I chanced upon an internet special at the gorgeous Olde Harbour Inn in Savannah (I like that “Inn in,” such bad grammar). I have a two-story room all to myself, a kitchen, two TV’s (not a selling point for me as I have yet to turn any television on in any room that I have stayed at in the last 2 months), a view of the river, birds that sing chirping tunes with gusto outside the balcony, wine and cheese in the evening, breakfast every morning, and a resident ghost. I think I’m gonna like it here. Loveliness.
As I sit in my room HUGE barges navigate down the waterway right outside my window, and I hear “Moon River” floating over the water to me in the evening from the town paddlewheel boat. Johnny Mercer was born and buried here, so there are streets and bars named after him and his signature Moon River song.
It is also a town with ghosts and ghost tours, and other than one weird incident I have been left peacefully alone by the spirit world. I guess I can’t NOT explain this… I was blitzing my way, in my socks, down the dark stairs my first night here from my bedroom to the living room and slipped midway down. At the EXACT instant of losing my footing the light over my head came on, as if my ghost was taking care of me. I didn’t fall, but caught myself in the newly lit stairwell. I was no where near a light switch and it is not a motion detected light. There is a switch at the top of the stairs and at the bottom, nothing near where I was. Anyway, it was delightfully eerie. I thanked my ghost and went on my way. I tell you, my life is charmed, even by the dead! Right after that my doorbell rang and it was the bellboy with a complimentary Klondike Bar and card marked with tomorrow’s weather (rain). This is a first, I have never been given an ice cream bar in a hotel as part of the turn-down service. I like these kinds of firsts.
Savannah is a delight, an indulgent bit of paradise and I’d like to stay a week, though it has been raining everyday. And when they get rain, they GET RAIN!! My first night I walked down the street to a restaurant with outdoor seating and views of the water. As soon as I found my place at the bar, a torrential rain came down in buckets. It was pretty exciting, especially to watch from my dry perch. I ordered shrimp and by the time I was ready to walk back to my room the sky had given up her tears for the night and I strolled contentedly “home” in dryness.
I woke up to more rain and decided this would be a good day to get a pedicure. My feet were a bit torn up from the hiking and as I want to get out and do more hiking, my nails were in need of attention. So off I went to Savannah Day Spa.
I just happened to park near Zunzi’s Take Out and Catering, a tiny, hole in the wall with a line of people on the sidewalk. I ducked my head inside to see the menu and thought it might be a place to return after my pedicure. The gal that massaged my feet recommended it highly and told me about their chicken and sausage sandwich. It was to die for! A baguette with tender chicken, cheese, lettuce, tomato, SAUSAGE all topped with three sauces I think (I lost track), and parmesan cheese. INCREDIBLE! The flavors were tingly in my mouth, so hard to describe, but they were talking about how they were filmed by the Travel Channel and would be on TV next week. So there you go, folks, you heard it here first….order the Godfather sandwich at ZUNZI’S the next time you’re in Savannah and you will not be sorry or hungry for a long, long time. I saved half of my sandwich and will finish it for dinner and I am daydreaming about getting another on my way out of town, but that seems a bit extreme.
I walked around the old town squares, trying to keep my freshly painted toes from damage and admired the dangling moss in trees (which is not really like the moss I know, or expected. It is dry and stringy, very interesting stuff).
I went into a gorgeous cathedral and then ended back at my hotel for wine and cheese hour and more visiting with enthusiastic fellow tourists. Traveling alone you really get to meet a lot of people. It doesn’t matter where I am but conversations start about my adventures and people are genuinely intrigued and full of questions. Sometimes I feel rather like a celebrity seeing the admiration in their faces, but I really don’t feel like I’m doing anything that crazy. I’m just one hugely lucky duck.
That evening I walk along the river bank enjoying the warm sultry air, the twinkling lights, the huge yachts moored at the docks and the small ferry boats that zip back and forth across to the farther banks. There are live bands performing in bars and talented musicians on the street. I take a quick trip on the free water taxi across the river and back just to feel the warm wind in my face and then duck into a bar with a blues band playing. They were really great and as it was “Jam Night” they had a sheet for musicians to sign up and play with them. Nights like this I wish I had kept up with my sax playing, but at least I can really appreciate talent when I see it. I stayed longer than I planned and strolled back to my inn around midnight.
My last stop on my way out of town was at the Bonaventure Cemetery. It is 100 acres of old tombstones, statues and more of those amazing moss dripping trees. It looks haunted for sure, and people walk around speaking in whispers and admire without flippant interactions. It is a haven of peacefulness with a quiet hush. I LOVED it and could have spent hours wandering among the dead and thinking about living.
I didn’t do any of the touristy stuff, just me and my feet on the cobblestones. I hear the ghost tours are great, but I just wasn’t in the mood for organized groups and canned spiels, finding my own adventures was preferable. But there is so much more here that needs time. It is another place I am sorry to leave. But as I drive to Charleston and the Spoleto Fest that are waiting for me a little to the north, I sing along with the Eagles…
Well, my time went so quickly, I went lickety-splitly
Out to my ol’ fifty-five.
As I pulled away slowly feelin’ so holy
God knows I was feelin’ alive.
And now the sun’s comin’ up,
I’m ridin’ with Lady Luck,
Freeway cars and trucks.
Stars beginning to fade
And I lead the parade
Just a wishin’ I’d stayed a little longer.
Lord, don’t you know the feelin’s gettin’ stronger.