Monday, April 8, 2013

Vacation Time

Hi there! We just returned from our yearly trip to Jekyll Island, Georgia. And although we're glad to be home - Spring has Sprung, finally - we're a little sad to have to say goodbye to Jekyll.

Seven of us went this year. With flights more expensive than ever, the grown ups thought it would be a good idea to drive 1200 miles from Central New York to Jekyll Island, Georgia. Big A and I had three of the kids in tow, and my parents made seven.  The plan was to drive 10 hours one day, stay the night, and drive 8 the second day.

Just to break this trip down: 

Big A+ me (with a giant coffee addiction) + 3 kids + 2 grandparents = 2 meal stops per day + 34 bathrooms stops (remember coffee problem) + 7 additional stops for gas/snacks. That's one long drive.

All things considered, the drive was fine, and our kids deserve big applause, because through 24 hours of being on the road at each end of the trip, all of the three were giggling, watching movies, playing music, and generally well behaved. (Only once did Big A and I consider leaving them by the side of the road.)

Once we got to Jekyll, and settled in the house, all was well with the world, because this is the view that we saw:

Time to relax, and well, I'll be honest, eat shrimp. Which we did with great perseverance and stamina. Jekyll is known for the shrimp, who feed on sugar cane, and are therefore, super sweet. We told little man that the shrimp is soo sweet it tastes like candy. He replied "Uh, guys, I like real candy".  Oh well, all the more for us.

We had grilled shrimp, boiled shrimp, shrimp and grits, shrimp and grit cakes with pablano cream sauce, shrimp Caesar salads, shrimp island salad, fried shrimp... You get the idea.

We ate raw oysters, fish tacos, and of course, ice cream, and key lime pie:

Okay, so we didn't drive 1200 miles just to eat! We also rode bikes - this is the one of the many beautiful bike trails around Jekyll Island where you peddle under the Live Oaks, dripping with Spanish Moss.

One awesome path, takes you right by a little pond. This is who lives there.

(Here comes a cautionary tale: When you have been to the beach side grocery store and have raw chicken in your bike basket, it's probably best not to stop and look at the alligator. Clearly, we survived the experience, but I did think when I got back to the house "THAT prolly wasn't the smartest thing we ever did". 

We toured the vacation homes of the rich and famous. In 1886, Jekyll Island was purchased to become an exclusive winter retreat for America’s most elite families, known as the Jekyll Island Club. The nation’s leading families, including the legendary Rockefellers, Morgans, and Pulitzers all vacationed here and it's fun to tour several of the homes.

The kids swam a little in the ocean, but it was a little too chilly for the grown ups. We played Frisbee, played in the sand, flew kites, and kept a look out for dolphins, sand dollars, and pelicans.

Now here are another couple of cautionary tales for those of you with kids. First, see this little guy?

Well so did the kids. And while the grown-ups were having cocktails and shrimp on the patio, they put it in a bucket, and took it to a bedroom. Several days later the poor lil guy had clearly come to an end of his time, and well, smelled. Really. Bad.

And see this lil guy?

Well, we didn't, until it was too late. My advice here is: probably best not to leave the sunscreen where lil guys can reach it.

All in all, despite a few little blips, the vacation was a huge success. After a week of fun and sun (and eating), we're relaxed and ready to tackle Spring, and all of the work that it entails. As I write, Big A is out raking and picking up the sticks and debris from the long winter, and I have a list of projects to get moving on.

A BIG GIGANTIC THANK YOU to my parents, and to my kids for being so totally awesome! Thank you to my sis and her hubby (who couldn't go with us :-( ), but took care of my parents animals and house. Thank you to my mother-in-law for taking care of Mr. Kit-E-Cat and the house so that we could go play!


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