Let me warn you! This is one MASSIVE post. Like go put the load of laundry in now and when you are done reading….the cycle will be complete. Seriously….you will feel like you went on vacation with us and are ready to go take a nap.
Okay. So yesterday I told you about how for spring break we went to a tiny little island off the coast of Georgia called Jekyll Island and how our hotel was dog friendly, how Weston had a 24 hour bug, and how matching bathing suits wins every.single.time. If you see me and Jeremy ever in matching bathing suits, you will know….I have won the internet.
Today I wanted to share the rest of our Jekyll adventures and boy oh boy is it a giant list of things! We really squeezed SO much into those last couple days! On Tuesday we woke up and enjoyed a breakfast in our hotel….it’s so much easier to just eat in your diaper #amiright?!
Then we headed out to meet the Jekyll Island Park Ranger! The folks at Jekyll Island Authority had set up a Gator Experience for us and we were SO excited for the boys! We met with Ranger Bre and headed out to this little nature area.
Immediately the boys spotted the resident gator sunbathing with his turtle posse….
Bre was just a huge resource of knowledge….every question – she knew the answer.
Here is the Jekyll gator checking us out! She said that unfortunately these gators have been socialized to some degree because of humans feeding it. Since they expect humans to give them food, there isn’t that natural instinct to flee from humans and so now gators will become aggressive or invade our neighborhoods to get fed. It’s just very sad because the gator always looses in the end. It was a good lesson to the boys that we don’t feed wildlife!
Bre also brought with her a high powered telescope so that we could check out the turtles and gator in detail!
And she brought this cool teaching gator skull to show the boys the teeth.
They were scared to touch it 🙂
She also taught the boys the sounds the gators make and then the difference between the native turtles! It was so cute to see their little brains working through the information 🙂
Then she surprised us all by bringing out a big cooler type box. She made us all guess what was inside….we never imagined this….
Meet Tiny! Tiny is the three year old Gator that is part of the Jekyll Island wildlife education program! Isn’t he beautiful!?
He is so small…not because of his age…but because they can modify his diet to keep him from getting too large. Isn’t that amazing?! Tiny is actually a rescue gator that the kids got to touch and my brave little Weston (who is normally so shy) loved being able to touch his tail and feet and back. I think one day that kid might work with animals….he LOVES them.
Even LJ got in on the action…
We thought that Tiny was the finale to the Gator Experience so we got the group photo…
But then Bre showed us this nature trail and offered to show us some of the features! It was seriously the best surprise to get a Park Ranger Walk all to ourselves!
She pointed out these long painted PVC tubes that they make and hang in the trees. Sometimes the frogs will go down into them to rest. The boys and I are gonna make some for our creek this summer!
And we were taught all about the trees and the way the live oaks can survive just about anything. They are like Beyonce trees.
I wish I had the right lens on my camera to really capture the CRAZY beauty of this place…it seriously was straight out of a movie. And the best part is – they had benches along the trail (I can only assume they were for breastfeeding mamas!) and labels on so much of the plant life so Will got to practice his reading skills 🙂
Overall we were SO grateful to be able to share Bre with the boys….they are still talking about those gator teeth!
Afterward we went to the local pier for seafood and we insisted that Bre join us. She told us all about how she became a park ranger and how wildlife preservation and education is really such a passion for anyone who does her area of work. I just kept thinking how proud her mama must be!
We ate at the Latitude 31 and as much as I wish the outdoor area was available – it ended up being a God send to eat inside because all of a sudden, Will started acting very fussy and uncomfortable. He said that he didn’t want to eat (WHAT?!) and that he just wanted to sleep (WHAT?!) and so literally he laid his head on my lap for the entire meal.
The view was so fun and I know he really wanted to see the boats so I took some pictures for him.
That afternoon, we headed back and let the kiddos sleep – including Will.
That evening after the naps, Will was still complaining of his headache but he said that he wanted to go see the trees so we headed to the coolest beach ever.
Poor thing got down by the shore and we all realized that the breeze was a lot stronger and chillier than we had anticipated. Jeremy ran back to the car and got every one their jackets.
Doesn’t he just break your heart?! Sometimes I have to remember that even though he is the big brother, he is still so so little.
The beach we went to was called Driftwood Beach and basically it has these massive trees that are right on the shore line that over the years have turned into giant dead pieces of driftwood. It’s spooky and gorgeous at the same time.
On the other side of the beach are some of those huge trees along with palms and fields of plants that make it feel like a movie scene.
It’s like Survivor meets Narnia.
We went when the sun was setting and the tide was coming in so it was a little harder to get to the trees….I think if we come back, we will have to go in the morning to really get the full experience.
Somebody arrest this kid for stealing all the cuteness!
This is totally my favorite photo right now…it’s so how I am gonna remember these two little ones. I get to double-up all the time and LJ is constantly playing with my necklace or pointing out freckles or picking my nose. I just want to keep them little forever!!!
This is my best Mother Earth photo….which is hard to do when LJ is pointing out a mole 🙂 haha!
We also managed to get this sweet pic of GrandB with the boys! She was such a champ….vacationing with us is no joke…sick kids, too many pictures and LOTS of diapers 🙂
Afterward we went to the Driftwood Bistro and it was good southern food! They definitely had the best fries on the island and I got the blackened shrimp with potatoes and fried okra and it was all very tasty! Just be warned though – they don’t allow wet clothing inside so we had to run back to change our pants! ha!
That night was fairly uneventful. We went back to the hotel, got ready for the next morning when we were heading out and tried to make Will as comfortable as possible (he slept through dinner on my lap again).
The next morning, we all woke up and Will started to say that he had “the burps” which means he will throw up. The poor thing didn’t have anything in his stomach though! After all that, he wanted to eat and so he had cheerios and some gatorade and said that he didn’t have a stomach ache anymore. We asked him if he just wanted to go home and he said that he wanted to go see the turtles….so that was our next and final excursion.
Poor thing just looks sick in his eyes….
The boys love taking photos of us. This one is by Will….I think I am gonna get him a camera for Christmas….he is such a natural.
LJ offering his services….
The island has a Georgia Sea Turtle center that is so cute. They have an indoor education area where you can learn all about the turtles habitats and food sources and what they look like….
there is also a demonstration area where you can see the turtle specialists who help rescued turtles who have been in boating accidents and have been hurt or need treatment.
Outside there are little turtles that the kids can see wandering around…
My personal favorite was the sea turtle art….this thing was made completely of found trash on the beach. It is to help bring awareness to the fact that litter does hurt the turtles!
And inside there is also another area where you can watch the sea turtles in their swimming pools….
They are named and our favorite was Nurdle. Obviously.
These rehabilitation tanks help these turtles get back on their feet!
And we were able to explore all of that thanks to Jekyll Island Authority! We were given these activity passes and honestly I am bummed that we didn’t get to do EVERYTHING. I seriously think we might need to do a RETAKE on this island because it has so much to do and we didn’t even get it all done! These are the passes that you can win (along with the beachfront accommodations) if you entered the giveaway we are doing on Instagram right now. Go enter! I am @bowerpowerblog if you don’t follow me yet 🙂
After the Sea Turtle Center, we decided that we would hit the road. Will felt much better that day and we found out later it was just a 24 hour bug and a bout of swimmers ear 🙂
And on the way we stopped at the outlets and found some cute clothes and shoes 🙂 Also we found a lighthouse so we feel like this vacation literally knocked everything on our list out of the park. It was just so fun….sick kids and all….and the best part was just being with Jeremy’s mom and having a low key time. Next time though….we are renting bikes and gonna hit up that tennis center….I don’t know why but I think my kids would be naturals at hitting stuff 🙂