Sun. May 21, 2017:
Charleston to Beaufort, SC
The warm cinnamon was just as I had dreamt and been expecting: awesome. We were in no rush to leave so I could eat my breakfast and watch TV, Say Yes To The Dress (SYTTD) just so happened to be on. We drove to Kaiwah Island resort to have lunch at the Ryder Cup Bar, overlooking the ocean and part of the PGA golf course. When we got to the resort we were given a map of the grounds. I could not for the life of me find the restaurant. We had to pull over and Brent took over looking at the map. It was not just me, the map was terrible and did not have the restaurant or the golf course it overlooked. I was vindicated. We had to use Brent’s work phone to navigate us there. It was definitely worth the hassle as the view was stunning. We sat on the terrace overlooking a practice green and behind it, the ocean. The cool ocean breeze was just a bonus.
I couldn’t resist ordering the jalapeno margarita, it was delicious and just the right amount of spicy. I ordered the crab-cake, expecting the usual. I was not expecting it to be between two buns with unnecessary lettuce and a tomato. I tossed them to the side of the plate and asked Brent if he wanted a side salad. We walked around on the veranda afterwards looking at the views. It had taken us almost 20 minutes to drive there from the gate entrance so we were going to enjoy it.
As we drove to Beaufort we saw our first armadillo- alas it was dead so it doesn’t really count. We passed a sign for the Carolina Cider Co. it got me all excited with their promise of peach cider. What they failed to mention was that it was non-alcoholic cider. Who does that?! And there was no sign of the promised pecan pie.
We checked in at the Rhett House Inn and once again, southern hospitality prevailed. Free sweet tea and cookies! And later they would be serving a cheese plate and free pecan pie in the evening! I was all for this new lifestyle. We walked to a nearby market to restock on drinks. We feared it would not be open because it was Sunday and we had been warned that on Sundays liquor stores are closed. Our hotel didn’t even serve alcohol, it was self-serve and based on honesty. For an early dinner we drove to the Gullah Grub Restaurant. It was like 4pm and we were the only people in there. The service was great, the owner’s young daughter was taking our orders and it was adorable because she was so careful in writing down exactly what we said, spelling it all out. I ordered two small dishes of their specialties: fried mac and cheese and the shrimp gumbo. I swear the mac and cheese had some egg baked into it to hold its shape. The cornbread was still warm from the oven. I had a bite of Brent’s BBQ ribs and they were amazing, they had sauce and rub and were so meaty and juicy. On the side I had “swamp water” which was a much better name for the Arnold Palmer i.e.: lemonade and iced tea.
We drove to Hunting Island with the hope of spending the rest of the day hiking and to see a lighthouse. Alas the park was closed due to damage from a hurricane last year. The only things that were open were the nature/visitor’s centre and part of the pier. We got to see some turtles and snakes in terrariums and the damaged pier overlooking the salt marsh. Brent was reading the info panel on the pier and it pointed out an osprey nest, we looked up and sure enough, there was an osprey sitting in a giant nest atop a pole. We walked over for a closer view and it started to soar. As we drove away we saw that there was another osprey still sitting on the nest. We also learned that we had not seen ibises earlier but egrets.
Back at the hotel we could see that a storm was brewing and we could hear thunder. But the second floor porch was covered and there was a nice breeze. We sat there reading, I wrote in my book while sipping sweet tea (that I had to mix with unsweetened because it is unbelievable how sweet the sweet tea down south is). We were basically counting down until it was time for pie. I could smell it baking earlier and I was super excited. We watched Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, I downed a terrible Angry Orchard cider, as we awaited pie o’clock.
The pecan pie was amazing!!! There was also incredible key lime pie and after one bite of Brent’s awesome chocolate cake I could not resist cutting myself a tiny slice- they were all so good!!! We went for a short walk afterwards, the rain had stopped and the air was fresh. We walked over to St. Helena’s Cemetery, we saw a woodpecker and a blue jay. There was so much Spanish moss on the trees and it was all so pretty. When we got back to the hotel almost all the baked goods were gone, it’s a good thing we had gone early. We spent the rest of the evening watching Netflix, my poor sore feet needed a rest. The blisters were driving me nuts. In the morning I had grabbed an orange from the hotel and it was the perfect evening snack.