Last week we took a vacation, our first in four years. It got off to a bit of a rocky start, as we went directly from a family funeral to a full day of driving. Nonetheless, we were glad to be out of town and glad to be seeing someplace new; I’d been only once, about twenty years ago. We spent the week in a house in Kingston Cove, a development in the Shipyard section of Hilton Head Island, which we rented from a neighbor who was unable to use their timeshare week for the first time in twenty-odd years. The house was nice, the block was quiet, and the noisy frogs on the lagoon behind us were excellent; I only wish I had been able to see them in addition to hearing them, but the alligators were quite the disincentive to approaching the bank and peering into the water at dusk. When we weren’t on the screen porch drinking coffee or on the couch watching cable TV, we were on our rented one-speed cruisers riding around. We rode back and forth to the beach and around to various strip malls for lunch, breakfast, and more bottled water from the Piggly Wiggly. I will admit that when I first saw the cruisers I regretted not bringing Pearl, but once I realized that (a) you’re not legally allowed to ride in the road there and (b) cars have the right of way if they hit you and (c) the sand and salt water are uber-bad for a bike, I was glad I left her at home.
Although we weren’t following any set schedule, the week was a full one. We went birding in Pinckney NWR, adding several exciting new birds to my lifelist, which was a trip deserving of its own post. We sat through a timeshare-hawking presentation, and endured various (and seemingly endless) frustrations when attempting to use the Exciting Prizes we received for our trouble, an experience also worthy of its own writeup. At the end of the week, we returned with sunburns, several small keyhole urchin skeletons, and a variety of arts, crafts, and preserves. While we were gone, the yard turned into a blooming green jungle, thank you April showers, and the house is bursting out at the seams with papers to be recycled and belongings to be put away. Everything in its own time: we’re glad we went, and we’re glad to be home.