Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hilton Head Island Revisited

Our trip to Hilton Head began with a fuel stop north of St. Marys. If you're traveling in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, The Peach State will save you a few bucks when you fill your tank. We hadn't filled Bullwinkle's 100-gallon tank since the middle of January. This stop was an eye-popper. And, this was just one swipe of a credit card. Flying J limits transactions to $150. We put three credit cards to work at this stop.

By the time we arrived here in Hilton Head, the cost of fuel was a distant memory. Island views like this make the price of diesel worth every penny.

We have returned to Hilton Head RV Resort, where we stayed in Fall 2009. It was a treat tucking Bullwinkle into this palmetto shaded spot for a few days of rest, relaxation, reconnecting with family and basketball.

With our beloved Jayhawks in the NCAA Tournament's "Sweet Sixteen", we incorporated basketball into our schedule, as we did in Bonifay. Friday night we cheered the Jayhawks on to a close victory against NC State. So, it was on to the "Elite Eight".

This evening we watched Kansas defeat North Carolina to move on to the Final Four next weekend. We watched the game with Paul's Uncle Lyman, who is a big Tarheel fan. But, as a Kansas native, he really couldn't lose. We very much enjoyed the time we've spent together the last few days.

We also enjoyed a wonderful visit with Paul's Cousin Nona, who was quite busy with special events at work this week. We so appreciate her sharing some of her very rare time off with us.

Nona's husband Mike was also hard at work this week, so this afternoon before the game we stopped by Hampton Lake, the beautiful community in nearby Bluffton where he was hosting several open houses. Mike invited us to poke around the neighborhood, and we happily obliged. This model was one of our favorites.

One of the things we love about Hampton Lake is that the community is designed around the lake. Nearly every home features a water view. Many homes also featured spacious "Carolina rooms".

We decided we like Carolina rooms! Our favorite featured plenty of space for fireside outdoor dining. Wherever we live, someday we'd love to have a house with a taste of Carolina like this.

Between basketball, family and house hunting, we made time to see a few sites we missed on our previous visit. The Honey Horn Plantation has a history dating back some 300 years. The 68-acre property is now part of the Coastal Discovery Museum, which highlights the heritage and history of the Low Country.

Rockers on the porch of the main house make it easy to imagine life on Hilton Head Island during a quieter time.

Behind the house, a 1200-square-foot butterfly enclosure is home to some 13 species of native butterflies. Our visit was a bit early for prime butterfly spotting, but we were lucky to see a few early arrivals.

Honey Horn also features three boardwalks that extend over the salt marsh. At low tide, the boardwalks provide a great venue for watching crabs and other creatures in the mud. During a sudden downpour, as we experienced, the boardwalk became a place for Paul to race the rain. One moment it was dry (but quite humid). The next it was a deluge! Thankfully, the storm was short lived, and there was a sturdy shelter at the end of the boardwalk.

Despite the sudden downpour, we especially enjoyed our stroll around Honey Horn. Truth is, I'm a sucker for the flowering dogwoods and majestic moss-draped live oak trees of the low country. And, Honey Horn treated us to plenty of both. This photo doesn't do either justice. But, trust us, they were lovely.

As our Jayhawks are moving on to New Orleans, it's time for us to move on from this charming island. We're hoping to get Bullwinkle in for some annual maintenance at the place where his chassis was built. Then, we're planning to watch the Final Four from somewhere in North Carolina. (And, yes, we're finding some poetic justice in that.) Rock chalk!


Sue and Doug said...

nice recap...Hilton Head looks beautiful and the homes are lovely too!!!

KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...

LOVE that Carolina room!

OUCH on the fuel up... it sure hurts! We were lucky and fueled up last week in Wisconsin for only 3.67 a gallon for diesel, the lowest we have seen it in a long long time.

Karen and Steve
(Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard