Showing Our Guests A Good Time

Tom and I have had an abundance of guests visiting us here in Georgia.  It is a great blessing to have friends that care enough about us to come all this way to visit.  We have only been here six weeks but we have had four groups of friends come.

The first were Sherry and Paul Downing who we met last summer at Cumberland Gap.  We like to say Paul and Sherry are Cumberland Gaps’ #1 fans because they came to all the park events.  They are a huge support to the rangers and were wonderful to us while we were there.

Paul and Sherrie Downing with Karen and Tom

Paul had a conference in Savannah, so they took a couple of extra days to come down to St. Simons.  We gave them a personal tour of the fort, then went to Barbara Jean’s for lunch.  They wanted crab cakes and Barbara Jean’s are the best on the island.  After lunch we walked to the pier, then went to the Homefront Museum.  We also drove them around the island and showed them some of the drive-by highlights and some of the grand homes.

Paul and Sherry travel extensively, so we always enjoy sharing stories about places we have all visited.  Paul is also an explosives expert, so it is interesting to hear some of his stories.  When Tom talks about black powder, Paul knows exactly what he is talking about.

When Paul called to tell us when they would be coming, he asked if we needed anything from Tennessee.  Tom asked for some bituminous coal.  Paul brought him 70 pounds.  He had it labeled “To Bad Tom from Santa.”  He and Sherry also brought me a small black bag that was labeled “To Good Karen from Santa.”  It had chocolates shaped like coal.  They were delicious!

Our second guests were Wendy and Ron Bower.  I already wrote about our visit to them on Amelia Island.  The next week they returned our visit by coming up our direction.  We met them on Jekyll Island because they had never been there.  We met at the Visitor Center and just took one car across the toll causeway.

Karen and Tom with Wendy and Ron Bower

Our tour of the island began with Millionaire Row and the Jekyll Island Club.  We also drove by the pier and Driftwood Beach but they didn’t have time to stop and walk.  We ate lunch at our favorite place on Jekyll, Tortuga Jack’s.  The sizzling fajitas were as good as always and we even tried some of the dessert.  Wendy and Ron split a piece of key lime pie and we all tried something that was fried and covered with cinnamon and sugar.  In other words, delicious!

A hatchling at the Sea Turtle Center

After lunch we went to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center.  The Center is always an interesting place to visit and we had not been there for a few years.  I especially love seeing the rescued sea turtles and the hatchlings.  We spent most of our time in the Sea Turtle hospital.  Several of the new patients had been cold-stunned by the recent frigid Georgia temperatures, which is very unusual.  Usually their cold-stunned turtles come from further north.  The big danger with cold-stunned turtles is that they easily develop pneumonia and drown without treatment.

We spent a lot of time in the gift shop.  If you want anything turtle related, the Georgia Sea Turtle Center is the place to find it.  Ron and Wendy needed to get back to tend to their dog, so we drove them back to their car.  It was wonderful to see them two weeks in a row.

Our third guest was Robin Smith.  We worked with Robin at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.  I wrote about him in this post.  Robin was great to work with and we really enjoyed just hanging out with him.  He was down on Tybee Island in January and was supposed to come visit, but he got sick.  We certainly don’t want guests when they are sick.  But he came back to St. Augustine to visit his aunt in February and drove up to see us.

Robin and Tom at Fort Frederica

We gave him the in-depth tour of Fort Frederica and took a walk on the Marsh trail.  Then we headed to Iguana’s for lunch.  Robin refused to choose a place, so we took him to one of our favorite spots.  Iguana’s is known for their fresh shrimp – their motto is “Shrimply the Best” – so Robin ordered the shrimp.  Tom and I both ordered our usual, which we know is delicious.  A favorite thing about Iguana’s, besides the décor, is the ice cream bar included with every meal.  Tom and I were both full, but Robin couldn’t pass up free ice cream.

Robin Smith with Karen and Tom and the Iguana in the background

After lunch we walked around downtown St. Simons.  We stopped in at St. Simons Sweets and got some pecan pie bars for later.  Always delicious!  We walked out on the pier and said hello to the resident pelican.  A couple of dolphins were playing in the water around the pier so we watched them for a while.  We walked to the lighthouse.  Then we continued our driving tour of the island.

Resident pier pelican

Bloody Marsh was the next stop on our tour.  Robin likes to take pictures, so he snapped a couple of the marsh and the monument.  Then we headed up to the north end of the island to show Robin the parks and the expensive homes.  He picked out one he liked, but we all agreed that those houses are way too much house for one or two people.  We dropped Robin back at his car and said our goodbyes.

Karen with Cheryl Giddens and Megan Spade

Our final (maybe) guests were Cheryl Giddens and Megan Spade who made a surprise visit on Saturday afternoon.  These two ladies often show up without letting us know they are coming.  In fact, this is the third park where they have just dropped by one day.  They were on their way from Orlando back to South Carolina and decided our island wasn’t very far out of their way.

Tom and Megan

We got some great photos of them with us working.  But, because we were working, we couldn’t give them a personal tour.  That’s okay because Cheryl and Megan are great at amusing themselves.  They walked around the grounds and then we arrange to meet them for supper after work.

Cheryl and Megan drove to downtown and walked around, checking out some shops and enjoying the view from the pier.  Once we got off work and changed our clothes, Tom and I met them at Zuzu’s.  Because Tom and I had a big lunch (I cooked for living history on Saturday), we split a burger.  Megan had a corndog, which she said was delicious.

Karen and Tom, Megan and Cheryl

After supper, we walked back to the pier and watched a guy try to reel in a very big fish.  The reeling took so long that Megan and I decided to head back downtown.  Cheryl, the only one of us with fishing experience, suspected that he caught his line on the bottom and wasn’t reeling in at all.

We walked Cheryl and Megan back to their car and said goodbye.  They were spending the night in Brunswick and Megan was eager to check out the hot tub at their hotel.

We enjoyed showing our island home to all of our guests.  It is such a joy to see familiar faces and spend time with friends.  Tom and I are truly blessed that people love us enough to come visit.