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Sue Holland -- April 2005 – Hilton Head Resort


Who:

Sue (me - 46), DVC member
Sheila, Frequent travel companion

Dates: April 10-16, 2005
Travel Method: Plane, Personal car
Resort: Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort
Experience: Frequent Guest

INTRODUCTION:

Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort has long been one of my absolute favorite places to visit. Unfortunately its distance from Ft Myers meant I could only get there once a year, and needed to stay enough nights to justify the long drive (8-9 hours each way). In 2004 I skipped Hilton Head in favor of doing a Panama Canal cruise with my son during his spring break. I loved the cruise, but really missed Hilton Head! I booked spring 2005 as soon as I could, for the last week of March.

During the year I met SB (sexy boyfriend), but held onto the reservation until I was sure of our plans. His work schedule doesn’t permit any vacations between March & September, but I was going to Hilton Head without him until we learned his work would take him out of state from April – September this year. That left us a month between the time that he moved in until he’d be leaving for 5 months – and I was not about to be away with Sheila (no offense intended) for a week of that time! Luckily I was able to reschedule for April, which costs more points but the increased chance of good weather will be worth it! March weather can be quite chilly still, and I have a lousy track record when it comes to weather at Hilton Head. By mid April we should be assured of having some beautiful days.

As it turned out, SB had to leave on 4/5. I left that day also for a business trip, then returned on 4/7 to unpack & repack for a trip to join him on the road in NH for a couple of nights on 4/8. On 4/10 I’ll fly from NH to Savannah, where Sheila will pick me up on her way to Hilton Head. It’ll be a hectic pre-trip period, but we do what we have to! I plan to pack my Hilton Head clothes and leave them with Sheila, and only take a few things to chilly NH.

Once at Hilton Head we don’t have specific plans for each day. We’ll rent bicycles and do some riding around, will walk on the beach, lay by the pool, and mostly just relax. I’ll continue my training for the half-marathon, and look forward to jogging on the paths near the resort. We’ll eat out each day – most certainly visiting Big Bamboo Café, Hilton Head Diner, and some new places that were recommended by friends. We may get to spend some time with friends who live in the area, too. I’m hoping Chef Gordon will have one or more of his programs scheduled during the week – if so, we’ll definitely sign up for those.

I booked a 2-bedroom villa for the 6 nights, which is more than we need but we’ll enjoy the space. It sleeps 8 people, but I’d never survive that many people! I’ll have the master bedroom & master bath, while Sheila can move between the 2 queen beds in the 2nd bedroom <g>. She’ll have her own bathroom, and we’ll have the kitchen/living/dining area free with nobody sleeping on the sleep sofa! We’re not party animals by any means – most evenings we’ll probably be drinking wine & reading. SB won’t finish work until around 10pm, so our instant messaging or phone calls will have to wait until then.

The current plans (subject to change) so far...

Sun 4/10: Fly to Savannah, Ride to Hilton Head
Mon 4/11 – Fri 4/15: Bikes, Jogging, Beach, Pool, Eat Out
Sat 4/16: Drive, Lunch at WDW

DAY 1 SUNDAY APRIL 10, 2005:

Who: Sue (me - 46), DVC Member

Sheila (45), Frequent Travel Companion

Plan: Fly from NH to Savannah, to Hilton Head w/Sheila

Actual: Instead of beginning at home, this trip begins from Manchester, NH. I’d flown up Friday to stay with SB while he was here, and got to visit with friends and family while watching SB’s games on Friday and Saturday. We had a couple of great meals, he got to know my family & friends, and most importantly we got to spend time together. It’ll be May 11th before we see each other again, when I fly up to see him in CT.

We got up around 6, wanting to have some time together before I had to leave for the airport. We asked for a breakfast recommendation from the front desk and headed across the street to a place called Jamie’s Bakery. It smelled wonderful inside, and they had a great breakfast menu and bakery section. It’s definitely worth a return visit, so if we’re in Manchester next year I know we’ll be eating here! The people working here were all very friendly, too – and enjoy meeting the many ball players who come through since the hotel the league uses is right across the street.

After breakfast I dropped SB off at the ballpark to relax before the team arrived. I had an easy drive to the airport, returned the rental car, and went into the airport to check in. Leaving Ft Myers Friday the crowds and lines were horrendous. Here in Manchester it was wonderful – I never had to wait for anything, and everyone went out of their way to be friendly & helpful! There was an earlier connecting flight to Savannah out of Dulles, and the agent put me on it without charging any extra or making me go standby at the gate, which was really nice! Once I got to the gate I called SB and then called Sheila to let her know I’d definitely be on the earlier flight. She was 2 hours into her drive from Ft Myers, and would easily make it to Savannah by the time my flight arrived – so we’ll get to Hilton Head about 1.5 hours earlier than planned!

My flights were on Independence Air – except for the pain of having to connect in Dulles for everything I really liked this airline. This time neither flight was full, neither was late, and it was just an overall great experience. I called Sheila as soon as we landed, and she was sitting at a Shell station nearby waiting for my call. As soon as I got outside she pulled up, and we were on our way to Hilton Head. The Savannah Airport was really nice – one of the prettier ones I’ve seen.

We were busy chatting away so the ride seemed to fly by. Soon we were on the island itself – I text messaged SB to let him know I made it, and he replied back saying they lost their game & were on the way to Portland for the next 4 days. When I talked to him later he told me the Portland hotel was a Doubletree, which was MUCH nicer than the Comfort Inn! I laughed and said I should have checked the hotels before deciding which cities to visit him at <g>.

Sheila and I went upstairs to check in, and she spotted the fabulous cranberry walnut cookies. In a blink of an eye she was over there, grabbing one for each of us. They also put out lemonade, but I never really care about that. Checking in went smoothly, but I was disappointed to see no events by Chef Gordon scheduled this week. We were given a 2 bedroom villa in building 18, which meets my requests for a marsh view and top floor. We drove over and unloaded our luggage onto one of the carts, then wheeled it over to the building and moved in. As we were schlepping the stuff up 3 flights of stairs we remembered why we always brought our sons in the past <g>.

We dumped the stuff in the villa, took a few photos and then went directly to the recreation window before they closed at 5. We got 2 adult bikes for the length of our stay ($50 for both, plus tax) and brought them back to lock up under our porch. Next up was grocery shopping, even though we don’t need much because we tend to always eat out. We went to Piggly Wiggly just because we like the name, and bought everything we could think of and it only came to $20. They didn’t have the yogurt we wanted, so we went to Publix for that, then stopped at Hilton Head Diner looking for the cinnamon twist things I like for breakfast. It looked different this year, and after buying it I realized it was NOT what they’ve had in the past. What I got this time was bland & tasteless – guess I’ll stick to yogurt for breakfast <g>. Sheila bought a giant frosting-covered brownie – hopefully that’s better than my pastry. I don’t think I’ll bother with Hilton Head Diner any more – they allow smoking inside, and the smell just really disgusts me. With all the other great places on the island, there’s no reason to settle for a place that isn’t 100% terrific.

Back at the villa I unpacked while Sheila hung out in my room talking to me. For anyone who hasn’t been here – the 2 bedroom villa is quite large. I’m in the master bedroom, which has a king bed, and the master bathroom is actually 2 separate rooms. In one there’s a vanity sink and a Jacuzzi tub big enough for 2 adults. In the other there’s a shower stall, toilet and pedestal sink. There’s lots of storage space, especially for just me! Sheila has the 2nd bedroom, which has 2 queen beds and its own full bathroom. The washer & dryer is just off the hallway to her room. We’ve got a full kitchen (completely stocked with everything except food), living room and dining area. The back porch extends from the living room to my bedroom, and can be accessed from either room. There’s a picnic table and 2 rocking chairs out there, and a great view of the marsh. It’s so pretty and peaceful out there.

I went out to jog since I hadn’t been able to in New Hampshire the past 2 days (no fitness center at the hotel and the area wasn’t deemed safe). I did 1 mile, figuring I’d jog again in the morning. When I got back I talked to SB while Sheila talked to her boyfriend. She & I discussed what to do about dinner and decided to make it a casual night at Fuddruckers, saving the real restaurants to start tomorrow. Sheila left it up to me to decide how we’d get there, and I chose riding our bikes (I can hear Darla groaning from here).

It was a great ride over, although a little chilly since I was wearing shorts. We got there and found no line at all, although when we left the line was out the door. We decided to share a half-pound bacon cheddar burger and onion rings. The burger was excellent! The onion rings sucked, though. The toppings bar here is great, too. After eating we rode our bikes back to the resort, which was even colder then because it was dark. I told Sheila it’s a good thing Mary Hunt wasn’t with us, or we’d be riding our bikes to dinner somewhere in Savannah <g> instead of just a mile down the road.

We locked our bikes up on our porch and wandered over to the campfire. There was a pretty big crowd, so we wandered in the shop until the program ended. I picked up stuff to make smores later, then met Sheila at the end of the pier. We headed back to the villa, where I ate half of a smore – watching it almost blow up in the microwave, then making a mess of everything I touched due to the melted marshmallow on my fingers <g>. It tasted good, though. Sheila opened her wine and joined me in my bedroom to chat while I finished up the report and got online.

Today was a nice day – Hilton Head is as beautiful as ever and we’re looking forward to a relaxing week. It probably sounds pathetic, but we both admitted we wished we were home – me with SB, her with Jerry. However, we’ll try to cheer each other up and enjoy our beautiful surroundings.

DAY 2 MONDAY APRIL 11, 2005:

Who: Sue (me - 46), DVC Member

Sheila (45), Frequent Travel Companion

Plan: Bikes, Jogging, Beach, Pool, Eat Out

Actual: I failed to mention yesterday that we’ve noticed some minor problems with the unit. In one of my bathroom rooms there’s a lightbulb that doesn’t work, and when I discovered my bedroom remote control didn’t work I found one of the batteries missing <g>. Sheila mentioned the toilet in her bathroom had not been flushed after the last person used it, which is pretty gross. Makes me wonder if housekeeping even bothered to go in there! We didn’t look for any other problems – I’m sure they’ll surface as we use the villa. We were laughing at having 3 televisions for the 2 of us, particularly since neither of us cares much about tv. We’ll just have to rotate batteries around the remote controls unless I feel like calling maintenance or the front desk.

It was absolutely silent here last night – just the way I like it! I had a little wine, talked to SB a while, instant messaged with a friend, and sent SB several photos of the inside of the villa so he could see the place. I was in bed not long after 11, tired from the long day and all the traveling.

I did not set any alarm, but woke up at 7:30. It felt good to sleep that long! I got dressed, made the bed, then headed out to jog. I did a 2-mile loop to Fuddrucker’s and back, coming back behind the mall to get the full distance. Sheila was in the living room having coffee and breakfast when I returned. I took my shower, then joined her in the living room while I had some hot cocoa and the rest of the crappy pastry thing from the diner last night.

We wandered around the resort taking more photos, then went to visit with Gordon for a while. The same lady was working in the gift shop again this morning (we stopped in last night) and she said when she told Gordon people had been in asking for him last night he asked if it was me. We chatted with him for a while, and discovered he didn’t have any programs scheduled because the resort was less than half full this week. While I’ll miss his programs, I do like having fewer people around!

Sheila & I finished wandering around the resort, then walked over to Shelter Cove past all the boats in the marina. After sitting in the car for 9 hours yesterday she wanted to not be sitting around, and that was fine with me! I talked to SB, then we changed into swimsuits and rode our bikes over to the Beach House. We got there about 11 and it was gorgeous – the weather was perfect, and it was quiet because hardly anyone was there. Almost immediately a family with SIX kids came and settled down right near us – nice family, nice kids, but DAMN are kids noisy! LOL Soon more families arrived, and we were in the midst of many squealing pre-schoolers. Eventually we got used to the bedlam, and people sort of spread out a bit, so it wasn’t really that bad. We did some reading, got some sun, and just relaxed.

Around 1:30 I talked to SB again – he was freezing up in Maine and it’s expected to be in the 30s tonight for his game. Maybe I don’t want to visit him when he’s in Maine this early in the season after all <g>. Sheila & I were hungry but it was too late to even share a lunch, since we were planning a very early dinner. Instead we went to the pool bar and ordered a couple of frozen drinks. I got the Frozen Alligator, which was colada mix, vanilla ice cream and midori melon liqueur. Sheila got the Banana Cabana – bananas, vanilla ice cream and kahlua. Both were excellent! I bought them today and she’ll buy another day – that forces us to have to drink again, lol. We sat at the counter in the shade and were stuffed by the time we finished the drinks. After warming up on our lounge chairs for a while we headed back to the resort.

We made a stop at Bank of America on the way – Sheila works there and wired some cash to my darling son who needed to pay his cell phone bill. I gave her the cash, and this was the easiest way we could think of to make the transaction. I chatted with a friend in FL while she took care of that, then we rode back to the resort. I watched the rest of General Hospital, and after we both showered (it’s great having 2 bathrooms) we got dressed and headed out to Big Bamboo Café. We decided to do their early bird (although I usually order from the regular menu even during early bird time) and consider it lunch/dinner. Three meals generally are too much for us.

At the Big Bamboo Café we noticed they’d redone part of the inside, adding a stage for a band and a bar inside the dining room. Some of the memorabilia looked different too, but the menu was the same. We both decided to go with the early bird menu this time. For $12.95 you get a glass of wine or beer, soup or salad, entrée and dessert. Sheila had red wine, broccoli soup, and baked salmon with mashed potatoes. I had white wine, salad, and the Greek pasta with chicken. This is one of their specialty items, and I’d never tried it before. It’s a penne pasta tossed with cherry tomatoes, green peppers, onions, sundried tomatoes, black olives, artichoke hearts & mushrooms, in a wine sauce with a chicken breast sliced on top. It comes in a bread bowl, and I was able to order it without the olives, artichokes and mushrooms. It was delicious – more than I could eat, but every bite I managed was great! Dessert was chocolate cake with whipped cream, which we took back to the villa for another time.

After leaving Big Bamboo we stopped at Coligney Bakery so I could look for something for breakfast. I ended up buying a cranberry walnut cookie (their cookies are supposed to be excellent) and a cinnamon apple strudel pastry. We drove to the Beach House and walked on the beach for 2 hours, laughing and talking so the time passed quickly. We got back to the resort about 8, and as we approached our villa we found a cast member and a golf cart at the bottom of the stairs. Turns out he was trying to deliver a bottle of wine & card from Chef Gordon! He sent white – he knows that’s all I like. We’ll have to stop by and thank him for the nice surprise. The wine went into the refrigerator, I showered the sand off my feet, then listened to the rest of SB’s game on the internet while Sheila & I watched jewelry on Home Shopping Network.

I tried the cake from Big Bamboo, but it was very ordinary and not worth eating. Instead I had the other half of yesterday’s smore <g>. We had some wine, and Sheila did some reading while I talked to SB and hung out online for a while.

It was a nice day – gorgeous weather, and although we really didn’t do much other than relax the day seemed to fly by! I enjoyed jogging (as much as I CAN enjoy that) around here, the pool was great once we got over the shock of all the squealing young kids, the frozen drinks were yummy, dinner was fabulous, and finishing off with a 2-hour walk on the beach was a great ending. Tomorrow we’re planning more of the same – life is good here!

DAY 3 TUESDAY APRIL 12, 2005:

Who: Sue (me - 46), DVC Member

Sheila (45), Frequent Travel Companion

Plan: Bikes, Jogging, Beach, Pool, Eat Out

Actual: Today I wanted to wake up earlier, so I ended up waking up repeatedly from about 4:30 onward – ugh! I should have just set the alarm, lol. I got up at 7, got dressed and headed out to jog. I did a 3-mile loop to the Beach House and back, which made Sheila cringe when I told her I’d run all the way out there <g>. It was a nice run though, and I kept slightly better than my usual pace. Sheila was having coffee when I returned, and we decided to keep our plans to go bike riding. It was pretty gloomy & cloudy outside, with severe storms expected by late afternoon. I was hoping we’d have some sun for part of the day, but it doesn’t look like that is going to happen after all!

Chris had another smaller financial crisis & had left me an email & instant message during the night. I swear kids are a bottomless money pit. This time though, I called Chris’ dad and he will take care of it. I got cleaned up a little bit, changed into a dry shirt, and headed out on the bikes with Sheila. We rode 5-6 miles and found the restaurants we had planned for tonight and tomorrow morning. It was a really easy ride, too – this jogging has definitely strengthened my legs, as I was able to go faster than normal and not be winded or tired at all.

We got back to the villa and I took a much-needed shower! Sheila had already had breakfast, so I finished the yogurt I’d started after jogging and ate half of the apple pastry with my cappuccino. I talked to SB throughout the day, sharing what we were each doing. I was surprised when he reported it was SNOWING and 29 degrees up there after lunch! That has got to be miserable, and I felt so bad for him being there, especially since it’s business as usual despite the weather.

Sheila & I wandered around the resort and took some photos inside Live Oak Lodge, then dropped off our cameras and drove to the outlets just off the island. We both found some lingerie for the guys (to enjoy, not wear <g>), and picked up some other items in some of the other stores. We always stop at Kilwin’s, and both got some of their excellent pecan brittle – I also got cashew brittle and she got caramel corn. Everything there is so good!

We returned to the resort and hung around the villa for a while. I finished the book I was reading – the 2005 edition of Making WDW Vacation Memories. This guidebook is written by friends/dvc members Dann Hazel & Josh Fippen, and I like it better than any of the other guides out there. They cover the basic information, but it’s just presented in a less dry manner, and they include lots of interesting little tips and asides. Plus, they have photos, which many (other than Birnbaum) do not. Sheila ate some of her caramel corn and some corn nuts (we’re so healthy here, lol), and I had a half glass of wine and a couple of crackers with cheese. We were a little hungry, but didn’t want to eat too much since we were having a fairly early dinner at Michael Anthony’s.

Sheila finished her book and went to sit in the Jacuzzi while I stayed in the villa watching General Hospital and sending today’s photos to SB. I talked to him and learned his work got canceled due to the weather, so he headed back to sit in the hotel for the evening. Sheila & I headed out shortly after 5, heading to Michael Anthony’s for the early bird (seated before 5:45) dinner. When we got there the hostess told us they were not doing the early bird during the golf tournament, but we decided to stay and eat there regardless.

It’s a very romantic restaurant, and the service was excellent. The menu was terrific too, although a picky eater like myself can’t fully appreciate it. Sheila got a glass of shiraz wine and the Capellini alla Pescatore (angel hair with shellfish and seafood sautéed in a white wine and fresh tomato sauce), which she raved about. She also took about half of it home, lol! I had one of their wine flights – 3 sample sized glasses of the Kris pinot grigio 2002, Teruzzi & Puthod Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2002 and Sterling Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2003. Of them I really liked the first 2, and was ok with the 3rd. I ended up ordering a 2nd glass of othe pinot grigio. For my meal I had the Cotoletta di Vitello alla Milanese (medallions of veal lightly breaded and pan fried, served with arugula and shaved parmigiana) and it was also excellent! It cut with a fork, it was so tender. The entire meal was wonderful, and well worth the $80 with tip.

After dinner we stopped at the Fresh Market to see how it compared to ours in Ft Myers, and Sheila got the black jelly beans she likes. From there we went to the mall, since I needed to buy her birthday gift. As we’re walking through she mentions she needs to go in Bath & Body to get something, and I told her “no you don’t”. She was wanting to go get exactly what I was planning to get her for her birthday <g>. She backed off, and went to another store while I went in and did my shopping, lol.

We returned to the resort and put the leftovers in the refrigerator, then decided to go for a walk over to Shelter Cove. We poked through the shops, and I got a call from Chris letting me know there had been a problem with the crotchety old man across the street and Chris had called the police to file a report on the guy. I’d prefer everyone just get along, but this guy is getting out of hand – so we’ll see how it all plays out. I talked to SB for a while, and when it started to rain Sheila & I headed back to the resort!

She poured some wine and watched tv in the living room while I updated the report and watched American Idol in my room. Since SB was at the hotel, we instant messaged earlier than expected, which was nice.

Today was another good day – relaxing but not boring. Michael Anthony’s will definitely be on our list next time, although I do want the early bird because I really liked what was on that menu better than the regular menu! Tomorrow I’ll only jog a mile, and we’re hoping for some sunny weather to get back to the pool for at least a couple of hours. We’re also meeting friends for dinner, which will be fun.

DAY 4 WEDNESDAY APRIL 13, 2005:

Who: Sue (me - 46), DVC Member

Sheila (45), Frequent Travel Companion

Plan: Bikes, Jogging, Beach, Pool, Eat Out

Actual: Once again I did not set the alarm because I didn’t want to be “woken up”. I wanted to wake up on my own, but wanted it to be early. The result was I kept waking up all night starting about 4am, which is NOT what I wanted, lol! I may have to rethink this “no alarm” policy so I can get some sleep <g>! I was up and out the door by 7, doing just a 1-mile loop through Shelter Cove. Running from building 18 to the end of the dock/path over there is exactly 1 mile round trip. I took a quick shower and dressed, then we headed out on our bikes for breakfast around 8.

It was cloudy and overcast, and way more humid than I initially realized. We rode to Signe’s, and for me it was a little chilly since I was dressed for much warmer weather. Signe’s is small but really cute. It’s a bakery and café, with an adorable little room with some tables – decorated with flowers, hats, and other stuff. Sheila had the blueberry French toast and I went with the deep dish French toast. They were basically the same thing, except hers had blueberries baked into it. It came with some sausage that was really good (SB would have loved it) and fresh fruit. We were stuffed when we got out of there, but we really enjoyed the food. I freaked out when I happened to glance in the mirror – after the ride in the humidity I was having a REALLY bad hair day! Sheila had chosen to not say anything, knowing there wasn’t anything I could do about it – a paper sack over my head with holes for my eyes and mouth would have been a big improvement <g>.

We paid for breakfast and rode back to the resort. First thing I did was wash/condition my hair, lol! Housekeeping had already come by to do the trash/towel service, and had reported one of our phones wasn’t working. It really was – I was just online so that’s why they didn’t hear a dial tone. Maintenance showed up with a new phone, but I told him we didn’t need it <g>. SB & I instant messaged for a while, then Sheila & I just hung out in the villa waiting for it to warm up. I made some cappuccino to warm me – she added a sweatshirt over her jeans. Eventually the sun started breaking through, and shortly after 11 we decided it was time to ride our bikes over to the Beach House.

It was really warm when we got there – a perfect day, and hardly anyone around. As we put our stuff on a couple of lounge chairs a cast member came over and told us the pool was closed. I said that’s ok, as long as the sun isn’t closed – we’d only be using the sun. He said the chairs were closed too. I uttered a mild curse word, was pissed but didn’t want to take it out on him, when he laughed & said he was just kidding us! Later he told us there was a charge for the sun - $10 per hour. From that point whenever he’d walk by I’d say “ka-ching, ka-ching” and call him cash register guy, lol. Eventually lots of other people arrived, but we set up camp away from the fountain area so we were in relative peace & quiet. People with little kids tend to stay by the fountain play area, which is what we were right next to last time.

Sheila got some chips and salsa for lunch, but I wasn’t hungry for anything. We did some reading, spent some time in the pool, and just relaxed. SB called a couple of times – I believe his part of the conversation went along the lines of “you’re STILL laying on your ### by the pool??? Some of us have to work for a living”, lol! He did shame me into not laying on my butt any longer – I got up and sat my butt at the bar and had a delicious frozen drink <g>. Sheila got the Beach House Colada today, which is pina colada with mango. I got the Banana Cabana, which I think is my new favorite drink. It’s not strong, but it’s yummy! I left to ride back to the resort around 3:15 or so, and Sheila arrived back about 4. It ended up being a gorgeous day! I downloaded the photos she took at the pool, updated the report, and relaxed a while before taking another shower.

We have plans for dinner with Josh & Dann tonight, and there’s a good chance they’ll be here earlier than we originally planned, so we want to be ready. Around 5:30 we sat in the rocking chairs on the porch and chatted until SB’s game began on the internet at 6. I rigged the laptop up next to the open door so I could hear what was going on. Unfortunately the game started well but the guys sort of fizzled out later, resulting in a loss.

Sheila & I drove over to meet Josh & Dann at Guiseppe’s, and we were seated immediately. I hadn’t seen them in several trips, so it was really nice to have this time to spend together. We had a great dinner – Dann had the Veggie Wedgie (love that name), Josh had soup and a stuffed meat pizza, while Sheila & I shared a stuffed cheese pizza. Stuffed pizza is pizza that has crust on the top and bottom, with extra cheese & stuff inside. I guess it’s like 2 pizzas, and it was quite good. We had plenty of leftovers, too. Josh & Dann joined us at the resort after dinner. We wandered around, thankful the weather was so much better than predicted (it was not raining). We took a couple of photos, and sat talking in the villa for a while over an ice cream dessert. I caught the final score of the game and was disappointed for SB that they lost.

Just after Josh & Dann left to drive home, SB called so we talked for the last time tonight. Cell phones aren’t allowed on the team bus, and he had a 4.5 hour ride ahead of him, so this was it for today. Sheila & I retired to our own bedrooms, calling an end to the day.

Today was another great day. The bad hair experience at breakfast was the low point, lol! Actually it was probably worse for anyone who happened to see me and wondered what the hell was wrong with me to go out in public with such bad hair! The breakfast place was a great find (thanks Maria & Pat), the afternoon weather was ideal, and we both enjoyed the evening with Dann & Josh. Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be awful – will we get lucky 2 days in a row??

DAY 5 THURSDAY APRIL 14, 2005:

Who: Sue (me - 46), DVC Member

Sheila (45), Frequent Travel Companion

Plan: Bikes, Jogging, Beach, Pool, Eat Out

Actual: Today was originally supposed to be rainy and cold all day, then as of last night it looked like the rain was downgraded to “occasional showers”. The temperature was only expected to go from a low of 52 to a high of 57 though, with a north wind – not exactly the right weather for laying by the pool! I started waking up at 5, but ended up falling asleep again until almost 7:30. At that point I got up and dressed for jogging – but came back to change into a warmer shirt once I stepped outside! It was quite cold, and the north wind didn’t help. I did the 2-mile Fuddrucker’s loop and returned to find Sheila doing laundry for us. I gave her my stuff and took my shower while she got the 2nd load started.

After breakfast we headed over to Big Murgie’s Den and played a few games of pool. Nobody else was there, which was great! They’re doing construction outside and eventually that noise became tiresome, so we left after 3 games. We stopped at the store, and the clerk told us Gordon was off today & tomorrow <g>. I’ll have to email him to thank him for the wine. We both bought some stuff at the store, then walked back to the villa in time for SB’s game on the internet.

Unfortunately they lost the game again. I sent SB a quick text message that he’d get after his shower, then Sheila & I headed out to find our lunch destination. We had chosen Sea Grass Grille, which we knew we’d seen while riding our bikes. We ended up missing it and having to turn around – it ended up being almost directly across the highway from the resort! SB called as we walked in the door – I figured he’d call before we actually ordered or got our food. We were seated right away, and it was a cute little place with a large selection of wines. Service was excellent, and it’s definitely a place we’d return to. Sheila had a cup of the she-crab soup, which she said was outstanding. I had a glass of a Riesling I’d never heard of, and it was also excellent. For our meals she got the wrap of the day, which was mostly duck. It sounded interesting, but it was too spicy for her and she only ate half. They ended up not charging us for it, insisting if she didn’t like it she shouldn’t have to pay. I had the Carolina Tomato Pie, which was like a quiche but without the eggs. It was layers of tomatoes, gruyere, mozzarella & parmesan cheeses with fresh basil. It was unusual, but very good. For dessert we had to share the chocolate pate, served with vanilla sauce and whipped cream. Omigod, was that good! We all but licked the damn plate <g>.

After lunch we stopped at Piggly Wiggly before returning to the resort. We went to Big Murgie’s to play pool, but it was full of people. There were people playing pool, several pre-school children playing at the coffee table, some guy sprawled out on the couch, and some women milling around. It was way too crowded for us – so we went back to the villa and figured we might try it again later. Sheila poured herself some wine and I updated the report while we watched General Hospital. I ended up spending most of the show talking to SB, but I can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing (well, at least anything else while we’re 1000 miles apart <g>). Around 4:45 Sheila & I headed back to Big Murgie’s to try our luck at playing pool again.

This time nobody else was there, and we played several games. Eventually we were getting too silly to even hit the balls, never mind hitting them into an empty pocket. We returned to the villa sometime after 6, and just chilled out there (with some wine) for the rest of the evening. It was too cold/windy to do anything outdoors, and with our lunch today neither of us wanted to go to a restaurant for any dinner. Her wine sent her to bed early <g> and I stayed up talking to SB on the phone until I was ready to call it a night.

Although we didn’t do much today it was a nice relaxing day. We would have preferred warmer weather and less wind, but it’s not unreasonable to expect bad weather once in a while, and it won’t ruin the vacation. Lunch at Sea Grass Grille was good, and it’s a place we’d visit on future trips. Tomorrow is our last day – we’re hoping it won’t be as cold and windy as predicted!

DAY 6 FRIDAY APRIL 15, 2005:

Who: Sue (me - 46), DVC Member

Sheila (45), Frequent Travel Companion

Plan: Bikes, Jogging, Beach, Pool, Eat Out

Actual: Today was the first day I didn’t wake up earlier than necessary – I slept until 6:45 and got up shortly after that. With the 20-30 mph north wind the wind chill temperature was only 40 degrees, unfortunately. I dressed for jogging and headed out, but ended up only doing the 1-mile loop through Shelter Cove. I was somewhat disappointed with myself for wimping out, but I knew I’d have to run into the strong wind the entire way back from the Beach House. When I got back, Sheila was up. I showered & dressed, and we had some cappuccino while hanging around the villa. SB was expecting a wake-up call from me at 9, and it was easier to just stay in the villa until after that.

Right after that call Sheila & I walked over to Tide Me Over, located next to the shop. We each ordered an egg breakfast sandwich and we ate them at a table in the sun down at the Big Dipper pool. It was less windy down there as opposed to upstairs on the deck, and it was almost comfortable. After breakfast we saw our downstairs neighbors moving out and had to stifle a cheer! In all my trips to Hilton Head I’ve never encountered such sourpuss people, with screaming whiny kids (that they just let scream even at 6am). Sheila was especially glad to see them go, as she was the one woken up by their screaming. They also slammed the doors constantly – the outside door and cabinets. We decided to have a little immature fun and went stomping up the stairs a few times, let our door slam, and open/shut the kitchen cabinets rather noisily. We should have thought to do this at 2am some day, but we didn’t. <g>

We walked over to Live Oak Lodge and found Big Murgie’s Den empty. We spent an hour or so playing pool, and settled the charges that were on the account since we’d be leaving before the express checkout arrived. Eventually we tired of playing pool – Sheila was misbehaving with the balls and I was missing even simple shots – so we decided we had better stop before we really got stupid!

It felt a little bit warmer, so we changed into swimsuits and drove the car over to the Beach House. We got there about 11:30 and it was sheltered enough at the pool that it was comfortable laying in the sun. We stayed until almost 3pm, and it was a beautiful afternoon. I talked to SB a couple times, before his workday really got started. Sheila & I each got one last frozen drink – Beach House Colada for her, Banana Cabana for me. With the wind the beach was pretty chilly, and the waves were breaking more. We went down to take a look, but it was too cool for us to even leave the wooden boardwalk thing.

Back at the villa we both packed, showered, and I updated the report while watching General Hospital. Tonight we’re trying another place that’s new to us – Juniper Café. We decided to try their early bird, which runs from 5 to 5:45. The restaurant is located inside Pineland Station, which is near the entrance to the island (near Walmart, Publix and Atlanta Bread). We found it easily, and were delighted to find it’s another small, attractive restaurant. In warmer weather they have outdoor dining next to the duck pond and water wheel – very nice.

We both ordered off the early bird menu, but the regular menu looked great, too! The early bird is $13.95 for wine, soup or salad, entrée and dessert. Sheila had a merlot, tossed salad and a shrimp parmesan pasta dish in a cream sauce. She said it was very good. I had a pinot grigio, Caesar salad and the veal piccata. Everything was excellent, and the veal was a small enough portion that I ate the whole thing! Dessert was ice cream, but we both passed on that. Service was efficient and very friendly – overall we’d be happy to return here in the future.

After dinner we drove to the Beach House and walked on the beach for just over an hour for one last time. It was a beautiful night, but I was anxious to get back to the villa so I could catch most of SB’s game on the internet. We returned our bicycles to the recreation area, then went back to the villa. I turned the game on, and finished packing up before relaxing the rest of the evening until SB called.

Today turned out to be a much better day than we expected, in terms of weather. We were both happy to have one more pool day, and to find another great dinner spot. I’m going to hate leaving tomorrow!

DAY 7 SATURDAY APRIL 16, 2005:

Who: Sue (me - 46), DVC Member

Sheila (45), Frequent Travel Companion

Plan: Drive home, Lunch at WDW

Actual: I’d set the alarm for 5:30 and didn’t wake up until then. I took a quick shower, had some cappuccino and yogurt, and spent a little time online. We were on the road by 7, sad to be leaving the island. I called SB to wake him up at 9:30, and found he’d woken up early and was almost ready to get out on the field to work with some of his guys before their afternoon game. Traffic was fairly light, and we were in Florida by 9:15, arriving at WDW around noon. We parked at the Marketplace and went directly to Earl of Sandwich. The line was long, but it only took about 25 minutes from the time I entered the line to when we had our sandwiches. We both ordered the caprese, and in retrospect should have just shared one since we both took most of the 2nd half home. It was a beautiful sunny day, so we ate outside where it’s a little quieter.

After lunch we stopped at Ghiradelli but they didn’t have what I was looking for. Sheila bought some chocolate for someone’s birthday gift, then we were on the road again. Except for some traffic between WDW and Lakeland, it was smooth sailing! I was home in time to catch the end of SB’s game, and had time to unpack most of my stuff before heading out for a baseball game.

SUMMARY:

Overall this was a terrific trip for both of us. We’ve traveled together a lot over the past 10 years or so, and it always goes well. I really enjoyed starting the trip with a weekend with SB, even though he’d left for the season only 3 days prior. Those were 3 long days, lol! Our next visit in May seems so far away – thank heaven for cell phones and the internet.

Flying into Savannah was really easy – it’s a great airport, and then it’s not too far of a drive to get to Hilton Head. The resort was fabulous, and I can’t wait to get back again in the future. We had great weather except for 1 day, and batted 1000 on all of our restaurant picks. Everyone we encountered was very friendly, providing excellent service. Spending an evening with Josh & Dann was a nice treat, and Sheila liked them both.

At this point my next trip report trip is Memorial Day weekend, to Disney’s Vero Beach Resort for 4 nights. I’m booked at WDW (Saratoga Springs) over 4th of July weekend, but may cancel that in favor of adding a weekend in CT with SB to break up the time between our June & July visits. At this point the idea of being in WDW wishing I was with him is not as attractive as flying up to spend time with him – I’ll miss WDW less!

Sue Holland
WDW1972@aol.com

 


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