Day 20 & 21: Ocean Living

We are not "beach people."  We may go to the beach, but we don't live at the beach.  For eight years we lived about 30 minutes from the ocean, but we only went there a couple times a year to swim and sit in the sand.  We are a fair-skinned family of redheads.  Our children love to play in the sand, but would prefer a pool over the ocean.  I love to walk on the beach or just sit by the water and read, but with four kids neither of these are easy to do right now.

That being said, I really liked Folly Field Beach on Hilton Head Island.  It was convenient, not crowded, and cheap.  Now, parking is limited, so it is best to get there early to get one of the spots.  The nice thing is the parking lot is mostly shaded due to all the trees.  It costs $1/hour and the walk from the parking lot to the beach is short and easy.  They have a boardwalk area with bathrooms and outdoor showers as you head toward the beach.  Then it changes to rugs and mats that are laid out and fastened so you are not trudging through deep sand with all your beach accessories. 

The beach was beautiful and didn't start getting filled up until lunchtime.  That was when we left.  Also, the water stays below waist level for a long way out which was nice for the kids.  We really enjoyed ourselves and were able to wash off all the sand and change before heading to lunch.

Folly Field Beach on Hilton Head Island, SC

Having fun digging and building in the sand

Playing with a little sand crab

For lunch, we went to Moe's Southwest Grill.  It was our first time at a Moe's and we all liked it.  You order your burrito, taco, quesadilla, or salad and then you can have them add things to it as you go through the line.  I got a burrito and it was great.  I look forward to eating at Moe's again.  The ingredients tasted fresh and they had a lot of choices.  Our kids enjoyed their drink machine.  It had a touch screen and you could pick a soft drink, like Coke, and then it would give you the option of Coke, Cherry Coke, Vanilla Coke, etc.  Our oldest children picked Vanilla Root Beer and seemed to like it.

While the kids slept or relaxed at the condo after lunch, I had the opportunity to go with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law to several thrift stores in the area.  I love to get bargains and I was impressed with the size of the stores as well as the quality of clothing and other merchandise.  I found a couple dresses, some kid's clothes, a brand-new swimsuit and lots of great books for a fraction of the price they would cost elsewhere.  If you like to shop and enjoy the hunt, I recommend checking out the many thrift stores in Hilton Head and Bluffton. 

We ended up going to Jim 'N Nick's for supper and really liked it.  They specialize in Bar-B-Q, but have great mac-n-cheese as well as a Catfish BLT (the catfish takes the place of the bacon) that practically melts in your mouth.  They give you cheese muffins as a free appetizer.  My mother-in-law got a baked potato with the shredded pork on top and it also looked delicious.  (It actually gave me some ideas for meals I could fix at home.)  The service was great.  We had a party of 12 and two waitstaff took care of us the entire evening. 

The next day we enjoyed swimming in the pool at the condo.  The only downside were some fire ants that bit us as we were leaving.  We have vicious ants like that in Texas too and their bites leave marks that can itch for several days and take a week or more to disappear.  Thankfully we only got a few bites each. 

That afternoon, while the ladies cleaned the condo, the men took five children to Island Playground.  It had inflatables to jump on as well as a large plastic castle, a grocery store and space to run around.  It cost $8 a child (prices are listed higher on their website) and anyone, including adults, had to wear socks to be in the play area.  They had free WiFi for parents to use while their children played.

We enjoyed a couple days near the ocean and found that there are a lot of things to do in and around Hilton Head.  I look forward to going back and checking out some of those places.

Beach/Sand Tip:  Take baby powder with you and pour it on arms and legs to remove sand.  Once you have generously covered the sand with baby powder you can rub it off and the sand goes with the powder.  It is handy if you don't have access to showers and it makes everyone smell "baby fresh."


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