I love creating blog post titles for Georgia because so many descriptives, phrases, songs, etc come to mind. However; think I’ve used most of them over the last seven- yes SEVEN years!
Our first Georgia stop was the lovely but tricky Plum Orchard anchorage on the Brickhill River. Tricky because a hard mound shoal guards the entrance “on the green side” over to the center and if you don’t know that (thanks to ActiveCaptain), TowBoatUS or SeaTow might become your best friend that day. It’s a few miles north of the larger, more accessible Cumberland Island anchorage down by Dungeness. (accent on the “ness”).
We’d been here before and this time, finally, we’d hoped to tour the Plum Orchard mansion, aka a summer cottage. Ha. We dinghied to the large floating docks and did the 11am tour with a group from St Mary’s who arrive by ferry and van.
Carnegie wealth knew no bounds; the latest and greatest was evident throughout; the only disadvantage to living on Cumberland Island was that it is an island and certain amenities, such as electricity had not yet been brought over from the mainland.
With 30 rooms, 12 bathrooms, a squash court with ladies balcony, indoor pool and a full basement, Plum Orchard served well as a winter getaway home. It contained one of the first Otis elevators, many Tiffany lamps, and many servants. The property was sold to the US govt in 1972 to be added into the national park system.
Wealthy families with servants had a “servant color” that was used in, well, the servant areas. Also pointed out were the different door knobs on doors that led into the family areas. One side had a smooth globe doorknob and the other a faceted doorknob. Always good to know where you are.
After Plum Orchard we needed fuel and a protected dock for a few nights thanks to the nasty approaching cold front pushing rain, severe thunderstorms and tornado warnings ahead of it. For all that, we’d tuck in at Brunswick Landing Marina. But before that stay we had a perfectly lovely day- oh what should we do? Let’s see. Jekyll Harbor Marina is on the way and with a change of plans it so happened that Traveling Soul was there for a few nights.
The marina offers free loaner bicycles and has two golf carts for those who need to more in less time. Mike & Ann had already scouted out the new shops over on the beach side at the new Wyndham hotel so she knew just where to go. The shops in the historic area came first though and we both scored big time; especially Ann.
The guys took to their bicycles- separately. Russ rode through the southern part of the island which had been closed off due to flooding the last time we were here.
Then he gave Twins a much-needed wash-down. Gotta look classy on ritzy Jekyll Island.
Ann wanted me to show her how to make knotted/macramé bracelets and anklets. Back in February I didn’t know squat and now I have helped others. Could this activity help ward off brain cell decay? I hope so- just keep learning, learning. 🙂
Spot wanted a piece of the action too.
Then the “look”. Ann keeps working- we only just got started.
Spot is used to Ann holding up the iPad, so when I held up a small iPhone, she wasn’t quite sure what to think. If I’d muted it, she may not vocalized her displeasure.
The dry and often breezy conditions are just right for fires to start. Florida had them all over; many significant and at times we could see a slight haze and smell the smell. Georgia isn’t much different.
Tuesday night the four of us chose Zachary’s, located at the marina, for dinner. Easy and under new ownership. Uh oh, only one other couple there. No worries, it’s because of the fire! No, not in the kitchen, but a short ways inland and the road into the marina was closed off. A helicopter would be dumping water. The only restaurant diners would be those who walked up from the docks. Luckily a few others did come up, but we were the main attraction for sure and kept the talented bartender busy with our cocktail choices.
Wednesday May 3-off to Brunswick. Eight miles that took over an hour because we crawled through Jekyll Creek only one hour after low tide. Very, very shallow in a few places and a smaller trawler had been aground since before low, getting free two minutes before we came by. Whew. This is one, if not the biggest, reason that boats skip Georgia (even northern Florida) and sail/ motor-sail/motor offshore if conditions are favorable.
Brunswick Landing Marina is well protected, sells fuel at the best price around and offers goodies such as free laundry in large machines in two separate buildings, wine 3 nights/week, beer on tap every evening and more! With hundreds of slips and many T-heads they seldom run out of room. It’s very popular with those who want or need to leave their boat for a while and it has a large full-time or seasonal group.
The place used to be a naval base and hurricane hole. So it’s not exactly pretty but the grounds are well-kept, the washers and dryers all in working order, the lounge and the main gathering room neat and tidy with plenty of wide-screen TVs and places to sit and relax.
We had a package to mail and that gave us the opportunity to chat with David who was being recognized for 50 years of service! He said, he’s not sure about retiring any time soon; the Honey-Do list was too long!
When we are where we can walk into town, the TripAdvisor app gets reviewed for what’s good to do and where to dine. Indigo Coastal Shanty- isn’t that a cool name?- is rated #1 in Brunswick so we checked it out.
Friday, May 5th is our wedding anniversary and we always make sure we can enjoy a good meal out. That basically means, being at a dock with dining options nearby. Friends Linda & Glenn of m/v Mintaka tipped us off to an unusual place, The Farmer and the Larder, a short walk on Newcastle Street.
Small, maybe seats 24 tops, open kitchen, farm to table-esque with a southern, African-American flair. We loved it. The top-mentioned server was Jess and we were delighted to be at one of her tables- what a fun person!
The charcuterie board sounded too good to pass up so we used it as appetizer and entree. It contained: thin sliced cured meat, whipped feta cheese (still with teeny chunks- yummy), pickled mushrooms and summer squash and their famous bacon jam!! OMG it was divine! In a mouth-watering, gee this works really well like a maple brown sugar bacon doughnut does, only better.
That’s Jess opening our bottle of Ventisquero Carmenere, which we’d discovered at another farm-to-table dining spot in Niantic, CT in 2009 (ish).
Behind her is the open kitchen. You can see how compact the place is.
Our other entree choice was a reviewers fave- Double Oink. A 5-star choice we both agreed and enough to share. Room for dessert? Why sure. Chocolate Bun Bun. Heaven in a small bowl, and it was gluten-free. We’ll be back.
The primary reason we decided to spend 3 nights at BLM was the nasty weather arriving Thursday, bringing lots of wind and possible severe thunderstorms. Felt we’d have better wind protection than at Jekyll where at one point we’d planned to be for May 5.
Saturday, May 6 was the Kentucky Derby and for once we thought we had a fool proof way to watch the race. However, when the time came- all the pre-race stuff begins at 2:30- we discovered that certain markets are blocked and darn but we were in one. We raced over to the lounge, managed to get the wide flat screen TV on the correct mode and settled in for a teeny bit of pre-race prancing.. then they were off! Twenty 3-yr-olds, no standout favorite this time, but one of the betting favorites, Always Dreaming, won easily. Good thing we’d stayed an additional day 🙂
Our Sunday morning departure would find us racing to Charleston, two long days and a short one.