BYE-BYE, BEAUFORT!

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During our first few days in Beaufort, the locals Bruce and I spoke with warned us that Beaufort would get under our skin, and we wouldn’t want to leave. “There’s just something about this place…”, they said.

Nearly three weeks later, as we prepare to make our way back to Georgia, I reflect back to those conversations and must admit the locals were spot-on. This is a great place, and we look forward to a return visit– hopefully, right back in this very house that we rented for our stay.

The memory I will take away with me that is sure to linger is the friendliness of the locals. Throughout our stay, we met friendly people everywhere we went. From the checkout lady at Publix to the gallery owners at Thibault Gallery (who, by the way, didn’t try to sell us anything), to the artists we spoke with during the First Friday After Five Artwalk, to the young guy behind the counter at Sea Eagle Market, to the lifeguards at the Beaufort Public Pool; they were all so warm and welcoming. Southern hospitality is alive and well here in Beaufort, South Carolina!

Visually, I was taken by the beauty of the Spanish moss on everything from the wild oaks, to the crepe myrtles, to even the magnolias. At “The Point”, that stuff was growing everywhere, and it was beautiful. So were the antebellum homes.

The marsh was also surprisingly alluring– something I found myself gazing at often. It was every-changing, as the tide rolled in and out; and, since we were here during the full moon, the tide had as much as a 10-foot swing during a few of those days.

Then, there were the dolphins. WOW! What a wonderful thrill it was to have the opportunity to spend hours observing them in their native habitat rather than in constricting tanks at Sea World. (As an adult who now knows better, I no longer view being a dolphin trainer as something I would aspire to be. I have yet to see the documentary, “Blackfish”, but I’m guessing after I do, my feelings for Sea World (and similar amusement parks) will continue on a downward spiral.

On the culinary end of things, we enjoyed a few good restaurants, but I most enjoyed eating shrimp- and, lots of it! Sea Eagle Market was our seafood source of choice for eight of our home-cooked meals, and seven of those dinners featured medium local shrimp purchased at $5.99 per pound. Boy, were they sweet and FRESH! Sea Eagle owns their own boats, so the shrimp they catch go directly from their boats onto the ice at the market.

Bruce has it down when it comes to cooking those little guys to perfection. Sautee in a little olive oil, red pepper flake, basil, and tons of freshly chopped garlic; toss over whole wheat penne with a little pesto and top with grated romano, and it’s the base for an easy and delicious dinner. Steamed broccoli on top and a side salad make this my favorite shrimp dinner. (The shrimp wraps Bruce made were tasty, too!)

About the only thing I didn’t like about Beaufort was the same thing I have dealt with no matter where we have visited along the coast: no-see-ums. Darn those little buggers! If there was a place I missed spraying with insect repellent, they found it. They weren’t as bad here as they were in Sanibel, but they were bad enough.

Even with the no-see-ums and miserable weather we had for several of the days, I loved this place and look forward to visiting again. After all, Beaufort got under my skin.

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BEAUFORT IS BEAUTIFUL ONCE AGAIN!

As I mentioned yesterday, Bruce and I had waited… and waited… and waited for the weather to clear, so we could enjoy the carriage tour under sunny blue skies. We finally scored a beautiful day on Wednesday and hopped on a ride with Southurn Rose Buggy Tours with Ki as our guide and Jim pulling the buggy.

Big Jim weighs in at 2200 pounds and is a Spotted Draft Horse, which is a mix between a Paint Stallion and a Percheron mare. He also has a taste for Spanish moss– neither Spanish or a moss. Actually, it’s a bromeliad in the pineapple family, and evidently tastes sweet like pineapple, because Jim stopped right in the middle of the street to grab some off a low-hanging branch. At the end of our tour, Jim, a gentle giant, snacked on carrots right from Ki’s hand.

Listening to the history of Beaufort was interesting, and Ki’s stories were humorous. What a delightful way to learn about such a charming, quaint, and friendly town.

Following our tour, Bruce and I returned to “The Point” on foot to get another look at the antebellum homes, and then finished our walk along the waterfront park.

Today, after my morning swim, we returned to the historic district to explore more of the area. Thunderstorms are expected tomorrow (yeah, more rain… just what South Carolina needs), so we enjoyed a last look around under what was left of the sunny skies before the clouds started rolling in. Tomorrow, we’ll dodge the raindrops and stop over at the Methodist church for their fall festival; however, we figure that will be just about it before we pack up for our trip home on Sunday.

Join me on my photo tour of the historic district of Beaufort as well as a few more scenes from previous days during our stay.

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Scientists estimate the oldest Grand Oaks in Beaufort are as much as 600 years old!

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The Old Church Cemetary surrounds The Parish Churcyh of St. Helena.  Established in 1712 as a colonial parish of the Church of England, St. Helena’s is one of the oldest churches in America.  The original church was built on the present site in 1724 and appears today as it did in 1842 following its final enlargement.

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Among the most historical burial grounds in America, St. Helena’s Old Churchyard has graves of nearly 100 veterans of every major conflict since 1711.  These are marked with the flag under which they fought.  Sixty of these veterans served in the Army or Navy of the Confederate States of America.

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A cute little chapel on St. Helena

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The marsh at Fripp Inlet

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