During my three weeks in Bluffton, S.C. I drove across the bridges to Hilton Head Island a number of times. I love the beach and the drive took an easy 30 minutes versus the hours in bumper-to-bumper traffic it takes me at home to get to the Jersey Shore. The beaches on Hilton Head are beautiful. And accessible: I’ve never seen a blue carpet extended out into the sand toward the ocean on any other beach I’ve visited. Have you? Hilton Head beaches weren’t super crowded when I was there either: Until the tide came rushing in; then I ended up with a family of 5 from Ohio in my lap.
Most days before I drove to Hilton Head I ate breakfast at home and packed a lunch to eat on the beach. This way I got maximum sun time and minimum hassle about choosing where to go/what to eat at a local restaurant: Yes, I can be lazy.
One beach day, though, I did wander across the traffic circle to Coligny Plaza, what seems to be the local go-to area, to check it out: souvenir shops, chain clothing stores and a goodly number of restaurants. At the Market Street Cafe, I enjoyed fresh grilled local shrimp over a bed of greens and a chilled glass of pinot grigio. And I people watched, a favorite past-time of my husband Mike’s. Then I started the walk to my car.
As I rounded the last corner I saw Sweet Caroline Cupcakes, a small, super-clean cupcake bakery. I love sweets, especially muffins and cakes; I hustled up to the counter and saw…a SUPER HUGE whoopie pie, the largest I’d ever seen in my life (and I’m originally from Pennsylvania, arguably the original home of the whoopie pie, which we call a “gob.”). And a HUGE red velvet cupcake. I brought home one of each. The whoopie pie filling, while tasty, was significantly different than the filling I grew up making/eating. And the red velvet cupcake? It was sublime.
P.S. I returned once more to Sweet Caroline’s and bought the exact same items. Then I ran an extra 10 miles that week.