Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Postcards on Parade ~ Hilton Head Island

Top left: Harbour Town. The lighthouse and marina are surrounded by shops, villas and the 18th hole of the famous Harbour Town Golf Course. If you follow golf, you have seen this course on TV many times.

Bottom left: the lighthouse at Harbour Towne, on Sea Pines Plantation. There are many good shops and some restaurants here; one of my favorites was Cafe Europa, which had great food at what passed for reasonable prices (on this island, nothing much is reasonable!). Outdoor dining allowed one to see passing boats and yachts leaving and entering the harbour. Here is where we saw Franklin D. Roosevelt's yacht, the USS Potomac, moored by the side of the walkway near the shops. It was nearly all mahogany, and at night when all the lights were on, it gave us a good view of how the other half lived.

Top right: A view of the Heritage Villas on Sea Pines Plantation, where we once stayed. Don't let the sleepy lagoon fool you, there are alligators around. It is not a good idea to let small children or pets roam while on this island! Hubs decided that we should rent bikes (the whole family) while we stayed here. I had not been on a bike in at least 10 years when we did this. We explored the whole plantation, a bike ride of about 3-4 hours. By the time we arrived back at our villa, I was shaking all over, my legs were jello and my bottom felt like......well......never mind. Suffice it to say that I lay abed for 3-4 hours and then walked bow-legged to dinner. If I am ever on a bike again, it will be an old ladies tricycle, with a basket and a great, big, wide, wide seat!

Bottom right: The Hyatt Hotel on Palmetto Dunes Plantation. All these cards were bought in the 80's, when we visited here frequently. The view of the ocean front and this hotel do not resemble what you would see there now, as in the past 25 years, the island has been developed on nearly every inch of it. I have not been there in a good while, but I am told it has changed considerably since the 80's.

We owned rental property here back then; and it was an experience I won't soon forget. I had a hard time separating myself from a feeling of personal ownership, and apparently you need to be able to do that when you have rental property. For example, golfers would wear their cleats into the condo and walk on the beautiful wood floors, leaving small, deep pits in the finish. Over the course of 2 years, we had nearly everything in the condo stolen, from a toaster to a large TV. Nothing that isn't nailed down is safe. I was irate, of course, but then to add insult to injury, the property managers will replace items for you - but at a very inflated cost. If you cannot get to the condo in time to replace the missing items yourself, they do it, but you'd better believe they make it worth their while!