The surreal ride in:
If you zoom in, you can see an aerial shot of the ruins of the Sugar Beach Resort & Golf Club:
Our home base was the Carriearl Boutique Hotel, the former home of Earl Blackwell (founder of Celebrity Service, see: http://www.nytimes.com/1995/03/04/obituaries/earl-blackwell-85-a-promoter-of-celebrities-and-their-events.html), which could not have been more pleasant. Angie and Marty are gracious hosts and we loved our getaway.
One of the songs I always hear when I am traveling is Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.” I have it on my phone, and it is one of a few songs that I use as triggers to switch my mind into relax mode. It came over the Sirius XM station twice while we were at the Carriearl and I took that to be very appropriate for our venue – both the hotel itself and the island. I guess what I mean by that is the song always invokes a sense of timelessness. Read: “I have momentarily stepped away from my desk right now into Carriearl Land.”
What am I always saying I want? To be somewhere else, of course. And for a moment, I was.
There is a James Altucher quote that I thoroughly believe in and it is: “Only free time, imagination, creativity, and an ability to disappear will help you deliver value that nobody ever delivered before in the history of mankind.” You can disappear here. There will be Wi-Fi if you want it, but you can disappear otherwise. There are only 3 rooms for rent at the Carriearl, so you will be enjoying all of the amenities (including a golf cart you can take out to the caves and the ruins for two hours) with very few other people.
Partial shot of bar/restaurant for all your drinking and (blue crab ravioli with vodka cream sauce) eating needs:
Pool views, view from the beach, and the beach in front of the Carriearl:
Note the hammock:
Exploring the ruins of the Sugar Beach Resort and Golf Club:
When I first heard there were ruins here, of course I was fixated on it until I was able to wander through. If you zoom in on the aerial photo linked above, you can tell just how sprawling these grounds are. We were only able to access just a small part of the remains, because we went in bathing suits and sandals.
To gain entry, we shimmied across this wall on the left. One foot in front of the other, and don’t look down or think about it too much (these are good rules for life, by the way).
Haint blue ceiling:
Surveying the land:
View of the ruins from the beach:
Exploring the Caves at Sugar Beach:
High tide, looking down from a rock we climbed:
Low tide, preparing to make a swim for it:
Besides exploring the ruins, enjoying the peaceful luxury of the Carriearl and the beach, I have two other favorite memories from the island. Those are going to the marina and watching locals make conch fritters right on the dock, and discarding the shells:
and meeting two sweet ladies who worked at the small deli at the airport. There was a small thunderstorm we were waiting out before we could takeoff. The younger lady engaged me in conversation by asking me where I was from. She said: “Oh, I just love Atlanta. I love Golden Corral.” The older lady, perhaps even her grandmother, chimed in on that one. “Oh yes, I love Golden Corral. I always get so mad when I fill up on soup and salad.”
I looked at them and raised my left hand. They could tell I was about to testify and impart some great piece of wisdom, perhaps something that had been passed down to me from my ancestors. They were absolutely correct. Like my father told me, and his mother who went before him told him, I gave them everything I had. “Ladies, when you go to the Golden Corral, you have to start at the hot bar.”
They howled at me. And I joined in, three of us shaking with laughter, united in our venture to come out ahead when partaking in a buffet.