He spent the week planning and trying not to slip up and tell me where we were going. As I was packing and trying to figure out what to wear for the drive to our destination, he told me to wear something "transitional" so that we could walk around during the day and in case we couldn't make it back to the hotel in time, it needed to be able to turn into something dressy for the "event" that night. After much deliberation, I finally found something transitional enough that I could change into heels and a nice jacket, re-do my hair and jewelry, and turn it into fanciness. Kind of. Its hard to pack for an unknown destination!
We got an early start on Saturday morning and headed to Coffee Fox on Broughton to get a Mexican Mocha for the road.
I chatted so much in the car that before I knew it, I noticed that we were on Golden Isles Parkway. St. Simons?! Yes...I was correct. We had an oceanfront room at the King and Prince (nice job, Josh) and we got to check in as soon as we arrived. So... the fretting over my transitional outfit was all for nothing.
Once we got settled, we decided to walk around a little and then find somewhere to eat for lunch. We strolled on down to the pier where there were all kinds of cute shops. One being a thrift store so of course I was in heaven. I almost talked Josh into buying this retro maroon leather jacket (for him). Snazzy, right? But in the end, it was a no-go.
We ate lunch at the famous Barbara Jean's. All I could think about was the last time I had been there when I was approximately 15. There is this dessert called "Chocolate Stuff" that is to die for. Its like chunks of brownie tossed in a bowl with warm uncooked brownie batter...topped with whipped cream. I scarfed down my grilled tomato and cheese sandwich just so I could get to dessert. I ended up with a to-go box full of chocolate gooeyness that I absolutely could not finish. (I can't quite explain the look on his face in this picture collage...)
A little more shopping and sight seeing after lunch, then it was back to the room to rest up and change for "the event". After we got all fixed up, he told me that we would walk to the Solarium at the King and Prince. I saw a few other hotel-stayers dressed up and walking in the same direction. What could it be? Once we walked in the door, we were given name tags and showed to a room where hors d'oeurves were being offered and there were tables set up for what looked to be 5 courses or more. Turns out, Josh had gotten free tickets to what was called, North Meets South: A Beautiful Culinary Affair.
This was a fundraiser for a teacher who supports education in Nicaragua. She wanted to make sure the kids there were given books to provide an education. At the same time, Josh works for a company called N'Laws which donated all the produce for the event. So, it was a birthday/work/fundraiser/cooking class/surprise. Lots of things all rolled in to one. Chef Darin from Savannah who used to host cooking classes at the Mansion was the chef from the South....then The Kilted Chef was the one from the North. He specialized in mussels and lobster. The courses were rotated North, South, North, South. For each course, the chef would come out and give a demo and talk about what we were eating and how it was prepared. We learned lots of tips from how to properly slice a tomato to answering myths about whether lobsters screamed or not when you put them in a pot of boiling water. We even made some new friends while we were there.
Everything we ate was delicious, not to mention, paired with the appropriate wine. Holy moly. The servings were heavily poured.
After we rolled our way out of the building, Josh decided that we should find the hotel hot tub. Did I mention that it was not very close to our room. Did I also mention that it was in the 30's outside? Imagine the walk back to our room after that? The heavens were looking out for me because once we froze our way over there, the hot tub was not hot. Darn. We couldn't get in.
On Sunday morning, we ate breakfast at the 4th of May, then I got a massage at the hotel spa while Josh played golf. He gave me the car keys and I shopped around town after my most relaxing spa experience. Not a bad compromise if you ask me!
On our way out, we stopped at Southern Soul for some BBQ. The owners sat at our table during the fundraiser and we heard that it had been featured on the Food Network, so we decided to give it a shot. I would HIGHLY recommend it if you are ever making your way through St. Simons. Its a hole in the wall, but sometimes those are the best!
What a nice birthday treat! Its hard to get back in the groove of reality after a trip like this.