Taking the Plunge in 2012

Happy 2012!

Every holiday has its traditions. Watching football while eating collard greens and black-eyed peas is the norm for me on New Year’s Day. However, we decided that since we moved to the beach it was time to kick off 2012 with a new tradition. We took the plunge. The “Pelican Plunge,” that is.

The Pelican Plunge is a local event modeled after the “Polar Bear Plunge” held in places like Boston and New York. Basically, you go out to the beach, psych yourself up, and with adrenaline pumping, you run like an idiot into the pneumonia-inducing, who-the-hell-thought-this-was-a-good-idea, freezing seawater. Sounds like a great new tradition, right?

If you have never been to Hunting Island, go. Go now. It is a gorgeous even in winter!

You can walk to the top of the lighthouse.

At the Pelican Plunge, there was a reggae band, a costume parade, and a Kazoo sing along. The donations raised go to support “Discover Carolina” South Carolina State Park Programs, a program that transforms South Carolina State Parks and the South Carolina State House into living classrooms.  

Now, onto the day’s festivities. We jammed to the music…

We watched the costume parade…

Then it was time for the main event. It was rather unseasonably warm with a daytime high of 71 degrees, but don’t let that fool you. The seawater was unseasonably cold, according to officials. Believe me, it was COLD!

You know, Mother Nature may not be kind to women sometimes, but today was a good day to be a woman. I shudder to think about how many men were recalling this episode of Seinfeld when they hit the water:

We came. We plunged. We got the commemorative t-shirt and kazoo. Now bring me an electric blanket and some hot chocolate.

Welcome to the Lowcountry!

So I ended up taking a bit of a blogging break. The Dutchman and I have been on a bit of a rollercoaster lately, and it seems as if the ride is finally beginning to slow a bit. Not that I am complaining. We have big news…We packed up our lives and moved from the Classic City to the Lowcountry! From Athens, Georgia, to Beaufort, South Carolina, to be exact.

Beaufort, South Carolina

Here’s how it all happened: The Dutchman graduated from nursing school and successfully passed his boards. After weeks and weeks of pounding the pavement for jobs, one of us finally caught a break. The local hospital in Beaufort called and wanted to interview him immediately for a job as a surgical nurse. Two days later, we drove down to Beaufort for a whirlwind one-day trip so that we could visit the area and he could participate in his formal interview.

Now I am not one to be superstitious, but let me just say there were “signs” that this job for the Dutchman and our move to the coast was meant to be…

Sign 1: “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor (greatest pump-it-up song ever!) played on the radio before he went in the hospital for his interview, and he came out with a big grin on his face after meeting with the hospital staff.

Sign 2: After his interview, we decided to go dip our toes in the Atlantic Ocean before we drove the four hours back to Athens that evening. We saw a lady walking on the beach with a beagle and a lab/mutt mix that reminded us of our little four-legged children (we have a beagle, a lab, and a mutt). I also found an intact dried sand dollar during low tide on the beach. I have always wanted to find one, and the Dutchman kept it in his pocket for safekeeping for me.

Sign 3: A move is always a precarious thing in that you wonder if you made the right decision to totally pack up your life and move away from all that feels comfortable and normal. New town, new people, new everything. However, we got our answer to this question not long after we moved to Beaufort.

On our first day to really go out and explore Beaufort and Port Royal Island, we wanted to take pictures to send back to our family and friends. We had no idea where to start, and as luck would have it this is the first photo I took:

Rainbow over the bay in Beaufort, South Carolina

Welcome to Beaufort. Home sweet home!