Saturday, July 30, 2011
Sunday, July 24, 2011
I've been blessed. More blessed than I deserve, to quote Dave (Ramsey). And I've run into my fair share of good luck too. One of those lucky moments happened at Payless Shoe Store two Fridays ago. Robbie called to say that my mom had called and offered us a free week on Hilton Head Island. And although I had just left a five week vacation in Florida that same week, I was more than happy to accept her gracious offer.
So, with two coasts fresh in my mind, I offer you my opinions on who offered the better experience.
Best diving pelicans: Hilton Head
Best sunsets: Venice, FL (well, being the west coast, you get to watch the sun set over the water so that is a no brainer)
Best sunrises: I suppose I'll have to give this to Hilton Head. I don't get up early enough to know.
Best sand for riding a bike: Hilton Head
Best bike trails: Hilton Head
Although, I have to throw Venice a bone here. Riding bikes around Venice was more fun. But we visit in the off season and the place is deserted. Summer in SW FL means no traffic! Summer in Hilton Head means no parking spots, anywhere!
Best food: Just from looking around at all the cool restaurants, I'll give this one to Hilton Head. We didn't eat out much.
Best snorkeling: Venice, FL
Best beach water color: Venice, FL
Best pier: Venice, FL (that isn't exactly fair since I didn't see one in Hilton Head)
Best light house: Hilton Head (this counteracts the above, because there is no lighthouse in Venice!)
Best man singing at the Marina: Hilton Head
Best Marina: Venice, FL
Best shells: Venice, FL (no shells in Hilton Head!)
Best Sharks teeth: Venice, FL (shark tooth capital of the world)
Best marsh: Hilton Head
Best deserted beach: Venice, FL (I go for solitary beach experiences)
Best party beach: Hilton Head
And I have to comment on that. When you go to the beach in Venice you take a towel (or not), maybe a chair, possibly an umbrella, snorkel and mask. Done.
When you go to the beach in Hilton Head, to do it properly you must have the following:
fancy stroller thingy
four sided tent with either Gamecocks, Tigers or Georgia Bulldogs printed on it
eight coolers packed with food and cold beverages
heavy, wooden armed beach chairs
boom box to play Jimmy Buffet
shovels (garden type, industrial shovels, plastic doesn't work in this sand)
33 beach towels to hang from inside your four-sided tent
pink and green monogrammed bags full of other stuff
all your friends and your extended family
Hilton Head people don't go to the beach so much as they tailgate on it. It is quite the sight! They gather in large groups with many tents side by side. They start to resemble a Bombay trinket shop after a while. And they don't go down to the beach for an hour or so- this is an all day event. I guess with so many people there you can just come and go throughout the day, but somebody is always there to hold down the spot. (I bet if you go up to a tent on a game day it will have salt and sand on it somewhere, probably from Hilton Head.)
So, you have my take on how the east coast differs from the west coast. I'll take either, whenever I can get it. But you know my heart really does love it the most in little Venice, FL.