So I'm sitting here at our campground in Key West and I'm putting thoughts together for all of you about our time in Savannah. Sam and I have been taking about writing this post for days, as it sometimes goes with these things when we get busy or wrapped up in the trip. When we talked, we covered the highlights but both agreed that Savannah meant a little more to us than just hitting the main attractions.
From the very earliest times in our relationship we go through periods where we hit our stride. It can last from a week up though a month where we both feel really tuned into each other and the things we create, philosophize about, and take action on — separately and together.
We both knew the whole road trip couldn't be like that, but when we pictured visiting each place as we made our plans, that ideal was in our minds, fueling us on.
As Sam alluded to in his Chattanooga post, I wasn't in that tuned-in place. Sure, I had really loved the places we visited, people we spent time with, and all that we had done, but part of me was holding back a little bit and it kept my mind from being fully engaged in the present moments.
We had a few good heart-to-hearts and by the time we got to Savannah I was ready to hit the stride. So was Sam, and luckily, Savannah was too!
On the drive down, I wasn't sure what to expect. Charleston does the whole "wealthy historic southern city" thing so well that I wasn't sure if Savannah would just be a continuation of that. Now that I know what it's like, I can safely say it doesn't duplicate the appeal of its sister city and I'm so glad we had time to get to know Savannah a little bit. It's true that Savannah cares just as much for the visual presentation of itself as Charleston, maybe even more so, but the reasons seem to be more multifaceted. Charleston had to rebuild so much of the city after the war, the fire, the earthquake, and at least one more disaster that befell the city in the nineteenth century. They basically dedicated themselves to rebuilding what once stood to give people a picture if the past. Savannah on the other hand was untouched during the war and still looks historic on first glance, but youth and creativity is bubbling up through every pore. SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) has tirelessly restored so many buildings that you can find one on almost every historic block. The tourism is cheekier, and the overall vibe is more youthful, relaxed, and hip.
We got into town around 5:30 because our air bnb host would be able to get home from work around then. This was our first time using air bnb so we were a little nervous, but Bryan was very informative, relaxed, and kind. Our room was at the front of a clapboard duplex and the setup felt like a much more spacious brownstone. Bryan kept his place in immaculate shape and our room could've been featured in apartment therapy. He also had two bikes for us to use while we stayed with him, which was perfect. We were downtown in 7 minutes and got to ride through Forsythe Park and feast our eyes in the Spanish moss-laden oaks and tons of gorgeous buildings in the immense historic district.
After we settled in we went outside to grab dinner and ran into a guy who had parked behind us, seen our spare tire sticker, went to this very website, and happened to still be standing right there to tell us all of that! Very exciting stuff for us because up until then we weren't 100% sure if anyone bothered to read the sticker at all. He also suggested that we check out Foxy Loxy for cheap and tasty food, so we went over there for some beers and a chicken taco on their upstairs porch. The place was full of students from SCAD and the atmosphere was very friendly. This was not our last visit to Foxy Loxy during our 40 hours in Savannah!
After that we took the bikes and hightailed it downtown to enjoy a Creepy Crawl tour of Savannah that featured several pubs, go cups, and a number of engaging ghost stories told by our guide, Britney. Lots of good-natured chills and a case of the hiccups sealed the end of our first night in one of America's most haunted cities (cue Sam's tentative eye roll).
The next morning we went to Narobia's Grits and Gravy (Yelp link!) for breakfast because we heard that the French toast is killer. It is. After that we wanted to grab some art supplies, get tickets to see a movie that night, and then hop on a tourist trolley to get the lay of the land and a little history. We also found a moment to score some ice cream from Leopold's, which is apparently a pretty big deal (I had lavender flavored and it was quite nice).
The trolley wound up being a good substitution for my afternoon nap. We were slowly driving around, with a slight warm breeze and a soft yet gravelly southern voice telling us about what we were seeing for 90 minutes. We hopped off slightly more educated about Savannah and decidedly more hungry. We found Zunzi's where we got some happy hour beers and a very early dinner on their rooftop.
The next thing we did was likely the most engaging for both of us. We went to two different squares in Savannah and did some drawing. Since we hadn't really drawn together before and Sam hadn't had many drawing classes past grade school (or the Waldorf equivalent) I tried to remember how we started drawing classes back at SVA. Our attempts at the various time steps are posted below.
1. Create a series of bare bones drawings, with thirty seconds allotted for each. In school, if we were drawing live models these would literally be stick figures (even if they were gorgeous models and we were giggly college art students trying to be very serious and respectful).
2. Create a series of ninety second drawings with a few more details sussed out.
3. Create a five minute drawing as a rough guide for a longer drawing period (often two hours, but only twenty minutes in our case).
4. Choose one of the five minute drawings to turn into a more detailed rendering.
So there you have it. Our first collaborative art session of the trip (though our flashlight photo drawings in the smokies are in the same spirit). It isn't the last either. We have pencils, charcoal, chalk and oil pastels, acrylic paints, two novelty cameras, scissors, and glue. The sky is the limit here folks. Any suggestions for future projects would be loved and appreciated in the contents section below the post!
To round out our final night in Savannah, we went to the Lucas theater (beautifully restored and owned by SCAD) to see Fight Club. I hadn't seen it in at least ten years. Sam never had. And it was a blast. We talked about it for a beer or two after and most of the way home.
The next morning we hit Foxy Loxy again for colaches for breakfast and a trip to Bonaventure cemetery on our way out of town.
Next stop we'd be back to camping in St Augustine, Florida.
Random facts and statistics from Savannah:
- Spanish moss isn't Spanish or a moss! It's an airborne plant related to the pineapple according to my nap trolley guide.
- She also said that the southern live oak never sheds all of its leaves. They just fall continuously.
- Foxy Loxy is the antagonist from the folktale known as Chicken Little, Chicken Licken, or Henny Penny
- The Forrest Gump bench was purchased at Home Depot and resides in a history museum in Savannah, leaving no opportunity for a photo op.