A last minute trip to SC to see some family coming in from California had me throwing a few bathing suits in my bag and hitting the road!
I hesitated even writing an entry in for 'You Are Here', because I don’t consider going to Beaufort ‘travel’, it's just going back home. But then I see the sun set over Battery Creek with the porpoises jumping for shrimp and realize that this is a destination for a lot of people.
Make no mistake, I’m not one of those people that don’t appreciate a place because I’ve seen it a hundred times. I have a billion memories -many not suitable for the internet- of growing up in and around those tidal creeks. So I decided to share my quick trip to the Lowcountry of South Carolina for Labor Day.
Going home was a no brainer when we found out Justin's cousin’s from Santa Barbara were flying in for a week. It is always a joy to see them and we don’t see them enough. Saturday night entailed a small dinner (eleven people) and catching up. The real party started Sunday -after the questionable yoga class we took. Jen wanted to make us Aperol Spritz and I’m all about trying to new things (alcohol). But thanks to the South’s inability to separate church and state, we couldn’t buy Aperol. And we even drove out to the Parris Island MPX filled with Marines that looked all of fourteen buying jerky, dip and military special spirits. It was not in the cards for us to have Aperol Spritz. So, margaritas were the agreed upon drink for the last week of summer. Oh, and sparkling wine. And grapefruit shandy. And wine.
We swam, all the daring kids and adults jumped off the dock, we ate, and we drank. A lot. Then the most competitive game of croquet ever, began. This family is pretty damn competitive and required several “impartial” judges on some shots. I took the first opportunity to hop on the boat and go for a sunset cruise, because Christin doesn’t do competition and trash talk.
Beaufort will, to me, always be prettiest from the water. So the 20 minute jaunt to the PI bridge and back was perfection.
Things -as they usually do- got a bit squirrely after the sun went down. We started making margaritas, after the bubbles went, but then decided to cork and decant some hopefully not turned 1999 Amarone from when Justin was stationed in Italy. Long story short, the majority of us thought it had passed its prime, but drank it anyway. After all the dogs (there were six in total running around all day) and humans went their merry way, we all proceeded to have another bottle of bubbles and went to bed.
Sunday morning brought a slight hangover and a sore body -thanks to the warm yoga that left a bit to be desired 😒. Luckily my sixteen year old niece spent the night and, like most new drivers, was more than happy to drive me to get coffee. My energy was rising as I noticed the tide was going out, so I decided to throw on my suit and swim out to the sandbar.
I'm a bit of a wanderer by nature so my inquisitive mind clicked on as I trudged up the bank and saw some pretty large muscles peeking their shells out of the pluff mud. I had no idea that mollusk other than oysters were native to the area. That being said, if I am calling these mollusk and they are something else, my b.
So I'm roaming around the sandy bar in the background of the first photo👇🏼, looking for living clams and clams that have left their shells for maybe an upgrade (I recognize it's most likely death, but imma be patty positive) and collected them in the middle of the sandbar. I also had fun pretending they were shell phones, and put all the still live ones in a tide pool so they could all hang out and create a shell community. I'm an only child and have a wild imagination. I felt that was a pertinent piece of information y'all should know.
Anyway. My husband swam out after seeing, what he could only have interpreted as me hallucinating as I'm talking to no one (the shells and birds, and doing the occasional cartwheel and handstand attempt, cause yeah, I can). I then proceeded to ask him l-i-t-e-r-a-l-l-y every question. Included, but not limited to: Why is pluff mud black, what is the taste difference between oysters and clams, did he like my clam community (aptly named 'the whole damn Clamily'), how does he think the sandbar has changed over the past 100 years, were the buzzards circling us hoping we'd die, what's this, what's that, are these going to die, are these already dead, and maybe 75 other questions. To say I married a patient man would be an understatement. After setting up a HOA for the Clamily Community, we grabbed the best looking vacant clams and swam back to the dock.
I rinsed off and we hit the road back to NC with hardly any traffic. Both boys were passed out for the majority of the ride home so I got some quiet and NPR (a really fascinating segment on millennial and their side hustles).
A quick weekend back in our old stomping ground was great, but I'm really happy to be home.