So, after a full night of sleep, we rose at a normal hour and put ourselves together for departure. We were on the road by 9-ish, and headed south. Which is when we hit our first snag: We had the wrong power cord for Soccer Girl's DVD player. Fortunately, we were only three quarters of a mile away from home. Good dad that I try to be, I didn't get mad… I didn't lose my cool. I just turned around, went back home, and got the cord that I thought was right. We headed back out, got on the highway, and were on our way!
Mrs. GF and Soccer Girl had planned to play the license plate game to see how many states we could count on our trip, and by the time we left our subdivision, we already had Virginia Tennessee, and New York. By the time we passed the Marine Corps base at Quantico (4 miles from our house) we had counted New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and one or two others.
We were cruising along and after a short time, SG decided she was ready to watch a movie, so she fired up her DVD player… or tried to. Apparently the cord that I went back to the house for, wasn't the right one either. Ah, well… she was just going to have to do without, and enjoy her multiple books and her MP3 player instead.
In practically no time, we made it through Richmond and Petersburg and crossed into North Carolina. We stopped for a quick lunch, and then nipped into Wal-Mart (this was in Roanoke Rapids, in case geography is your thing) to get a power cord. Instead of buying a power cord, we ended up getting a new DVD player, as buying a power cord would have cost as much money. Now, at this point you are probably thinking that this was a really indulgent thing to do, and you might be right, but from our perspective it was a relatively small price to pay to keep a certain eleven year old from getting bored on the long drive ahead of us.
OK, so… food and power issues resolved, we got back on the road on a beautiful (hot) sunny August day and did what we always do when we drive together. We talked. We talked about all sorts of stuff… my oddball brother, Mrs. GF's oddball mother, and all sorts of things.
The rest of the ride was full of the usual… looking at license plates, getting gas, looking at some the same billboards that we always see, taking note of the sometimes strange people that you always see on the road, and noticing that the corn in North Carolina was burning up in our hot, dry, summer.
By 6 PM, we were tired, but had almost arrived at our destination, and were getting off of I-95 at Brunswick, Georgia. We stopped at Zaxby's for a quick dinner...
...before driving over the F.J. Torras causeway to Saint Simons Island. We were staying at the same condominium that we used last year, and as soon as we grabbed the keys at the office, we quickly settled into our unit and went into immediate relaxation mode.
I hope you don't mind but I am going to throw a plug here, because I belive in supporting businesses that treat me well and give me good value for my money. If you ever decide to visit St. Simons Island, do yourself a favor and make your accommodations through Hodnett Cooper. They have lots of nice properties on the island and are responsive to their customers. We stayed at the Salt Air villas and loved the place. The unit (a one bedroom) was large, airy, and well-appointed. This was our second time staying there and we will be there again if I have anything to say about it (and I do).
So, what do you do on a coastal island in the summer, when the sun is shining and you are on vacation? I'll tell you what you do, you go to the beach! So that is what we did. I'll tell you something… St. Simons Island isn't what I would call a national beach vacation destination, and I think that this is a realllly good thing; because the beaches are wide, flat and at the time we usually take our vacations, nearly empty.
(Chillin', despite the heat)
We spent a few hours in the water and being warmed by the sun before going back to the condo to shower and change, before we went about the rest our day.
While we were on St. Simons, we stuck, pretty much to our routing of going to the beach in the morning, and then out and about doing the togetherness thing. One of the places that we never miss while we are there is the G.J. Ford book shop
This is a real, privately owned, book shop. It has an eclectic collection of titles, and despite its size, I challenge you to be unable to find something of interest. Fortunately, I married a woman who is always looking for the main prize in a bookstore, and on out trip to this shop, I left with a pearl of great price, a cookbook called: Glorious Grits.
One of our evenings we had the opportunity to spend an evening with some friends of ours who used to live in our area and moved to St. Simons several years ago. We met them for dinner, and then went to their house for desert. It was great to see them, and we try to spend a few hours with them every time we are on the island.
I won't tell you the sad tale of the breaking of my Blackberry… suffice it to say that I got it fixed.
All too soon, our visit to St. Simons Island was over. We had spent four days/nights, enjoying each other's company, eating fun food, hanging out on the beach, and reading much-anticipated vacation books. We had fun, and while we were sad to be leaving St. Simons, we were excited about the fact that the next morning (after a last walk on the beach) we were headed to The Happiest Place on Earth.