Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Maybe now you'll see more updates!

Since we can now update the blog via email, we might just start putting up more content.

Stay tuned!

- Karl

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Valentine Weekend in Savannah

Left Thursday 2/15 late afternoon and went to Savannah, Georgia for a long Valentine's weekend.

After a long layover in Atlanta, we finally arrived at the airport at about 12:15. A couple phone calls and a cab ride later, we got to the River Street Inn around 1:00 am and promptly turned in for a well-deserved night's sleep.

Friday morning, we rose and headed to The Lady and Sons, Paula Deen's restaurant in the heart of the Savannah Historic District. No, we weren't going for breakfast, but rather to make reservations for lunch. We selected a 12:45 lunch time (it was already almost 10:00 am) and headed off to get breakfast at the Express Bakery and Cafe. I had the Cinnamon Bun with Honey Glaze (not to be missed!!), and Signe had a bacon and egg croissant.

After breakfast, we strolled around the City Market area, and checked out most of the shops, picking up a few souvenirs.

At 12:30, we got back to the restaurant at our appointed time for lunch. We both opted for the buffet, which included a salad bar, selection of fried and baked chicken, fried fish, a huge selection of sides, and dessert. The food was good, but nothing I would go out of my way for again. Dessert included some fantastic banana pudding and peach cobbler. Since those were just not enough, we also opted for a slice of Key Lime Pie. The pie was absolutely wonderful, which was generally attributed to the almond slivers in the crust. The worst part of lunch was our seating - just inside the door, where we were greeted with a cool breeze every time the door was open, which was quite often.

After lunch, we decided that we had not had enough sleep to make up for the late arrival, and headed back to the hotel for a nap. On the way, we stopped to take a couple pictures of City Hall, and I almost got run over whilst standing the the middle of the street while the light turned green. We also stopped by the Visitors Center on Bay Street and picked up a couple more brochures for the local attractions.

Later Friday afternoon, we walked up and down River Street, a huge shopping and dining center. Many of the structures (and most of the streets in the area) were built with ballast stones brought in the holds of ships used to take cotton out of the harbor. Most of the buildings on the street were also cotton warehouses at one time or another. We bought a few more souvenirs, and then stopped at Spanky's restaurant for dinner.

Saturday morning, we headed down to Huey's for breakfast. The view of the river was great, and the food was very good, especially the beignets they served.

After breakfast, the hotel called Old Savannah Tours and we were picked up and taken to the Savannah Visitors Center, where we started a bus tour of the Historic District. The tour allowed us to hop on and off as much as we wished. We rode the entire circuit the first time around, about 90 minutes. Back at the visitors center, we took a break and went to the Roundhouse Railroad Museum, which is still in its formative stages, and a lot of restoration is underway, both on the rolling stock and the buildings in the complex.

Back aboard the bus, we rode into town and got off the bus at Madison Square. We walked over to Monterey Square, which took us by Mercer House, which was the scene of the (alleged) murder in "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil". We also went to "The Book" store, which specialized in souvenirs and memorabilia related to the book, the movie, and the South in general.

We took the bus back to the east end of Bay Street, and took the stairs (narrow, steep stairs!) down to River Street to see the Waving Girl statue and catch a look at the open air market. Some more shopping and walking brought us to Kevin Barry's Pub for a late lunch.

We went back to the hotel to grab a glass of wine during cocktail hour, and ran into two couples; one from Orlando, and one from Charlotte, who were in town together. We had a rather interesting discussion about growing up in the South and one's inability to stop calling older people "Sir" or "Ma'am" or Mister or Mrs. So-and-so, even when they were your co-workers or neighbors.

We looked over the menu for Tubby's, one of the hotel restaurants (the other one being Huey's). We called down for reservations, and they didn't take any. Not a problem, since they had a bar. :) We wandered down from our room, and were told it would be a 20 minute wait. On cue, we got our table, and it (again) happened to be near a door, bringing in a draft every time someone walked through the doorway. I suppose that this is not usually a problem in a town where the average temperature is usually higher.

We ordered an appetizer (bread with garlic and cheese spread), I ordered crab legs, and Signe ordered a steak. The appetizer came, and we were immediately disappointed. The bread was still frozen inside. I sent it back, and asked that it be taken off the bill. The manager apparently was not in the mood to satisfy, as he had new bread baked, and brought the appetizer out again, literally just steps ahead of the main course.

Fortunately, the rest of the meal was better.

After dinner, we wandered River Street some more, in search of the "perfect" souvenirs we had seen earlier that day, or on Friday. Note to self: If it's perfect, buy it right there and save yourself the trouble of trying to find it again. The winds were much calmer Saturday than they were on Friday, and it made it much better to be out in the evening. We made it back to our room, did a little pre-packing, watched the ships on the river, and turned in for the night.

Sunday morning brought clear skies, cool temps, and a slightly depressing mood, as reality set in, and it was time to go home... but not before going back to Huey's for another order of those fantastic Beignets for each of us!

After breakfast, a little more walking on River Street. We had been told that most shops didn't open until 9 or 10 in the morning, but a few places were open earlier than that (or so it seemed).

We checked out of the hotel, caught our cab to the airport, and made it back home without too much drama. It was quite bracing to come out of Mitchell Field into the single-digit cold, but we were back home...

Savannah, we'll be back!