Fizzy Thoughts

Archive for the ‘Savannah’ Category

Signs

with 6 comments

I took a lot of pictures of signs on this last trip. Picturesque, weird, depressing (the sign for cheap gas) and optimistic…it seemed there was always a sign that caught my eye.








Written by softdrink

April 20, 2008 at 2:42 pm

Posted in Savannah, travel

Boom!

with 3 comments

Who can resist a sign like this?

My last day in Savannah I visited Fort Pulaski, an old brick fortress style bunker thing that saw some action during the Civil War. Despite the fact that I was a history major, and briefly a history teacher, I’m not feeling up to a full history lesson. Let’s just say that there was a battle, and there were lots of cannons involved. Cannons like this:
However, the Union had better guns and the Fort suffered some damage, and the boys in grey surrendered. I was never really into the Civil War, obviously. That reminds me, I took a military history class (it was the only history class I could get one quarter) that bored me to tears. The ROTC guys were waaaay too into, though. Okay, that really has nothing to do with Fort Pulaski, but now that I think about it, I’m surprised I even visited.

Anyways…I found it weirdly uncomfortable to walking around in the Fort’s gift shops and seeing Confederate pins and patches and toy soldiers for sale. Not to mention seeing the Confederate Stars and Bars flag flying.

And guys in grey uniforms.

But, I did get to see a cannon fire.

And an alligator in the moat. That alone was worth the 3 bucks it cost to get in.

Written by softdrink

April 18, 2008 at 8:09 am

Posted in Savannah, travel

Delta don't impress me much

with 7 comments

I can’t say that I’m that impressed with Delta. On the way to Savannah, my flight from LA to Atlanta was delayed. Luckily, my Savannah flight was also delayed, so I didn’t miss my last flight. And while the flight attendants weren’t bad, they weren’t exactly making the skies friendly, either. Not that I expect perky flight attendants, but a slight upturn of the lips would be nice. Oh, and don’t make me ask for the snack, either. If you say we get cookies, you damn well better give me the cookies.

Then there was the journey home. It all started in Atlanta, when they announced that there was a mechanical problem with the plane. Okay, that’s fine. But then they felt the need to explain that the mechanics were on board. And the mechanics had their books open. Then they updated us with the news there was a problem with some oil thingie (my word, not theirs, although at the rate they were going, had they tossed out thingie, it wouldn’t have surprised me) and they were going to start by replacing the indicator, because that was quicker. If that didn’t work, then they would replace some other thingamajig.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I prefer to live in airplane ignorance. All they needed to throw out as an explanation for the delay was the word maintenance. I’m not really comforted by the fact that the mechanics were trying to find the problem in their books.

And then, in the midst of this waiting, the airport emergency lights flashed, a warning siren went off, and they announced there was an emergency. That was it, though. Nothing happened, and there were no further announcements. I got more info than I ever wanted about my plane, but no clue what was going on in the airport.

Our flight left shortly thereafter. Unfortunately, it arrived in LA just as my flight to San Luis Obispo was leaving. I didn’t even get a seat on a later flight…but I did get a hotel voucher and a ticket for a 6:30 am flight the next morning. Right at the time that Hamburger called to say he was home from Indonesia. Waaahhhh!!!! At that point, I really, really, really wanted to just go home. Instead, I went to go wait (and wait, and wait) for my luggage, that they said I could pick up, only to discover that no, it was sent somewhere else to wait for tomorrow’s flight. So I headed to the Marriott with my little complimentary case with a toothbrush and a t-shirt. Only to get back up at an ungodly hour to go back to the airport to get in line for my real ticket and then in line to go back through security and then get singled out for the special security pat down and then eat breakfast at McDonald’s (which I never do, but hello, I was starving, and it’s the only thing open in the airport at 5 frickin’ am…and by the way, their coffee sucks). And I had finished my book and magazine the day before, so I had nothing to read. Which is the real horror of this entire saga.

So, long story short, I’m home. Although my luggage isn’t. Gee, what a surprise. And I have a vicious case of jet lag/travel hangover/Delta pissed-offedness.

Back to the regularly scheduled cheerfulness in a few days. Because I’ve got more Savannah stories and pictures to share. And books to review. Although if my suitcase doesn’t show up soon, there might be stories and pictures of rolling heads.

Written by softdrink

April 15, 2008 at 2:43 pm

Posted in Savannah, travel

Here's the church, here's the steeple…

with 5 comments

Here in the south it seems you can’t go a block without passing a church. Or a billboard extolling the virtues of reading the bible. The road to Charleston even has this exact road sign (although there are no shoulders to pull off on, so I had to swipe this photo from Google images). For some reason, the fact that there is a sign alerting drivers to an upcoming church cracks me up. Why didn’t the 50 previous churches rate a sign?
Anyways, I’m sure y’all have figured out by now that I’m not exactly the most religious of persons. But for some reason I love taking pictures of churches. Go figure.

The spires of the Mickve Israel Synagogue, Savannah

The ruins of The Chapel of Ease, Lady’s Island

St Michael’s, Charleston

The Circular Congregational Church, Charleston

The ruins of Sheldon Church, burned by Sherman

Written by softdrink

April 12, 2008 at 8:03 am

Posted in Savannah, travel

Middleton Place

with 4 comments

I visited Middleton Place today. That’s an old plantation along the Ashley River, just outside of Charleston. And yes, that’s in South Carolina. I get around.

That’s not the original house…that one burned during the Civil War, and then what was left fell down after the earthquake in the late 1800s. The gardens were restored (do you restore gardens?) in the early 1900s. The original gardens were the first planned gardens in the US. Colonies. Whatever.



Middleton Place is bee-you-ti-ful. Everywhere you look there is another stunning view. I took gobs of photos. Including lots of flowers and animals, because the sheep were darn cute.

So you think you want to live there? One itty-bitty detail I forgot to mention. There are alligators. And they like to sun themselves on the grass. I had the camera on the way-way-way zoomed setting for this shot.

Written by softdrink

April 11, 2008 at 6:25 pm

Posted in Savannah, travel

the scoop on Savannah…so far

with 8 comments

First of all, let me just share that I have approximately 20 bug bites, and they are currently driving me crazy. Although I’m not quite “flakier than a biscuit,” a new phrase I learned yesterday. Savannah is still lovely, but damn, it’s a swampy place. My left leg is covered in bites, and I wore pants all day yesterday. I just don’t get it.

Today is my fourth full day here, and now we are well into the Slow Travel festivities. For all you non-Slow Travel peeps, there is a Slow Travel gathering this weekend here in Savannah with about 100 people. So even though I’m here by myself for two weeks, this weekend gives me a chance to hang out with fun people and do some activities with groups.

Let’s back up to my first day here. I walked. And walked. And walked. As Brenda once said, Savannah is the walkingest city. It’s fun just to stroll along the streets, because everywhere you look there are beautiful houses, gorgeous churches (and one synagogue), statues lurking in squares…and the squares. Oh my, the squares. They are wonderful, and there are 22 of them. I’ve been to almost all of them, and I love them all. Although Troup Square is particularly lovely. And Whitfield has a cute gazebo.


The houses are amazing, too. The first day I went inside Mercer House and the Owens-Thomas House, but it’s fun just to check out the outsides, too. This is one of my favorites:

I like the side balconies. And the chimneys, but you can’t see them in this picture.

There are also lots of gardens and interesting fences to peek through as you walk along.

And cemeteries. I ate lunch in Colonial Park Cemetery on that first day.

And let’s not forget the trees. Trees with flowers, and trees draped with Spanish moss. It’s all just so southern.


So that was my first day…walking and getting the lay of the land. And sweating, because did I mention the humidity??

The second day (that would have been Thursday) it was threatening to rain in the morning, so I drove out to Wormsloe to look around. Wormsloe is the site of the ruins of one of the original settlers of the colony, Noble Jones. It also has one the most spectacular driveways around:

After checking out the ruins and walking the nature trails, I drove back into town and cruised down Broughton St in the car. I hadn’t quite made it this far on my walk on Wednesday…most of the places I had walked were quiet and residential, with a few shops thrown in. Broughton is the shopping street, full of cars and people. And the Savannah Tea Room, which is where I wanted to have lunch. So I drove back to the cottage, parked the car, and set back out on foot. It only takes about 20 minutes to walk the length of the historical district, a fact I failed to realize on Wednesday, since I was zigzagging all over the place.

At the Tea Room I had a good lunch and the best pot of tea ever. Empress Bride. Mmmmmmmmm. And I ran into Brenda, the fearless leader of our Slow Travel book group. Brenda and I chatted for quite a while, then when we were leaving we ran into more Slow Travelers, so we stayed in the Tea Room for a mighty long time. And before we left, Brenda and I made reservations for the full afternoon tea on Saturday. There will be tea. And goodies. And champagne.

We walked along Broughton and slowly made our way back east to Washington Square. The planning committee for this weekend’s Slow Travel events was hosting a wine and cheese party. There are lots of people here from the Slow Bowl events I’ve been to, so lots of familiar faces. There’s Palma, and Jerry, and Kim, and Shannon. And also Marcia and David, and Sharon, and Joan and Fred. And lots of new faces, including many Californians. We are well represented here in Savannah! Anyways…I met lots of people, and as usual, everyone was so fun to talk to, and excited to be here in Savannah.

Afterwards, I went to dinner with some of the California group (and Kim…she’s from New Jersey, but we don’t hold that against her). We went to The Pirate’s House, where despite the cheesy pirate theme, and the cheesy Johnny Depp wannabe, we had some good food. Then everyone piled into Marcia and David’s rental car and they drove me home, which was very kind, because there’s no way in hell I’m walking these streets in the dark. And everyone came in and checked out my cute little cottage and proclaimed it a good find.

Yesterday, I walked to the river for the first time. I waved (okay not really) to the Waving Girl.

And I walked along River St, which is incredibly touristy. I also discovered they generously hand out free samples of warm pralines at the candy stores, and considering a little praline goes a long way, a free sample is all I need. Boy, they’re good. But I have a vicious sweet tooth, and they’re sweet even for me. Now if there was chocolate involved, that would be a whole ‘nother story.

I returned to The Pirates House for lunch. Brenda had arranged for a couple of locals to have lunch with us. So after a very southern buffet (fried chicken, mashed potatoes, squash casserole, green beans, macaroni and cheese, biscuits, sweet potatoes, and the butter beans and collard greens that I avoided), we were regaled with Savannah stories. Jean Soderlind is an admitted damn Yankee (that means she bought a house and stayed) and Jeff Hall was born and raised here. They both work in theater and as guides, and they told fun stories about Jim Willi
ams and Lady Chablis (Jeff was her stage manager) and other people form “The Book,” as well as tales of haunted cottages and what Savannah was like 30 years ago when Jean arrived. It was so much fun to be able to have lunch with a couple of locals who were so very gracious about sharing their city with us.

After lunch I did more wandering, along River St and then back south to the cottage. I ran into Brenda again, then later I also saw Jerry and Paul. It’s fun to be thousands of miles from home and run into people you know, to stop and chat for a minute or two.

At 6:00 the Slow Travel gang met at the Gingerbread House for more food and talk. I walked there, thinking the breeze would be nice. Which it was, but after walking about a mile and a half, I needed more than the breeze. Luckily, there was air conditioning! I hung out around the vents for a good half hour. We ate delicious food (crab cakes, chicken, little potato thingies, grilled veggies), drank prosecco (and anything else you wanted from the bar), ate dessert (the lemon bars were sooooo good), and talked and talked and talked. And once again, some very kind people gave me a ride home so I didn’t have to call a taxi. Pat and Margaret are staying right around the corner from me, so they deposited me safely on my doorstep. Thanks guys!

And here are at Saturday morning. Wendy gave some of us a Pilate’s class this morning, which was really interesting, as I had never experienced Pilates before. Now you’re all caught up on what I’ve been up to and I’m off to get ready for our tea this afternoon. And tonight is the big event, a low country boil at Fort Jackson, followed by a trolley tour of the haunted sites in Savannah. I’ll let you know if I see any ghosts.

Written by softdrink

April 5, 2008 at 9:58 am

Posted in Savannah, travel

A brief update from Savannah

with 3 comments

Savannah is wonderful and lovely and I’m having a great time. But there are just not enough hours in the day to blog about it, too. So for now…you can check out my pictures on flickr…

http://flickr.com/photos/softdrink/sets/72157604362787237/

The only ones posted are from yesterday. Yes, 63 pictures from yesterday alone. I told you it’s a lovely city.

Written by softdrink

April 3, 2008 at 8:16 pm

Posted in Savannah, travel