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Meeting Savannah

December 7, 2010
talmadge-bridge

The Talmadge Memorial Bridge

I didn’t exactly have an auspicious start to my Thanksgiving jaunt to Savannah, Georgia.

I had arrived late that night by train, under the cover of darkness. A short, ten-minute taxicab ride brought me from the Savannah Amtrak station to my hotel, the Doubletree Historic Savannah located at the northwest edge of Savannah’s Historic District. The hotel was a little more posh than I’m used to—I’m usually a campsite and hostel kind of girl—but hostels and campsites are hard to come by in the heart of Savannah.

The room turned out to be a very good deal for what it was, and the king-sized four-poster bed and spacious room had me at hello. From my window, I could see the Talmadge Memorial Bridge, lit softly against the dark night sky.  But soon enough there would be time for exploring—now it was late and time for bed. Burrowed beneath the plush comforter and cocooned in my silky white pajamas, I smiled to myself.

I was finally in Savannah.

Waking with the birds the following morning, I was dressed and out the door by 8:30 am.  I had no fixed plans–it was an experiment, really, this “living spontaneously” thing. Under normal circumstances, I’d have filled my travel notebook with a minute-by-minute itinerary of all my activities for the day but this time, I was throwing the playbook out of the window. There was hardly any traffic on the roads and even less on the sidewalks as I drew in my first breath of Savannah air.

I wasn’t expecting a big metropolitan city like New York or San Francisco; to own the truth, I didn’t know what I’d find. In the weeks leading up to the trip, I’d kept myself from looking at images of Savannah because I wanted that catch of discovery, that “ooh…ahh” moment of seeing something for the very first time and being thrilled by its novelty. No—Savannah doesn’t hit you over the head with color, pizzazz, and movement like the big cities do. The pace is slower, the colors slightly more muted, but its beauty runs true and deep. Savannah seduced me, slowly and sweetly with its old-fashioned Southern gentility and modern-day charm. Before I knew it, I had fallen in love.

city-hall

The gleaming, golden dome of Savannah's City Hall as seen from Wright Square down Bull Street.

It started tentatively, with that first taste of a creamy, fudgy praline at River Street Sweets, grew and continued through a lovely lunch at Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room, reached its climax with tears at The Tea Room, and gradually settled into a comfortable rapport over black-eyed pea hummus and braised veal cheeks at Broughton & Bull. And yes, I realize many of my highlights have to do with food. Deal with it.

Over the next few days, I’m going to take you on a tour of Savannah seen through my eyes, past centuries-old buildings and beneath billowing swaths of Spanish moss; down the winding Savannah River and through verdant squares (all twenty-two of them!); and around tombstones and over cobblestones and ballastones.

I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 7, 2010 9:48 am

    Savannah is amazing. Loved Miz Wilkes. Enjoy!

  2. Stacy Sturgis permalink
    December 7, 2010 4:10 pm

    I am glad you enjoyed your stay at the DoubleTree! They are one of our hotel partners! I would love to share your blog within our blog at StayInSavannah.com. Please let me know if that is ok with you. 🙂

  3. December 7, 2010 7:44 pm

    cool

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