Thursday, July 3, 2014

Weekend Adventures: Tybee Revisited

Last summer, the hubby and I took a mini vacation to Savannah, Georgia. During that trip, we had made plans to spend one of our days at nearby Tybee Island. Well, last weekend, we went back to Savannah to watch my father-in-law walk across the stage and receive his Bachelor's degree. Only, this time, instead of staying in Savannah, we booked a room on Tybee so we could be within walking distance of the beach. Best idea ever!

Our room was pretty small (which is probably an understatement), but it did the job. It had a mini kitchen, so we brought food to make our own breakfasts and lunches, which allowed us to save some money and let us splurge more on dinner. Our only complaint is that the room was so small, that it didn't really have enough space for us to sit down and eat, unless we ate in the bed. The only other option was to eat in the patio area downstairs, which would have been fine, except it rained a lot while we were there.

We arrived in town a day before the rest of the family, so Dan and I went over to our favorite local pizza place for dinner, then walked around the beach as the sun was setting.

One of the benefits of staying where we did was the fact that we were less than a block from the beach (which you can see in the street photo above), which meant we could walk there and back whenever we felt like it.

The next morning, Dan and I had planned on waking up to catch the sunrise, but we both hit the snooze on our alarms and slept in. Dan's parents arrived late morning, so we headed over to the Tybee Lighthouse. My mother-in-law loves lighthouses, but, to our surprise, had never actually walked to the top of one before until Tybee.

It was 178 stairs to the top, but the view was totally worth it! Our running joke for the rest of the trip was, "Hey look! More stairs!" Our legs definitely got a workout that day.

After the lighthouse, we headed over to the Fort Pulaski National Monument. The fort was used by the Confederate forces during the Civil War, but they were force to surrender to the Union army during the first half of the war when the Union artillery proved to be more advanced than the fort's walls.

There wasn't much to do at the fort. There were tours offered twice a day, but we didn't arrived at the right time. For the most part, you just walk around and take everything in. Some of the rooms and items are label, but not all. I think the best part was the short 20 minute film they show in the gift shop, but then again, I'm a history teacher, so those kinds of things interest me.

When we got to the top of the fort, we were able to see the Cockspur Lighthouse in the distance. We also saw that there was a walking path that would take you closer to the lighthouse. On our way to the path, we walked around the fort so that we could see where it was attacked by the Union forces. There are still artillery shells stuck in parts of the wall.

You can't actually reach the Cockspur Lighthouse by foot. Although, the footpath did take us a lot closer than I thought it would. Probably within about 200 feet or so. The only way to really get to the lighthouse is to kayak over there during low tide. When high tide comes in, the beach area disappears and the water level reaches the bottom steps of the lighthouse.

Seeing the kayakers walking around the beach and standing at the top of the lighthouse makes me really want to go back to Tybee just to tour the lighthouse. Maybe next summer?

About the time we were turning around to head back to the fort, my father-in-law pointed out that my shoulders were getting red. Yep. Someone forgot to put sunscreen on.....

After the fort we headed back to the room to eat lunch and take a short nap. Dan's brother and wife were coming into town around dinner time, so we headed into Savannah (where everyone else was staying) to spend the evening with everyone.

The next morning, which was Saturday, we managed to wake up before the sunrise and head down to the beach for some amazing pictures! I wish I could share them all, but that would be a lot of pictures for one post. So, I'll share some of my favorites.

Saturday afternoon, Dan's dad graduated from college! We drove over to the convention center in Savannah and got to watch him walk across the stage.

Once graduation was over and we took the obligatory family pictures outside (which are all on my in-laws cameras by the way), we grabbed a quick snack and changed clothes before heading out for a dinner cruise along the Savannah River.

If I'm being honest, the food on the cruise wasn't all that great. All of the food is cooked off-site and brought on board. Everyone at the table complained that all of the meat (besides the chicken) was dry and overcooked. When it came to dessert, everyone liked the chocolate cake, but the cheesecake was inedible (if you couldn't tell by witty comment above). I think had it just simply been a sight-seeing cruise, we would have enjoyed it a whole lot more.

We joke that Dan's dad looks like a one-legged pirate in the photo above :)

Sunday was our last morning at Tybee. We managed to talk Dan's brother into waking up early and catching in the sunrise with us again. I'm really glad they were able to join us - it gave us some time to catch up and just enjoy the quietness of the beach in the morning.

After we washed up from the beach, we headed over to a local spot for breakfast, appropriately titled The Breakfast Club.

The food was really good! Dan ordered the chicken fried chick with a side of bacon, and I ordered the cinnamon raisin french toast. The only downside was that the food was also really expensive. I think for just the two of us the cost was close to $30 after tip, which is closer to what we tend to pay for a dinner out.

After breakfast, Dan's parents joined us to check out some of the shops along Tybrisa Street before all of us loaded up the cars and headed our separate ways.

Overall, it was a really good trip. I'm glad we were able to spend some time together as a family, something that doesn't happen too often anymore. We're even talking about doing this again next year or the year after. We're hoping to find a spot that we can all road trip to, so it can't be too far.

Any suggestions for where we should go next? We were thinking Charleston or Myrtle Beach, but would love to hear about any other spots you've traveled to and would recommend.

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