December 7- The Golden Isles

You can tell you are heading south – not only by the accent but the weather continues to get warmer. Enjoying 70’s and mid 60’s during the day. Wish it was a little warmer (so I could brag back in STL) but we are enjoying this very much.

Arrived at Coastal Georgia RV park near Brunswick Georgia which will be our base for the next 4 days. Nice park, paved roads, decent size lots, no trees but landscaped very nice. Can’t put anything on the grass but that hasn’t hampered us yet. Wifi is tengo internet which we have trouble getting connected. Have been using cellular data and we eventually got into their internet system. Biggest problem to date has been internet service. It’s ashamed how much we depend on it.

Friday our first day, we typically relax and maybe tour the area, which we did. Drove to Brunswick (PetSmart to get more dog food) and then toured the town. Didn’t see a whole lot, but they have advertised that they are restoring the downtown area. Moved on to St. Simon Island.

St. Simon Island was the typical beach town. We did find the Visitor’s Center and gathered any local data. Drove around a little bit and decided we wanted to come back tomorrow and investigate. Did have appetizers and beer at the Mullet Bay Bar. We returned home (we have gotten used to calling the RV “home” which it is).

Saturday we enjoyed the morning and headed to St. Simon Island with a long list of “to see” items.

We first stopped at Fort Frederica, a pre-revolutionary war fort. The British occupied it and fought the Spanish as both sides tried to take the other’s territory. Got another National park system stamp as this was a monument. Walked thru the town of Frederica (which only the foundations remained, but the history signs along the way were wonderful and informative) and saw remains of the Fort on the edge of the water.DSC_0023

Impressed with the use of local materials to build the fort – sea shells. Called Tabby when they mix limestone and shells to form concrete – long lasting as there were many walls remaining.

Leaving the fort, we stopped at the Christ Church, where John and Charles Wesley preached under the oak trees.DSC_0033

One of the things on our list was the “Spirit Faces” carved into some of the trees on the island. There were numerous locations, but only four (4) available on public land. We found all four and took pictures. Another idea for cities to provide items like this to attract tourists.DSC_0048

Lunch was special as we visited one of guy’s Diners Drive-ins and Dives on this TV show. Southern Soul BBQ was good. Even after 1 PM we had to wait a short time to get our food and it was good. Perhaps too much but great experience.

After lunch we headed to the lighthouse. Every island needs a lighthouse. Again the history is interesting. Did not go up in this one. We walked along the walkway and watch a man feed the ravens and sea gulls on top of his head and from his hand. I wasn’t quite ready to try this. DSC_0073

Walked past the stores and didn’t buy anything. Drove around the rest of the island to “drool” over the homes on the ocean. Did walk a little of the beach.DSC_0062

Impressed with the trees and how old and big they are. It shows how long they have been here without being disturbed by mankind.

Headed for home and we had the crockpot on with ham hocks and potatoes. Good warm up meal while watching football. Never had ham hocks before but I told Brenda she could do that again. They were quite tasty.

Sunday we headed for Jekyll Island with the bikes hooked to the car. Another island you had to pay $6 to enter and you had free parking anywhere on the island.

We parked at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. Only place in Georgia where they rehabilitate turtles, seemed logical as they were on the ocean. Had a great turtle education center and hospital. Check out Brenda’s socks next time you see her – her famous quote is “you can’t have a bad day in cute socks” and she was able to get two pairs with turtles on them.DSC_0070

After the turtle center we rode our bikes around the island (like tourists – oh yes we are tourists) and had a great time. It’s different seeing things from a bike versus a car – much easier to take in the beauty and things around. DSC_0047

We did stop at the Island Museum, which explained the history of the island and the different owners throughout time, watched a good video of the history. The Jekyll Island Club had a lot of influence on the development of the island in the early years until after the depression and then it wasn’t the place to be. Eventually the State bought it and created a state park and then turned it over to the Jekyll Island Authority that now runs the island and provides all support to maintain the island. Much more detail is available.

We rode our bikes from the historical district to the new Beach Village with small shops. I did break down and bought a “Life is Good” T shirt. We then rode around about half the island (rode 6.5 miles total today). We got to ride along the ocean and some interior sections (looking for alligators but didn’t see any today). We got back to the Turtle Center by 4 PM and they had an educational program discussing the different turtles in the hospital and their issues. It was quite informative and made you want to be more aware of their issues and negative things in our environment and living situation. Did you know there are 7 different species of turtles in the world and there was one of each in the hospital.DSC_0013

Had dinner on the wharf at Latitude 31. Keeping local with red fish and Brenda had seafood crepes. Delightful meal. Then home.

Monday we woke up to a light rain. Over by 10 AM. I finally got a haircut today, it has been since the beginning of September so I was a little shaggy. No reason to look the professional anymore. We did some shopping and then home. I discovered I had bought the wrong size T shirt so I had to return and exchange it.

Wanting to avoid paying the $6 entrance fee, I drove the car to the entrance with my bike and rode the bike onto the island. Exchanged the shirt and continued riding around the entire island. Was able to get my 20 miles and get back to the entrance. Flat islands are a delight to ride.

Jekyll Island is an impressive place as it was not heavily developed and what was done was done tastefully and didn’t disturb the environment. It was quite natural and no wonder they call the islands here the Golden Isles.

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