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Mission Mondays: Solo [So Where’s She Off To This Time?] – Part I

September 20, 2010

The age old question...

It never takes very long to happen.

Sometimes it’s on the train or plane ride back from my last trip or in the weeks following but sooner rather than later, I’m always thinking about where to go next. My initial plan was to hit the road again in February 2011, giving myself ample time to save for a trip, but when I realized I still had a few vacation days to burn before the end of the year, the gears in my head started cranking. I’d be visiting my family in Florida for Christmas, but what about Thanksgiving? I had no plans, plus my office would be closed during the three days prior to the Thanksgiving weekend. That’s when I realized there’s no way I can let those five days go to waste. November vacation, here I come!

So I’ve got the time, but have I got the dime?

I’ve done a rough estimate and I’m pretty sure that if I travel somewhere relatively close in the mid-Atlantic or southeastern states, I can hack a 6-day trip for around $900. Since I came in at roughly $240 under budget from my trip to San Francisco, I’ll start from there. There’s around $30 (give or take!) in my change jar, I have to return some clothing I purchased for roughly $37, and I’ve decided not to renew my gym membership for October and November (2 months at roughly $54 per month). That puts me at a grand total of $415 so far; I’ve got nine to ten weeks or so to save the rest.

But where should I go?

Since I’m going to have keep things close to home, I think it’s high time I went in search of the East Coast’s merits. In the past two weeks, both the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times have plied me with articles written about the charms of Charleston, and since both pieces turned my sights on the American South, another grande dame’s star began to rise: what about Savannah? Now I had a dilemma. Which Southern city do I choose?

I consulted the oracles—okay, not really. I did a Google search using “Savannah or Charleston” and “Savannah vs. Charleston” as my search terms and boy, do these Southern ladies ever duke it out! I had no idea I was wading into such contentious waters. It’s a common discussion, with each of the fine ladies’ suitors defending her honor. I found a forum on Fodors.com that favored Charleston while a TripAdvisor.com forum came down on Savannah’s side. Suffices to say, they weren’t making my life any easier. I even contemplated visiting both, but with a dearth of funds and time, I felt doing so would do neither city justice.

I was firmly between the proverbial rock and a hard place. So I did what any good decision maker in a bind would do: I decided to flip a coin.

Since Charleston is the older city and appears first alphabetically, I assigned it heads giving Savannah the tails side. The coin went up, flipped a few times in mid-air, and landed in my palm which I immediately turned over onto the back of my other hand. It was heads. And then I realized I was using one of the Virginia state quarters and somehow, it felt wrong to throw a third Southern state, however unrelated, into the mix. So I decided to do a double coin toss. I fished a Georgia state quarter and a South Carolina state quarter out of my coin jar and the state showing its design on the reverse first in a coin toss would emerge the winner.

On the first toss, both quarters landed on tails. Damn! Okay. Two out of three.

Only South Carolina showed her colors on the second toss, while on the final toss, both quarters turned up heads. In the overall tally and all accounts, Charleston had technically won.

But something still wasn’t right. After a little soul searching it dawned on me that the reason why I kept rejecting all of Charleston’s claims was because in my heart, I truly wanted to go to Savannah. And (shades of Woody Allen) the heart wants what it wants. So Savannah it is.

And the sun rises on yet another mission: solo Savannah, here I come.

(South Carolinians, please don’t feel slighted. Charleston’s time will come soon too… I promise. Just don’t change a thing until I get there).

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. trachinotus permalink
    September 20, 2010 10:41 am

    loved the quarters method of choosing a city!

    I think you picked Savannah because it sounds sexier than her sister Charleston!

    Or that you are on an S roll. San Francisco to Savannah! And after that – Santa Fe?

    • September 20, 2010 1:03 pm

      Ha! I did think about the “S” thing, although I swear that had nothing to do with it. It doesn’t help that I also did St. John and Seattle last year….

  2. maryrichardson permalink
    September 21, 2010 6:52 pm

    Marsha,
    I love it too! What a great way to decide when there’s so many positive aspects to both places… those are 2 cities that I have also never explored. I’m from the South, so I usually pick destinations far away, but I’ve recently rekindled my interest in those southern states again.

    I also love that you won’t let those 5 days go to waste!

    Looking forward to reading that post…

    • September 21, 2010 10:27 pm

      Thanks for the support, Mary! Looking forward to hearing about your travels as well!

  3. September 22, 2010 11:08 am

    YAY for Savannah! I have heard many great things about that beautiful southern city. Hope you enjoy your vacation and reach your savings goal within the next two months. I love to travel solo myself, it’s so freeing and adventurous 😉 can’t wait to hear all about this trip. All the best!

    • September 23, 2010 4:18 am

      I can’t wait! I’ve wanted to go to Savannah for a really long time now, so this will be a dream come true!

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