Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Only Island

I have no idea why a draft posted earlier today. I could not find the finished post, so I had to rewrite it. It was so frustrating, but here it is. Again. The right one this time, I hope.

I know that there are hundreds of islands in the world. I know that there are states that practically every edge is bordered by water. I know that there are fancy resorts with bars in the pool and umbrellas on the beach. I know that there are any number of places that you can go for a beach vacation. But to me, the choice is easy. When I was little, Momma and Daddy always took Lucas and me to the same place, so to me, there is only one place to go.
Jekyll Island, Georgia

It is such an awesome, special place. It has the ocean and beaches, but it is extra special because it is still GA with beautiful live oaks dripping with Spanish Moss.

Jekyll Island is not a heavily commercial area, either. There are all sorts of regulations to keep the island preserved. There are only a handful of places to eat and shop. In fact, when we were smaller, we always went to St. Simons Island for supper because there were not any nice places to eat on Jekyll. We were pleasantly surprised by lots of new places to eat this time - we never even left the island once we arrived!

I love Jekyll because of the dunes. The dunes are protected to keep the beach erosion to a minimum. Now because of this, you cannot walk out of your hotel room and onto the beach. But I even love that about Jekyll Island! When you are on the beach and you look back toward the hotel, you see this:

It sort of makes you feel like you are on a deserted island, you know?

And speaking of deserted island, the beach is rarely too crowded. You can always find a place to set up your area that is away from people or you can walk forever all by yourself.

And Jekyll Island has bike paths that go all over the place. When Lucas and I were younger, we always rented bikes at the hotel to tool around on. I was so anxious to share this with my babies, too. The hotel rented bikes for $5 per TWO hours. And even though they had kids bikes and even one with training wheels for Spence, we opted for the trailer thingy pulled behind David's bike. We figured we would not get too far with them doing all the work!
Ready to ROLL!
This was my view during our ride. I even had to stop to take this.
I am barely coordinated enough to keep myself upright without adding photography to the mix!

Another highlight for me was the Miniature Golf Course. We always played there when we were little, and I was so relieved to see that it had not changed. I mean it had been painted a few times, but the basic layout of the holes was the same. It is so great to see something that is a classic not try to make improvements just for the sake of progress. And the kids LOVED it!
After a while, Spencer got a little bored with the whole thing.

Not Jessa.
She was ready to go for another 18!

Some beach vacations do not involve wildlife sightings. That is another cool thing about Jekyll Island. There is a great chance you will get to see animals. And the animals are so tame. We were right next to them for a long time without spooking them. I can remember feeding squirrels practically out of my hand as a child.
We saw deer:
We saw a raccoon:
And we even ate supper on a porch with a cat that belonged to the restaurant:
Notice how obsessed our children are with this cat. It was like they had never seen one before.

A nifty NEW thing about Jekyll Island since I was little is The Georgia Sea Turtle Center. We had heard good things and were anxious to check it out.

We were not disappointed! It was so amazing. The kids got to learn all about the life cycles of Sea Turtles and Diamondback Terrapins. There was a surgery area where you could view vets working on the turtles. The kids got to ask questions and get stamps at each station that they visited.
The best part was the Sea Turtle Hospital:
You could visit actual rescued Sea Turtles and read their diagnosis, their treatment, and their prognosis. Here are a couple of turtles who were recovering there.

Our trip was perfect. We all had so much fun. It was nice for David to be on leave and with us non-stop for the first time since this time last year.
And it was so special to share a Jekyll Island vacation with my little family.
And here's hoping this was the first of MANY. . .

1 comment:

kate said...

Oh my goodness -- Dana! This makes me want to go back so badly! We also went to Jekyll when we were little for our beach vacation (until my grandparents bought a house on Tybee and then obviously...we went with the free place. Ha!) But I have the best memories of Jekyll and the bike paths! Awesome. So happy you guys had a great time! (And I laughed at the cat thing -- too funny.)