Ever since the wheels of our plane touched the tarmac in North Carolina, my kids have been begging to go to the beach. I somehow managed to convinced my parents that we should pack up and take off to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina for a few days. It took quite a bit of work to rearrange their schedules, but they eventually pulled it off and we hit the road with our sights and our GPS set on the beach!
I haven’t been to Hilton Head Island since after my college graduation back in 2007, right before moving to France. It goes without saying that I was stoked to finally be back at the beach that I frequented growing up.
My parents own a villa at Hilton Head Beach and Tennis Villas so naturally it was our pied-à-terre for our trip. It was the first time my kids have been down to Hilton Head and they loved our villa and the resort, which has its own park, tennis courts, and three restaurants! If you’re looking for a place to stay in Hilton Head, I definitely recommend this villa which is for rent year round. (More info here)
Ironically, one of my favorite things about our stay in Hilton Head was waking up early in the morning. Growing up, my dad and I would get up early whenever we were in Hilton Head and go running before the heat got unbearable. This time around I had two kids in tow, so we traded our running shoes in for coffee cups. While I definitely missed those early morning runs, spending a few minutes of calm with my dad and a view of the ocean was priceless!
Speaking of coffee, my coffee intake is at an all-time high lately, likely due in part to the absence of my husband / co-kid-wrangler. I may or may not drink coffee all. day. long. Even on the beach in 95 degree heat…
Equipped with caffeine and coated from head to toe in sunscreen, we spent our days splashing around in the pool, playing in the sand, and jumping waves in the ocean.
For the kids, I used Babyganics. It’s very effective and it’s one of the cleanest sunscreens on the market for little ones. For their faces, I used the Babyganics sunscreen stick, which also works like a charm even if it does tend to leave them with that Casper the Ghost look unless you really rub it in well after applying.
Now, for the sake of full disclosure, I should probably note that I’ve never been a big ocean swimmer! I like to see what’s swimming beneath the surface, so I’m more of a clear, blue tropical waters kind of gal…
With that being said, given that my husband isn’t yet stateside, I ended up spending more time than my fair share of time in the water this time around.
On the first day that we took the kids swimming in the ocean, I confided in my mom that I was a little worried about sharks and that I didn’t want the kids spending too much time in the ocean. After all, I knew a girl who got bitten by a shark in high school and that kind of thing kinda sticks in your memory!
My mild paranoia proved to be founded when, just two days later, there was a shark sighting while my parents were swimming with the kids. They were all playing in the waves when my mom thought she saw two sharks. She immediately told my dad and, just to be safe, they took the kids out of the ocean. By the time they got back to our beach chairs, the life guards had evacuated the waters. Apparently there were two sharks roaming in the waters right where my parents and kids had been swimming! So yeah, I’m definitely sticking to my guns about not being an ocean swimmer!
But enough about sharks, let’s talk FOOD!
We ate breakfast in the room, lunch on the beach, and then a few dinners out. We attempted to eat at the well-known Skull Creek Boathouse, but the wait was 2.5 hours and we knew the kids would never make it that long. Such a disappointment, but I guess that gives me an excuse to come back to Hilton Head again soon!
On the bright side, we did get to eat at one of my favorite restaurants in Hilton Head, the unpretentious and always delicious Giuseppi’s Pizza and Pasta. My family has been eating at this restaurant for twenty some odd years and we keep going back. The owner, Jim, is so thoughtful and attentive and the restaurant has a fun, laid-back feel to it.
If you get a chance to check out Giuseppi’s, you’ll probably notice that they are known for their weggies, not to be confused with the wedgies your older brother used to give you when you got on his nerves!
Weggies are sandwiches made by folding fresh, hand-made pizza dough over fresh ingredients then baking it. I first started ordering these sandwiches as a child because, I mean, who doesn’t want to ask the waiter for a
If you decide to ignore your resolution to eat healthy and spring for a weggie, I recommend the Roman Weggie. It closely resembles an Italian sub, only way better because of all that delicious fresh baked pizza crust. Oh, and just so you know, it comes with Italian dressing on it, but you can ask that they swap it out for ranch if you prefer!
If the weggies aren’t enough to convince you to take a trip to Giuseppi’s, then let me tell you about the pizza I recently discovered. Giuseppi’s Ultimate White pizza is to die for… or at least to break your diet for! Definitely not for those who are afraid of a little garlic, this pizza is topped with garlic olive oil, artichokes, fresh spinach, tomatoes, ricotta, parmesan, and provolone cheese. An absolute délice, as we would say in France!
*Note: I wish I had taken the time to snap pics of all our delicious food from Giuseppi’s, but let’s be real- I was starving and didn’t want to lose 30 seconds of eating time.
If you happen to be in Hilton Head and get the urge to eat Italian, you should totally drop by Giuseppe’s. Better yet, if you can go on a Tuesday night, you might just catch the fabulous musician who performs there every week. After stuffing ourselves with pizza and weggies, we moved outside and the kids launched what turned into an impromptu dance party, with lots of others eventually joining in!
Because I’m all about helping you procrastinate, here’s a clip of my little man breaking it down, air guitar and all…
Our little stint in Hilton Head flew by and I would’ve loved to stay longer! I guess I shouldn’t complain though, because after our four day stay there, we loaded up the car and headed to Charleston for the weekend. More to come on that portion of our little family vacay soon…
But for now, I’ve got a house full of kiddos to keep an eye on! We’re keeping my adorable 20-month-old nephew all this week, so that means got three little ones running around the house! Bring on the coffee:)