Life Lately: Bluffton, Beaches, Books

May 25, 2015
It's crazy that I'm finally wrapping up my first year teaching in America!  We have less than three weeks left, and I'm relieved to say that I think I'll survive it.  That is, if an alligator doesn't bite off my arm.  (Being dramatic.)  No, seriously, though, we just had Career Day with the students, and our school nurse works as a surgical nurse over the weekends sewing people up.  She said that her longest surgery was a 17 hour one involving a man who got his arm bitten off by an alligator.  Then a substitute teacher chimed in about this alligator that used to "hang out" at her local golf course that grew to be 12 feet long.  It got so big because people kept feeding it, and then it associated people with food and started getting aggressive, so it had to be put down.  Okay, my nightmares are now fueled for weeks--apparently I have an irrational fear (is it that irrational considering those two anecdotes, though??) of gators!

I'll come back from my tangent and continue talking about what I've been up to lately.  I recently spent some time in Bluffton, South Carolina enjoying an art and food festival.  One of my acquaintances was there who is from the area, and she suggested that we try some lobster rolls from the Joe Loves Lobster Rolls stall.  Oh my goodness...AMAZING!  I've only had lobster a few times in life, but I've got to take advantage of this restaurant being so close to me and go there again soon.  The event was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed browsing the booths full of locally made artwork.  A Low Country souvenir that I haven't bought myself yet, but that I still really want is a handmade Gullah basket.  There were some for sale, but I held off because there is a larger selection in Charleston. Bluffton is an extremely cute historic town that is well-worth a visit!






I had my students make this Mother's Day candle craft a few weeks back.  I thought it was a gift that my students' mothers might actually enjoy because my former cooperating teacher used to make them with her students, and they seemed to be a hit.  I went out and bought the supplies we needed: white candles, wax paper, and tissues.  I had my students start to decorate the tissues with magic markers like the example, and then used a hair dryer to have the tissues "melt into" the candle.  The only problem was that it seemed to be taking forever to stick to the candle and some of them wouldn't fully blend in.  After I pulled up the website and re-read the instructions, I noticed that it said to use tissue PAPER and I used actual tissues, ha ha.  I felt like the biggest ditz after reading that and then got paranoid that they would catch on fire if parents tried to actually light them.  The art teacher assured me that it was okay, and even though I used the wrong kind of paper they still turned out all right. #Blondemoment


I've also been to Savannah quite a few times lately.  Strolling through the city always makes for a pleasant day in my book, and I get some exercise in.  Trust me, burning calories is a good thing because I always end up indulging on something delectable in Savannah. I convinced my pal Ev to stop at Leopold's Ice Cream and we got mint chocolate chip sundaes.  After having one of those, it was so good that I don't think I'll be able to ever try anything else from there!  Also, the last time I went to Savannah, I visited The Flying Monk Noodle Bar on Broughton with a friend.  He said his food was just average, but my spicy red Korean noodle dish was just what I had been craving.





Other stuff that I've done recently is to finally try a S'Mores Frappuccino from Starbucks.  For me, it was a win, especially because I paid the 95 cents and got a cookie straw with it!  On another note, I got a library card, finally!  I checked out Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, The Art of Racing in the Rain, and The Goldfinch.  I've already finished Midnight... and am reading The Art of Racing in the Rain now.  Very rarely do I ever put a book down, but The Goldfinch was just NOT holding my attention and I found it a bit tedious, so I quit reading it.  Maybe that was a mistake and it would have gotten better (??)

This year, I've made it out to the beach three times already!  A major plus of living here and dealing with this high cost of living is the proximity to the beach.  Of the three times I've gone, I've been to Coligny Beach twice on Hilton Head Island.  That is a popular choice for most people because of the free parking.  It can be kind of a pain to find a spot, though.  You have to go early or get lucky most days if you go on the weekend because it can get really crowded.  This weekend, my friend Ev asked me if I wanted to go to the beach with one of his friends who knew of a more laid-back spot called Driessen Beach.  Ev and I both really liked Driessen a whole lot and would definitely go back there.  The drawback is that you do have to pay $3 for parking, but it is nice that it is less crowded than Coligny. I'm not saying that I dislike Coligny, but it is nice to change it up!


Even though I've been working hard, I try to make the most of my weekends, at least on Saturday's!

What's your favorite beach?
20 comments on "Life Lately: Bluffton, Beaches, Books"
  1. I don't think gator fear is THAT irrational--they sure seem like pretty fierce creatures! I love spending time at the beach--we're about two hours from a beach here, but we've probably visited about 4 times this Spring.

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  2. I know!! Some people laugh at me, but when I hear stories like that I become terrified! That's great that you made it out to the beach so many times already, yay!

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  3. I love getting time on the beach. I live a little over an hour from a beach but I don't get there near as often as I like. In a couple of weeks my cousin & I are taking a road trip & I'm most excited for some time on the beach in Florida.

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  4. Sounds amazing!! I hope to make it down to Florida sometime soon and enjoy some of the beaches there, too.

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  5. I have heard such great things about Bluffton! I will have to visit it sometime. I also quit reading the Goldfinch. I couldn't get into it! But so many people love it so maybe it's worth another shot.

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  6. Yes, Bluffton is quite nice! Now I just have to go back when there isn't a festival going on to get a real taste of what it's like. :)

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  7. Thanks for posting all your travel/eating experiences in the south. I wouldn't go near an alligator, ever. People are so stupid to feed those things. They are more than capable of finding food--note the large teeth. I loved your blond moment. It is something I would probably be guilty of doing because I am notorious for not reading directions through completely. I think you will survive your year of teaching in America! Hope you will remember it with fondness!

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  8. ooooh the candle idea sounds like so much fun!!
    I've heard good things about goldfinch but whenever I look at it, I feel like it isn't something that will keep my attention.

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  9. Yay congrats on almost finishing your first year of teaching!

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  10. Wow! Hooray for your first year of teaching that's great! You can make it! Also, awesome pictures. I wish I lived near a beach!

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  11. What an AWESOME weekend!! Congrats on almost being done with your first year with Teach for America! I need to try that s'mores frappuccino very soon, and that cookie straw totally sounds worth it. I also need to explore Bluffton more! We always tend to head right to HHI. Have a great week!

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  12. The kids really liked making them!! I had a few do it at a time and they would say, "What about me?? When can I make the candle?" Ha ha!
    It really was a struggle to stay focused! I feel like most books start out that way for me but then suck me in once I start to care about the characters, but this one did not really do that.

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  13. Eight more days!! :) I'm glad to have one year of experience in the USA under my belt.

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  14. I always wished that I lived near one too until one day I moved! Thanks for the encouragement...summer break is RIGHT around the corner.

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  15. Thanks so much!! I actually am not doing Teach for America, but this was my first year as a full-time teacher in the USA. (I taught overseas for three years before doing this.) I do find Bluffton quaint and just more "chill." Hilton Head is also nice,but if you're looking for a cute town, Bluffton would have to qualify.

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  16. Yes, SO STUPID!! I don't understand the logic. Yes, I skimmed the directions and then paid the price. Thank goodness it wasn't a complete disaster or my students' moms wouldn't have gotten a Mother's Day gift.

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  17. Way to go on your first year of teaching in America being over! And that the candles you had kids make weren't a safety hazard! Win! I loved the cookie straw from the S'mores frap - can I just have more of those? Jealous you've been to the beach three times already! It's still not even warm enough here to have gone once!

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  18. I wish we had a starbucks near by i would love to try one of those!

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  19. I have to make up for all of my time in Ohio and not being able to go to the beach!! I hope it warms up so that you can get your beach time in, too.

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  20. Girl, mine is a 45 minute drive away!! I do have a Dunkin Donuts 2 minutes from my house.

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