At thirty bucks for an umbrella and two chairs you can rest assured a pilot (well most of us)will be heading to Walmart or Target to buy their own. Besides lifeguarding, my daughter has the task of renting out these packages. Her boss has exclusive rights to the entire Hilton Head beach. Cha-ching Cha-ching
The flight (JAZZ) to CLT (Charlotte, North Carolina) with three others on stand-by went without a hitch. It turns out the first officer was an ex-Brampton flight center graduate. I taught him some weather. Hired directly on the RJ Challenger, he is still smiling!
In hindsight, I should have looked into buying tickets with "other airlines" to avoid the near five hour drive to Hilton Head. For the price of a case of 12 beer per person (done in beer dollars) in Ontario we could have flown stand-by on a U.S Air connector from CLT to HHH per person. Actually, my wife thought it would be a scenic drive so we didn't buy tickets. Turned out it was a land locked drive on a zombie inducing freeway. Another lesson learned, always check the itinerary - some people may not be as versed on geography than a "know it all" pilot. :)
Heck, it made for interesting conversation, but that's what road trips are about -marriage challengers. :) :)
Hilton Head is much bigger, populated and posh than I thought. From golf course to golf course, to gated communities (called plantations) to gated communities, it's a place of going concern. My wife loves it so much, she even volunteered me to commute from here. We poked into a retirement (I can't believe that word is creeping into my vocabulary) community to check things out. Good news. I didn't qualify. Minimum age is 50. Next year....
My eldest daughter wanted to escape the island of Hilton Head so we packed up the rental and headed to Charleston, South Carolina. What a beautiful city although the temperatures hovering near 98F (37 C) with the humidex off the clock is a bit much.
While enroute Captain Doug encountered a small rock going 60 mph. A chip the size of a nickel is now a glaring reminder how I dislike driving. Of course, I wavered all the insurance so I'm hoping the rental agency won't require my first born son as collateral. I guess it could have been much worse. The reminder of bird strikes in an airplane comes to mind.
Charleston is a city rich in history with beautiful colonial buildings. The historic district (where we are roughing it in a four star plus hotel) even has old fashioned gas street lights.
Now it's off for a horse drawn tour, more eating and of course - sampling the local beer.