Sunday, March 20, 2011

Savannah



I spent much of last week basking in the beauty of the Historic Savannah, GA. After a sleepy red eye I woke up at the Savannah airport where my best friend Jessica picked me up and drove me to the section of downtown that would be home for four days. I haven't spent any time in the south but I found myself instantly drawn to the architecture, the gigantic trees with endless amounts of Spanish moss draping from them and the sweet southern hospitality that came at me from all directions with every local I came in contact with. The pace of Savannah can only be described as "easy". No one is in a hurry in the historic district. People get where they want to go by foot or on their adorable beach cruiser bikes. Each day went by slowly and calmly allowing me to become completely rejuventated as the trip progressed.

Of course, there was also the food. Oh, the food! Being a vegetarian left me a little limited in this land of meat eaters but I was perfectly happy staying full on the grand array of side dishes and sweets that were available by the plenty. Mac & Cheese, potatoes in every form, greens, fried green tomatoes... and desserts; fresh handmade pralines, sweet tea, cupcakes, and chocolate chocolate chocolate! The week certainly didn't fall into the realm of my normal fare of local vegetarian whole foods but it certainly was delicious and I've got the slightly tight pants to prove it.


My favorite restuarant of the week was The Olde Pink House. Built in 1771, this is the oldest house in Savannah. It survived two large fires, the Civil War and the growth of a city. It is this wacky pink color because the underling brick bled through the plaster walls and changed the color of the house from white to Jamaican pink.


While waiting for our table we were entertained by a group of young girls in the midst an etiquette class in the front dining room. Ah, the south...


We were brought to our table in a dining room on the second floor and the menu deliberation began. I went with a shmorgishborg of side dishes for my dinner and my girlfriends each chose different entrees that looked incredible. The two the Pink House are known for are the Crispy Scored Flounder with Apricot Shallot Sauce, Anson Mills Grits and Collards and the "BLT", Fried Green Tomatoes & Sweet Bacon with Black Pepper Thyme Buttermilk Dressing.


We also went on a Haunted Savannah tour late one night that even a sceptic would have loved. The guide told the stories of each "haunted" establishment beautifully and with so much detail. I learned so much about the history of the area and many people who lived in it. The houses in the historic district take on a whole new look when the sun goes down. They go from romantic and whimsical to dark and eerie. It was so much fun.

One of our days was spent on Tybee Island, a warm weather beach destination for people in the area. If I go to Savannah again I will definitely rent Kayaks and explore Tybee on the water. There were several places to rent boats but we didn't get around to it.

Savannah is home to the second largest St Patrick's Day celebration in the country. None of us were aware of this when we planned the trip but it ended up being a fun unexpected addition to our trip. The fountains were flowing green water, residents had flags and decorations up, and River Street and downtown were filled to the brim with dancing, drinking, laughing and celebrating people all day and night. People watching was most definitely at its prime for our visit. I didn't bring my camera with me on this day so you'll have to use your imaginations... or Google it, there are lots of pictures of this crazy celebration online.
Like I said before, the architecture was amazing. Carriage houses, cottages and row homes were nestled together and framed by enormous trees and the streets were lined by beautiful street lights, some even oil lit.

There were so many streets I didn't get a chance to walk and food I didn't have room to eat... I can't wait to go back! Savannah required at least a couple more days to fit everything in.

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