My parents are stuck in time. I don’t mean my mom dresses like it’s the 1970’s or my dad wears 80’s neon. I mean my image of them is stuck in time. For some reason, I always think of my parents as being in their 50’s, but since I am in my 50’s that’s not even mathematically possible. Perhaps it’s because they have a young spirit. Even now in their 70’s, they are always up for an adventure. They are curious about this world. They love all the things that come with travel such as meeting new people, eating good food, experiencing new things, and exploring cool places. I don’t just love them because they are my parents. I really really like hanging out with them and the truth is they aren’t getting younger. So when I had the chance to bring them along to a private island off the coast of South Carolina it was a no-brainer.
Admittedly traveling by boat from a beautiful neighborhood in Hilton Head to the private island made me feel a little like I was living the rock star life. We could see the dolphin tower as we approached the island.
The island is technically off the grid. The solar panels, batteries, and generators that run the only home on the island are tucked away under the 360-degree porch. It’s quite a setup.
There is a TV in the house but you can only watch whatever the attached antenna can pick up from the off-air signal which isn’t much. The limits of the home mean you can’t run appliances after a certain time.
The decor is modern and comfortable with the exception of one really strange mermaid head hanging in the living room. The second-story cupola offered wide sweeping views from every angle. My teenager claimed the space as hers. Another cool feature was the two outdoor showers on the property (yes, there are indoor showers too but why use those when you are on a private island!).
There’s not much to do on a private island but that’s kind of the point.
Crab traps and kayaks made for fun ways to spend the afternoon. Watching my dad and my daughter toss the traps made me laugh. In my gut, I felt the specialness of the moment.
We made multiple trips a day to the dolphin tower to see the magnificent creatures playing.
The giant fire pit was perfect for staring into at night. In the mornings we walked the path around the island watching the fog roll off to reveal the expanse of the ocean all around us.
Strange-looking birds perched themselves on floating pieces of wood near the shore.
I wanted to freeze all of the moments with my parents. I wanted more moments. But time is a bitch and it just keeps on moving even if you don’t want it to. Kids grow up. Parents get older. Trips end. Life moves on. Blah, blah, blah it’s irritating but true. That is why I am most grateful for this trip. I am grateful for the experience of it, no doubt, but mostly I am grateful for those moments with my parents. In a big family like ours where everyone thinks they are ‘the favorite’, one on one moments like that don’t come along often.
Humphrey Bogart might “always have Paris”(It’s a Casablanca reference if you didn’t know) but I’ll always have the Private Island of Old House Cay.