Boca Grande, to us its the tarpon fishing wonderland. The playground of the elite during the winter months, or “social season” but during the summer months, it’s mostly abandoned and boarded up in case of a hurricane... we love it down there, and even tho it’s hot, it’s not as hot as Wadmalaw Island.
This year we managed to escape down that way for a week. Enough time for both of us to relax and wind down. To spend mornings fishing or exploring, lazy afternoons enjoying nap time or reading or just lounging, and the evenings enjoying culinary delight after delight.. and ending most evenings with chocolate martinis! But the main reason we were down that way was the tarpon, the silver king, the poon... I’ve never seen so many in my life. Literally thousands rolling and gulping air. We could see them so well on Capt Mark Bennett’s Hummingbird Minn Kota. It was amazing how clear you could see the images and the detail on that thing (now of course B wants one, lol). The 15" Mega is the real deal.
Anyhow, back to fishing. B was the first to ‘hook up’ with one. About a 70#'er.
B, being an amazing fisherman himself, was easily able to get this one to the boat, snagged a quick photo and then a clean release.
Then it was my turn. I asked Capt Mark to make sure he hooked a "little one" for me. Well, he doesn’t listen, and soon I found myself with a 120# Fish at the other end of my line. You’ve never felt anything like the pull of a tarpon. It’s like trying to pull a school bus off the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. And they fight!! Holy💩 do they fight. B actually was holding onto my pants so I wouldn’t get pulled overboard 😂😂😂
After about 20 minutes or so and I couldn’t feel my arms, B helped me for a bit. Then I tried some more and let me tell you. When they jump and get new air and a new lease on life. It’s on like donkey Kong again , the line zings against the drag and they’re another 1000’ away. Anyhow between the two of us, B finally got him to the boat and Jenni got some amazing photos (actually the one of us with the tarpon is one of my all-time favorites. The feeling of catching your first one of these pre-historic fish is overwhelming and amazing. #imhookednow for sure! We also had a nice, clean release on this one.
B has been fishing with Capt. Mark & Jenni for over 20 years now, sometimes they're like #brothersfromanothermother. There are always lots of great stories, some about fishing, some about life, they always catch tons of fish, and Jenni is an awesome first mate and photographer. Details & Links at bottom of blog post.
If you want to fish with them, my suggestion is that you book early. He fills up FAST.... and make sure to ask him about his shoes! lol
Our second favorite thing about BG is the FOOD!!!! Always amazing, delicious, and most have a great view, or a great story behind them. We ate at Millers Dockside the first night, which is a tradition. On the waterway, and at the marina. The tuna tacos were delicious. Night 2 at the beach, to watch the sunset at South Beach Grill, where we left our mark on the directional sign of 531 Miles back to Wadmalaw along with several others. Night 3, PJ's Seaside Grill, which was delicious, but we were informed that this was our last meal there, as they were closing after 31 years. Night 4 Third Street Bistro. So delicious, grilled shrimp cocktail and out of this world fish. Super cute little restaurant. Definitely going back there. Night 5, "The Temp", aka The Temptation. always outstanding. and our last night tradition... "The Pink" aka The Pink Elephant. Simply amazing, the service here is the best on the island. We had some great servers during the week, but here, it's top notch. Here are some photos (when I remembered to take them)
And for a few random shots of the interesting sights and the streetscape... and we ended up taking the "big rig" down there, talk about country come to town, and we don't smoke, but lol, how long has it been since you've seen one of these babies? the Temp has one by the bathrooms.
All the deets...
Place: Boca Grande, FL 26˚ 44'56" N 82˚ 15'43 W
Charter Captain: Capt Mark Bennett www.tarponsnook.com
Tarpon Fishing Photos: Jenni Bennet www.jennibennett.com
But most of all, thanks, B for another great trip to Boca Grande, and sharing your love of fishing (especially tarpon now), and this crazy fun filled life we have with me!! 💕
Theres nothing quite like the smell of pluff
mud, salt water and oysters in the morning. We are so blessed and fortunate to have this view and serenity on the lower Leadenwah.
To wake to to the smells of the creek and the sounds of birds chirping, donkeys braying, roosters crowing over morning coffee starts my day out on such a peaceful note.
Life is what hat you make of it. Daily. Either you can make it difficult or make it wonderful. You can choose to dwell on things you can't control or have no control of, or you can move forward. You can wallow in your pain or grief or sadness or anger, or you can let it go. Personally, I've done a lot of "wallowing in grief" but with good reason. Today though is going to be amazing, and it all started with pluff mud, salt water and oysters. Oh, and a wee little spotted fawn in the front yard ❤️❤️❤️
The place to chill and relax with friends.... lol, WHO has time to chill and relax??? Well, our goal is to spend some major time here this spring and summer, WITH friends!!! Those of you who know us well, know we never entertain, and we rarely relax and chill. We're gonna be making some changes. Just wanted to give credit where credit is due on the awesomeness of all of this... we <3 it all!!!
p.s. B's one question on the couch before I found the throw pillows, "so if wanted to take a nap on the couch is it sturdy enough to do that?" YESSSSS!!! That's the entire purpose of the couch!!!
Builder: John Ravenel
Mantle: reclaimed 1000 yr old reclaimed cypress, Justin Herrington www.Bornagainheartwoods.com
Fireplace, framing by John Ravenel, Fireplace insert by a company in Mt. Pleasant I'm not sure we totally recommend, but it turned out great.
Couch: FB marketplace, (literally been looking since we started building the porch) but from Pottery Barn originally
Green & Cream Cushions, Lowes
Cream & Blue Throw Pillows: Wally World (believe it or not)
Electrician: Aubrey (Ben) Bensen, Panda Property Solutions
Putting it all together: yours truly, I'm done, I'm happy :)
The awesome man who made it happen (and wrote the checks): B <3
Location: Wadmalaw, exactly where? if you don't know, you don't need to ;)
Trip down memory lane and blast from the past. Received an inquiry late last night for a tie. Turns out, she's married to a friend from high school...
Memories of 'Jack & Diane' blaring from the cassette deck of the '76 Triumph Spitfire ragtop blasting through the countryside and a mostly angry little 15yr old girl. Angry that my parents had moved me from paradise (aka Hilton Head Island) to this po-dunk one stoplight town in the middle of BFGeorgia.
As it turns out. It's probably the town that 'saved me'. On a collision course with way too much way to big for your britches fun, Woodbury, GA (aka BFG) was just what I needed.
Looking back, I'm so very thankful, not just for saving me. But for the amazing and lifelong friendships. Thank you Roxanne for making me take a little trip down memory lane today. And thank you for your purchase of a Chukkar bow tie for tour hubby. Can't wait to see the photos!
Then, and a couple years back when I took Hannah & her friend to visit UGA for college visits. Their very favorite part was the trip to Woodbury. Mine was the lifelong friendship and seeing Debbie & TLC (Tommie Lynne Cashion)
I was always meant to be a country girl ❤️❤️❤️
B & I went hunting last night. Neither of us saw anything. Heard some shots so know they were walking somwhere. When we were walking in the house he hugged me and said how blessed we have been by the deer gods this year. I killed my first ever buck, he was awesome (getting mounted, thanks B). B killed the biggest body weight, oldest deer he's ever killed, in fact he aged out on the teeth chart according to the jaw bone charts (also getting mounted). B also killed two cull bucks (the ones who need to go because they're just not right, or they're all they're going to be and not produce any bigger rack then they have, and the better ones need to be breeding, and I killed a doe as well. We have plenty of meat in the freezer for this coming year, and are enjoying packing some up and giving it to family, as well as a few who need it. Above all, we only hunt responsibly and ethically. B only hunts with his bow, as for me, I hunt with a single shot slug gun. We only take what we need, or what needs to go.
We are truly blessed & thankful to have this life we have. As I look back on 2016, though there were some of the toughest moments I've ever faced, there were some awesome times too. #whatdoesntkillyoumakesyoustronger #blessedlife #thankfullife #deergods #lowcountrywildlifeservices
With not much family left, it's just us. Normally, we celebrate and have lunch with our "wadmalaw family" but today we are spending the day just the three of us... and Patsy cause we adopted her. On the menu... Skeet... yeah, I know you can't eat them but wow we had fun. #redneckfireworks lol but when they explode they do remind me of fireworks.
B got to break in his new Beretta he got about 2 years ago, being a true bow-hunter, he doesn't ever shoot much. We broke out the skeet shooter, and everyone shot alot. Well, except me with this stupid bum shoulder, but I had fun watching. Especially Patsy, whose been wanting to shoot for a while now. It was alot of work for B, but after seeing the smiles on all his girls faces, he knew he was glad he went to all the trouble. Now, time for a nap, and perhaps an evening hunt for Han & B.
Merry Christmas, y'all. May the holidays bring you closer to the ones you love and the ones you care about. For us, the true meaning of Christmas is family, a birthday, and togetherness. Peace on earth and to you.
Beyond Thankful, We had a week together... we hunted and fished and spent family time. All our fish are catch.kiss.release. AND released correctly where they kick off and go back to play with their friends. We are lucky and blessed to live so close to the waterways with its bounties as we do.
Can you list 10 things you are grateful for?
Not to be outdone by the turkey, ham, green bean casserole, squash casserole, rice & gravy, creamed spinach, broccoli casserole, sweet potatoes or cranberry mold, the cranberry shine was a hit. Looking for something festive, it hit me in the grocery store a few weeks back with my dear sweet Patsy. Well, it was yummy, here's the details... *remember never, ever ever drink and drive, and never ever ever have the everclear near an open flame (give Molotov cocktail a google if you have any questions on this one)
What you will need:
1 bag fresh cranberries
1 cup white granulated sugar
juice of half a lemon
zest (large scrapes of the skin) of lemon, and orange
1 liter everclear
Simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water melted together) this takes about 2.5 cups simple syrup total so 2.5 cups of water and 2.5 cups of granulated white sugar melted and cooled to make a syrup I usually make a cup at a time and just mix that much with the liquor part.
The know how:
Over low heat melt the sugar and cranberries and the juice from a half a lemon (if the seeds get in there it's ok, you will strain them out later) simmer this for about 1/2 and hour, similar to making preserves or fresh cranberry sauce I guess. this will thicken and turn into almost a jam. Let cool. I let mine cool overnight.
Combine the mixture (once cool) to 1 liter everclear (grain alcohol, 180 proof - yes yikes) in a glass jar or two, or 3, just divide the cranberry mixture equally. To this add a couple large zests of the lemon and the tangerine. Put it in a cool dark place for a couple of weeks (you can shake it occasionally if this makes you happy)
So, after a couple of weeks, get ya a real fine mesh type strainer, and working in batches strain off the liquor from the "stuff" throw the "stuff" away but keep the liquor part. Combine 6/4 liquor to simple syrup to make the cranberry "moonshine". Add another bit of the zestings of lemon or tangerine or even lime, whatever you have, and put in the freezer. It will not freeze, best is to use a mason jar. Whenever you pass the freezer, have a little "nip" here and there. I make this about 2-3 cups at a time and leave the rest "brewing" without the sugar. It gets better over time.
What's the most important part to remember? #everythinginmoderation #DONOTDRINKANDDRIVE
Happy Thanksgiving 2016 from the Island
I got this from my daughter the other day. It really made me think about the girls & women out there who dont have a good relationship with their mothers. It's so very important. Hannah and I have an awesome relationship, in fact, sometimes we say we're the same person. We haven't had an easy life, in fact it's been much harder than most, but throughout we've tackled lifes worst moments and best as well. I'm very, thankful for this amazing girl today, and every day. Funny, as I was writing this, she called me just to chat (of course she was driving, she always calls when she's driving...)
Call your mom, if you still have her and tell her you love her. Then call your daughter(s) and tell her you love her too. #youcanthankmelater #positivelife #girlsrule
Both from avid outdoorsman families, Carrie & Sam chose the turkey feather with subtle wood duck overlay. Friends through horses, I was honored to make these ties for them for their special day.
Photo Credits & Wedding Photography: Travis Dew Photography, www.TravisDewPhotography.com
Additional photos on her blog: http://www.travisdewphotography.com/just-a-little-bliss/
Anyone can show up when you're happy. But the ones who stay by your side when your heart falls apart, and can help you put that mangled thing back where it belongs, they are your true friends. I have this man, we are this family. I am thankful and blessed.