We've been home over a month now but I'm still trying to get caught up on my Kiawah posts. It's much harder when time has gone by. Still, I really LOVE some of these photos of Sophie and it's been in the back of my mind that I needed to get them "out there" before too much time passes and I forget.
When we first arrived on Kiawah, I immediately set my sights on figuring out the best nature spots. On our first full day, we set out in the car to check out a bunch of these sights. Can you imagine my disappointment when we discovered that the majority of the island is behind a gate that can only be accessed if you're staying in one of the homes there? Let's just say that I was miffed! How come no one told me that? I honestly don't think I would've gone there had I known. At the Nature Center later that day, I asked an employee how I could see some of the good nature spots inside the gate. She said by walking or biking. Yeah, with a two year old in tow. Sounds fun. I think the closest spot was 4-5 miles away! Still, I really wanted to see some of these sights. I'd read they were good for birding and wildlife. Right up my alley!
One afternoon, when Clara was getting sleepy, we tucked her in the cart with some snacks and took off on our bikes. It was a long ride, especially with a seven-year-old riding her own bike. It took a long time to get there, especially with a stop here and there to look at/for gators. In one pond, we found babies!!!
After what seemed like an eternity, we arrived at Marsh Island (the first stop on my wish list).
It was a beautiful place.
Then I spent about half an hour photographing this sand fiddler crab.
He was fascinating to me!
When I turned around, I discovered that Sophie had been playing with the crabs down by the wet sand. She was in her own little world and having fun.
As she walked toward me, she was smiling to herself and looking up at the birds. She's my nature girl. I really believe she is. And I feel so lucky to have someone like her, who has a strong interest in nature, to share my passion. It's so much more fun going to places like this when she's around!
As we were walking the boardwalk over to the island, we saw a raccoon walking on the sand (it was low tide). I was too slow grabbing my camera and didn't get a picture. As we were walking the boardwalk on the way back to our bikes, I told Sophie we should look for raccoon tracks. And she found them before the words finished leaving my mouth.
In the end, we'd spent so long biking to and exploring Marsh Island, the kids were tired and cranky and hungry. We also had to bike the full way back. No matter how much I wanted to see the other sites, it wasn't a good idea. We started back but I felt real disappointment in not seeing all the nature this place had to offer. I knew there was no way we were going to bike all that way again another day! It seems so wrong to me that the nature is not accessible. For this reason, we likely will not return to Kiawah again. I get gated communities yada yada.....but nature should be accessible to everyone. I left there not feeling totally satisfied with my vacation....I know I missed out on some great spots.....and that's not a nice feeling.
Yep, so we're looking forward to heading back to Hilton Head in the Fall!