This week Anne and Paul Locher came to visit. Anne is my mother’s sister, so Anne and Paul are my aunt and uncle. But Anne is only seven years older than I am, so we have always been more like cousins than aunt and niece. If you are a regular reader of the blog, you will know about the Buckeye Agricultural Museum and their involvement with that. Paul is the founder and Anne is, by necessity, a large supporter.
Anne and Paul came to visit us when we were working at Fort Necessity in Pennsylvania but this is the first time they have been to St. Simons Island. Their son, Weston, his wife Amanda, and their granddaughter Emmie recently moved to Wilmington, NC. As long as Anne and Paul were going down to visit them, they decided to drive a little further south to visit us.
Tom and I were very excited for their visit. We love to show off the island and we love spending time with the Lochers, so it was a win-win. And they came for three days, which gave us time to do a variety of things. Unfortunately, Tom and I had to work two of the days, so we were a little constrained by our schedule. But Anne and Paul are good at entertaining themselves and it didn’t bother them.
While they were on the island, the Lochers stayed at St. Simons Inn by the Lighthouse. The Inn has 34 rooms and is located across the street from the lighthouse, so it is appropriately named. The location was very convenient for checking out “downtown” St. Simons.
After work on the first night of their stay, Tom and I drove to Pier Village and parked across from the Inn. Then we walked with Anne and Paul to Mullet Bay, our restaurant of choice for the evening. It was Anne’s birthday, so I wanted to be sure we went someplace with good dessert. We didn’t have to wait for dinner and the dessert was excellent. Tom and I shared a lava cake and Paul and Anne each got a piece of key lime pie. After dinner we walked to the pier, along the ocean, and admired the lighthouse at night.
The next day the Lochers came up to Fort Frederica in the morning. Tom gave them a tour of the grounds and then I gave them a behind-the-scenes tour of living history and the other buildings. They got to see where we live when we are here and took a look at the new Archaeology Education Lab. Tuesday was an exceptionally busy day at the Fort so Tom and I were occupied the rest of the day. Paul and Anne had lunch and then went to the Lighthouse Museum and to the Home Front Museum. They even had a little downtime before Tom and I got off work.
Tuesday evening Tom and I wanted to share Tortuga Jack’s with them, so we headed over to Jekyll Island. We took a quick auto tour of the island, driving past the big mansions of the Jekyll Island Club. When we got to Tortuga Jack’s, however, the place was packed. The hostess said it would be a 45 minute wait but that seemed optimistic. We decided to move on. We tried the Wee Pub next but it was also packed. I put our name on the wait list and the hostess said they would text me when a table became available. We decided to check out the other restaurants in the area while we waited. The Wee Pub never texted us, so it was a good thing we moved on.
Most of the restaurants in the downtown area were closed – only open for lunch. There was a sandwich shop open. Next to it was Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint, a new restaurant since the last time we were downtown. We ate at a different restaurant housed in the same location once with Mom and Dad, Jekyll Island Seafood Company. There was a table available and the menu looked good so we sat down.
Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint has southern food. The menu had fried chicken, BBQ pork, ribs, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, seafood gumbo, and grits. The menu was not extensive, which I appreciate. I would rather have fewer choices done well than a long menu where everything is only so-so. Tom and Paul both ordered the BBQ pork, Anne got the ribs, and I ordered a cheeseburger.
The food was very good when it came. The cheeseburger was juicy and hot. The steak fries were good, although they looked frozen instead of fresh. Paul and Tom both liked their pulled pork sandwiches. Anne said her ribs were good but that she had too many. Our server kept our drinks full and gave us the right amount of attention. We were too full to try the peach cobbler, although it sounded delicious.
On its web page, Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint gives this history: “Take a walk with us down memory lane to historic St. Andrews Beach, right here on Jekyll Island. The only beach in Georgia that allowed African Americans when it was established in 1950, it was home to the Dolphin Club Lounge from 1959 to 1966. Juke joints like this one stretched across the Southeast during the era of segregation, providing African Americans with a place to escape societal pressures at a time when they were barred from white establishments. This collection of black-owned nightclubs flourished in the region, giving rise to the sounds of rhythm and blues, soul, and rock & roll as we know them.” We appreciated that we were supporting a black-owned business and enjoyed being a part of their musical tradition for an evening.
The next day Anne and Paul came to the Fort to revisit the museum and take some pictures of the grounds. They walked over to our RV spot and brought us some donuts from Dulce Dough. It was a much-appreciated surprise. They got to meet some of the other volunteers and Ranger Michael, who just happened to see a party happening and stopped by. Or maybe he smelled the donuts.
We drove around the north end of the island to admire some of the very large houses at Hampton Point. Our favorite place at the north end is the Hampton River Marina so we walked out on the dock. After enjoying the sun and breeze for a while we headed to Frederica Café for lunch. Turns out 12:30 is a great time to go to Frederica Café because it wasn’t busy like it always is in the morning. We all had excellent sandwiches except for Tom who had an omelet. Tom and I always like eating at Frederica Café – our favorite place on St. Simons.
After lunch Anne and Paul dropped us off at the Fort and headed out for more adventures. They wanted to see the “funnest shop on St. Simons” but it was closed. Not the funnest on Wednesday. So they went to the “next to funnest shop” instead. We are sorry to see them leave but glad that we got to spend so much time together. Tom and I always enjoy people who come to see us wherever we are.