We headed over to Jekyll Island yesterday to ride bicycles. This was our “anniversary day out”, as Chris and I had just celebrated 7 years of wedded bliss on the 18th of December.
Those are our borrowed bikes on the borrowed bike rack on the back of the borrowed car!
Side Story: That rack took my husband – the PhD – and my brother-in-law – the med school student – 45 minutes to hook up. For starters, they were using a different rack but realized that one of the pins was missing. They did all sorts of wonky stuff with wires, cables, and odds and ends to try to hold it up. In the end, it dawned on them that there was a second, completely functional bicycle rack with all of its pins in the garage right next to the original one. They’d even taken some pins from the second rack to see if they would fit the first one. It wasn’t til 30 minutes into their tinkerings that my husband got the bright idea, “Hey – why don’t we just use the other rack?!” Silly guys, but I know that I’ve done similar stuff 🙂
We headed down Frederica Road at 9am – Joe’s usual nap time. The plan was for him to sleep during the 40 minute drive to Jeykll and then continue napping while we drove around the periphery of the island, scoping out the best spots to park and ride.
First up – we had to make a coffee stop for Chris. I stayed in the car with Joe as Chris ran in the cafe. Close to 20 minutes later (!!!) Chris came out. “Wow – it’s really cool in there,” he says. “You should check it out sometime.” I started laughing – there I was in the car with a fussy, tired baby, and Chris was meandering about. He apparently stopped to use the bathroom, and then got sidetracked when he saw that they were using an aeropress to make the coffee, took a little detour through their fair trade store, and then started talking about how they were using an ipad with it’s own little card reader instead of a cash register… and so on and so forth. I said, “How ’bout we get this show on the road, hmmm?” and we headed back toward Jekyll.
We didn’t get far, though.
About 4 minutes away from the coffee shop Chris yelped, “Oh no! I forgot to pay!” That’s right, lovely readers. In the coffee shop for nearly 20 minutes, and he walks out with stolen goods. We make a full circle at the next roundabout and headed back to the coffee shop.
So, we left the house at 9am, but it wasn’t till 9:45am that we were officially “on the road” for Jekyll.
Thankfully, Joe fell asleep almost immediately after our 2nd departure from the coffee shop. He didn’t rouse till just as we pulled into a beach-side parking lot. Perfect timing.
Chris hooked up the bicycle trailer and we were off!
It was beautiful – the weather was slightly overcast and the bicycle trails ran alongside the beach, through the woods, and past various historical markers. I was loving it. Joe (and as a result Chris, who was pulling the trailer) was not.
What started as fussing turning to yelling. Then crying. We were on the watch for a bench or a picnic table or even a large rock where we could pull over and I could feed Joe. In the meantime, Chris started doing whatever he could to entertain Joe and keep him from crying. Of course, when you’re riding a bicycle, you don’t have many options. The one thing that works (almost) every time is for one of us to sing. And that’s just what Chris did.
There we were on our bicycles, Joe was fussing, Chris was singing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” at the top of his lungs, and I was giggling – then all out laughing. I’m still laughing even now as I remember Chris gasping for breath, trying to pull that bicycle trailer while singing every baby song in the book. He finally started making up his own lyrics. One of my favorites was to the tune of “Hush, Little Baby, Don’t Say a Word”. Chris changed the lyrics mid-way through:
Daddy’s gonna buy you a diet Coke
If that diet Coke gets drunk, daddy’s gonna go and hit that punk
If that punk wants to fight
Daddy’s gonna put you to bed for the night…
It went on and on. He sang about beef jerky, Quirky Turkey, buying a boxing ring, and then morphed into:
The baby on the bike goes “wah wah wah, wah wah wah, wah wah wah”
The baby on the bike goes “wah wah wah”, on Jekyll Island.
The daddy on the bike goes, “Please be quiet! Please be quiet! Please be quiet!”
The daddy on the bike goes, “Please be quiet!” on Jekyll Island.
Folks, I was dying laughing.
We finally saw a sign for a picnic spot and I aimed our bikes toward it. Joe was happy to finally eat, and Chris was happy to give his voice a rest.
After eating, we walked over to the horse paddock in the same area. This was Joe’s first time to see horses up close.
Yes – that is my son with his wide open mouth on the railing. What you don’t see is the next shot, with me wildly waving my arms and Chris jerking Joe up in the air, resulting in tears and sadness on the baby’s part. What mean, cruel parents we are for not allowing him to gum random metal objects.
We hopped back on the bicycles and rode around a bit more. I wanted to go further, but Joe wasn’t having it. We turned around and made a loop back to the beach. About 5 minutes from our car, Joe started to fuss again. Chris sang some more and I laughed some more and Joe cried some more. It might sound awful to some people, but I was having a blast. Many good memories were made 🙂
Once Joe was happy, the bicycles were loaded up, and we were in the car, Chris announced that we were headed to “Willie’s Wee-Nee Wagon” in Brunswick.
Side Story: The very first time that I came to St. Simons Island was over Purdue University’s spring break in 2004. We went to “Willie’s Wee-Nee Wagon” during that trip to pick up some lunch for Michael, Chris’ brother, who was a junior in high school. Chris thought it would be fun to show me this local restaurant while simultaneously surprising Michael with food. We pulled up, I squinched my nose and eyes at the sight, and said that I wasn’t hungry. Chris got an order of food for Michael and some food for himself, including french fries. We were about 2 miles away from the restaurant when I ate one of Chris’ fries. So good! We ended up turning around, driving back, and getting an order of fries for me. That’s how yummy they are. I can’t vouch for the rest of the food, but I love their french fries.
So, “Willie’s Wee-Nee Wagon” it was. Joe quickly conked out in the back seat and we headed toward Brunswick. Chris was practically salivating at the thought of their pork chop sandwiches. It wasn’t long before we’d arrived.
$2,000 Cash If You Can Find a Better Tasting Pork Chop Sandwich in Glynn County!
Chris hopped out of the car and headed up to the order window. Joe snoozed in the backseat. I was a responsible parent and didn’t leave him to go take pictures until after Chris returned.
All that bicycle-riding had him completely tired out
Chris picked up our order and we ate in the car. Joe was in dreamland and I didn’t feel like hauling him out of the car seat just for the pleasure of sitting on a “Willie’s Wee-Nee Wagon” picnic table.
Eating the pork chop sandwich
Yes, that is a bottle of ketchup sitting on the console in the car. Needed it for our fries!
The fries – so good! But definitely a once-a-year kind of thing with all that grease 🙂
Last but not least, I decided to order a sweet tea.
Now, for those of you who are unfamiliar, sweet tea is a necessity in the South. When you ask for tea down here, people assume you’re asking for sweet tea. If you don’t want sweet tea, you ask for “unsweet tea”.
I am not a Southerner, but I married into a very Southern family. I figured that I’d get a sweet tea just to remind my taste buds of what they’d been missing (the last time I had a sweet tea was probably 7+ years ago).
I took one fairly-large sip of that sweet tea and nearly lost a tooth from all the sugar. Good night! I was transported back to my mother retelling one of her friend’s recipes for sweet tea: 1 gallon of water, tea bags, and 2 C of white, granulated sugar. I’m pretty certain that their recipe was closer to 1 C of sugar to every 2 C of tea. I could very nearly feel the cavities forming.
Turns out that 1 sip was enough. Chris drank about half of the rest, and then we both decided we’d had enough sugar
for the next 8 years for the day.
That was our anniversary day: bicycles, Joe, made-up lyrics to nursery rhymes, and “Willie’s Wee-Nee Wagon”. It might not sound like the perfect day for many of you, but it was the perfect day for us!