On Saturday morning, June 24, the children left for their fourteen hour drive back to New Castle, Pennsylvania. What a great week we had, however! The last three days were just as fun as the first three. And, as a bonus, Delilah, finally warmed up to me. She progressed from growling, snarling, and barking to affectionately licking my legs and arms so vigorously, I probably lost the top layer of skin and half the hair on them.
On Wednesday, we decided to visit the Pinckney National Wildlife Refuge, 4,053 acres filled with waterfowl, shorebirds, and wading birds, with large concentrations of white ibis, herons, and egrets. On our five mile walk along the many trails, we also spotted an alligator or two. After expending so many calories hiking in the hot sun, we replenished them eating some great Carolina BBQ at Jim and Nicks. Later on, we hung out at the pool and grilled burgers for dinner. Mmmm!
On Thursday, we miniature-golfed and visited a local arcade prior to taking a very informative two-hour tour of Gullah history and culture. The Gullah are the descendants of enslaved Africans from various tribes who lived in the Lowcountry regions of the US states of Georgia and South Carolina, in the area of both the coastal plain and the Sea Islands. They have their own culture and creole language. I was intrigued to find out that the majority of the descendants of the Bahamas are Gullah descendants and speak an almost identical dialect. Our tour guide, Melvin, a Gullah with a rich, deep voice, mesmerized us with his stories over the two-hour bus tour. In the evening, Julie and I played a little tennis while Cindy prepared for us a dinner of her delicious spaghetti.
On Friday, Julie and I left Tracy and Cindy behind to tackle the Zipline Hilton Head Aerial Adventure which consisted of six up-in-the-trees (12-36 feet above ground) courses consisting of cross swinging bridges, swaying tunnels, logs & bridges, jumping thru hoops & nets, and climbing obstacles. There are six increasingly difficult levels. During our two our adventure in the grueling South Carolina heat and humidity, I successfully completed the first four levels, while Julie tackled five of them. It was quite a challenge and great fun! Afterwards, we all hit the beach for a second time. Then, later in the evening, we returned to Hudson’s on the Docks for another great seafood feast.
We have often heard that the two happiest days in a boat owner’s life is the day he buys the boat and the day he sells the boat. Well, if so, Friday was one of our two happiest days of boat ownership. We closed on our sailing home of the last five years. It was sad in a way, but a relief to be free of the double expense of upkeep on a sailboat and an RV. Cindy and I are no longer boat owners for now. But, that will likely change in the coming months and years.
On Saturday, the 24th, our girls left, leaving a hole in our hearts, filled with great memories of our week together in Hilton Head. We spent the rest of the day cleaning and cashing in on our trivia contest prize, a movie with snacks included. We saw the very well done, Churchill, which chronicles the life of the prime minister in the few days leading up to D-Day. We’d recommend it.
Thanks to Julie for contributing some of these photos!