Steve (DOS) and I went on another quick trip to Jekyll Island this week, to attend a special-event dinner with some of our Island friends Michelle and Larson, who there. I’ve written many posts about Jekyll Island, so I’m not going to re-iterate the history of the island and how much we love it there, but as always our trips to Jekyll are always a wonderful and relaxing adventure.
We stayed for two nights at the Westin Hotel Jekyll, and had a nice studio suite with ocean views, although technically not ocean-front like our stay in December. We drove up from Orlando around noon, and three hours later we were checked in and admiring the ocean views.
When we left Orlando, the temperature was in the low 80s and clear, but when we passed the Georgia line it seemed like the weather magically changed all the sudden! It turned breezy and was much cooler (mid 60s) but still nice for a February Winter’s day. We were not meeting our friends until the next day, so we had the rest of the day free, and had a relaxing afternoon, walking around a bit by the sea and downtown/convention center area.
Later, Steve (DOS) and I had dinner at our hotel at the Westin. We really enjoy dining at the Westin, and as it wasn’t real busy (and a bit cool outside) we ate indoors. Our waiter remembered serving us from our December visit, and we even ordered similarly: AHI Tuna appetizer, garden salad, and ribeye, with a bottle of Malbec, followed by a HUGE shared cheesecake with berries and ice cream for dessert.
The next day we had a late breakfast, again at the Westin. The weather had warmed up a bit, and with the sun shining and the palm trees gently swaying, it made for a Hawaiian-like breakfast experience. DOS had said this on our last visit here in December; the Westin Jekyll outdoor seating area reminded him of the old Royal Hawaiian Hotel, circa 1980s when he flew there regularly for work. The Westin has a nice terrace area overlooking the ocean in the distance, and provides nice views of the hotel and beautifully landscaped grounds. By the time we have our late breakfast at 10am most all the other guests have left, so we have some quality quiet time to enjoy our leisurely meal and peaceful surroundings.
Around noon, we met our “island friends” Larson and Michelle who live on the Island. Larson met us first at the small remote and isolated fishing pier, where he launched his fishing boat and took us on a fun sightseeing tour of the waters surrounding the Jekyll shores.
While we didn’t go fishing, Larsen drove by the Historic District to give us a different perspective of the area from the water. Here we could see up close the “millionaire’s dock” from the Club Era (circa 1886 – 1942) where the Jekyll Launch and Club Member’s private yachts would have arrived and departed from the Island. Today it’s used for commercial fishing boats, and dolphin watching tours etc, while the building in the background is The Wharf Restaurant, which offers excellent views both indoors and outdoors.
A bit further back behind the dock, we could see the historic Jekyll Club Hotel where we’ve stayed many times, including last December. We always get the Presidential Suite there, and Larsen pointed out “our room” just had the flag replaced on the top of the turret since our last stay. The suite had just had a major renovation, but the flag was looking quite weathered before. Now you could see the iconic Jekyll Club flag boldly from a fair distance, including our sail by.
We met up with Michelle a bit later, half-way through our tour when we made a brief stop at the Jekyll Island Marina to pick her up. We had walked around here a bit on our last visit, and this large marina is filled with a variety of boats and yachts. Michelle had just finished a morning of golf, and was ready for a boat ride on this beautiful day.
After the quick stop to pick up Michelle, we were soon boating once more, although this time in the opposite direction, and in deeper waters. The highlight of the trip was watching several dolphins playfully swimming around. We saw quite a few dolphins in different areas, and while it’s easy enough to spot them, it’s a bit harder to take their photos as they move so quickly! I ended up leaving the video on and then later grabbed a few still photos off of it rather than trying to time the dolphins up and down movements. Here are a couple of the better dolphin pics I managed to capture using my iPhone 12.
After finishing our boat tour, DOS and I headed back to the hotel to shower, nap, and change for dinner as it was already mid afternoon and we had an evening shuttle pickup at 5:30pm for our group dinner. Adam, who owns a tour company and whom we met on our last visit in December, picked DOS and I up, along with Michelle and Larson, and their friends Anne and Tom who were already along for the ride. Together Adam drove the six of us to Brunswick, where we would have our rum-event dinner a little later on.
As we arrived in Brunswick a bit early, we first had a walk along the historic downtown area street, and stopped by a brewery just across the street for a quick pint or sampler as Michelle and Larson had. We sat outside for half an hour or so, and were joined by Gabby and Atilla, also friends of theirs and ours who live on nearby St. Simons, and we had attended the last private event with in December.
After finishing up our brewskis, we headed back across the street to the rum distiller. I took a couple photos before going into the rum distillery, hoping I could compare these to late night photos when we left! LOL! What the heck, none of us were driving!
Once inside the disitllery, we gathered with the small group of other dinners, while waiting to be seated. We were first given a quick tour of the facility from the second floor overlook. This was actually a private event dinner sponsored by the owners of Del Sur Restaurant, and the distillery provided the venue for the event. We previously attended a Del Sur even in December on St. Simons with Michelle and group which was held outdoors on a beautiful oceanfront mansion grounds.
After the tour, we headed downtowns to our pre-assigned table for the eight of us.
The fixed menu was several courses, and every dish featured rum as one of the ingredients. Furthermore, each course was served with a different rum, similar to a wine tasting! Believe me, I would rather have had the wine, than the 80 proof rum tasting. They did have drinks available for a small charge, which we took turns with each table buying a round as we went. The drinks were rum cocktails of some sort, and much easier to drink than sipping the rum straight!
Here was the preset menu for the evening.
I didn’t take many photos of the meal itself as we were having a great time, but here are a couple pics.
For dessert we had a Baked Alaska the dessert which the Chef flambeed with rum of course!
After our dinner, we walked to a nearby restaurant pub for a nightcap while we waited for Adam to pick us up. The hostess sat us in our own private room, which was basically a cozy alcove near the entrance, snuggled between the street-view windows and the wall-size chalkboard showing the nightly drink specials.
We stayed for about 45 minutes before Adam picked us up. It gave us time for a lively round of drinks and a panoramic photo I took before we left.
In the morning Michelle/Larson and Tom/Ann met us for a late breakfast at our hotel. We had a nice leisurely breakfast outside overlooking the beach, and just like yesterday, DOS and I had a full breakfast meal with the yummy mixed berry parfait.
Later we walked around a bit outside the hotel and down by the beach before saying our goodbyes and checking out around 1pm.
After we checked out, DOS and I drove around the Historic District a bit, and had a nice walk there. We stopped in Goodyear Cottage, which is now home to the Jekyll Art Club, and had a look at some of the displays and things for sale.
I had bought DOS a mens hand-made bracelet that had seashells and beads on our last trip in December and was hoping to get a similar one for myself. While they didn’t have the bracelet I wanted similar to DOS’s, we had a quick look around.
After walking around a bit more, DOS and I headed back to our home in Orlando. It was a quick getaway, but we packed a lot of fun into the short trip. As always we had a wonderful time at Jekyll! Until next trip, Welcome Home!