Spring fever is in the air and we were all dying for a little sun and fun. The Momleficent clan’s go to beach is Tybee Island – a small barrier island just off the coast of Georgia. We LOVE Tybee and it’s laid back, not over crowded feel. Not to mention, the proximity to Savannah is a huge plus. If you have not been to either, you have to put these places on your bucket list. The island is about a four hour drive from our house, so we don’t get to go as much as we would like. My work schedule tends to get in the way of too many weekend’s away, but when we have them, they are glorious. This past weekend was too cool for swimming, but we had a great time finding sand dollars (I had never seen a live sand dollar before, and they were washing up on the beach like crazy – dozens of them!), playing in the sand, and the man cub discovered that though he likes the water, he does not like water that moves. What a little maniac. He was precious running and squeeling at the waves.
My favorite bit of beach on Tybee is near the pier. We don’t usually go up on the pier, but the beauty of the old wooden structure arching out into the ocean is lovely. There is also a fair amount of shade near it. With tinies as fair as mine, you can’t underestimate the value of some beach real estate with shade. Lining the island expressway going into Tybee from the mainland are lots of your typical beach shops hawking body boards, sand toys and souvenirs. We generally make a quick stop to get sand toys or a kite depending on the season. This time it was definitely kite weather and not let’s go dig in the wet sand weather. Kite in hand, we loaded back into the car and five minutes later we were on our way to the beach!
There is something about salt water that my soul. Papabear loves the mountains and loves to drive into the mountains (only a few minutes from our house, so easy day trips almost every weekend) and seems to get rejuvenated from the sweeping views, amazing rock formations and water falls. I, on the other hand, need to be near the sea. I love everything about it – the smell, the feel of the salt in my hair, and the kiss of the sun on my face. There is nothing like the roar of the ocean as the tides come in, or just before a storm. I could lose myself in the depths of the water, my cares are further from my mind, and life seems a little less pressing. It has been calling to me lately. I wonder if I was a mermaid in a past life? With my luck, I wouldn’t have been the Ariel with the great voice and prince type, but the well-fed type that has a captain of a whaling ship obsesses about type. Oh well, it worked out in the end for both plot lines. 😊
Those precious few hours by the sea helped me reset. I think there may be some psychological benefit to having your toes in the sand, feeling the texture with each step. There is also a cathartic release when I hear the giggles of the tinies as they play together. The caw of the gulls in the background just adds to the atmosphere as the waves break against the shore – it reminds me of the rhythmic breathing of the tinies when they were small and still in their cribs. Mother nature’s sighs if you will. This is the low season for Tybee – there are tourists starting to gear up for Spring break, and St. Patty’s in Savannah is like Mardi Gras gone green (only 10 miles away), so Tybee gets some overflow from that as well. The beach was sparsely populated, lots of families, a few Spring Breakers, and lots and lots of gulls – just the way I like it. One of my favorite things about the beaches at Tybee are the bench swings that line the dunes. They are beautiful, restful places to sit and watch the kids collect shells and build their castles, pits and relationship.
Our favorite place to eat on Tybee is a little seafood restaurant called Stingray’s. Papabear and I have loved this place since we first started coming to the beaches here more than a decade ago – and I have been visiting since I was a child. Of course, Stingray’s has popped up since my childhood visits. We have tried most of the items on the menu by this point and seem to gravitate to the fried fish and scallops. There is so much in each basket that we really should share one and let the kids share one – good sense never seems to win when you get seated and your tummy is grumbling from a morning of salty play. Their slaw is fresh and not overly dressed, which is absolute perfection. And oh my the hush puppies are amazing. I have never really been a fan of fried breads, but these are little pillows of golden deliciousness! The fish is fresh and flaky, and full of flavor. Their breading is not so heavy that it covers the flavor of the fish. I love mine vinegar, but I’m a lone wolf there. Though we didn’t eat there this time, The Crab Shack, located just on the Tybee side of the bridge as you are approaching the island, is amazing. As with all things in the Savannah area, if it is quality, it is over priced, but the food is hard to beat. Crab legs and shrimp are served on large metal trays, mounded over, with corn, potatoes and all the fixin’s.
Tummies replenished, it was back to the beach and then on to Savannah. We didn’t stay in Tybee proper this visit, but I have visions of a small cottage by the sea in May or June. What a great little day trip through the low country!