Ending the Hiatus

It has been over 6 months since my last travel post. This is largely because I returned home from the Peace Corps in early February and focused my efforts on my newer website, pureicedtea.com. This site explores eco-friendly practices and healthy living. I’ve geared it toward those of us in the South who are tired of the unsustainable Southern Cliché but of course everyone is welcomed to read it.
I have not stopped traveling! While this is formally called ericaspcblog and I’m no longer in PC, I will use it as a travel journal. No need to stop a good thing, right?

This summer, I enjoyed a trip to Jekyll Island, Amelia Island, and Jacksonville, FL for the Jazz Festival. My sister, brother-in-law and I decided to go on a fluke one weekend, eager to say that we did something worth enjoying for the first few weeks of summer.

We stayed in St. Mary’s a sleepy, budget-friendly town that is conveniently located near all the destinations on our agenda. Readers, I am glad to report to you that we were completely unproductive during our trip. For two days, we sat on the beach spotting dolphins and manatees, reapplying sunblock religiously (mainly in support for my German [read: easy to burn] brother-in-law) and talking about nothing. I got a sun-kissed glow, enough vitamin D to last me through the year and a trip to the beach that I hadn’t had in half a year.

Digression: I did take a trip to Argentina during my PC service where I also chilled out at the beach, drinking mimosas and wishing that I owned a home in Mar del Plata. I am glad to report that I was unproductive during that trip, too. I flirted as any good tourist should, tried a few new restaurants and was greeted back by Paraguay with a closed border and merciless heat. Maybe I’ll do a flashback and write on that trip later.

Between sessions of vegetating on the beach we tried a few restaurants, Fins was the first. Fins is located on Jekyll Island and has a great patio area with ocean views. While it is close to beach access, everyone was dressed in relatively modest cover-ups; no one rolled in with salt water still dripping from their hair and feet caked with sand. Oddly, when people look nice I think that makes the food taste better.

I’d only return to the restaurant for the beach views. I ordered a shrimp poboy that was good but not impressive. The waiter was in a very sour mood, the sort of guy that can’t respond with a simple “you’re welcome.” The restaurant wasn’t busy and we hadn’t been burdensome guests so I can’t provide any justification for his poor customer service.

The other restaurant was St. Mary’s Seafood, appropriately located in St. Mary’s. It was a warm, cozy establishment with uber friendly staff and a good variety of seafood options. The prices were agreeable and well worth the portion sizes. In the mirth of my vacation I ordered a screw-my-health fried catfish, grilled shrimp, fresh oysters, fried clams, deliciously overcooked greens and I think there was some cole slaw involved. (This was before pureicedtea was underway, might I add. Hahaa.) Bottom line: the food is good and the prices are better. Go there.
The Jacksonville Jazz Festival was what a festival should be: entertaining and a great way to unite the community. A variety of Jazz musicians were represented on stages across the downtown region; unfortunately, the schedule didn’t do a great job of detailing where each performer would be located and when. My siblings, uncle and I meandered around the RiverWalk catching moments of a neo-jazz/rock band before heading over the a nearby plaza for more traditional jazz.

Jazz isn’t my forte. I was more interested in the company that I kept, the cool hairstyles that I saw, and the simple fact that I was not in a landlocked city. Next time I’ll pay closer attention and report better!

Geesh—this is a rough entry! Shoddy at best but the next will be fresher on my mind and, hopefully, better. My good friend and I are heading out for a canoeing expedition in north Georgia. Yikes!

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