Monday, April 25, 1988

1988 Hilton Head (4/22-25/1988)

Friday, April 22, 1988
Left at 6:30 to drive to the airport and left Kent at departures with the luggage as I drove to park in the new parking garage, having to go to the 5th of 6 levels to find a space! On the elevator going down, an older woman got on, then turned around to get back out exclaiming she forgot her suitcase! Met Kent and we got donuts for a quick breakfast. We boarded and left 10 minutes late at 7:40. Were given another breakfast. Some people were having Bloody Marys! Tom P was on the plane with his wife, Wendy. We met up with them in Atlanta for drinks, then they took a flight to Savannah, and we checked in for out 12:15 flight to Hilton Head. We applied for Eastern Airlines frequent flyer program in hopes they can pull themselves up from the bottom. We boarded a small British-made plane for 18 passengers. We sat behind the pilot, and the stewardess took the co-pilot’s seat. Left at 12:30, and we watched the altimeter rise to 16,000 feet, and saw the speed was about 170 mph. About an hour later we circled over Hilton Head, looking down at big private homes with swimming pools on wide empty beaches
Hilton Head is the largest island between New Jersey and Florida, and is about 12 miles long and 5 miles wide. It was named for an Englishman, Captain William Hilton, who sailed into Port Royal Sound in 1663 and wrote of the green headlands of the island. Indians lived here 3800 years ago. In 1526, Spanish, French, and English colonists tried to settle, but were troubled by Indian and pirate raids. By the mid-18th century, English plantations were established, prospering on indigo, rice, and sea island cotton until the Civil War. At that time, Union troops were stationed here to block Confederate ports. After the war, the island was left to nature and the freed slaves/Gullah population, who developed a culture based on hunting, fishing, and small farms. In 1956, a bridge to the mainland was built, and the island developed into a year-round resort offering marshes, woods, ocean, the sound, and beaches. We landed and many of the resort visitors did not have kind things to say about small planes. Saw lots of little planes and a couple little jets at the airport. I was reminded of India when walking from the plane to the small terminal with tropical plants all around in the “stifling” heat (as compared to the cool northern air!). Had to wait for the checked baggage, and they had sandwiches and coffee set out for the passengers!
We then waited for the Low Country Taxi and Limousine to take us to the Hyatt Regency for $8 for the first two passengers. The driver said this was the hottest day so far this season, predicting it would get into the 90s. And he talked about golf. At the Hyatt the bellboy grabbed our bags, and Kent mentioned to him that ISPO was to pick up the transfer fees. Went to check in and I had to sign as the sharer of the room. Our room wasn’t ready, but we were given a pass to go downstairs to The Café to eat. Got a window table. We had bottomless iced teas and I had a creamy she-crab soup that came with three rolls and whipped butter. Kent had a Social Club, a turkey, bacon, avocado, tomato, and Swiss cheese club sandwich with ridged potato chips. He gave me a quarter of his sandwich and a dill pickle spear. Left about $14.50 and were able to get the keys to room #924. Yes, we have the coveted ocean-view room!
View from the hotel room
Kent called the bell captain to see if some packages had arrived, which they had. We went down and the bell captain escorted us into the bowels of the hotel to a storeroom in search for the boxes. We saw lots of strawberries!
When Kent had a meeting at 16:00. I changed into my bathing suit to go to the beach. Passed the two-part pool and lots of sunbathers, two Jacuzzis, and a kiddie pool. Attached to the hotel was the indoor pool. There were snack bars, a regular bar, and a small restaurant. Tanning supplies and towels were available. On the beach they were renting “banana bikes,” that you recline in.
Banana bikes
I returned to the room at 17:00 when I spotted Kent on the balcony of our room. We decided to take a walk, taking a right on the beach and walking past the Mariner’s Inn where part of the sales meeting is to take place. Wide beaches edged with palmettos, wax myrtles, live oaks, and loblolly pines; lots of greenery. Noted the blowholes of clams or other sea life in the sand, and around many were light brown “jimmies!”
Hyatt Regency Hotel
Passed through bright orange buoys attached to a wide circles of concrete, 15-20 feet in diameter. Our waiter at dinner explained that those concrete sections were gun embattlements from when the Union Army was based here during the Civil War, apparently ineffectually blocking the Port Royal harbor. Supposedly there are ruins of forts on the island, and of historic plantations. We continued to a wall of rocks at the Marriott Hotel and turned back. We went in the Mariner’s Inn complex, crisscrossed with waterways and islands of outdoor receptions. The azaleas were at the end of their blooming season.
We followed the road back to the Hyatt to change clothes and return to The Café for dinner. Decided to go ahead and have the Captain Jack’s seafood buffet, which looked really good. I had a bottomless iced tea and Kent had two glasses of Chardonnay, and later a cup of coffee. We started with the salads, having a choice of tri-color pasta, a crab and shrimp salad, and a potato, apple, and herring salad. There was an array of greens for a garden salad, and a variety of fruits: pineapple, cantaloupe, honeydew, and strawberries. Kent also had a shrimp cocktail and raw oysters with a cocktail sauce. Then the main courses of a Cajun shrimp and scallops over green fettuccine, lemon-dill shrimp with rice, thymed new potatoes, steamed vegetables, and more rolls. This time I had raw oysters. Next shrimp and scallops in a dijonnaise sauce, cod in a white mushroom sauce, boiled blue crabs, and a vegetable noodle soup. We went twice, me for another entrée and Kent for another salad. Next was the dessert table, and out of everything that was available, we tried a lady finger and mousse roll, chocolate cheesecake with strawberries, a lemon cream filled cornucopia, and pecan pie. Everything was decorated with dark chocolate jimmies, or chocolate crunchy things like rice krispies, except round. We were only charged $14.95 each, no additional drink fees. Left $36. Heading back to the room, we ran into Perry and Sue. Meanwhile, there were people dressed for the gala ball, everyone with something pink. They were followed by a pair of people in Pink Panther costumes.
We decided to go for another walk, this time turning left at the beach, passing a group of kids with a loud boom box. Peeked into some of the big houses.
Back in the room, we found the beds were turned down with chocolates on the pillows. There was also a bottle of wine in ice, with two glasses and a corkscrew, and a tray with a variety of fruits and cheeses, and finally on the nightstand was a dish with two large chocolate-covered strawberries!
There was a small safe, in which you punch in your own code. We are using it for cameras and wallets.

Saturday, April 23, 1988
This morning we breakfasted on the fruits (papaya slices, grapes, strawberries, and maybe prickly pear) and cheeses (Swiss, cheddar, dill, Gouda, and brie). We spotted dolphins in the ocean. We got dressed to walk on the beach trying to get photos of the dolphins as they swam northward. Kent had business as I went to sit on the beach and read, as the sun tried to peek through the clouds.
Kent came to sit with me when he was done with business, and then we went to dress for lunch. We met Jim and Marti S, and Ute and Cindy in The Café. I had the bottomless iced tea, and today I had the Social Club and gave one quarter to Kent. Today it came with homemade potato chips, and those who had she-crab soup did not get rolls, but only a few butter crackers. Kent got the California croissant with shaved ham, bean sprouts, and cheese. A thick sandwich! Jim S picked up the bill.
By 14:00 we were stationed in the Bayley Room, clearing a table so we could collate and fill binders, and glue samples into brochures. Kent was tipping the bell boys $10 a trip for hauling boxes! Ulysses and Willy were very grateful!
Cindy had typed our program for the wedding, and I proofed that between all the other activities. We finished about 17:00 and returned to the room. It was raining outside, and we saw the dolphins heading southward. They have a 9-5 job?! Also enjoyed watching pelicans and cormorants dive into the ocean for fish, and we ate up the chocolates from yesterday and today!
Hilton Head island is said to be surrounded by, or at least bordered on the inland side by one of the last major unpolluted marine estuaries on the east coast. It is known as a resort for golf, tennis, riding stables, bicycle trails, and marinas. Harbour Town Links is the site of the MCI Heritage Golf Classic that was held earlier this month, considered one of the best courses in the country. Next door to the south is Daufuskie Island, reached only by boat, where many old Gullah traditions are still observed.
Readied for dinner with Scott and Susan S, who had arrived today, but not with their luggage. Many planes were being held in Atlanta due to thunderstorms, so half the dinner party didn’t show. Had a table for twelve, and met a lot of new people. Rich from Denver was there. Started with drinks and snacked on small round nut bread loaves. I ordered the Australian Seafood Chowder with shrimp and scallops; so thick it didn’t drip off the spoon! Kent had the shrimp cocktail in a bland mayonnaise-type sauce, but with good-sized medium shrimp. For an entrée, Kent had the charbroiled grouper, and I had crab cakes, which were excellent having mostly chunky crabmeat! They came with steamed vegetables including cauliflower, carrots, broccoli, yellow squash, and asparagus, and wild rice with mushrooms and tiny shrimp. Kent’s grouper came on a bed of spinach. Kent had coffee, and they passed around a cigar box filled with accompaniments for the coffee: rock candy on sticks, chocolate chips, cinnamon sticks, as well as sugar packets.
In front of the Hemingway’s Restaurant there was an iced display of live but dying Maine lobsters and a few huge fish including a large carp-like fish and a couple flattish dolphin-like fish. Back in our room we found a pair of chocolate truffles on the nightstand, covered in white chocolate and filled with chocolate mousse. A great display of lightning tonight!

Sunday, April 24, 1988
Up at 8:30 to take a walk along the beach, meeting several people we knew along the way. Walked about 45 minutes. At 10:00 we met Lon and his wife, Marilyn, to drive out to the highway US-278 to a Cracker Barrel restaurant, sort of like a Po’ Folks, but with a gift shop. The others had coffee and I had tomato juice. Kent never got his orange juice. I had an Oldtimer’s Breakfast with two eggs over easy, grits, two biscuits with country gravy (thick and white), two smoked sausage patties, and hash browns. Kent had Herschel’s Favorite, the same except with country ham. Lon picked up the bill and Kent left the tip.
We continued to the Shoppes on the Parkway, which had all outlet stores. Marilyn wanted to window shop and check out the opening times. We returned to the hotel, and went to sit by the pool under dark gray clouds. Got windy and cool and started to sprinkle rain. Kent wanted to go inside for some fun at 14:00. Then the sun came out and I went to lie on the beach, but got disgusted when my body got caked with sand from the wind. I just missed getting pooped on by a bird; got some of the “splash.”
Kent was driving boxes of things over to the Mariner’s Inn to set up, and he returned at 18:15. We dressed and went down to the Indigo Club, the “disco” of the hotel that is closed on Sundays, so that ISPO could use it for a cocktail reception at 18:30. We were to be in the reception line to greet distributors and salesmen. As we did so, it seemed the food ran out at 19:30. Not enough food for 130 people who apparently starved themselves for this event! We had to wait for the second wave of food, and got a couple roast beef sandwiches on rolls, as well as chicken livers wrapped in bacon. Kent had two beers and I took an unwanted Coca-cola, and later had ginger ale. There was a two-man jazz combo (bassist and keyboard) playing. The reception closed at 21:30.

Monday, April 25, 1988
Kent left at 6:30 for today’s program, in which he had to do two speeches for ISPO. I went downstairs at 8:30 for breakfast and sat alone. Then noticed a distributor’s wife, Jean F from California, and we sat together. I had the Southern Coastal breakfast with grits, slices of smoked ham, two eggs over easy and several strawberries. Also had a Danish, muffin, and biscuit! With butter and orange juice, the bill came to about $9 and I left $10.50. I took the Danish and muffin with me as I checked out and went to get a taxi at 9:30. Waved goodbye to the many wives who were waiting to take a tour to Savannah, GA. The trip to the airport took 10 minutes, and cost the same $8 as the limo, and I gave the driver $9. I checked in and the luggage was manually inspected. The plane was not full this time, and the ride was a bit bumpier as we seemed to fight headwinds. We took off at 10:25 and got to Atlanta about 11:30. I wasn’t feeling great, but was okay to hike to the gate for Providence, and ate the Danish. When we boarded, a man was sitting in my assigned seat. It was hard to tell because of all the markings on his boarding pass, but we finally figured he was in seat C and not D. We took off a bit after the 12:15 departure time, as they were sorting out an overbooked situation. Got a sandwich snack and beverage. Stopped in Hartford at 14:45, and landed early in Providence before the 15:43 arrival time. Walked straight to my car, which was still all there! Paid $20 for parking and went home.

No comments: