Just like Sherman before us–that would be Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman if you please–who helped the Union win the Civil War–we chose to conquer Georgia (figuratively speaking of course) by moving from the great commercial mecca of Atlanta to genteel and cultured Savannah that rests near the Atlantic Ocean.
Atlanta is the “New York” of the south; noted for the large number corporate regional and national offices based here–CNN, Home Depot and Coca Cola to name a few; as a former site of the Olympics (1996); home of the world’s largest aquarium; as a center for professional sports and the list goes on. Surely the lasting memory is “Gone with the Wind” as Rhett and Scarlett are forced o leave Atlanta as the city is burned prior to the Yankee invasion during the Civil War.
Our battle plan called for a quick insertion into Marietta (Atlanta suburb) at the home of an undisclosed mystery hostess. Over a three day period we supped well, eased into the high culture by visiting the High Museum and met a number of folks whose very nature screams southern refinement. We were particularly impressed by the High Museum and these photos will show why:
We also took a “time out” one evening to attend a movie–Looper–which is a sci-fi thriller that the boys loved and girls hated. Aside from watching the film perhaps the real highlight of the evening was the seating which were barcaloungers — I kid you not. Combine the dark interior with the way too comfortable seats and staying awake can be a real challenge for some. Sorry for the lighting deficiency in this photo but dark theaters can be challenging. Still you get the idea, right?
Although we were in “tony” Atlanta we were still able to partake in a southern cooking feast at Ok Cafe. It was raining outside to beat the band while inside we basked in the warmth of some real home cookin. Wonderful corn muffins, fried chicken, sweet taters, black-eyed peas…awesome!
Next we moved on to lovely Savannah. Known as a port city as well as a lasting reminder of the olde south it was founded in 1733 as the first capital of Georgia during colonial times. Walking through the city is a real history lesson. There is a large historic district that is comprised of commercial and residential buildings that are as old as our republic.
The city is very walkable with more green space than cities three times its size. And when one tires there is a free trolley that takes you throughout the historic district; it was air-conditioned which at the point we jumped on was indeed a godsend. The largest green expanse in the city is Forsythe Park which is rather like Boston Common, in that, it is a gathering place for social and sporting events.
The historical Savannah is certainly eye candy as the photos show; but it is also a window to the past as this particular photo taken in a local antique shop shows:
There was one sign that was not in this photo and it showed a sign stating “Irish need not apply”. This fascinated me because for one thing I am Irish. However, more importantly Georgia was originally a penal colony for Great Britain. Its origin as a colony was tied to indentured Irish and convicted Irish criminals all of whom came to the new world to earn a “clean slate”. It was interesting that the Irish were treated slightly better than African Americans — often pitted against each other–both groups lacked tolerance for each other.
One cannot visit a maritime area without tasting local delicacies from the ocean. We searched the internet for a local seafood restaurant. Since Cherie and I love seafood we were hoping to find a place we went to many, many years ago. Uncertain of success we eventually tracked down “the Crab Shack on Tybee Island–a short 50 minute drive from our motel. Frankly, after reading the restaurant’s internet site was not sure it was the right restaurant — it sounded way too upscale. We could still vividly recall the roaming cats, the large open top tables for scraps and the shabbiness of the place.
When we drove up we were very certain this was indeed the fish joint that we remembered with some caveats. This was no longer the same hole-in-wall operation. Oh no, it was now housed in a much larger and newer building with dozens of tables, a screened porch, a feed the alligator pit and a roof. We were happy to find out that the food/portions had not changed
and that were still cats roaming the establishment. Look at these photos of the seafood platter — shrimp, crayfish, two types of crab, sausage, potatoes, corn-on-the-cob and you will note that virtually every table is eating the same thing–it was so yummy, buttery… You will note my eating style:
Did I mention that it is located on the ocean? Very breezy! Love those crayfish and wrestling with gators is fun too! There was also a spectacular full moon that evening we added even more ambience to the dinner and the post-meal drive back to our motel.
Savannah was a fun excursion, but onward we must go–across the river to our next destination in South Carolina.