I mentioned in my post about Bonaventure Cemetery that Francesca and I recently went on a weekend trip to Savannah. I'm not at all embarrassed to admit that it was 100% inspired by Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and considering that book spent nearly ten years on the New York Times Bestseller list, I'm willing to bet we're not the only ones similarly moved.
We both agreed that we probably never need to go to Savannah again after this trip—which isn't to say that it's not worth a return visit, but rather a comment on how much we crammed into three days. We stayed at a very lovely (and cheap!) AirBnB right off of Forsyth Park in the historic downtown area, which is quite small and very walkable.
One of our first stops was the Pirate's House, where we ate a very delicious and very Southern buffet lunch (mac n' cheese, collard greens, fried chicken, fried okra, cornbread, peach cobbler, etc.). We then asked for a tour, which we were told was free and we were directed to "ask the pirate." The pirate turned out to be a former New Yorker and SVA grad named Chris, who told us tales of underground tunnels, drunken sailors and haint blue paint. We both thought the Pirate's House was going to be cheesier than it was, but it turned out to be really historic, kind of creepy, incredibly tasty and one of our favorite stops.
In keeping with our main theme, we took a tour of the Mercer-Williams house, which was very short but still worth it. Breakfast at Clary's was excellent for the ambience (and that sign!), as well as the food, and fulfilled my need to eat at a classic diner at least once a week.
We walked the River Walk, popped in some shops, sampled multiple pralines, got pooped on by a bird and walked up (and down) various sets of "historic steps." Savannah is dripping with Southern charm and there is enough to see just walking the streets and through beautiful squares to keep you occupied for several days.
Of course I took notice of some excellent signage, hand-painted, neon and otherwise. The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) is a top-notch art school and their influence is felt all over the city. Although a large portion of Savannah has been restored—thanks in a large part to Jim Williams—the city is still a wonderful mix of pre-Civil War opulence and urban decay.
We took a ghost tour, creeped on a lot of real-life haunted houses and got yelled at for getting too close to the not-at-all-secured entrance to an underground tunnel once used to transport victims of yellow fever. We took two house tours (and explored one antique store/house), browsed for books, toured two cemeteries, pressed three pennies, saw every one of the squares, accidentally touched some Spanish moss and had our fortunes told by a pirate (not Chris). We didn't see any ghosts, but we did see two lizards, a tiny frog and one ghost cat.
On our last night we ate at the Olde Pink House, which was fancy and delicious. I did, however have a weird moment while we were looking around, where I missed a step on the stairs and felt as if I fell several feet. When my heart returned to my chest cavity, I joked that I must have been pushed by a ghost. I also awoke a few hours later to find that I was violently ill from my burger, so maybe the Pink House presence really wasn't a fan of me. However, despite being pooped on, pushed and poisoned, I still think our trip was nothing but a total success.