Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Yay Hilton Head Vaca!

I have so been looking forward to our long-planned vacation in Hilton Head! It marks a transition week between the just ended school year and a summer full of home improvement, book projects and other to-do items.

I will chronicle our Hilton Head trip with photos. Lots of rain was forecast, which had us worried. We end up getting two clear and sunny days for what we really wanted to do: soak up some sun on the beach.

Five days on Hilton Head was a blast. Friday we drove the short distance to Savannah to have dinner and spend the night. Our trip culminated in a short visit to the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge.
Checking out the beach soon after our arrival 
Nice leading lines, beach, clouds and HDR effect

Tuesday and Wednesday were great days for hanging at the beach

Beach panorama shot with my iPhone 7

Marriott's Grande Ocean resort- all villas- excellent accommodations 

On Tuesday, the resort has a "Cooking With the Guys" free BBQ lunch- I stumbled upon this event

There are many daily activities at the resort- so next time I'll look more closely at the schedule

The chicken was very tasty and so was the price- free! (peach cobbler for dessert too)

Alesia looking great! I bought her this top at Mirror Mirror, an Orangeburg boutique opened last year by a former SC State student of mine, Kiiyah Stokes-Jones

We went back to Santa Fe Cafe ("New Mexico Next Door"), which is a Hilton Head favorite of ours- we've been three or four times

Alesia looking lovely!

I really enjoyed my shrimp fajita

Spanish Coffee was a nice end to the evening

The beach was busy but not overly crowded in mid May 

Rain was predicted every day we were on Hilton Head so I felt lucky to have two days like this

Pretty scene from the outdoor bar area at the Grande Ocean resort

I caked on the sunscreen! Can't be too careful, right? 

It was neat to see a busy Piggly Wiggly store on Hilton Head. The once prominent Carolinas chain is making a comeback in the Charleston area, I'm pleaseed to see.

Michael Anthony's Cucina Italiana restaurant proved to be my favorite dining experience this week

We were treated to a three-course meal with wine pairings as part of our package with Marriott to explore joining its vacation club

I took photos of the three courses. I should have taken a picture of the menu so I could accurately list each part. 

This pasta dish was my favorite course and would go back to Michael Anthony's just for this delicious dish

The veal entre was also very good- different to me in that I don't eat a lot of pasta. Each wine pairing was spot on!

The ice cream dessert was very good too and the presentation was picture perfect as you see

The coffee at the end of this special meal was also excellent, capping off a unique and delightful dining experience!

This photo that I took and posted on Facebook's "South Carolina Picture Project" site was a big hit, garnering more reactions/like, share and comments than any of my photos ever posted anywhere!  One woman wants to paint it and another is purchasing a print from me. Wow, so exciting to get such a response! 

Like the above picture, I took this one with my iPhone 7, using its pano (short for panorama) feature. Panos are fun to given the right setting.

This photo and the Bluebird below I both ran through Snapseed's photo editing app on my phone. Snapseed is a free and wonderful tool for processing and enhancing images.  My favorite tools in Snapseed are the "Accentuate" and HDR effects. I can never remember what HDR stands for so here it is, maybe I'll remember now (but I doubt it): High-Dynamic-Range.

I didn't really do any birding excursions on Hilton Head and didn't see too many I wanted to try to capture around the resort. But I like this Eastern Bluebird shot that I gave some of that Snapseed HDR treatment.  

Welcome to Savannah!  Before heading home, we traveled a little farther south to Charleston's sister city of Savannah. This photo I took in the wonderful park near the market area.  

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