Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

Tibi gratias agimus quod nihil fumas.

It says "...freedom of...", not "...freedom from...".

"It's amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor and suffering people is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness. People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered, and if we're compassionate we'll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint." - Penn Jillette







Saturday, March 28, 2009

St. Simon's, Day Three

Today was our last full day here - tomorrow we head home where a sick child and a tired T await me.

We slept a little later this morning, not waking until about eight-thirty. It was the bacon again, luring us out of our room on very tired legs. My left knee had a long talk with me this morning about how it felt regarding climbing that light house.

After a quick breakfast and a jaunt to Starbucks for a little extra caffeination, we made our way to the Maritime Museum/Coast Guard station, and East Beach (with a side trip through the Oak Drive on the way). I called T, who told me our son was sick, vomiting blood, and what should he do? Umm...call the pediatrician? He did, and they told him to bring the kid in. T said he would call me, and to go about my day. Right, to the Maritime museum it was!

My family is a somewhat seagoing one - my maternal great-grandfather's boat is still a light ship somewhere, and my maternal grandfather served in the Coast Guard during WWII. My maternal grandfather and my paternal grandfather had boats for pleasure and as a way to be rid of a bunch of pesky money, and my father still has a boat (although she does give him fits from time to time - she hasn't been the same since she got struck by lightning!). I love boats, the ocean, and combining the two whenever I can...which isn't often...so the Maritime Museum was fun. As before, I have many more photos than those here.

The maritime Center/Museum was once a Coast Guard station.
A plaque commemorating an incident off the coast of St. Simon's.

Mum wearing one of the hats provided for dress-up fun, posing with Ollie, the museum's fictional tour guide. Don't they make a cute couple??

After we left the museum, we parked by the beach and had a nice walk along the sand. It was a windy, rough water day, and if I'd had my swim suit on, I would have happily frolicked in the waves.

How come the bubbles in my bath aren't this durable??

We blew bubbles, watched dogs frolic, and enjoyed ourselves. It was like coming home...next to a proper Winter, I miss the sea the most, where I live.
We got ourselves out of the wind and I called T for an update. No answer, so on we went to The Bloody Marsh. Nice name, huh??

Ubiquitous plaque number nine-hundred and twelve.

The stone monument to which the plaque is affixed.

The Bloody Marsh (all cleaned up)

The story of The Bloody Marsh - enlarge and you can read it quite clearly.

Just as we were leaving, T called to tell me Bird has a bug and will be on medication for a few days, nothing to worry about (much). He said I didn't need to hurry home and he'd see me tomorrow.

We followed The Bloody Marsh with our final planned stop, The John Gilbert Nature Trail. It was put together and is kept up by a local club, and it's a nice little trail through the woods to the marsh and back out again.
John's tree - so big, it need two photos and you still can't see it all!

Note the benches - this is meant to be a nice place to simply sit, maybe picnic, be a little Zen.
We weren't alone on the trail - this little fellow posed for a few pictures before deciding not to encourage the paparazzi. He ran off before I could give him my card with the blog address on it - I guess he'll never know he's famous on the Internet.

There were several places to rest along the way, not because it's a long trail, but because sometimes one wants to sit, mull, and stare out at Nature.

The view from the bench.

There were several of these bird houses along the trail.

A groovy tree we saw on the way out.

We left the trail and went back to the pier village, intent on some lunch - all that walking made us hungry!

We lunched at Iguanas, a touristy place with indoor or outdoor dining, a seaside village kind of menu (lots of seafood, award-winning fried shrimp, a few burgers and sandwiches), and lots of character. We chose outside seating so we could enjoy the lovely breeze and some pretty decent people watching while we ate.

The staff at Iguanas was very friendly (greeting and treating us like old friends) and accommodating, even dashing up the street to find us a map of the island that was more detailed than the touristy little thing we'd been using all this time. The atmosphere was casual, the music was Jimmy Buffet, some country, laid back stuff (not too loud, either), and the menu was varied but to the point, if priced a little higher than I would have liked for the kind of fare they served.

Mum had a Corona with lime to drink while I enjoyed a beautifully mixed Arnold Palmer (that's iced tea and lemonade for those not in the know) and a glass of water. We ordered our lunches and they were served quickly, Mum having the crab cake sandwich with onion straws and me having a BLT and fries.

The crab cake sandwich came on a Kaiser type roll with Iguanas home made remoulade on the side, and a sauce for the onion straws that is much like Outback's Bloomin' Onion sauce...only with more horseradish in. Mum reported that the crab cake was lovely, especially when she forwent the bread entirely. The onion straws were delightful. Evil, but delightful. The made me eat them even when I didn't want to.

My BLT was just what I wanted - a basic lunch. The tomato was especially nice, and the bread was toasted beautifully. They did the fries right, too, crispy outside and soft inside. I would have eaten more of them, but the evil onion straws wouldn't let me.

Our lunch, including drinks but before tip, was $25.83. I would definitely go back.

We spent several hours walking about the little shopping village there at the pier, ducking into and out of shops and browsing their wares. We were both a little tired after all our walking yesterday, so this afternoon we just took it easy, meandering where we wanted and enjoying some unstructured time.

I found a cute pair of denim capris on a sale rack...but the sale price was thirty, down from eighty, and I decided that it's not a good idea to purchase things from delusional people - it only encourages them.

We met a cat name Morty who was as sweet as can be - he's adopted part of the village as his home and tolerates human adoration with grace and civility. He let me pet him, scratch his chin, and generally get a good kitty fix (I miss my three when I'm away).

We ended our tour of the district with a stop at the Dairy Queen for dipped cones, some reminiscing about when Mum was a girl and DQ cones were a treat, and then walked back to the van, tired but happy.

Mum got in some quality time with the Internet and then napped while I put my feet up and read a bit.

We dithered over what to have for dinner - while I love seafood to the point of madness, I didn't think I wanted it a third night in a row (yes, I'm well, thank you for asking), so we looked for something else. Outback? Bonefish Grill? Blackwater Grill? What was close?

We settled on Bonefish Grill as it was close by, easy to get to, and looked interesting. The door was certainly cool, being a large, heavy revolving door with giant fish for handles. It was loud inside...loud people, loud music, and a wait. We opted to go next door instead and scored big.

Nazzaro's Italian Restaurant is quiet, unassuming, and dark in a cozy kid of way. It looks small, at first, but we were lead through the front dining room to a side dining room that had more than enough space for us and several other pairs plus one large party that came in later.
The background music was quiet, pleasant, a mix of Rat-Pack era tunes and contemporary music, all in Italian...including one of my favorite Neil Diamond songs (I Am, I Said...)!

Our waiter was friendly, attentive, and not at all disturbed by our very casual attire...although Mum joked about being put in the back room because of how we were dressed, I figured it was because the front was full and they didn't want to seat us on the floor.

The menu was truly Italian, lots of the standard choices and a few chef's specials that sounded fantastic...if only I hadn't noticed they had chicken picatta, one of my favorites. They have a Martini menu as well as a wine list, but I stuck with water tonight - I'm not accustomed to drinking anything but the old H2O, you know? Mum ordered a glass of wine and the veal picatta, I had the chicken, and we both had un-sauced angel hair pasta on the side, and salads.

While our meal was prepared, they brought us a basket of warm bread, some butter, and a fascinating dipping sauce. The dip was a combination of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, black pepper, and Parmesan cheese. It was certainly different, and would make a fine salad dressing, too!

Our salads were salads, nothing terribly special about them, but welcome in their simplicity, freshness, and flavor. Our entrees were nicely done, flavorful, with generous amounts of capers (some places only put one or two - I think Nazzaro's uses the whole jar!) and just enough sauce to twirl the pasta through.

They had cannelloni, tiramisu, and a few other items for desert, but Mum has a mad passion for creme brulee, so she ordered that and espresso while I decided spumoni and coffee was the way to end my meal. Mum's creme brulee had a very satisfying sugar crust on top, crisp and thick, and was creamy and smooth underneath. She ate the whole crust but left much of the custard behind. Heh. I made it though half the spumoni before I had to throw in the towel. Both coffees were strong, flavorful, and well brewed.

We walked out happy, satisfied, and more than willing to add Nazzaro's to our list of places we'd go back to, if not every day. Their pricing was moderate to high, the portions large but not overly so, and the service was superb. Total cost before tip was $71.48, a fair bit to drop on a meal for two when only one had a glass of wine, but not as bad as I've seen in Atlanta and about on par for a tourist area.

Now we are back in our room, packed for tomorrow and settling in for the night. There's thunder rolling about the island outside our window, and the grey skies of our weekend have turned to rain. We're replete, relaxed, refreshed, and ready to go home, but we've also been talking about coming back with T and Bird for a longer stay, maybe next year (sooner if I win the lottery).

Some numbers: Hours spent traipsing about, shopping, admiring fabulous boots and vintage clothing, snorting at tchotchkes and touristy crap, and generally enjoying St. Simon's - 9. Steps taken - 3946. Miles walked - 1.74. Calories burned - 246. Calories consumed - three-million, two-hundred-thousand, nine-hundred-seventy-six. Bottles of water drunk - four. Number of times I thought something was radically overpriced - I lost count. Contests I thought up for my blog* - one. Prizes bought for contests I thought up for my blog - two. Radically overpriced items I bought as prizes for a contest for my blog - none. Bubbles blown on the beach - I couldn't count, they were flying away too fast. Perhaps the good people of Timbuktu could tell us, as I'm certain that's where the bubbles landed.

Finally, I wish to point something out, because I think it needs to be said - I could never have made this trip the way I did without Mum...it would have been camping in the van and bologna sandwiches for three days instead of a lovely room with two sinks, a nice shower, air-conditioning and all these fancy eats. Thanks, Mum!!

Also, T did yeoman's duty last night and today, cleaning up the various liquids that leak or are hurled with great force from a six-year-old boy with a stomach bug. He has done laundry, comforted, driven to the pediatricians alone (something he's never done before), medicated, fretted, and refrained from calling me home in a panic when I know he wanted to, all while feeling a little under the weather himself. Thanks, T.

Right, time for bed. Sweet dreams, y'all

*Tomorrow night, I will be posting my first-ever contest, and there are prizes and everything!

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