My Foggy Christmas Day on Jekyll Island

I’m vacationing in Savannah and on Jekyll Island for the two weeks around Christmas and New Year’s Day. It’s been just lovely, a perfect break from schedules, a full and satisfying but sometimes overbooked social life (that I wouldn’t trade for anything), and the cares and responsibilities of adult life in the modern world.

Today, Christmas Day (those magical words), was a foggy day, mist all morning, then sun warmed the air on the south end of the island, followed by more mist and fog to round out the day.

constructionnearWestinpalmtreefogJekyll25Dec2015

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In the morning, after opening our few gifts, my spouse and I rode our rented bikes the 3 or 4 miles to St. Andrew’s beach, stopping along the way for mocha javas and a cherry-almond croissant at the new Club Cafe at the Beach Village shops (the only place open on Christmas – and quite a surprise to us that it was!), then to check out a woodsy palmetto south island path (too mosquito-y — we will return another day slathered in bug dope). There were hundreds of spider webs glistening with mist hanging over the Beachview bike trail, most high enough above our heads to avoid, though some threw an anchoring line to the ground!

Christmas tableau of sand, shells, gifts
Christmas tableau of sand, shells, gifts
foggy bike path!
foggy bike path!
mocha java, white mocha java, cherry-almond croissant at Club cafe in Beach Village
mocha java, white mocha java, cherry-almond croissant at Club cafe in Beach Village
one of many glistening webs
one of many glistening webs
side trail off bike path
side trail off bike path
red mushroom on side trail
red mushroom on side trail
'grandfather' tree on side trail
‘grandfather’ tree on side trail

 

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We walked for an hour or so on the beach, to the south beach curve where birds typically hang out, finding ring-billed, laughing, and herring gulls, and royal terns, and for the first time this trip, skimmers! Also found a ghost crab that wasn’t too shy, egrets hunting, cormorants, dolphins arcing in the water.

fog at St. Andrews
fog at St. Andrews
snowy egret and gulls, St. Andrews beach
snowy egret and gulls, St. Andrews beach
skimmers and gull on south end
skimmers and gull on south end
trio: ring-billed gull, skimmer, royal tern on south end
trio: ring-billed gull, skimmer, royal tern on south end
royal tern with issues
royal tern with issues
ghost crab ... have never noticed them so speckled before
ghost crab … have never noticed them so speckled before

MollyrearwhiteegretStAndrewsJekyll25Dec2015

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We rode our bikes the 3 or 4 miles back to the condo — with a break to rescue a turtle starting to cross the busy Beachview Drive (I had had a premonition on waking that we would rescue an animal today) — and to admire some butterflies on flowers near Great Dunes Park, to rest before the major brunch feast at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel at 2:30.

turtle carried across road near South Dunes
turtle carried across road near South Dunes
turtle deposited safely across road near South Dunes
turtle deposited safely across road near South Dunes

TombicyclingbikepathnearGreatDunesJekyll25Dec2015

monarch
monarch
gulf fritillary
gulf fritillary

foggybikepathbenchespalmtree1pmJekyll25Dec2015

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We emerged from that culinary extravagance 2 hours later, not too full but sated and replete with smoked seafood, pates, olives, varied local cheeses, dried meats, oysters, steamed shrimp, crab legs, crab-stuffed rock fish, green salad, haricot vert, asparagus, broccolini, buttermilk mashed potatoes, biscuits, various desserts, a splashy prosecco and a nice Chenin Blanc. It sounds like a lot but when you’re taking only a few bites of each over 2 hours, it’s just right. If totally luxurious, verging on shamefully overindulgent, in a world where millions of people go hungry. The people-watching and eavesdropping is always part of the pleasure. I watched one woman scrape half her plate into a blue plastic bag in her purse.

cheese and dried meats table, smoked table, part of omelet station
cheese and dried meats table, smoked table, part of omelet station
plate of oysters, mussels shrimp, gravlax
plate of oysters, mussels shrimp, gravlax
gravlax and smoked things
gravlax and smoked things

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After eating, we walked around the historic district for a half-hour, spotting some warblers and bluebirds snagging insects from the air, then back to the condo to change and take a walk on “our” beach (the mid-beach), from about 5 until 6:30, through sunset and into darkness, when the full moon began to rise over the ocean.

Jekyll Island Club Hotel, late afternoon
Jekyll Island Club Hotel, late afternoon
view to Jekyll Creek, historic district
view to Jekyll Creek, historic district
bluebird in historic district
bluebird in historic district
Crane Cottage formal garden
Crane Cottage formal garden

 

mid-beach, early evening
mid-beach, early evening
like an African savanna, the view from the mid-beach in early evening
like an African savanna, the view from the mid-beach in early evening
Someone had sketched a tree and Merry Christmas 2015 on the sand, mid-beach
Someone had sketched a tree and Merry Christmas 2015 on the sand, mid-beach
Christmas full moon rising over ocean
Christmas full moon rising over ocean

 

A blissful day, most of it spent outside, moving, exploring, noticing. Looking forward to tomorrow.

 

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