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Posts Tagged ‘Jekyll Island’

Jekyll Island Club Hotel

The last day before we left Jekyll Island, Dick was forced into doing some work – so while he dealt with clients from the dinette in the Navion, parked in the garden- like setting of the visitor lot in the historic district, I did some touring on my own. Took a 90 minute, concierge-guided tour of the Club Hotel – great history, along with tales of the rich and famous from its heyday to the present (Robert Redford gave away his tower room, gratis, to a newlywed couple during the filming of “The Legend of Bagger Vance” here) including some very interesting ghost stories (the concierge, herself, disrupted one TV show’s filming – having freaked out at what she saw…).  We got to go into quite a few hotel rooms, including the landmark tower suite, which wasn’t occupied that day, where we were able to climb the circular staircase to the top of the turret, with some breathtaking views.

I also toured the Georgia Sea Turtle Center which is right there in the historic district, next to Dick, slaving away in the Navion.   Jekyll Island is a major nesting ground for loggerhead turtles and they have a lot of friends here.  The Center has great exhibits, following the harrowing hatching process through the many dangers, trials and tribulations these creatures face on their journey to adulthood.  A female doesn’t start laying eggs until she’s about 30- how modern is that.  I, as a turtle, did all the educational “stations” in the Visitor’s Center and lived to be 60. Whew! Not many are that lucky.  I also visited their visited their infirmary, where each “patient” has a name and a chart, so you can read about their injury/disease, and what treatment they are undergoing. When rehabilitation is successful, the turtles are released back into the ocean, and what a joyous moment that must be for all involved.

Georgia Sea Turtle Center

While we were on Jekyll, we stayed at the Jekyll Island Campground, which was great for access to the historic district and beaches, although it left us feeling a bit like the Joads in “The Grapes of Wrath”. But, we had two delicious dinners at Latitude 31 on the pier in the historic district, so we weren’t exactly starving.

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Jekyll Island Club Hotel

I wonder how the guys (guys with names like Vanderbilt, Rockefeller and Morgan)  who founded their exclusive hunting club here in 1886,  feel about the rest of us roaming about their once private dominion.  They set it up as an exclusive hunting retreat, a members-only island, completely isolated and protected. No way would any of us be allowed on. Now, their clubhouse, with its rooms and apartments, has been restored and updated – and it’s a hotel where anyone, who can pay the bill, can stay. The Grand Dining Room, where members used to take their ten course meals,  is elegantly serving food once again, albeit with fewer courses. Many of their “cottages” have been saved and are entertaining again -but it’s tourists now, soaking up history,  instead of the hobnobbing of the social elite. Some of us might be elite, others not so much – but the lines are erased, and we’re all invited in.

Cottage at Jekyll Island

Cottage at Jekyll Island (now part of hotel)

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