Amy H. Auburn, GA
Well at first we didn't think we were going to be able to go on any type of vacation. My husband lost his job. I am a parapro at a school in barrow county. My GREAT Mother in law booked us a room on the Island. We stayed 4 days. It was not long enough. It is a very beautiful Island. We didn't have much money all we did was play at the beach, we drove around to many different places, and just relaxed. I do have to say it was the best vacation we have ever had. Our children loved going also. I will always remember this trip.
Miranda D. Toms River, NJ
My husband and I met in 2002 in Augusta Ga. In 2003 I was introduced to their annual family vacation to Hilton Head Island. What a beautiful place! Every year generally the week before or week of Labor Day weekend the family gathers up their things and spends seven days on the island. His family had been doing this for years, it was a week in which they could all just relax and enjoy each other and as an added bonus my in-laws celebrate their wedding anniversary. In 2005 his parents decided to return home to their roots in Toms River, NJ. A year later we followed in their footsteps.
Still the annual vacation continued. The drive was a little longer but well worth. About the same time his parents returned to NJ my mother-in-law was diagnosed with multiple myeloma an awful bone cancer that she still battles today. To all of our dismay our 2008 family vacation was put on hold but a necessity in order to help her get better. By 2009 she felt well enough to make the journey however due to a broken ankle didn't enjoy it very much. That year our party grew a little more with friends in nearby SC and GA driving up to meet us and hang out.
This past August of 2010 her health had increased and we decided to take the vacation again. What a great trip it was! What had originally started as a family of four, mother, father and two sons has grown into a huge party. Last year our trip included my husband and I, his parents, my brother in law and his long time girlfriend, my grandparents, my best friend and her husband and daughter and a very good friend of my husbands. What a houseful! The whole week is beach, beer, fun and food. The boys like to compete in the kitchen to see who creates the best dinners, the girls like to hit the outlets and we all spend time on the beach playing can jam, bache ball, Frisbee, flying kites you name it. At night we play cards, tell stories and sometimes hit the town. Our suitcases consist of shorts, tank tops and swimsuits but our vehicles are always packed to the rim full of games, food, and really good drinks. Everyone who comes goes out of their way to bring with only the best wine, beer, meat, and breads they could find. The once small family event has turned into an unbelievable party and I look forward to it every year. I am truly blessed to have become part of such a wonderful family tradition, we all absolutely love HHI. It is peaceful, clean, and quite island that gives us time to enjoy being a family. Our days are not packed with itineraries, and schedules but relaxation and fun with those we love the most.
Karen H. York, SC
Annual get away. We visit two or more times every year and it does not matter what time of year it is, always feels like coming home. Spring Break was pure sun and fun. Parasailling, fishing, biking, casual meals in, great meals out. Fantabulous!
Gary G. Hilton Head Island, SC
This was the first time my grandkids were to the beach.They(quads) were 26 months old at the time.We stayed at a very nice and spacious condo at Palmetto Dunes.Was close to the beach and pool.We were right on the golf course which I enjoyed.Would do it again in a heart beat but this time I'd like to have all 9 of my grandkids go.
Bruce O. Aurora, Ontario
I have personally visited Hilton Head Island a number of times. They have all been with the golf buddies. We would fly from Toronto to Charlotte or Atlanta, change planes and fly into Savannah or Hilton Head itself. We were there for one thing and that was golf. It was usually late April and the weather at home would be somewhat uncomfortable for golf. One of the golf buddies has a timeshare at Shipyard and that became the base of operations. The intent was a serious overdose of golf. We would play 36 holes per day almost every day. For sure we would play 18 holes but as the week ended, fatigue started to take it's toll.
Every time that I came home, I would tell my family stories of the great restaurants and golf courses. I would also mention that there was beaches and quaint shopping areas but we typically would not go to those places, that was against the intent.
In 2010, the golf buddies could not decide on a time that everyone could make it for the annual trip. There were obligations at work or family that just did not make it work. Not wanting to be deprived of my HHI experience, I suggested that we make it a family trip. Everyone was on board with the idea. We would make it an adventure and drive instead of fly.
I reviewed various online resources for a rental property. There would only be my wife and 15 year old daughter and myself going, but we did not want to be cramped. I always liked the Shipyard plantation as it was central on the island; close to Coligny and it was a sentimental favourite. We settled on one of the Tennis Master units - a nice 3 bedroom unit. Lots of room and great amenities. The booking process was flawless. As we are in Canada, the checkin package could not be mailed but all we had to do was call while we driving and it would be ready to pickup at the lock box. With everything booked, we just had to wait.
Finally the day arrived. We left our suburban Toronto area house late on a Friday afternoon and headed for the border. By 9:30 that night, we stopped just south of Pittsburgh for the night. Looking forward to the next morning.
Saturday morning, we left our hotel by 8 and started through the mountains of West Virginia. As we left, we took a photo of the dash-board thermometer - it read 11 degrees C (just over 50 F). The sights were amazing as we twisted and turned through the hills. Nothing but green trees. At some point in the early after noon, we reached the last mountain in North Carolina. What you can see as you come down that long slope is nothing but the low county of the Carolinas. Next thing we know, we are passing through Charlotte and I realized that we were just a couple hours away. Our next task was to be on the look out for the first palm tree - that is when we knew we were there. We took another photo of the dashboard thermometer - 34 degrees C (almost 90 F) - this is what we are looking for after a cold winter. We called HHI Vacations and checked in - the package would be waiting for us.
The turn off of Interstate 95 and onto the road that takes you to the island is where I know we won't be long. You start to pass the golf courses that I have played (Sun City course, Island West, Rose Hill, etc.) and then the businesses that line the road. The memories came rushing back. My wife and daughter are taking it all in. As we approached the bridge to the island I rolled down the windows and told them to smell. I have always described the smell of Hilton Head as something slightly fishy, something salty and something floral. All of those together are the smell of Hilton Head.
Rather than taking the cross-island quick route, I took the slow route. Passing all of the plantation entrances, shopping centre entrances giving the first -timers a look at the island and it's ''main street''. We arrived at the rental office and picked up the package. Door codes, plantation passes, everything was there. We headed to Shipyard and our house (for the week).
Everyone was impressed with the house. Tons of room. Clean and everything that we were expecting based on the web site pictures. We quickly unpacked and decided that we needed to get some dinner and some basic supplies for the next morning.
My family were finally able to see and taste some of the great food that I have experienced before. Some of their favourite restaurants were Steamers and Sante Fe Cafe. My wife's absolute favourite was the Jazz Corner - we had a date night!
We played some golf, not as much as the golf buddies trip but we did things as a family that I have never done on the island before. We went to the beach (a couple of times); we used the amazing pool at Tennis Master almost every day; we went to South Beach and had lunch at the Salty Dog and we did a day trip to Savannah. We had one of the most relaxing vacations we've had in a long time. Just sitting on the deck at the house and watching people play the par 3 7th of Brigantine with a coffee in the morning was relaxing.
Our week was amazing. No bad weather until the drive home. Why the title ''No turning back now''? Well, it's become a slippery slope. We will have a hard time to not book a week of vacation every year in Hilton Head now. The family has seen the secrets that I have harboured after being with the golf buddies these years. A pandora's box has been opened. And how will I be allowed to go with the golf buddies and leave the family at home? Perhaps I will end up making two trips there a year?
From Wisconsin, we try to hit the ocean once a year, & we will not forget the year we picked Hilton Head Island (2008). We loved bike riding under the spanish moss, walking amist the bamboo to Harbour Town, crawling up to the top of the lighthouse, playing catch on the white sandy beach, and jumping in the ocean waves. Our family of 5 love Hilton Head Island & would jump at any chance to revisit!
My husband and I have been to Hilton Head Island 6 times in the past 10 years. Every year we would talk about bringing our children and grandchildren to this wonderful beach. It truly is the perfect beach for children as the surf is gentle and the tide pools are great for even the littlest beach visitor. The walking and bike paths are so enjoyable for all ages.
This past summer we made our dream come true. Our 6 little grandchildren had a blast, as you can see from the expression on their faces. To me this picture 'says it all' !!!
Kristi K. Lexington, KY
For the past three years, our annual family beach vacation has been at Hilton Head Island! We absolutely love it there and can't imagine a year going by without a week of enjoying everything that island has to offer. Our best memory is three years ago when my youngest daughter started walking while on the beach during our first trip to HHI. We have our favorite restaurants and our set things we have to do every year. We always rent bikes the first day...that it our favorite thing to do there as a family. We ride them everywhere but LOVE riding them on the beach! We always stay in Palmetto Dunes. It's like a 'campground' setting with its very own general store. We visit the store several times each stay but enjoy riding our bikes there on the last night to enjoy a delicious ice cream cone. We always rent the beach umbrellas/chairs by our condo for the week. Two years ago, I was blessed to have chosen chairs next to a wonderful family. She has become one of my best friends who I keep in contact all year long. HHI brought us together so now each year we try to plan our family vacations on the island since we don't live close. This past year we all went on a dolphin/sunset cruise together. HHI was also where my husband ate frog legs for the first time.
So many memories and happy times...a vacation that we enjoy every year and while there don't have a care in the world! I want my girls to grow up with so many memories of our family vacations there. Looking forward to HHI 2011...our reservations are already made!
Kenneth M. Soddy Daisy, Tennessee
Our vacations to Hilton Head Island have always been incredible and we love the family atmosphere - so much so that friends have joined us in making this our home away from home. In this picture our future daughter-in-law, now daughter-in-law joined us for a beautiful summer vaction. Indeed, the island has spoiled us with it's wonderful beaches, scenery, restaurants, entertainment and many other family activities. It's nice to drive just six hours away and feel like you've escape the rest of the world - soaking up the sun and being refreshed by the ocean breeze.
David V. Knoxville, Tennessee
When my girlfriend (now wife) and I met living in Atlanta, we started going to HHI a couple of times a year and fell in love with the Island. So much so that we decided to get married there. Our families are from all over the country and thought that HHI would be a great place to motivate then to come. We where married on June 5, 1999 on the beach. We had about 100 guests. The night before during the dinner the weather was perfect. During the wedding the wind had picked up creating a few funny moments for the brides dress. During the ceremony, the thing that was very memorable was that hotel and neighboring condo guests came on their baloneys all around the area looking down on the ceremony. During the ceremony we where oblivious to this but when the Minister pronounced us husband and wife they all let out a big cheer. It was incredibly touching and surprising. That is a moment I will never forget. We took some great pictures walking along the beach afterward and had a great reception.
We have been back several times but not in the past few years. We where able to bring our now 7 year old twins back when they where younger and show them the spot that 'mommy and daddy' got married. We went to Harbor town and there was a musician playing and the twins became quite the entertainment for the audience as they danced with the musician. They really wanted to go up to the top of the light house but they where to young. They where also to young for the kayak tour that I had went on in the bay area and saw several dolphins up close. We had many special moments riding bikes on the beach (they where in a two seater that I pulled) and going to the Salty Dog. I look forward to sharing all of the Island with them now that they are getting old enough to do those things and really appreciate them. The Island will always have a special place in the heart of my family.
I have came to Hilton Head Island for vacation a few times and I promise myself to never go on vacation anywhere else. It is amazing here, a perfect getaway! I recommend everyone to vacation here if I ever hear anyone speak of vacation destinations! I was lucky enough to bring my now 3 1/2 year old son here 2 times, once when he was about 9 months old and another time when he was almost 2 years old. He talks about the beach all the time he asolutely loved it there! He now has a baby brother that is 9 months old. I remember how much fun it was when Aiden was 9 months old I would love to experience Barron crawling and playing in the sand like I did with Aiden!!
Bill J. Ottawa, Ontario
We had always had a soft spot for the Atlantic coast. It started with a first anniversary trip to the Virginia Beach area.
As the family grew we started to look for a more family oriented retreat with a little less hustle and bustle, enough activities for everyone to enjoy where we could still enjoy the beautiful beaches on the coast. I had heard good things about the Hilton Head area and began my search to find suitable accommodations for a young family of four.
Well to cut a long story short, I was fortunate enough to have hit a home room the first time at bat. We ended up booking sight unseen a beautiful condo in Wendover Dunes through Resort Rentals of Hilton Head Island. The location was perfect. A semi private pool steps from the condo, and beautiful beach access a mere three minute walk away. The kids loved the fact that the fireworks at Shelter Cove were so close to our condo. My wife loved the quiet pool and beach proximity. I simply loved the island.
Every day there was something new to do. A trip to the Salty Dog Cafe. Exploring Palmetto Dunes. Checking out the amazing antique stores or a quick day trip into Georgia to see the sights.
That was six years ago. Since then we have happily made our annual eighteen hour pilgrimage from Canadas capital down to the island. We have extended our trip from one week to two weeks just to ensure we get the true pleasure of an amazing vacation. We still stay in Wendover Dunes, and still watch the fireworks every Tuesday night while in town. If you are looking for the ideal summer vacation spot this is it.
See you on the beach!
Michele R. Canton, OH
My Husband and I have been vacationers of Hilton Head Island since 1996. We now are able to share our love of the island to our twin girls Lexus and Danielle. This is their favorite place to vacation. They love walking on the sand looking for shells early in the morning or walking to Coligny plaza to do some shopping at the quaint little store fronts. The restaurants are also top notch on the island. We can't wait to get back soon.
Jesse E. Asheville, NC
My wife and I began our annual summer journey to Hilton Head in 2004 when we were dating in college. We stayed with her family in North Forest Beach on our first visit together. We instantly fell in love with the privacy of the island. The lack of large hotels and the abundance of nature and private residences give the island such a special, secluded feel. Hilton Head strikes a sharp contrast to many other beach communities in its commitment to the preservation of nature and beauty. We took daily excursions on bikes to the light house, sailing trips in the Calibogue Sound, Alligator Tours, and drives through the low-country.
Each year when vacation time rolls around, we always know exactly where we want to go..... We have discovered more that we love each time we visit, including our favorite city, Savannah.... an hour's drive south. When I proposed to my wife in 2005, we knew our perfect wedding would include a ceremony in Savannah and honeymoon on Hilton Head. We were married in May of 2006 at the Hamilton Turner Mansion in Savannah. We spent a week in Hilton Head after our wedding.
Our friends and family have all asked us why we chose Hilton Head and we always tell them, the truth is that Hilton Head chose us. We have accumulated so many good memories that we associate with the low country. All I have to do is think about the way it feels to drive across the intercoastal waterway on the William Hilton ....zooming past palm trees, looking over and seeing a sailboat in the sound...and I'm ready to pack my bags.
Hilton Head has become a part of who we are and we look forward to many visits to come.
I live in New Jersey and had heard many people talk about Hilton Head, saw people wearing sweatshirts and tee shirt as well as many advertisements on the internet, but I had never been there. I had spoken to a woman at the doctor's office, who also had a HHI sweatshirt on that day and asked her about this place. She said it was the most beautiful place she's ever been. It was then I had decided to check out Hilton Head Island on the internet.
I visited many sites showing the serene beaches, to the gorgeous resorts and thought, "wow," this is the place for me. I wasn't certain how much the kids would enjoy themselves, since most kids enjoy going where there are rides. We booked our vacation not knowing what to expect.
When we arrived in Hilton Head the four of us were in awe. We never realized how beautiful this place would be. When we walked into our villa and stepped out onto our oceanfront balcony, we just looked at each other and smiled. We didn't have to go anywhere or do anything, we just knew this would be our best vacation. Although, after visiting the beaches, shops, mini-golf, Sea Pines and the lighthouse we were definitely certain we had made the best choice for our vacation. We have been vacationing in Hilton Head since 2004 and are coming about again this July with our entire family.
Kelly P. Westerville, Ohio
We have been visiting HHI for over 20 years. It has become a welcome tradition for our family of 4. The adults enjoy the R &R, tennis, golf and the beach. The kids enjoy the pool fun, the biking, put put, the beach, and the many delicious restaurants! We always look forward to our HHI traditions and spending wonderful family time in "paradise"!
Kelly R. Wadsworth, OH
My husband and I were very excited when we planned a family vacation to Hilton Head Island 4 years ago. I am from California and was very sceptical about vacationing at any beach other than the one's I've grown up with and love! We were told about the island from our friends and thought we would give it a try.
I was amazed at the beauty of the island! We instantly fell in love with everything the island had to offer. Our children (2 girls) were all about the ocean and swimming in the pool. We loved the bike trails and especially loved that we could ride our bikes on the beach.
We have been back to Hilton Head twice since our first trip and have added another little girl to our family.
Our last trip was so much fun! We went to Harbor Town for the first time and our daughters just loved Gregg Russel and wanted to go back to the big oak tree every night! We did get lost a few times on the bike trails but somehow made it back to our rental!
Each year we've taken a family picture at the beach and we use those pictures for our Christmas cards. Our family and friends just love them and now expect to get a new picture in the mail each holiday season!
We have made memories that will last us a lifetime and as a parent, I just cherish the time that I get to spend with my husband and children, laughing and playing together. We will continue to make Hilton Head a family tradition! Who knows, maybe our children will grow up and bring their children, and keep the tradition going!
Brenda B. Stanford, KY
As a mother of four and grandmother of eight, my most memorable times have been spent on the beaches of Hilton Head Island, S.C.!! The experience of watching my children and their families play together and relax together have been so rewarding. If you need great places to stay, wonderful sea food, and terrific shopping, go to any coastal town, but for ALL of that AND a private oases of escape, choose Hilton Head Island! You get the allure of a beautiful coastal town without the hustle and bustle of others. I promise..... you won't be sorry you did!!
Betty and Garry D. St Catharines, Ontario
The winter months can be long in Ontario,Canada. We made the long drive (over 17 hours) in March of last year, with our two little boys. So glad we did- we are now coming back this March, and, I suspect...every year after that.
We fell in love with the white sandy beach, Coligny Plaza, The Breakers, and the whole beautiful town ! Our boys loved Pirates Cove Treasure Golf, and The Sandbox Museum for children.
We saw many starfish and sand dollars each day, and even watched the dolphins play from our balcony. Incredible !
Hilton Head is a calming and carefree place. We simply fell in love and can never forget it.
My family enjoys vacation at Sea Pines for Thanksgiving. There are 6 adults and 4 dogs. We enjoy walking, bicycling, and exploring all that the island has to offer. The biking paths around the island encourage us to bike instead of driving in the car. The dogs enjoy exploring the beaches, especially during low tide when the beach is really open.
Aaron & Krista R. Baltimore, Ohio
We are the Riddle family......Our children Kalib (7) and Abbie (6) LOVE our trip to HHI! We truely enjoy the enviroment and entertainment. It has been our family's favorite vacation destination since our family began in 2001! We look forward to planning another trip to our beloved Hilton Head Island! Please enjoy our memories and VOTE for us!!
Nathan M. Huntsville, AL
Eight years ago, I fell in love! Eight years ago, I drove six hours from Florida, which has beautiful beaches, to fall in love with Hilton Head.
There is no place like Hilton Head. We have stayed oceanfront at Shorewood every year for eight years. Our first trip up we had a 10 month old with us. We hauled so much stuff to the beach you would have thought we were going to camp on the beach. Now I am a beach person. I am that person who sets their chair up and I only move when the tide comes in or the tide goes out. I love the beach. With a 10 month old though I thought "how in the world will I ever be able to enjoy the beach?". That is where the beautiful complex at Shorewood came in handy! My wonderful husband bought our daughter an inflatable pool. We blew it up at the beach every morning. He would go up to the showers and fill up 5 gallon buckets and haul that back down to the beach and fill up our daughters baby pool. She played for hours between that pool and the sand and surf. It was a wonderful vacation. Fast forward 2 summers, now we are there with a 20 month old and a 5 month old. Same sweet story! Haul the inflatable pool down, fill it up with fresh water and hours of enjoyment were had by all. This past year we had to move to Alabama because of my husbands job. We were told that the gulf coast beaches were unbelievable, you just have to go to Destin. Nope, not doing it. Hilton Head is where we go. My kids love Shorewood. We love Coligny Square. We drove 8 hours to the opposite coast and had yet another fun filled vacation! We will forever be Hilton Head lovers!
Rachel G. , MI
Hilton Head Island truly holds a special place in my family's heart! Since I was a little girl I remember my mom and dad taking us on the 5 hr drive to Hilton Head Island from our home in GA, Those summers were filled with beach, friends, fun, family and memories that will last a lifetime!!! We have since moved up north to MI, where the winters are long and cold and the distance to SC is over 13hrs, but that still won't stop us. We live in the great lakes, there are hundreds of miles of coastline much closer to our home, but we will continue to make the trek down to Hilton Head Island for many years and generations to come!!!
Hilton head Island is truly a unique place !!!
Brandy M. Florence, Kentucky
My Husband and I took our first family vacation when our oldest was 11 months old. We decided to go to Hilton Head and drove about 12 hours in the car to get there. We went with another couple and their 1 year old son. We shared a condo Villa Mare on the beach in Palmetto Dunes. The condo was great with bedrooms on both sides of the family/ kitchen area which gave us privacy yet we could hang out together when we wanted to. When we got there we made our way out to the pool and then onto the ocean. What a beautiful view!
We all enjoyed the ocean and playing in the sand. My daughter loved the water and sand...she even ate some!! She had never seen the ocean before and it was such a quiet and calm ocean which helped her be able to experience it without being hit by large waves or being scared of it. After we played in the ocean for awhile we decided to find a place to eat for dinner. We ended up finding a local pizza place called Guiessepi which had awesome subs, pizzas, and different Italian foods! We ate there a lot throughout the week.
The next day we made our way to the Harbour Town Marina on Hilton Head Island and walked on the pier to the lighthouse. We then stopped and played in the nearby large playground/park. Emilee had lots of fun on the swings and checking out all the new play things. We then headed back to our condo to spend the rest of the day playing the ocean. We ended up exploring the Island for the rest of the week playing putt putt at the nearby putt putt course and golfing. We also found an indoor kid play place and the kids had a lot of fun playing and exploring.
We have been wanting to go back for the past few years, but haven't been able to due to the financial strain of our growing family. We desperately want to go back on a vacation and let our other children experience the ocean like our first baby did! Hope we are chosen to win the vacation it would be a dream come true!
Charlene D. Uniontown, PA
It was back in 2007 that we stumbled upon the most beautiful and relaxing beaches of Hilton Head Island. We were looking for somewhere new and unique to take our family vacation, tired of just the regular vacations of previous years filled with countless trips to amusement parks and swimming pools. I started searching the web for that special place to spend time with my family and it wasn't long before I came across the website for Hilton Head Island. The online videos of the endless beautiful beaches and all that the Island had to offer was exactly what I had been longing for and I knew at once that this was the place I wanted to spend our vacation that year. We booked our first stay at the magnificent Palmetto Dunes Resort and just fell in love with the Island that very first day, so much so that we returned to the Island in September that same year. For our September stay, we rented the most-welcoming, French-oriented condo in Shipyard. We arrived that evening to find a bottle of wine and a note from the owners welcoming us to their home. This touch of southern hospitality is just what you find everywhere you go on the Island, and it leaves you with a warm, welcomed feeling that this is your 'home away from home.' It is for that reason that we have continued to return to Hilton Head Island year after year (sometimes twice in a year), bringing back with us each time many fond memories and wonderful stories of our latest adventure on the Island that we are so eager to tell to anyone who will listen. Hilton Head Island has so much to offer....the pristine beaches, beautiful palms, salty air, fabulous entertainment and fine foods just to name a few....and once you visit, there is no other place you would rather be and can't wait until you get to go back!
Jennifer J. Clarksville, TN
We had never been to Hilton Head before so after spending a couple of days and night's in Savannah and Tybee we decided to head over to Hilton Head. We fell in love with the beautiful beaches, the ammenities of the island, the beautiful area with the showers and changing rooms. We spent several hours in Hilton Head and then drove back to Savannah.
The next day we decided to drive back to Hilton Head. We played on the beautiful big, clean beach, took a walk and rescued some sand dollars. had always seen sand dollars in stores. I have even found small dry one's before on the beach and carried them back home where they rest all around the house. The sand dollars we saw that day were not dry and they were everywhere. We found several in the water and threw them out farther. While walking on the beach we saw several teens throwing them on the beach to collect and we threw them back. What a great experience. We loved Hilton Head, the shopping, the beach, the restaurants! We will definitely return again.
David C. Columbia, SC
Each year I go with my family to the Heritage....We've stayed at condos right on the beach, and a wonderful time for all my family to go to the Heritage, enjoy the beach, pool and all the wonderful cuisine, found no where else, anywhere. Food is great, experiences have been wonderful, and just being by the ocean, for a land lubber like myself is exceptional! We always make it to ALexanders where the cuisine is awesome every year we go...If I could, i'd move there and be a Hilton Head resident....I just love the place, and everyone in this world should experience it!! The rental condos where we've stayed have been totally exceptional.. This year we'll be staying at the same place we stayed two years ago.....A wonderful experience and a great place for a family get together!!!!
Deborah B. Otto, NC
March 30, 2011
Stress, I guess, is relative. My husband and I are both in helping professions. I’m an RN of 26 years and my husband a paramedic of 21 years. Additionally, we have a 21 year old Autistic daughter and in 2005, at 47 of age, adopted a newborn out of Foster Care who's birth mom was imprisoned for Maintaining a Residence for the Manufacture of Methamphetamine.
In October of 2008 life became more stressful yet. With the economy collapsing, I was blind-sided by a sudden, unexpected job loss. We were scheduled to go to HHI in November. Under the circumstances we couldn't. We postponed the trip until the following September. Life was a little calmer, but my work situation still was not completely resolved and we were still under a great deal of stress.
Our time on Hilton Head could not have been more perfect. From this short vacation I carry some of the most precious memories of my 53 years. We're a family of cyclists. When we arrived at our hotel we rented bikes for ourselves and our older daughter and a pull-behind for our, then, 4 year old. We rode everywhere! We rode to the beach, on the beach, to dinner, to the grocery. We even rode our bikes to a local bike shop! One evening, my husband and I packed the little one into the pull-behind and rode up and down the streets along the water marveling at the beautiful architecture. We rode 'till well after dark while our child slept peacefully in the bike trailer. The funniest memory for my husband and older girl was when they rode to the music store and my daughter bought herself and amplifier. They laughed all the back to the hotel at how funny they must have looked and how people must have thought they had stolen the amp, making their getaway on bicycle! Don't tell.. we rode THROUGH the fountain at Coligny Park. We felt as carefree as children, laughing 'til our sides ached.
Although not fancy, our hotel was wonderful. There were only a handful of guests so it was very peaceful. There was a lovely gazebo along a waterway filled with turtles. We had coffee and read the morning paper there every morning while our little one fed bread crumbs to turtles.
I can't imagine a more perfect getaway. That little vacation gave us the strength to go home and face our situation. We left Hilton Head calm and at peace with the world. Who knew a vacation could give so much in return?
We love you, Hilton Head Island!