Tybee Island Sleepover

February 11, 2014


Tybee Isand beach house of Mary Kay Andrews. - Leslie Anne TarabellaWhat fun I’ve had on the first ever Tybee Island Sleepover!
Twenty ladies who write lifestyle, food, craft and decorating blogs were invited to visit this
charming island off the Georgia coast.
Mermaid Cottages hosted us in a variety of adorable homes which are for rent year round.
Our accommodations were spaced throughout the tree shaded lanes on the three mile long island.  Tim’s Bike and Beach Gear gave us bicycles to make traveling easy (and burn the thousand of calories we ingested) and spent several days shopping and exploring the fun businesses and tourist attractions.


Tybee Island - Leslie Anne Tarabella
Bottom left was one of our favorite new dishes, an asparagus and crab appetizer
Even though it is considered “off season,” there was more than enough to do, and the weather was fabulous. Liz, at The Visitor’s Center (above, on the top right), said there are only 3,500 permanent residents on the island, but during the summer months, that number leaps when up to 19,000 cars a day cross the bridge to enjoy the good Tybee life.
Although I live on the Gulf Coast where we boast some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, I was completely impressed with Tybee Island. Wide beaches, historic areas, and charming neighborhoods all within a quick 15 minute drive to Savannah make Tybee Island the perfect vacation spot any time of the year.
Tybee Island - Leslie Anne Tarabella
Their low (7%) sales tax (compared to our 9 and even 10% in some places) make shopping on Tybee Island a treat while their regulations prohibiting buildings from exceeding three stories, keep the big name resorts out of the way and the smaller hotels lend the feel of a charming, old vacation spot.

Back in the day bakery in Savannah Ga with Mary Kay Andrews - Leslie Anne Tarabella

On the left is Diane Kaufman of Mermaid Cottages, who organized the entire weekend. In the center is celebrated bakery owner and cookbook author Cheryl Day, in her shop, Back In The Day Bakery.  On the right is none other than our hostess with the mostess, best selling author, Mary Kay Andrews, who graciously entertained us in her home and accompanied us to local attractions.
Mary Kay Andrews writing desk on Tybee Island.
Mary Kay Andrew’s writing desk.
Several of Mary Kay’s books have a Tybee Island or Savannah setting. She and her husband Tom have renovated two houses on the island, which are available for rent through the Mermaids. Mary Kay often uses these homes as a place to get away and write. The New York Times best selling author is currently working on her twenty third book, and every day, before we saw her, she would diligently write at least 2,000 words.
It must take great discipline to focus on writing, when a gorgeous
playground awaits just beyond your door.
Leslie Anne Tarabella
The Mermaid Cottage staff thinks of everything. Lush herb gardens for your use, personal tags for pets, hot coffee in the shiny clean kitchens, and beautiful decor are all waiting.
Savannah GA fire. - Leslie Anne Tarabella
On the day we toured Savannah, a rubber tire plant at the Port of Savannah caught fire and burned all day. There was much excitement and initial worry that some of the historic buildings would be lost, but all ended well with the fire under control and the smoke
being blown away from the beautiful city.
Spared from the flames again, just like when Sherman was moved to blow out the match
and instead, present the charming city to President Lincoln as a Christmas gift.
But I digress . . .

Leslie Anne Tarabella

And a visit to Savannah wouldn’t be complete without a meal at The Lady and Sons, owned by famous Southern cook and personality, Paula Deen.
Rachel and I posed with Paula and her dear Aunt Peggy.
Paula’s newest addition to the family, lovely daughter-in -law Claudia, spoke to our group about her educational background in health and nutrition and her use of social media. She’s shown above in the top right photo in the center of several of the bloggers. Claudia is married to Bobby, and she’s one smart cookie. (A low-fat cookie).
More to come about Claudia later.
And yes, I will admit, that is my very own plate above, on the top left. And yes, I did go back again for seconds . . . all while listening to Claudia speak about healthy eating.
Hey, Claudia said she loves her mother-in-law’s fried chicken
every now and then, so quitcherfussin.
Juliette Gordon Lowe - Leslie Anne Tarabella
And look! We ran into Girl Scout of America founder and Savannah native, Juliette Gordon Low!
Born in 1860, she was looking chipper that night.
Juliette was on hand to assist at our private shopping experience at Tybee hot – spot, Seaside Sisters. Owned by lovely Susan Kelleher, this fun store has fabulous vintage and new items. Susan also provided our group with a Girl Scout cookie and wine pairing. Really! I thought only tired Moms knew the magic of pairing wine with Girl Scout cookies.
Who knew we were on the cutting edge of a cool trend?
Leslie Anne Tarabella
Speaking of cutting – edge, Sarah and Kurtis came to Seaside Sisters with delicious
appetizers from their ultra –hip restaurant, Tybee Island Social Club.
Our group became regulars at this exhilarating eatery. And on top of her cuteness, Sarah is also an FSU graduate!
Leslie Anne Tarabella
And of course, if there’s a pup around, I’ll find him. This is Joey, who was keeping
an eye on his shop and all the good things to eat that night.
Stay tuned throughout the month for more stories and photos from fabulous Tybee Island.

Leave a Reply

  1. I’m new to your blog (and loving it), didn’t know you were at this fun weekend. I follow MKA and Southern Hospitality so I had been hearing about this gathering. You all must have had a wonderful time, touring the area and making new friends.

  2. Just started following your blog – enjoying going through the older posts and getting to know you. However, I’ve been keeping up with that fun weekend from MKA’s blog, she is such a riot. I envy all the shopping and touring in Savannah and on Tybee!

    1. I’m so happy to hear from you! Mary Kay and Rhoda are both great and Rhoda invited me when I saw her in Atlanta last month. I felt like I was being invited to the “cool girl’s” party!

      Thanks for following!

  3. We frequent Tybee. Joe had a house on Henry street in Savannah when I married him so we used to go there a lot. It is a fun town. I am glad you had fun. I liked all the images of you. I was planning a Charleston trip when I decided we can no longer afford that fair city. Maybe we should go to Tybee instead. xo, olive

  4. Thank you for the tour of this new (to me) wonderful place and the introduction to some really interesting people.

  5. Oh! What fun! I have not been to Tybee Island in so very many years. It was a sleepy little town the last time I was there. Love all the people you met and dinner at The Lady & Sons? OH MY!!!! I would love that. xo Diana ps. If no one has told you lately-you are a beautiful woman!!!!

  6. I’m sure you all had a great time! So many pretty smiling faces! Glad y’all were able to go to the beach and I’m hoping the weather was very agreeable.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

  7. I loved reading your post about Tybee Island this morning. We came to Tybee yesterday to escape the snow & ice in Marietta GA. We’re staying in Cottage on the Green also managed by Mermaid Cottages. This cottage is small but great for 2 people & so charming, just what you want in a beach getaway. It’s cold here today but there is NO snow or ice so its all good., We’re staying in Cottage A & I’m already planning a trip back to stay in Cottage B. Thanks for the info on Seaside Sisters, we’ll head over there later today.

    1. So happy to hear from you! You were so very clever to scoot out of town while the roads were clear! You’ll love Seaside Sisters and all the other wonderful things around the island. Tell everyone I already miss them and like you, can’t wait to return!

  8. Oh what an absolutely wonderful time this trip must have been. I know the shopping and delicious food was a treat. Bet you brought home a few treasures too. Wow, you are home in the nick of time from the second round of winter storms for us. Well being stuck in such a lovely place wouldn’t be so bad!

  9. It was so great to meet you this weekend, Leslie Anne! I cannot wait to see everyone’s blog post and hear it retold from different perspectives. I hope you’ll help Rachel get a blog or etsy set up ASAP so I can buy some more of those brownies! We were all fighting over the leftovers. 🙂

  10. I am such a Mary Kay Andrews fan and she has such a fabulous eye for antiques and junk that I know she was perfect for your get away. You are so lucky to have had the opportunity!

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