Monday, September 27, 2010

S'More to Come!

Hope you all had a great weekend!

We had a very busy weekend with five parties on the schedule. Amazingly, we made it to all of them and managed to have a great time. Sophie was definitely tired though....from all the fun! What am I saying? I was also tired with all the driving, preparing gifts, etc... Whew.

On Friday a friend asked me to help plan/style her son's birthday party. Of course I said yes. So I'm very excited and thick in the midst of making the plans. It's a 6th birthday party and it will have a camping theme. The party is scheduled for October 17th. I can't wait. I've posted some of my inspiration below....s'more to come....


Image via LuLu Blue via HipHipHooray

Campout Cake

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sea Pines Forest Preserve

Since I've chosen to only talk about Hunting Island thus far when recounting our vacation, you might be thinking that I don't like Hilton Head much. But that would be wrong. There are many things I like about the island. I just tend to like places more undisturbed and natural. However, having said that, I think the powers that be work really hard to keep Hilton Head as natural as possible considering how commercialized it is. On the actual island, my favorite place is the Nature Preserve in Sea Pines.

The main attraction here is the alligators. On this trip we only spotted two. Last year we saw many. I'm not sure why this is. Last year we visited at dusk...perhaps that is the difference. Anyhow, my first alligator sighting was this tiny little guy peeking out of the water.....

I also LOVE the egrets. Look at this Great Egret. They're so graceful and majestic.

The Spanish Moss is particularly thick here. If you choose to drive through the preserve, you will see a lot of this. It's magical...

All three of us fell in love with this bird ~ the double-crested cormorant. We watched several of them heading out into the water and diving for fish. The best part? Watching them dry out their wings in between dives. Their wings aren't waterproof. It's so cool. They really are amazing!

The best part of the day? The comic relief provided by this sign..... It still cracks me up. If you're unfortunate enough to fall in or stupid enough to dive in, and if you're lucky enough to survive, we will slap your ass with a ticket. You either lose or you lose.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Marsh Boardwalk on Hunting Island

Aahhh, more on Hunting Island. On Sophie's second birthday, we discovered Hunting Island for the first time and took a little walk on the Marsh Boardwalk there. I can't even describe how peaceful this place is for me. If you're really quiet, you can hear the thousands of fiddler crabs fiddling around beneath the boardwalk. There's only a very distant whir of traffic from someplace. Occasionally a plane flying over. Otherwise, only the sounds of nature exist to keep you company. It's simply divine. We went there again this year and I enjoyed it just as much. I don't know when Sophie will have her first lasting memories. But, if I had my choice, those memories would come at a moment like this....

Okay, so if you ever find yourself on Hunting Island, you'll find yourself driving on a road like this one. Very lush and green with lots of Spanish Moss.

Keep going until you see this sign on the right side of the road....

Park your car in an available space (although I've never really seen another car there!). Head to the path. You'll immediately see this ahead...

Walk along the boardwalk and enjoy all the crabs below and an occasional egret flying by. As you continue, you'll come to this path which is on a small hummock.

You'll once again come to a boardwalk which will end at this lovely platform. The birds love to rest here. I have so many friggin' photos of birds sitting on this platform. I could stand here for hours. The water slowly rolling by and all the birds in the's heavenly.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It's lovely to be back....

Each year, around the time of Sophie's birthday, we head to Hilton Head Island for a week. This was our fourth year in a row. We celebrated her first and second birthdays there so it's a special place for us. We consider this week a sacred week in our family.....we literally think and talk about it all year long. Well, as usual, Hilton Head did not disappoint and we had a grand time.

Funnily enough, my favorite part of these trips isn't even Hilton Head itself. When I was thinking about what I wanted to post about today, I immediately thought of Hunting Island. It's about an hours drive from Hilton Head. For me, it's the real highlight. Here are some of my favorite images from our day at Hunting Island.

The island is small with about 3 miles of beach. There is not one commercial establishment on the's entirely undeveloped. There is so much nature. It's quiet, calm, wild. When I think about being deserted on an island, this beach is what I imagine.

The sand dunes are really beautiful here. I took so many pictures of them. Even the pictures are calming to me.....dreamy.

The island is a nesting ground for Loggerhead turtles. As you walk along the beach, this is a common sight up around the dunes.

Walking along the beach here is very exciting. There really is no telling what you might find. On this particular day, this was the most exciting find. A very freshly washed-up horseshoe crab. I leaned over and stared at it for a long time. It was fascinating. These animals existed 100 million years before the dinosaurs. This one had a huge dent in the upper side of its shell. I'm imagining that's why it ended up on the beach.

Alain, Sophie and I had such a beautiful, beautiful day on Hunting Island. Just lounging on the beach, splashing around in the water, watching the dolphins swim by, searching for shells, enjoying a picnic, going on the marsh boardwalk (more tomorrow on that!), walking along the water's edge, building sand castles, taking cool photos, making wonderful memories.

Hunting Island is far up there on my list of favorite places.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Serenity now....

While viewing the Kolarbyn Eco-Lodge website, I fell in love with this image. I'd like to be there now. It looks SO peaceful and quiet.

Thanks to DesignMom for mentioning this place ~ the forest huts are wicked cool.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Instantaneous Happiness!!!!

These pups. Just look at them.

They make my heart deliriously happy.

I am not sure what I did right in my life to become a part of theirs.

I am so lucky.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Why Georgia?

Yesterday was "any given Thursday". Sophie and I had plans to meet Grandma in Greensboro for lunch. Sophie was going to try out her new DVD player for the car that Grandma & Grandpa had given her as a 4th birthday present. (Yes, it really is more of a gift for Mom & Dad, isn't it?) So, assuming that I would have some peace & quiet on this particular drive with child, maybe my first since having Sophie, I decided to choose some nice CDs to listen to. Driving is one true pleasure and luxury in my life and, to me, there isn't much better than cruising down a highway on a sunny day with really good music blaring.

As you've probably already guessed, the way there was a BUST. Sophie isn't used to watching TV in the car. She watched for 10 minutes then declared that she was DONE and asked to play with her cars. For the next almost 2 hours I had to hear this.....

Why this taking so long?
I don't like these boring highways.
ANOTHER long highway?
When are we going to get there?
I wanna' see Grandma.

All in that particularly grating whiny voice. When I arrived at lunch, I was sitting on my last nerve. Whew.

I lucked out on the way home. We hung out with Grandma for a couple of hours and she and I made sure Sophie was worn out. Good move. The entire 2-hour drive home.......(angels singing)......she watched Go Diego, Go......and I didn't hear a peep out of her. It was heavenly. A few times I even caught her singing out loud. Precious.

And me? Well, I popped in the "Any Given Thursday" CD from John Mayer. I'd chosen it because it WAS any given Thursday and the CD was just calling out to me from the shelf. This is the live CD that was recorded during one of his shows in Birmingham, Alabama.

Album Cover

Well, I hadn't heard this CD in years. And I had totally forgotten just how good it is. How good he was. How much I really liked and respected his talent. The rendition of "Why Georgia" on this CD is unreal. The guitar riffs in the intro. The "I'm Portable" prelude. Fill me up, take me out, I'm portable. I love it. And, honestly, it was just the right song on the right day. I WAS driving on 85. I'm currently stuck inside the gloom. Isn't it just human to sometimes daydream about keeping the car in drive and leaving all this $hit behind? And yes, I too wonder sometimes about the outcome. And, if you know me at all, you know that there is ALWAYS something stirring in my soul. Am I living it right?

Long after the song ended I found myself still thinking about John Mayer. I mean what the hell happened to him? I couldn't help but think about the time some friends brought over the DVD from this very CD that I was listening to. And how I sat glued to the screen. He was like an elixir. Watching him play guitar was so intoxicating. Those baggy jeans. Standing on the oriental carpets. Floppy hair all over the place. He was damned good.

Fast forward a few years and he's just an a-hole of gargantuan magnitudes. Indiscreet. Full of himself. Inappropriate. Desperate for attention. Really? John, we all liked you better when you acted like a mensch. I couldn't even tell you if he still has talent. Nowadays I do my best NOT to listen to him.

Image via NYPost

So all I can ask is this:

Why, tell me why why why why why, why why Georgia John Mayer such a tool?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Just when you thought.... (Take Two)

Nina's Caravan

No, I will never get over my obsession with the vintage canned hams.

But aren't you glad?

How cute is this sweet little scene?

I think I'll have tea & cupcakes outside my 1959 Shasta. Aahhh...

Nina's Caravan

And then I'll curl up on my bunk for a snooze, all bundled up in these ridiculously nice fabrics.

(this person is clearly from North Carolina much like someone else I know)

Nina's Caravan

And just who is that adorable little rascal puff peeking over the table....aching to steal a bite from one of those delectable cupcakes???

Images courtesy of No Chintz

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It's Birthday Week ~ Sophie's 4th!

Our baby girl turns four years old this week. It's hard to believe. At our house we do birthdays up right so I'm taking a blogging break for all our celebrations.....

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