After the boating outing, we spent the second half of yesterday doing the required vacation pampering activities that are probably somewhere in the official rules for women going to resorts: You MUST receive some spa-like service or you FAIL as a vacationer!
We did not fail. My hair had gotten rather unruly, and I’d been having a hard time finding time to find somewhere to get my hair cut in Austin, so hey, why not get it cut in Hilton Head? It’s only hair, right?
Oh, sure. I got an appointment with a random stylist at the place Laura from the resort goes to. It turned out to be someone a bit older than me, so I thought, hmm, I bet I get “old lady hair.” But, I enjoyed chatting with her, and I did get the back shorter, which I wanted.
There was a great deal of time spent by the stylist on blow-drying and spraying stuff on my hair. I thought Anita was going to die from holding in her thoughts until we got outside. I had very high hair. It gave me a good chuckle.
Admission: we were not on a sailboat, we were on a ski boat, but nonetheless, Anita and I had a glorious time with Boat Captain Scott out on the waters surrounding Hilton Head Island yesterday. We spent two action-packed hours as our guide took us to beautiful spots filled with birds and dolphins. It was a very high tide, so we could get into all sorts of tight spots, too.
It was a gray day, so none of the photos look spectacular, and of course most of the birds were way too far away for photos, but I sure got my money’s worth out of the binoculars, which I was gracious enough to occasionally share with Anita, when I wasn’t all mesmerized.
What was your favorite, Suna?
Thanks for asking, hypothetical reader! By far my favorite sight was all the little blue herons in the marshlands. They were harder to spot, but so blue! Of course I couldn’t get pictures, but here’s what they look like.
There were dozens and dozens of great egrets, a good number of great blue herons, and a lot of sweet snowy egrets. The marshes were crammed with them. We also saw two tricolored herons, so it was a good day for that family.
Yesterday’s big plans got thwarted, because it kept threatening to rain all day. Mostly it just drizzled, which made me think Nature has the same thing so many of my friends have that makes them all sniffly. It never rained hard until the evening, when we were sitting in the hot tub talking to random fellow guests.
What this meant is that we had to cancel our boat outing around the Pinkney Island preserve. But, we talked to Scott the Boat Guy, and are going to try to do it later this morning. It appears dry outside.
We did manage a quick outing to the Audubon Preserve, where last year I saw a zillion birds, but had no binoculars. This year, yes to binoculars, but no to birds.
I really do appreciate the efforts the group has made to label so many of the plants. They have a very nice brochure that talks about all the different mini-ecosystems in the park and what grows there. It’s also where I learned about the original topography of the area, with high ups and downs of boggy spaces and higher land with trees. It’s not like that where all the houses are now.
Onward and upward with the travel fun! We are spending mornings in the condo, since Anita is still working, just not all day. No rest for the contractors, you know. That gives me time to blog, and well, I did a bit of work today, because our Hearts Homes and Hands business got its licensing approved, so I had to share that on the social media! We are so excited!
As for yesterday, we still had it in our minds that we wanted to walk and walk, so we headed over to another island, and visited the Pinkney Island National Wildlife Refuge. Now, this is a naturalist’s paradise!
It had everything I love, including swamps, wetlands, coastal forests, and ponds. My iNaturalist account got quite a workout, and I’m still not finished uploading things.
I really enjoyed the little crabs that scuttled along the wetland areas, since we were there at a pretty low tide time. Little marsh periwinkles were all over the reeds, too.
Nothing. At least that’s what we think. But, since Anita and I walked and walked in a beautiful area all day yesterday, I think I’ll share some photos of other things we saw. But, first…
I set off on a long walk through a lovely area and didn’t bring my phone! What a horrible discovery. My panic was averted when Anita pointed out that she happened to have a phone with her, and that it also took photos with GPS coordinates on them. So, she became the official walk photographer.
While our walk along Pope Avenue was mostly populated by non-native plantings, the sides of the path had all the native stuff I was interested in. The mushrooms were really interesting, especially the one I’m glad to have turned over, because then I could see the yellow bumps it has instead of spores. That was a winner. It’s a Red-cracking bolete (Xerocomellus chrysenteron).
The way out didn’t win me any exercise points on The Watch, because we stopped constantly. We spent a long time trying to decide if an animal we saw in the duckweed was a turtle or a frog. Whatever it was, it was really fun to watch it bobbing around.
The book I read all in one day is The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein (also a major motion picture, which I did not see). There seems to be an entire genre of books written from the viewpoint of dogs, these days. In fact, here’s a list of them from Amazon, and you will see it includes a book by a human with “dog” in their name.
As for this book, it’s both about racing and being a very intelligent dog observing a life. Like A Dog’s Purpose, this one posits that dogs are put on earth to protect or care for a family. When they are done, they go away and come back as something else. For our book’s dog, named Enzo, he is convinced he will come back next as a human, and he’ll know so much stuff, especially about racing cars.
I can see how this book became a “major motion picture,” because the people in it are not quite as complex as the inhabitants of the last few books I’ve read. The race-car driver dad is just plain good, with just a hint of temptation to be bad. The lawyers are just plain lawyers.
I’m off on my yearly trip to South Carolina, this year, with Anita. Lee has a house to close on, or had one, which explains why we are flying.
The plane to Charlotte was very pleasant. I did not feel squished, and all aspects have gone smoothly. We even got some legit Carolina barbecue, recommended by my frequent flyer friend Mike Y.
The best thing, though, is that I read a WHOLE book today. Ahhh. That means real vacation to me! I’ll review the book tomorrow once we get from our guest-night hotel and get to the condo we have for the week.
I intend to look at many birds and maybe go horseback riding! Hilton Head beckons.
I read a lovely article today about a woman who was overwhelmed and realized the work she was doing had nothing to do with her actual talents or things she enjoyed doing. She got therapy, pondered a while, and POOF, she’s now living on a goat farm in a yurt, perfectly happy to enjoy a quiet life.
I’m happy for her. As she pointed out, it’s not a character flaw to be someone who shudders at the idea of trying to “make it” and cramming as much as possible to achieve some new goal every few months or climbing the corporate ladder until you “win.” Knowing full well that most people aren’t going to “make it” or “win,” it’s probably a good idea to take comfort in more modest goals and aspirations that allow you to live a full but not overfull life.
Looking at the list of things I’m involved with lately, you’d think I am among the over-achieving group and that I am trying to “win” at something. Most organizations volunteered for? Most confusing schedule? I sure don’t look like a very good hermit.
Here’s a random fact about me: I really love to read memoirs, especially of my favorite musicians from the seventies. Some are definitely better than others (like Keith Richards’ memoir, dang that was some good writing). So, I had this book by Elton John pre-ordered and got it the day it was published last week. I’d enjoyed the movie a lot, especially the costumes that were exactly like what he wore in real life, but I was interested to see if his own words differed from the cinematic portrayal.
Luckily I finished the other book I was reading, so I could delve right into this one. And delve I did. At first I didn’t like the writing all that much, but soon enough, I was trying to keep my eyes open every night so I could read more. Yep, he was an interesting guy. He is also an honest guy. No sugar-coating of his less than stellar qualities for him!
I’ve read a couple of books recently where the author remarks that random decisions or meetings changed the course of their lives dramatically and mused about what would have happened if person X hadn’t been in the shopping center on the right day, or whatever. Elton John does this, too, but I liked his conclusion that all his mistakes, lucky coincidences, and random choices made him the happy man he is today, so it’s all fine by him.
I have to second that, myself. Every “mistake” contributes to your growth and wisdom.