Thursday, March 8, 2012

My Fripp Island

Fripp Island Sunrise
I fell in love with Fripp Island before I knew its name or existence.  Pat Conroy's descriptions of the low country resonated in my heart, calling my soul out to play:  

"I have heard it said that an inoculation to the sights and smells of the Carolina lowcountry is an almost irreversible antidote to the charms of other landscapes, other alien geographies. You can be moved profoundly by other vistas, by other oceans, by soaring mountain ranges, but you can never be seduced. You can even forsake the lowcountry, renounce it for other climates, but you can never completely escape the sensuous, semitropical pull of Charleston and her marshes.” 

This year's travels have proven his words true.  Time and again, we saw breathtaking beauty all around America, but none so glorious as a low country sunset.  
Fripp Island Sunset

And so, always, we return to Fripp.

Located nineteen miles southwest of Historic Beaufort, two hours from Charleston and just one hour from Savannah, Fripp Island is a private, gated community offering everything a person needs -or wants- in just 6 square miles.  Whatever image of Fripp you're looking for, you'll find it.  

Clam digging on Fripp
If you're searching for the low country of The Prince of Tides, it's here.  Home to Pat Conroy and his wife, author Cassandra King, Fripp Island's luscious low country landscape holds redemptive powers and inspires novels.  But if you're like me, you may be content with bike rides, long walks, and meditative moments sitting on a dock as the lapping of the water lulls you to sleep just as the sheepshead strikes your bait.  If you're more adventurous, Fripp gives liberty to try new passions like crabbing, clamming and shrimping, all of which boil up nicely in a fresh frogmore stew.
Fripp Island Blue Crabs

Frogmore Stew topped with crabs

If you're searching for pirate's gold like early Fripp resident Blackbeard's treasure, the booty may not be buried here (feel free to look), but the white sand beaches beg for pirate play.  So dig, drink, relax and be merry.  Like the t-shirt says, you can't sit on the beach and drink rum all day unless you start first thing in the morning. Of course, you don't have to drink to live the pirate life.  Pirates play golf and tennis.  Pirates swim, kayak, and play basketball.  If Camp Fripp has taught us anything, it's that pirates are unpredictable and abhor stereotypes.   Play and fun for pirates come in many forms. 
Pirate Tennis, Anyone?

If you are looking to lose yourself in pristine nature, Fripp Island has that, too.  From the wind sweeping through the live oaks dripping with spanish moss to the marshland habitat teaming with minnows and shrimp, snowy egrets and blue herons, from the dunes and tide pools on the beach to the reeds and sweetgrass of the inlets, this sea island abounds with life.  We could not have picked a better place to home school our children this year.  Every breath and glance outside is a science lesson.

Though we will be returning to our home in Georgia in three months, I know Fripp is now our home, too.  We have laughed and loved here; we have grown and changed here. And we've learned  some important life lessons here.  

A few of my favorites are:
  • Giving kids some freedom helps them to grow confident and strong.
  • Children are like the tides: they may rush out to the wide open, but return, eventually, to parental Terra Firma.
  • Breathing salt air frees the mind and feeds the soul. 
What are your favorite island lessons?(Please share in comments.)

Check Out My Fripp Island...


  1. Hi Jenny-
    I love reading your blog! I am not sure about Fripp Island lessons, but I will tell you what Fripp Island means to me: Family. Whether it is our little family of four, our extended family, family friends we bring along or the new families we meet at Fripp it is all about connecting and reconnecting and just enjoying our time together. Sitting on the beach or driving around in the golf carts, riding bikes, sharing a meal or just getting some ice cream we all enjoy ourselves making these wonderful connections and cement those moments in our memories. We can't wait to see you family next week! Jennifer Rambo & Family

    1. Hi Jennifer and Family-

      Thanks so much for sharing your Fripp Island memories! It is such a special place to us and I love hearing what it means to other families. One of my favorite Fripp memories is the night we all enjoyed ice cream while watching our kids play freeze tag on the lawn. Relaxing and talking are two of my favorite pastimes! Another favorite memory is having a home cooked meal delivered to us by the Rambo Family after an exhausting day of moving our lives. We would love to repay you when you are down next week and make some new memories with your family.

      All the best,


  2. We went from newlyweds at Fripp to parents of an engaged son. We had years of baby strollers, sun bonnets and pails and shovels and now are in the years of teenagers and young adults starting out on their own adventures. We would feel guilty about not seeing other places, but our kids pleaded to go back to Fripp, and we happily agreed. Our 18 year old son rolls down his window as we cross the bridge to inhale the scent. We settle in quickly and get into the groove of the tides, watching sunsets, dining on seafood, competitive sea-shelling, and so much more. Fripp gets us through our northern winters. I believe our kids will take their kids to Fripp. Our most precious family memories have happened here and our kids will take that with them wherever they go.

    1. Thank you for sharing your beautiful memories of Fripp, Carla. We have watched our children transition from swim diapers to training wheels to biking on their 10 speed alone to get a hot dog at Fripp's Marina. One of Fripp's best qualities is its ability to slow down time. I look forward to seeing my kids return here with their children... I just need it to be several years from now. Happy Beach combing!



Thanks for reading and commenting! Heaven knows, I need some interaction...