I feel like a broken record with my continual gushing over the gorgeous scenery surrounding my Southern Roadtrip so I’ll try to control my compliments! It’s just extremely difficult to convey what I was seeing and feeling through out the trip without sounding like a tour guide/travel commercial. When I say it was all sunshine and daisies…it was literally sunshine & daisies. You just can’t quite get it across on a computer screen but I’ll try my best!
We left off as I finished up my South Carolina adventures at the Magnolia Plantation and continued south. It wouldn’t be a true road trip without spontaneous stops at a fruit stand, and a peachy cider sign begged us to pull over. I sampled the sweet peach cider buuuuuuut you know me, I left with a coffee. Old habits die hard!
Savannah, Georgia is the most historical city we visited. What really gives it the enchanting and charming character are the huge Spanish Moss trees line the streets and drape over the sidewalks.
Fun Fact: Forrest Gump is one of my all-time favorite movies, I’ve watched it a dozen times. The bus stop scene was actually filmed in Savannah, GA, at Chippewa Square, just half a mile up from our hotel. We walked through Forsyth Park, past this beautiful fountain, searching for the bench. Turns out, the movie prop is now sitting in a museum in the visitor’s center. I didn’t feel like adding a museum trip to my already-busy day so we skipped it. If the worst thing that happened on our trip was failing to sit on Forrest Gump’s bench, I think that’s pretty good.
Savannah sits right along the river just like Wilmington, and all of the buildings sit four floors up from the ground to because of the water and bridges. I got a kick out of all of these signs:
I love the old classic building style, rather than the typical city skyscrapers we see in Manhattan, San Francisco or LA. We discovered that Savannah looooves their bars, not so much coffee shops. We walked blocks and blocks looking for an afternoon iced coffee pick-me-up with no luck, but passed a couple dozen bars, taverns, breweries and pubs along the way. Priorities, haha!
Don’t you worry though, we eventually re-caffeinated at Vic’s on the River (local coffee shop # 6 if you are keeping track!) and continued exploring the River Ralk, the City Market, the memorial squares, bakeries and antique shops.
Our hotel was so eclectic that we ended up spending a good portion of the afternoon in the pool and in our room getting ready for a fun night out. The Mansion at Forsyth Park by Marriott is one of the 11 Autograph Collection Hotels in the United States, with tons of unique character. Quirky art lined the walls, fresh flowers and curtains lined the elevators, floating flowers sat in a fountain the lobby, and an entire art gallery, bar and restaurant sat inside the hotel. The pool was so refreshing after sweating in the summer humidity. We also had happy hour on the top floor while Savannah decided to throw a temper tantrum with a freak thunder storm just when we were ready for dinner.
After one too many glasses of wine, we walked to dinner at The Sentient Bean, our favorite vegan cafe in this city. If you are going to Savannah, GO TO THE SENTIENT BEAN. We ended up eating there 3 times in less than 24 hours: once for an iced coffee & afternoon snack (vegan “power bowl” with grains, veggies and avocado), then dinner (curried tofu tacos) while a local band played in the corner, and breakfast the next day (yogurt & fruit parfait). Everything was so delicious and flavorful, the staff was awesome, and the atmosphere was comfy. A favorite, for sure :)
One of the “Must See” items on my list for this trip was The Olde Pink House in Savannah. This building from 1700s is now a restaurant with a tavern and piano bar in the basement. It’s upheld its historic decor and requires reservations far in advanced, but the I highly recommend!
We started off in the tavern, which was extra crowded on a Friday night. So crowded, in fact, that we were actually seated at the piano! We ordered the skinny cocktail, sweet tea vodka and lemon juice. For dinner, we split an appetizer of “Southern Sushi” which was shrimp and grits wrapped in nori…definitely not something I’d ever seen before. For dinner, we went with a typical southern entree of mashed sweet potatoes, collard greens, and pecan crusted chicken. I am usually pretty good at passing on the bread bowl at restaurants but the mini corn bread muffins and little buttermilk biscuits were irresistible! A totally worth-it splurge :)
I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Savannah! The road trip is juuuuust about over….but I’ll wrap it up later this week. :) Hope August is off to an amazing start for you! (Which reminds me, I saw this quote and cracked up laughing so I had to share: “Awesome things will happen today if you decided not to be a miserable cow.” Ha! Simple as that. Love it!
8 days, 3 states, 7 new towns, 8 local coffee shops, 2 alligator sightings, and 1,180 miles later….the Tour de South 2015 is complete :)
A couple weeks ago, I flew from California to Charlotte, NC before I rented a little Lancer and drove through thick forests, farmland, beach towns, mountain ranges and historic landmarks.
Let me tell you, “Southern Charm” is real. I have NEVER experienced the type of culture I did in the southern cities of Charleston and Savannah. The cobblestone streets, 18th century buildings, Civil War memorials, patriotic flags, water towers, lighthouses and friendly people were so drastically different from my usual Southern California lifestyle. The Spanish moss trees lining the streets in Savannah were enchanting and the plantation-style homes in Charleston were straight out of a movie set. Actually I think I was most impressed by what I didn’t see: trash, graffiti, traffic, crowds, or brown/dead land….literally EVERY MILE we covered was lush and green and vibrant. The greenery on the East coast is unbelievable!
If you’ve been reading Strong Like My Coffee for a while, you know that my home is in California but I have been dying to experience life in the country. Flagstaff was my college town but never felt like home, and my graduation present to myself was a summer roadtrip through the southern states to see if the movies and my imagination matched reality on the opposite coast. (Spoiler Alert: Yes.) Obviously I have hundreds of pictures and dozens of stories to share so I’m breaking up my trip into a few posts to share the highlights from the highway :)
I’ve been going through my pictures to pick out the best of the best and tomorrow I’ll recap my first few day in North Carolina…Charlotte, Wilmington, Wrightsville and Southport Beaches, Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains, touring the Biltmore Estate, exploring the Airlie Gardens, hanging out on Dawson’s Creek docks, shopping at The Cotton Exchange, getting caught in a summer thunderstorm and venturing through UNC Wilmington’s campus should grad school be on my horizon ;) See you here tomorrow!
Good morning from Atlanta :)
Surprise! I’ve decided to relocate from SoCal sunshine to Southern Comfort. The palm trees and Mexican food will not be missed.
…..if you fell for that, you have not been around here long. Kenzie’s hair + Humidity = Frizz outta control. Hello, Poodle.
No, my time in the Peach State will be brief (unless a Luke Bryan-esque cowboy comes to sweep me off my feet in the next 75 minutes…) I’m just on a layover for my flight to New York for the next round of bleomycin injections to my cheek.
While I sit in airports, I have lots of time on my hands. Naturally I made a list of things to get done, hence this Saturday morning blog post :)
Though I have never left the country, I’ve done my fair share of travelling. College tour road trips, recruiting visits, out-of state track meets meant full travel days. (Longest trip yet: 2 hour drive + 3.5 hour flight + 8 hour drive + 45 very grumpy teenage athletes. Real quality bonding time.)
From all-day drives, overnight train trips, even a 4 hour horse ride (ouch.) I’ve learned ways to make a day of moving from here to there a little more bearable.
Lord knows how many germy, snotty tiny humans sat in that seat, sneezed on that tray, reached for that door handle. Airplanes are basically breeding grounds for germs and stress compromises your immune system. De-cootify your hands, don’t eat from the tray, drink water like it’s your favorite thing to do, and take immunity insurance like Airborne or Emergen-C. A little extra Vit C couldn’t hurt! (And the berry flavor chewable type taste like Sweet Tarts.)
This is referring to your outfit. I know my pajama-wearing girls are gonna hate me for this. I don’t think a flight warrants the need to look like a hobo. A lot of people don’t see a point in putting together a decent outfit, but you are still in public. God bless the inventor of the maxi dress/maxi skirt. It’s like yoga pants without legs, perfectly comfortable and yet somehow stylish.
I prefer fitted athletic wear (not to be confused with baggy sweats and old t-shirt) because I can squeeze in some discrete exercise (see tip #4) But if I need to look presentable when I get where I’m going I like skinnies and flat-heeled boots.
3.) Be Productive! (This is my caffeine talking!)
What a perfect time to cross off those menial tasks we procrastinate for the elusive “later.” Uninterrupted hours are at your disposal.
*If you’re the slip-on-my-eye-cover-and-slip-into-a-short-coma passenger, feel free to skip this tip.
Travel days seem like wasted hours so I like to find a few things to work on (eh-hem this post right here…) A killer playlist can keep up energy and focus. None of that sleepy John Mayer crap. I have a specific “Airplanes & Trains” playlist meant to Get. Stuff. Done.
4.) MOVE when you can
Sitting for hours on end is like a punishment for your body. After a while, your metabolism slows, yours blood flow slows, your energy is wasted. Find opportunities to MOVE and use them. (Which relates back to tip #2 and the convenience of yoga pants.)
Get up and take a restroom break every hour. Be that girl. Your fellow flyers may think you have over-active bladder syndrome but you’ll protect yourself from collecting a blood clot!
Tangent —> Blood clots freak me out for real. In elementary school, I heard a news story about a reporter doing a piece in the Middle East. After hours cramped in a military vehicle with no leg space, he developed a blood clot in his leg that travelled to his heart and killed him. This stuck in my head, and in 7th grade my biology textbook even referenced the incident. Maybe this will scare you into moving more. Fear tactic! Muahaha.
Got a long layover? Do some lunges/squats/calf raises/stretching. Hey I have no shame doing exercises in an airport if my fellow flyers have no shame wearing pajama bottoms, Crocs and hair curlers in public. Layovers were made for walking (and that’s just what I’ll do) ;)
5.) Snack Smart
Dry roasted peanuts anyone? No no no. You’re smarter than that, girl! You already know that airports, gas stations, and snack carts have “convenient” junk. When you’re packing your bag, bring your own food for the day with actual nutrients and vitamins. Obviously we’ll have to compromise a little for convenience, portability and TSA regulations (THEY MADE ME THROW AWAY MY PEANUT BUTTER THIS MORNING. I will not forgive them.) but some safe options include protein bars, bananas, apples, almonds, pistachios, kale chips and rice crisps.
College girls travel smarter!
Speaking of travelling, last night I had a dream that I traded in my car for a little motorcycle. As I was getting ready to ride the 5+ hours back to school, it just then occured to me “how would I carry my stuff?” You know, furniture….clothing….important things. Not sure where that one came from ;)
What’s your travel must-have?
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