I spent the better part of last week in Savannah, Georgia with my boyfriend and we had a great time. I don’t know what we did to deserve such a perfect vacation, but the weather was amazing and we got to do everything we wanted to do. I’ll do as quick of a recap as I can, but you know me. I’m not known for my brevity.
I’ll start with the trip there. I woke up at 5:30 am on Monday morning so I could go spinning before we got on the road at 9. I know it sounds crazy, but I knew how much I was going to be eating and I knew I had to do it. I got home, showered, ate breakfast, finished packing, blow-dried my hair, put on makeup, got dressed, and graded some papers for one of my classes. I woke Dan up at 9 exactly and he got up, brushed his teeth, and was ready.
I hate guys.
We stopped when we were about halfway there for some lunch at Cracker Barrel. Hey, it’s not a road trip without some Cracker Barrel. I confirmed, once again, that I am an Egg-nor-a-moose. FML. While we were eating our country cookin’, two men behind us kept interrupting their own conversation to break into a few bars of “On the Road Again.” A woman joined them, then disappeared for a good 20 minutes, then came back. We came up with lots of scenarios to explain the whole scene. Most of them are not ladylike enough to repeat.
It takes about five hours to get to Savannah from Orlando and we made good time. I was not thrilled about the hotel we got on Priceline because it was supposed to be a 4-star hotel, but had not so great Yelp reviews, and when we were getting checked in the lady told us we’d have a view of “the lovely hotel lobby.” I almost punched her. Dan is really good about reeling in my crazy though and he reminded me that the hotel didn’t matter and that we were going to have fun and I mostly got over it. I still wish we had stayed at the Hampton Inn. At least they have free internet.
Seriously, who charges $10 a day for internet?
Anyway, after we checked in we went down to River Street and I was immediately delighted by the cute shops, candy stores, and restaurants lining the street overlooking the bay.
We went straight to River Street Sweets, an amazing candy store that specializes in pralines, and I started making mental notes about everything I needed to buy when we returned after dinner. It was serious business.
We explored River Street, then walked down to The Pirate House, a restaurant housed in one of the oldest buildings in Savannah. It’s been around since the 1700s! I had heard good things about it from two different friends, but I had no idea how amazing it would be. I’ve actually never seen Dan get so enthused about food—he doesn’t tend to share my gusto for it, but he did at The Pirate House!
He ordered the parmesan-crusted tilapia with extra vegetables and I got the crab au gratin with mashed potatoes and veggies. They also brought us fresh rolls and cornbread with peach preserves. I ate all of those because Dan doesn’t do carbs. I didn’t mind.
The only bad thing about The Pirate House is that it was our first meal there and nothing else ever stacked up. We just kept talking about how amazing the food was at The Pirate House.
After dinner we walked around, I bought some candy at River Street Sweets, and then we relaxed until it was time to walk down to Chippewa Square to meet up with the ghost tour group I had booked.
We made our way down to Chippewa Square around 9, each had a drink at a little bar across the street, and then went to the square but no one ever showed for the ghost tour. We were all alone. Dan called the tour company and the woman told him that the tour had been cancelled because the tour guide was out of town and that she had refunded my card and sent an email out—but I had no email!
Curiously enough, I had no emails, not even the 50 emails Groupon and Half-Off Depot send me every day, but I didn’t realize that until the next day. Turns out my crappy phone wasn’t loading my emails in Savannah until I restarted it. Anyway…
We were bummed about the ghost tour, but decided we’d just rebook for Wednesday when the guy came back, and headed back to the hotel. We wrapped up the night by watching some Law and Order SVU on cable. It’s always on some channel. Always.
The next day we slept in a little, then went out to explore the city. We visited a few shops and made our way to Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room, a Southern homestyle restaurant. The line was wrapped around the corner, which I had anticipated from the Yelp reviews. There were some really dull annoying people behind us and I could tell Dan was dying (he doesn’t love people) and then when we finally made it inside and we were sat at the same table as them, I was sure he would kill one of them.
Mrs. Wilkes seats 10 to a table and everything is just served in bowls and plates on the table. They had EVERYTHING you could want from a Southern homestyle meal, from fried chicken, to bbq pork, mac and cheese, collard greens, and so on and so on. Here’s a sampling of my plate:
Because of the family-style seating and our tablemates’ insistence on making small talk, Dan has been referring to Mrs. Wilkes as the worst restaurant in Savannah. He was not thrilled because he’s not friendly with anyone but me, but I am, so I didn’t mind. I liked my food and they had the best sweet tea and biscuits. I felt like I had ten bricks in my stomach all day after eating lunch there, though. Whew.
After lunch we went to the Mercer-Williams house where Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was filmed and took the tour. The guy who gave the tour was great, but very diplomatic and careful not to say much about the murder. He just talked about the architecture and antiques, which exactly zero people go to see. Everyone wants to hear about Jim Williams and the murder he was acquitted for. Jim Williams’ sister owns the house, though, and still lives there, and the family likes to keep that stuff quiet.
After that, we walked to Forsyth Park, which ended up being one of my favorite parts of the trip. We got some cold drinks and sat on a park bench and just watched people and talked. It was a great way to spend the afternoon.
We just wandered around the rest of the day and tried to walk off that Mrs. Wilkes lunch. We ended up having dinner late (9 is too late for dinner as far as I’m concerned) at the Cotton Exchange on River Street. My meal wasn’t photogenic and I hardly ate any of it because I was still too full from lunch. It was good though.
This is a good time to mention that at some point in the day, Dan had picked up two new personas: a racist homophobic hillbilly and a low country Southern lawyer with a tendency to use malapropisms. These personas followed us home to Orlando.
We made it an early night and to my utter delight there was a Harry Potter documentary on the Bio channel, so we watched that and relaxed. It was glorious.
The next day I woke up a little earlier than Dan and went to the hotel gym. I just did the elliptical for a bit, but I got bored because I didn’t have headphones with me. When I was leaving the gym I saw that they had a whole drawer of clean headphones for people to use. FML.
After I got back and showered it was close to lunchtime, and we decided two miles wasn’t too far to walk to lunch. Well. Let me tell you. About halfway there I got silent because I was so hungry and my feet hurt so badly. I don’t think it really even took us that long, but it felt like forever. The lunch place was this cute little cafe called Starland Cafe. The Yelp reviews said it was a must-try and that if you haven’t taken your girlfriend there you’re no kind of man, so Dan was on board with going there. He had a big steak salad and I had a delicious chicken salad sandwich on a pressed panini.
The walk back didn’t feel nearly as long, so I think it was just the hunger that made the walk there so unbearable. We went from Starland Cafe to Flannery O’Connor’s childhood home, which I really wanted to do. She’s one of my favorite short story writers and I was super stoked to be there. The tour guide took us around and told some great stories about Flannery O’Connor as a child. I loved it.
We walked around some more, sat on some park benches, and then I decided it was time for afternoon ice cream from Leopold’s. It was hard to choose, but I settled on coconut and chocolate chocolate chip. I think it was the best ice cream I’ve ever had in my life. It was SO good.
Unfortunately, I totally spoiled my appetite for dinner. Since Dan doesn’t do things like have afternoon ice cream, he got hungry for dinner way before I did. We tried to go to Bonaventure Cemetary, but it was closed for the day when we got there, so we went to dinner sooner than we had planned. It was Huey’s on River Street for dinner. Dan got some crazy chicken dish and I got some good old shrimp and grits.
I definitely wasn’t hungry enough for all that, so I mostly just ate the shrimp. There were a ton of them in there though! Definitely a generous portion.
That night we went to the rescheduled ghost tour. I had picked Blue Orb Tour’s Zombie Tour, which is a scarier uncensored version of their regular ghost tour. The tour guide, Tobias, was an excellent storyteller and he was funny and personable. He told us some terrifying stories, starting with the fact that we were all standing on bodies since Savannah is pretty much built on top of makeshift graves. He also told us all about hags, which he compared to Dementors, and then I was so freaked out when we got back to the hotel that Dan had to sit outside the bathroom door while I washed up for bed.
We were exhausted by the end of the ghost tour, which went until after 11. Just a side note about Blue Orb Tours, they were awesome about rescheduling the tour for us and only charged us for one because that cancellation email hadn’t gotten to me in time. If you ever go to Savannah, that’s the tour company to go with.
We went back to the hotel and lay in bed and groaned at each other because our feet hurt and we were full and tired. We were still having a great time though. I was so sad that it was almost over.
I woke up really early on our last day and decided to let Dan sleep in. I took a book back down to Huey’s and ordered a cafe au lait and some beignets, which I had been coveting the night before, but was too full to eat.
I went back to get the boy and to pack up. We checked out and went back to Bonaventure Cemetery before getting back on the road. Bonaventure is HUGE! We walked around for awhile exploring, but then bugs started attacking me and I ran to my car shouting that I hated Bonaventure Cemetery. Then I felt bad and apologized to the ghosts before we drove away.
It was really a perfect trip. It couldn’t have been any better, except maybe I could have had more room in my stomach to eat all of the delicious food. I kept getting thwarted by being too full to eat everything. Curiously enough, I had no problem eating all of the chocolates I bought from River Street Sweets.