The 2nd part of my East Coast trip was one I had been anticipating for a long time. My sister Sarah has recently moved into her dream home. Sarah and her hubby raised two children on St Simons Island in Georgia and lived there for over 20 years. St Simons is a gorgeous beach town but one that was getting very touristy, the good news was because the island was getting very popular their home value was rising rapidly. With their kids now off to college, she and her husband decided to move to a much quieter part of the coastline. One that is about 20 miles north. They bought a piece of land that is right on the salt marsh (high enough from floods!). Then they set to work with a builder and dreamed up their gorgeous forever home.
After my week in Buffalo, my mom and I flew down to St Simon's spent 4 days in paradise! The view from the back porch is incredible as you look straight onto the marsh. There is a constant change in the view whether it’s low tide, high tide, sunrise, sunset, seasonal. I can see why Sarah has gravitated to watercolors and is painting this landscape as often as she can. It’s all I wanted to do when I arrived was to pull out my art supplies and create.
My favorite time was making art with my sister and mom while we watched the storms brewing on the horizon line. Perfect for sitting in an enclosed porch keeping us dry while we painted away and chatted about nothing and everything. Listening to the sounds of the marsh that were mesmerizing, so soothing, and peaceful.
Palm trees swaying
Sarah and Mark are both marine biologists, Sarah is a high school biology teacher while Mark works for the Georgia DNR helping to keep the sea turtles off the endangered list. While his workload is jam-packed right now as the turtles are in nesting season, he was able to carve out two mornings for us as we sailed over to a couple of barrier islands.
Our morning adventures on Black Beard Island and St Catherine's Island. You never really see anyone on the beach except for a couple of sea turtle researchers who live there checking daily for nests and collecting data.
The mornings were gorgeous, with beautiful skies and perfect temperatures. I was able to wade right in for a dip in the warm ocean (not a chance of that happening back home!). But by midday, you could see the clouds emerge from the high humidity which of course led to some incredible thunderstorms (a rare occurrence back home).
The “boneyard” on both of these islands is amazing. I guess the storms sometimes blow these trees to shore from island to island. Live oaks that are stripped down to their bare trunks. Making an incredible sight especially against the blue sky and white sand.
I gather so much inspiration from the beauty of the shapes and lines from these boneyards that are scattered about on the islands.
On our last day, we met my older brother, Simon halfway in Beaufort, SC. He lives in Myrtle Beach. so it was about a 3-hour drive to meet in the middle.
Sarah used to live here and worked at Donnelley Wildlife Preserve in the ACE Basin so we thought we’d check it out after lunch.
*ACE Basin [The Ashepoo, Combahee and Edisto Basin (abbreviated as ACE Basin, spoken as ace basin) is one of the largest undeveloped estuaries along the Atlantic Coast of the United States. Located primarily in Colleton, Charleston, and Beaufort counties in South Carolina, the Ashepoo, Combahee and South Edisto rivers combine into the larger St. Helena Sound and drain a significant portion of the Lowcountry region. The 350,000 acres (1,400 km2) area is known for its natural environment and the preservation of its marshes, wetlands, hardwood forests, and riverine systems, and the fauna that occupy the area.] - Wikipedia
Stopped by a creek to check out some birds and alligators which we found! One a bit too close. My mom ran away and said, “make sure you get a photo!” David Attenborough would be proud of me. I took the photo and then hightailed it back to the car.
On the way home, we stopped in Savannah, GA to meet my incredibly gorgeous and uber-smart niece, Alannah. She’s doing a research project for a biology professor while she’s studying at the University of Georgia.
We packed in a lot on the trip and I cannot wait to go back.
Watch out Georgia, next time it will be longer than 4 days!