Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Tybee Island


On one of those Yahoo "Best Places To…" articles just this week, they featured the 10 best hidden/unknown places to visit.  One of them was Tybee Island.  It just so happens I know a great couple who live there, and they extended an invite to poor St. Pete citizens to escape the city.  Jeff and Carol are friends from my earliest days of MDH and remain so these few decades later.   
Tybee for a long weekend, they asked?  Why, certainly!  For further geographical details, Tybee Island is in Georgia and about 12 miles from Savannah.  






There is a Google map in the space above.  It comes and goes so if this looks like a large blank black area, the map didn't load.




The trip up was, for the most part, problem and traffic-free.  Getting through Tampa was the hardest part, then up I-275 a short ways then across to Jacksonville, and then on to Savannah.  It was odd that the worst areas would be our back door and just short of our final destination.  Tampa is always worth avoiding, and Savannah, well, they have a different kind of city layout there, that makes walking great and driving horrible.  More on that later.

Before we arrived we had the pleasure of a pit-stop just over the Georgia border at a rest area.  Inside the reception center was a girl giving out pecans in honey, pecans in powdered sugar, pecans in cinnamon and a little pecan cider to wash it down.  She was enticing all road travelers to a place called Pecan World.  After the little treat I had we naturally had to stop. which was about 100 miles up the road.  I'll just say right now that if you are ever around Pecan World, you have to stop.  You Must!       

Savannah is an almost impossible city to drive in, or at least I didn't get the gist of it very well.  All we wanted was a nice little road out to Tybee Island, but what we got was a series of short stop-and-go streets with weird one-ways and not very patient drivers behind an old guy from Seaton, Illinois.  Convinced I was lost, it turned out I wasn't just in a sort of Gothic Southern driving maze that, given patience and endurance, will get you to that small road to Tybee Island.    

Having arrived 12 miles east of Savannah, the first order of business (after unpacking and initial "hellos") was lunch and a view of the Atlantic ocean.  The beach is huge with lots of room for all the sun worshippers.  The water seemed a little coolish, and few were actually swimming, but in the high heat of summer, this place has to be really buzzing.  




It just so happened we were there when this huge freighter was slowly slipping into the Savannah River and another six or seven miles to one of the East Coast's largest ports. 



Here is a shot of the beach looking south.  The Tybee beach goes all the way as far as you can see and then there is more on the right.  



These girls were busy working on sand castles.



The freighter gives its size perspective when posed next to a small fishing trawler.




The focal point of the island is the Tybee Lighthouse.  I'll speak more on this tomorrow and a peek inside.  This is the latest incarnation of four that were built at this spot, starting in the mid 18th Century.  Just imagine the thousands of eyes that were warned or warmed by the light that came from this tower through the decades.   




Another view of the beach.  I have no idea what the poles do or what purpose they hold. It is a neat place with all the smells and sights of an area where ocean meets land.



One of the sights was this jellyfish that had washed on shore.  In Florida we get moth-sized jellyfish that sting like bees, but this big guy was probably 6 inches by 8 inches.  And he wasn't the only one, as there seemed to be about two or three others scattered about. 

Lunch was perfect and the stroll on the beach was relaxing (after Savannah) and so the Great Tybee Adventure had begun.  This was just the prelude to a great weekend doing fun things with great people.      

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