Of all the places that I "should've written about" during Bella and I's epic 5 month long adventure...nothing bothered me more than not writing about Savannah, Ga, while IN Savannah. For anyone that is a writer/painter/creator of any type, then you know a thing or two about inspiration. Some things need to be written about as they are happening, while you're surrounded by the atmosphere that inspires you to sit down and write it down, take the photo, or paint the scene to share it with others.
Thankfully, I've been given the chance for redemption, as fate brought me back here to this unbelievably charming city. Long story short on how we're back here, is that a friend needed a ride to North Carolina, and I couldn't resist the urge to come back to one of my favorite cities.
While talking with my mother yesterday she asked: "What is it about Savannah that you like so much?" Well, I'll start off by saying that I was fortunate enough to have no expectations. I hadn't really heard much about this historic gem of the South. Rest easy, however, in knowing that no matter what I write about this place, it will exceed your expectations once you get the chance to visit, which I hope you do. Second, I said: "Because people WANT to be here, they Love being here, and it's easy to see why.
Driving into town from the North brings you across the beautiful Talmadge Memorial Bridge, which is extremely similar to the Arthur Ravenel Jr bridge in the not too distan Charleston, SC. As you cross over the Savannah River, you can see the historic downtown river front area of Savannah, and your first exit will take right into it's incredible historic district. The streets almost feel subterranean as you drive under the canopy of live oaks with Spanish moss hanging as if it were put there for decoration. The city FEELS alive, I feel as if it has it's own personality, it's own soul. I've never felt before, as if I could talk...to the city...and it would speak back.
The sidewalks are busy with some of the most beautiful people I've ever seen as they tour the city's unique history, dozens of parks from Oglethorpe's brilliant design, and countless restaurants, bars and shops.
Savannah College of Art Design (SCAD) brings an eclectic group of people that have a style that I can truly appreciate, and the presence of their artistic spirit is felt across the city. I actually entertained enrolling there I was so intrigued as I met students having group photography and sketch classes in the open fields of Forsyth Park. That was until I found out that 18 months of a GI Bill isn't going to do much good against the cost of tuition, unless I planned on knocking off a diamond store along my travels.
Speaking of Forsyth Park....that is where I'm at...right now. Sitting on a bench, typing with a wireless keyboard and my iPhone. We're about 20 yards from the fountain, while Bella rests in the shade. Though it's hot, the locals are used to it and so are their dogs, it seems every other person has a pooch with them, and that makes it all the more lovable for me. We are currently blessed to have a man singing as he plays the guitar along with the harmonica. Our last trip someone had a brass instrument and I can't remember the exact piece...but it was beautiful. Again, the entirety of the park is lined with the oak trees and the Spanish moss, as well as a variety of trees and flowers that I'm not going to pretend I know what they are. I've shared Live videos on my Facebook feed, and I often do that because there are just not enough words, and if there are...I simply don't know them.
The houses here....the places that you can live in and call your home...are unlike any other place that I've seen. Charleston, I suppose, has many similar, but they seem to be unrealistic for a man of my financial background to live in. Here in Savannah, the historic district seems to go on and on and there seem to be a healthy amount of options that are attainable. Just a few blocks from the park, my friend owns a beautiful Victorian home with 4 bedrooms 2 1/2 bath, I believe built in the 1890's, if I remember correctly. This house cost around $300k, and though to some may still seem expensive, it's a reality for a dual income household, especially if you take advantage of some revolutionary new movements such as AirBnB and rent out one of those bedrooms often enough to actually help pay toward the mortgage.
Okay, I'm getting off track here, let's see if I can wrap this up and get Bella and I back on the road. We stopped here so I could type a bit before we headed on down to Florida. Yup, we have some white sand beaches and an air boat ride in store for us. I can't tell you how excited I am about that.
So, let me just say this one last thing about Savannah, and perhaps I'll come back and write more again someday....but today I'll finish with mentioning the people. Granted, many people are tourists and transplants, but as I mentioned before...they LOVE being here. I'm not sure I've ever been welcomed into more conversations and invited to join in on more celebrations than here. "We're taking the boat out tomorrow, you should come!"
"Meet us out at Tybee island!" "We're having a barbecue, come on over!" "Have you been to this restaurant? Meet us there tonight!"
Tybee Island....man...that reminds me of how much more there is to write about this area. Bonaventure cemetery...the Savannah Wildlife Refuge. There truly are not enough words, or at least, there is not enough time for me to type them out at the moment....as it's time for us to get moving down to the Sunshine state.
Looks like I'll have to come back and write more....I hope to see you there!
-Rob n Bella