The Stratchan Carriage House - St. Simons Island, GA

Resume Normal Operations

Resume Normal Operations Sign

This antique nautical sign spoke to us when we spied it at the Antiques Show in the village over Memorial Day. I think it was because we had spent nearly a week of nearly perfect weather doing nothing much but eating, drinking, reading racy beach books, laughing with old friends, and lounging in the pool. Not even close to anything like our “normal” operation of carpools, work, and emails. Now we understand what the new “normal” will be…

‘To Do or Not To Do’ – Vacation Stress!

Do we go kayaking in the marsh? Should we check out Gogo’s latest jewelry creations at Redfern Village? What about a walk on East Beach? Or a nap on the veranda and then a quick trip to G.J. Ford’s bookstore to see if they have Island Time, the new book on the history of St. Simons Island with gorgeous photos by our friend Ben Galland? We could begin to think about dinner and the grocery store, or we could call Barbara Jeans for take out crab cakes. I can’t take this stress… guess I will jump in the pool and think about it while floating around and around.

Update for Traditions

Welcome to the Beach Sign

I hate change …… which explains why we own a historic house and we vacation in the same places. Of course, that, as Tevya would say, “is tradition!”  For many of you, our home has become a welcome tradition for your family, friends, and business associates. Yet updates are really good changes. At the Strachan Carriage House we replaced the finicky old hot tub with a new very large one; we swapped out the old patio cushions and pillows for brighter thicker ones; we replaced the worn out rose bushes with fresh herbs, and yesterday we replaced the three vintage ceiling fans on the second floor veranda with three new vintage ones. So our traditions can continue comfortably even with a few updates.

Birds of a Feather

Flying Bird

Speaking of birds, coastal Georgia has lots! Near our house we have spied ospreys in their nests, pelicans in formation just above the waves, seagulls swooping over the sparkling Sound, and (my favorite) the little piping plovers scurrying along the beach at low tide. Over 300 species of birds inhabit coastal Georgia’s shorelines, salt marshes, old rice fields, woodlands, tidal rivers, and freshwater wetlands. In the winter months we love to watch the migratory birds and waterfowl vacationing on our coast. For more info on coastal birds, go to www.georgiawildlife.com.

Visitor’s Favorites

Kid Swimming in Pool

Reading over our guestbook, we see that your Golden Isles favorites include — crab cakes at Barbara Jean’s; shrimping and sightseeing on the Lady Jane; riding bikes on the new SSI bike trails; climbing to the top of the lighthouse; catching sharks on the pier; visiting sea turtles at their hospital on Jekyll Island, shopping in the village, and the Ghost Tours. Just as many of you felt that being lazy by the pool was their favorite activity and that our home was “the perfect place to be lazy in.”  Let us help you indulge your favorites again in 2012 by booking today.

Give us the Scoop!

Our most recent scoops at SSI’s newest ice cream shops included: Peach milkshake served by the fresh young smiles at St. Simons Sweets; two scoops of pistachio on a cone from Zuzu’s savored while checking out the fish catch photos at the pier’s bait shop; one scoop of chocolate covered potato chip ice cream chased down with a scoop of Guinness ice cream (MooCow), and my family’s personal favorite — Dairy Queen’s chocolate dipped cone enjoyed at their picnic table under the love oaks at the end of Mallory Street. Delicious SSI!

Do you like ice cream? Of course! Who doesn’t? St. Simons currently has 5 GREAT new ice cream joints ALL within walking distance from the house.

Visit one, or ALL of the these ice cream shops and then tell us what you think!

Moo Cow Ice Cream
912.634.3874
535 Ocean Blvd

Yobe Frozen Yougurt
912.534.5500
122 Mallery Street

St. Simons Sweets
912.638.0150
229 Mallery Street

Zuzu’s
912.638.8655
119 Mallery Street

Dairy Queen
912.638.1765
501 Mallery Street

What Are You Reading?

Relaxing on Balcony

On our most recent trip to SSI, I found myself at the beach and no good books to read. I had finished The Fixer Upper the latest by Mary Kay Andrews, an old Greg Iles book about WWII, and The Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.  I had read Gary Pomerantz’s  Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn as background for an event I am coordinating at the ML King Jr. National Historic Site. After recently meeting SSI resident Reid Harris, I followed with interest his narrative on “How a Small Group of Legislators, Scientists and Concerned Citizens Helped Save 500,000 Acres of the World’s Most Productive Area” when Georgia enacted the Coastal Marshlands Protection Act in 1970. There were lots of old favorites by Carl Hiaissen, Ted Bell, and Clive Cussler in our library, but I was stumped. So send me your suggestions. I still have a couple weeks before the second book in Nora Roberts’ wedding trilogy comes out — and I can only re-read so many old Martha Stewart magazines.

SCH Guests Voted Best on the Island

Relaxing in Pool

It’s true. Our neighbors have unanimously told us that the families, girlfriends, golfing buddies, and business associates who stayed at the Strachan Carriage House were “the nicest renters.”  We agree because, after all, we have been lucky to rent to great people who love to do cool things with their friends and families.

Among our guests this year was a bio tech CEO and his wife who discovered sea pork on the beach and saw dolphins in the wild for the first time; an architecture student from Scotland who sketched an interior view of our home; a doctor and his dad training for a bicycle marathon to the summit of Mt. Ranier; the family of a NCIS graduate (yep, the real deal, not just our favorite tv show) who came to cheer on their nephew at his graduation from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center at Brunswick; one 9-yr old boy who asked his grandfather if they could rent our home “forever” because it was the best place for a vacation; another 9 yr old boy who caught his first shark (35 inches long) off the pier; two  generations of teachers who enjoyed reading their way through our library of great beach books;  a delightful retired IRS grandfather who had read item by item all the materials we sent him,  and a two-week old baby girl who arrived just in time so she wouldn’t miss accompanying her grandparents to the beach. And that doesn’t count all the aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings and business associates who got out of the pool long enough to enjoy great meals around the big oak table.

“Your renters sure love that pool,” remarked our neighbor Mr. Bill who walks his big brown dog every morning.  We do, too, and we’re glad we can share it with the nicest people to visit SSI.

Let’s keep our reputation going. Email today to come back next year, and tell a friend about our vacation home. But….shhh!… only tell  the nicest, coolest, and best renters just like you!  We have a reputation to maintain.