Two young 50-something females. One big adventure exploring the Americas. Have liquidated everything they own and packed a Saturn Vue with bare necessities to set out on this journey. Planting seeds at each juncture symbolizing their new growth. With an open mind and heart, ready to get a true view of this world.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Cumberland Island - Heaven on Earth

It has been twelve years since we've been to the Riverview Hotel and taken the ferry over from the National Parks Service for Cumberland. The last time was for Ashley's 13th birthday! Of course, we've been to Cumberland several other times over the years - staying at the Greyfield on the island for my magnificent 40th celebration and taking day trips through Greyfield leaving from Fernandina Beach on the Lucy Ferguson. Always magical, always so very special.

Coming home to the Riverview brought a wave of memories. They have fortunately done some major and much needed renovations to this wonderful old hotel. We started out the morning having coffee on the lovely porch overlooking the river and the Cumberland Queen which we would be riding in several hours. The weather was heaven sent. The Weather Witch had outdone herself today - the sun was shining bright through beautiful clear blue skies - just a stir of a breeze - absolutely perfect!! Dolphin jumped welcoming us for the day ahead - it would be magnificent, no doubt!

We did have one glitch in that the hot water was not wanting to cooperate this morning - so showers were quick!!! Grabbing our picnics, we headed to our orientation with the rangers and boarded the Queen. The water was smooth as glass - the trip over a dream! We had more dolphin sightings and even a horse was spotted on the island from afar!

This was Charlie's first visit, so we were all anxious to share our little haven. As we disembarked at Dungeness pier, we headed down the beautiful canopied walk toward the ruins. Wild turkey welcomed us along the path as Dungeness came into our sight. As we had promised him, the wild horses were scattered around the house - such a special treat! We took our time exploring this pristine area before wandering the marsh strip leading to the dunes to the seashore. The gorgeous weather as a backdrop made it even more lovely today!

As usual, the beach was all ours. We strolled, finding shells, birds and driftwood and found a serene spot for our picnic. The sun warmed our souls and a little afternoon nap seemed natural. After this brief respite, we continued on to the boardwalk that crossed the dunes into Sea Camp. No matter how many times you cross into that clearing, you always have your breath taken away. That magnificent tree beckons you from the dunes into the maritime forest - an absolutely stunning moment! Charlie was wowed as we all always are that first encounter!

A hike through the forest brought us upon the outskirts of Greyfield Inn and we took another detour through the dunes back for a final glimpse of the ocean. As we headed back to the dock at Sea Camp, we were all tiring from the day long hike, but obviously elated. Another Cumberland excursion had been nothing less than the magical experience it always promises to be. Charlie agreed it was far more than he could have imagined and thrilled to have been a lucky visitor!

The trip back to St Mary's was uneventful as we gathered our belongings and eased back into reality. Cocktail hour was beckoning at Seagle's and we ordered drinks and another round of that incredible rock shrimp dip. The evening was proving to be a repeat of the busyness of last evening, so we decided to try the little steak restaurant we had noticed driving into town. What a treat! The Silver Star Steakhouse serves some amazing beef! We had a delightful server and each of us had mouth watering steaks! It has been quite awhile since I devoured a full serving of fillet, but this one was worthy to say the least. Absolutely delicious! We had an Oregon State Cab that paired perfectly and a squash casserole instead of the typical baked potato that proved equally delectable. The meal was finished off with a peanut butter pie that was light as air and sinfully decadent - enough for the four of us each to have plenty.

We had thought we would be struggling to find dinner options during our brief stay and had been fortunate enough to encounter two truly wonderful meals. Our revisit to this sleepy little town had proven quite successful. As we headed back to our rooms for a little nightcap and preview of the pictures from the day, we were again reminded of what a special day we had been blessed with experiencing. A good night's sleep would come very easily!!


  1. That looks amazing! I just had to google Cumberland Island..can't believe I've never heard of it!

  2. Happy memories for me of a beautiful place and a great birthday party!! More pictures, please!!

  3. I can't believe it's been 12 years, I feel old now. I'm sure the rest of you feel REALLY old:)

  4. Beautiful pics - love the horses!!! Adding Cumberland Island to my wish list of places to see:) You have a gift for words - possible book at the end of this journey??!!!:)

  5. Yes, Ashley, ALL of us feel really old. Thanks for rubbing it in!

    For Susan and Celeste - This is the perfect time of year for your travels - you'll really enjoy the Springtime across the states. I've recently been contemplating the seven vices - today, Envy is rearing its head!