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Welcome to The Library. Randomness happens, Studyees.
|Good evening Studyees...due to some technical dificulties, I was unable to provide a recap of the last couple days from Savannah directly, so here is a truncated rememberance...
Day 3: Girlfriend In A Coma
The intinerary reads: all present members of the group (15 whittled down to 13) will, in fact, be in attendance for the "Historic Tour of Old Savannah" after the last remaining hold-out (this guy over here) decided to go.
Slight problem. The groom's allergy's have rendered him senseless and nearly bedridden. Says it feels like inner-ear drama. Poor kid...that's nothin' compared to spending the rest of his life having and holding and vow-vow-vowing with my beloved lil sis . Worse yet, the one who's supposed to be the love of my life for all eternity is in worse shape with sinus migraines. You know, the kind of migraines you get when you're not on a trip that you just lay around all day and do nothing but moan, but on a trip you at least get the added sensation of punching inanimate objects in anger at your dumb head problems when everyone else is about to go out and see lotsa old things, leaving you sad, alone and in a pain that no one can do anything about anyway.
Sidenote: I feel bad that she spent a lot of money on this trip and tried really hard to get us there and fight through the migraines. But they won. Game over. I know she wouldn't have wanted me to sit and watch her alternate between sleeping and complaining (either about how she feels or saying she's keeping me from having a good vacation). I would've only tired of that really quick, and made myself a cocktail and a trail to the hotel hot tub for my own personal R&R, yo.
So I got to see the "Historic" Savannah, and I have to tell you Stoggers, it is gorgeous. I knew that by seeing the few blocks surrounding the hotel we were staying at, but to see the whole city and experience all (ok, most) of what it has to offer, is a feeling that's usually only reserved for the birth of any child other than your first.
Sidenote: You may ask me how I have the right to make such a comparison, seeing as how my seeds have yet to be sown. Hence, the qualifier of "any child other than your first". We all know the first one is the toughest usually, so many unknowns to figure out and experience, not knowing what you're doing, etc. By the time you're ready to do it again, you've got a better game plan and you have a different set of expectations. Same thing with travelling. I remember both the first time I was in a new area of the country as a child, and as pretty much the adult I am today, and each time, both were learning experiences for me in magical new places that I'd never been to. And when I'd moved on and done it again, it was great and all, but I was smarter about it. I was more educated about it. I had, to paraphrase myself, experienced what it was like. And just like romantic endeavors, you can screw up your first one but you'll always cherish it. Or something along those lines.
The beauty of Savannah is two-fold. On one hand, it is full of beauty and charm; class and elegance. The buildings for the most part have maintained their historic integrity, and the people have followed in suit. For example, they're fighting the building of a McDonalds the same way some suburbs fight the building of a Wal-Mart (which I think, in spirit, is awesome!). There's a board you have to stand in front of if you want to build, buy or renovate anything, and if your plan doesn't uphold the standards of the community, it's shot down. I admire that. Especially when SCAD (The Savannah College of Art and Design) is your largest contributor to higher learning in the city, with campuses and projects going on all over.
The infrastucture is amazing. It's a small city...you can walk it front-to-back-to-front and see a lot in under three hours. But it was a "planned city", meaning it was built a certain way for specific reasons. It's a grid that was originally centered around 24 "Squares" that feature flowers, fountains and monuments. It is accentuated by tons of locally-owned shops, restaurants, bars, boutiques and service-providers, all in a very tasteful fashion. You need something, it's there, and there's a very good chance that place has been around since the beginning of Savannah's time. Everything's in walking distance, and it's more bike-friendly than it is car-friendly, fo' sho'.
Sidenote: I know, I sound like a walking billboard on your computer screen for this place, but trust me, Studyees. It's the real deal....
On the other hand, it's also a "tourist destination", which screams "We like to party!"...but one of the cleanest and Greenest ones ever. The first thing that blew me away is that there is no garbage on the street at all, even in the busy "City Market" area, which is probably the busiest besides The River (more about The River in the "Day 4" segment). Not even so much as a cigarette butt on the ground. Compared to Buffalo, we're a dump! Beautiful flowers bloom, everyone respects the surroundings and the classic history, and tries to keep it all intact. And hell, even the public garbage cans, they're lined not with plastic bags, but large paper ones. I've never seen this before! Like, GIANT grocery bags, bigger than the ones people hardly ever use anymore while buying their stuff at their super-mega-whatever-chain-it-is, lined and rolled up in a public garbage can. Unheard of! And recepticles of disposal otherwise all over the place, just for poor smokers like me!
And let's do the math on this one: Tourist Destination + Party Town + a very relaxed Open Container Law + crowded streets = random confusion, violence, assault and general mayhem, correct? Not so. My uncle, an ex-cop, saw a total of 4 police cars his entire time there. In Buffalo, that equation equals riots, looting, gunfire and a significant thinning of the herd. In Savannah, it equals good people and good times. In Buffalo, I walk down the street with a cup of beer, I'm a thug/miscreant/troublemaking alcoholic who at worst gets his beer dumped and at best gets thown in a cop car. In Savannah, it's all good. There isn't lunacy and debauchery either. Just southern hospitality, y'all. Blows my mind!
I liken Savannah to the Elmwood Strip in Buffalo...a lot of similarities. Locally-owned shops, lots of students (Elmwood has Buff State), lots of local bars and restaurants, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, and a separate history all of its own. But Savannah thrives, while Buffalo slowly dies. Who is going to save this? Who can bring it back to life and make it be known for something other than snow and cold? Who can turn our waterfront into...
Day 4: Take Me To The River
The River? This is the ultimate gift shop district. Cobblestone streets, plenty of food and drink options, family friendly, great views of some river that I can't for the life of me remember the name of, and not a single gift shop with items featuring the New York Yankees logo plastered all over it.
By then, Jess was good enough to leave the hotel. She and Jared (the groom) walked pretty much the entire length of The River with us, ducking in and out of basically the same 50 gift shops all done up differently. Some had entrances and historical meanings on Bay St., which is on the other side of The River and on street level but the shops would have staircases that led down to The River. It was a beautiful day...not sweltering hot and not too bad in the shade. The atmosphere was laid back and relaxing, allowing us to just kinda leisure around.
And then we had to say goodbye. Even if we really didn't have a plan. The idea was originally to leave early enough on Sunday afternoon that we would get home early Monday morning so we could decompress and get unpacked and rest up to face some things I'll be going through that I had a chance to get away from. To me, the best vacations have little-to-no itinerary. I prefer the spontaneous aspects, the "what are we gonna do next?" parts, under the umbrella of a certain time frame. And that pretty much worked out to plan/unplan, for the most parts. Stoggers, I will give you the disgusting details of Day 5 hopefully tomorrow. Stay tuned...I'm home, safe and sound now, and once I readjust to being back at work I'll share my experience of being in a place you don't want to be. In the meantime, I've got new family to catch up with on Facebook, and eventually a ton of pics to add. Til then, GOODNIGHT NOW!!