Visiting Eagle Island

Have you heard of Eagle Island?

I hadn’t, not until I was invited by local public relations woman Leigh Cort of Leigh Cort Publicity in Ponte Vedra Beach to join her and five other journalists and bloggers on a media trip to spend three days and nights here.  Eagle Island is a back barrier private island off the coast of Georgia, north of St. Simon’s Island.  Touted as a ‘girls getaway’ for us writers, I was thrilled to be among those invited.  My new friends are Linda Erbele, who writes for Georgia Crossings, Motel.com, her own website , and is also editor of Georgia Trend Daily; Tami Reed of Talking With Tami, Rolling Out, and Kontrol Magazine; K.K. Synder of Southwest Georgia Living; and Jan Schroder, the Managing Editor of Travelgirl Magazine and her blog, Girls on the Go; and Jeyme Colodne of Best Self Atlanta Magazine.

Eagle Island is privately owned by Andy Hill, who has several small islands here, and is only developed to the extend that it allows guests to fully experience the quiet of a small island, in its natural condition save for the most comfortable home,  nestled among the Georgia coast’s barrier islands.  

Today, we all met in Darien, Georgia and were transported by Captain Andy, who acts as guide and concierge, with all our necessities to this luxurious home that is built with respect for the environment.

The home is outfitted with every amenity a guest could want, and the grounds are eco-groomed for walking pleasure.  Andy Hill has a deep love for nature, and serving his guests so they are comfortable, and free to explore the salt marshes, fish, go crabbing, kayaking, snoozing on the hammock or sleeping on the outdoor, hanging bed.  It’s two stories, each with wraparound screened porches.  The outdoor kitchen, pond, and fire pit, with pine-needled paths inviting you to walk about and take in the scenery which is … dead quiet.  More about all of that, later.

I’ll leave you with that for now,  as my new friends are getting acquainted around the large kitchen table while I’m here, blogging.  Watch for updates on our adventures, and lots of photos.  This is a lovely location, just an hour and a half from Jacksonville, four hours from Atlanta, and is easily accessible via air service to Brunswick, Georgia.  Then, of course, a short boat ride to Eagle Island.  Think:  complete and utter privacy.

So long for now!

Back to the Beach

I’m a fan of beaches in general; always have been. Now that I’m able to walk to a beautiful Florida beach right in my own neighborhood, I still have to pinch myself that it’s all worked out this way, even after eleven years of calling ‘the beach’ my home.

For years my sister has made her life in California and I loved visiting her there. I loved the coast, and the mountains, and the fact that she lived in such a gorgeous geographical location with a lovely climate. I’d truly hate to leave there when my time was up, to return to my home in the often-dreary midwest; at least for so many months of the year.

Now when I come home from any vacation, I don’t feel that pang of longing to live somewhere else.  I do live somewhere else. I live in Florida, of all places, and right at the coastline, too!  Oh, how fortunate I feel about that.  I love our climate – I’ve adjusted to the summer weather – and the winters here are sublime.  I love being able to come home to this:

To walk from my house, to the sand, with a chair, towel, book, and drink, and spend a couple of hours.  Like I did, yesterday.  It was a picture-perfect day.  To make my point, behold this:

Neighborhood surfer, coming in from a short, late afternoon session.

Yes, that’s a jellyfish in the foreground, left picture.  No worries.

Surfing is a sport that people can and do enjoy at all ages.  Living near the beach, if the waves are good, you can dash in for a bit, or longer.  There’s a tide clock at the center of town, but surfers follow the rhythms of the tide and swell in their own ways.  The clock is charming; an old-fashioned lamppost style that stands in the middle of the ‘five-way stop’ that residents of Atlantic Beach all know well.

On this Florida beach, unlike the beaches in Malibu, for instance, we only have to wear wet suits in the winter time.  They are still wearing wet suits in the Pacific; in Florida, our waters warm up early and stay warm for several months.

This was an ideal beach weekend, and there’ll be many more to follow.  The ocean air smells like home, now, and even when I was on the west coast, the salty beach air evoked a visceral home sort of feeling in me.

It seems that everyone was on our Florida beach this weekend, and I’m guessing the scene was similar all around our state.   Even at 6:00pm, I saw people still arriving, not wanting the last of the weekend to slip away,  while some were beginning to depart. Judging from these photos, though, it looks like a lot of people were having a good time, and weren’t planning to leave anytime soon!

I didn’t mean to eavesdrop.  I had the telephoto on and just pointed outward to sea.  Imagine my grin when I brought this sweet image up on the laptop.  How could I leave this one out?  It was the green/blue water that drew my lens.  It was the surprise between the waves that conspired to make this one a keeper.

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