who needs anemones?

Hilton Head, SC: home of golfers, fraternity members, grandparents, and several metric tons of Spanish moss. This week, my family is invading. We arrived Sunday afternoon:  two (at one point 3) married couples, one single, vocal espresso addict, and two identical twin girls; we are a force to be reckoned with. And I mean that in the coolest and most flattering way possible. For serious, my family is very cool and very adorable. Ask anyone, particularly anyone related to me, and they will agree.

It is gorgeous and lush here: green everywhere. There are huge, old trees. My favorite part about the trees is that they have long, thick, squiggly branches. There are lots of huge houses and hotels, with perfectly manicured grasses and flowerbeds lining every road. And of course, there’s the beach. Although I am much more a mountain lover, I appreciate the awesome scale of the ocean and the calming effect of watching the waves. I think anyone who has been to a beach can appreciate the mesmerizing rhythm of water on sand.

We have already been to the beach a couple of times, and will certainly have a few more brief visits before we head out Friday morning. There has been a lot of seafood munched on, and we have very much enjoyed the comfortable beds and easy hot tub access afforded by our accomodations.

Of course, the most important part is all the quality family time. I think we have to remove ourselves from our routine sometimes in order to take away the things (albeit good and necessary things) that can so often distract us from the people we love. Granted, I have still relished a little bit of alone time every day like usual, but it has been a great blessing to spend special time with everyone on the trip in a unique way.

Not sure what the rest of the week holds other than an exploration of St. Pat’s activities around the island, and taking full advantage of the sea and the scenery. But rest assured, there are already Facebook photos, and I am writing a lot of things down for posterity.

Apart from the joy I have felt being with my family and exploring new places, I have also had other, more strange feelings the past few days. In an environment where all the boys have short hair, and where you have to scour the streets for a coffeehouse, I find myself out of my element. I am not fancy. I don’t know anything about boats or sailing them. And I do not like golf. I  feel like I’m wearing a neon hat that flashes “TOURIST” to passersby.

At first I resented these feelings. I didn’t get it. How could I feel anything out of sorts when on vacation at a beach? But then I considered things a little more and realized I’m not at all ungrateful for being in a new place. I’m with my family, and I’m getting the chance to experience new things and open my mind a little more. No, it isn’t ingratitude I feel for being away from home. It is more a realization of how thankful I am for the home I have. And how great it is to look around an unfamiliar place and see the faces that remind me of home.

So, I do wish you were here. And yes, I am keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll see at least one t-shirt with a bad pun on the front- or a tour schedule on the back. But in the meantime, I am enjoying the new frontier. And when I see the ocean next, I’ll wave at it for you. . . !


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