Recently, I happened to be in the right place at the right time to receive an amazing invitation to Kiawah Island, South Carolina with some wonderful women for a few days. It’s good to travel to nice places, but it’s more important to travel with good people. This unexpected trip was both, and so much more.
This post is all about capturing the small moments, those “bookend” times of the day when one can carve out a few moments of solitude to simply be, and simply be aware of where we are and grateful for our time here.
Allow me to share a few of the beautiful sights and moments experienced within these 13 or so square miles along the edge of the Atlantic. First up: Arrival!
That feeling when you know you’re close to somewhere special is even more exciting when greeted by such a beautiful sign.
This beautiful place has miles and miles and miles of trails. Level, well-marked, well maintained trails. Where the trails end, there are more miles of well packed sand at the edge of the Atlantic, just perfect for strolling or cruising. Walking and bicycling were the preferred means of transportation throughout much of the stay on Kiawah.
With bags stowed in the condo and sunset approaching, one of the first activities was to find a spot for the best show in the area! A little side note here: Early in the drive, our theme song became Castle On The Hill by Ed Sheeran. Looking at this photo now, watching the pelicans fly over the nearby Sanctuary Hotel that could easily be mistaken for a castle in the sunset that first evening, that song fits so well.
..a lone gull, a flock of pelicans, and an amazing mid-week sunset..
Mornings are a favorite time for me, especially at the beach, any beach, but I had no idea the beauty and majesty awaiting me on my first morning walk at Kiawah. I happened upon a couple of bucks looking for breakfast!
..caught sight of a buck surveying the dunes on my morning walk…
He must have heard me behind him and turned around. For just a few seconds he walked towards me on the boardwalk. I backed up accordingly to give him his space.
..Let me just slip off to the side to get out of his way…
After a couple of minutes, the buck turned around and joined a friend for breakfast in the dunes. A lovely cardinal flew into the frame just as I snapped the picture.
This is how I spent my first morning on Kiawah, in the company of beautiful creatures at the edge of the vast ocean. No other humans to be seen. #GodSightings!
The condo where we stayed had a wonderful kitchen with ample beautiful and comfortable spaces to enjoy meals and conversation. But one night we ventured out to a restaurant at Bohicket Marina. Oh.My.Goodness! Yes, the food was delicious, yes the company was delightful, yes the conversation included A LOT of laughter; but upon exiting the building we were greeted by the twilight sky settling in for the night over the boats.
Last rays of sunlight fading ahead of gathering clouds. ‘Tis good the boats are in the harbor this night.
Heavy clouds gathered throughout the night. Summertime thunderstorms are a reality here, but the boats seem determined to shine with their reflections despite the imposing darkness.
….calm waters below, troubled skies above….
The next morning the clouds seemed to want to linger a little longer and enjoy the sunrise as well. Who could blame them? Later this beach will be filled with people enjoying the sunshine and surf, but for now it’s nearly deserted.
The sun seems to be blanketed by the clouds, rising from them as if slowly waking to the new day itself.
I love those glowing moments, when even the air seems saturated between the actual light and the reflection from the water.
More morning scenes from Kiawah ~ lone shrimp boat heading out to sea.
More morning scenes from Kiawah ~ Sunrise reflections from the pond. There’s a sign warning of alligators, but they stayed out of sight on this trip.
Morning sunrise and clouds at one of the greens on the golf course.
As much as I adore the pictures of and on the beach, this picture is one of my favorites from this trip. This is the walkway to the beach following an overnight rainstorm. Fallen leaves, blown by the wind and rain, lay undisturbed as I approached on my morning walk. Perhaps in this picture there’s a hint of how spectacular autumn will be along this trail.
Storm soaked boardwalk and fallen leaves ~ Beautiful Sights at Kiawah
What you don’t see in these pictures are the in-between moments. Images of conversations over coffee, morning chats, laughter over wine, bonding between a mother and her recent high school graduate daughter, friendships growing, rest and renewal.
What I hope you see are images of a beautiful place where these and more wonderful things happened, all because one person chose to extend an amazing invitation.
While leaving, I stopped for one more sign. The Sanctuary Resort sign adorned with Old Glory in preparation for the Independence Day festivities.
Sanctuary – So much more than a resort hotel.
Our sign upon arrival simply stated where we were, our sign on departure simply stated what we had experienced ~ Sanctuary.
“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11