We Invade the Plantation

Yesterday was a bit more of the same vacation stuff as the rest of the week. We have a routine where Anita works all morning (that’s why I have time to blog; otherwise I’d be doing activities) and then off we go. I made a lunch with our eggs and turkey and cheese all scrambled together, making me glad we got the grocery delivery package when we got here. That way, most days we don’t have to eat out but once.

We See Sea Pines

One of the negative things about Hilton Head Island is that lots of it is not easily accessible unless you live there. It’s divided into “plantations” (which were actual plantations with all the sadness that went with them), and they are gated, so only the well-do-do who live there can get in without a pass.

Entrance to the preserve we visited.

Luckily, for $8 they will let you into Sea Pines, so we made the most of it and drove all over the place yesterday. There’s a large forest preserve in the middle, which the developer of the property kindly deeded to the residents. We trundled through there and really enjoyed the boardwalk area with lots of labeled plants and interesting terrain.

Anita in her Halloween shirt enjoying the boardwalk.

The land was reclaimed from being a rice plantation and now actually provides drinking water. That’s a great story. We saw a couple of alligators and lots of birds, plus some huge trees that survived Hurricane Matthew.

We See Sea Pines from Higher Up

Next, we made it over to the Lawton Stables, where the residents keep their horses, and they also do trail rides. We saddled up on Simon the rescued carriage horse and Mac the little appaloosa and followed our guide through the forest preserve while she told us the history of the area. Other than some of her facts being a little off (those weren’t monarch butterflies), she was interesting, and the breeze was great.

We finally got to see some wood storks, which I’d been looking for all week, and we learned a lot about the woods and the Gullah people. I certainly didn’t have to concentrate on riding. Good old Simon just plodded along at his own pace. He apparently has sensitive eyes, from his past, so he wears a fly mask all the time. I told him it was a good Halloween costume.

We See That There Isn’t Much to See in Sea Pines

After the ride, we drove around to see the shopping areas, which were nothing to write home about, though ONE store was pretty nice, and I got a necklace for 70% off. Mostly we looked a beautiful homes in beautiful settings. They are probably all full of very thin people from Ohio (that’s the demographic here).

Now We EAT

When we were finished, it was around 4 pm, and I suggested we go to the famous Hudson’s restaurant that has all the fresh fish and rave reviews. I figured we’d be there early enough to beat the crowds.

Genuine fishing boats that bring fresh seafood to the restaurant.

After a bit of trouble finding the place (and a nice drive through the Gullah areas in the north of the island), we got right in to a nice seat on the dock. About ten minutes after our arrival, the lines started to form, so we won!

We also won with our drinks and food. The tropical cocktail was delicious, and we enjoyed sipping and noshing on hush puppies while we awaited the main course, a steamed plate. It consisted of shrimp (with Old Bay so Anita couldn’t complain), local clams, and local “cluster oysters.”

Remains of cluster oysters. I was too busy eating to take before pictures. They have barnacles in them, too. Did not eat those.

These were so fun! Each cluster had four or five oysters of various sizes. and you got to open them with your own oyster knife. Some were easier than others, but I channeled my mom, Canova Anderson Kendall, and shucked away. Mom could really shuck an oyster. I wish I’d inherited her knife!

We shared a piece of delicious key lime pie (the right color) and declared this restaurant is definitely worth the hype. The prices were fine, too.

After that, all we needed was a relaxing hot tub session, and another good vacation day came to a close. I can’t believe I am actually relaxing AND doing fun stuff, both. An entire stress-free week has been so great for me.

I’m so glad Lee agreed to let us get this place a week per year. I know there are other places we could go, but like most of the people I talked to who also go here, this is just the best place. Not too big, not too small, right on the beach, and quiet. Ahh.

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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