We went down to attend a birthday celebration for some of our college buddies. Three of them were celebrating a milestone birthday by throwing a big party (kids invited) and hiring a guitarist/singer who we all used to go see a lot down in Savannah. It was held in a private park on the east side of Savannah. It was pretty laid back. We all had a good time -- Mercer really really enjoyed playing the African gongon bell (cow bell). And - he did a pretty good job keeping rhythm as seen here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5xjoGam_14 The guitarist, Jude, had a big bag of percussion instruments. Mercer definitely found the one that made the most noise!
We were not in Savannah long - mainly just for the party. We ended up staying out on Hilton Head Island to try to take in a little bit of the beach while we were that close. It wasn't warm enough to get into the water, but it was definitely nice enough to play on the beach, sit with a picnic lunch, kick off the shoes, and get sand between our toes. We packed sandwiches and sun chips, but did not pack enough for our lunch guests - about 30 seagulls and a crow who ended up joining us -- well really surrounding us -- squawking for food. It was sort of funny. It was definitely a unique experience. (No - we never gave in... we did not feed them any of our food.) They did, however, get a little brazen when we all got up to play ball. Several of them kept going near our blanket on the sand... then on the blanket... and then very close to where our out-of-sight (but not out-of-mind) food containers were. Mercer saw them and ran to chase them away. He was very protective of our stuff!
The following morning, we went hiking with (and carrying) Mercer along a trail that went through a wildlife preserve. Many parts of it (vistas across the marsh) reminded me of the trip that I took to Bottany Bay in Edisto last fall. Makes sense - both places are off of the South Carolina coast. We went in search of various "treasures" hidden throughout the preserve. We have a family hobby called letterboxing -- finding hidden stamps in public places. Mercer is seen here with his stamp book in hand. He likes to help push the letterbox stamp on the paper in his book... He likes to scribble a little message in letterboxer's book which is stored with the "treasure"... and he likes looking through his book at the various images we've collected over the past year. He's still too young to solve the clues and find the boxes, but I think he'll grow into it. One nice thing about this hobby - it leads us to places we may not have explored on our own.