Archive for April, 2013

Escape to a More Gracious Era

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

There are perhaps a few hundred places to stay along the pristine coast of Georgia, but none captures the true essence of Southern coastal living quite like the grand dame: The King and Prince Resort. Its majestic stucco buildings command a stunning ocean front locale on historic St. Simon’s Island. Once you’ve stepped inside, greeted by the friendly staff, it’s as if tensions melt away, taking the worries of frantic, email, text-happy living right along with them. This is truly the kind of loafers-no-socks ease that lets every visitor feel instantly like an honored guest, and for a few days at least, as part of the privileged few. Count on traditional Southern gentility from every staff member, from the wide welcoming smiles of the front desk staff to the attentive wait staff who serve frosty drinks and delicious sandwiches, snacks and drinks poolside.

Originally built as a private dance club in 1935, The King and Prince was established soon after prohibition ended, offering its members and guests a welcoming spot to unwind while perfecting a foxtrot, Charleston or waltz. Its sweeping ballrooms, vast ceilings and the only ocean-front restaurant on the island make the ambiance one of a kind. But happily, nothing about this grand hotel feels stuffy or formal. There’s a kind, easy atmosphere you can’t help but notice. Guests of all ages find something special to appreciate.

For families, it’s the carefree confidence of spending precious moments with little ones building sand castles and dipping their tiny feet into the gentle ocean waves. Poolside, Moms and Dads appreciate the freedom to order drinks, snacks and sandwiches served to their delighted brood at tables surrounding the pool. Kids like not having to stop and dress to eat lunch. Burgers taste best eaten in a swimsuit in the shade. Parents appreciate the simple luxury of having time to spend together without wrestling their water babies into shorts and shoes. Everybody wins!

Resort PoolOcean Terrace Grille

It’s easy to spend your days simply relishing the luxury of free time, strolling on the beach or baking by the pool. But once your batteries recharge and you’re ready for something more active, St. Simon’s offers plenty to do. Rent bicycles for the day or week from Ocean Motion, a shop so close it’s practically part of the resort. Once you pick out the perfect bike, the island is yours! Head into town to explore the quaint shops, candy store, ice cream shop, and a wonderful pier that extends out from the village far into the ocean. Ambitious cyclists might want to head for Fort Frederica, a spectacular state park built around the ruins of a pre-revolutionary Fort. Picnicking on the grounds at tables under the live oaks will be a highlight of your vacation.

St. Simons Bike Trails

Another fun way to explore St. Simon’s is by kayak.  Treat yourself to an excursion with SouthEast Adventure Outfitters. Whether you set out on the marsh or down Cathead Creek, kayaking is an exhilarating way to get close to the water and see the birds and, if you’re lucky, playful dolphins. Paddling is easy and relaxing.  And because the guides know a lot about the island’s ecology and history, their commentary makes this family-friendly activity educational as well as fun.  Those interested in fishing can rent gear and drop a line off the fishing pier downtown, or join one of the several fishing charters available for an offshore adventure.

St Simons Island Kayaking

Despite all there is to do in St. Simon’s, you just might find yourself drawn to the simple pleasure of doing nothing at all. Many guests report their favorite memories are made during the warm afternoons at the beach, watching crabs scurry or children push shovels in the sand and “dig to China.” As the pelicans dive for fish and the gentle waves lap the shore, the sounds of laughter are all around. Time seems to stand still, just for a moment, as families escape the hurried pace of the everyday back home and fall into a new, more relaxed pattern that connects all ages. Many families visit with multi-generations, from vibrant seniors to infants blinking in the sun and toddlers taking their first tentative steps in sand. Little ones and school age children blossom as they run in and out of the ocean, taking breaks to peer into holes and gather shells and sticks. Groups of teens gather to toss a ball or try one of the low rider bicycles for rent on the beach. Easy pedaling sends riders speeding down the beach, and there’s a smile on every face.

Even a few precious days at the King and Prince Beach Resort on Georgia’s St. Simon’s Island can refuel the spirit and reconnect loved ones. It’s hard to think of anything this gracious seaside retreat doesn’t offer. But in the end, the most important thing most visitors find is a sense of themselves and those they love. Truly, a trip to St. Simon’s will be packed with memories to cherish for a lifetime. Visitors return home feeling they’ve escaped the business of modern life, and connected to the gentle Southern seaside life that will forever endure the test of time.

The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, St. Simons Island, GA.

“SHRIMPIN’ EXCURSIONS ABOARD LADY JANE”

Friday, April 26th, 2013

Lady Jane Shrimp BoatCaptain Larry Credle provides the brains and education to one and all aboard “Lady Jane”.  This U.S. Coast Guard certified 49 passenger steel shrimping vessel was recently retired after years of loyal service to the shrimping industry.

The ‘Lady,’ after being refurbished and brought back to life, now offers guests a cruising experience they have never known. While there, you can truly get into the core world of shrimping. Help the knowledgeable and engaging crew of marine biologists sort the shrimp from “Lady Jane’s” catch. Sit back and enjoy the meal of boiled shrimp that First Mate John Tyre prepares just for you.

The cruise remains in the beautifully protected waters of St. Simon Sound. And “Lady Jane” has it all at your disposal; from an air conditioned cabin and restroom to large open decks where you can walk around and enjoy the breathtaking views. This is, quite literally, paradise on earth.

Georgia Shrimp BoatAdventure, fun, education – all mixed with ‘5-star’ services – is what you receive when you speak with Captain Larry as he helms a real Shrimp Trawler and engages you in one of the most historical industries in the world.

The stunning ambiance of St. Simon’s Island has no competition. Captain Larry has many fans on this historical and memorable location.  The staff of The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, tell all of their visitors that Captain Larry and the “Lady Jane” can’t be missed.

As it is with so many things on this stunning island, the King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort is also part of history. This historic Georgia Shrimping Tripocean front retreat heralds Captain Larry and his “Lady Jane” because they, too, are all about providing relaxation, inspiration and recreation – all in equal measure – and is a locale that has been beloved since its opening in 1935.

Beautiful beaches, ocean front dining and six sparkling blue pools have helped make the King & Prince the ‘go to’ destination on the Georgia coast.

Enjoy the history. Relax as you set sail on the “Lady Jane” and come ‘home’ to the stunning resort that is the King and Prince.

 

For more information on these locations, head to:

www.kingandprince.com/water-activities.aspx

A Father, Daughter Experience

Friday, April 19th, 2013

My daughter Whitney and I are morning people.  

We have a regular routine when we are at home. We wake up just before daylight, and most mornings, my nine year old daughter reads, plays and organizes her dolls and stuffed animals, and sometimes, when I’m not looking, sneaks in a little television.  I’m usually sitting in the kitchen poring over emails, reading news websites and planning my work day.
 

For Spring Break this year, my family took an amazing journey to the King and Prince Hotel on Saint Simons Island. The hotel was our home for 4 days. We rode bikes around the island, swam at the hotel pool, visited Fort Frederica and Cumberland Island National Parks and explored the entire island.  It was the best vacation my family has ever experienced. 

But despite all those wonderful activities, my fondest memory were the early mornings I spent with my daughter at sunrise.

St. Simons Island Beach

You see, as morning people, we discovered something very special at the King and Prince–the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean.  Each morning, while my wife, who is not a morning person, was sleeping, Whitney and I awoke before sunrise, threw on some warm clothes, and walked a few hundred feet to the beach, holding hands, to watch the sun come up.  Three mornings. Three sunrises. Three memories with my daughter that will last a lifetime.

 Barefoot in the sand, and letting the ankle deep waves rush over our feet, my daughter and I explored the beach, following the plovers, terns and various shorebirds.

We found shells. Including the shell of a pre-historic horseshoe crab that at first frightened us, because it looked like a World War I army helmet that had washed ashore.

But the highlight of each morning was the sunrise.  Each different.  The first morning we saw rays of light struggling to breakthrough the grey and cloudy sky, creating spotlights. The sky looked like a laser light show.

Then on the second morning the entire sky turned blood orange, the clouds shielding the sun just enough to protect our eyes from looking directly into the sun. We stared at the sun, a fireball, gently rising on the horizon.

And on our last day, a clear crystal blue sky.  So clear, you could see the streaks in the sky where airplanes had flown. It was also getting warmer.  That refreshing day, we could tell spring was coming.

It has now been about week since we’ve come home from our Saint Simons Island Spring Break vacation.  Whitney and I are still 

Sunrise on St Simonsmorning people.  We get up early, I start to work, she prepares for school, and my wife gets a few more minutes of sleep. We are back into our routine.  But a couple of times, since coming back, Whitney has hugged me in the early morning before daylight, and asked to see the sunrise.  We throw on warmer clothes, clasp hands together and journey outside to explore and watch the sun come up.

While we watch the sun come up over our city, we remember our special gift from Saint Simons Island, the sunrise, the place and that special time and memory with my daughter.

 

Written by Pat Byington, editor of The Green Register