Nothing beats feeling exhausted after a great Hilton Head Island vacation over Easter/Heritage/Spring Break.
This year, the grandkids came to visit husband Johnny D., which gave me the opportunity to do something that someone who grew up here rarely has: experience a perfect Hilton Head vacation.
Here’s how it went:
Day 1: Saturday check-in, dinner at Big Bamboo in Coligny Plaza, followed by a perfect Easter family Sunday dinner on the 11th tee of the Heritage golf course prepared by our guests from Jamestown, R.I., Claudine and Murray Charron, with an assist from daughters Olivia and Sophia Tikoian.
Day 2: Strolling the course and catching the Boeing fly-by was pretty cool, if you happened to be walking within a couple of miles of the 18th fairway. The surrounding treescapes created an incredible depth-perspective when the jet veered and banked on the second pass.
The sunset was like God signed off on the day — a big, flourishing signature of marmalade made with a golden, shimmer paintbrush. Not to be outdone, the daughters dazzled us with cartwheels on the fairways, little extra strokes of two fountain pens.
Day 3: Monday afternoon. Time to saddle-up at Lawton Stables because no two teenaged girls from New England and their mother are going to miss an opportunity to show up us Southern riders here in the sticks. We reserved three beautiful horses for a trail ride through the Sea Pines Forest Preserve. As always, the staff and grounds were impeccable, impressive to our granddaughters who ride regularly up north and had a horse of their own for a period of time.
Meanwhile, not to be out-done by Wesley Bryan’s first PGA Tour victory on the signature Harbour Town Golf Links designed by Pete Dye, Murray conquered Dye’s other course at Heron Point.
Day 4: Still cranking away at his precious “man-time,” (he is, after all, surrounded by three women) Murray took on Atlantic Dunes while the girls tried out paddleboarding in Harbour Town. I won’t elaborate on the paddleboarding, because I wouldn’t want anyone to draw any conclusions about me being in some kind of silly one-upmanship competition about who can stupidly fall off a paddleboard.
Eleven-year-old Sophia was sweet to ask if she could assist me, but I knew it was better if she didn’t try until she could get her laughter under control.
Back at Atlantic Dunes, Murray had to wait a bit to play and was none too excited about slapping no-see-ums for an extra two hours. Johnny D. noted that the name is a misnomer since he can “see em” flying around just fine.
Day 5: Wednesday was Claudine and Murray’s anniversary, so they went to the Old Fort Pub for a lovely sunset dinner while the rest of us played Harley-Davidson Monopoly. My dog Sam the beagle couldn’t stand being left out of all those high-finance transactions and finally crawled up on the old leather ottoman (aka: Monopoly Street and Bank) and sat on the real estate and hotels.
Day 6: Thursday we drove to Savannah to show our kinfolk from the north a little bit of Southern history. They were interested in architecture and the Civil War, and we walked along River Street and soaked up the different regional cultures and explained how different our unique backgrounds were. For example, Murray is Irish and Russian; Claudine and Johnny are Italian; Sophia and Olivia, are Italian and Armenian; I am English, Irish, Scots, German. We discussed all this at lunch at the end of our day grateful to know one another and happy to be together as a family. Then, we loaded into the SUV and raced to Tanger, where we shopped til we nearly dropped.
Day 7: Friday was pool day and dinner out.
Day 8: Saturday was early morning check out for the Charrons’ two-day drive home to Rhode Island.
For the DeCecco’s? An estimated four-day crash-out and cleansing spa facility will be necessary to refurbish this machine to some semblance of its former glory. It will need some extra parts and new wheels, maybe a new bed for Sam the beagle.
All of this made me think.
Sure, I know why I live here.
But the week helped me remember why people visit.