Friday, July 29, 2011

Jekyll Island . . . It's All Good

If I told you all about our visit on Jekyll Island this post would never end.  I’m just going to attempt telling you about a lot of things in a short space.  If you decide to visit Jekyll (which you really should) this will give you a starting point. 

So . . . where do I start?  I suppose with the facts . . .

· A very low key, non touristy island. 
· 7 miles long and 1.5 miles wide
· It’s actually a state park.
· There are only 7 hotels on the entire island. 
· It’s a part of the Golden Isles which also includes St. Simon’s Island and Sea Island.  

· Beachview Club.  This hotel is right on the ocean and built in such a way that the trees and design make it feel very cozy. 

· Jekyll Island Club Hotel.  If you are okay with not staying on the ocean then this should be your choice.  The oldest hotel on the island rich with history. 

· Latitude 31 was our favorite restaurant on the island.  What to order?  Oysters Rockefeller for an appetizer and fried or blackened shrimp for the entrĂ©e.

· Blackwater Grill which is located on St. Simon’s Island.  For you Food network fans Guy Fieri featured this restaurant on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.

· Georgia Sea Grill also on St. Simon’s Island had amazing scallops!  Reservations are encouraged.

· Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island is literally a portion of the beach covered in old trees that have uprooted, turned over, and now are driftwood.  Kase loved climbing on the trees and they made beautiful pictures.  It’s deserted so you won’t see many others exploring.

· Red Bug Rentals are more fun version of a golf cart.  They can be rented and driven anywhere around the island.

· Golf. Jekyll Island was first started for hunting but quickly developed golf courses as another form of entertainment.  There are four courses to choose from on the island. 

· Bike Rentals.  Since the island is only 7 miles long you can ride from one end to the other.  Brandon and I enjoyed biking to Driftwood Beach and exploring different parts of the island on bikes.

· Look for local events.  We watched the papers for free events.  We found an arts and crafts festival on St. Simon’s Island (only 20 minutes away). 

· Lady Jane Shrimp Boat in Brunswick takes guests on a shrimping adventure.  It is a little costly per person but was well worth it.  The tour was two hours which included fresh caught shrimp cooked on the boat.  The crew drug the nets three different times, emptying the contents on a table for all to see.  They explained many of the species pulled up and even passed many around for us to hold.  There is a limited number of space so all the guests were able to interact and "feel" a part of the adventure.  Make sure to call ahead of time and reserve your spot. 
(Before you watch the video go to the bottom of the page and press pause on the playlist.)

· Sand dollars.  We easily found over 100 sand dollars during our beach time.  No, we did not keep them all because Brandon made us feel so bad for “killing” them.  However, we did keep enough for souvenirs.  Mom and I became addicted to finding them.  We had never been to a beach where there were so many.  We would get on our knees and start digging our hand into the sand until we found one.  It was endless the number we would pull up.  It became somewhat of a contest to see who could find the most.  At some point we lost track but Dad is convinced he found the most.  Brooke wouldn’t participate because she was scared to dig her hands in the sand.  Kase even joined in the action by throwing them back for us after we found them. 

· Relax on the beach.  We love the new adventures but we also love perfecting the art of beach bums. 

I couldn't resist including these random pictures.  I bought some treats for the boys when they got to the beach which you can see Brandon and Kase had fun with some of them. 

Also, Brandon, brought his kettle bell (he takes that thing everywhere) and Knox decided he needed a workout. 


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

On The Road Again

“On the road again
I just can’t wait to get on the road again
On the road again
Goin' places that I've never been
Seein' things that I may never see again”

On the road again for a five hour drive to our next destination, Savannah, Georgia.  A trip to Savannah was not in our original plan.  However, when I started looking at the route from Carrollton to Jekyll Island I noticed that we were driving right past Savannah, so why not stop.  I adjusted our schedule and we made a bypass through Savannah for a night and a day which was definitely not enough.

Since Brandon and I are so busy I always enjoy our time in the car.  It’s a time we are guaranteed to be together.  I thought we might spice this time together up with the book I bought from the used bookstore.  We’re both pretty competitive so why not raise the stakes and make it a game.  I cracked open Battle of the Sexes and started firing questions at Brandon.  Then I would pass him the book for my turn.  It was super fun to see what the other one knew about the opposite sex.  We had many laughs and it came down to the wire but the winner was . . . ME!  (I win most games we play.) 

There was another noteworthy picture taken on the way back to our hotel after supper.  A man on the opposite side of the street caught my attention because he had something very large draped around his neck.  Despite my nearly perfect eyesight (thanks Lasik) I could not tell what it was so I pointed it out to B.  He immediately answered with very convincing confidence,
“It’s a snake.” 
“A WHAT?  No, it’s not!” I answered with just as much confidence.
At that time the man crossed the street to be within 20 feet of us and yes it was an extremely large yellow snake.  I did ask before I took the picture.  It was an albino python named Peaches.  As soon as I took the picture the man shoved the snake in the backpack in his hand and made the comment,
“You never know what’s in a backpack.”
I bet you won’t look at a backpack in the same way again.  I sure won’t. 

We were drawn to the wooden checkerboards in the lobby when we arrived back at our hotel after supper.  What better way to end the night than by beating B again!

The next morning, we were encouraged to start the day out with a Trolley tour to introduce ourselves to the city, so we jumped on.  The tour was a great introduction but also made me realize this one day was not enough time to explore and experience this charming city.  I could go on and on about everywhere we went but I’m just going to give you the highlights of what we liked best.

Trolley Tour – An extremely inexpensive way to see Savannah’s historic district at only $15 per person.

Lunch at Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room – A unique Savannah experience but get in line early or you might not get in.

Chippewa Square – The historic district is made up of 24 squares but this particular one is the location of the box of chocolate scene from Forrest Gump.

Savannah Bee Company – The fresh honeycomb was worth the price but you also must try the mint honey limeade is a must

River Street Candy Shops – Both the chocolate and traditional pralines did not disappoint.

Leopold’s Ice Cream - Opened since 1935, recently rated one of the top 10 ice cream shops.  We loved the traditional coke float!


Mercer House – The location of the novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt.

Upside down windows – in the grand scheme of things an extremely small blip on the historical scale of Savannah.  However, I found it extremely interesting.  The house was ordered from Sears and Roebuck Co. and was put together per directions sent along with the house which instructed the owner to put the windows on upside down. 

Andrew Lowe Mansion – This is the home of the girl scout founder and first girl scout meeting.  Come to find out there are a lot of “firsts” that occurred in Savannah. 

Now, I'm ready to turn around and go back.  But we must move on to Jekyll Island, Georgia.  Finally, we're going to get to the beach!!!