Making Lemonade on Jekyll Island

IMG_0378-634Swinging on Jekyll Island

With all the beauty of Jekyll Island, Georgia, it’s natural landscape, beautiful beach, amazing sunsets – this photo will always remain my favorite from Georgia’s Golden Isles.


It’s pretty common to hear that we should all remember to stay flexible when traveling and as those moms out there are prone to say…keep our patience hats on tight.

If it can go wrong, it will.

While we’ve only spent a few nights previously on Jekyll Island, we had a ball and we were all looking forward to another night’s stay on our way up the coast from a recent road trip to Walt Disney World.

Like good travel agents we planned ahead – although on our chosen Jekyll Island weekend, there we two weddings and a conference on the small island, and nearly every room on the island was booked – including our favorite from past stays. We made a reservation with a small hotel, albeit one with a decent reputation and part of much larger hotel group.

We had no worries at all about the room.

When we showed up that changed rather drastically.

We won’t name names (unless you’re a friend, client, or reader and are headed to the island and then we will absolutely not let you stay at this place) but it was a disaster from the moment we stepped on the property. The place was a tad “sketchy” as the kids say, and our room had some serious issues with the door to the point where we couldn’t even open it wide enough to get in.

The worker at the front desk essentially said “tough” she didn’t know how to fix it, didn’t know where her maintenance man was, and she didn’t have another room to give us. The owners and managers were out of town and couldn’t be reached.

The entire island was booked and we no longer had a place to stay.

What did we do?


While I was ready to lose my temper, for once common sense and decency got hold of me, Jennifer and I conferred for a few minutes, we said to ourselves:

Travel Agents Heal Thyselves!

By this time it was late afternoon, the temperature was perfect, the sun was tracking low for setting, and the Saturday afternoon crowds had headed off to prepare for the evening.


We drove a short way down the beach to Red Bug Motors Pizza Pub.

We sat on the deck and the kids decided that the playground adjacent to Red Bug was the best in the world – it had four monkey bars! It seems monkey bars have been banned in North Carolina. Everyone at Red Bug was wonderful, the beer was cold, and the pizza was amazing. Jenn booked us another room at a better and much less expensive hotel in nearby Brunswick and all was right in the world.

The kids declared that we were taking lemons and making lemonade! And they kept asking for just a few more minutes on the playground.

Our kids are growing up at an amazing fast pace. Everyone tells you that’s how it happens, but you never seem to believe it until it’s actually happening to you.

Somehow travel seems to help seal those wonderful memories of growing up more permanently into who you are. That photo…a little less sharp than it should be, a little less than well composed, much less than perfect…and the scene it portrays will stay with me for a long time to come.


We left Jekyll Island as the sun was setting and settled into a perfect room for the evening.

Next time things go wrong when you’re traveling, make a little lemonade. You never know how great it might taste!

And don’t forget to:

Relax…you CAN get there from here!