I think the best decision we've made during this pregnancy was the decision to take a babymoon. With a lot of family commitments and hectic spring work schedules, we had a window of a few days in mid-February to take a short trip. With my dad being really sick right now and Jay having a couple of major trials during March and April, I felt a little guilty about planning this trip. However, it was worth it to step away from our normal routine (which hasn't been so normal recently) for a few days and spend some uninterrupted time together.
We had a few items on our wish list for the trip -
- Somewhere warm-ish
- Short travel time and minimal or no time change
- Relaxing location but options for outdoor activities
- Near the ocean
We settled on Cumberland Island, Georgia, and it was the PERFECT choice for our babymoon!
We lucked out that the temperatures were about 10 degrees warmer than the average for February, so while it wasn't hot, it got into the 70s every day we were there. We were outside about 75% of the time, and it felt great outside.
The Jacksonville Airport is only about an hour away from the ferry that leaves from Fernandina Beach to runs to Cumberland Island, so we were able to easily fly from Lexington and rent a cheap rental car to drive to the ferry. The cost of a rental car was about the same as it would be to take an Uber each way, and it was nice to have the flexibility of driving ourselves and making a couple of stops on our way there and back.
Our last few vacations have been in more mountainous areas and very active (as in we averaged about 10 miles of hiking each day). While we didn't want to go just lay by the beach for a few days, we wanted a location where we had the option to lounge around but also be moderately active. Neither of us is good at sitting still for long periods of time.
Cumberland Island checked all of the boxes on our wishlist. It is a National Seashore and is only accessible by a ferry. There are several camping options on the island, but there is only one hotel - the Greyfield Inn. Camping is definitely not my forte, so we opted for the Greyfield Inn. It is an all-inclusive inn (there are no other restaurants on the island). The accommodations were timeless, and the staff's attention to detail was impeccable. There are no TVs or wifi, and that alone allowed us to completely disconnect. It was elegant without being stuffy.
We spent three full days on the island, but we could have easily stayed for a fourth day and still found plenty to do. Since it is secluded and has limited activities, three days was a good amount of time to disconnect from reality, explore everything we wanted to see, and feel recharged upon leaving.
The inn offers various cultural and naturalist tours of the island, and we took a couple of those. We also rode bikes to different sites on the island. Some of the more notable sites within biking distance to the inn are the Plum Orchard Mansion and the Dungeness Ruins. On our bike rides, we saw tons of wildlife - wild pigs, horses, armadillos, alligators, eagles, and deer. We filled in our remaining time with hikes, more bike rides, kayak trips, walks on the beach, and a few hours of reading on the beach or front porch.
We also ate - a lot! The meals were not what I expected of an all-inclusive. The food was very fresh with mostly sustainable and organic ingredients, and the menus were varied each day. Dinner in particular was an experience since guests share communal tables and are served an appetizer, entree, and dessert. It is book-ended by happy hour hors d'oeuvres and post-dinner coffee and tea. The staff was very accommodating of any dietary restrictions or preferences. One of our favorite dining experiences was the Saturday evening oyster roast where we shucked fresh oysters right off of the grill, and the staff even made sure there were plenty of well-done ones, so I could eat them too.
I'm already thinking about the next time we can return!