The Traveling Steve's

Pre-Christmas weekend at Jekyll Island 2018

Jekyll Island pre-Christmas 2018 -Arrival day One

After a wonderful night out at Bern’s, we drove from the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay Airport, to Jekyll Island Georgia for a 3 night pre-Christmas weekend, in what has now become a yearly tradition.  

Grand Hyatt Tampa Airport
Grand Hyatt Tampa Airport entrance-way
Dos leaving Tampa  Grand Hyatt for drive to Jekyll Island

Jekyll Island is one of those special places in our hearts where you can return to again and again and always have a feeling of peace and relaxation, along with the historical millionaires district, and good food and drink along the way.  

View from the balcony of our room, overlooking Rockefeller (Indian Mound) Cottage

I’ve written quite a bit about Jekyll Island over the years, so I’m not going to repeat myself, but I will provide a link to The Jekyll Island Club (where we stayed) for further reference on the history of the club as well as the Island and historic district.

Jekyll Island Causeway – entrance to Jekyll Island

The drive from Tampa was a bit longer than our trek from Orlando, but leaving at 10:30am, we had a leisurely drive to the Island, arriving around 4pm, with a couple stops, including lunch, rest area stops. and the Georgia welcome center.  

Jekyll is an hour or so north of Jacksonville FL
Georgia Welcome Center

Our drive was quite comfortable in the huge rental SUV Steve (DOS) had rented to transport us (DOS, myself, and brother Andy and his parter Art), plus a trunk and back seat (3 row vehicle) of luggage and decorations we always bring with us.

Bridge to Brunswick GA at turning point to Jekyll Causeway

Upon arrival at the Jekyll Island Club, we were welcomed back by our favorite bellman Rone, who assisted us with our luggage (it took two carts!), while DOS checked us into the Presidential and Jr. Presidential Suites for ourselves and Andy and Art respectively.

Jekyll Island Club Hotel -Presidential and Jr. Presidential on top floor beneath the turret.

 It was nice having both rooms across from each other as we literally had the entire end of the hall on the fourth (top) floor of the club, and didn’t have to worry about noise to other guests.  (Not that we’re super noisy, but we do play some Christmas music and have a small party for the four of us, plus Larsen and Michelle, our friends on the island.) The suite had a separate living room with fireplace, which we had Rone light for us each evening.

Presidential Suite Living room at check-in – prior to our Christmas decorations!
Living room fireplace at check-in before decorating for Christmas.
Master bedroom in Presidential Suite; turret staircase behind curtain to right of photo.

After we checked in, DOS and I quickly got to work with the Christmas decorations for the room.  DOS set up the lights all around the room and even put ‘web’ lights on the narrow in-suite circular staircase leading up to the pinnacle shaped turret.

 Meanwhile I set up a couple of the small LED Christmas trees and wreathes we brought, along with the bar setup of wine, beer, bottled water and cookies and snacks.  I also unpacked the stockings, glitter, and gifts which we would later use, and set up the speakers and LED ‘disco’ lights.

Unpacking the wines and Disney hat we brought. Quick fireplace pic before storing wine in cooler and putting garland up on fireplace as shown later at night in the next photo.

Our Jekyll Island friends Michelle and Larson came by at 6:30pm, and we had a wonderful evening of catching up since last year.  We met Michelle and Larson (also a pilot) several years ago at dinner in Crane Cottage, (on the island) and like us, love Jekyll Island.  They moved to Jekyll Island year-round from Tennessee a while back after visiting Jekyll for several years. 

Michelle and Larson at Dinner the first night of our visit

While in the Presidential Suite before dinner, we had drinks, (Larson brought some Champagne), while we brought some Jordan Chardonnay we toasted the season with our fancy dollar store Christmas glasses (LOL – but they were actually Christmasy nice), we brought with us.  

Over drinks and conversation, we each decorated our Christmas stockings.  We started doing this a few years ago, and it’s become an annual tradition; each person decorates and designs their stocking with the different colors of glitter glue, and the next night, Santa comes and fills the stockings!

Michelle always has the best looking stocking with her artistic endeavors, while us guys struggle to spell our name or draw a Christmas design.  

Michelle ‘glued’ a nice Christmas tree with different colors for decorations, while Art did a decent job at drawing Santa Clause, Larson and Andy got their names done ok, with an added sprinkle of icicles or garland, DOS did his name and I’m not sure what, and I attempted to draw the Jekyll Island Club with turret. Unfortunately DOS said my stocking looked like a float at Disney World!  Anyway, it was all in good fun, even if we don’t get any better at stocking decorating each year.

Around 8pm, we took the complimentary hotel shuttle over to the new Jekyll Island Ocean Club Resort, a short ride away to the beach side of the Island, admiring the evening lights and decorations of our hotel as we headed out to the sister property, the new Jekyll Club Beachside resort.

Elegant Christmas decorations at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel
Heading down to the front entrance of The Jekyll Club Resort to get on the hotel shuttle.
Shuttle from the Jekyll Club to the nearby Jekyll Island Ocean Club Resort

Once at the Jekyll Ocean Club Resort, we toured around the new hotel a bit before heading to the dining room.  

Once seated, we had a very leisurely night of dining with appetizers, entrees, desserts, and of course vino.  

Cheers at the Jekyll Island Ocean Club Hotel (Beach front hotel)
Now that’s a big fish!

We also so our friend and former server at Crane Cottage, Gabby, shown here in a photo with Michelle and Larson.

And as is almost expected for us, we were the last people leaving the dining room! But not before having our late night coffee seasonal drink with peppermint and chocolate, and our obligatory group photo!

As we headed back to our room this first night of three on Jekyll Island we felt like we were back home and already well relaxed and full of the Christmas spirit.

 Welcome Back – to Jekyll Island!

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