No husbands, no kids, and lots of planning were all it took to get my five sisters and I off on our first ever “sisters only” getaway. After two days in Charleston, where sweetgrass baskets, Rainbow Row, and other delights charmed us, our rented van then sped us along towards Savannah.
As we traveled east on Kings Highway we spotted the Carolina Cider Company and screeched to a halt. Loaded with jugs of cider and bountiful baked goods, we lingered for a bit and I bought a ridiculously yummy pumpkin fritter that was gone by the time we were a mile up the road.
Then we headed for our luxury hotel, The Mansion on Forsythe Park, on Drayton Street in beautiful Savannah. The park is thirty acres of bliss and is especially noted for the stunning fountain built in 1858.
After a stroll through the park, we walked until we found Oglethorpe Trolley Tours. Our first guide, with her throaty voice and ready wit, informed us of the evils of the chiggers that live in the Spanish moss hanging from many of the trees, and thrilled us with tales of local haunts and attractions. We cruised by the Mercer Williams House and the smallest house in Savannah. When we passed The Pirate’s House on East Broad Street, we kept it in mind as a possibility for dinner. We exited the bus at City Market and poked around in some nearby shops.
The return bus trip found us with a different driver and she was a hoot. This gal had an authentic Southern accent and a great attitude. She got us back to our hotel in good order, where we rested in our rooms. Oh, and so pretty! Big, fat, comfortable beds, luxurious bathrooms, fur throws, and bottled water at five bucks a pop.
We’d all decided that The Pirate’s House was the place to go for dinner, so we got gussied up and drove over. The restaurant is the oldest continuously operating restaurant in the country; reams of famous people have dined (and died) there including Captain Flint, the pirate. The owners go all out with the pirate theme, too, like the skeleton scrabbling for treasure as you peer down the stairwell in one of the dining rooms. Campy and fun.
But the food was delish and we had a super waitress, Sybil. We liked her immediately, especially when she brought us extra cornbread — golden, moist and tender. The deep fried dill pickles were addictively wonderful, the mint juleps were okay, my pecan encrusted salmon was superb, and the desserts — gratis. Sybil let us try the peach cheesecake and a lime something that was delectable. Pucker worthy.
The Pirate’s House Gift Shop was crammed with all kinds of goodies we would have bought if we hadn’t spent so much down by the water. Their logo t-shirts were good quality, and even though I passed on them I did purchase a classy pen and ink lighthouse print for a friend.
Post dinner and gift shop we did a walk about, then headed back to the Mansion. When we’d paid for the bus tour that day, it included hop on and hop off the next morning, too. Three of us decided to go for it while three opted out.
Now, you tell me who had more fun. The three on the bus visited the irresistible Christmas Shop on Bull Street and toured the Sorrel-Weed House. The other three tromped down the street looking for a “charming café,” that some misinformed young clerk told us served a good breakfast. That proved fruitless, so back we went to the Mansion to try their American Continental Breakfast. It was hot and flavorful and the coffee kept coming.
Meanwhile the other three were finding cute little things from cute little shops to take home and skipped breakfast. One sister lost a shoe in a sidewalk crack, resulting in a spectacular imitation of a helicopter comin’ in low and hard. Laughter erupted, causing a momentary lag in the morning’s activities.
I was involved in the charming café hunt, but I wish I’d chosen “the trip.”
Two days isn’t very long to spend in this lovely city, but we made the most of it. That afternoon we left the Mansion on Forsyth Park for the Savannah airport and stopped at one last tourist attraction, the Saint Bonaventure Cemetery, made famous by John Berendt’s book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. It was an oddly beautiful place and quite easy to imagine unsettled ghosts drifting among the headstones.
Sometime later we arrived at the airport in Savannah and it was just a short jump to Atlanta where I said a tearful goodbye to the sisters I love and headed back to New York, alone.
All photos are courtesy of the author.