The Beach Vacation 2008

Pull up a chair and take a load off for a while if you are interested in seeing the Faire Garden travelogue, 2008 version. This post is not about gardens or flowers, in fact there are no flower pictures at all. But the beach along the Atlantic seaboard in Edisto Island, South Carolina is a fine one, and there will be something for everyone in this picture show. Be warned, however, there are thirty one photos to be viewed. This story is heavy on the snapshots, short on the narrative.

~~~

Let us begin with the above portrait of cockatiel Bird Daniels, rhymes with Tennessee whiskey Jack Daniels, one member of the large menagerie of the Chickenpoet line of the Faire Garden clan. A social bird, leaving him alone in their house seemed unwise and unhealthy for him. He traveled in style in a small carrier and was housed in a smaller cage than customary during his stay with us at the beach, but he was happy to sit on top of the cage with his stuffed toy turkey girlfriend and join in the conversations.
Here is our rental house, sleeping thirteen when all were present. Beach towels hanging on the porch railings are mandatory decor.

The view from the upper porch gave a peaceful zen view of ocean and marsh. The sun is just rising in the left of this shot. Being an early riser is a good way to enjoy the beauty of the morning mist before the heat of the sun burns away the haze. The drive takes seven and one half hours from our house in Tennessee to this destination. Unpacking the cars and stocking the fridge and pantry take time and energy on the day of arrival, leaving one too weary to begin the photographic journey until the following morning.The shrimp boats were present every day, fishing close to the shore, it appears from this picture. Shrimp dishes were on the menu of every restaurant, locally caught. Yum.

The back of the house faced the marsh, with rivers that rose with the tide. We were lucky to have this covered dock with a swing just a few steps from the back door. The sun is just peeking up and casting fascinating shadows at low tide.


A row of similar docks to ours lined the view. Pelicans were plentiful, this one is sitting on the dock post waiting to begin his day of flying and fishing.

Fishing was a big pastime for our clan also. The Financier spent some quality hours fishing. The ramp angle shows with its steep descent that the tide is low. It will rise as the water fills the marsh to the level of the covered swing area above.

Tiny crabs scramble into mud holes as the water rises. It is guessed that this is a fiddler crab, he measured two to three inches across from leg to leg.


The netted traps snagged many a blue crab.


The fishing yielded spot and croaker from the dock, along with two sting rays. All of the catch was gently released back from whence it came.

In addition to the dock on the marsh and the ocean view, a swimming pool with decking was directly out the back door of the house. During non beach time, the offspring, their offspring and various adults partook of the bath temperature salt water pool. The deepest part was five and one half feet, so there were lots of stand up games of ball in addition to the swimming.


The youngest of the offspring’s offspring showed us that he had no fear of the water, jumping off the side to splash aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents with glee, wearing his spiderman floatation suit and New York Yankees baseball cap.

There were also more quiet pursuits with the traditional set up of the water color artist’s nook on the porch. Several masterpieces were produced by various talented painters.

The beach caravan required car transport to carry the many items necessary for maximum delight. These included, beach chairs, umbrella, boogie boards, fishing gear, coolers, towels,many sunscreens, toys and games. Body surfing was a popular sport practiced there.

The waves gave a good ride on the boards for those patient enough to wait for that perfect curl.

Fishing in the surf was a good way to stay cool and test your skills.

Baby sharks were the number one ocean catch once again. We sometimes wonder if baby sharks being so plentiful means that adult sharks are not far away. No one strays out too far into the depths of the tides. The locals say these waters are shark breeding grounds!

Yet another recreational opportunity here was golf. The adult men played earlier in the day, and the whippersnappers brought their clubs to see how the course measured up later in the afternoon.

There was one course on the island, and it was pleasureable for some to play there. One clan member claims to be giving up golf for good after a poor showing, selling his clubs by phone to friends back home. If that is truly the case remains to be seen. The large live oak tree on one of the holes, dripping with spanish moss, actually a bromeliad tillandsia, makes this a majestic scene.

Back at the house, a new family of hermit crabs joined the Chickenpoet pet society. This is Queen Claw, I think, if that is not correct, CP will set us straight in the comment section.

Good friend Laurie presented us with magnetic poetry words as a birthday gift, garden edition, for the creative among us. The set of words made a perfect beach trip indoor challenge. Oldest offspring of the offspring came up with this lovely thought.

Mrs. Brokenbeat decided to make the words into designs, very nice Ash.

There was another beach nearer to the house that was within walking distance. In the evenings we would trek the sandy road without needing to bring all the extra items.

Once there, we take off in assorted directions, each with a mission known only to themselves.

Brokenbeat found a tiny baby pufferfish.

What a work of nature’s art he is. And the fish too.

Gardoctor spent much time with fishing rod in hand. This was believed to be a mullet. All live creatures were returned to their environs gently.

The youngest among us just wanted to run and run and run and run on the sandy shore.

The shells were many. Sharks teeth and prize specimens were located.

The much sought after rock with a hole in it, for fairy viewing on midsummer night’s eve was scored. While not a true rock geologically, made from mollusk cement, we feel it qualifies for our purposes.

The sun now sets on our weeklong beach extravaganza. We load up the cars and head back to our respective casas, looking forward to the beach adventure of next year.

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37 Responses to The Beach Vacation 2008

  1. Cinj says:

    What a perfect vacation. I hope I’m able to do that someday with my family. We stayed at a cabin on the lake once. It was pure bliss!

    We are of course gardeners, but there are other acpects to our lives too. Thanks for sharing some of yours!

    My vacation won’t be nearly as peaceful, but there’s plenty of driving to do during it! I need a vacation after all of this stress. Maybe I should have planned one more like yours….

  2. Nancy J. Bond says:

    What a lovely vacation! Thanks for sharing it with us.

  3. Dave says:

    It looks like you all had a great time! Great fish pictures. That pufferfish is a neat find!

  4. tina says:

    Thanks for sharing your lovely beach vacation. Very nice.

  5. Yolanda Elizabet says:

    I feel very refreshed and rested now. Thanks for taking me along on thet wonderful holiday Frances. Pure bliss indeed. There was a time when I enjoyed fishing too and of course all that were caught were gently returned from whence they came.

  6. Jean says:

    What a great vacation spot!! As always your pics are great but my favorite is the very first one…a gorgeous cockatiel! I have 3 of them and mine are also male and they are great birds. Most of my life I have had parakeets and have 2 now but oh there is nothing like a cockatiel.
    So glad he got to go on a nice vacation.

    Glad you found your rock for the big night coming up!

  7. Mr. McGregor's Daughter says:

    Looks like a great time was had by all. I love all the wildlife, especially those crabs. Isn’t nature amazing?

  8. cindee says:

    Looks like a wonderful time!! That is so cool you found a baby shark and puffer fish and the different crabs are so pretty too!!!! The scenery is beautiful!! Thanks for sharing!!!!

  9. Skeeter says:

    You are such a great photographer!
    The pictures are so beautiful and after seeing them, I feel I have been there as well..
    After seeing the baby shark, you could not drag me into that water! LOL…
    The sunset was spectacular!

    Makes me want to get our boat to the lake today!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Bird Daniels says thanks for the beach vacation and being included as part of the family.

    And yes that is Queen Claw, the tree/hermit crab. Her proper name is Queen Annabelle Claw since they are royalty. The new additions are all doing well in the prestigious Crab Castle of Country View, the Royal Crabiterrium.

    I love all those pics; very reminiscing. That puffer fish Brokenbeat found is so cool and cute. That is my favorite pic.

    The vacation was definately a legend of a time. Can’t wait to see everyone again; and of course, Financier’s next beach trip extravaganza.

    Much Love, CP

    P.S. I need spellcheck!! (LOL)

  11. Robin's Nesting Place says:

    That is so neat that you all spent your vacation together. Your pictures are wonderful and I enjoyed the unusual wildlife you captured.

  12. DP Nguyen says:

    What a wonderful vacation adventure you had. I love those cute crab pictures. So cute, and yet it makes me so hungry. Everything looks so fun. Fishing, especially. What a perfect summer vacation! :-)

  13. Jane Marie says:

    I can’t imagine such a wonderful vacation. I usually take traveling trips visiting this relative and that friend. I come home exhausted, needing a vacation!

  14. Frances, says:

    Hi Cinj, thanks for taking the time to stop by. You do need a relaxing time after all you have been through.

    Hi Nancy J., thanks for visiting.

    Hi Dave, thanks, we did enjoy the family time. The pufferfish was so cute, but so tiny, what good eyesight Brokenbeat has to be able to see it and grab it barehanded.

    Hi Tina, thanks, the beach trip was great.

    Hi YE, from your posts, your vacation times look pretty spectacular compared to our family beach trip. Someday I would love to see the UK too. Thanks for taking time to visit.

  15. Frances, says:

    Hi Jean,thanks, I was hoping some cockatiel lovers would see Bird Daniels, he was so well behaved ,the entire time, no fuss no muss. Are they all as good natured as he is? He loves to be pet on the head like a dog or cat, and leans his head down for you to love on him. Having three like that would be super!

    Hi MMD,thanks, it was a very animal oriented vacation. Large groups of pelicans flew in a straight line overhead continually. Why I didn’t think to photograph that is beyond comprehension. It is one of the many things we love about that beach.

    Hi Cindee, thanks for the supportive words. We always catch baby sharks, it has lost some of the initial excitement, but the pufferfish was amazing.

    Hi Skeeter, thanks. This time I did go into the water, but not very far, having had a shark encounter before a few years ago. The scariest thing in my entire life!

  16. Frances, says:

    Ah, Chickenpoet, your spelling looks okay to me. Bird Daniels is welcome to come anytime, we loved having him. I bet your crab castle is stupendous, you will have to send photos. Hope they royals like their new shells too. It was an especially good vacation this time, I agree. The Financier is already at work on next year’s trip! love.

    Hi Robin, thanks. I didn’t want to show a bunch of family photos, we did take over a thousand of those between the lot of us with digital cameras. We are still going over those shots to make CDs for everyone.

    Hi DP, thanks. One year we bought live blue crabs and cooked them, delicious but very labor intensive. The Financier was warned not to repeat that, and he bought packaged lump crab this time around for our crab cakes. Yum and less work!

    Hi Jean Marie, it was fun, but exhausting as well. We are still trying to catch up at home, lots to do here. You are right, time for a vacation after the vacation!

  17. semi says:

    What a wonderful vacation! Those are some of my fav’s from the picture gallery. I am already looing forward to next years vacation. Bird Daniels was a good addition and very photogenic. Great Post! Love semi

  18. Pam/Digging says:

    What treasures you all found, Frances. That baby pufferfish and baby shark are fascinating.

  19. shirl says:

    Hi again Frances, it sounds like you all had a great time :-D

    Great pics of your clan having fun and exploring. Quite a few good finds like the pufferfish too :-D

    Enjoy your garden now you are home :-D

  20. Christelle says:

    Thanks for sharing great photos. “spiderman” is so cute and what a beautiful sunset.

    http://www.gardenview.com

  21. Frances, says:

    Hi Semi, yes, this was the best vacation ever. It will be hard for the Financier to top it. ;-> love.

    Hi Pam, thanks. The pufferfish was so small, I am still in awe that he even spotted it.

    Hi Shirl, thanks for visiting. The trip was the best. The garden greeted me with many chores to do, there was so much growth and overgrowth in just a week. I need to come visit you!

    Thanks Christelle, our little spiderman keeps us well amused as he lives less than an hour from us. The sunset photo is a fave of mine, the sun really was that color in the sky.

  22. Blackswamp_Girl says:

    What a lovely recap–and I’m so happy to hear that you found the magic fairy looking-stone!

    The baby pufferfish was absolutely amazing. And I’m amazed that brokenbeat found it, it’s so tiny.

  23. chuck b. says:

    I’m glad you had a nice family vacation (more than nice, it seems), but I’m more glad that you’re back and blogging again.

    It was horrible without you.

    “Good friend Laurie presented us with magnetic poetry words as a birthday gift, garden edition, for the creative among us.”

    A birthday gift? Is this an occasion to wish you a happy birthday, Frances?

  24. Frances, says:

    Hi Kim, thanks, it was great. The pufferfish was so small that I could barely see it in his hand, only the camera close up let me see what it really looked like. Such a gorgeous creature.

    Hi Chuck, you are so funny, thanks though. My birthday is in late April, I am a true taurus in every way, sometimes snorting smoke when ready to charge! The gift was perfect for the beach and we had fun making poems, but none of us knew how to do a haiku, HA.

  25. Rose says:

    What a beautiful setting for a vacation. Spending it with your whole family must have made it wonderful. Glad you had a great time.

  26. Frances, says:

    Thanks Rose, it was great to have the whole family together. It is hard to schedule for that many people to be able to get away at the same time. We don’t know how many more years it can happen, and when it’s not everyone, it just isn’t the same.

  27. Sherry at the Zoo says:

    What a wonderful vacation! I think it’s adorable that you took your bird with you! What a lucky pet!

    Aren’t puffer fish poisenous?

    thanks for sharing your pictures adn week with us!

  28. brokenbeat says:

    many thanks to you and pa for this, the third annual family beach vacation. everything about it was so relaxed. that’s the key, right? relaxation without itinerary obligation, free to carry on as we chose, and yet create small moments as lasting memories with every conversation or adventure? let’s hope this fantastic run of family form lasts for many, many years. here’s to it! *clink*

    the pufferfish was originally thought to be some floating seaweed, but as i would come to find out, it was really searching for sanctuary in my belly button (i kid). luckily i scooped it up with cupped hands and, after you took that picture, set it on a proper course. it rolled around like jello in my palm, and it was lovely.

    much love.

  29. Frances, says:

    Hi Sherry, Bird Daniels is a great guy, he sat on top of his cage without ever trying to fly away or get into other trouble. He liked being part of the goings on in the breakfast nook. He was happy to eat saltines handed to him also. Brokenbeat has just commented below and explains how he found the pufferfish. He was so very tiny and quickly returned to the ocean so no harm was done, we assume. Thanks for visiting and glad you liked the photos.

    Hi Brokenbeat, as you can read, the pufferfish was a great hit with the readership. He was extremely photogenic, that helped too. We hope this type of vacation can continue but know from experience what happens as the youngsters grow older and become involved in sports, etc. that can cause conflicts in timing with everyone else. We will enjoy the times as they occur, savoring every second of our time together. love.

  30. Kerri says:

    Sounds like an absolutely idyllic vacation, Frances. I can almost smell the ocean air as I wander through your lovely photos – a great assortment! I’ll bet it was hard to choose just 31 to post :)
    How wonderful for the whole family to have a week of beach fun together.
    You saw some fascinating creatures. The puffer fish is quite the little star :)
    Thanks so much for sharing the fun :)

  31. Frances, says:

    Thanks Kerri, we did have fun with family and creatures. The smell of the ocean is something we all delight in, for it means happy times ahead as we drive from inland to the shore.

  32. Annie in Austin says:

    What a lovely post, Frances – thanks for taking us with you. I know exactly how wonderful this kind of family vacation can be because our last one took place at a similar beach a little north of where you were. Our building was on the beach itself rather than the inland waterway, so we needed no caravans, but also had no dock.

    Those close encounters with nature are wonderful, aren’t they!
    We never saw a puffer but were there when a sea turtle came ashore to lay eggs late at night.

    Happy memories to all your family!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  33. Frances, says:

    Hi Annie, thanks. What beach did you go to? We are searching the whole area, any recommendations? There were signs along our road that said the keep the lights out at night for the sea turtle activity. We didn’t see any nests though we have in other years, marked off with orange plastic netting to keep nosy humans away.

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