It was a long drive from NOLA to Savannah and that meant starting out early on Tuesday morning. We were ready to get to the east coast and get off the long drives. Savannah would provide us with a great stop.
We didn’t get out of our hotel in New Orleans as early as I would have liked. Our next hotel was in Pooler Georgia just outside of Savannah. We had a solid 10 hours of driving ahead and would probably need a couple of breaks along the way. Fortunately Larry had provided us with a couple of stops along the way. So as we rolled out on our trip we hunted down our first breakfast stop. We made it to Slidell where Larry had suggested we break down and try Chic-Fil-A. I had not ever been to one of these establishments because the owner has funded some incredibly homophobic organizations. Two things allowed me to give up on my moral high ground 1) the owner has altered to a more moderate stance and 2) I really am a giant jerk and the moral high ground isn’t really something I am good at. And let me tell you, giving up on my principles tasted pretty darn good that morning. From Slidell it was back on the road for about 1.5 hours, next stop, Ocean Springs Mississippi. At this stop Larry told us we must have our lunch at The Shed, a bbq joint. I will tell you this much, if you tell me its a bbq joint I am going to stop at it. So we did, still not hungry but oh well. The Shed is a cool spot, it is basically a little shanty with dirt floors. You walk in to a disorganized mess, follow to the left and come to an ordering station. There we ordered from a nice young lady who instantly wanted to know where we were from (apparently we don’t sound like native southerners). We made our way to the dining area which was a large room with long picnic tables in the middle and a couple of small tables on the one wall, for the soda machine and napkins. A couple of small garbage cans and sign that said Food Network was in progress of filming are all that made up the room. The food was brought out and again Larry came through with a fine meal recommendation. On the way out we both stopped by the bathroom. The bathroom is oddly located, beside the area where food is ordered in served is a building, basically a mobile home, you walk up a set of stairs to the front door. Inside the door is a room with a table in the middle and to the right is the ladies room and the left a mens room. I entered the mens and approached the urinal to do my work, only to find myself face to face with the head of a snarling mounted warthog. It was an uncomfortable way to pee.
Following The Shed it was back to the highway for a long trip, we made a couple of stops for gas along the way and to stretch our legs but mainly we just powered through. Tiana got word from work that her profile had been added to the company website with other directors during this drive, so I told her we could have a victory dinner. Here choice a Popeye’s chicken in Jacksonville in a less than lovely neighbourhood. Girl really knows how to celebrate. Finally around 9pm we pulled into Pooler Georgia and our La Quinta hotel. This was a very nice hotel, obviously new and I wished we had planned more nights in Georgia instantly. The state was green and lush with tall grasses everywhere.
The next morning we had to check out of our fine hotel and load up for our day in Savannah. I checked the weather, that was calling for a rain storm in the afternoon. With that info we made a small adjustment on order of things we would do. With the hot morning sun taking the temperature up to the warmest we see back home, we headed to Tybee Island and the beach. Here we enjoyed an absolutely beautiful beach, that wasn’t busy and swam in the ocean. We spent about 1.5 hours out in the sun and surf. At some point on the beach we both realized some sun protection would have been a better idea, but hey Tiana hates a planned vacation. Instead we both acquired slight sunburns. Nothing bad but some redness on our pasty Torsos. Our arms and faces had already started to tan from Houston and New Orleans. Tybee is an awesome beach, strongly recommended on your stops up the east coast.
From the beach it was in to Savannah and into the historic district. It was still before lunch so we hopped on one of the Trolley’s they have that does tours of the district. You pay a huge sum of money for the right to hop on and off at the stops along the route. We stayed on for most of the ride and next time would get off a few more times but it was an awesome way to see and hear about the city. Savannah’s historic district is pretty cool, it is all built around 22 squares, mostly honouring war heroes or wars. There are a lot of amazing pieces of history in Savannah things like the reading of the Declaration of Independence and the first time Martin Luther King actually gave the “I have a dream” speech. We wound through the historic history hearing about wars, inventors and girl guides of that past as well as Paula Dean, who just happened to be in one of the Square’s on the tour. No racial slurs were uttered from her so all was good on this trip.
Our Trolley worked its way down to the riverfront and here we hopped off. A number of stores littered the area but mostly it had places to have nice lunch. We settled on a crab shack down the street from where we got off. It was well timed, we could see a storm coming in and while we were in the enjoying dinner we watched a huge rain storm blow through quickly. I order a cajun Crab Boil and Tiana the BBQ crab platter. Both were amazing and tasty, also very large servings. There was a sink across the dining area from us and we quickly found out why. My plate was pretty messy but easily cleaned by wet wipe, Tiana however had all of her food prepared in a bbq rub that was more like a sauce and she was soon covered in mess. Her hands caked with bbq sauce and the bib provided being of good use. Those who know my lovely wife will know that this is not a thing she would be pleased with. Tiana’s neurotic need for clean took over and she started to pout about the mess, all the while eating every bite. She left the table to go shower in the the sink in her washroom, truly giving a new meaning to the word washroom. She returned to order dessert because we both felt the need to push ourselves to explosion. At this point the blisters on my feet from New Orleans weren’t enough to make walking suck, I was going to add that awful overstuffed feeling.
We boarded the trolley, completed the tour and got back to our car for the trip out of beautiful Savannah and on to Charleston. We had a couple of stops to make on the way out of town. One was gas and the other was peaches. How could we leave Georgia without peaches. I had discovered one of very few peach stands on the coast using google. We followed the instructions from the map into a neighbourhood with large properties that weren’t really fenced off rom each other. We arrived at the address where cars sat on the lawn and next door a family was out on their porch. Beside one of the cars sat its engine and the other cars had obviously not been out in bit. We walked to the back where the peaches were, wondering why no one else was around, and that is when I check the hours. Apparently they had closed at 12pm about 5 hours prior. So we left still needing two stops. The peaches would have to wait, first stop was gas. We found a gas station on our way out of the community. Tiana was on her way in to pay when an african-american lady stopped her at the door and said “girl you are some hippie” Tiana was a little shocked and was not dressed like what we think of as hippie, she laughed and asked to clarification and the lady said “you could be my cousin with those hips” at this point Tiana realized 2 things 1) she was not being referred to as a pot smoking lazy hippie but instead the lady was referring to her lovely posterior and 2) she was now going to have to listen to me refer to her great ga-dunk-a-dunk the rest of this trip. With her honorary African-American certificate proudly added to her collection we carried on looking for peaches. Finally we found a peach stand and we also got ourselves some boiled peanuts (these things are all over the south). The peaches were freaking awesome, the boiled peanuts have the worst most disgusting texture ever. Totally uneatable.
As we left Savannah for Charleston we were both a little sad. Savannah is an absolutely beautiful area with wonderful beaches and an amazing city. If you are looking for a place to plan a vacation, from our American sampler this is the stop. It is in a good spot to drive North or south a little into South Carolina or Florida, and you can’t beat the lovely area. Definitely worth a stop in everyone’s life.
Savannah – Not only would I live there, Tiana and I have already decided when it comes time to buy our next bit of property (we love our house and will be staying in it) we will look for a non-primary residence and will very highly consider a vacation property in Savannah. As I write this in Minnesota, of our American Sampler tour, Savannah is by far the best spot we stopped, amazing. Can’t wait to go back and spend more time in the city. Extra points to outlawing panhandling which really separated it.
NEXT: Part 6 – Charleston A History Tour