img_4265When you turn ten years old at the Blackford house you get to take a trip anywhere in the continental United States with just Andy Blackford and me. No siblings. It’s become our favorite tradition because it’s a way for us to celebrate one child without the interference of other kids in the mix. And, also, Andy and I drink wine every day at lunch. But mostly it’s the celebrate thing.

Henry hit the big 1-0 this past November and Hilton Head, South Carolina was his destination of choice. Such a smart boy who really likes the finer things in life; like sitting on the beach and driving around fancy golf courses while we buy him candy.

We scheduled one of our golf days on the remote and beautiful Daufuskie Island. We took a water-taxi to get to our spot. Because apparently we are rich even though nobody bothered to tell me.

After unloading our clubs we were escorted into a van that would drive us from the dock to the clubhouse. And here, people, is where things got good.

Our driver was Joseph who, by and by, worked for Paula Deen in Savannah during the whole “situation” (his words, not mine) and let us know that she is, in fact, “a really great lady” and the media “blew that whole n-word thing way out of proportion.” This, of course, led to Henry whispering to me “what’s the N-word?” Fun!

Annnnyyyway, Joseph was pointing out the highlights of the tiny five-mile area and casually mentioned that the famous and extremely private singer and songwriter John Mellencamp lived on the island.

Oh, Joseph. Joseph, Joseph, Joseph. You, sir, do not know who you are dealing with.

I, of course, immediately found a picture on my phone of the Mellencamp house because I am a good designer and was doing serious research. For you. Thank you, Al Gore, for inventing the Internet. We managed to play a little golf while I peered through the Carolina pines in search of the remote mansion.

When we finished hole nine, Andy drove ahead to the clubhouse for lunch and Henry and I, in the cart behind, took our suuuuhweeet time. After Andy disappeared around the corner, I told Henry to cut a sharp left. He totally balked. (Amateur.) Our conversation went something like this:

Me: Henry, turn here.

Henry: Mom – that’s a real road for real cars.

Me: It’s fine. Go.

Henry: MOM. I am not doing that.

Me: Fine. Get out and I’ll drive.

Henry: Okay, I’ll do it but if you get in trouble I am going to say you made me do it.

(Like I care? Also, how great is it that all little boys are suckers for the chance to drive the golf cart?)

So.

We drove up and down a quasi-dirt road, passing locals jogging and driving real cars (so Henry was right about that part). Every time we passed anyone, Henry panicked. I told him to be cool – a phrase I haven’t used since high school when the cops busted me for drinking beers while wearing my cheerleading uniform. Didn’t make that mistake twice. I’m not stupid.

Well, good news. We found it. You are welcome! Here’s a picture of me in front of the gates. I would have gotten more photos but Henry was being SUCH a wuss.

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And here are some more photos of this gorgeous property. Alas, these are not my photos because I don’t have a relationship with Mr. Mellencamp, I don’t work for Architectural Digest, and I didn’t have a decent camera on me. I did have a super good chance of scoring a restraining order and had already decided that if the authorities came I was going to tell them that our names were Jack and Diane. How GREAT would that have been? But I didn’t get the chance to say that – or go inside – but it was worth it all the same.

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(Dear IRS: If you are reading this, you can clearly see that writing this blog proves that our trip to South Carolina was for work and therefore our travel is fully tax deductible.)

(Dear Mr. Mellencamp: I did not step foot on your property because you didn’t invite me in. So much for southern hospitality.)

(Dear Joseph: I heart you.)

See you next time at The Neighbor’s House. Or at a famous person’s house. Or jail. Whatever.

NOTE: All photos are property of Architectural Digest. Except the ones of our family…those are ours.