In addition to stripping and refurbishing the hardwood floors in the Sanctuary during our annual Sanctuary refurbishment, work on other parts of the hotel also went on.  Repairs and deep cleaning of individual guest rooms is taken care of during our annual week-long closure.  In addition, we tackled other projects:

The tile floor in the retail wing of the hotel was cleaned and resealed.

The tile floor in the retail wing of the hotel was cleaned and resealed.

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Annual Hotel Renovation

While some hotels just use the slow season to do minor repair work, at The Sanctuary, we use a week early each year for our annual hotel renovation.  We close down for close to a full week each January, remove all the furniture and rugs from the common area for repair and cleaning.  We then strip and revarnish the wood floors and seal the tile floors.  Managers from across the resort help with the project, moving furniture, rolling up rugs and generally cleaning all common areas.

First thing to go is the furniture

First thing to go is the furniture

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Bird Feeding 101

bird feeding 101

Winter can be a tough time for wildlife. Colder temperatures and less availability of food makes every day a challenge, and Bird Feeding 101 is your guide to helping the wildlife around you.  Many animals have adapted to the cold weather and know to stock up on food during the late summer and fall.  However, winter is the perfect example of that adage “less is more.”  With the leaves falling, there is less vegetation and a greater chance to see wildlife out and about.  Birds are easier to view on bare branches and rabbits take longer paths to find vegetation to hide.  Bird feeders and baths can aid birds during the winter and enhance your wildlife viewing.  Some types of seed to place in your feeder are sunflower, white millet, golden millet, safflower or niger seed.  Cardinals, chickadees, grosbeaks and sparrows enjoy cracking the thick sunflower and safflower seeds.  Millet is a favorite with ground-feeding birds including towhees, juncos, sparrows and everyone’s favorite colorful bird, the Painted Bunting. Interested in what we have been seeing around Kiawah Island lately? Check out the Feather Reports on Wildlife: As We See It for Naturalist sightings during our Back Island Birding and Birding for Beginners tours.

Deciding where to place your feeder can be a difficult task.  You want a quiet place where you can see the feeder and easily refill it.  If you want a feeder near your house, try affixing the feeder to your window or window frame.  This will significantly reduce the likelihood and severity of a window collision.  Placing your feeder close to trees and shrubs offers a resting place for birds and a quick refuge if a hungry hawk flies through.  However, if the feeder is too close to cover, nearby branches can provide jump off spots for hungry squirrels and cats.  Don’t want to purchase a feeder or seed?  Fruit is another option in attracting birds.  Cut up slices of oranges to attract Baltimore Orioles as they migrate south.  Looking to get the family involved?  Pick up pine cones around the yard and cover them in peanut butter.  Roll the pinecones in peanuts or bird seed and place them in your backyard.  Bird baths are another option that supplies birds with fresh water to drink and bathe in.  Be sure to change the water every day in order to reduce the growth of bacteria.

Some birds to look for over the winter season: chickadees will feed constantly throughout the day, staying very active.  On colder days birds will fluff up their feathers, creating air pockets to help keep the bird warm.  Titmice are very social birds, traveling together in groups in search of acorns and other seed that they stored earlier under loose bark.  You may see Downy and Red-bellied Woodpeckers picking at older trees and finding cavities to roost in. Now that you have your feeder or bird bath up in your yard, sit back, relax near the fireplace, and look out the window for some winter visitors.

To learn more about birds and the hot spots on Kiawah, check out our Back Island Birding Tour and make your reservation by calling the Nature Center at 843.768.6001.

 

Naturalist, Kristen Lococo

 

GOURMET & GRAPES BENEFITING MUSC HOLLINGS CANCER CENTER ANNOUNCES SWEEPSTAKES CONTEST AND OFFERING FREE TICKETS WEEKEND’S PREMIER EVENTS

The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, host of the Sixth Annual Gourmet & Grapes food and wine celebration benefiting the Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina, is offering a stellar package of free tickets to some of the weekend’s most popular events.

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Charleston Restaurant Week kicks off TODAY!  More than 140 restaurants in the Lowcountry are participating in one of Charleston’s favorite weeks of the year for both locals and visitors.  The Greater Charleston Restaurant Association’s famous Restaurant Week takes place twice a year (January and September).  This 12-day event allows local residents and tourists to take advantage of the diverse and unique dining experiences Charleston has to offer.  With specially-priced menus and offerings from 3 courses for $20, 3 courses for $30 and 3 courses for $40, as well as some lunch specials, Charleston’s dining outlets are filling up with reservations!

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Nothing like going out with a bang! Chef Jason Rheinwald of The Ocean Room at The Sanctuary certainly lit up many palates last evening with his New Year’s Eve Black Truffle tasting menu. This six course tasting menu featured fresh Perigord Black Truffles from the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. These truffles, which typically take up to 10 years to grow, are part of the first commercial sale truffle production in the United States, compliments of Mr. Tom Michaels of Tennessee Truffles.

Tennessee Black Truffles

Tennessee Black Truffles

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On December 31st we will raise our glasses and celebrate another year that has come and gone. In this celebration we hope for good fortune and peace in the year to come, so why not fill your glass with the best?

Photo courtesy by Andrew Cebulka at 2013 Gourmet & Grapes.

Photo courtesy by Andrew Cebulka at 2013 Gourmet & Grapes.

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Tis the season to be merry and bright! This month we are focusing on citrus as we join forces with Limehouse Produce and their Citrus Celebration. And what better time to be spreading holiday cheer!

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Citrus fruit from Limehouse Produce

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Running for a Cause

Running for a Cause

To look out at the crowd of nearly 3800 runners at the start of the Kiawah Island Golf Resort Marathon is truly an awe-inspiring moment.  It’s truly running for a cause.

Though the Race Staff makes our best attempt to be educated on the running world, up to date on training trends and workouts, and the logistics that go into making a flawless race event, it is nearly impossible for us to delve into the highly motivational personal stories of each and every runner; what got them to this point, and even more importantly, what inspires them to cross the finish line. Every year, we are so touched by the personal stories that runners occasionally share with us, whether they are hitting a milestone race, a first time marathoner, or a personal favorite of mine- selflessly pushing themselves for a cause near and dear to their hearts, oftentimes all to benefit someone other than themselves.

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Earl Klugh Handpicked

Congratulations to Earl Klugh on his recent Grammy nomination for is album, “Handpicked” for Best Pop Instrumental Album.  Already a Grammy winner, he has been nominated 12 times before this latest nomination.

Here’s more information on this soon-to-be-award-winning album, “Handpicked:”

Keep an eye out for the 2014 Weekend of Jazz news at our WOJ web page:  http://www.kiawahresort.com/weekend-of-jazz.  With his Grammy nomination for “Handpicked,” maybe you’ll hear some cuts at the next great “Weekend of Jazz” in November 2014!

 

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