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.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sunflowers for St Mary's

The morning after Cumberland and we are all entering it fully engaged. Sunlight is taking it's time waking this morning, but we are on no schedule this day. We've decided a nice leisurely breakfast down the street at the Riverside Cafe makes the most sense - Breakfast All Day advertisement has enticed us - but the reality is that breakfast doesn't start until 10! No worries, we ease out of the Riverview Hotel, chatting with the owner, former mayor of St Mary's, Jerry. Turns out, Jerry has recently taken an adventure of his own. He toured cross country on a motorcycle with friends for 26 days last year. Had an amazing time! We are not alone.

A little after ten, we stroll down to the cafe. Further breakfast restrictions are revealed as we order. They do not serve grits or hashbrowns, only french fries, mornings of Tuesday-Friday. You've gotta love St Mary's! Actually, the food and service is fairly good and we thoroughly enjoy our lazy time here. The Monte Cristo was excellent, dare say, maybe better than mine.

After we finish our meal, we take a nice walk along the river over to the park for a Sunflower planting. (Yes, we forgot to take the seeds to Cumberland, so St Mary's gets the honor!) The park is quite lovely overlooking the marsh and marina and we find the perfect spot! From there, we head to the Old Cemetery and meander for a bit. The sun is starting to awaken, as are we. A final resting spot is found overlooking the massive marsh area. Reminded us of Paynes Prairie but more vast and peaceful. A moment of reflection for all of us.

The early afternoon has arrived and we are able to convince Steven and Charlie to extend their visit with us a bit longer and explore our first detour on our travels today. As we head out of town, we take Hwy 17, the start of Georgia's Colonial Coast scenic drive, toward Jekyll Island. Entrance to the island is spectacular and a stop at the Visitor Center alters our plans.

We are greeted by Marilyn, who asks if we are planning to stay on her fair island. We admit we are just here to take a peek before heading on to St Simons Island, but she strongly discourages this action. The map she presents shows ample opportunity for exploration and a lodging offer we seriously cannot refuse. So, the detour becomes a destination - because we can do that now!!! Jimmy checks us in at the Beachview Club where we have a huge studio overlooking the pool and ocean. We unload quickly and venture out to explore. Steven and Charlie have just the afternoon.

What a peaceful beautiful place this is. Imagine Amelia Island laid back, fewer people and less attitude. Pretty darn nice.... We explore a park - the island itself is a park, with lots of smaller areas. We tour the historic district, drive through the famous Jekyll Island Club, pass the airport (private 2 person planes), and virtually drive around the entire island (all ten miles!). We come full circle, just down from our "home", and find a delightful little eatery right on the beach for an early dinner before sending the boys on their way.

Blackbeard's Seafood Restaurant reminded us a lot of the old place that was at Marineland for years. Spectacular beach views from huge picture windows, rustic furnishings, and though there wasn't a full ship in the room, there was, at least, the wooden steering wheel! Their version of Bang Bang shrimp was a perfect appetizer for all to share. A pasta special with chicken and lots of veggies, and the shrimp and grits were huge portions, worthy of sharing when a crisp salad was added. A fun and yummy bon voyage!

As our friends pulled away, it was the first time since our adventure started that we were on our own for awhile. A bit melancholy yet exciting. The reality that normally we too would be returning home after a brief vacation was finally evident. Our adventure was, in fact, not ending but just beginning!


  1. I cannot believe that shot of Steve relaxing on the bench. That view was almost exactly like my view from my porch at that last apartment I had in Savannah back in 2000. Guess that whole coast line much look pretty much the same as you enter Georgia.

  2. You've never made ME a Monte Cristo! This is great - I can begin a fantasy tour of my own - I think I'll hit all your "detours" they sound so lovely. Love the thought of "less crowds."