Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Weekend Away in Kiawah Island

The boys finished school on 28th May.  They survived a whole year, woohoo!!! The next day we headed off to Kiawah Island Golf Resort.  This is on St John's Island, about a 30 minute drive from Charleston.

Honestly, I was so ready for this holiday.  I know we only went away at the beginning of March, but this was needed.  Summer has well and truly arrived in South Carolina, and the days are getting hotter and hotter.  Kiawah Island is just under 4 hours away, and we left early.  well, 10.30.  We stopped for some lunch on the way.  First time trying Bo Jangles, not bad!  

We arrived at the resort about 3.  We have never really done a resort before, we aren't even hotel people, though our children would like it if we were! We drove through the security get and parked up.  Paul went into the reception area and checked us in.  Unfortunately, we could not get into the villa till 4.30!  so we took a drive to see where it was, then headed to the pool.

I had done some wise packing, and left the beach clothing and swimming pool stuff separate from everything else.  We parked up at Night Heron Park and headed to the Children's Pool.  We did not know it at the time, but they offered a towel service, so they provided the towels.  We got changed, and headed past the family pool to the children's pool.

The kids loved it.  Loads of water features, and the deepest part is only 3 and a half foot.  Both Isaac and Oliver were big enough to ride the slides, though Isaac chose not too.  Good job as the pool there is over 4ft deep, and he cannot fully swim yet.  We ended up staying at the pool till gone 5, then we headed to the villa.

We rented this through VRBO, the owner Martha was exceptionally helpful.  The villa was perfect for us.  3 bedrooms, Isaac and Seb shared, and every bedroom had an en suite, which was very useful.  The living area was a good size.  The kitchen was a little small, but we managed.  It had a screened in porch looking out over a lagoon.  We spent a lot of time on the porch.  Only tv's in the living area and the master bedroom, so the kids didn't watch too much tv.

Scary Clare
After a picnic style dinner, we headed off for an explore.  We knew from Martha's info and looking at the map that we were not far from the beach. The photo below shows our villa, on the bottom, from the bridge over the lagoon.

When you turn around from the same spot and look up, you see an osprey's nest.  There was mum and dad, and at least one baby.  These guys were amazing. 

Over the bridge, across a service road, over another bridge through what can only be described as swamp, past a golf green, then on to the final bridge over the dunes and on to the beach.  About 10 minutes walk.  The beach was beautiful.

bad mummy, making faces

We were also very close to the Sanctuary Hotel.  This is a very nice hotel on the island.  

We walked back through the hotel.  Wow.  Luxury at its finest.  The boys like the guy playing piano in the lobby. Stunning, and waaaaayyyyyy out of our price range! 

We returned back to the villa, pretty much the same way we came.  The boys went to bed, and we were not far behind.

I love how my children like to get up early, particularly on holiday.  Because of this, we were on the beach by 9.30am the next morning.  When we arrived, the tide was just on its way out.  there were very few people on the beach, given the early hour.  There were plenty of cyclists, runners and walkers though.  The compact sand is just perfect for it.

As the tide retreated, it left pools of sea water.  Some where up past your knees.  All contained wildlife.  Plenty of fish, and a few crabs

The current was quite strong, but the sea bed was very flat.  You could walk out quite far, without it going above your waist.  The boys loved hanging out in the pools, which warmed up as the day went on.

We stayed at the beach until just after lunch.  Then we headed back for some lunch at the villa, before heading back to the pool.  I had spotted the day before that they did waiter service at the pool.  I had also spotted "The Cup".  These are souvenir cups, cost $20 each, including your first drink, then you get discount for any other drinks you put in them.  They also do a kids version for the same price, but with unlimited soft drinks included.  We had to get them!!! I am such a sucker for souvenirs these days.....

Paul and I enjoyed a couple of cocktails, while the boys began on their sodas.  We only got one cup for the 3 of them to share, and to be honest, they did quite well (to start!) 

Again, the boys had a great time.  It was saturday, but was not very busy.  Turns out, this is one of the main change over days on Kiawah.

We had out dinner at Night Heron Bar and Grill that evening.  We were able to use our cups, woohoo.  

We had the usual, grilled cheese, burgers, wraps, etc.  The food was good.  And the service was good too.  This is were we discovered resort privileges.  We were able to charge all our drinks from the pool and our meal to our villa.  Dangerous....

We headed back to the villa, and enjoyed more drinks on the screened in porch.  

It was so beautiful and peaceful, even with our noisy children. They were inside, we were outside.  Blissful.  Such a gorgeous view from our villa.  Left you feeling like it was quite secluded, despite the fact you had neighbors.  Saw out first alligator that night too.

The next day went pretty much the same.  A trip to the beach in the morning, followed by lunch at Southern Kitchen, and a trip to the pool.  While on the beach, we couldn't believe we were having to go home the next day.  We so wanted to stay longer.  I had a quick look on the web page for the villa, as I remembered Martha saying to Paul that she was surprised the villa was still available. The calendar for  availability said it was free till the following saturday.  We umm-ed and ahh-ed for a big, before contacting Martha, and asking if it was still free. It was..... So we sent some emails, contacted Paul's work, spoke to the neighbor about the cat and spoke with Martha, and sorted out payment. She was kind enough to do it at a reduced cost too!  

We managed to extend out holiday from a 3 night break to an 8 night break.  Now praying the weather played ball..........

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