Had a wonderful long Presidents Day weekend in Savannah with my girlfriend Debi, celebrating her birthday and looking at colleges with my girl. The weather was a perfect 70-something and sunny from the time we landed Thursday until it was time to head home on Monday.
We began our weekend away with a birthday dinner at the local Mexican place, Jalepenos, where Debi got a free birthday shot, and the chance to wear the big sombrero. I think when you turn 45, it just doesn’t get any better than that.
On Friday, we toured the Savannah College of Art and Design –a very impressive art school in the heart of the historic city. Ali was interested in hearing about their film and TV program, as well as their design for sustainability major. We also met up with a young woman who graduated from Ali’s high school who is now a senior at SCAD, to hear about her experience. It seems like a great choice for someone who is primarily interested in working in the arts. After all of our walking and touring, we were delighted to find great craft beer and the Best. Hamburgers. Ever. at the Green Truck Pub. Ali highly recommends the Whole Farm Burger. And nearby we found great desserts at the Back in the Day Bakery. The molasses cookies are to die for. NOM.
On Saturday we did a few more of the traditional Savannah tourist things: lunched in Forsyth Park, where we saw every kind of dog there is on the planet, and observed the National Tree Climbing Championships; took a water taxi across the Savannah River; ducked into the shops along River Street while searching for Cap’n Jack Sparrow; and had a couple of beers at the Moon River Brewing Company. Later that night we had dinner out on Tybee Island, and a few more beers.
Sunday dawned sunny once again, and we made a trip over to Statesboro to look at a more traditional liberal arts school, Georgia Southern University. Even in February, the campus was very pretty–daffodils were already in bloom. A college professor friend of Debi’s gave us a nice tour, and we met up with the head of the English Department–a man who had escaped Northeast Ohio winter weather for good. We chatted with him about the Brittany “Ally” Harbuck Memorial Writing Scholarship, to be awarded for the third time in 2011, honoring Debi’s daughter.
When we returned to Savannah that afternoon we made a pilgrimmage to the Mercer House and Bonaventure Cemetery, both made famous in the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. And just so you know, when the sign says the cemetery closes at 5 p.m., be assured, it does. We were locked in when we tried to leave at 5:10. We called the emergency number at the exit and we were told to wait for a security guard to come back around from his rounds to unlock the padlocked front gate. Fortunately, we managed our escape before the zombies came out.
After that near-miss with denizens of the dead, we headed to the Bonna Bella Yacht Club, a pier restaurant out on the marsh, on the way back to Debi’s place. Having experienced their crab corn fritters last April, I really couldn’t wait to have some again. (The Bonna Bella has even been featured on the Food Network program “Chef vs. City.”) Sadly, our delay in the cemetery cost us a chance to have some: they had just run out when we got there. But the she-crab soup was delicious with a cold beer, and all was right with the world as we watched the sunset over the tall reeds of the marsh.
So now we’re back in the CLE, home of cold weather, ice, sleet and snow. It’s supposed to hit 79 in Savannah today. Sigh. The saving grace however, is that it’s Downtown Cleveland Restaurant Week, and I’m sure to get the chance to have some delicious C-town food and winter brews to keep me warm. It’s good to be home, even if our daffodils are not quite ready to make an appearance.
*With apologies to Johnny Mercer’s “Days of Wine and Roses.”