The day after Christmas we were excited to get on the road and hopefully into some warmer weather, but it took us a little longer than expected to finish packing in the morning. I guess we were out of practice being in one place for so long. (For someone with a master’s degree, she’s not very good at spelling “slept in and then lay around all morning like a slacker”. – Lee) We left around 9:50am but thought it would be fine since it was only a 5 hour travel day. Also we made Cori’s Traveling Day Shredded Pork (which is yummy and convenient as an “on the road lunch item”…see below for the recipe) so we were all set. Unfortunately I guess it was a travel day for a lot of other people because the traffic was terrible. I was really really surprised, because it was a Friday I thought for sure the roads would be light, but every time we got near a major city…Columbia, Charleston, and Savannah traffic really slowed down. We also saw several accidents…not due to weather as it was a gorgeous sunny day, just folks not paying attention I suppose. They were not minor accidents either as we saw two people put on stretchers. Anyway it took much much longer than expected to get to our campground in Brunswick, GA so we rolled in around 5pm. Yikes!! Long travel day but at least we had just enough time to get into the site before it got dark.
We are staying at the Golden Isles RV Park for a couple of nights because I wanted to see Jekyll Island. It’s not a great park, but it’s Passport America and only cost $17 a night plus it is close to everything we wanted to see. It’s not awful or anything, but it doesn’t have much in the way of redeeming qualities and the entire campground has this funky marsh smell. (This entire area has a funky marsh smell. Somewhere between rotten eggs and sewage. It’s really gross. – Lee) I thought it was the entire area, but once we get a little closer to the water the smell dissipates. (Her nose just got used to it.-Lee) Anyway, like I said, not a place I would stay for a week or anything but fine for a couple of cheap nights. (Fine for a couple of cheap nights. That’s how she ended up with me. Thank you, I’m here all weekend. Try the veal. – Lee)
We got up in the morning and went over to Jekyll Island. The Island is a State Park and survives mainly on self funding. It cost $6 per car for a day pass to get into the park which took us back a little, but it was absolutely worth it. There were minimal crowds and I really loved the island. Beautiful marsh areas and amazing huge beaches that we spent some time walking on. There are also some nice neighborhoods with normal houses in them (as opposed to mini-mansions) and there are beautiful bike paths absolutely everywhere. The first stop was the beach and we found a nice little access spot down near the soccer camp on the east side of the island. Posted signs reminded you it was a nesting area and asked to stay off the dunes which of course we did. It was absolutely beautiful and we took a lovely walk with some great pictures.
After the beach we drove around the island a bit and stopped the Georgia Sea Turtle Research Center. I have loved sea turtles ever since getting to swim with one while scuba diving in Honduras and was thrilled to stumble across the research center. It was $7 per person, a very reasonable price, and had educational areas and the hospice area where the recuperating turtles live. (This is Georgia math, mind you. The sign said $7 per person, and they charged me $13.98. – Lee) Each turtle has an information sheet that says in detail what happened to it,and the plan for either its release into the wild or its permanent placement with an aquarium. They also have baby turtles and they watch nests and breeding areas closely in the summer months. I was happy to pay my $7 ($6.99 – Lee) to such a worthy cause and more than felt I got my money’s worth. The gift shop is evil though, with waaaay too many cute turtle things to buy. (If she had read all the little information plaques, she would have learned that sea turtles are rabid capitalists. – Lee)
After the institute we went to the campground to check it out. Jekyll Island campground is in a terrific location, but unfortunately the sites are right on top of each other. It’s in a terrific location with bike paths that lead to absolutely everywhere on the island. The campsites cost $38 a night plus a $6 daily fee for parking which goes to the State Park. The monthly rates were much better at $550 a month off-season and $650 a month high season. I would definitely recommend the larger pull throughs D5, D6, and G21, G22, G23. I say larger but they are still very close to your neighbor. The campground has its own fenced in bird watching area though that I absolutely loved and again the location cannot be beat. (We cannot stress enough how close together these sites are. There were several places where the awning of one RV was within a few inches of the neighbor’s RV. For that kind of money, there should be some more separation. It’s a campground, not an airline.- Lee)
The bird watching area at the Jekyll Island campground. More campgrounds should have these…VERY cool. Then we went over to the historic part of the island and saw the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. From the late 1800’s to 1950 it was a private island owned by the club and you could only enter through one set of docks. There are lots of old “cottages” and a grand hotel and it was still decorated for Christmas. The Hotel was beautiful from the outside and we took more great pictures.
We talked about having lunch at the pier, but were good (Another typo. She misspelled broke and over-budget. – Lee) and drove back to the camper and had lunch there. After a quick break we went to St. Simons island which was MUCH more crowded and touristy. I preferred Jekyll’s Island but we did find two things from my Roadside America App . We found a bulldog covered with pennies promoting the local ASPCA and these wonderful carvings in trees which are supposed to be the spirits of dead sailors. The carvings were tough to find, but led us into a lovely little neighborhood tucked back in a corner.
Finally we went and saw the St. Simon’s Lighthouse and spent a few quiet moments on a side street pier.
It was an absolutely beautiful day…sunny and 73 degrees, but I was a bit tired so we decided to come back to the camper. I would definitely like to come back to Jekyll Isle sometime later in our travels, but am looking forward to getting to Clearwater tomorrow and seeing our friends Kelly and Bill. Kelly is making dinner for us and she is an outstanding cook…so I can’t wait!!! (Also, we’ll be in Clearwater for like, 10 weeks, so if you are in the area, and aren’t weird, and don’t smell weird, send us a message. We’ll do a quick background check and see if we want you to take us to dinner or something in a very well lit, public place with lots of witnesses. – Lee)
P.S. Here’s Lee’s great egret pic. He got a little pouty that it didn’t make the blog and was only on the bird page 🙂
Cori’s Traveling Day Shredded Pork
- 3-4 lbs of pork
- 1-2 bottles BBQ sauce
1. Put pork in a crock pot with some water and 1/3 bottle BBQ sauce for 4-5 hours
2. Drain grease
3. Shred pork and add remainder of one bottle of sauce. Add additional to consistency desired
4. Cook additional time as needed to soften pork
5. Serve on buns. Freezes well and heats very well in microwave.
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Hey Guys, Absolutely loved reading about my favorite vacation place, Jekyll Island. We have stayed in several of the homes, condos and motels on the beach, but we never camped there. Jekyll Island is a great place to vacation anytime of the year. Thanks for the smile. Linda S.
Gosh darn you guys (Lee) crack me up!! WOW! Great pics Trace (and Lee, loved your bird). I’d love to have one of those “cottages”! We tried to get into the state park to camp, but couldn’t. We’ll have to add that to another trip. We wanted to see both of those islands. Loved the Bull dog. Looks like things are really getting fun! I know you’re going to love your time in FL!
I’ll have add Jekyll Island to our list of visits in the future. Sound like you guys are having a good time. Clearwater in winter sounds nice. It’s 28 here in Kansas City!
I love your posts! Looks like we may meet up in Clearwater mid to end of Feb! I think Jo is also be in Clearwater. Now if I can just find a place to stay that isn’t already sold out!
Mark said he remembered from driving through on a trip to Florida that the whole state smelled funny way back then, too. 🙂
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