Monday, April 7, 2014

Savannah, Georgia

We had a great time exploring the charms and delicious food that the Savannah had to offer. You know me. I love documenting our travel and this trip is worth remembering.

We arrived late Sunday afternoon. Probably a little after 7:30 local time. Our dinner reservations were for 8:30 so we had just a little bit of time to freshen up before we were out the door again.

Let me start by saying our hotel was amazing. It was in the perfect location (right next to Ellis Square and City Market). The staff was great and somehow we managed to snag free parking in the public parking garage that is underneath the square. It was so accessible.

Upon arrival, we were upgraded to a nicer room. It came with soaking tub and private balcony. Also, all guests are welcomed with complementary red or white wine at the hotel bar. Our hotel also had a restaurant but with all the other food options available, we never tried it out.

All the rooms come with a mini bar. Everything except alcohol is complimentary. It was really nice to have a couple of bottles of water and some snacks available every day.

We ate dinner our first night at Elizabeth's on 37th. It was by far our favorite restaurant that we dined at because of the overall experience. It's in an older home. The service was hard to beat and the food was delicious. Patrick had one of the specials that night. I believe it was some type of grouper with vegetables and potatoes. I had the Spicy Savannah Red Rice with Georgia Shrimp. Our entrees were good but what made the night was all of the "tastings" they brought to our table. I'm not sure if it is normal for the chef to do this but we ended up receiving 3 different plates that we didn't have to pay for. It made the night feel special and was a great start to the trip.

Because our dinner reservations were so late we were literally the last people leaving that night. I took the opportunity to walk around and snap those pictures. We also stumbled upon the staff who were sitting around playing a wine trivia drinking game. They were just having a little fun with their training and seemed to be enjoying their closing. It was really nice to see them having a good time and not rushing to get home and away from work. We were already getting a sense of the laid back Savannah life.

Breakfast our first morning was at Goose Feathers. It was just across the square from our hotel. Patrick ordered one of the specials that day- a breakfast sandwich of some sort. I decided to go a little lighter and ordered the oatmeal with apples.

We headed over to stop number 13 of the trolley tour which was right across the street from the front door of our hotel. I bought tickets online before we left because it's cheaper but they can be purchased at the booth. It was a hop on and off tour so we could have gotten on and off a lot. We opted to stay on until stop number 4- the Juliette Gordon Low birthplace and childhood home. I'm not a girl scout but I knew that we would want to tour at least one historic old home. We weren't allowed to take pictures of the inside, but we were allowed in the garden outside. They are in the middle of doing some restoration to the outside of the building but I took a picture of the house anyway.

After the next stop we got off to walk to Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room. I would say that this was the only disappointing meal of the trip. It came so highly recommended but I'm afraid that, if you have grown up in the south, it isn't worth the wait. The food was delicious but we waited for well over an hour (maybe almost two?) for a lot of food that we grew up eating. The meal is family style and there are a TON of options. In my opinion, the only thing missing was fried okra. We left absolutely stuffed. I would say that the only way this meal would be worth it is if you didn't have to wait for it.

Following our meal we walked back to the trolley stop and finished off the tour. We got off one more time at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.

By the time we finished the tour we had a little over an hour before our dinner reservations at the Lady and Sons (Paula Dean's restaurant). Unfortunately, due to the fact that we weren't able to eat lunch until almost 3, neither one of us were feeling hungry. However, we wanted to check out the restaurant anyway, so we went.

I was only able to take a few bites of my meal- the Peach BBQ Grouper. It was delicious but I was so full from lunch. I am definitely going to try and make the chilled corn and asparagus salad that I had on my plate. Patrick ate what he later decided was the best shrimp he's ever had- Crab Stuffed Shrimp.

After dinner we went for a quick walk around Bay street. We were trying to walk off some of our meal because we had plans for a haunted pub crawl that night. We made our way to Moon River Brewing Company to meet up with our tour guide for the night. Upon meeting him, we found out that we would be receiving a private tour for the first hour and then an additional two hours with another tour group. So we got a 3 hour tour for the price of 2. I'm glad we got that extra hour because my favorite stories were from Moon River. We went into the basement and then upstairs. I snapped a few pictures up there.

Ghost tours can be a little silly (especially if you're a skeptic like me). However, we enjoyed just getting to walk around the city at night. We got to hear some history, some haunted stories, and stop in a lot of pubs to see what they were about. Savannah has an open container law so you can buy a drink and walk out with it. We both really enjoyed the tour. I will admit though- be prepared for a few crude jokes from the tour guide (like a total of 3). It is called a pub crawl and it is for people over the age of 21. If you're the type of person that will get really offended, then stick to the tours geared toward younger crowds.

By the time we stumbled walked back to our room, we were ready for bed. It was a long day but a lot of fun.

We had decided ahead of time that on Tuesday we would sleep in and only eat a late breakfast, possibly a snack, and dinner. We figured we'd be tired from being out late and that we would be ready for a little bit of a lighter eating schedule. We were right. We started off the morning at the Funky Brunch Cafe. I think it's a newer restaurant on Broughton street.

They have griddles built into the tables so that you can flip your own pancakes. You choose the batter and then get cooking. It was really cute. Neither one of us ate pancakes though.

After brunch, we walked down Broughton street to look through some shops. We stopped in and tasted a lot of olive oils and vinegars at Low Country Gourmet Foods. They shipped our purchases back for us which was awesome. Then we walked down to the Savannah Bee Company to taste 13 different types of honey. We bought a couple and also took some time to do a mead tasting. It's like wine but it is made with honey instead of grapes. I'll be honest, it just felt like a wine tasting although some of them were a little too sweet for me.

We then went down to the Paris Market which was a fun shop to explore- especially the basement. They have a coffee bar there so we took a break and sat outside at a little bistro table.

We then made our way down the rest of Broughton street and to City Market.

They have a Wet Willies there that serves up frozen drinks. Rumor has it that two is the limit. They also let you taste test a bunch.

We finally made our selections and then decided to trek towards this place called the Christmas shop. I really wanted to buy an ornament and that sounded like the perfect place to find one. When we got there we were disappointed. They had ornaments, but they were just your typical Santas and what not. It seemed like a place for locals. So we left and continued walking in the same direction because we were already so close to Forsyth park.

I managed a candid of Patrick as we were entering the park.

I'm in love with live oaks. They are so pretty. Also, this park is pretty sweet too. We took our time walking through it.

We stopped and talked to this lady who was setting up for a wedding. Yep, on a Tuesday. She said the couple had decided to elope. What a pretty place to say "I do".

We stopped in a cafe briefly and then began walking back towards the river. We took a little rest in our hotel room before heading back out for dinner at the Olde Pink House. It was delicious. Patrick ate the flounder and I ate whatever the chef was substituting for the grouper that night. I can't remember what kind of fish it was. Apparently, the chef didn't like the look of the grouper.


After dinner we explored the house. There is a ballroom upstairs that was really pretty but louder than the small room we ate in downstairs. There was also the coolest little room upstairs that had low slanted ceilings with wood panels.

We also made our way down to the basement to the bar. It was really crowded so we didn't stay long. I did go in the "haunted" bathroom to take a picture.

No ghosts though...

We then made our way to Leopold's Ice Cream. This is a must if you are in Savannah. It was so good.

We began Wednesday morning with breakfast at B. Matthews. We both got the Bay Street Scramble. It was the perfect breakfast. We then made our way down to River Street to get some pralines and salt water taffy. Also, we found an ornament! After that we decided to make our way back to Broughton street to take a break at the Coffee Fox.

While there we decided that we both wanted to go explore Colonial Park Cemetery. We had heard interesting things about it during our tour and wanted to walk through it and read some of the plaques. We made our way there after our coffee break. We were both struck by how history has played out. It was sad and yet sweet to be reminded of how our country gained independence. There were sons against fathers. There is a lot of history in that one cemetery. I highly recommend a walk through it to anyone visiting Savannah.

We took our time walking back from there. We stopped in at the Pirate House just to see it and then walked back from there along Bay street. We made our way to City Market again so that we could sit and enjoy the beautiful day. It was warm and sunny so we just sat on a bench to take it all in. I enjoyed some peach sangria and Patrick tasted some local brew.

A sweet man came by and noticed that I was about to snap a picture and offered to take one of the two of us. It's the only non-selfie of the trip.

Our dinner reservations for our last night were at 700 Drayton which is a restaurant located in the Mansion at Forsyth Park. It was quite the hike to get there from our hotel and I wish we had taken our car.

The meal was great. We both enjoyed our favorite entree there. I had the wreckfish and Patrick had the scallops. We ended the night with a quick trip to Lulu's chocolate bar. It is a desert bar that stays open until 2am. We ate the cheesecake.

I wasn't ready to leave but my waistline was. However, we ate one last meal before heading out. We returned to Goosefeathers. A breakfast bagel and shared signature bread pudding was the perfect ending.

We made our way home to celebrate a very special day- Patrick's birthday! We met up with our friends, Patrick's parents, and Owen at Lindo that night.

I can't believe I've been married to this man for over 6 years. They've been some of the best years of my life. It was really nice to celebrate with him and hang out as just the two of us again. We've been handed crazy things so far this year. It has been tough and heartbreaking. However, I can't think of anyone else I'd rather walk through these crazy times with. He has been my rock, my friend, my comfort, and my encourager. I'm grateful for the life we share and still just as excited about our future as the day I was putting on that long white dress. We still make a great team- one that gets better, stronger, and tougher with each passing year.

I wrote him a note before we left and told him many of those things. I'm placing them here to be remembered. I want to be able to look back at the craziness and see how it shapes us in the future.

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