Why I come back
I come to Jekyll every year in the early summer - before it gets too hot. This year will be trip number 15 for me. I love it. The light brown sand and the orange sunrise can not be beat. Georgia is my home state and the Georgia Coast is like coming home. I love the smell (OK, not the smell of Brunswick - but the smell of the surf) and I love to shell on the sand bar. I love to sit and do nothing for an hour each morning while enjoying my coffee. I love the wild life - feeding the squirrels and birds....watching the dolphins off the pier while my hubby fishes.
Have you ever heard a dolphin breath? You can hear it at night off the pier...it is so neat!
Have fun making your memories on Jekyll. The night my husband proposed to me - May 25, 2001 - we were on Jekyll Island...we walked on the beach as the sun went down and then strolled down one of the bike paths...it was very romantic.
The Marshes of Glynn
Sidney Lanier was a native of Macon, Georgia in the 19th Century and an accomplished artist of many facets but he is probably most remembered for his poem, "The Marshes of Glynn." Jekyll Island is in Glynn County and this photo of the marshes was taken on the causeway between Brunswick and the island.
I wouldn't have thought of him as a renowned poet but he evidently moved in a circle that included Poe, Longfellow, Holmes, Irving, Cooper and Hawthorne and is listed in the 1903 book, "Literary Leaders of America," as one of the 12 leaders. I do recall studying him in highschool, particularly another Georgia poem called "Song of the Chattahoochee."
Below is an excerpt from "The Marshes of Glynn" Oh, what is abroad in the marsh and the terminal sea?
Somehow my soul seems suddenly free
From the weighing of fat and the sad discussion of sin,
By the length and the breadth and the sweep of the marshes of Glynn.
Ye marshes, how candid and simple and nothing-withholding and free
Ye publish yourselves to the sky and offer yourselves to the sea!
Tolerant plains, that suffer the sea and the rains and the sun,
Ye spread and span like the catholic man who hath mightily won
God out of knowledge and good out of infinite pain
And sight out of blindness and purity out of a stain.
And now from the Vast of the Lord will the waters of sleep
Roll in on the souls of men,
But who will reveal to our waking ken
The forms that swim and the shapes that creep
Under the waters of sleep?
And I would I could know what swimmeth below when the tide comes in
On the length and the breadth of the marvellous marshes of Glynn.
Jekyll Island is the last place on the ICW to dock before you get to the Saint Mary's River and Florida. It seems to be a combination of a luxury resort (It originally was a as a winter retreat for America's wealthiest families Morgan, Pulitzer, Rockefeller, Gould etc.) and an eco-tourism destination.
They have tours (mini bus tours, walking tours, casino boat trips, dophin tours, air tours, ghost tours or nature walks). They have activities (scuba, sailing, horseback riding, soccer, minigolf, birding, fishing, biking, horseback riding, kayaking, tennis, golf (63 holes), dinner theatre, and a water park). They have 10 hotels, a convention center, and a historic district.
The dichotomy is illustrated for me by the fact that they have both a nature center and jet ski rental.
. When we came by boat, we'd only been off the marina grounds once and that was to borrow a vehicle to go to the market. It seems like an nice vacation spot.
One of the main attractions for us is the restaurant at the marina (one of two marinas on the island. They have fast service and good food.
Their Brunswick Stew is really tasty.
Live oaks and Spanish moss
The island is rich in vegetation and one of its most attractive features is live oak trees festooned with Spanish moss which is neither Spanish nor moss but which adds an eerie beauty to the setting.
There's a controversy as to whether the REAL Brunswick Stew comes from Brunswick GA or from Brunswick County VA.
I've had Brunswick Stew as a side dish in Edenton NC which I assume was the Virginia variety. But the best I've ever had was served by the SeaJay Cafe on Jekyll Island. The following is the “official recipe” distributed by the Georgia visitors bureau.
Start with the following ingredients:
1 3-lb. chicken,
1 lb. lean pork,
1 lb. lean beef, and
3 medium onions, chopped.
Place meat in large, heavy pot. Season with salt, pepper. Add onions and cover with water. Cook slowly until meat falls from bones (several hours). Remove from heat and allow to cool. Tear meat into shreds and return to stock.
4 cans (16 oz.) tomatoes,
5 T. Worcestershire sauce,
1½ bottles (14 oz.) catsup,
1 T. Tabasco sauce,
2 bay leaves,
½ bottle (12 oz.) chili sauce,
½ t. dry mustard,
½ stick butter.
Cook 1 hour, occasionally stirring to prevent sticking.
3 T. vinegar,
2 cans (16 oz.) small limas or butter beans,
2 cans (16 oz.) creamstyle corn,
1 can small English peas
(3 small diced Irish potatoes and box of frozen, sliced okra—optional).
Cook slowly until thick.
Serve in a bowl with barbecue or fried shrimp.