24 April, Tuesday
Our fourth day on the little island.
We slept late again, leaving the condo around noon. The wind the day before must have worn us out!
We hopped on our rental bikes and rode along the new paths and plantings on Beachview, near the new convention center — appreciating that there are many trash cans and water fountains (including a spout near the ground for thirsty dogs) — narrowly avoiding a black snake scurrying across the trail along Beachview across from the Hampton Inn, then cut across on the inland trail to South Riverview
and biked from there to the Historic District, stopping by the alligator pond, where we saw a raccoon, two alligators, 2 large crabs in the creek near the pond, and a green heron fishing in that creek.
We had made plans to take the Historic Hotel tour offered by the Jekyll Island Club Hotel for $1.25 per person on Tuesdays during their 125th year. As their website details, the Club came into being in the 1880s as a hunting club for wealthy northerners and became “the most exclusive social club in the United States.” Among the original 53 members/investors were Marshall Field, Henry Hyde, J.P. Morgan, Joseph Pulitzer (the only Democrat), N. K. Fairbank, Cornelius Newton Bliss, William K. Vanderbilt, and Pierre Lorillard IV.
Famously, in 1907, “Senator Nelson Aldrich, four other bankers of national importance, and the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury made their way to Jekyll posing as duck hunters. Meetings the following week led to the development of the Aldrich Plan, which called for a centralized banking structure for the country. Although Congress did not pass the plan in 1912, President Woodrow Wilson and others used the Aldrich Plan as the basis for another plan that became the Federal Reserve Act, establishing the Federal Reserve System.”
The hotel tour started at 2, with some history of the dining rooms and what took place there, and didn’t end until 4, after we had toured two guest rooms in the hotel, “The Presidential Suite” and “the room that Reba McEntire prefers” when she stays there. Got some nice aerial shots from the balconies off these rooms that I would never otherwise have been in a position to take!
Our tour came with a free iced tea afterward, which we enjoyed with a sugar cookie on the patio of the Solterra Cafe.
Then it was back on our bikes for a ride past the alligator pond again — where we heard and watched one of the gators growl, which was a hair-raising experience — and then down South Riverview for an early dinner at SeaJays from 5-6:30. Crab balls!
And spouse got the low-country boil (kielbasa, half corn-on-cob ears, shrimp, and red-skin potatoes, steamed together with beer), along with coleslaw and banana-vanilla wafer pudding, as is tradition.
Strolled down to the marina and looked at all the boats … There was a cormorant ready to go to sea on the last boat on one side!
We rode our bikes back to the condo after dinner (past the alligator pond again)
and past the golf course, where we saw three deer grazing …
and then took a beach walk from 8 until 9:
And then to bed.
Birds: green heron, osprey, cormorant (on boat in marina), great egrets, Carolina warbler, 6 or 8 cardinals, and numerous brown pelicans, gulls, red-winged blackbirds, terns, great egrets, boat-tailed grackles, mockingbirds.
Crabs and sea animals: many dead jellyfish, fiddler crabs, 2 large crabs in creek.
Insects: lots of Great Southern White butterflies and red dragonflies
Tame: squirrel (at SeaJays), two cats (SeaJays), Scottie dog