This weekend my mom and I went to Savannah for two nights. It was my first time to visit the city, and I really loved it. The drive on Friday was over five hours, during which we talked and I slept (I was up until 1:30 Friday morning babysitting, and since I typically can’t physically stay awake past eight or nine pm, I was pretty out of it). We got in around 4:30 and went to spend our evening on River Street/Bay Street. When we finally found parking, we walked around and explored. Highlights included buying a T-shirt and postcards, seeing the big Georgia Queen boat, getting praline samples and seeing taffy being made in the Savannah Candy Kitchen, seeing the trolley, and seeing some big storage vaults from hundreds of years ago (picture below). Also, the cobblestones on River Street are made from ballast that ships brought in during the 1800’s, so we were walking on different types of rocks from all over the world. WHICH IS TOO COOL. (Pro tip though: it’s difficult to wear flip flops on River Street.)
(Many aspects of the city reminded me of New Orleans–the seafood, the architecture, and just the overall aesthetic/vibe.)
We found a restaurant called Spanky’s for dinner. I had grilled chicken, steamed broccoli/zucchini, a garlic roll, and some of Mom’s potatoes. It was delicious, but I’ve regretted skipping the pecan pie for the rest of the weekend. Friday night we were back in the room by 7:30; I had a headache and was completely wiped out, but it was a great start to the vacation.
On Saturday we got up around 8:30. My health problems include nerve damage in my legs, which makes me tire quickly when I’m on my feet/walking, and I was already exhausted. So I was hoping I’d make it all day! We had breakfast at the hotel and then went to a botanical garden, which was small but nice.
We went back to Bay Street/River Street and walked around some more. One store we went to was Books on the Bay, which had lots of first edition books from the 1800’s. We had lunch at the Pie Society, which reminded me of the Australian bakery/cafe in my town; we sat outside, ate ham and cheese quiche, and watched the trolleys and horse-drawn carriages go by.
We were in a district called City Market, and we went in some more shops; purchases included postcards, a Christmas ornament, gourmet dog treats for my baby, and a snack at another candy kitchen. Then we walked (and walked) to the Paris Market; we also tried to go to Leopold’s Ice Cream, but the line was down the block. So we walked (and walked, and walked) until we reached another square–there are lots of cute little squares in Savannah filled with Spanish hanging moss, benches, and fountains. In this square, we saw a guy casually walking his pet tortoise.
Next we toured Flannery O’Connor’s childhood home. I’d read a lot of her stuff for school (I especially love her prayer journal), but although most of our vacation stops were planned in July, I didn’t know her childhood home was there until a few days before we went to Savannah. The girl who did the tour was really good and everything was absolutely fascinating. The house is set up just like it was during Flannery’s childhood–a lot of the furniture is original to the family–and it was so interesting to see Flannery’s crib/playpen under the window and hear about how she literally grew up under the shadow of the Catholic cathedral and how that shaped her writing. I also enjoyed hearing about her lupus and how she didn’t let that stop her from writing; she wrote for three hours every morning. Finally, we learned that she allegedly taught her chicken to walk backwards when she was five. Her cousin (the wealthy benefactor of the family) supposedly witnessed this great event and called the press, but when the cameras arrived, the chicken wouldn’t (or couldn’t) perform. The press decided to run the tape backwards and Flannery enjoyed whatever the 1930’s equivalent of going viral would be. Click here to see the video–Flannery (“Mary”) is featured around the 0:16 mark.
Flannery used to sit in the bathtub and read to her little friends–until she got in trouble for reading them Grimm’s Fairy Tales, which sent them home terrified. Also, how appropriate is the little library below her house?
Across the square, the Cathedral of St. John had been closed for a wedding all afternoon, so we sat in the park until it opened (the bride and groom came over to the square to take pictures and I told the bride how pretty she looked!). We were finally able to go briefly into the beautiful cathedral.
We got dinner at the Fresh Market and took it back to our hotel–we were in the room for the night by 4:30. I had grilled salmon, mac n cheese, an apple, and cheesecake. I spent the evening looking through pictures, reading Harry Potter, and writing postcards while trying to ignore my numb and tingling legs–I don’t know how I managed to survive touring literally all of Savannah in one day! I just pushed through and didn’t let the exhaustion set in until we were back in the room.
Sunday morning, even though my legs were still heavy and exhausted, I was dying to try out the hotel gym–it had heavier dumbbells than the tiny 5-lb ones I have at home. Unfortunately, though, some guy was using the dumbbells and bench the entire time, so I did about 25 minutes with an eight-pound medicine ball. It was a good workout, but it was a workout I could’ve gotten at home, and I was already so tired that I almost passed out afterwards. Oh well. After breakfast, we went to Forsyth Park. It was really pretty and surrounded by lots of cute houses and apartments.
On the way home, I read my book (“There’s no need to call me ‘sir,’ Professor.” << CAN WE JUST) and, when we stopped for lunch, ate broccoli and a chocolate trifle. #balance It was an exhausting weekend, but so much fun!
Have you been to Savannah? What’s your favorite place for a weekend getaway?