Monday, May 30, 2011

Hilton Head Vacation part 2

Last week really flew by! We left yesterday (Sunday) morning around 7:45am and got in right around 7pm. I think we brought the sun back with us because it's beautiful today! That worked out perfectly as a way of easing us back into the 'real world' and allowing us to get the lawn mowed. It's good to be home and Harvie and the cats are happy to have us back.

We definitely had a blast and I got some great pictures! I'll try to start where I left off the last time.

On Wednesday, the guys and Chelsey went on an ocean fishing trip with Captain Johnny Walker. They caught a few small sharks but nothing edible. Laura, Halley and I went to Beaufort to do some shopping, have lunch and take a carriage tour of the Historic area. It was really interesting and we learned a lot from our tour guide!

This was the horse, Doc, who is one of only 12 horses of his breed in the US with two blue eyes. Unfortunately you can't tell from the picture!

Beaufort is the 2nd oldest city in the South, behind Charleston (chartered in 1711!). It's known for it's beautiful location and for maintaining a historic character through its antebellum architecture style. We saw some of the most beautiful houses with huge wrap around porches. 


There were also some of the most beautiful trees. This one is called an 'Angel Oak':

It has actually been the filming location of a few big movies too which was really interesting. The Big Chill, The Prince of Tides, The Great Santini and Forrest Gump. The tour guide showed us the house where Sally Field stayed when she filmed Forrest Gump. He was actually the one who designed the shrimp boats for the movie which was so cool - he was a really interesting guy. 

On Wednesday night Chelsey and Trevor cooked for us. They stopped at a cool fish market and bought a huge Cobia - it was delicious! 

 Reed and Laura rented us a few bikes to use during the week which was great. There were two singles and then a tandem bike which was so much fun. I think I want one of these now!

I promise I was wearing shorts, you just can't tell! They had some beautiful paths around the neighborhood. We stopped a few times so I could get some shots of the beautiful flowers and birds.

 RJ was a good sport about it. He knows I don't like to miss a photo opp!

 Later that night we went to San Miguels, a great Mexican place on the water with live music.

 My goal of the evening was to get a group picture.. success! 

You're probably wondering who the guy behind Chelsey is.. so are we! He was sitting behind us and jumped in. I think that's what we were laughing at in the next picture.

After dinner we were enjoying the band and there was an older gentlemen who got up and started dancing (alone). He was very entertaining and the waitress called him "Dancing Don".. so I guess he was a regular. 

I tried to get this picture when he had his back turned.. but I didn't quite make it in time and he caught me.

After he saw me taking his picture he pointed at me and started motioning to come join him. I figured it was only fair since I took his picture without asking. It didn't take too much convincing.. Lindsay and I both have a thing for live music. 

The pictures are a little blurry but they still serve as proof that I got to dance with 'Dancing Don'.

After a few minutes Trevor joined in:

And then Chelsey and RJ:

We made some of our own music too. There was a lot of guitar and djembe (like a bongo drum) playing.

During the trip I learned how to play hearts and even got to shoot the moon (but only by following RJ's directions).

I got to see Halley's competitive side. 
It was a little scary..

On Friday night Halley and Shawn made us some amazing Shish-Kabobs on the grill.

After last week I think we are all in agreement we need to construct a corn hole set. There were many games played throughout the week and on the last night we even had a tournament.. complete with partners drawn from a hat (or hand) and brackets.

 I think all my years of pitching softball came in handy - Big Reed and I made a pretty good team! Halley definitely wins the 'Most Improved' award.

I will really miss taking walks on the beach.

 RJ and Trevor boogie boarding:

 On Saturday morning RJ got up early with me to check out "The Bargain Box" and a free local art festival.

You know I can't pass up a good bargain hunting trip!

There were some really amazing artists at the Art festival. I wish we had room in the car for this awesome mirror!

It was fun to check out some of the different artists' tents.

All in all a fantastic week with great memories.

Everyone gets a shout out:

Shawn - Best sarcastic comments (especially when directed at Laura and she says: "watch it, boy"), best LOST instigator, most impressive sunburn (acquired in under an hour outside, with sunblock).

Halley - Most improved at corn hole, most competitive at cards, craziest hair. Honorable mention for not punching me during hearts (even if it was only because I'm not a birth-sibling). Another honorable mention for buying the best cookies ever.

RJ: Also had an impressive sunburn - achieved a farmers tan look while shirtless, best background guitar playing, honorable mention for humoring my photo opps and willingness to spend a morning shopping with me.

Rachel: I'll give myself a mention for always having a camera and probably annoying everyone with photo opps and for the idea to refer to Halley as 'fun sized'.

Chelsey -  Best tan, best rice salad, honorable mention for impressive ability to stay up late with the guys and best reaction to having a margarita spilled on her ("Forget the table!").

Trevor - Best random comments ("I think my nipple got sunburned"), Best dance moves (hat tipping), Honorable mention for coining the phrase: "I'm in a pooool" when asked to speak on video.

Big Reed - Best use of an inanimate object as a musical instrument, honorable mention for stocking cold beverages and sharing leftover beers, honorable mention for coining the phrase: "Re-fat-tire" and for taking videos throughout the week.

Laura - Most thoughtful : buying doughnuts, packing sandwiches, sharing saltwater taffy, lending sunscreen and sharing her car. Honorable mention for taking Halley and I on the Beaufort tour and to a fantastic lunch at Plum's.

Honorable mention to both Reed and Laura for providing such a fun and memorable week for all of us! 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hilton Head Vacation part 1

Well I know this has nothing to do with our "home-makeover" but I figured it was the easiest way to share some of our vacation pictures and updates with our friends and loved ones. 

We arrived on Sunday and have two beautiful houses to share among the 8 of us. RJ and I are bunking up with Halley and Shawn (not really, we have separate rooms/bathrooms) and Reed and Laura are with Chelsey and Trevor.

Sunday night we got unpacked and ordered some pizzas and salads. It was a good low key night after spending 11 hours in the car!

On Monday morning I was excited to check out the fitness center in the club house which is in walking distance from all the houses here. It's perfect - a great elliptical, treadmills, free weights, solid weight machine and TV with cable. In the club house there is also a pool table, free coffee and cookies, a nice sitting area and computer for all the members to use. It's a really nice amenity. That is where the pool and hot tubs are also, so it's great to be in walking distance from those (though we haven't utilized the hot tubs yet). 
It's funny I don't remember using the fitness center at all when we were on our honeymoon here a few years ago. I must not have needed as much sweat therapy back then! 

Later on Monday morning RJ and I and Halley and Shawn headed to the pool while the others went to check out the beach. Poor Shawn didn't spend more than 30-40 minutes in the sun and got burned - with sunscreen! He just has that susceptible skintone. Chelsey, on the other hand, turns an even browner shade of brown, we're all jealous!

This was from our dinner on Monday night - went to the Boat House restaurant on the Island and had a great view of the harbor. They had the best fresh fish and of course, Island Vacation tropical drinks.

Most of the group about to head out to dinner:

On Tuesday we hit the pool all day. RJ didn't reapply his sunscreen enough on Monday, so he really burned his shoulders. He decided to try to keep the sun off of them on Tuesday. I really learned my lesson in Mexico last year so have been obsessively reapplying sunscreen and wearing a straw hat.

We've been calling Trevor our free entertainment, he definitely keeps us all amused!

We have a system going where each couple is going to take a night to cook (except Reed and Laura, we're not letting them cook). RJ and I chose to go first and cooked on Tuesday night. We got some great chicken breasts to grill for chicken sandwiches and also grilled some zucchini and corn.

RJ was the grill master and his chicken was perfect (if I do say so myself):

We also made Karen's famous bean salad, definitely a hot weather classic. Fantastic as both a dip with tortilla chips and as a salad topper.

 We also had guacamole with some fresh avocados and cheese with french bread. Nobody left hungry and we finished the guacamole - so I'd say it was a success.

 There are some of the most beautiful trees and flowers on the island. The Spanish Moss is definitely not something we see at home.

Coming soon - Vacation part 2!

In the mean time, we've got to get to the pool.