I ❤️ HHI

The first month of our honeymoon is almost over and soon we will really get started on this adventure. We’re looking forward to being on the road, experiencing new places, and seeing a lot of what this country has to offer. But before that begins, we decided to soak in the last couple days we have on Hilton Head Island. Preparing meals in a kitchen, watching (a huge) television from a couch, having a private bathroom, we’re appreciating all of these modern conveniences and comforts that are so easily taken for granted but we will soon be going without. This house has been really good to us, and it’s served as a great home base to explore the island.

Hilton Head has miles of bike paths and we’ve covered most of them this month, but one of the few places we hadn’t visited yet was the Coastal Discovery Museum. We made some PBJs, got geared up and hit the road. My Fitbit (Kate’s Christmas present to me) says we covered the 3.7 miles in 32 minutes, and while it counts as “active” time the flat, well-paved trip never got my heart rate into the “cardio” zone. I turned off the tracker, but I bet my beats per minute peaked the moment I realized I hadn’t brought the key to the bicycle lock, which was a moment after we locked the bikes together to the bike stand.

We sat in rocking chairs on the sunny porch and debated our next move. I definitely recommended navigating your next minor crisis on a porch rocker. We decided to we could take a Lyft back to the house, then drive back and pick up the bikes. But first we were going to enjoy our time at the museum.

The Coastal Discovery Museum provides a surprisingly good blend of art, history, and nature. The featured exhibit inside was a series of paintings by generations of a local family, and it was interest seeing the related but different hands and eyes at work. Out back a boardwalk extended into the lazy tidal creek and the salt marshes that define this area.

20 large scale sculptures dotted the sprawling grounds as well. I particularly liked this one, “Earth Embracing the Sky”

I think our favorite was probably the monumental “Portal” that greeted us just inside the entrance:

There was also a camellia garden with over a hundred varieties. Apparently they bloom over the winter, since it is almost February and most of the bushes were covered in flowers. It was fascinating to see the variety of flowers, and the variety of names like Black Magic, Winter Waterlily, Fire Falls, and many presumably bearing their breeder’s moniker like the Professor Charles S. Sargent’s. Human ingenuity is incredible; I felt like I was standing at the edge of a world of horticulture that I knew nothing about. I didn’t even know that tea is a form of Camellia, and we just visited a tea plantation the other day. You could spend your whole life studying a single plant and still have more to discover.

We got the Lyft back to the house and learned a bit about neighboring Daufuskie Island from our driver. Then we went back to the museum in the Versa to pick up the bikes, which almost fit in the back if you tie the hatch down. Then back to the house for a home cooked meal and a night indoors while we still can.

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