road trips

jekyll island get down

We are suckers for travel and adventure. During the three years we lived in Massachusetts, we were constantly taking off to explore parts of New England. Birthdays were our most used excuse to skip town, but now, it’s our anniversary. It works perfectly since the date falls just after peak season at the beach and the temperatures are warm enough to enjoy taking a dip in the ocean. (Ryan knows the way to my heart is doing anything involving water.) This year we ended up going to Jekyll Island here in Georgia. It kept us close to home, and we were able to take Ellie dog with us.

Before diving into the trip details from our recent adventure, there is some history you need to know first. Ryan’s dad grew up vacationing on Jekyll Island. Years later, the stars aligned and Ryan’s grandparents bought a home on the island. Ryan was spoiled getting to spend many vacations visiting his grandparents on Jekyll.  As he got older, he was able to bring his friends to the island.


Traveling to Jekyll Island was also the first beach trip I ever took. I had been to the beach (both east and west coast), but I was there just long enough to dip my toes in the ocean. It’s all these memories combined with the mellow low-key vibes of the island that keep us coming back. As sweet as it would be to have a place to stay and keep in the family for generations, Ryan’s granny sold her island home and moved closer to family a few years back.

Now that you have some of the history, I’m going to transition into this past trip. What better way to do so than to use a split photo I created on my phone of the first Jekyll Island trip we took together over eight years ago and one from this year.


Before leaving for our beach trip Ryan asked me what I expected the best part to be. My response was swift and without hesitation. I knew having Ellie with us was going to be the best part. It has been such a joy to treat her to a life I imagine she could have never dreamed of as a rescue in the Atlanta Humane Society. (Excuse her thin spot behind her shoulder. Eleanor was enjoying being brushed a little too much.)


We stopped in Savannah for late lunch/dinner and take a stroll through the squares and historic buildings on our way to Jekyll. We tried out Sisters of the New South getting our food to-go for an impromptu picnic in Forsyth Park. It was inexpensive with large portions and truly hit the spot. We ended up walking around the historic district for over an hour, which seemed to be good enough for our chill Ellie dog. Towards the end of our walking tour, Ellie was actually laying down every time we stopped to cross the street. It provided good entertainment for all those around us.


After an evening in Savannah, we had an hour and a half drive to our Jekyll hotel. I was tickled when we pulled in because I realized that it was the same hotel we stayed in six years prior. That trip was taken just before Ryan took off for grad school at UMass. Below is a picture of that trip.


It rained off and on our first day, but we were still able to enjoy the outdoors. After a morning at the beach, we hit St. Simmons to swing into a few of our favorite shops, like Go Fish. I love everything I have bought from there, including the dress above I wore in Savannah. This year, I didn’t buy anything… I think I was too focused on the lunch we had planned.

You guys, we have found the golden nugget of sushi places. Fancy Q Sushi Bar and Grill in Brunswick is a complete addiction for us. We discovered it a couple years ago and have been talking about it ever since. We are beyond addicted. We ate there twice the first time we found it and twice this last visit. I’m pretty sure we were recognized from the back-to-back visits (slightly embarrassing). I don’t know if it’s the complimentary sushi roll and soup or just the wide range of fabulous rolls, but the struggle is real.

Ellie refused to sit down on the sopping wet deck, so Ryan sacrificed his rain jacket for her to rest her rump. He’s so good to us girls.


The dream beach wedding I bring up every now and again was actually Jekyll based. The BIG dream was to rent Crane Cottage in the historic district. I started saying I wanted to get married there back in 2007 when Ryan first brought me to the island. The house is at its finest at night- that’s how I first saw it. One year we actually saw a wedding reception taking place, it was magical.


Ryan knows a lot of history about Jekyll and stories from ghost tours on the island, so we always go on a night stroll and reminisce as he shares the stories again. It’s all romantic and swoon-tastik. Jekyll is small and quaint. I think that its simple ways make these little traditions easy to form. Maybe 30 years down the road, we will have a place of our own there.

We usually do one walk at night for the cool temperatures and late night ghost stories, and one walk during the day for perusing the houses and landscape. It might be a plant nerd thing, but we don’t go much of anywhere without taking mental notes. Plus, Ryan likes to get inspired for his clients.


When we weren’t chowing down on local eats or touring historic areas, we were beaching it up. Ellie was kept on her leash the first day, but by day two I had convinced Ryan she would be fine leashless and free. After all, she does wonderful running free outside the fence on our urban homestead. How we ever ended up with such a good dog I’ll never know, but she was worth the wait. This girl melts my heart. If these videos of Ellie getting her beach on doesn’t make you laugh, I don’t what will. (Sorry for the vertical video- a habit I’m trying to break.)

If those videos didn’t do the trick perhaps Ellie being happily buried in the sand will. I consider this her day at the spa.


On our way back to Atlanta we stopped at a beach off St. Simons Island. The slower tide allowed Ellie to feel more comfortable to walk further into the ocean. At one point she was in so deep the water was about to her collar. If there hadn’t been other dogs running around distracting her, I think we could have gotten her to swim.


Obviously Ellie stole the show over the course of our trip. It’s always nice to get away as a couple and have these adventures together while trying new things. Yawny McYawnsters down there is just the sprinkles on top.


Psst- You might recall we had our first car wreck two weeks ago. It has been a difficult time juggling that situation with all we have had going on, but on the upside, we got to take this beast on vacation. Holla! The lil Jon spirit in me was going strong while we had it.


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