LeAnne Martin
Beauty and the Beholder

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Island Memories

Last week we spent a few days at Jekyll Island. The Jekyll Island Club was established in the late 1800s as a club for millionaires. Fortunately, you don't have to be a millionaire to stay there now. 

The island is state-owned, with only a small portion of it settled. Without new construction, the gorgeous old live oaks (Georgia's state tree) are protected. In fact, the oldest live oak on the island is just a quarter-mile's walk from the Club hotel. The more I write about beauty, the more I realize I am drawn to trees. I made certain that we visited that old live oak. We spent a lot of time under its huge canopy, looking at how the light streamed through its massive branches, touching the Spanish moss hanging down, and taking pictures by one of several limbs now resting on the ground.

Throughout our stay, we walked and pedaled through the 240-acre historic district. It was quiet and peaceful--not crowded at all. We toured two of the restored cottages and ate dinner in a third. We stayed in the newly-renovated Club hotel annex. We visited the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, where we learned about the dangers these turtles face and the necessity for their nests and hatchlings to be protected. We lingered in the hospital where we saw injured turtle patients being rehabilitated for return to the wild. My daughter fell in love with a terrapin hatchling there. It was hard to pull her away from its tank.

Between the historic buildings, the walking trails, the beach, the turtles, the quiet, the unhurried pace, and the live oaks with their Spanish moss, our vacation was full of memories of beauty. We're already planning to go back.

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