Our big midsummer celebration is not only a chance to get together over our favorite outdoor foods, with our favorite people, in our favorite places, but July 4 is also a rhythmic reminder of what it took for us to become the nation we now enjoy. With gratitude, we realize that getting together is what made this all possible.

Morbi vitae purus dictum, ultrices tellus in, gravida lectus.

The term “rendezvous” isn’t used much anymore, possibly because for some reason it took on a suggestion of secrecy. The real meaning came to us from the French explorers who brought to the new world their understanding of why it is so important to make a point of getting together. Our own Ribault Road and Coligny Circle are reminders that the people who came before us came from everywhere, including France.

Rendezvous and Reality

It’s the kind of discovery that surprises you at first, and then makes perfect sense. The first thing we heard about The Shops at Sea Pines Center was how people like to go there just to get in touch.

With all the fashions, food, jewelry, art, moonshine, great dining, fine wine, and fun to be discovered among The Shops at Sea Pines Center, the first thing people told us was about how people go there to find out what’s going on – in Sea Pines or anywhere around America’s favorite island.

The sunny plaza here sees visitors who’ve been tipped off with inside information, seasonal residents who want to plug back in to what’s happening, even year-round Sea Pines dwellers who just find that this is the best touchstone for staying in touch, a kind of crossroads for information and updates.

Shining Through

The ways might be updated, but the interest is uncompromising. The response is immediate and undiminished when the Farmers & Makers Market returns for the season each year. People from here, there, and everywhere stroll through The Shops at Sea Pines Center still, and farm-to-market vegetables are just the beginning of the attraction.

Crafts, too, bring people to the Farmers & Makers Market, and yet a long-time student of the custom says that contact and community are the real, overall attractions of any Farmers Market. Whether it’s here, or in Buckhead, or on Melrose Avenue, you can feel that the energy, the interest, and the human contact itself, is a kind of celebration in its own right, over and above what people might find and buy.

The Story Behind It

The reason we hijacked the word rendezvous from the French was because it described just this kind of celebration. Wandering French trappers in the west converged to cash-in their finds with fur traders, and this functional step in commerce became quite a wing-ding. They called it Rendez-vous, and as the first chance to swap knowledge and stories, alongside goods, it went well beyond just the time of transactions.

Since Capt. Jean Ribault, a French Huguenot, arrived at Port Royal in the early 16th century, and Gaspard de Chatillon, comte de Coligny, led a revolt against early Spanish rule, our French connections in Hilton Head can be seen in street names. Much more pleasant than a history lesson, though, is the custom of Rendezvous that we see alive and well among The Shops at Sea Pines Center.

Clear Today

It’s clear that the need to connect is as great as ever, and that people are finding new ways to do that. The difference between “virtual” and real has never been more apparent than it has become today.

Thanks to the untiring efforts and adaptations of merchants, restauranteurs, and staff, The Shops at Sea Pines Center offers a place to make that connection with confidence now.