Why Didn't I Write About Tybee Island When I Had the Chance?

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Off the coast of Savannah

A couple of weeks ago I read a Hub of the Day on Tybee Island, Georgia. It was written by a lady who had just made her first visit to the island.

It was lovely. She did an excellent job. But I've been there a hundred times. My mother lives there. I've written a novel about it - well a novella. And the thought of writing a hub about it has flit through my mind a dozen times. I've always put it off because I was distracted by something else. Something I didn't know so much about. This lady wrote about her first visit, and it was the Hub of the Day! I kicked myself.

It is always interesting to see some place you know well through the eyes of someone who is seeing it for the first time. And this author was well-deserving of the HOD accolade. Truth be told, I couldn't write that hub. I've already seen the sunrise over the sea oats. I've seen the pelicans skim the surface of the water, then climb, turn and Kamikaze dive for the fish they sight. I've walked the north beach with a school of dolphins following me just out past the knee-high shallows. I've climbed the lighthouse and waited in line in June to eat the shrimp omelets at The Breakfast Club. I've fed the alligators and the cats at The Crab Shack. I've fought the traffic to see Fourth of July fireworks from the pier on July 3rd. I've seen a loaded tanker emerge around the north point like a newborn coming out of the womb.

I know Tybee. I love Tybee. Why didn't I write about Tybee when I had the chance to be first?

Well, there's room for all of us here on HubPages, isn't there? And there are still things I can tell you that a first-time visitor can't. Yes, the owner/chef of The Breakfast Club, Jodee Sadowsky, cooked for the John Kennedy wedding on Cumberland Island, just a little further south from Tybee. Yes, he's a Chicago Cubs fan, which doesn't keep the die-hard Braves fans of Savannah from waiting in line for his grits. But I can also tell you that anyone who orders a side besides grits to go with their eggs or pancakes has to pay an extra $1.50 for it. Good for Sadowsky, I say. I say, if you're going to skip the best thing on the menu, you ought to pay an ignorance fine. What a first-timer also wouldn't know, is that it is worth the extra wait to hold out for a seat at the counter. For no more money you get the running banter between the cooks, which is as good as the old opening monologue between Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon.

Yes, they do fireworks on the main beach around the pier on the third of July. But on New Year's Eve if you pick a spot somewhere on the north side of the island, you can see the fireworks from both River Street in Savannah and from about a half dozen sites over on Hilton Head across the channel in South Carolina. They look like quarter-sized kaleidoscopes popping up in the distance. Happy New Year and then some!

On the weekend before Memorial Day the island hosts a Beach Bum Parade, which is little more than a glorified water fight. It began several years ago when the local men's baseball team finally won an annual tournament. The players took to the main drag, Butler Avenue, down the length of the island with water balloons thrown, not only at each other, but also at the unsuspecting bystanders who were foolish enough to come out and watch the spectacle carried on by - supposedly - grown men. From there it grew to an annual event complete with floats fitted with water cannons and such. Drenching the audience is the goal and has been elevated to an art form.

They tried holding the parade on the actual weekend of Memorial Day, but too many tourists didn't get it. It wasn't the same. So they moved it back to the week before, and the locals revel in the madness. My daughter-in-law and I attended one year. We picked the elevation of a bus stop bench to stay above the fray, armed with an umbrella to protect us from the deluge that would pass us by on the street as the floats went past our own personal viewing stand.

We might as well have painted a huge, red bull's eye on our backs. In our innocence we stood there enjoying each float more than the last, when a bunch of guys snuck around from behind us and pummelled us with water balloons from below the protection of our umbrella. The only purpose the umbrella served was to catch their attention as weak prey. We had to flee to our car and lock the doors to escape them. It was all good. Served us right for thinking we could stay high and dry at the Beach Bum Parade

What they absolutely have to do on Tybee is stop making movies there. Every holiday the island is swarmed by tourists. Every three-day weekend is worse than the last. Now, I'm sure these are all perfectly lovely people who have every right to spend their holidays anywhere in American that they choose. But this is not Panama City or Orlando. No building may be built higher than three stories. Hotels are limited to the main strip near the pier. Most of the housing is individual homes or condos. There is a city ordinance against music after 11 p.m. and groups of more than fifty congregating even in a private domain.

But where movies are made, movie stars follow. It is well known that the island is the home, rather one of the homes of Sandra Bullock. She fell in love with the low country making a movie with Ben Affleck a decade or so ago. What is not so well known is that she is hardly ever here, but her pine trees are growing unabated to a height that is taking all her neighbor's views of the north beach. And most of those folks live here full-time. Maybe she'll read this hub and do something for her island community, like top out her trees. The neighbors have all benefited from her ability to buy, not just a beach house, but the three lots surrounding it. That luxury is helping to preserve some of the view where anyone else would have built three other three-story houses on those lots by now. So there are pluses and minuses to having a movie star in the neighborhood. Tybee is known for its tolerance, and there are really no hard feelings.

Tybee is also becoming a location of choice for weddings. We had my first son's wedding there two years ago and had the time of our lives. All you need is a permit from Tybee City Hall that guarantees you a slice of the beach reserved for your ceremony. There's a catch though. They won't give you a permit without confirmation the bride and groom have undergone premarital counselling. You've got to love a town that feels that strongly about insuring young couples get off to a good start..

My one warning, no, my two warnings are these. First, pay to park. Everywhere. Anywhere. I've spent my inheritance on parking fines on Tybee Island. You can park virtually nowhere for free. My parents purchase a resident's yearly parking pass for one hundred dollars, and we try to use their vehicle whenever possible when we venture from their house because, on our own, we can't seem to keep from finding yet another way to snag a parking ticket. Beware.

My second warning concerns the best beach on the island: south beach. It is the most fun at low tide because the sand is shifting on the island and creates these wonderful sandbars and tidal pools down at the lower end. The horseshoe crabs and sand sharks are easily visible, and if you venture out to the furthest sandbar, you feel like you are walking on the surface of the moon, but with sunshine and a welcoming breeze.

Here's the other warning. You'll be out on the sandbar and suddenly you notice a lifeguard from his perch on the beach headed your way. You wonder what in the world his problem is when you realize - you are the one with the problem. The tide is coming in, and you are all but stranded out on that sandbar. And the current between the sandbar and the beach has gone from being a little bit of a tug when you crossed it to becoming incredibly strong. By the time the lifeguard reaches you, he and his safety float are a sight for sore eyes. The under currents all along the beach have the potential to be life-threatening. Pay attention to yellow and red flags - and the tides.

And now that I've finally written my hub about Tybee Island, a word to the wise. If you have an idea for a hub - write it. Do it today before someone else writes it, and you have to read a Hub of the Day about it.

And do visit Tybee Island, aka the Redneck Riviera. Just, please, not on a national holiday. Any other time, I'll meet you at Hugapoo's and buy you a cold beer.



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On Amazon by Kathleen Cochran

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Comments 42 comments

Gulf Coast Sun profile image

Gulf Coast Sun 4 years ago from Gulf of Mexico

Nicely written article on a beautiful Island. Love Tybee Island and love Savannah. Kathleen


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Gulf Coast Sun: Thanks and welcome to my hubs! Hope you enjoy more of them.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

Sounds like a beautiful place to escape from the world for a bit of peace. You certainly convinced me that this is the place to visit.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

teaches12345: It absolutely is one of those places that improves with every visit. Hope I didn't whine too much, but have you ever sat on an idea until finally you see someone else run with it? Why do we do that?!

If you do go, The Crab Shack is less busy and just as good at lunchtime and Spanky's has the best shrimp on the island.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

Kathleen, I can relate to your thoughts. Yes, I have seen some ideas float across my mind and then discover that someone else actually acted upon them. Did they read my mind? Just goes to prove that we are smarter than we think??!!


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

From your mouth to God's ears.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

Oh, the hub it would have been. That is such a true statement. There are a few topics that sailed before I could write about them too. I am sure your hub would've been awesome.


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 years ago from Midwest

I love Tybee and it is truly one of the most beautiful places on earth. It's like a second home we've been there many times also and we always go in the off season to enjoy its quiet serenity. I would love to live there one day and your hub has made me miss it even more :)


TToombs08 profile image

TToombs08 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

Most excellent hub, Kathleen and I absolutely adore your message. A lesson learned. VUM!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

Bravo! You might not have been first to write about Tybee but you've certainly given us an insider's view of it along with great tips and interesting and potentially life saving information.

My Tybee hub was the one you talked about and I thank you for your kind words. The great thing about HubPages is that there's always room to expound upon a topic as long as it's not just a repetition of what's been said in previous hubs and you've certainly managed to do that with this engaging article.

Voted up across the board.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Tammyswallow: Thanks for the encouragement. "He who hesitates is lost."

ChristinS: It's wonderful to have a place like that, that feels like home every time you return.

TToombs08: Between us we'll get this thing figured out one day, right?

Happyboomernurse: I tried to link my hub to yours and it wouldn't do it. You did such a lovely job. I hope I didn't sound like I was whining too much. I'd still like to link our hubs.


TToombs08 profile image

TToombs08 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

You know it, Kathleen! :)


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

https://wanderwisdom.com/travel-destinations/Ten-F...

Tried to link to that HOD when I first wrote this hub and for some reason couldn't get the links to work. Still can't. So, another way to skin a cat, try this URL. It's worth it.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

Hello Again,

Thanks so much for trying to link to my Tybee hub and for including a URL to it in the above comment.

I also added a link to this hub from mine as I think anyone interested in visiting Tybee would benefit from the "insider's" information that you've written here.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Now, that's generous. Thank you.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Wonderful essay on Tybee Island. You obviouls love it and know it well. But I wanted more pictures. I wanted to swept away visually. You know we apprehend things through all of our senses...more pictures please. :) Sharing, of course!


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

You asked for it - you got it!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

What a stunning Hub! Such terrific pictures and such gorgeous seascapes and landscapes. I should have asked sooner. :) And I am so glad I did. :)


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

I'm glad you did too! See, you must go with me sometime.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

Love the photos you added, especially the romantic wedding picture at the end.

You've also captured the dramatic, colorful, mood changing skies very well!


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Happyboomernurse: Thanks HBN! As you can see, my friend phdast7 encouraged me to add them. The wedding picture is my son, Josh, and his bride of two years, Amy. This is a beautiful place for a fun wedding. Our whole family and closest friends came down for the entire week prior to the ceremony. It was wonderful.


xstatic profile image

xstatic 3 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

Up all the way across on this one.That sounds like a wonderful place to visit, and all that "inside" info you imparted to us made it even better.

I would love to be there when Sandra comes to visit though...


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

She is almost never there, but her pine trees are getting tall enough to take my Dad's view! Still a wonderful place. Thanks for the read and the comments.


Kyle 3 years ago

It's also known for having a nuke buried in the mud.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

OK I'll bite. What's that story?!


Vista15 profile image

Vista15 3 years ago from Columbus, OH

Oh, Kathleen! What about the houses on Tybee??? I read a whole book on it. A DECORATOR BOOK! It's been a while, but some woman restored all kinds of these little houses and made them rentals, I think. I've never been there, but I sure remember that book! And I've been reading decorator books since I bought my house (in 2001)...


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

They are called Mermaid Cottages, and talk about making a silk purse out of a cow's ear! Amazing. There are some charming homes since Tybee is primarily residential. Thanks for the read and the comments.


Vista15 profile image

Vista15 3 years ago from Columbus, OH

Well... there's your NEXT Hub about Tybee. Hee hee...


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York

I missed the HOTD but so enjoyed this one! Your personal knowledge can't be beat, not to mention your sense of humor and your outstanding photos!

Of course, now I want to go to Tybee Island. Maybe you could get a job there with the tourist department.

Voted all the way across!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Kathleen.......Not another great hub about a FABULOUS place to visit? I have a list now.....thanks to HP......that I must study, research and decide on!!

Seriously.....the reality is, I can't live long enough nor AFFORD every trip I'd like to take!

Thanks to you...Tybee Island has been placed quite HIGH on the list! Next time you go there, tell their Tourism Director to pay up for the wonderful job you do singing the praises of Tybee Island. It sounds positively spectacular...and the pictures!! Thanks, Kathleen..UP ++++


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 2 years ago

Well I just hit all the buttons , how can you go wrong sweety ! ....Take me , take me ! Sounds like one cool place and you have a connection there too !......Write that blockbuster now , YOU can do it !......Ed[ it makes me think of so many movies , " The prince of tides " , " The notebook ", etc. come on you can do it !........:-}


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

tillsontitan: You are in line right behind me for a job of any kind on Tybee!!! But I'll buy you a beer at Hug-a-poo's when we get there!

fpher48: I have a list too - take a look at my "Where Would You Go If Money Were No Object." I'd love to see your list and seer if we can book a cruise together. Oh, a hubber cruise - how much fun would that be?


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

ahorseback: From your mouth to God's ears - thanks for the encouragement. What's the story behind your handle/callsign, whatever?


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 2 years ago

Well , at first it was to write anonymously ? Now though , I have let a few people know my name . of course , there is no better place than a-horseback anyway ! LOL ....in fact , my first thought at your hub was .......What about the island ponies on these islands ? .......are they there ?


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Cumberland Island has wild ponies. It is further south of Tybee. Never been, which is a shame for a Georgian!


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 2 years ago

To me there is something about standing near a wild pony , Whether at Cape Hattarass , , in the Black Hills or Wyoming , You gotta love the islands though !..........:-]


Your Cousins profile image

Your Cousins 2 years ago from Atlanta, GA

I love visiting Tybee Island and had one of the best meals there when we were lucky enough to arrive on Fried Chicken Dinner Night at the American Legion #154.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Your Cousins: I don't know if it's just a Savannah thing, but we had a caterer's fried chicken at my son's wedding on Tybee, and I still have dreams about it. It was that good! Thanks for the comments, and welcome to my hubs!


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 15 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

I wrote this two years ago. My mother has passed and her house has been sold. But I'm here again this week with my grown children and their families. It's still a little bit of Heaven.


bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 15 months ago from Massachusetts

Wonderful hub Kathleen. We have never been to Tybee Island but perhaps in the future. Our son lives in Georgia so on our next visit maybe we'll try to get there for a few days. It certainly looks and sounds wonderful. Have a great weekend.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 15 months ago from Queensland Australia

This is a beautiful hub about a lovely part of the world. Your photos are stunning Kathleen. It would have been a little (not sure of the right word) maybe disappointing to see someone else write a hub a out a place so dear to you and receive Hub of the Day for it. But that being a couple of years ago, I suppose you have moved on. Well done with this great hub of your own.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 15 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

I was only disappointed in myself for putting off such a rich topic. Sometimes a little kick in the butt is a good thing! Glad you got a glimpse of my favorite place on the planet. I just got home from five days there! It never disappoints.

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