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February 6, 2019

A movement has been taking place over the last few years.  This movement started when Expedia purchased Homeaway in 2015.  Homeaway had a simple model.  The company would charge a flat fee to vacation rental owners in order to list on their website, and the homeowners would leverage Homeaway/VRBO’s wide reach to attract renters to their vacation homes.  At SGI Beach Vacations, we started with Sand Dollar on the VRBO platform in 2011 and were very happy.  However, the model has changed…and not for the better!  This movement that I mentioned has several names – Listing Site Independence (LSI), Building your VR Brand and others.  All of these are focused on one thing, educating the renter that Direct is Best.

                   Courtesy of Jodie Bourne

#Bookdirect is not about a war with the online travel agencies (OTAs) like VRBO and AirBnB.  It’s about leveling the playing field and educating consumers that there are ot...

January 5, 2019

Dail’s Seafood Trailer has been a staple on St. George Island for more than twenty-five years.  Many vacationers on St. George Island have been picking up shrimp and other seafood at Dail’s on the way to their vacation rental regularly for years, and for good reason…it’s the freshest seafood on the island.

Mr. Dail is a 5th generation fisherman.  This guy knows the waters of Apalachicola Bay and the Gulf.  Dail’s Seafood trailer sources its seafood from local shrimpers and fisherman every day.  That’s why the trailer is occasionally missing from its normal spot on East Gulf Beach Dr.  If the weather is so bad that the guys on the boats can’t go on the water, then Dail’s has to wait for another day to sell the island’s freshest seafood.

Our last visit to Dail’s was following a VERY long day on the golf course at St. James Bay in Carrabelle (blog review of St. James coming soon).  We stopped by the trailer that has become a staple on East Gulf Beach Dr.  The special of the d...

December 15, 2018

We’re back in full swing on our blog, and we are excited to talk about our go-to casual restaurant on SGI – BJ’s Pizza.  If you missed our blog last week about Wakulla Springs check it out here.

If you’ve been to St. George Island, you’ve seen BJ’s…you just can’t miss it.  BJ’s is located at 105 W Gulf Beach Dr. one block west of the St. George Island lighthouse.   BJ’s was founded in 1990 by the Blackburn family so it’s one of the oldest restaurants on the island, and there is good reason why it has hung around for so long.

So why do we like BJ’s so much?  We really just like the laid-back, casual feel of the place.  The girls that work at the counter are always great and really friendly.  BJ’s was remodeled 2-3 years ago and the owners added some nicer TVs and new tables and chairs. We always enjoy looking around at the college license plates that hang around the dining area (our kids always find the Alabama Crimson Tide plate quickly…Roll Tide!!).

We also like the o...

December 5, 2018

It has been way too long since we wrote our last blog, and I’ve been looking forward to writing about our trip to Wakulla Springs State Park.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to enjoy all the park has to offer, but we really enjoyed our trip, and we recommend that you check it out on one of your trips to St. George Island!

In our most recent trip to the island in September, we decided early on that we were going to go to Wakulla Springs on the way to SGI from the airport.  This time we flew into Jacksonville and made the drive toward Wakulla Springs and SGI.  I suggest you consider going to Wakulla Springs on your way to or home from the island because it is about an hour and 20 minute drive from the bridge on St. George Island (and farther if you’re coming from the Plantation or East End).  It had already been a long day, but we arrived at the park about 3:00 pm.  It was a warm, sunny day and very busy for a Saturday in the middle of September.

We immediately we...

October 20, 2018

It has been a big week as we try to learn more about the damage that has happened as a result of Hurricane Michael.  If you missed our blog from last week, you can check it out here.  I’m proud to say that our three vacation rental homes sustained little damage, businesses are starting to reopen and things are starting to return to normal on our little piece of heaven called St. George Island.\

I’m also very happy to say that our wind insurance has been restored at Sea Dunes!  That is a huge answer to prayer, and we know that many people have been praying for that situation.  We had over 900 people comment, etc. on our Facebook post about the topic and we are thankful for all of the support!  A big thank you to Citizens Property Insurance for taking good care of us and reinstating our policy.  We’ll talk more about Sea Dunes later.

Before we get to our homes and how they fared, many people have been asking about businesses on the island that have reopened.  We have confirm...