Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mid-Century Motel

This past weekend, I took Roxanne for a mommy-and-me trip to St. Simons Island, Georgia. It's not too bad of a drive, and there are some inexpensive options for lodging (under $70 a night!). My family has been going to St. Simons for a very very long time, and so I always feel comfortable navigating the beach and the restaurants, etc. It's low-key, too, even though things have been changing there for a long time. Just the usual progress from sleepy beach town to vacation spot replete with lots and lots of fancy condos and villas. But, there are still plenty of charming mid-century and older beach houses and buildings that fit in so nicely with my memories of St. Simons (disclaimer, I was born in 1983, so I'm merely pointing out that the fancy architecture didn't really pick up speed until I was a teenager, so all of my little kid/toddler memories are of the low profile buildings). There's something about cinder block and Spanish Moss adorned live oak trees that just works. Trust me. So anyways, our family used to always stay at Queen's Court, which is right next to "the village" and had the most lovely layout ever. It's three buildings shaped in a "U," with a pool right in the middle. As you can see from the photos, there are beautiful established trees and other landscaping placed all around to make the grounds seem lush and fancy, even though the rooms themselves are comfortable but definitely not luxurious. Not that I'm complaining. The sad part is that the motel has been used as staff quarters for one of the nearby luxury resorts for the last few years, so it's not available to stay in anymore. It kind of boggles my mind that they could take such a perfectly located property and turn it into "staff quarters" in an area that again is not quite as ritzy as Hilton Head, but is certainly a nice beach community. Location-wise, you can walk to all of the best restaurants, as well as to certain public access beaches. Prime real estate! That being said, at least the building is still there. I always worry that someday I'll come back for a visit and find those lovely white concrete boxes and their cheerful green trim all torn down, replaced by something that looks gaudy and Italian or French (yes, that does exist in St. Simons, and personally, it gives me the creeps). But this trip, I tried to snap a few photos. Just in case... These buildings date from around 1948. They've still got it.
Look at the greenery! Gorgeous! And don't you love the stairwells? Although you might need to click the image to enlarge to really appreciate/see at all. And the windows... If I remember correctly, I think the stoops have always had astroturf on them. Perfect for getting the sand off your feet...
Just to point out; I'm not against growth and development. I think there are some really lovely new construction projects in St. Simons (and a few that really don't fit, in my opinion). I just hate that the general public (i.e. my family) can no longer enjoy Queen's Court. I fondly remember knitting lessons in my grandparents' room across the courtyard from ours. And sneaking Little Debbie's cakes out of the kitchenette where my bedroom was when we were lucky enough to be in one of the "suites."

On another note, my fabric came in, and it's lovely! The upholsterer said he'd pick up the chair on Friday. Let's hope so! He first told me Monday or Tuesday of this week. Sigh.


  1. My old patio and front stoop had astroturf...that's still a head-scratcher for me!

  2. I love this! So cool. It looks so cozy and quaint.

  3. I don't know how I missed this post. Such a cool place...and equally cool that you and Roxanne went for a mommy-and-me trip to the place you went as a child.

  4. Stephanie: Maybe it's supposed to bridge the gap between outside and inside... ? But seriously, it does work well to get sand off your shoes before walking inside.
    Rhan Vintage: Doesn't it?! I wish I had photos of the insides of the room. I searched online but to no avail. I hope that at some point we can actually stay here again and the decor inside the rooms will be the same!
    Dana: Thanks! We really had fun. And you probably missed it because I've been so sparse in posting lately. I'm still reading everyone's blogs as much as I can, but I haven't had time for posting or commenting much. School! And pregnancy... We've got lots of fun stuff going on with the new baby's room, so I promise to post soon!