We spent our last day of vacation at the ocean. We had seen it at sunset, but we needed a day to swim, build sand castles, and bask in the life that is beach life since the closest thing we have to a beach is a small sand bar off of muddy George Wyth! Definitely not the same thing.
Not by a long shot.
Our morning started with exploring the cute little island of Tybee. We explored lighthouses and beach houses, and went back to the pier to watch the same boys fish some more. They were the sweetest boys and were quite advanced in catching sharks, rays, and other marine life from the ocean. They caught another sting ray while we were there and didn't flinch when the stinger got a little close to them. And when an apparent first-timer caught something other than a slimy fish, the boys jumped to his rescue to take care of whatever was on the other end of his line.
After some exploring, we ate lunch at The Crab Shack, probably the most recommended place from other visitors and locals. On Tybee Island, The Crab Shack started as a little fishing camp on a tiny marina, home to a fishing hoist, bait shop, and a little bar where locals would congregate and exaggerate their fish stories at the end of the day (website). The owners soon started serving seafood on Friday and Saturday nights, and are now referenced as the best outdoor dining experience in Georgia! Wood decks surrounded by palm trees, tables with a big hole in the middle and a garbage can underneath for fish bones and shellfish remains, and a live alligator pond that is home to more than seventy live alligators are just a few things that make The Crab Shack unique. We ordered their signature seafood platter, served on a garbage can lid, and spent the next half hour silently attempting to peel shrimp, find the meat in crayfish, and find the biggest piece of meat in a crab leg. We most definitely looked like out-of-towners trying to get through our seafood! The crab was by far our favorite, along with the salt scrub and outdoor sinks deemed "the secret of the islands."
After filling ourselves to near oblivion one more time, we settled on the beach for the rest of the afternoon. It was the perfect beach day and we set up camp under a red and white striped umbrella by the shore.
Memorable moments from our day by the Atlantic...
...My father. He was a wave whisperer. For a man who can't swim, he was sure brave in the ocean! The waves were pretty intense and he made his way out past the tide to ride them for awhile. "Awhile" turned into most of the afternoon. At times we were out there with him, but even when we'd head to shore, he would stay there by himself. I'd look out and see nothing but this little head sticking out of the water with this goofy grin on his face. He was quite taken by the waves and loved it so much, he tried to take it home with him in his ears. More on that later...
...Cruz loved the sand, but was fearful of the water. He loves the pool, but the waves were a little intimidating to a little guy. At his height, he couldn't go out too far before he'd get smacked in the face with saltwater, and he much more preferred to be in the sand building castles.
...He may not have walked the walk of beach life, but he fit the look! Cruz is meant to be a surfer boy in the summer. His skin is so dark and wavy hair so light and if he didn't scream every time mom or dad would head into the waves, he could have convinced people he was born by the coast!
...My mom was pretty funny in the ocean, too! A few times, we convinced her to ride the waves with us and I almost peed my pants watching her! Every wave would knock her off course and she had a hard time finding her feet again! All you would see were arms flailing and this hilarious look on her face. It was pure comedy.
...Beau and I practiced doing flips in the waves, Mom and Cruz curled up under the umbrella for a little rest, and we all drank our share of salt water for the day. I had never spent so much time in the ocean and it was hard to call it a day when it was time to head back to the hotel to get ready for our banquet.
...Beau finally got his boiled peanuts! He found them at a roadside produce stand on our way back to Savannah and bought two grocery bags full. Ate them all the way back to the hotel as if he hadn't eaten in days. It was disgusting, really. Hot bits of water spraying from the shell as he'd bite them with his teeth...let's just say I prefer my Georgia peaches to his boiled peanuts any day of the week ;).
...After attempting to clean the floury sand from EVERYTHING WE OWNED, we took some naps and got ready for our last night in Savannah. Beau's company throws a nice dinner and dance on the last night, a welcome and relaxed end to the trip (and our pocketbooks). Cruz looked so handsome in his white polo and khaki shorts and he looked so tan! We ate more seafood, met some other nice families from around the Midwest, and soon watched the kids have the time of their lives on the dance floor.
Some pictures before the banquet...
...Last year, our little Cruz stole the show at the final dance in Tahoe. This year, he tried out his killer moves again, but also made some friends with other little ones and quickly gave us a glimpse of what it will be like when he's sixteen. At one point, we found him under a table with a couple of adorable girls. When we lifted the tablecloth to see what the two year olds were up to, he waved his hand at us and yelled, "Stop watching us!"
His signature move this night included two index fingers up by his ears to simulate bunny ears. I'd say it worked particularly well with Robin Thicke's, "Blurred Lines," if I do say so myself ;).
My boy knows how to impress the ladies - strawberry stained shirt and all...
...After the dinner reception, my parents put a tired, danced-out Cruz to bed, and Beau and I enjoyed a late walk around Savannah and one more taste of Leopold's Ice Cream. We strolled in the moonlight (quite fitting really, since the Andy Williams' song, Moon River, was written about Savannah), got a couple of single scoops, and found a park bench in the middle of Chippewa Square. We sat and shared ice cream under the stars and it was the perfect way to end our little epic family trip.
Tomorrow...home bound! What a week!