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Edisto Island

In our back-to-back beach vacations, Landon and I left Kiawah (and my family) and headed over to Edisto (and the Davis family!). The Davises go to Edisto pretty regularly, but because of crazy schedules, they hadn't had a family beach week since summer 2009...when Landon and I weren't even married yet!

Our week at Edisto consisted primarily of this:
edisto island

because that's what you do on a beach vacation, right?!?

We stayed at a cute house on Chancellor Street (maybe fifth or sixth row). The walk to and from the beach was really short, and sometimes my awesome brother- and sister-in-law would shuttle me using their golf cart!
chancellor street edisto island
I loved all of the palm trees!
chancellor street edisto island
The Davis home away from home for the week
On the Thursday of Beach Week, I was tired of getting burnt (and in the oddest patterns! I may be the world's WORST sunscreen applier!) and of sitting on the beach reading (I started reading Stephen King's "It," but gave up on the book after I'd plowed through 826 pages and I realized I still had 400 more to go. I like reading A LOT, but seriously, where was his editor on that book!??!). 

I wanted to do something else...which is asking a lot on a little place like Edisto. It's meant to be rustic and out-of-the-way, so my options were limited. I'd heard about a protected nature site just off of Edisto Beach called Botany Bay. I'd just read about the history of the two former plantations that make up the site in my new Edisto Island history book that I purchased (no one took me up on my offer to do a series of history lectures at the beach...I wonder why...), so I was game to see what was there.
All went well for the first portion of the Botany Bay adventure. We saw ruins from the plantation houses, including this gorgeous ice house.
edisto island botany bay
I thought it was a church at first because, really, who's ever seen an ice house that big?
But then my clue that we were into some serious nature appeared in Landon's hand: he'd found a snakeskin just beside the ice house.
EW. EW. EW. I am not a nature kind of gal, ESPECIALLY any nature that has to do with snakes.

Landon assured me the snakeskin was very old and that the previous owner of said skin was likely a mile or more away from us. So we continued on the driving portion of the tour. The trees and marsh on the property were breathtaking:

We saw some birds and old trees--my kind of nature. At the very end of the tour, I told Landon that I wanted to go take pictures out on the beach, which I'd heard was gorgeous. I patted myself on the back for being so brave in all this nature-y stuff and we hiked the half-mile out to the Botany Bay Beach.
botany bay beach edisto island

I was having a great time, snapping pictures of this completely undeveloped and gorgeous beach while Landon checked out the hundreds of shells all over the beach.

There were loggerhead turtle nests all over the beach, and I thought it would be neat to take a picture of one of the cages (I love turtles and think that it's AWESOME that the people of Edisto are doing so much to protect the weensy baby turtles):

when I hear Landon call (very calmly) over my shoulder, "Hey, Natalie, I think maybe you should move."

"What?" I yelled back, confused.

"I just think you should move," he repeated.

And that's when I saw IT (not the Stephen King book this time)---I shutter to even THINK ABOUT THIS--there was a snake on the same tiny patch of reeds that I was currently clambering all over. I almost stepped on a snake, y'all!!!!!

I have never had a panic attack before, but I'm pretty sure that's what then ensued for the next fifteen minutes or so: ugly crying, feelings of nausea, the inability to breathe normally. It was AWFUL. When I say I don't like snakes, I mean it with every fiber of my being. Blech.

Somehow, Landon convinced me (from 25+ feet away) to take the following pictures. My hands were shaking so much that I don't know how they even turned out. (Warning: avert your eyes if you feel the same way about reptiles as I do.)
Yes, that is Landon playing with the snake.

Then, to make matters worse, Landon took the camera and got close ups of this nasty thing so we can remember it forever (please no). I was still sobbing over by the ocean, wondering if sea snakes were coming out of it, too.

I thought beaches were safe from snakes. Is nowhere sacred anymore?!

So, that's the start of our Edisto Vacay 2012 and the story of How I Almost Hyperventilated and Died.

More tomorrow on part two of Edisto Vacay 2012 (and I promise, no more snake stories!).