“Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand and melting like a snowflake.”
Sir Frances Bacon
Literally, the day after settling a very painful piece of life last fall, I received an email from JetBlue informing me of a change in their benefit policies, which resulted in a huge gift for me! (JetBlue is the company that keeps on giving to me, so grateful.) Taking advantage of that gift, and needing a nice mental health break, I went to visit a place high on my bucket list, Savannah.
It will always be a rush to get that call to the podium to get my seat on a plane, at no charge! Finding my lovely apartment (thank God for AirB&B) on the outskirts of downtown Savannah was easy. (What did we do without GPS and smartphones?!) I immediately set off on foot to explore. It was balmy and beautiful, that Spanish moss I had always dreamed of seeing, the gorgeous parks with fountains flowing, I was smitten quickly.
Meandering down to the Riverfront, I had my first must have meal. Tubby’s was recommended by a friendly young Savannah Greeter, and I thoroughly enjoyed my shrimp & grits! Walking home, I passed a really beautiful wine store, Le Chai-galerie du vin. Christian Depken was friendly, helpful, and informative (I could spend days in wine, and book, stores). It was on his recommendation that I thoroughly enjoyed my dinner later in my ‘hood, a great burger with homemade fries, ketchup, and pickles at a neighborhood pub, Green Truck.
Playing full-on tourist for day two, I took a Riverboat Cruise for a few hours and it was actually excellent! Lots of history to be learned: Savannah is the 4th largest shipping port in the US, and was the first planned city. Fort Jackson along the banks reminded me of Castle Island in South Boston and Fort Popham in Maine.
And, the lovely, poignant “Waving Girl” statue was special. I walked down to get a closer look of Florence and her puppy after the cruise. Legend has it that Florence Martus was the unofficial greeter of all ships that entered and left the Port of Savannah between 1887 and 1931 . Florence would wave a handkerchief by day and a lantern by night. Not a ship was missed in her forty-four years on watch. Was it perhaps she was searching for a lost love? Poked into The Shrimp Factory and treated myself to a glass of their potent sangria as a special treat (firefly peach and apple moonshine, white wine, and fruit, oh my) and a bowl of seafood chowder.
Yes, food did seem to be the priority of my visit to Savannah! My breakfasts were had at Foxy Loxy on the suggestion of my lovely Air B&B Hostess. I treated myself to an amazing final dinner at The Florence, celeb chef Hugh Acheson’s Italian dining in a former ice factory. (Why is it that everywhere I go now, I dream of and explore each place, as potential sites for my beloved Food Film Festival?!).
Before leaving town, I had to try the infamous Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room. Oh boy, she didn’t disappoint! With a very full belly, I said farewell to my dining companions who came from St. Louis, Australia, Minneapolis, and Springfield Illinois. I then headed to Tybee Island, just off the coast from Savannah, and an easy drive.
Sand, sun, and ocean always make me content. Luckily my hostess in Savannah also owned this little pied a terre, so my search with Air B&B was easy for this trip. Settling in and comfortably reading on the beach, a simple salad sufficed for dinner. The next day, after a very long walk on the beach (too chilly to swim, unfortunately), I again was ready for a good dinner. I headed over to what looked like could be a cheesy tourist trap, but was actually very good, and fun, The Crab Shack. There I convinced at least one lady to vote (it was the infamous election day of 2016..I voted by absentee ballot before I left NYC). I also had a wonderful time chatting with Bonnie Raitt’s twin.
Having had absolutely no sleep on Election Night; couldn’t believe what I was witnessing…I made myself go on a Dolphin Cruise the next day. Flipper also always made me happy. It helped, a bit. And, then I met my new friend at another of her favorite hometown places, AJ’s Dockside (for great food and sunsets)!
Definitely came home replenished, well-fed, if not just a little disillusioned. But, as I have now learned more than anything else: life does, and will, go on. I am learning; never stop learning. I always wanted to travel and see our world. It is beautiful and varied. I didn’t expect to do it alone, but, I meet wonderful people. I have lovely interactions, sometimes wonderful discussions. I will never stop learning, enjoying, and please God, exploring.