From OBX to the Low Country

14 – 17 September 2015
Atlantic Beach NC to Kiawah Island, SC

Monday’s boat ride out to Shackleford Banks and to Cape Lookout was incredible!! We saw a whole harem of wild mustangs and their stallion and some colts. These beautiful horses are descendents of Spanish mustangs brought to the New World centuries ago. We watched them feed and water for about 15-20 minutes and got some good shots.

While we didn’t go to the beautiful Cape Lookout lighthouse, we certainly saw it. It was not open for us to climb to the top, so we opted to beach the boat out at the point of the Cape and do some shelling. We saw some dead jellyfish on the shore, but we also saw a live moon jelly in the surf! We collected a few shells and picked up some trash, then waded back to the boat. Jess saw a school of mullet swim by, so he threw out a net and snared them. He also caught some tiny pompanos, but we threw them back.

I can’t begin to tell you how beautiful the day was – blue skies, warm sun, calm sparkling water – it simply doesn’t get any better!! Our four hours was up way too soon! If you are in the Morehead City/Atlantic Beach area, we highly recommend a Crystal Coast Ecotour with Captain Jess! Tell him the Sassy Sisters sent you – contact him at http://www.crystalcoastecotours.com/

It was time to head south, so we stopped at El’s for shrimp burgers and onion rings on the way out of town. A perfect farewell to the gorgeous Crystal Coast! Thanks again, Diane!!

Our next destination was Ocean Isle Beach for a visit with my dear friend Anne and her husband Arch at their ‘step back in time’ beach cottage. Of course, we had to stop along the way to tour the Battleship North Carolina in Wilmington. We only had 90 minutes and we didn’t come near finishing the tour of this huge ship – we never made it out of the ‘belowdecks’ area! Another day…

We got to Anne’s just in time to eat a bite of her scrumptious lasagna before she and I had to be on a p2P phone call. After work, we all played a few rounds of dominoes – so fun! It was a full day, and by bedtime we were in our sweatshirts as temps dropped into the 50’s. Did I mention that Anne’s beach house is neither heated nor air conditioned? Perfect sleeping weather!

Tuesday was meant to be a work day for me, so Kim went off to sit on the beach at OBI while Arch went to work on ‘decrapifying’ my new laptop (it was a demo gaming model – plenty of stuff to delete!!). Anne and I worked on presentations for Forever LIVE (can’t wait – less than a week away!!) until we three girls went to run some errands after lunch and give Arch some peace and quiet. We may have had an ice cream treat while we were out… We all went up to Holden Beach for dinner at Provisions and then it was back to work for Anne and me.

Wednesday morning we took off for Pawley’s, but we stopped on the way to have breakfast at the Sea Captain’s House in North Myrtle and then we took a spin on the Sky Wheel. We got our exercise though, as we parked about a mile away from the restaurant so we could get some steps! It was after one before we left, but it was a short ride to beautiful Brookgreen Gardens.

We started off by feeding the turtles (thanks for the crackers and the tip, Anne) and then we went to the welcome center to get our bearings. We had hoped to do the ‘Trekker’ tour, but it was full, so we opted for a boat ride instead. We had a little over an hour, so we made our way through the Low Country Trail and learned about life on a rice plantation in the antebellum South. Next, we ambled through the ‘zoo’ and loved watching the cutest and liveliest otters I’ve ever seen! The foxes were also a big hit! The boat ride was pleasant and informative, but not too exciting. We did see a couple of gators though. It was just about to start raining by the time we got to Pawley’s. We stopped by the Sea View Inn in hopes of finding a vacancy, but no luck…oh well – there was a Hampton near by.

We opted for an early dinner at the cozy Chive Blossom Cafe – great suggestion, Dana and Laura!!! FANTASTIC food! I had a Fried Green Tomato Napoleon (with pimiento cheese and red pepper jelly) followed by Mahi Mahi with zucchini ‘spaghetti’, sweet corn, and a tarragon sauce. Kim had grouper with a warm potato/lobster/corn salad and some fried okra. Oh, such good food!! We splurged on dessert, sharing a warm chocolate brownie topped with coconut ice cream and strawberries. MMMMMM! There may have been cocktails involved as well….

Thursday morning we drove back up the road to the Huntington Beach State Park to walk on the beach. The sky was threatening but we didn’t care – it was the beach, and it was almost deserted! After our walk, we toured the Atalaya Castle, the Spanish Moorish style winter home of the Huntingtons (owners of the four plantations that became Brookgreen Gardens). Learn more about them and Brookgreen here: http://www.brookgreen.org/

It did start raining while we were touring the castle, so we took that (and the fact that we were hungry – no breakfast!) as our cue to hit the road. We stopped in Georgetown and found the Atlantic House Restaurant, where we met Roz (best chef in the low country!) and had a delightful lunch of Jalapeno Pimiento BLTs and Black-eyed Pea Salad. We may have shared some pound cake and strawberries for dessert.

After lunch, we walked along the waterfront and then went to the Gullah Museum. It was so interesting, but had we known we would be there for over an hour (listening to Andrew tell us about Gullah history), we may not have gone in! Thankfully, it was right across the street from the Kudzu Bakery, so we were rewarded! Another good call, Dana, Laura, and Anne!

And now we are in our most favorite place for a few days! More later!

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