Christmas Vacation

[ To the tune of the same (or maybe this) ]

The Sched:

A few days before Christmas, we took Amtrak from Boston to Savannah (Silver Meteor from NYP on the way down, Palmetto to DC on the way home), where we spent 2 days. Rented a car in Savannah and drove to Jekyll Island, arriving on Christmas Day around 1 p.m.  Stayed there a week, then drove back to Savannah, spent another half-day and a night there, and took the train home on 3-4 January 2011.

The Pics:

A multitude of photos here.

Highlights:

  • Walking on the Georgia coastal plain beach on Christmas (and every day for a week)
  • Shrimp and grits almost every day! Yay! Some excellent grits.
  • Warmth on the last few days of the trip – days in 60s and low 70s.
  • Got very lucky with tides — low tide almost always when we were out walking on beach.
  • Abundant birding.
  • The colours of the marshes.
  • Saw alligator out of water for first time ever in the wild.
  • Saw mink!
  • Time with Jerry and Pat exploring new places on Jekyll.
  • Gobs of train time – Acela and roomette on trip south, business class on trip home – about 24 hours of down-time each way
  • Great train staff on route south on 22-23 Dec (Acela and Silver Meteor)
  • Rental car hassle-free; friendly Budget staff in Savannah; car had heated seats, which came in handy! Also sun/moon roof.
  • Fabulous, comfy beds at HIX in Savannah – very nice rooms in general, great location on East Bay
  • Wi-fi almost everywhere: Acela, HIX, and at our condo on Jekyll (for first time)!
  • Found The Crab Shack on Tybee Island – great ambiance and menu. Also, Coastal Kitchen on St. Simon’s Island at the marina.
  • Revisited favourites: SeaJays, Gnat’s Landing, Barbara Jeans.
  • Historic homes in Savannah and Jekyll decorated for Christmas. Regular homes also decorated with lights — and inflatables.
  • Christmas Eve service at Anglican church in Savannah.
  • Shopping local stores in Savannah on Christmas Eve.
  • Loaded up on cherry Zots at sweets shops in Savannah. And free praline!
  • Dog did great at “kennel” (really a house/family, who now miss her, so sweet).
  • Someone (thanks, John!) plowed us out at home so we could get into our driveway after blissing out in the snow-free South!

Lowlights (not many):

  • Probably the lowest light for me was that we couldn’t eat al fresco for any but one meal because of cold; it didn’t feel as much like a trip to the beach or a vacation in the South.
  • Cold for several days — bitterly cold and windy on Sun/Mon at Jekyll, chilly Tues/Wed.
  • Missed the dog!
  • Missed Christmas!
  • Surly, lazy staff on Amtrak Northeast Regional for last leg home from DC-Boston Sun/Mon.
  • Out of blue crabs at The Crab Shack! ?!? (Only chance to eat crabs v. crabcakes)
  • Missed the Rose Parade because we were driving back to Savannah while it was on
  • Missed both Patriots final games – on train for first, not shown in our market for second
  • Didn’t see an oystercatcher and didn’t find a lettered olive shell (though have some from past visits).

To summarize: The dog was happy, no one got sick or injured, T’s foot did fine, trains all on time (miracle!), in touch with family and friends via technology, got some great snaps, ate some fab meals, enjoyed sunsets, marinas, sand aplenty, long walks, and warm breezes. In short, none of my fears came to pass and nothing really harshed our mellow – we had a great time!

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