Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Now Hear This!

Wynn's now using hearing aids - the molds are her own choice of colors (red, yellow, and orange mixed together.) The microphone & electronics sit behind the outer ear, with a little tube to carry the audio through the mold into her ear canal.

The aids themselves are loaners from the Lions' Club for a 6-month period. We'll know one way or another whether she'll need hearing aids permanently well before then, however.

Next steps - a follow-up visit and recalibration if needed in about two weeks.  Then, later in May, we'll shoot for surgery to restore her right eardrum.  If that's successful, she won't need the aids.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Which ones to give to which grandparents, and which to keep for herself?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Hilton Head Day 5: The ride home

Ugh, awake at 3:45 Eastern Time...  Ann and I are still paying for it now that we're home, although Wynn seems totally unaffected...  
Farewell, beach (after sunset last night). We will miss hearing the sound of the surf while we sleep.
Had to roll out from the hotel at 4:30 for the hour's drive to SAV, top off the tank on the rental car and turn it in. Only 17 people on our flight to New York this morning. Quick load and very early pushback.

Just before sunrise over the coast - click to see the detail of all the little islands!
Sunrise in the near-empty cabin

Sun still coming up as we got to New York City - we flew over the Statue of Liberty and along Manhattan - then over the World's Fair site and a tight TIGHT turn to land at LaGuardia.  (Again, click to embiggen - see the crane on top of the new Freedom Tower?)
We arrived *really* early into New York and had several hours to burn. Nice upgrades to the Delta gate areas. The girls found quiet space to play and read while I looked around.
Our bird home on the right. Again a light load, only half full.
Someone earned her wings on the trip down - the favorite of all the flight crews - and got to visit the cockpit before our final leg home! (See her wings?)
Finally a picture of the three of us...

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hilton Head Day 4

Sleeping late in the mornings is wonderful... Wynn has been waking almost at 8:00 on this trip (but she's gotten to stay up late too.)

As expected, there was rain across the region this morning, so we skipped our usual morning beach walk and set out at 9:40 for Savannah, getting downtown there at 11:00.

We spent about 3 hours in the city, exploring the area along the riverfront; having lunch at the Boar's Head Grill; shopping in the antique stores, food vendors, and art galleries; and getting ice cream at Leopold's.

Savannah's historic downtown area is compact and easy to walk through, and there are several companies offering guided hop-on-hop-off bus tours (plus a free shuttle). We were also impressed with the large number of conveniently-located good-quality hotels. With the many museums, theaters, and shops this would be a great place to spend a couple days on a family vacation (and add this to our list of places to come back to...)

The rain ended during our visit and the sun peeked through for the rest of the day. We headed back to Hilton Head for a quick dinner and one final walk on the beach.

Tomorrow we are up at 3:45 am for an early flight from Savannah to New York - a couple hours' layover there - and finally onward to snowy Minnesota.  We will miss the beach, we will miss the green plants and blooming flowers, and we will miss walking around outside without coats on...

The area along the river is lined with these multi-story converted warehouses - there are roadways at each level, plus entrances on the river side as well. Lots of touristy gift shops and restaurants but also offices, galleries, and bed-and-breakfasts there too. 

Shrimp 'n grits was on our must-eat list for this trip and we finally checked it off at the Boar's Head. This was amazing - of course the shrimp were incredibly fresh, but the grits were spectacular, like risotto and the best mashed potatoes you've ever had.  The South has been getting a bad rap about grits, I suspect. So glad we ordered it!
Leopold's is right across from the main campus of SCAD - Savannah College of Art & Design. Lots of college kids around doing creative stuff - there are several theaters within a couple blocks, a big library, and a large art museum about a half-mile down the street. Savannah may have started as a transport hub and manufacturing town, but this college is giving the city new life and making it an exciting place to visit.  But enough about that, the ice cream...
The place started in 1919 and still features several flavors from then! All handmade on the premises - absolutely fresh. And as you can see the place is packed.
Wynn had Tutti-Frutti!
That bike is covered with yarn! How is that even possible?!
Ann convinced Wynn to join her barefoot in the water tonight at low tide.

Wynn wasn't entirely sold on the experience. We'll have to try it again in warmer weather...
Found this little guy on our way back to the hotel - at least Wynn sees that sea life can be cute!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Hilton Head Day 3

Another relaxing day out on the island...  This morning we walked along the beach at high tide - after lunch we walked some more at low tide - and then after dinner we walked on the beach again!  We have a bag full of shells, and Wynn has been learning about marine biology, like how clams burrow into the sand during low tide and spit water out through little holes at the surface ... and jellyfish.  (Oh, she doesn't like even the idea of jellyfish.)

We had an amazing lunch today at Chef David's Roastfish & Cornbread - a real Southern cooking experience.  And Wynn got in some long overdue naptime...

The weather today stayed pleasant in the mid-60s and less windy, although clouds have been thickening and it is supposed to rain tomorrow. Since there's not so much to do "indoors" on the island, we are planning to take a road trip down to Savannah and investigate its historic district.

Photos from today:

Here's the beach outside our hotel at high tide.  The waves come right up to the edge of the dunes. 

Stomping in the squishy sand is fun because you can make water squirt out! 
Waiting for our room to be serviced after the morning walk - Ann & Wynn have little songs and hand-clapping games they play...  There are rocking chairs EVERYWHERE on the island...
Here's the restaurant we had lunch at today - it's well off the main route through town and back in the area where the working-class folks live.  Plenty of cars in the parking lot, though.
Crazy-awesome decor inside... this doesn't look like any other place on the entire island 
Crab cakes with collard greens and a sweet-potato-apple-cake.  The greens really took some getting used to, but the cake was amazing.
BBQ shrimp po-boy sandwich (a molasses wheat bread bun) with hush puppies and cole slaw.  Hush puppies... oh yeah...
Here's the beach in front of our hotel again, but this time at low tide - about an entire football field the long way between the dunes and the water's edge now! 

All that walking finally made Wynn go zonk-a-tron on one of the outdoor couches in the patio area of the hotel.  She slept on Ann for almost 45 minutes - we caught a few Zzzzs too - hotel staff stopped as they passed by just to look at how sweet Wynn was...
Dinner at McDonald's - then over to Coligny Beach (about 3/4 of the way down the island -- our hotel is in the middle). This is a big public park and close to restaurants & shops. There are big changing areas and showers & lots of swings and rocking chairs before you cross the dunes to reach the beach.  Many more people down here, lots of college students on Spring Break. The rug heading out onto the sand was a nice touch (because it gets the sand off your shoes as you walk back!)
Ann took off her sandals and went barefoot through the water. "The sand gave nice pumice action to my feet - they're much softer tonight!"
Baba gets into the picture!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Hilton Head Day 2

We slept late this morning - Wynn was up very early and didn't get to bed until very late (and then the daylight savings change) - but we had picked up groceries last night so we had everything we needed for breakfast here in our room.

After eating and getting dressed, we went out on the beach for a good long walk. Later, we drove to the southern end of the island to Sea Pines and the Harbour Town development for lunch and looking around - we climbed to the top of their lighthouse.  After some quiet time back at our hotel, we had pizza for dinner and gelato for dessert - then another walk on our beach!

Here are some photos from today.