When Eric sets the alarm for 5:30am, it’s because it’s “time to make the donuts.” But yesterday it was to see what Karin calls the cinematic event of Sunrise over Tybee.
We packed the cooler with yogurt, seeds and berries and the beach bag with towels, sunscreen and paddleball and biked back to North Beach where a handful of people had started to gather in their comfy clothes, with cameras and coffee for the 6:09am morning show.
The sky had variable cloud formations with rain squalls 10 miles out to sea, high cirrus layer that would dissipate and a layer of cumulus that were building.
The shipping lanes seem to operate 24/7 coming in and out of Savannah. We saw tankers as big as carriers making their way into port, carrying containers presumably filled with stuff for us to consume and tugs pulling barges stacked with pipe out to sea. It made us stop and think about how things and people move about the planet, living lives, earning livings, making possibilities for themselves and others.
With the crescendo of this cinematic event called sunrise, it was time for morning workout. We’ve been waiting to use these 1970s vintage Doug Russell championship paddles we bought a year ago at an estate sale in Chevy Chase. Amazon delivered the requisite ball and we staked our own paddleground. You have to play the volley at high tide. Not enough hard sand for bounce with the waves and morning shell-seekers creeping into the game. Low tide is long ball paddle tennis. High tide is precision volley. It’s also really tiring so we basked in the luxury of a mid-morning nap back at the tiny house, re-fueled with lunch and made our way over to Sea Kayak Georgia to see about an excursion to Little Tybee.
2pm is high sun and low tide, and at 97 degrees the process of biking 4 miles to the put-in, navigating the route to and from Little Tybee while the tide was coming in and then baking 4 miles home helped us make the difficult decision to go shopping instead.
First stop was Tybean Art and Coffee Bar for an iced dark roast drip with milk and vanilla served with beachshack vibe. We sipped and savored and checked out the art for sale, watched souvenir shells delivery, shop-hopped and rode home with a pair of clay earrings and dinner on the brain. We also got to see the delivery of inventory to the tourist shops – bins and bins of shells and trinkets from a massive truck.
These past two weeks have been an experiment in health restoration, trading sugar, chips and beer for fruits, vegetables and african rooibos tea. We ate no meals in restaurants, we drank not one craft beer. Instead we meal planned with the mindset “food is fuel.” So our last supper in the tiny house celebrated a winning experiment with turkey, organic butter lettuce and handmade mango salsa with a lime/honey vinaigrette. Re-fueled, we were back on the bikes heading to T.S. Chu department store for a bag of boiled peanuts.
Boiled peanuts? We’d seen the roadside signs from Pensacola to West Point Lake to Tybee Island. Google told us they are an addictive southern snack, available from May to November and best eaten with a cold beer, sweet tea or a Coca Cola. When we learned that Chu’s, the landmark department store since 1930 served boiled peanuts and other Made in Georgia foods, we hightailed it through the backstreets of Tybee to make their 6pm close. The friendly cashier said the peanuts are delivered “green,” not the color, but raw from a farm 2 hours north. They take three hours to boil and make fresh batches throughout the day. We opted for the small, $2.99 container with a diet coke and added on 2 jars of candied jalapeños from a Valdosta cannery. A short bike back to the pier, boiled peanuts have the taste and texture of lima beans. Sheri enjoyed them more than Eric, but the best part of the excursion turned out to be the cool breeze and Sirius radio classic rock, playing live albums and feeling like an outdoor concert.
Unwilling to let this day end, we biked back to the tiny house, slipped into bathing suits and went back for one more round of paddleball and one more dip in the ocean. We watched the sun set, used up the very last muscle memory in our bodies then bobbed and waved until only the glow from the lighthouse would help us find our way home.
Between the sun, sand, waves and plethora of activity, we’ve concluded that, without a doubt, we are beach people.