Yep. We did indeed make the big trip and have returned to tell the tale.
We were scheduled to leave by four o'clock Friday, but I was waiting for the UPS delivery of the Spousal Unit's Prize
which did not show by five-fifteen. So we hit the road a bit later than was optimal, oh well. I didn't know that the lateness of leaving would affect us at the other end, because it was dark at the island!
The St George Island dwellers are very much in tune with the protection of the endangered sea turtles who nest throughout the area beaches. So a local ordinance makes it illegal to have outdoor lights shining in the direction of the water from April to the end of October. This meant that we would have to search for a half hour for our beach house. You either know where it is or not. Believe me, we were lost. We drove up to the wrong house at least six times.
I was unhappy.
We finally got in at ten fifteen, a bottle of white wine and champagne were opened to ease the tension from the trip. We admired the dark beach from our balcony and finally got with the spirit of the weekend.
The next morning we were up with the sun and enjoyed brekkies on the balcony. Our neighbors commented on our previous evening's fumbling about to which I answered that I was miffed, too. But the lights have to be off for the turtles, so I understand...
|Wreckage from last night|
We took a careful walk on the beach (Ankles!) trudging about a half mile on the sugary sand.
|Note; I saw a shark swimming later on, about five yards out. It was trolling for children and pets, I think.|
|We saw thousands of butterflies. Everywhere!|
|View out front to the road.|
|Port side neighbors|
|Other view of upstairs|
After cleaning up, we went to the center of the island to have lunch by the shore. The place was called the "Blue Parrot". I guess the name was pulled from the film, Casablanca
The food was pretty good, we had a dozen oysters and a basket of crab claws. (My first time.)
|Note the butterflies in flight.|
|More butterflies next to my beer.|
We had the house for two nights and we wanted to stay a third. Since our house was unavailable for Sunday, we went to the St George Inn
and scheduled a stay for Sunday night. All business was complete, so the Barco Crew went to our beach house to relax and begin slow cooking a rib roast. (200 degrees and two hours...)
While enjoying a beer on the balcony, I spotted a shark swimming along the shore. I didn't run down to video the fish because I figured it would be gone by the time I got my gear and trotted there. Wrong. The shark cruised back and forth for about fifteen minutes.
My apologies for failing the reader on this account. That's ok, I also missed a shooting star that came down off the beach at eight o'clock the next morning, we heard it and saw it flare out in the sunlight.
Dinner was held at sunset and we had a very nice Languedoc Red with the roast beast. After relaxing over some more wine and beers, we closed the house up at around ten o'clock.
|The Lone Chair in the Sunset|
|Lights out for the Turtles!|
We cleaned up the house and were underway by ten on Sunday morning. We took a drive over to Apalachicola, and admired the nice Marathon runners
who were all over the roadways and bridges. It was a beautiful sunshiny day, the kind that make you glad to be in Florida. It was about 75 degrees with unbelievably clear skies. Definitely a rag-top day!
|Shrimpers in Scipio Marina, Apalachicola |
|Downtown Apalachicola, Hwy 98|
We enter an old tourist shop in downtown Apalachicola. The gregarious shop keeper sold us a couple of t-shirts and showed us a film starring John Hurt, which had the shop keeper (John Lee) played a small part as a local Southern Sheriff. Cool story and fun to watch the film bit! We then went into the "Bowery" and had lunch on the waterfront.
|Sunday morning in Apalachicola|
|Upstairs at Capt Bob's Seafood Restaurant|
|Trawler anchored in the distance|
|Dr Gorrie Museum, inventor of the Ice Machine and Air Conditioning. Blame Dr Gorrie for opening Florida to the world!|
|Driving the bridge.|
|I felt pretty welcome to St George Island!|
|Checked in to the St George Inn. |
We planned to stay at the Inn and finally go out to the club across the street called, "Eddy Teach's
It was a fun evening of music and meeting some very interesting people.
We met an Air Force Retired guy at the bar, who was chatting with another interesting person who was in the medical research field. So I get involved with the conversation and everything was going nicely, until the Air Force guy had to go. He was walking across the parking lot (using his cane for support) when everything went wrong... I watched our friend fall in a heap into the gravel, landing face first. I was up and running from the bar followed closely by the medical guy. We got our friend up into a chair with some ice on his face to help staunch the bleeding.
Picture the three of us, and then the owner lady comes out and we all pondered what to do... The Lady wanted to call the EMT, but the medical guy didn't want to do that... See, the EMT was allegedly off in another bar, hammered. He would not be of any use and the police would probably get involved, along with Fire and Rescue.
I asked if there was a possibility of getting a cab for this guy, I'll even pay for it... Nope. No taxis on the island!
The only solution was to pile our injured friend into his pick-up and drive him home. I will follow in my truckster and bring back the medical guy.
So that's what we did, only we then had to walk our friend up three flights of stairs. Our injured friend has limited mobility due to hip issues and a previous stroke, so we had our hands full. We got our friend upstairs and then got him undressed (he had an accident; nuff said) and left him on a comfortable chair. We refused the money we were offered, we did this because he was a veteran and we would not let him down.
Driving back, my new friend was commenting about the trouble he was going to be in with his wife. Seems he was only supposed to be out for a few minutes and not the hour we spent.
I said, "Yeah, but we had to do this good deed. Just explain that to the Missus".
When we got back to the bar, the owner greeted me and I told her she owed us a couple beers, which I did receive later on. My tab was adjusted for $20 bucks, which I gave as a tip to the hard working bar staff.
Eddy Teach is the Go-To place on St George Island!
They even had a Led Zeppelin tribute band playing in the parking lot. Too. Much. Fun!!!
|Some of the Local Talent.|
|Somebody from Traverse City who had left their mark.|
|The owner's Jag.|
|We parked well clear of everyone else.|
|The Lady on the right lived at St Katharine's Dock in London while we were there in the late 90's.|
|View of Eddy Teach's from our sitting area at St George Inn.|
|Lighthouse at St George Island which marks the the commercial area of the island.|
We left the bar at about nine o'clock, and stumbled our way across the street back to our outside sitting area where we could observe the crowd and listen to the music in a cheaper style. With wine and cheese for a night cap.
Monday morning we were up early, as usual. The decision to drive home via two lane highways was made and we departed St George Island. We turned on to Hwy 98 heading East along the Florida Shore.
|Barrier Islands off of Florida's Pan Handle|
|Old Rest Stop on Hwy 98|
|This is pretty much what we saw all day on 98 and 27|
We were glad to get the chance to be off of the Interstate, the speeds were usually about 60 and there were hardly any other cars with us for most of the trip. Interesting factoid, we were able to see four prisons while on the old roads. I thought of the Gulag Archipelago, a chain of prison islands surrounded by razor wire coral reefs, in a sea of pine trees.
We stopped in Mayo Florida for a barbecue sandwich and a break. We turned left onto highway 27 and then connected with highway 90 which brought us back to Jacksonville.
|This was waiting for the Spousal Unit's return; Tahitian Pearls.|