The Traveling Steve's

Merry Christmas 2022 from JEKYLL ISLAND!

We are spending Christmas this year once again at JEKYLL ISLAND. We are staying at the Westin Jekyll Island, which we did last year as well as several other times.

Although it is freezing here (literally!) with temperatures in the 20s F to 40s in the daytime, it feels extra chilly with the winds blowing. We have a nice “Coastal Ocean” view facing the ocean, and with the hotel blocking the wind on the ocean side, it actually feels much warmer facing the sun in the afternoon hours while sitting on the balcony.

We’ve had a great 3 night visit so far, and were warmly welcomed back to the Westin by Rone, our favorite bellman who formerly worked at the JEKYLL ISLAND Club Hotel. Once we got to the room, we were surprised to see a huge spread of two gift baskets, with a beautiful flower arrangement in the middle!

There was no card attached, but from the “Christmas Crackers”, and bird seed in one of the baskets, we knew it must be from Phyllis, which we later confirmed it was.

Phyllis worked at the JEKYLL ISLAND Historic district for years, and her became a yearly special Christmas “Twilight” Tram became a tradition for us, friends, and family. We always dressed up in Christmas hats, clothes, and lights, and helped to make it a festive time for everyone.

I had made a Christmas photo book for Phyllis, filled with lots of happy memories on some of her tours, and gave it to her later the first evening as we dined together.

After getting settled in, we me our island friends Michelle and Larson, as well as Phyllis and her husband Joe at Faith Chapel, where our friend Tim was playing the bagpipes starting at 4:30pm, and ending up on the short walk up to the Clubhouse around 5:15pm.

After following Tim up to the JEKYLL ISLAND Clubhouse, we sat outside by the pool area fire pit along with several other people, mostly locals we had met over the years and were friends with Michelle and Larson.

We could still hear the bagpipes in the distance, as Tim played some Christmas tunes.

Later we had a nice dinner at “80 Ocean”, a restaurant in the Jekyll Beach Resort Club, which is directly next to the Westin, so it’s a quick walk. We had a wonderful dinner for the six of us, and were served by Gabbie, also a good friend we have made over the years.

The next day we had breakfast at the Westin at 10am, but unlike previous visits it was too cold to sit outside, so we ate indooors. We both had the breakfast buffet and a leisurely late breakfast.

We then relaxed a bit at the hotel and later had lunch at the nearby Sunrise Grille Cafe, which was a short, but breezy walk from the hotel.

Around 3pm, we met up with Michelle and Larson at the Jekyll Club Hotel in the Historic District, where we saw a Christmas performance by the JEKYLL ISLAND Bell Ringers. These ladies were from the local Presbyterian Church on the Island, and were color-coordinated in red attire. They were actually quite good, and played mostly traditional religious songs, while re-telling the story of the birth of Christ from a Biblical perspective. The performance was held in the Grand Dining Room at the Jekyll Club Hotel, the same place we’ve had many a nice dinner, and the original dining venue for the JEKYLL ISLAND millionaires during the Club area, circa 1898 – 1942.

After the Jekyll Bell Ringers, we watched Tim play the bagpipes again at the Clubhouse and from the adjacent pool fire pit where we again met some local JEKYLL ISLAND friends.

We lingered around long enough after Tim’s performance for photos, and had a drink in the indoor lounge area of the club for awhile until having our dinner with Larson and Michelle at Zachary’s Riverhouse Seafood Restaurant. Michelle and Larson know the owner and most of the fun wait staff there, and we had a fun night out there.

I told the owner I loved the upside down Christmas trees hanging from the ceiling!

So this ends our second day of five on this JEKYLL ISLAND visit. So far I’ve been fine health-wise, and although we brought the wheel chair, I haven’t needed it as I’ve walked the places we have been, except for the places we went too in the car. It’s been very cold, so we haven’t walked as much on this trip anyway, such as thru the Jekyll Island Historic district, other than than Faith Chapel and the Clubhouse to see Tim playing the bagpipes. It’s now Christmas Eve, and although we don’t have our stockings hung by the chimney with care, we’re so happy to be here and am blessed the wonderful gift of healthy and recovery.

Merry Christmas Everyone! I’ll end this post with a lighted Nativity scene in front of Faith Chapel. Mat God Bless you and your families this joyous Christmas season!

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