Andy R. , Tennessee
It was a beautiful, warm day in South Carolina. Andy and Kelly were playing one of their favorite courses, Palmetto Dunes. The first nine had been a decent one, but it was time to make the turn and play the back nine. Hole #10 is the signature hole at Palmetto Dunes. A Par 5, the hole is a long, straight one. As one reaches the putting green, a breathtaking view of the ocean appears.
Andy and Kelly had reached the putting green and were getting ready to finish the hole. As Kelly was taking her last putt (to sink it, of course), Andy exclaimed, 'Look over there! It’s a whale! LOOK!'
Kelly quickly turned to see the whale. She looked left and right, but there was no whale to be seen. She kept looking for a long time, but alas, no whale.
Kelly turned around, smiled and declared, 'You are just trying to mess up my putt!' So, she continued to play out the hole, as did Andy.
Upon reaching inside the cup to retrieve both golf balls, Kelly found that there were actually three golf balls inside of the cup.
'Hey, look, there are three balls in here', Kelly said. This is not an uncommon occurrence on a golf course, as sometimes players forget golf balls and clubs when leaving a hole.
Kelly picked up the three balls. She put hers in her pocket and gave Andy his.
Kelly took the third ball, turned it around in her hand to see what kind of ball it could be. Imprinted on the ball was, "Will you marry me? Love, Andy."
Rhona D. Diamondhead
I attended a Neurosugical Conference and had the most fabulous time. It was in August and the place was great. My room had a jaccuzi overlooking the ocean. Need I say more. My husband had the concierge fill my refrigerator with food and beverages. A large fruit bowl filled with beautiful fruit and snacks sat on a table. The room was very beautiful and calm.
After attending meetings all day, that jacuzzi was wonderful. Then shower, dress and out to dinner for some great Southern Seafood on the Beach....After a 4 day conference, I remainded an extra few days and had the best vacation in years. There was also a Trial Lawyers Conference, A Chaus Clothing Conference and so many people to see and talk with and get to know....all in one place. I can honestly say it was one vacation I would love to repeat. The only thing missing was my husband and he could not go due to his work! If he could have been there too, it would have been 200% perfection.
Janet J. Waynesburg, Kentucky
My one and only trip to Hilton Head was taken with my Aunt Debbie back in 2004. It was just us two and we had the most relaxing vacation I have ever taken. We would wake up and drink a cup of coffee on the balcony with the sound of the waves and the most wonderful view of the ocean. We would then spend all day on the beautiful beaches with out a care in the world. At night we would run out and get something to eat at the many nice restaurants that Hilton Head has to offer. We did not do a lot of shopping just because we wanted to relax. I read a total of SEVEN books during the week!!! That was the first and only time I have done that!. I chersied my time with my Aunt Debbie and made wonderful memories. I have been longing to go back to Hilton head every since.! Sorry I have no pictures to share but I have them in my memories!
Phyllis T. Grayson, Ky
My husband's family (there was 12 of us then) enjoyed a WONDERFUL vacation at Hilton Head in June 2000.
We loved the beaches, the sunsets, the lighthouses,the sea food, the shopping,everything you could hope to experience in a beach vacation.
Tammy G. Loust , NC
We had a great time. The boys had their room, we had ours. They did their thing, we did ours. Now we have a 3 yr old and would love to show him what his older brother got to do. Ride bikes on the beach, see alligators, see the good stuff like sea shells and jelly fish up close. We had a ball with my older sons.
Our memories from Hilton Head will last forever! It was our first visit (8/21/10 7days) and we would actually like HHI to become our permanent residence. We stayed in the Greenwood Forest section of Sea Pines.
My daughter will never forget our bike ride in the dark. As many know, there isn't much street lighting off the main roads in the plantations. I had a brilliant idea to go biking in our section one night. We started ok, then the flashlight went dead. I couldn't pedal because I was laughing so hard at my husband singing in front of us to lead us back to the house. I ran into a few bushes and tried valiantly to keep my hysterically crying daughter on the main street. We truly appreciated our rental house when we arrived.
Our other memory will be the alligator that came running after us on our horseback ride.
I was scared enough to be on the back of the horse, however, ten minutes into our ride all I could hear was my daughter screaming and the pitter-patter of alligator feet. Our guide did a fabulous job of redirecting the gator. The next 45-minutes will be the longest of my life. Gators seemed to be staring at us from all lagoons.
The memory my husband would like to forget, but our daughter wont let him, is losing to her while playing golf at the Shipyard Plantation. It was her first time on the course. She hit a drive across the water after my husband sand (2) balls.
Whether we win the contest or not, we are heading back to HHI this August!
Pauline C. Knoxville, Tennessee
The Brightest, Whitest, Biggest Beaches
The white beaches were amazing, and so very, very wide. The water was azure, the horizon forever, and when mixed with sunshine, sounds of surf and shell-collecting - my mind and heart are forever captivated by the trip to the ocean and a family vacation on Hilton Head Island.
With my four siblings and a cousin in tow, my family motored from the mountains of eastern Tennessee in our blue Ford station wagon to visit Hilton Head Island during the summers for vacations in the late ''50s and ''60s. With no interstate, we traveled around every curve of the mountains and then into and around the flatlands of South Carolina. My father, always wanting to provide special learning experiences for his children, took a ferry from the mainland to the island.
The entire trip was an adventure and gave us close family time as we explored - first the changing geography of the trip - then, together we 'discovered' the ocean. It was the first ocean view and visit for all of us siblings and our cousin, ranging in ages from teens to a baby.
My father, a War War II veteran and Merrill's Marauder, had discovered Hilton Head first. In his assignment at a army base in the Carolinas early in the war, he was assigned as an emerging officer with his men to guard the beachhead. German submarine sightings were made regularly in the Atlantic and on the Gulf all during the war - a fact not often mentioned in the history books.
One year we stayed in a motel, a small one-story with outside entrances and it also appeared to be (from a 5-year-old's memory banks) the only place to stay on that beach area of the island. Another year my father worked through a fishing boat owner to rent an island cabin for our family. Each year we went, the place itself was so wonderful, so different for us, so filled with sunshine and the beautiful brightness and sounds of the ocean. Hilton Head Island became a special contrast for us from our forever home surroundings. We lived, in our daily lives, in view of the highest peaks of the Appalachian chain, near the Smoky Mountains. It is a scenery reflecting more muted blues and greeens, morning fog low lying in the valleys, and has the sounds of the wind whispering through tree leaves. In both places we stayed on the island, I remember a lot of sand under our bare feet, with sand even in our sheets as we slept. I remember the good food and fresh catch, and combing our hair as it became more burnished and blond.
Oh, yes, please take me back! The housing may have changed, but everything else will be the same - the food, the surf sounds, the seabirds, the shells, the sand.. Are the beaches......reallly THAT wide, and white, and bright and beautiful? I need to see it again.........so I can say to my siblings and all within hearing range as I tell a 'Southern story' to my work friends, our church friends, and our forever growing family - yes, on Hilton Head the beaches are really are that wide, that white, that bright......and that beautiful.
Sonja B. Jacksonville, Fl
We could write about 20 or more vacations everyone of them filled with beach, boat trips, good food,shopping
sight seeing, Harbor Town,Greg Russell and meeting up with old friends, some we meet at Hilton Head. But when I arrive on Hilton Head there is a crisp fresh breeze that you can not get any where else in the whole world . I come alive from peddling my bike to playing a game of tennis or just relaxing on the beach. or taking a hike along the seashore finding beautiful shells or simply just relaxing . Hilton Head is a unbelievable place like none other . I think Gregg Russell song describes it best. What a wonderful place in my life it has brought many memories that has enriched my life. By the way the only reason I wasn't there in 2010 was because I was recovering from a heart attack and 5 by-passes. I did go for a long week-end . Most of our vacations or from a two week stay to a month. Thank you Hilton Head for enriching my life.
Denise D. Franklin, Massachusetts
When I was a preteen & teenager, my parents would rent villas or condos at Sea Pines or Palmetto Dunes for a week or two every summer. I grew up spending a week or two of each summer for ten years on Hilton Head Island - not bad for a girl from central Ohio. Now that I am all grown up and have a family of my own, I would love to bring them to HHI some time. My husband has never been there, my 10-year old son never heard of HHI until I recently pulled out my old photo albums and showed him pictures from when I was a kid...
I would love to expose the men in my life to this wonderful island!
Jennifer B. Charlotte, NC
Like so many from North Carolina, we vacation on Hilton Head every year. It has become so much more fun now that our kids are a wee bit older, and we are able to do more and more each visit.
This past June we spent the day, like we always do, at Sea Pines Beach Club. We were there early due to the heat - tried to beat it some since our youngest is just three. Our six year old daughter, Mary Kate, went right in the water when we got there. Within fifteen minutes she was running to us saying something really big was floating next to her. Naturally we waded out with her to where she had been swimming. There, in the water, was a massive horseshoe crab floating along.
Mary Kate was mesmerized by this animal - followed it as it rode the waves and kept a close eye. Sadly it washed up on the beach. I couldn't believe how upset our daughter was as she ran to alert the life guard. She was adamant about the crab being rescued. The guard threw it back in the sea and away it went.
Ever since that moment our daughter wants to live by the ocean so she can make sure people take care of it, the beach and all marine life. She has gotten countless books on ocean life and environments. We are so proud of her and completely support her interest. She will be seven this year and is already saying she wants to go to USC Beaufort so she can be close to HHI and help protect its shores (and study marine biology!).
It amazes us how that one interaction with a horshoe crab could have such an impact on our daughter. She is now very much forward thinking and into all things eco-friendly. Nowadays we can't run the water too long here at home without getting a lecture from her on how we are hurting our ocean friends. We can't wait to return to HHI to see what we learn this year. Thank you HHI!!