The end of our winter sojourn on Hilton Head Island is upon us. In less than a week we shall be gone. For now we are winding down with precision.
Yesterday we stopped at The Sea Pines Resort Bicycle Shop where we rented our bicycles and arranged to have the them collected next Saturday morning after we’ve left. The pick-up and delivery is a welcome convenience reminiscent of a hotel concierge. Next Saturday will not be the first time the Bicycle Shop has provided the service. Not long after we arrived here three months ago we were cycling at the north end of the beach (Sonesta Beach) and one of us had a flat tyre. Andrew, the mechanic and clerk at the Bicycle Shop, came to the rescue by delivering a replacement bike and hauling away the other. Later when we moved from our temporary (2-week) digs at Beachside Tennis Villas the Bicycle Shop transported our bikes to our permanent residence. We have also prevailed upon the Shop more than once to lubricate the gritty gears damaged by the fine beach sand; and I replaced one bike entirely when its poor gears seemed destined to utter ruin.
After we returned home today from our long and agreeable bike ride on the beach (South Beach at Marker 4 to Singleton Shores at Marker 97) we went to Harris Teeter to buy what we hope will be the last of our grocery provisions. We spared nothing in this final fling, stocking our larder with fresh fruit, meats and cereals for breakfast, and crab cakes, salmon and beef for the remaining five dinners. And Perrier. We drink endless amounts of Perrier. We constantly have bottles of the stuff going at our respective desks, in our respective bathrooms and at both the kitchen and dining room tables.
Next Thursday I have an appointment to have my hair cut; and if the weather permits I shall bring the car to the Island Car Wash for detailing and polish. They are closed if it is raining. On Friday we plan to disassemble the keyboard and pack it in its new carrying case along with the collapsible bench in the back seat of the car (we’re fairly certain it will not fit into the trunk). We’ll put the rest of our stuff in the trunk so we’re ready to leave early on Saturday morning. Generally speaking we brought very little clothing with us and apart from smalls and socks we haven’t purchased anything else during our stay. Until we leave Florida in the second week of March we’ll require only our lighter clothing; but then it will be back to long pants and sweaters, socks and shoes. It’s a small challenge to arrange our suitcases accordingly, hopefully not having later to unpack the entire trunk just to rearrange things for the three-day drive home.
Before we close the door for the last time on our residence here we shall have to relocate some of the things we displaced upon our arrival, for example a large plastic blotting pad which had been on my writing desk. We also moved certain furnishings to make it more convenient for our purposes. Other than that, it’s just a matter of returning the keys to the drop box at the estate agent’s office on the morning of our departure. We’ve already made a reservation for lunch on St. Simons Island en route to our final destination, Amelia Island which is only about a three-hour drive from here.
I suspect that as we leave the Island for the first time in three months we’ll suffer a twinge of regret. It is however not all bad news because it is common knowledge that this place is crawling with visitors in the summer and we wouldn’t appreciate having to battle our way through the crowds along the beach and the bicycle paths. Being here “off season” one becomes accustomed to tranquillity.