Julie Price -- November 1999 -- Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort
Group - DVC Members and their Family
Accommodations - Hilton Head DVC Resort - 2 bedroom
Date of Trip - 11/24/99 - 11/29/99
Transport - Car, Plane
This was a quick holiday weekend trip to Hilton Head. We left Wednesday morning very early to avoid traffic and in an attempt to arrive at HHI in the afternoon. We arrived around 3:30 ET and were able to check into our 2 bedroom right away. What a great feeling to be back! We love it so much here and really consider ourselves fortunate to have such a wonderful home away from home. This is truly how we feel about this resort. With this being our 4th visit to the area, we are now very comfortable here - knowing where most everything is located and it just feels like home! They were unable to put us in the building that I requested, but we were close to the pool and the hot cider and delicious cranberry/nut cookies that they were serving at check-in really hit the spot and made us happy just to be here ; - )
We drove over to building 20, noticing that the lack of parking spaces seemed to support the fact that they told us the resort was booked to capacity. After unloading the car quickly, we decided to go to the outlet mall in an attempt to replace some golf items that my husband needed. OT - his golf clubs were stolen last week while he was in Las Vegas on business. This was a major tragedy for him, golf is his life! Fortunately, the resort that mishandled his golf bag was very generous in compensation. Anyway, he found some great shoes for $100 (reg. $250) and a couple of gloves, plus a ducky head cover for the new set of clubs that he just bought Sydney. The kids and I checked out the Disney outlet. Pretty bare, but I did manage to get a Tigger Rugby shirt for $9.99 (reg. $48) and a watch that I LOVE. It is a collector’s edition with a sepia tone Sleeping Beauty Castle on the face and a tiny Mickey in the corner. It was $63 (reg. $85).
We also have to always make a stop at Harry & David for some yummy snacks. We bought some citrus cookies, chips and salsa. Later in the trip we cleaned this place out when my Mom joined us. Their relishes, butters and salsas are just to die for!
After shopping, we headed back to the island and stopped at “Big Bad Wolf BBQ” for dinner. This was a great start to our vacation. We love the ribs here. They are dry roasted, covered with spices and then you choose which wet sauce you want to use while eating them. We found the best to be the house sauce and hot sauce in equal shares with a little of the N. Carolina mustard sauce mixed in. Sitting there, relaxing and sipping our “sweet tea” (unheard of up North - we associate this with being in the South) we once again found ourselves so lucky to be here. The Southern hospitality and gentility is truly incredible on the island. I want to live there permanently!
After dinner, we ran to Piggly Wiggly to pick up some grocery items and then headed back to the resort to unpack and hit the hot tub. Met a nice family who are DVC members from FL. They were there with about 10 of their family members - very nice! I love meeting other members and chatting with them. They are the nicest people and we always have so much in common!
We were glad to see that Dwayne is still an activities CM and he had to shoo us out of the hot tub since it was closing time. We went back to the room to relax and prepare for my parents who were arriving on Thanksgiving Day.
Day 2 -
Slept in and had a leisurely breakfast in the room. Nathan left at 9:30 to pick up my parents at the Savannah airport. What a beautiful day! 70 degrees and sunny - perfect to us Northerners.
At 11:30 a.m. the kids and I ventured out to pick up our dinner from “Tide Me Over”. For $89.95, they offered a complete turkey dinner with all the trimmings - praline sweet potatoes, rolls/butter, green bean casserole, stuffing and pumpkin pie. We added some mashed potatoes and gravy and were set! The turkey was delicious - we opted for the marinated and deep fried turkey. I heated everything up so that once my parents arrived, we were able to have a late lunch. After lunch, the guys watched football while the kids and I took my Mom on a walking tour of the resort. She was impressed with Hilton Head and with the Shelter Cove area.
We had a phone message waiting for us when we returned. Some friends of ours left the previous weekend and thought they might end up in Hilton Head. Well, they did and were staying at The Westin. We called them and made arrangements to meet with them the next night for dinner.
We drove my parents over to the beach house to take a look around. It was low tide and the beach was the widest that I have ever seen it with many tide pools. Syd played in the sand and water for awhile and then we headed back to the room. After nibbling on turkey and leftovers, Zac and my mom went down to play ping-pong. We agreed to meet them for the 7:00 p.m. campfire. When we showed up at 6:50 p.m., we could not believe the crowd! Last time we were here there was 75% less people - it was packed out. We decided to watch the crown from above - by the Mercantile. My Mom and the kids had front row seats by the fire and it was fun watching the group sing and have a great time. Sensing an impending stampede to the caramel apples that were to be offered, we headed back to the room to wait for Mom and the kids there. Another relaxing evening in the room - sat out on the porch to watch the incredible moon. Does it get any better than this?
Day 3 -
After another leisurely morning, Nathan headed off to Palmetto Dunes to golf. We decided to hit the outlet malls. It was a ZOO! They had police outside on Hwy. 278 directing traffic. Evidently, some of the stores opened at 5:30 a.m. and they told us that there were lines of people waiting to get in at that time of the morning. While we shopped (some good deals at the Tommy Hilfiger store), my Dad went to Gold’s Gym to workout. We met him about 2 hours later with our arms full of Harry & David bags - my Mom could not resist their goodies.
We headed back to the island after braving our way through the traffic. After a quick detour to Starbuck’s for some coffee, we went to Wexford for my annual stop at Island Child. I have mentioned in previous trip reports that this boutique has the most beautiful children’s clothes that I have ever seen. Just incredible. I bought Sydney a purple velvet coat with matching hat and a new dress for spring. My Mom bought her an adorable embroidered ballerina sweater (she just started ballet this year and loves it!) and a floral legging with swing top. I love looking at the beautiful dresses here, but $450 and up for a child’s dress is a little more than I will pay - although I certainly appreciate the craftsmanship of these gorgeous clothes.
We drove around the island a little more and then headed back to the room. Nathan finished golfing around 2:00 p.m. and we decided to walk over to look in the shops at Shelter Cove before meeting our friends at “Kingfisher” for dinner. I love walking around Shelter Cove, it has a bit of a Mediterranean feel. And, I could go crazy over the nautical and tropical décor items in the shops. Nathan found a Mickey golf clock that he had to have for his den. It was another beautiful night - so we just enjoyed walking around and looking at the boats in the marina.
We arrived at “Kingfisher” at 5:15 p.m. and met our friends who were waiting for us. It was a pleasant surprise to have them visiting the island the same time as we were. We all had the early bird special for $14.50 (she-crab soup or salad, entrée of fried seafood or prime rib and chocolate pecan pie). The food was average. This is our second visit here and I don’t think that we’ll be back anytime soon. We did enjoy the Jazz trio that was playing.
After our leisurely dinner, we walked back to the resort and visited most of the evening. They left around 9:30 p.m. since they were returning home early in the morning and we turned in early.
Day 4 -
Another morning of golf for Nathan - this time at Hilton Head National. We had a leisurely morning at the room (my son has become addicted to the “Food Channel” and to Emeril Lagasse in particular), and then headed to the pool. It was apparent that many were heading home today, so there was hardly anyone around the pool. Another beautiful day and once again we met a really nice member from Michigan. She had a 7-year-old daughter who played with Syd for hours in the pool. Sydney even worked up the courage to go down the Big Dipper. Once she tried it, you couldn’t keep her off it! They had a great time and we enjoyed the relaxation of just sitting around and enjoying the day. In the early afternoon we tried a crab cake sandwich from “Tide Me Over”. Around 3:00 p.m., we headed back to the room to do some laundry and get ready for dinner. We struggled over where to eat tonight. After looking through numerous menus, we decided to go to “Steamers” in Coligny Plaza. The buckets of “mud bugs” (crayfish) and shrimp appealed to us. We arrived around 5:30 p.m. and by 6:145 or so this place was packed with locals (a good sign). It was excellent and will definitely be on our “must-do” list next time. Nathan, Zac and Syd started with the “mud bugs” (none for me thank you!), while I had fresh shrimp and my parents shared a crab dip. Both my Mom and I had Jekyll Island Shrimp - kind of like a scampi with crab - and a wonderful salad called “the wedge”. My Dad had the Callibouge Shrimp Casserole. Nathan had a Voodoo skillet that had blackened scallops, shrimp and sausage and Zac had the stuffed flounder. Mac & Cheese for Sydney. We were too stuffed for dessert, plus we had 2 Harry & David cheesecakes that we had to eat within the next few days. We headed back to the room for a game of Outburst and some more R & R.
Day 5 -
Today my parents were flying home, but not until early evening so we basically had another day together. My Dad drove to a health club that was fairly close (Disney offers coupons for $5 off day passes) in the morning, while we relaxed and finished some laundry. Sydney and I actually slept in until almost 9:30 a.m. today - unheard of for me. My Mom discovered that she had forgot about some lipstick in the pocket of her shorts and this left lovely red spot on all of the clothes that were in that load of laundry. We are still trying to get this out - any suggestions?
Around 11:00 a.m. we drove down to Sea Pines so that my parents could see the infamous lighthouse. I just hate paying $5 for the privilege of entering this plantation, though. But, we did see several gators sunning themselves along the banks of several ponds so that made us feel that it was somewhat worth the fee. We walked around the harbor area a little bit and the entire family except me decided to climb to the top of the lighthouse. Now I have done this before and while it looks like a short climb, it is never ending once you are in there. I stood at the bottom laughing as I could hear my Mother groaning re: how long it was taking!
We decided to head to Savannah since we had 2:30 p.m. reservations at our favorite restaurant there - “The Lady & Sons”. They have the absolute best southern food ever! We were a little early, so we drove around the squares and pointed out some of the landmarks from “Midnight”. When we arrived at the restaurant there was a huge line waiting outside and we were early, so we walked around the historic district and looked through some shops. We waited outside the restaurant about 15 more minutes while sipping iced water with lemons that was being served outside from a large bowl. It was worth the wait. Today, they had their wonderful fried chicken, mac & cheese, collard greens, green beans with potatoes, shepherd’s pie, backed spaghetti, and some other veggies including black eyed peas (yuck for me, but my Dad loved them). Their fresh lemonade is the best with half a lemon floating in it! If you are ever in Savannah, I highly recommend this restaurant. After we waddled out of there, we were ready for a nap but drove my parents to Bonaventure Cemetery (another “Midnight” spot) for a look around. This is an eerily beautiful place, but it kind of gives me the creeps.
We then headed to the airport to drop them off. Traffic back to HHI on I-95 was ridiculous. It made me very glad that we were not heading home today, the most heavily traveled day of the year.
We spent the evening packing, relaxing and trying to finish up some of the food that we had no plans on hauling back home.
We turned in early and left the resort at 6:00 a.m. the next morning in a blanket of fog, which was just as well since I wouldn’t be able to look back and lament the fact that we were leaving.
Misc. Thoughts -
As you can tell, we truly love this resort and the Hilton Head area. If you have any questions or need suggestions for dining, activities, golf, etc. please let me know - I would be happy to help out!