The MalleyCats

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(2011) In which I go to Savannah

If there is a "most charming city in the US" list out there somewhere I'm guessing Savannah, Georgia is right at the top. I had the pleasure of spending a girls weekend there earlier this month with Meredith, Marianne and Chanel. I can't say enough good things about this trip...though I will spend next several paragraphs trying to do just that.

We arrived Friday night in Atlanta where Meredith picked us up and brought us to her house for the night. I wish I had taken a picture of her house because it's beyond lovely. Everywhere you look there is something beautiful--a picture, a little gathering of birds, books. It just looks so...Meredith. Upon arrival, Scott had prepared a little snack for us--Pizza, wings, fried mushrooms, fried pickes, and fries. You know, just a little midnight snack before hitting the road bright and early the next day! When we left at 6:00 am, Scott had also procured donuts and "piggies" (cheese stuffed sausage encased in a fluffy roll) for breakfast. Is he rad or what?

We had a great little road trip to Savannah the next day and arrived in time to have a fabulous brunch of hazelnut french toast, crab cakes eggs benedict, and cheese grits. Then we walked around the oak-lined streets enjoying the sites and fabulous weather. Speaking of weather, it was a balmy 75 degrees the whole weekend. It was paradise.

The whole city is filled with Oak trees that are hundreds of years old. They are covered in Spanish moss, creating this very ancient and cozy effect. 5 points for charming.

We visited the city's oldest cemetery which dates back to the 1700's. It's fascinating and unlike any other cemetery I've ever seen, it's actually a park where people stroll along, have a picnic, and enjoy the grounds.

That night we dined at Paula Deen's restaurant, "Lady and Sons" which lived up to it's reputation. I had a chimichurri-rubbed steak with mushroom risotto and glazed carrots, along of course with piping hot hoe-cakes and fresh lemonade. And for dessert, banana pudding and pecan pie. Jealous yet? You should be. I want to smack myself just writing about it. Also, I might be drooling a little bit. After dinner we went on horse-drawn carriage ghost tour. Spooky! It was just spooky enough to make my hair stand on end a time or two, but not scary enough to leave me completely creeped out. Savannah is the most haunted city in America--did you know that? One of many things you learn on a ghost tour.

The next day we had brunch on a Riverboat cruise. The setting was perfect for having an excellent time with my girls.

Following the riverboat cruise we shopped around the river front before heading out to the lighthouse at Tybee island and dinner at Uncle Bubbas

The dinner at Uncle Bubba's was probably my favorite meal of the trip because I made peace with some of my seafood issues: Namely oysters and shrimp. You see, shrimp and I haven't been on the best of terms since getting some wicked food poisoning 5 years ago on the eve of Bennett's first birthday after eating some bad shrimp. I haven't been able to eat it since. It wasn't until the magic of Uncle Bubba's crab-stuffed bacon-wrapped shrimp that I have finally forgiven shrimp for what it did to me. It was a very happy reunion. And as for oysters...well I've just always steered clear of them. They look like giant, slimy boogers. And why in the world would I want to eat that?! But I was convinced by Ryan, the ever helpful employee of the gift shop that I would not be sorry if I tried the chargrilled oysters. He was right! The only thing I was sorry about was that I didn't order two plates of them. Seriously, where have chargrilled oysters been all my life?! Apparently I like to use question marks and exclamation points at the end of all my sentences?!

The next morning we got in line for lunch. Let me explain: Mrs. Wilkes is a famous, albeit tiny little restaurant that is only open for lunch Monday through Friday-- and they don't take reservations. So the line wraps around the block everyday of the week with people waiting patiently to get a chance to taste the famous southern comfort food. We waited two hours before finally being seated. Once inside you are seated at tables of ten and are served family style a whole assortment of food. You don't get to order--they just bring dish after dish of all sorts of delights like: pulled pork, fried chicken, collard greens, creamed corn, mashed potatoes, cabbage etc. It was worth the wait. Once you finish your meal, you bus your own dishes to the kitchen and then pay cash only on your way out! Here's a picture of our grub:

While waiting in line I found myself a very fancy hat. If you want to find me this summer, I'll be the one wearing the obnoxiously large red hat.

Other highlights included a trolley tour of the city, a tour of the Andrew Lowe home, and finding some incredible little shops with lots of treasures like a vintage birdhouse and delicious tangerine balsamic vinegar and blood orange olive oil.

We ended the trip with a visit to St. John's cathedral, which was built because the huge Irish Catholic population that helped settle Savannah. It's beautiful, and looks like it belongs somewhere in Europe.

I'll leave you with a few more pictures of some of the cool buildings in Savannah and the suggestion that you put Savannah on your bucket list of places to visit before you die. Oh, and in case you were concerned about my caloric intake during this trip, I'm happy to report that my heart is still beating, and I didn't gain a single pound. It's nothing short of a miracle.

Seth Malley