First impressions of Hilton Head....too darn much traffic. Our friend lives on, what she describes as, one of the most deadly roads in the area. And it's easy to see why. Too many cars, travelling far too fast, trying to figure out where they are on a road with almost zero landmarks. I'm sure the locals know what they're doing, but for an area that has such large numbers of tourists, the place is a death trap. Even with the GPS in the car, we missed our turns often due to poorly placed turn lanes and non-existant signage.
All of that said, I certainly enjoyed spending time with my friend Ruth. We drove around Hilton Head one day (don't bother, it looks just like any other tourist destination at the beach) and wandering through old Bluffton. Of the two, Bluffton was by far the more quaint and interesting area. They are working hard to restore some of the original buildings dating back to the early 1900's and putting in some newer shopping areas that mimic the same style. So although the death trap of a road going through town is strip mall heaven, they seem to be putting some serious thought into what they do as they restore the town itself.
We had two great meals while in Bluffton, one at a southern BBQ chain called Jim n'Nicks. Ruth set up a meeting with a few of her local girlfriends and we all had a really nice meal together. We miss Ruth terribly up in Ohio, so it was good to see her new friends and know that she's in good hands there. Sharing BBQ lends itself to gossip and laughter anyhow, so it was a fun evening all around.
We also visited a great little restaurant called May River Grill. http://mayrivergrill.com/ Voted "Best New Restaurant" and "Best Seafood Restaurant" in Hilton Head, this unassuming place was a pleasant surprise when you walk through the stripmall style front door. After ordering my dinner it struck me odd that I drove 1100 miles to order a piece of Lake Michigan Walleye, but believe me it was worth the trip. The chef is a Michigan native and gets plenty of fresh water fish from his buddys still in the North. He served my breaded walleye with with a Lemon Caper Dill sauce that was really fantastic. One of the gals ordered the Duck which she deemed "so so", and one had scallops that were very good. Frankly I was so enthralled with my own meal I paid little attention to the others.
So it seems that the most memorable things about Hilton Head were the bad traffic, seeing Ruth (a GOOD thing!) and the meals we ate. Mmmmm, mmmm, GOOD!