Sweet tea sippin', front porch sittin', pecan pie, pralines, and heading over to grandma's for Sunday supper. Mmm mmm, there's not a single thing I don't love about Southern living. And Savannah, well, Savannah's got-it-all.
D and I just happened to have Georgia on our minds just before we made our way up to North Carolina for my family's big beach vacation on Emerald Isle. The family would be getting to the beach house late Sunday afternoon, so we had a whole weekend to make our way up north. Wouldn't ya know it, Savannah just happened to be the perfect halfway point between our Florida home and our pending beach vacation. That's what we Southerners like to call a divine appointment. With that little gem of reasoning, D and I loaded up the car and made our way to the "Hostess City of the South" for a little sight-seeing and whole lotta sweet Southern charm.
Now, we didn't stay anywhere fancy or pre-book any activities…we simply strolled into town, grabbed a map at the information center, and flew by the seat of our pants. Even though I've been wired for detailed itinerary travel the last three years abroad, it wasn't hard to snap back into that Southern mentality and just rolllll with the day. Leisurely strolls from famed Forsyth Park to Lafayette Square…peeking in on the SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) students as they geared up for a new semester…cooling off with a scoop of lavender ice cream at Leopold's--it wasn't too long before we fell in love with Savannah. The charming row houses and colorful flower boxes reminded us of Europe. The wrought iron lamp posts and fences were reminiscent of New Orleans. The gobs and gobs of Spanish moss draped over the trees and smell of magnolia wafting through the air transported us to some iconic Southern movie…maybe Forrest Gump or Steel Magnolias. I was too smitten to care. As the squares kept unfolding and the trolley bells continued ringing, D and I marveled over Savannah's plethora of sweet moments; all scattered through a historic district no longer than a mile, end to end.
By the time we waved at Paula Deen and made it down to River Street, the Southern sun and humidity started to get the best of us. Germany managed to turn us both into pansies when it comes to heat. Thankfully, a bright light shown upon the River House and a fried green tomato lunch special sign, so we thank the Lord and walked right on in. Naturally, I ordered the FGT special (it was beyond the confines of delicious)…D, a fried catfish sandwich (we Southerned-it-up something fierce that day), and we both ordered signature Savannah cocktails to wash it all down. If you've never tried a Chatham Artillery Punch, be warned: it's like a Long Island/Whisky Sour/Sangria combo drink…enough to knock a grown man to his knees!
After a rejuvenating lunch and some more wandering along River Street (re: eating pralines and sipping on frozen daiquiris from Wet Willies--a Savannah rite of passage, me thinks), we decided it was time to act like real tourists and hop a ride around the city with Old Savannah Trolley Tours. With daiquiris in hand, we bought tickets from a woman dressed as a pirate (strange) and boarded the cutest wooden trolley that ever was. Two hours and one quick summer rainstorm later, we'd seen and heard about every square and historic home Savannah had to offer. With time still on our side, we silently agreed...off to drink again! Duh. So, we wandered one street over and found ourselves sharing a chilled beer flight from Moon River Brewing Co. If you've never tried their Tater Sweet Potato Ale (with brown sugar pumpkin spiced rim--DIE!), then you simply haven't lived. Which might be ironic seeing as the locals say a few angry ghosts still linger inside the brewery...but then again, where aren't there ghosts in Savannah? I knew D was acting a little funny.
We finished our flight and decided we'd better find one last place to eat before calling it a night. As much as we both wanted to dine in Savannah gems like the Olde Pink House or Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room, we were sweaty, disheveled messes, so we settled for burgers and (more) beers at Crystal Beer Parlor. The place was jam-packed, but the hostess, talking with that familiar "Y'all" and "Sugar" lingo I hold so dear, managed to snag us a 2-seater near the bar. A true peach, that woman. Two local Savannah brews later and we were tapped out for the day (pun totally intended). Tired and happy we slunked back to the car and made our way to the hotel, the lovely day spent wrapped in true Southern comfort still fresh on our minds. Georgia really does stick with you. They should write a song about that. ;)
Savannah, you were everything a weekend getaway deserves. Good food, great drinks, and endless Southern cityscapes worth writing home about. We already can't wait to get back. Save us a rocking chair, won't you?