There are only three things that teenage boys are interested in: food, girls and sports. The order may change depending on the kid, but these pretty much sum it up. Incessant video gaming counts as sports. Food will usually take a lesser position in the hierarchy…except when they’re hungry, which is all the time unless there are, well, girls and sports available.
So the ideal vacation for a teen boy will bring all these things together (and where there’s an environment parents can enjoy, too). The simple solution: the beach.
We told our 15-year-old Brandon that we were heading for the beach. He was only so enthused. It seems that hanging around at the local pool and posing for the girls there was a better choice. And how could he play his favorite video games at the beach? Was there anything to do? The suggestion that there were plenty of books to catch up on earned a derisive snort and a roll of the eyes. How could we be so lame? Boring!
So it was with high hopes and one bad attitude in the back seat (“You’re going and that’s that!”) that we set off for the King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort on Georgia’s Saint Simon’s Island.
At check-in, the soaring lobby and the relaxed yet elegant ambience assured that this would be no cramped sojourn in a rickety beach motel. Looking straight back through the famed restaurant, the tantalizing view of the ocean (the only oceanfront restaurant on the entire island) teased us with the promise of adventure after our long ride.
We were taken to our villa, a modern, super clean and superbly equipped home away from home. The view through the big glass doors and the terrace was remarkable. A light breeze rippled the ocean. The tide was partly out so the beach was expansive and waves broke over some sandbars right out front. Directly below, an enormous pool glistened bright blue. People were seated on a patio near the water’s edge at a snack bar. There were umbrellas and bikers and people strolling on the beach, swimming in the surf. It was colorful and…happy.
Some boys about Brandon’s age were throwing a football while some bikinied girls looked on. “Hey! I know that kid! He goes to my school! Can I go down to the beach?”
We said yes. There was a pause. “Don’t you have to go with me?”
We said no. It’s about as safe a place as could be. We gave him some money for the snack bar. “You’re giving me money!?”
We watched as he joined the group. A few handshakes, some shy glances at the girls, and the football regained the air, with Brandon in the circle.
We strolled down the beach, feeling the stresses and strains of the everyday work week melt away with every step. After a while, we returned to the hotel. We went up to our villa, expecting Brandon to be buried in his iPad, but he wasn’t there. There was a note: “Gone to the Gym.”
After some texting, we all met at the restaurant. The high ceilings and ceiling high windows looked right over the surf. And the menu was even more impressive. The big, juicy Tavern Burger made Brandon smile, although he could barely pay attention to the food because one of the girls he met at the beach was at an adjoining table.
A signature King & Prince Crab Cake was a perfect appetizer, as were the savory Black Truffle Fries & Aioli. Then there was an amazing Crab Mac‘n Cheese, and a Low Country Shrimp & Grits, the King & Prince haute cuisine version of a perennial coastal favorite. If seafood hadn’t pleased, there were savory choices like Kurobota Pork, a whimsical Chicken and Waffles, a Short Rib Pot Roast and much, much more. The menu is large and creative, and dinner was incredible.
After dinner, Brandon and a few of his new friends from the beach went out to the pool. The entire pool was lit and cast a bright blue glow. We all stood at the patio rail and watched the sea roll in and back. The stars were brilliant. Brandon said his good nights and came upstairs with us to our villa, after making plans to meet the next day. There was a bike ride for us all in the offing; Brandon and his new friends would ride up with us to the historic fort at Frederica, and we’d come back for lunch at the King & Prince, and then on to the beach for the afternoon. There was tennis in the plan for the next few days, along with a ghost tour and a ride on a real shrimp boat, and some fishing off the Village Pier, all planned with the helpful folks at the King & Prince.
Our vacation couldn’t have had a better beginning. Look like we may have found a new family tradition.