I’m sitting in the Austin airport again. This time I’m also going somewhere fun, but not for relaxation. I’m traveling to New Orleans to participate in semi-annual Friends of La Leche League trip. Since I’m on the Board, my role will be to help make the trip fun for the participants.
I have to go back to my Super Introvert mode that I used to get in at the large conferences, where I had to be on and available 24/7. Usually I handle conferences by getting a room to myself. But, this is a nonprofit, so we share!
It’s fun sharing rooms with old friends. You catch up, tell funny stories, etc. I just hope note that we are all older, we will sleep some.
This is a group of wonderful people, and I am hoping everyone’s issues and infirmities don’t prevent everyone from having fun. And I hope I don’t collapse from being my busy LLL persona for 5 days. I’m not the same person I used to be.
Luckily I’m in a great mood and looking forward to some fun and good. Yes, I will eat a beignet! Moderation in everything.
I had no time to write this morning and spent all day today on planes, so I’m late. You 11 people who read these things survived, no doubt.
Friday was a nice calm day, since Anita worked until noon. But then we set out to the mainland to visit the lovely town of Bluffton. It reminded me of Green Cove Springs in my youth. Lovely old h of huge trees covered in moss, with a beautiful river.
We ate lunch at a wonderful spot in an old house, called The Cottage. The food was hearty and sophisticated all at once. I got oysters, crab, and shrimp in a delicious sauce, over cheese grits. Heaven. Anita had a pot pie that she raved about.
After that joy, we found a marvelous boutique and I got an amazing poncho kind of top with sleeves. I can’t wait to wear it all winter.
The town has been beautifully preserved, with more work going on. All the new developments are out of the historical area.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Adventures in raising littles to become budding naturalists in their own back yard and beyond. The wonders of the natural world await if we could only take the time... Follow me on Twitter @naturemomtexas!