Articles | Disneyland | Walt Disney World
Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Sue (Holland) Rayford, Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort, May 3-8 2017

  1. #1
    MousePlanet Columnist
    Join Date
    Apr 2001

    Sue (Holland) Rayford, Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort, May 3-8 2017


    Who: Sue (58), DVC Member
    SB (59), my husband
    Pete & Judy, dvc friends from NJ
    Dates: May 3 8, 2017
    Resort: Disneys Hilton Head Island Resort
    Experience: Very Experienced 19th stay at this resort, 1st time for Pete & Judy

    This year both of us are going to Hilton Head, and well be joined by our friends Pete & Judy! Last year I visited with several of my sorority sisters from college, so SB didnt get to come along. Pete & Judy have never been to Hilton Head, and this trip was their idea. It was either this or Flower & Garden Festival, and as hot as its been lately Im glad they chose Hilton Head! SB & I have a 1-bedroom villa booked, and Pete & Judy booked a studio. Our reservations are linked as traveling together, so hopefully well all have a nice marsh view in Live Oak Lodge.

    Pete & Judy are flying from NJ to Charleston, where theyll pick up a rental car and drive down. After the Hilton Head trip theyre spending a couple nights in Charleston before flying home. While in Hilton Head theyre looking forward to trying the great Serg restaurants I always visit (and write about in my reports). Well only be there 5 nights, so theres not enough time to try them all but well hit 5 great ones. Were all basically people for whom 1 restaurant meal a day is plenty.

    Wed planned to spend mornings on the beautiful beach, but it looks like Thursday theres 80-90% thunderstorms most of the day and evening so we will have to adjust our plans that day. Wed talked about doing Captain Marks sunset dolphin cruise, and it looks like Saturday will be the best night for that. Wed also talked about a comedy show. Id planned on the one at the former Kingfisher (became Pelican Pointe) since its right at the entrance to the resort and we wouldnt have to drive, but it appears it has closed. Kingfisher always sucked as a restaurant, despite a great location, so its not entirely surprising its gone. The good news is a new club opened since my last trip, and its close to the resort (have to drive) and has excellent reviews on Trip Advisor. That was a good choice for a potentially rainy Thursday night. Assuming its not beach weather, we can do a late lunch out somewhere, then we can snack at the 8pm comedy show. Tickets were bought online last night for both the comedy show and the sunset cruise.

    Itll be fun showing Pete & Judy the Disney resort, and seeing how they like it. Its such a special place so pretty, and such nice cast members. The resort suffered quite a bit of hurricane damage last year, which caused a significant hit to the annual dues at this resort. Im looking forward to seeing if everything looks as it did before, or if some improvements were made. Im also looking forward to the cranberry walnut cookies! Were making sure to arrive before 3pm so we dont miss them <g>.

    After checking in well make a run to Kroger to stock up on food/beverage supplies. Im bringing wine (from Total Wine) for both families well, for Judy & me since SB doesnt drink it and Pete isnt drinking wine right now. Since we have the full kitchen I plan to make breakfast for SB and me the first 4 mornings (getaway day well eat at Hilton Head Diner, as per tradition). Well pick up sandwich stuff for him for later (before or after our restaurant meal). The counter service place at the Beach House is also an option. Im not sure what Pete & Judy are planning, but probably something similar to us.

    It should be a great trip, and were all excited to get started!

    The plans so far are:
    Wednesday 5/3: Drive to HHI, Poseidon
    Thursday 5/4: Beach if no rain, lunch out, comedy club
    Friday 5/5: Beach, late lunch or dinner
    Saturday 5/6: Beach, lunch or dinner, Sunset Dolphin Cruise
    Sunday 5/7: Beach, dinner
    Monday 5/8: HHI Diner breakfast, Drive to Gainesville

    DAY 1 Wednesday 5/3/17
    Who: Sue (58), DVC Member
    SB (59), my husband
    Pete & Judy, dvc friends from NJ

    Plan: Drive to HHI, Poseidon

    Actual: Today I went into work briefly, leaving around 10 after a 9am meeting. SB was off today, so once I changed and we finished putting the last things in the car we were on the road by 10:15. Most of the drive was boring but easy, until we lost 30 minutes by getting stuck in traffic left over from an accident just before Savannah. At times all 3 lanes literally did not move at all. Thank goodness it only lasted for a few miles.

    When we arrived at the resort Pete & Judy were at the top of the stairs out front waiting for us. Recreation cast member Tim was also there, wearing a Mickey glove on one hand. For the past year or so theyve had a cast member stationed here to wave and greet guests. We went inside to check in, and cast member Tabby remembered me from last year. She asked if I brought a bunch of women again, but I told her just one and a couple men, lol. She apologized that they werent able to get us next door to Pete & Judy, but were both in the lodge. Were on the first floor (which is really the 2nd floor) and Pete & Judy are up on 2 (which is really 3).

    Once checking in was finished we all check out our villa, and Pete was quite impressed with it. Its a really pretty villa in my opinion, but then I realized (when some lower kitchen cabinets under the sink were missing) that this is a handicapped unit! A peek into the bathroom confirmed that theres a roll in shower with a heavy curtain rather than the smaller glass shower stall. Thankfully the sink still has drawers and storage cabinets, but theres only 1 sink rather than 2. Also, the bathroom is one big room rather than 2 separate rooms. The full sized jacuzzi tub is still there. Overall, its not the end of the world, and its much better than some of the handicapped villas at other resorts.

    Our porch is huge runs the entire length of the villa, from dining room through living room, through bedroom. From one end we face the marsh, so I got my requested marsh view. We went back to the car with a luggage cart and loaded our stuff up. Cast member Tim saw us and ran down to help, insisting on taking it up to our room for us. Once we got there, he refused to accept a tip. Hes not bell services, so it makes sense, but he didnt have to bother helping us. I noticed his name tag said Cape Coral, which is right across the river from us in Ft Myers. He was shocked to find we were from there, and we were all familiar with where each other lived.

    We hung out in our villa for a while Pete & SB watching some trash tv SB had turned on (something at the level of Jerry Springer I think). Judy and I ignored them, and I poured us a little of the wine Id brought from Gainesville. Mine was already chilled, while she needed to put hers in their fridge. I also unpacked most of our stuff before we headed out for an early dinner/happy hour just after 4.

    I drove, since Pete had no idea how to get anywhere yet. Hilton Head can be confusing, as so much is set back from the road and not visible while driving. We went to Poseidon, which is one of the Serg family of restaurants. You pretty much cant go wrong with Serg! Happy hour is at the actual bar or the high-top tables next to the bar, so we selected a high top table in the center of the area (as the sun sets the tables beyond ours will be in the sunshine) and right under a ceiling fan.

    We had a terrific server, who took great care of us. We ordered mostly from the happy hour menu, and she coordinated the food so it came out in phases rather than all at once, which I really appreciated. Also, Id mistakenly thought the only happy hour wine was a chardonnay and ordered that, before realizing they also had a house pinot grigio. When she brought the wine I asked (for future reference) if the pinot grigio was also part of happy hour. She said yes, and asked if Id rather have that! I said yes, and she took the chardonnay back and brought me a pinot grigio! Judy stuck with the chardonnay, Pete had a wheat beer/ale, and SB had Michelob ultra.

    For food, Pete & Judy shared some deviled eggs with sushi, a side salad, a dozen shrimp, some gulf oysters (Pete only), and a cluster of snow crab legs. They loved everything! SB & I shared the hush puppies (not the greatest) and the Poseidon beef sliders (very good) with homemade chips. He also had some shrimp, 2 kinds of oysters, and a cluster of crab legs. The check came to less than half what it would have been if we were at WDW, lol! In fact, at WDW just the drinks alone would have been more than our check for the drinks and all that food! They all want to come back here again, lol which is fine by me. Pete suggested Sunday night, so thats the plan at this point.

    After dinner we did our grocery shopping at Kroger, picking up what we needed for breakfasts and snacks. Besides breakfast stuff, we got lunch meat and a rotisserie chicken to make sandwiches for SB. From there we went back to the resort, where I was happy to find a parking spot under the building. Earlier Id had to park outside as the only empty spots were for compact cars and it was just too tight.

    We put our stuff away, and SB settled down to watch the 6:30 news and then a basketball game. I met Pete & Judy out front and we walked through the resort so they could see it. I did notice some changes since before the hurricane, but nothing that was a significant positive or negative. The bike racks are bigger, theres a little putting green Id never seen before, and there may be fewer hammocks (maybe fewer trees???) but overall everything still looks great.

    Over by the Big Dipper pool the campfire was getting ready to start, and we walked out to the end of the pier. It was a gorgeous night, with perfect weather! We saw Captain Marks boat sailing off for tonights sunset dolphin cruise, and I pointed it out to Pete & Judy so they could see what wed be on Saturday night. Pete was amazed by all the oysters growing/living everywhere. We stopped in the Mercantile, then continued walking and came back along the marina. Almost every slip was occupied, and some of the boats were absolutely massive!! Several of the boats had their own smaller boats on board, lol! I guess thats when you know youve really made it <g>. We cant imagine the upkeep/maintenance costs on some of these boats/yachts, never mind the purchase price! Quite a few had people on them, as people use them as their lodging when here. Im pretty sure the big ones have all the comforts of home and are nicer than many of our homes.

    Petes back was bothering him, and I knew they were tired from being up since around 3 this morning (early flight), so I didnt suggest walking over to Shelter Cove Harbour. Instead, we agreed on a meeting time for tomorrow morning and headed up to our rooms. SB was happy with his basketball game, so I headed back out to wander around Shelter Cove Harbour. The restaurants were busy, but not many shops were still open. The area was just about eating/drinking and enjoying a stroll on a gorgeous evening. I noticed the biggest boat/yacht in the marina was occupied, and they had a Boston Red Sox flag flying. Then I spotted an ashtray on a table on one of the outside decks, so that was a major turn-off. I cant imagine having a gorgeous vessel like that and then ruining it with that stink! Maybe they only smoke outside, but thats still disgusting. Later I looked it up online in case it belonged to anyone noteworthy, but wasnt able to come up with anything.

    I was back in the villa around 8, and got to work on the trip report. It is so nice having all this space! SB is happy laying on the couch watching the game, and I can sit on the bed in the bedroom and watch HGTV. Sharing a studio means somebody has to skip what they want to watch, or put up with something the other person wants to see or both. My stepdaughter texted with some photos of grandson Ethan, including a video of him taking a couple steps (before falling down, lol)! Hell be turning one on 5/12, so its the right time for those first steps. We texted back & forth for a while shell be here on our next Hilton Head trip.

    Today was a great start to the trip, and its nice to be spending time with Pete & Judy again. I hope Petes back is feeling better tomorrow, so hes able to enjoy the trip fully. I absolutely LOVE being here, and SB does too. Theres just something about this resort thats special, although I have no desire to be here during the busy summer season. Right now its so much nicer, as not every villa is filled to max capacity, with kids everywhere. There are kids, but there are also couples without kids, which balances it out.

    Tomorrow the weather is looking better than it did a few days ago, but still far from ideal. We may have a little sun in the morning, then total cloudiness and wind by noon, with the thunderstorms starting around 5. Were going to head to the beach in the morning and hope for the best, but we likely wont be there as long as wed normally stay. Tomorrow night is the comedy/magic show, which should be lots of fun!

    DAY 2 Thursday 5/4/17
    Who: Sue (58), DVC Member
    SB (59), my husband
    Pete & Judy, dvc friends from NJ

    Plan: Beach if no rain, lunch out, comedy club

    Actual: We turned in before 10:30 last night, but I was awake most of the night. The bedroom and bed was very comfortable, but I didnt get to sleep before SB started to snore a little, and I didnt put in any ear plugs. I got up around 5:40 and went out to the living room to brush my teeth and make my cappuccino. The handicapped bathroom doesnt have the extra door separating the toilet/shower room from the part of the master bath connected to the bedroom, plus hadnt thought to close the big folding doors over the jacuzzi tub. A regular 1-bedroom villa is more user friendly when theres more than one person!

    I remembered Id brought tea bags to make SB some iced tea, so I heated water in the giant pot, then added tea bags & later ice. Once it cools down enough to not melt the plastic pitcher provided by the resort I get finish it up. In the meantime, I enjoyed my cappuccino while doing some online stuff. SB got up a little after 6, saying Id snored last night. I dont know when I was asleep to be able to do that, but maybe I did, lol! I suggested he go back to bed for a nap, and he slept until 8!

    Id already eaten my breakfast (egg and slice of bacon) around 7:30, but once he got up I fixed his. I forgot to bring or buy sausage for him, so he had toast, eggs, grits and bacon along with a glass of milk. He didnt quite finish it all, so the sausage ended up not being needed after all. We hung out in the living room and close to 9 got ready to meet Pete & Judy for the beach. So far its a nice sunny day, but the clouds and thunderstorms are still coming later.

    Everyone was ready just before 9, so we packed some bottled water in the cooler and drove over to the Beach House. Pete & Judy were pleased with how pretty the area is. We parked under the Beach House and went out to the beach. Its even wider than it was last year, so some serious money was put into widening the beach as far as we could see! Itll be great for the busy summer tourist season. We walked out to the high tide line and since it was currently low tide we just plunked our chairs down there. It would take many hours for the water to ever reach us.

    It was pretty windy, but thats to be expected on a beach especially as you get closer to the water. The temperature was ideal, as it was not too hot or too cool. Eventually others came out to enjoy the beach as well. We enjoyed sitting, talking and reading for a couple hours. Pete & Judy went up to check out the Beach House at one point, and came back pleased with that as well. I think there may be more Hilton Head trips in their future, lol!

    Around 11:15 the others were ready to go, plus it was starting to get a little more cloudy. We packed up and drove back to the resort, agreeing to meet in about an hour or so. We took our showers and dressed, then waited for Pete & Judy to get ready upstairs. Pete drove this time, and I gave directions. The only way theyll learn their way around is by driving, so hopefully this will help them get the basics down.

    We stopped at Wells Fargo, where I was wanting to buy a couple boxes of pennies that were not brand new. A good friend is trying to collect all the wheat pennies and weve been working on it together. Were down to only needing 8, but theyre hard to find (without purchasing them for a crazy price), so we go through rolls of pennies bought from the bank. This bank ended up only having 1 box, and they were all shiny new 2017 pennies, so that was a bust.

    I joined the others in the car and we drove the rest of the way to Skull Creek Boat House. Quite a bit of hurricane damage was still visible some HUGE downed trees, lots of large trees broken in half or laying down, some tarps still on roofs, etc. Even over at Shelter Cove Harbour right across from the resort some of the units were not finished being repaired yet.

    Skull Creek wasnt horrifically busy, since its a weekday. However, the outside seating was all full and they said it would be a 15-minute wait for that. We didnt see the point in eating inside, plus the air conditioning was freezing! We agreed to wait, and it couldnt have been more than 5 minutes before our beeper went off!

    The outdoor seating area was very comfortable, with a nice breeze blowing through. Pete & Judy were impressed with the menu, as its huge and has a lot of choices. We got an order of hush puppies to start, and they were much better than the ones at Poseidon. Judy & I had pinot grigio t drink and the men had iced tea. For lunch Judy had a cup of the seafood chowder, which she & Pete loved, and then the crab & shrimp quesadilla. She said that was also excellent, and half of it went home with her. Pete got some type of country fried chicken breast, with collard greens and mac & cheese. He said it was really good.

    SB went with the fried platter of seafood oysters, fish, scallops, etc. Im not sure what was on his plate. It came with a couple hush puppies, so in hindsight we could have skipped the appetizer. I had the Cajun chicken pasta, which comes with andouille sausage and bell peppers as well. The lunch portion is much smaller, but I still took some home (and SB ate a little). Overall it was a great lunch, and we got 10% off for being Disney guests. After lunch Pete bought a Skull Creek t-shirt, then we browsed through the shop inside the boat house before heading back to the resort.

    Pete & Judy may have gone over to the pool or hot tub for a while. SB laid on the couch and watched tv, while I drove to the other Wells Fargo, down by the Sea Pines circle. They had several boxes of pennies, but they were all brand new! But, one of the tellers had some customers bring in lots of rolled coin earlier, including pennies. I ended up buying $50 of those, and the bank manager nicely carried them out and put them in my trunk for me.

    While I was out I filled up the car with gas at the Kroger gas station, paying either $2.00 or $2.03 per gallon (definite bargain)! Back at the resort I checked the ends of each roll of pennies, which was a bit tedious because they were hand rolled so I had to open the end. Usually when we get them from the bank theyre bank-rolled, with the ends visible. Its just a silly thing we do to see if there are any wheat pennies visible on an end of a roll. Usually there arent any visible its very much a long shot. However, today I did find a wheat on the end of 1 roll! I took a picture and tried to text it to my friend but the text wouldnt go through no matter how many times or tried, including changing my location. Finally, I shut off the phone and turned it back on, and it went through on the 2nd attempt.

    With that done, I worked on the trip report which is pretty easy since I really dont do much when Im relaxing here at Hilton Head <g>! By 4:30 I was out on the porch, facing the marsh, doing stuff online while waiting for the storms to begin. I came back inside shortly after 6, hoping to catch the local news/weather. Now its looking like well just get some of the rain, but not the heavy or severe stuff.

    We met Pete & Judy out front at 7:10 and it was finally raining at that point. Were all smart travelers and had plenty of umbrellas. Pete drove to the Comedy Magic Cabaret, which is less than a mile from the resort. We found it easily, and were surprised to find that not only was the show sold out, many people were already there and seated. The door opened at 7:15, so they must have been there waiting!

    We were seated in the back row, but since the venue is so small we were actually pretty close to the stage. They had 2 rows on the floor, another row of chairs in front of the raised booths, the raised booths, then the raised back row. It was kind of like being at Comedy Warehouse, except we had high chairs rather than bar stools, and the counter was a bit wider. We were dead center facing the stage. The audience had adults from all decades, and there were no children. I did see a lady with a young daughter show up at the door and get turned away. Im not sure if it was due to not having a reservation, having a kid, or both. I think the website says teenagers are welcome if properly supervised (so no groups of teens without parents).

    They have a menu with a handful of food items and some desserts, along with specialty drinks, beer, wine and a full bar. We placed our orders wine for the women, beer for the men, and Pete & Judy also got a warm salted pretzel with cheese sauce. SB had eaten part of the rotisserie chicken from Kroger before we went out tonight, so neither of us was hungry. The show started right at 8, and although its advertised as a 2-hour show he actually performed for 2.5 hours. He did some comedy, but hes primarily a magician who incorporates comedy when performing his various tricks/illusions. We all laughed quite a bit, and he was very quick at improvising funny lines based on people in the audience.

    At one point he brought a lady volunteer from the audience to help with a trick, and she claimed to also do stand-up comedy, so he gave her a microphone and went and sat in the audience, lol! She was actually pretty funny, and then did a great job as a volunteer. As usual, the tricks/illusions were excellent and I have no clue how he did any of it. After the show he and his wife (they own/run the club) went to the door and thanked everyone as they left.

    We were back at the resort in no time, and it was no longer raining. We discussed plans for tomorrow briefly, but didnt really set anything in concrete. Unfortunately it looks like itll be too cold for the beach most of the day, and possibly the same on Saturday. But, well see what happens.

    I finished up the trip report, and got that posted, and will be headed to bed soon hopefully before midnight. Today was a beautiful morning on the beach, and we had a great lunch at Skull Creek. We all enjoyed the comedy show as well that was a great night out! Im sure tomorrow will be another nice day, but Im hoping itll somehow be warm enough to enjoy the beach or maybe the pool at the beach house.

    DAY 3 Friday 5/5/17
    Who: Sue (58), DVC Member
    SB (59), my husband
    Pete & Judy, dvc friends from NJ

    Plan: Beach, late lunch or dinner

    Actual: We both slept really well last night (SB in the living room), lol! He used the sleeper chair and said it was very comfortable. It also meant we didnt have to move any of the furniture around, like we would have if he used the sleep sofa. I woke up around 5:30 and got up shortly after that. Id moved the coffee maker into the bedroom, so I heated up water for my cappuccino and enjoyed that while doing stuff online. There was something I needed to do at 6:41, so once that was done I got dressed and headed out for a walk.

    I brought the camera, and took some pictures as I walked through the resort. The gates to the pool were locked, but I knew how to get up to the Mercantile and dock area without going through the pool. As I got up to the upper deck it started to sprinkle lightly, so I ducked under cover. The fitness center is open 24 hours, so I grabbed a towel from there in case I needed it for either me or the camera. The sprinkles didnt last very long, and the delay allowed me to see and chat with Gordon as he came to work.

    Continuing my walk, I went to the end of the resort and then crossed to the walkway along the marina, making the loop into Shelter Cove Harbour. I walked to the end over there before turning around to stop at the French bakery on the way back to the resort. The lady working told me they didnt open until 8 so none of the breakfast food was ready yet, but I was welcome to go inside to look or buy desserts.

    The pastries were very pretty, and somewhat pricey. It reminded me of a bakery that would fit into Disney Springs upscale. I bought a chocolate tarte for me and a key lime brulee for SB, and they were just under $16. Oh well, were on vacation. I walked back to the resort and SB was awake, wondering where Id gone. I tried a small bite of each dessert and both were excellent especially the key lime brulee!

    The sun was coming out by now, but it was breezy and cool. Its definitely not a beach morning, and may be too cool to lay on the beach this afternoon, too. But, we might as well head over there later and maybe stay by the more sheltered Beach House pool. SB wanted chicken for breakfast, so I heated up more of the rotisserie chicken, along with my leftover Cajun chicken pasta. He ate that along with some chips odd breakfast, but thats ok. I had the usual egg and slice of bacon.

    A little after 9 SB & I went out for a walk, which he did without fussing or grumbling for a change! We walked through the resort but mainly around the marina. Turns out he really enjoys seeing all the boats. It was a gorgeous morning for walking, too. The humidity was gone, the sun was out, and the temps were in the 60s. While we were out walking we heard from Pete & Judy. They were watching Andy Griffith in their studio, lol! We decided to head to the Beach House pool this morning, and agreed on 11, then 10:30, then 10:15. SB & I wrapped out our walk a little bit early and went back to the resort so wed be ready on time.

    I drove us over to the Beach House and parked under the building. I figured it would be too cool to lay out on the beach (cool air plus strong wind), but we had the chairs in the trunk just in case. There were a few other people at the pool when we arrived, and by the time we left at 1:45 it was very busy out there. We got our chaise lounges set up and although it was breezy at times, mostly it was just really nice. It was a little less nice when families with kids starting arriving, as there went the peace & quiet. But, it is a family resort so its not surprising. Its a good reason for me to stick with the beach as long as the weather cooperates! None of the kids were acting badly they just make noise when playing.

    Around 11:30 we went to Signals, the counter service place here at the Beach Club. SB & I got dole whip cones just as good as at the Polynesian. Pete & Judy shared the fish tacos and got an order of onion rings. The onion rings were very good, but evidently the fish tacos werent that great. I pointed out that this location was not one of my restaurant picks, lol! This one is on them <g>.

    Later a cast member came by giving samples of the non-alcoholic pina colada, so we all tried that. I didnt care for it, so SB had both of ours. It tasted too icy, like they added a bit too much water/ice for the amount of pina colada mix. Later cast member Joe came over to just us with a free warm Mickey pretzel w/cheese sauce and some churros. He said the bar was starting to sell them now, and he wanted us to enjoy them! That was so nice, and they were very good. We didnt quite finish either, as we werent hungry at that point but we appreciated it.

    At 1:45 we drove back to the resort for showers, agreeing to meet at 3:15 to get over to Frankie Bones for a late lunch (they serve lunch until 4). After I was showered and dressed I sat out on the breezy porch to work on the trip report until it was time to go. SB took a nap while watching golf on tv in the living room. I woke him up at 3:05 and we went down to meet Pete & Judy 10 minutes later.

    We arrived first this time, but they were joining within a minute or so. Pete drove us to Frankie Bones, and since smoking is not allowed outside we chose to eat out there. Unfortunately, Frankie Bones is inland, so its not a scenic outside dining experience, but the food is very good. Once again the women had pinot grigio while the men had iced tea. The menu here has lots of choices, so its another place you can visit multiple times and not repeat an item.

    SB has always gotten the spaghettini (thinner spaghetti) and meatballs on previous visits, but today he went with the 10-ounce burger with bacon and the usual toppings. It comes with shoestring fries and he added a cup of chicken noodle soup. I had a couple bites of the burger, and it was very good he loved it too! I veered away from my favorite schnitzel since I really didnt want leftovers, and ordered the appetizer meatball sliders. This consisted of 3 sliders a nice soft yeast slider roll, one of their mini meatballs, and a ricotta cheese spread. They were delicious, and SB ate the third one. Judy got the spaghettini with clams & white sauce, which she said was very good. Pete had a cup of the white bean & sausage w/kale soup of the day, and then the NY brick steak w/mashed potatoes. Wed never heard of brick steak, and he said it was like a sirloin and it was delicious. This is the 3rd winner of the 3 Serg restaurants theyve tried thus far.

    After dinner we checked out the menu at Wise Guys next door, so Pete & Judy could decide whether we went there or Black Marlin. I think Wise Guys is more up their alley, as they enjoy and appreciate good food. Black Marlin is good, but its not special in any way. Wise Guys is special. Even SB saw a couple things he wanted to get, so thats where well go tomorrow.

    We got back in the car and detoured a bit, driving around to see what we could see. In some areas it was surprising to see so many trees uprooted and laying down (from the hurricane). It was easy to see what direction the wind came from during the storm! We passed the resort and drove down to the public beach area in Coligny and walked around there a bit. Ive never actually seen the public beach, and it was very nice but way too windy today. The sand was blowing sideways, and I didnt want to damage my camera! They have areas near the beach with big wooden swings, and some showers/changing rooms. Its a nice little area, although I imagine in summer its horribly crowded! Right now its not bad at all.

    Once we finished there we drove back to the resort and decided to have a drink at the outside bar at Scotts Fish Market in Shelter Cove Harbour. Judy & I ran up to our rooms, and when we came out Pete & SB were nowhere in sight so we assumed theyd gone to Scotts. Sure enough, they were sitting at the bar and had our glasses of wine (and my cup of ice) already waiting for us.

    Unfortunately, it was incredibly windy it felt like a hurricane out there, but a cold wind! Pete was freezing, and the rest of us werent feeling much better. Normally this bar is full of customers, and the outside dining area is busy with people having dinner. Tonight we were almost the only people outside, other than the musician/entertainer. Eventually we moved to one of the empty dining tables, hoping it was a little more sheltered from the wind but that didnt really help much. SB saved the day by going inside the restaurant, where the first thing you see is the indoor bar! He waved us in, and we were so happy to be warm. The tradeoff was a frequently screeching baby or toddler with parents who didnt seem to think that was a problem. Even the bartender was annoyed. I told Judy if wed come in & were standing at the podium waiting to be seated for dinner I would have left after hearing that there are too many other choices to put up with lousy parenting! From what we could tell, parenting consisted of ignoring the disruptive behavior.

    We watched the bartender mixing drinks, and some of the golf tournament on tv. The others had another round, but I still had most of my first glass of wine so I was the cheap date <g>. When we left Pete & Judy were going to check the French bakery but it had already closed. Things dont stay open late around here, but then again bakeries dont generally stay open late anywhere Ive ever lived.

    We walked back to the resort and agreed on 10am to head to the Beach House tomorrow. It looks like another cool morning, so unless by some miracle there is no wind, well at the Beach House pool rather than on the beach. Having the late start is kind of nice, because it gives me more time to go for a walk and putter around online in the villa.

    SB was feeling chilled, since he insisted he did NOT need his jacket earlier, lol! I got one of the extra blankets from the closet and he warmed up fairly quickly. I worked on the report, and heard from Chris that Amandas mom had decided to join DVC with 75 Poly points. That will lock her in for the dvc perks, and shell add the rest of the points she wants on the resale market. Shes got a financial mind, so she wouldnt want to use dvc points for things like a DCL cruise or non-dvc lodging, so the only perks shed be interested in are those where you just need any direct purchase contract to qualify (like the free special events DVC has been putting on in the parks after hours).

    We are now in for the evening. I hear basketball on the tv, as I sit at the kitchen table working on this report. Today turned out to be a really nice day! I was afraid the cool weather would be a problem, but it was quite nice by the Beach House pool. We had another great restaurant meal, and I really enjoyed getting out for my walk and then taking the walk with SB. Tomorrow should be similar to today, with the addition of the sunset dolphin cruise and hopefully less cold wind!

    DAY 4 Saturday 5/6/17
    Who: Sue (58), DVC Member
    SB (59), my husband
    Pete & Judy, dvc friends from NJ

    Plan: Beach, lunch or dinner, Sunset Dolphin Cruise

    Actual: Last night we ate some of the pastry from the French bakery. The Key Lime Brulee is the definite winner, but both are excellent. We couldnt finish them, so well work on that today! I was up just after 5:30 and did my usual cappuccino and online time. I opened the door to the porch, and it was quite chilly out there low 50s but also windy. The wind is coming from the WNW this morning, which means its a cold wind. Thankfully tonight it should be warmer, and the wind will be WSW. Lets hope thats right!

    Around 7 I went out to walk, wearing my jacket. It was funny seeing the other people wearing long pants, warmer jackets, hats, scarves, etc. I wouldnt have minded a pair of gloves, but I never expected this cool weather in May! It felt like a January afternoon this morning.

    I was back in the villa just before 8, and SB was awake by now. I made my breakfast, and another pitcher of iced tea for him for the rest of the trip. Later I made his breakfast we used up most of the rest of the eggs and bacon. Pete called around 9 to say he was coming down with a cold and hadnt slept well last night. Since its cold & windy they decided to skip the Beach House, in order to not risk going out to dinner and the cruise tonight. They also canceled their Charleston stay, instead staying on Hilton Head for their last 2 nights. They checked here, but only 2-bedroom villas are available, which is way more than they need. They found a Marriott over in Shelter Cove so theyll check that out today & get it booked.

    Once I told SB the news, as expected he mentioned hed be happy to just hang out here unless I wanted him to come to the Beach House, lol! Today is Kentucky Derby day so hell want to watch all the stuff leading up to that (well be out for the actual race). Thats fine by me I told him Im perfectly ok with going to the Beach House solo. That way I can leave when I feel like it, without having to consider anyone else. I just wish it would have been warmer, and a LOT less windy, so I could have enjoyed the beach.

    Around 10 it was still windy and cold, so I drove over to Belk to look around. In hindsight, I should have just walked over there. I looked around the store, but didnt find anything I had to buy. I was back to the villa in well under an hour! At 11 or so I changed into a swimsuit and drove over to the Beach House. I expected it to feel warmer up there, but it was quite windy and cold unlike yesterday. However, down on the beach it was beautiful!! I got my chair out of the trunk and set it up just after the path ends on the beach, but even looking further out towards the water the umbrellas werent blowing a lot.

    It was warm enough in the sun to ditch the coverup and be comfortable with just a swimsuit! I did some reading until 1:45, then headed back to the resort. Today were due for trash & towel service, but it hasnt been done yet. Hopefully they do all the full cleanings first, especially to get rooms ready for arriving guests. SB was enjoying himself watching sports on tv and horse racing on his laptop. I made him a sandwich, using the rest of the rotisserie chicken meat. That turned out to be a really smart buy, and it tasted delicious too.

    I took a small glass of wine and the laptop out to the shady porch, where it was definitely cooler and windier than the beach, lol! I sat in a rocking chair, with my feet on one of the picnic table benches and enjoyed a nice quiet hour before going inside to shower and get dressed.

    We met Pete & Judy at 4:15 and I drove us over to Wise Guys. Theyd just opened when we got there, and we sat in the bar area since we were there for happy hour. Things were going well until SB decided the menu prices were ridiculous (they werent as high as Disney, lol). That put him in a childish mood and he refused to order anything other than a bowl of soup (and beer). I was a bit mortified, but Im not responsible for anyone elses actions. Still, it was awkward and I remembered why I travel solo so often <g>.

    The rest of us had a nice time, even though SB was being somewhat quiet. Pete & Judy had the She Crab soup (salty), shrimp & lobster wontons, and the prosciutto & fig pizzetta. The pizzetta was twice the size we expected, so even with SB eating a piece they took half of it home! I ordered the Wise Guys salad, giving half of it to SB (dont ask I must be insane to enable this nonsense) and the boneless short rib sliders (with parsnip crisps, horse radish sauce, and home-made chips). There are 2 sliders, so I gave one to SB. Overall I think we all had plenty to eat, although SB had said hed get a pizza from Guiseppes.

    After we got to the car I asked him if hed had enough to eat, and he said yes, but he was moody & not really engaged. My response to that is to ignore him. We drove back to the resort in silence, and had about 10 minutes to relax in our rooms. We met back up and walked over to Shelter Cove, arriving at the Holiday (our boat) by 6:30. Captain Mark was getting ready to accept passengers, so we waited a couple minutes and then were able to board. Id bought the tickets online Monday night.

    We took seats up top, and waited for other passengers to arrive. Promptly at 7pm the engine started and we pulled away from the dock with barely 15-20 passengers on board. This meant we had lots of room to move around freely, without anyone being in the way! Its great for us, but not so great for Captain Mark whos running a business. He narrates for the first half of the cruise, giving some history and talking about what we see on either side of the boat. He also watches for dolphins, then points them out and stays with them so we can see them for a while. We eventually came upon a mother and baby dolphin and watched them for a while, then later found a group of 3 dolphin but they headed up a creek where we couldnt follow due to the size of the boat.

    By the time the cruise was half over, we had reached the end of the route and the sun was getting ready to hit the horizon and set. We sat there until it was gone, the cruised back to the resort in silence. It was still light enough to see the big beautiful houses along the water. Some of the scenery was different than it was 2-3 years ago, due to Hurricane Mathew destroying an entire marina and several other docks.

    Back on land we walked back to the resort and agreed on 10 as our meeting time tomorrow morning. SB still wanted to get something to eat, and had Guiseppes on his mind since his pouting at Wise Guys. We got the car and drove over there, and the parking lot was packed! People were waiting for tables, too. We went to the take out area and learned it would be 25 minutes for his pizza, so he decided not to bother. Instead, we stopped at Way Back Burger (near Kroger) and got him a double burger and chili cheese dog. We also added onion rings to share. This is just a counter service place but the food was surprisingly (to me) good, and the people were really nice. In Gainesville it seems most fast food workers are dregs of society, with no work ethic at all.

    We brought the food back to the resort, and were in for the night. I enjoyed some of the onion rings, then finished my chocolate tart from the French bakery. Today was a mostly terrific day, other than the attitude about Wise Guys prices. I didnt think they were that high at all certainly less than restaurants at Disney! Although the day started out really cold, it was beautiful once I got onto the beach, and it was a gorgeous evening on the boat. I enjoy the sunset dolphin cruise and definitely prefer this one over the one we did from Harbourtown/Sea Pines last year!

    Tomorrow is our last full day, so Im hoping for warm sunny weather. Well finish up with another dinner at Poseidon, since that seems to be everyones favorite!

    DAY 5 Sunday 5/7/17
    Who: Sue (58), DVC Member
    SB (59), my husband
    Pete & Judy, dvc friends from NJ

    Plan: Beach, dinner

    Actual: Once again I got up between 5:30 and 6, doing the usual cappuccino and online routine. The elephants upstairs were clomping around more than usual this morning, for quite a while. I thought perhaps they were checking out and getting on the road, but if thats the case it was taking them a long time to get their stuff together. I got dressed and went out for my walk about 7.

    As usual, it was a very pleasant walk I just love it here! When I got back to the villa SB was still asleep, so I had a bowl of cereal for breakfast and did some puzzles online. I decided to verify the location of the grand villas, so resort map in hand, I went back out to make note of them by walking around the resort. When I got back SB was still asleep he didnt get up until 8:45, which is late for him! That meant he wanted more time to relax in the villa, so our 10am time may get pushed back closer to 10:30.

    I used up the rest of the bacon & eggs to make him a breakfast sandwich, and I downloaded the rest of the photos from the camera. I texted Pete around 9:45 and my phone rang Judy was calling. Pete was feeling under the weather again and had just gone back to bed. They were going to take the day off again today and meet up with us later for Poseidon. She also mentioned going to Kroger for some cold supplies since the Mercantile is understandably limited in what they carry.

    We were sorry Pete & Judy were missing another day of the trip, but at least today SB didnt start talking about staying in the room again, lol! He loves the beach here, and the weather looks good today. We changed into swimsuits and gathered up the cooler with some bottled water inside, and drove over to the Beach House around 10:15. We parked underneath again, as usual (and as I prefer).

    The beach was definitely busier than it had been the other day, so you can tell its the weekend here on Hilton Head! We took our chairs down to where the damp sand would be, and got comfortable. It was sunny, with a fairly light breeze to keep it from getting too warm. It was pretty much perfect beach weather!

    After wed been there about 90 minutes or so I got a text from Pete asking if we were at the beach or the pool. I texted back beach and asked how he was feeling. He didnt reply, but soon I saw Pete & Judy walking towards me. SB didnt see them, as he was down sticking his feet in the ocean. I gave them my car keys and they went to get the other chairs out of the trunk. The 4 of us had a nice time sitting out there for another hour or so. At one point SB & I went up to the Beach House and got dole whip cones, primarily because we cant just get these whenever we want. Magic Kingdom is a nightmare and its too difficult getting to the Polynesian for one when were not staying at one of the MK resorts.

    We packed up and headed back to the resort around 1:45, and I put our dirty laundry into the washing machine. SB found something on tv to watch and I took the laptop out onto the porch to update the report. It was beautiful out there, too! BLou Crabbe was outside strumming his banjo and talking to guests, so I had some background music for a while. I enjoyed a glass of wine, while SB had a sandwich, the last banana, and a glass of milk.

    Around 3 I took my shower, then SB took his. I was able to pack most of our clothes, although I hate the visible reminder (the open suitcase) that the trip is coming to an end. Just before 4 we went downstairs to meet Pete & Judy for our last Hilton Head dinner together. Pete drove us over to Poseidon, and we grabbed a great table that would remain shady as the sun set.

    Dinner was outstanding! Pete & Judy shared a side salad, and SB had one as well. Id ordered the pimento cheese, which none of the others had ever had. They all loved it, and it came with warm naan bread. It was delicious! Pete had a few gulf oysters and SB had a dozen of them. For the main course Pete, Judy & SB each had a cluster of snow crab legs and I had the margarita flatbread. Everything was sooooo delicious! Pete & Judy are here 2 more nights, and are planning to return at least one of those nights, lol! With it being happy hour, prices are so reasonable, too. For us, with 2 drinks each, the check was under $45 before tip. We pretty much rolled out of there and rode back to the resort.

    We agreed to meet up at 7:15 for the campfire smores, but well see who actually shows up <g>. In Big Murgies Den I took advantage of the free photo machine and had a postcard made of a picture of myself. It has the resort border, so its a nice souvenir. SB had already gone up to the villa, so I joined him and updated the report, then went for a walk around Shelter Cove. I forgot its Sunday, so most of the shops were already closed. Oh well, I always seem to look but never buy anything anyway!

    I walked back to the resort, arriving about 7:10. Figuring the others would be coming down soon, I sat on one of the benches out front. Soon I had a text from Pete they were bailing out. I ended up going upstairs to find SB, and hed not only forgotten (or hadnt been listening), he didnt want to get up and go anywhere either. So, I walked over to the campfire myself. With it being the last night, and since we missed it all the other nights, I wasnt missing smores tonight.

    I ended up being a bit early, as they were still doing campfire games. I didnt want any part of that, so I wandered around the resort a bit more, then sat upstairs outside the Mercantile until the smores started and most of the people attending the campfire had gotten theirs. By the time I went downstairs people were leaving, so I had an easy time toasting my marshmallows in the fire, and had no wait to get the graham cracker and Hershey bar added. I ate it as I walked back to the villa. It was pretty good not something Id ever want to do anywhere else, but its a Disney Hilton Head thing for me.

    SB was watching something in the living room so I went to the bedroom to watch HGTV and finish up todays report. Its so nice having the separate spaces of a villa! Ill watch my usual Sunday night stuff on HGTV, and enjoy one last night in the comfy Hilton Head bed.

    Today was a wonderful day ideal weather, fun with friends, great dinner, etc. This is how life should be every day, lol! Hopefully Pete & Judy can get back here in 2019, as weve enjoyed their company this trip.

    Tomorrow were meeting at 9 for breakfast at Hilton Head Diner, then SB & I will be heading home to Gainesville. It feels like we just got here, but the time always goes by quickly on DVC trips!

    DAY 6 Monday 5/8/17
    Who: Sue (58), DVC Member
    SB (59), my husband
    Pete & Judy, dvc friends from NJ

    Plan: HHI Diner breakfast, Drive to Gainesville

    Actual: We both slept well, with me getting up just after 5:30 and SB getting up by 7. I had my cappuccino, and then just before 7 I got dressed and went out for one last morning walk. Back home its ridiculously humid in the morning, so its not possible to walk then without doing my hair all over again! As I walked out the door, a luggage cart was sitting there, from the people who checked into the studio next door last night. I hate lazy people if you use a luggage cart, you need to return it from where you got it so someone else can use it!

    Anyway, my walk was nice and I was back in the villa just after 7:30. A couple things I forgot to mention earlier yesterday on the beach we saw several dolphin swimming by. Thats always cool to see. Also, I think I figured out why the marina is so much more full of boats this year. Hurricane Mathew destroyed the Palmetto Bay Marina, so all those boats had to go other places. Im pretty sure thats the marina near Black Marlin restaurant.

    We got cleaned up and I brought some things to the car. We used the luggage cart for the last bunch of oddball stuff. Pete texted saying they were ready if we were, so at 8:45 we met downstairs and they followed us over to Hilton Head Diner.

    We were seated right away, and had a waitress who was very attentive, efficient, and had a sense of humor. After ordering, SB flagged her down and asked if he could also get a large glass of milk. She just looked at him for a few seconds, said no and walked away, lol! She did come back and ask him what kind he wanted, and his milk arrived with his breakfast.

    Judy & I each had the French toast, which they make with challah bread. Its delicious the best Ive had anywhere! SB had the big breakfast (eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns and 2 pancakes). Pete had a couple eggs, hash browns, toast & fried scrapple. It was a great breakfast, and it seems to be our traditional end to each Hilton Head trip. On the way out I added one of the nut twist pastries I like.

    We said our goodbyes outside, then hit the road. I think they got the better end of the stick theyre moving to an oceanfront room at the Marriott 2 doors down from the Beach House, while were going back to Gainesville! Well see Pete & Judy again in late October for Food & Wine Festival.

    This has been such a nice trip! We both love it here, and I love this specific resort. I really have no desire to come visit Hilton Head and stay anywhere else. I will definitely remember to request top floor again, as you hear every footstep of whoever is staying above you. I usually make that request, but this trip since we were trying to be near Pete & Judy I figured the fewer requests I made, the easier it would be. Lesson learned, lol!

    Early May is the ideal time for my visits here. Its warm enough for the beach, but not so warm I get all sweaty on the beach! The latest Ill consider coming is the week leading up to Memorial Day weekend, and the odds are good it will be warmer than I like. But, that just means Ill get out to the beach earlier, and leave earlier.

    Once again we enjoyed some of our favorite restaurants, and every meal was excellent. I will skip Wise Guys when SB is with me, and honestly I dont go there every trip even when hes not here. I like it, but not as much as some of the others. We really enjoyed the Comedy Magic Cabaret, and the sunset dolphin cruise. Both were lots of fun, but not something Id do on a solo trip.

    The cast members at this resort are the friendliest and most helpful of any dvc resort I stay at. Its just a different vibe here much more personal. They either really enjoy working here or do an excellent job faking it, lol! No doubt its some of both <g>.

    The photos are on shutterfly at Once again I put a caption on each one, but when I copy/paste the url I dont see them. When I first go in, if I click on go to photos it will let me see the captions, but Im not sure if thats because its my album or whether anyone can see them that way.

    Our next trip to Hilton Head is scheduled for January, over the MLK weekend. We have a grand villa booked, which well share with our kids and grandkids (Chris/Amanda/Ari from FL and Cristina/Quentin/Ethan from Maryland). We have a separate studio booked for my dad from Boston, and itll be his first meeting with these 2 great-grandsons (he has one more, thanks to my niece in NH). It wont be beach weather, but itll be fun to spend time together and let the cousins meet & play together for the first time! After that Ill have a solo beach trip here in May, but itll have to be late May (Memorial Day weekend) due to other trip plans.

    The next trip this year will be a quick Memorial Day weekend at Beach Club Villas with Chris, Amanda & Ari. Itll be Aris 8th trip he sure knew what family to be born into!

    Sue (Holland) Rayford

  2. # ADS

    Join Date

  3. #2

    What gorgeous pictures, Sue! Some great ones of you & SB, especially the one on the boat at sunset & the one on the swing. And the moon pix are outstanding! I don't know if I'll ever make it to Hilton Head, but it sure looks nice.


    "A little Consideration, a little Thought for Others, makes all the difference." --Eeyore

  4. #3
    MousePlanet Columnist
    Join Date
    Apr 2001

    Thanks Jan! We've yet to bring anyone to Hilton Head who didn't end up falling in love with the place, so I hope you get to try it one of these trips. I know I'm looking forward to my next visit!

    Sue (Holland) Rayford

  5. #4

    So now, of course I feel like I must try this Poseidon...wonder if there are more locations!



Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts