Anniversary Road Trip: Day 4 Tybee Island!

Hey there! I’m finally back with another installment of our recap from our anniversary Road Trip! Day 4 was one of my favorites because we finally reached our final destination: Tybee Island, GA. This is the location that started the entire road trip and I had been dreaming of setting foot on the island for almost an entire year. Tybee is just 20 minutes from Savannah, Georgia so we didn’t have to spend much time in the car that day.

FINALLY!

When we arrived in town we just drove around the island to kind of get an idea of where everything was. For such a small island (the entire island is only a little more than 3 miles) there was a lot to take in. The quickly found downtown, some shops to visit, our hotel and the lighthouse! It was too early to check into our hotel so we went straight to the lighthouse.

Let me start out by saying that I am absolutely terrified of heights. My chest pounds, I get dizzy and I imagine plummeting to my death the entire time (anxiety is neat). But, I had been dreaming about visiting this lighthouse for so long, so I made myself climb it. This is Georgia’s oldest and tallest lighthouse. Ok, that maybe makes me question why I thought climbing it was a good idea.


It was a long climb up to the top. There are several stories and each landing has a window that you can peek out of it and maybe stick your face out of so you can catch your breath. Um. Not like I needed that or anything. The climb was hard, but I have to tell you, the view at the top was worth it. Even in the very dense fog it was still beautiful to be able to look around and see the island.

After climbing down the lighthouse and kissing the ground and trying not to cry we walked around to see the museum portion of the grounds. There was an old cottage set up to mimic the way it looks when the groundskeeper lived there in, I believe, the 1800’s. I told my husband it was Little House on the Prairie, ocean edition. We live just a few miles from Little House on the Prairie so it made me think of home.

The ticket to the lighthouse also gives you access to the cottages and the Tybee Museum in Battery Garland across the street. Also, we were able to leave our car at the lighthouse parking lot to walk across the street to North Beach. We walked along the beach for a little while before meeting our Savannah friends at North Beach Bar and Grill for dinner. North Beach was delicious. I had fish tacos and French fries. Yum!

After lunch we walked the beach a little bit more before heading into town to see if we could check into our hotel. We stayed at Desoto Beach Hotel. I still feel a little tricked because it’s advertised as Tybee’s only beachfront hotel. Almost every resort, suite, etc is located along the beach. But I guess this is the only one called a “hotel”. Hmmm… it was still a nice place to stay and I loved the direct beach access. I will say that if I was to ever go back I would want to stay in a cottage. I feel like this would have gave us more of a Tybee Island Experience. But, the hotel was clean and the staff was nice, and it was affordable.

Our room wasn’t quite ready so do our pre-check in, got our parking tag and went for a walk. You have to pay for parking everywhere in Tybee so if you can park at your hotel or cottage and walk, do so!

We walked along the beach to the pier and then headed into downtown. Our popped into a few shops before heading back to our hotel to change clothes and eat dinner. For dinner we walked to Agave Bar and Grill. Justin had an agave burrito and I can not remember what I had! But it was basically steak fajitas wrapped in a tortilla and covered in queso.

SO.FREAKING.GOOD. Also we each had like 2 strawberry margaritas which might explain why my memory is foggy. haha.

After dinner we popped into another souvenir shop (Waves Surf Shop) where I picked up a Tybee Island shirt for $5 on clearance. Then we walked back to our hotel and crashed for the night!

I really thought I’d be able to recap our entire stay on Tybee in one post but I was wrong! We did and saw a lot while we were there. Tomorrow I’ll finish recapping about our trip with a few more food recommendations and tips for New Years Eve on Tybee.

Anniversary Trip: Day 2 Continued Fort Walton Beach, Florida

1ff8f17a-c299-4edf-b82f-754b042c251fWhere we left off from my last post we had just pulled into Fort Walton Beach during our anniversary road trip.

I chose Fort Walton beach because I had heard all about the white sand and turquoise water in the Destin area, but Fort Walton is just a little more affordable than Destin is. I have zero regrets about Fort Walton and absolutely hope to go back to the Emerald Coast one day.

Pulling into town, I immediately fell in love. I love turquoise and peach beach houses. Its just all so calming and nothing at all like we see in the Midwest.  We were in town before it was time to check into our hotel so we ventured towards town for lunch. We grabbed a quick lunch at Popeyes and then strolled through a few stores. We walked about Tuesday Morning and Five Below. Not super exciting but it was nice to be out of the car!

Afterwards we jumped back in the car and went to see if we could check into the hotel. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Resort on Okaloosa Island and it was absolutely gorgeous. Plus, it was located just a short walk down the beach from the Okaloosa Island Boardwalk , which has plenty of dining and shopping options.

As soon as we checked into our room I threw on my flipflops and we ran out to the beach to play in the rain like any rational grown adult people would do. The hotel has direct beach access. You just walk out the door and around the lazy river (which would be so incredibly fun during the summer) and you are on the beach!

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We walked down the beach, hunting for seashells (probably my favorite thing about the beach period) and ended up at the boardwalk. We went inside to check it out and bought the kids souvenirs. The older girls requested shirts so we got those and a mermaid doll for the toddler. For future reference, if you think the toddler will be happier with a doll than a shirt you might be wrong. She was devastated that we didn’t get her a shirt. “Where mine???”

My husband is a genius so he snuck a dress out of her closet and put it in a bag and gave it to her. She was instantly happy with her “gift”.

Girls are just a little bit dramatic.

When we were done shopping we walked back to the hotel. How cool is the giant beach ball on the hotel roof?! And we went to the room to hang out for a bit before dinner.

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For dinner we went back down to the boardwalk and ate at Rockin’ Tacos. I am not even slightly too shy to admit that this restaurant played a huge part in deciding where to book our hotel. I spent months dreaming out their gator tacos. They did not disappoint me. They were a little spicy, but not too spicy. Just enough of a kick.

 

My margarita, a Rockin Rita, was also incredibly good. The service was fast, the waitress was perfect and the restaurant itself was a lot of fun. I would absolutely go back there. Also, on Wednesday night they shoot off fireworks from the pier and this a great location to get a perfect view!

After dinner went back to the hotel and hung out at the hotel bar. I am a total pain the butt at bars because I don’t really have any signature drink that I tend to go to. I couldn’t even tell you what this was, but it was blue, and I really like Blue Curacao so I went for it. The bar was nice, stocked well and the bartender was friendly!

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We hung out down there and talked to a couple that was visiting from Nebraska before we went to bed so we could get on the road nice and early. I loved every single thing about our stay in Fort Walton. Yes, I do wish it hadn’t been rainy, but I still stand by the belief that a rainy day at the beach is still better than any day in Kansas. I really hope to make it back there with the kids sometime and hopefully we can see some blue skies and turquoise water. And I’d love to check out that lazy river too!

Stay tuned for more!

Anniversary Road Trip: Days 1 & 2

8 years ago my husband and I eloped on New Years Eve. (More on that another day) A few years ago we started going on a trip every year to celebrate our anniversary and to just get away from everything. Normally we stay pretty close to home, but last year we were freezing in Branson, Missouri and decided that maybe we should try somewhere warmer the next year.

It wasn’t long into January before I started researching beaches on the East Coast. I’ve always been in love with the East Coast (thanks to all of the Nicholas Sparks books I have read) but I had never been.

By chance, I found Tybee Island Georgia while I was searching Pinterest and Google, and I found that they do a big fireworks display on the beach for New Years Eve. Sounded great to me! So, we booked a hotel for two nights and started our countdown.

We are friends with a couple that live in Florida, so we decided that we needed to see them while we are over that way. Eventually one thing led to another and our drive to Tybee Island became a full fledged road trip.

We started off by leaving Kansas on Thursday morning after my husband got off work and we headed to West Monroe, Louisiana for the night.

Our first roadside stop was in Paris, Texas so we could see the “Eiffel Tower”. This was a fun little stop and it’s also home of the Red River Valley Veterans Memorial. This memorial is gorgeous and such a great little place to stop.
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49175666_10215867158303963_399105180236251136_nFrom there we continued to West Monroe. The drive to Louisiana from Texas was beautiful. The roads weren’t busy at all, and I just stared at all the beautiful farmhouses and trees. There is something about beautiful white farmhouses with round columns that makes me want to drool.

We arrived in West Monroe around 6:00. If you didn’t know already, the show Duck Dynasty is/was filmed there. We used to watch it a few years ago, but we haven’t watched regular tv in a few years. The Duck Commander Warehouse/Store was closed by the time we got there, but we knew that was going to happen. This wasn’t really a destination, more of a pit stop to sleep for the night. However, I had spent 3 days drooling over the menu at Willie’s Duck Diner and trying to decide what to eat for dinner. So naturally we pulled into the parking lot and there was a sign on the door saying “Closed until further notice”. Apparently they are closed for remodeling, but there was nothing on their Facebook page or website about that! Ugh. Luckily there was a Logan’s Roadhouse in the same parking lot, and I’m always up for steak so we ate there. My electric lemonade was delicious by the way.49010281_10215867163024081_3224860659304890368_n

We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in West Monroe. Great hotel. The location felt pretty safe and we had no complaints! We love Holiday Inn Express. I always feel like its a safe bet and at least you can grab breakfast before you head out for the day.

Unless you leave the  hotel at 6 AM…. which we did, but that’s ok because we grabbed some coffee and hit the road. We stopped on the way out of town to snap a picture of the Duck Commander store.

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From there we worked our way on to Florida. We drove through Mississippi, and Alabama which wasn’t a bad drive. Still not a lot of traffic, but when we got to Mobile, Alabama we took a tunnel under the water and it basically gave me a mini panic attack. Thank God I wasn’t the one driving. I didn’t even know this was a thing! This girl that has been landlocked her entire life was freaking the hell out.
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We came out the other side and there was the sea. It was foggy and cloudy so the view wasn’t spectacular and I didn’t get any good pictures but I swear that salty air immediately cures all of my anxiety. For someone that’s only been to the beach once, I sure fell in love with the sea hard and fast. In Alabama I finally saw some Palm Trees, so of course I screamed like I was dying and Justin thought we were about to wreck and realized he should have brought duct tape for my mouth on this trip.

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It wasn’t too long from there before we were in Fort Walton Beach! I have a lot to say about Fort Walton so that will be in my next post! Stay tuned!