So yesterday, the Augusta Tarwaters and a family-Army friend drove the 3ish hours down to Savannah, GA. I had visited Savannah once in my youth, when I was still in High School. My father was stationed there and I remember thinking it was cool. There was a beach and the downtown area was walkable. I seem to recall there being a Jazz Festival at the time and the architecture blew me away.
We drove down, leaving the house at around 0830 and making a beeline for a coffeeshop called The Sentient Bean. Lattes were ordered and snarkiness was encountered. For the FIRST TIME since moving to the South, we were presented with hipsters in all their too-cool-for-you glory.
We were home.
Augusta is nice, don't get me wrong and we found a decent coffeeshop with a hipster at the healm (sp?). But he is kind and says 'y'all.' At The Sentient Bean (located next door to some kind of small business-natural grocery store, hello!) there were skinny jean wearing people who needed sandwiches, bitching that the coffee was stale. There were (at least) two kinds of sugar at the bar. Tea was offered and they had pu-er. The guy who took our order seemed like he did not want to take it. It was like being back at Stumptown. The patrons ran the gamut from crazy old dude with puppet, gay couple out with dogs, family out for a weekend lunch, old punks huddled around pints of coffee...it was nice. We went back twice for caffeination.
Parking across the street from The Sentient Bean was perfect. Across the street is the freaking awesomely awesome Forsyth Park. I have never had amorous feelings like this for trees. Holy smokes. Oaks and Spanish Moss(?) = win. The sidewalks were clean and borderd by these majestically aged trees, the occasional palm tree thrusting into the sky from time to time. The weather by the way? My husband and daughter didn't wear jackets for a good percentage of the day. The sun was out and there were camellias in bloom at one of the many squares set up in the city to commemorate some long deceased general. We ate lunch out in a chunk of park, over a blanket of oak leaves.
The architecture was astounding. Southern charm, verandas, churches and temples as old as the city itself. We got to stare at these awesome edifices while geocaching (0/2) and saw trolleys and horse drawn carriages get pulled through the streets that also had trucks, hybrids, sedans and the occasional Hummer (boo). We walked from Forsyth Park down towards the Old Fort Jackson and the Roundhouse Museum which had old steam engines as well as an old train yard (complete with historic 'Colored's Bathroom). Now, I don't usually go insane for trains but that place was COOL. They had old engines, cars, and the building was pretty much free to roam. I can't really explain the grounds but it was cool to walk around what used to be a functioning trainyard, all the nooks and outdoor areas, including what used to be a garden for the employees to unwind (with one, solitary koi in the pond). They had old printing presses and it was just freaking cool. We paid $4 each to get in and was well worth it. We plan on going back. Sopi loved it and got a harmonica out of the deal.
After the train yard we walked back towards the park to change the goober and then walked over to our destination for dinner, Vinne Van GoGo's Pizza. It was a nice walk that took us through a rather awesome downtown. A walkable downtown. With sidewalks, more awesome architecture and stores that we had actually heard of. People were out on the street and the restaurant was located just a few blocks away from the Riverwalk. We sat outside and ate some of the BEST pizza we've ever had (I know, blasphemy. Pepperoni and black olive, great crust). Sopi got to watch the punk rock Southerner's toss the dough into the air and got to tell one of them that the pizza was 'freaking awesome,' to which he replied 'Thanks, y'all!'
My blog post is really not doing it justice. Savannah is beautiful, historical and liveable. Their craigslist has prices for homes that made my mouth fall open and the feeling when you walk around is that of...well, that you are in a place of beauty. It is probably the least sketchy city I've been to in a really good long time.
Obligatory pics. More to come; also links for the places that we went to.
Visit if you can. It's worth the trip. And if you pass through Augusta, you'll have a place to stay.