up settling on eating at Quarter Deck, just below the light house. To save time, the three of us sat at the bar.

I ordered the pulled Carolina pork sandwich with home made kettle chips.  Again - another delicious meal. 
Georgia and I at Quarterdeck

Lots and lots and lots of boats...

Finally, we hoped in the car and headed back to the beach and saw an incredible amount of fantastic stars. 

Once we got back to the condo, our entire group was together. Cindy took them to the beach, and I.. oh I headed to bed. :-)

Saturday was excellent also! I got up and had a bagel and some coffee, and I have to say, there is nothing like coffee in the morning with 5 other people. 
We talked, we laughed, we had a fantastic breakfast. Of course everyone was discussing what their plans were for the day. I was up for hanging out on the beach. Cindy wanted to swim all day, PC, JJ & Susan wanted to play games on the beach/swim/etc and Georgia DEFINITELY did not want to fry. Plus she kept saying how much she simply wanted to walk for a couple of hours. So... we packed up our cars and headed back to the Beach Club. 
My set up! Water... shoes .... BEER.

 Susan was so proud.. she was the only person on the beach that day to get stung by a jellyfish! LOL
It was all about balance for me...

Here is a little of the fun we had on the beach:

We ended up having PB&J for lunch- on the beach, as well as oranges and grapes. We sat at there for about 5 hours and enjoy the sun, the water and just talking our little heads off.

All of us headed back, and you guessed it - was nap time. After that, we all got ready for our night out on the town. One of the theater directors in Macon was good friends with an owner of a restaurant on the island, so we made a point to stop by Tapas
 I ordered a lovely Cesear Salad and split a goat cheese and marinara dip with Susan. 
After dinner, the owner came out and greeted us, and since we were friends with Jim, she sent out the most fantastic butter cream cake with this bread pudding-esque deliciousness out.

Needs to say...


Our little group had a wonderful time:
 We hopped in the cars and headed over to a delicious Gelato place called Pino Gelato. It was just a little scoop of heaven. I opted for the small cup with two scoops - Ocean Caramel and Coconut. Delicious. 
 We headed back to the condo and cracked open a bottle red and a bottle of white and went for a good old fashioned game of Apples to Apples... 

Best part - we were all in bed by midnight. ;-) 

The next morning (and the final day,) we all got up and did the coffee thing... without having breakfast. It was our last day on the island, so everyone had a basic agenda. I was ever-so-slightly burned on my back, so I did not think another 3 hours in the sun would do me any good. Cindy and Georgia took off to the beach, while JJ, PC, Susan and I climbed into PC's jeep with the top off and headed out for brunch and conversation.

JJ & Susan sitting across from me having coffee in the condo.. pjs and all.

PC & JJ in the front of the jeep... on the way to brunch...

We decided to have brunch at the Harbour Town Bakery and Cafe

I opted for the "On the Fly" - Croissant, bacon, an egg and  cheese.

After brunch, we explored a little nature center then decided on our next plan of attack. The idea was to meet up and be showered and ready to go to lunch no later than 2/3pm. JJ & Susan wanted to go running on the beach - so PC dropped them off there... looked at me and said, "Want to go get a drink?" 
"Hell yeah" was my answer.
We looked for the famous "Salty Dog" on the harbour.

It was mojito time!!

 After the drink and running around the shops there, we headed back to the group - got showered, headed BACK to the Salty Dog with the entire group and had lunch. I ordered the fried shrimp basket with hush puppies!

After lunch we packed up and said our goodbyes. I think I got home around 10:30 or so and that was that.

It was a fantastic trip - great conversation - and it put sooo many things into perspective for me. (As always the beach can do.) 

At the end of the day - Hilton Head was a nice little get away. I have to warn you, it's very neutral in color, which is what (as a creative person,) noticed. Lots of dark beige, brown and greens. I suppose it's an island ordinance or something. The food never disappointed. The drinks were always good. The staff on the island "southern friendly." I think it is a great place for a family vacation. 

Ever been there?

PS - Click on the highlighted words through out the story for more on the places I visited.

I will leave you with this.. and perhaps Hilton Head will be your next vacation destination.



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