I love the beach. I really do. I love beach vacations where your whole family piles onto the sand with beach chairs and coolers and sodas and you spend hours out there. I love walking as far down the beach as you can, ankle-deep in ocean and keeping an eye out for treasures like starfish or horseshoe crab skeletons. I love standing still and squinting out as far as you can see and thinking about how vast and beautiful God is.
But the thing is, when I’m going to Hilton Head, I don’t necessarily think that I’m going to the beach, but rather that I’m going to Mama Kaye and Papa Joe’s house, and the beach – just down the path behind the house – as an added bonus.
And so, today, here are five ordinary Hilton Head things that I can look forward to and are a part of the time I spend on the island:
- MK and PJ’s house: MK and PJ have lived here my whole life. When I was five, the week before we moved to England, I split my chin open on the stairs in this house and had to get stitches. The house has been remodeled, and that staircase actually isn’t there anymore, but there’s the screened-in porch upstairs with a hammock swing, and the comfy chairs perfect for reading in front of the huge window (which you could see the beach from if it weren’t for the trees), and the ‘library’…and just being here is the best.
- Bike rides: PJ and MK have these perfectly old, rusting beach riders – the kind that you backpedal to brake – that Linnea and I ride all over the plantation daily when we’re here. The sidewalks wind past golf courses, beneath trees dangling Spanish moss like forgotten scraps of lace and near ponds where you might chance to see an alligator. And today I fell off my bike. No further comment.
- Dinner: MK always cooks meals like tuna steaks with blueberry mustard sauce. And they are always delicious. We eat late here, around 8, and all meander upstairs to the kitchen about half an hour before that and eat appetizers as we watch Mama Kaye finish up cooking. We sit around the dinner table for a long time, and have coffee and dessert there too. It’s lovely.
- Kenny B’s and Coligny: The place Linnea and I always have to go when we’re on the island is a hole-in-the-wall N’awlins-style place called Kenny B’s, where we eat huuuge blackened shrimp po’boys and she-crab soup. (Although I believe I’ve told you about this before.) We usually head over to wander through the boardwalk –style touristy beach stores at Coligny. And it makes it even more typical when we drive Matilda, the twenty-year-old, formerly-brown-now-Kentucky-blue beast of a truck I often drive when I’m here…
- TV: I don’t have cable at home – and I don’t want cable at home – but there’s just something about being here that means I spend a lot of time watching completely pointless television (like Say Yes to the Dress, which is on right now…), which I never would any other time. And you know what? It’s kind of nice to do that for a few days. And then return to my cable-less worlds.
And this is exactly a description of my weekend :]