Our vacation has come and gone - but we have made some fantastic memories. The trip to Edisto Island Beach was very different this year than last. There were things that we discovered by happenstance (such as an inner-island bike trail) and there were things that we sought out that would provide unique experiences.
Instead of being 2 years old, Mercer was 3 on this trip and was able to do additional things such as swim in a pool (with the aid of a Safety Seal swimmer) and he was more interested in building then decorating sand castles. He was also more curious about and active in flying a kite this year. We had to get it up in the air, but once there he wanted to hold it and control it / see if he could make it dance in the sky.
We knew the island much better this trip than last as well. We were in the same complex of buildings, but in a different unit. We were right next to the swimming pool and we had a view of a park with a river beyond - as seen in the previous blog entry. This change actually elevated our experience quite a bit, for it offered additional scenery and ease of access to a couple of amenities. We've discussed going back next year and trying to get the same unit if possible.
I also jumped on a history tour one afternoon while Mercer was napping. It went inland of the island and visited the old churches that line the main road. There is also a history center which we popped into. The island settlers went to grow rice, but instead, ended up growing indigo and became very wealthy because of it. The tour was interesting - however - it didn't paint as complete a picture as I was hoping for. I am interested in learning about the Gullah heritage and traditions. I will have to dig deeper on the next trip for that.
Instead of renting bicycles for a few days like last year, we brought our bikes from home so we had them all week. This is how we travelled on the island except when needing to get groceries from the other side of the island. We rented a "toter" - which it's official use is to transport children - however we used ours like a wagon behind my bike to transport beach gear. Mercer rode in a carrier on Todd's bike - which he is just about grown out of . We can probably cram him in there through this fall... but next spring... we'll have to figure something else out.
One evening after playing on the beach, we ended up riding our bikes past the western tip of the island right around sun set. We hopped off the bikes to take in the colors in the sky. We had hoped to see the beautiful red and orange hues, but to our surprise, we also had a perfect view of the full moon that was rising. Standing in one spot, we could see the sun set AND catch glimpses of dolphins playing and small fish jumping out of the water just under the moonlight that was rippling on top. It was a beautiful spot. All of this was happening at the point where the mouth of the wide marsh-lined creek met the Atlantic.
One morning, we made it to the beach fairly early. Our reward: watching groups of dolphins swim by. Some of them would leap high out of the water. Of course it was impossible to catch on film, although we tried! We were actually lucky, too, in finding a few nice (whole) sea shells as well as quite a number of sharks teeth. Of the three things just mentioned - none of those occurred on our first trip here.
The weather was quite nice for the trip, but took a little turn close to the end of our week. We brought activities to do inside in case of rain - which did not threaten any of our beach-going. It was actually chilly for about 1 1/2 days. We had some board games to play inside, brought some arts & crafts projects to do with Mercer, and baked cookies as well. We also decided to explore the S.C. state park that straddles across the eastern portion of the island as well as a nature / interpretive center that is adjacent to the inland part of the state park. We rode our bikes through the park and sought out a letterbox stamp to add to our book as well.
These pics are actually on a stretch of the beach that borders the state park. The beach where we go (because of the cabana & bathrooms) has not been too busy - although we've gone "after season" both years. This stretch of the beach is quite isolated and the shells seem to be nicer in this area. One thing that we haven't been able to do yet is to complete the 3 mile hike to the end of the park's border and look for shells at the mouth of another creek. Ssupposedly this is the best place on the island to look for the jewels that come from the sea. Maybe next year Mercer will be up for it??
I've got to run for now. Edisto 2011(part 2) will follow shortly. Included will be details of our mid-week day trip to the Beaufort area as well as our quick visit to Bottany Bay.