Yes, that is Lexi and me walking along River Street in the Historic downtown area. Walking a marathon today could not possibly have been enough to compensate for all of the decadent food that we have eaten in the last 24 hours.
I am nauseous as I write this blog having just consumed 2 enormous, rich cookies that Steve purchased earlier in the day (for himself BTW) from the “dreamy cookie bar” at Sylvester & Co. which I might add is actually a very cool home-goods store having a gourmet cookie & coffee bar within. We happened to spot this place while sitting outside at the french bistro by the name of Papillote, taking a mid-day Arnold Palmer break. How we left the store with these cookies can only be described as irresponsible having just finished a plate of salted caramel macarons & Croûte à Thé – an almond tart which tasted like butter with some luscious marzipan mixed in. This was only hours after the three of us breakfasted (notice I included Lexi) on the Southern favorite of shrimp, grits, andouille sausages and BUTTER at the Rocks on the River Grill overlooking the Savannah River! To be honest — Lexi only ate a kids-sized portion of eggs, bacon & pancakes which was far less rich. She is mindful of her Diplo-dog figure.
The city itself is so rich with history that you cannot walk all day without learning a thing or two, especially with a history buff husband in tow — even if you are a right-brained artist as I am. While I am a bit more educated than this, I stumbled upon a joke that will help you understand my grasp of many historical facts……
A very gentle Southern lady was driving across the Savannah River Bridge in Georgia one day. As she neared the top of the bridge, she noticed a young man fixing (ready) to jump.
She stopped her car, rolled down the window and said, “Please don’t jump. Think of your dear mother and father.” He replied, “Mom and Dad are both dead. I’m gonna to jump.”
She said, “Well, think of your wife and children.” He replied, “I’m not married, and I don’t have any kids.”
She said, “Well then, think of Robert E. Lee.” He replied, “Who’s Robert E. Lee?”
She replied, “Well bless your heart, just go ahead and jump, you dumb ass Yankee.”
OK – so maybe I am not quite the Yankee, as I have learned a thing or two as the wife of a Diplomat. This might give you some insight, however, how each of us viewed the city. While I looked for beautiful architecture & images to photograph, Steve read every placard in each of the 24 Savannah squares. Lexi did neither. With all of the towering oak trees dripping with moss, she was on squirrel alert all day. I must have absorbed something during our stroll as I can tell you three things about the moss:
- It was actually brought over on boats from Spain.
- You should only touch moss that is in the trees — moss on the ground is full of nasty chiggers that will bury into your skin.
- There are several squares in the city where the moss never grows. Savannah is known for it’s ghost stories and exorcisms. Moss will not grow where there are spirits.
A few other interesting facts and observations…..
- Savanna was the 1st named city of Georgia and America’s 1st planned city — hence the grid streets, public squares and lavish churches.
- Cotton was the dominant commerce beginning in the late 1700’s with the Savannah Cotton Exchange still standing today.
- There are a lot of steep, scary looking historic stone staircases leading up from the river. One could look at this as risky business climbing, OR a way to deal with all the BUTTER.
- It is really all about the food – BUTTER, bbq, shrimp, grits, greens, fried-green tomatoes, peanuts and praline. Paula Deen set up shop here!
- SCAD – Savannah School of Art & Design is here. The artist in me likes the funky vibe that it brings to an otherwise formal city.
- In the midst of too many tourist shops there are a few gems such as the Savannah Bee Company — a store totally dedicated to everything honey. They are very dog & people friendly here, so Lexi took a nap on the floor, while I chatted it up at the honey tasting bar. I think I wore her out trying to walk off the……….BUTTER!
- While people really are hospitable here – too many of them smoke.
- Many people ride bikes. No one wears a helmet. If they are not the apparitions –they will be soon.
Tomorrow when we finally head to Tampa, I hope to dine on nothing but fresh Florida oranges for a few days. That might be the only way to deal with the fact that for the 1st time in 19 years (since I was last pregnant) that my fingers were too swollen with the likes of BUTTER & salt to remove my rings before bedtime!