It just happened to work out this year that my college roommate from Tech needed someone to go to the beach with her. I mean, who am I to turn down a week away from everything? After some back and forth we decided to go a little closer (than Florida) and stay a little longer (than a long weekend).
Sarah, who has her stuff together, already wrote a great recap here.
We rented a cute little AirBnB condo practically on the beach. It was a one bedroom with a sleeper sofa and worked well for just the two of us. I could see how it might be too small for three or four people, but for just the two of us it was perfect. And the location could not be beat. A quick walk through the parking lot and we were on the beach. A 10-minute walk down the street and we were at Coligny Park and all the shops and restaurants. Across the street was a path that I was able to follow and run on most days.
One of our goals, in part to eat somewhat healthily and to save some money, was to eat breakfast and lunch at the condo and only dine out in the evenings. We went to the grocery store the first night and got enough to have breakfast and lunch for five days. Each day I had granola and yogurt or fruit for breakfast with some cold brew coffee. Lunch was leftovers and caprese salad, which was AMAZING thanks to Sarah’s home-grown tomatoes.
Dinner was fun because we picked out places that looked good or were in walking distance and had a decent variety of things – Mexican food to pizza to gyros to pulled chicken sandwiches. We ended with seafood at a place that usually has lines out the door, but due to everyone leaving for the hurricane we walked right in. It was good, but I’m not sure I would have liked it had I waited for an hour.
For the most part, we spent the week relaxing and resting. Every day I would go for a short run in the morning. I definitely got spoiled by the cool weather in VA so dealing with the humidity at Hilton Head was less than ideal. But! The streak continues and I made sure to get in at least one mile every day. I did run on the beach once (on the last day), just to say I did it. It was nice hearing the waves the whole time and the view was obviously wonderful.
After a run, we would hang out at the beach and read. I read two books, which was nice because I haven’t made the time for reading lately. It’s mostly been Netflix. Then we would grab dinner and dessert, come back to the condo, and hang out. Sarah got me hooked on Bachelor in Paradise (I know! It’s so trashy.) so I got caught up and then we watched some episodes of that.
One night we walked on the beach to Coligny Beach Park and sat on the swinging chairs and people watched. It was really nice to hang out and not worry about schedules or getting things done.
As everyone knows, Irma made her appearance last weekend / early this week and was threatening the east coast. I hadn’t even given it a thought, though my mom was checking in to see if we were getting anything. When we happened to overhear someone talking about it at dinner on Wednesday night we started taking it a little more seriously and making a backup plan.
We reached out to our AirBnB host to see what could be done if we couldn’t stay the whole time and we packed up on Thursday night, intending to leave Friday evening. Well, the mayor was flirting with a mandatory evacuation so it seemed like lots of people were leaving early. We overheard someone on the (almost bare) beach on Friday saying that traffic was already starting to look bad, so we decided to leave earlier.
Our six-hour drive turned into a nine-hour drive, with a few really painful and slow stretches in South Carolina. I was so happy when we were finally moving at the speed limit! Luckily, I had great company, which made the drive tolerable and even fun. Since Sarah and I don’t see each other often, it’s always really nice to get together and we always have tons to catch up on.
The Silver Lining
As bummed as we were to leave two days early, it meant that Sarah got to see her husband on their anniversary and I got to spend some time with them on Saturday. After breakfast, I got to see the baby animals! She has a baby horse, Joey, and a baby mini donkey, Poppy. I got to see both and just like her dad, Russell, Poppy seemed to like me almost immediately. It was awesome to see them and to see all the horses. As you might imagine, I don’t have a lot of exposure to those animals in this area. I was able to drive home Saturday afternoon, with no traffic, and was happy to get home to all my boys.
Overall, this was a great trip. The location of the condo was ideal, the food was delicious, and I enjoyed the time away. Definitely not long enough, but I wasn’t trying to take my chances against Irma evacuation traffic.