This is part two of my post about our trip to St. Simons Island. Read the first part here.
During our visit to St. Simons Island last week, we saw many trees covered with Spanish moss. Apparently, the plant is neither Spanish nor moss, but that doesn't matter to me. I like its draped, languid, relaxed quality, which pairs so well with hot summer days in the coastal South.
The Golden Isles make me want to slow down and stay awhile.
After a morning of shopping and sloshing in the rain (and eating, too), we continued our site-seeing with a stop at the First African Baptist Church. The front-gabled church with round arch windows and an off-center steeple was built in 1869 by former slaves of nearby plantations. Members would travel from all over the island to attend services here until other churches were built in the late 1800s. It is still an active congregation today.
Next we stopped at Christ Church Frederica, which was the site of the first sermons preached to native islanders by Charles and John Wesley, two English brothers who founded Methodism in America in the 1700s. The first church building, built in 1820, was partially destroyed by occupying Union troops during the Civil War.
In 1884, the current church with its beautiful stained glass windows was built. Dotted with trees, the grounds also include a cemetery of graves of early settlers. It's easy to see why it's one of St. Simons Island's most popular landmarks.
Across the street from the church is Wesley Gardens, a memorial garden and 18-foot Celtic cross dedicated to the Wesley brothers' ministry in St. Simons. Pathways wind through two acres of land filled with native trees, plants, and more than 4,000 azaleas. We had just missed the peak of the azaleas' blooming period, but the remaining faded blossoms gave us an inkling of how stunning their beauty must have been.
After relaxing for a while, we finished our day sharing a delicious dinner at Halyards with our friends, Scott and Debbie. Recounting all that we saw made me glad that we didn't let a little rain keep us inside.
And, of course, the trip was all the more special because of the time we spent with friends.
We're planning to go back in the fall, so stay tuned for more on St. Simons Island. And maybe then the forecast will be sunny.
Have you ever dealt with rain or any type of bad weather on vacation? Where were you? Did you enjoy the trip anyway? Let me know in the comments below.
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