The pleasant staff at the Andaz Savannah couldn’t have been more charming. As they checked us into the modern, chic hotel across from Ellis Square, they told us all the features and even offered to upgrade us to a suite for only $25 a night more. What the heck, we were on our honeymoon…let’s do it! The nice young man at the desk (literally, a desk, not the usual high counter) even offered to treat us to the buffet breakfast the first morning.
The room was awesome. There was a Juliette balcony overlooking the square. The bathroom was spectacular, with a deep soaking tub and a two-person shower just perfect for a honeymooning couple! (We’ll spare you the details).
We slept the sleep of the dead and after a late breakfast, we dressed to explore the town. We asked the hotel concierge to recommend a walking tour. When we wouldn’t bite on the pre-arranged tours he was selling, he pointed out a few sites on his map and sold just a guide book for $5. (Alas, seems like many hotels no longer have real concierges, just people selling stuff.) He did offer to make us a dinner reservation at one of the nicer and more popular restaurants in town, The Olde Pink House, just a few blocks down the street. We took him up on the recommendation.
We walked a short distance to the riverfront, somewhat amazed at the lack of people walking around. There, we saw a chamber of commerce visitor’s center, and asked the charming lady at the desk if SHE could recommend a walking tour. A complete font of knowledge, Mary drew out a great walking trip and noted that the riverfront was very touristy and highlighted the fact that there was a free bus service around the historic part of the town but that it lacked narration. We quickly got away from the riverfront — as soon as we walked out the door, we were nearly accosted by people trying to sell more tours.
We walked toward Forsyth Park, famous for its fountain and featured in the movie “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” Walking down Bull Street, we passed through several of the squares for which Savannah is famous. They were beautiful, well-manicured and quite peaceful. We found the one that contained the bus bench on which Forrest Gump said life was like a box of chocolates, but the bus bench was gone. We were pleasantly greeted by the charming Savannah residents we passed.
We strolled through a few antiques dealers and bought some things at the Savannah College of Art and Design gift shop as we walked our way toward Forsyth Park. There, we stopped for a coffee at the cafe and decided to take the bus back to the hotel.to drop off our purchases. We then walked up and down Broughton Street, Savannah’s version of a downtown shopping district.
Eager to get off my feet, we popped into Panera for a brownie and something to drink. We marveled how simply charming the town and people were.
And mostly, we marveled at how bored we were. We realized that for the most part, we had “done” this town in a day. Surprisingly we were more eager to get home (we had now been gone a week and a half) than stay, so we made the decision to enjoy our dinner and check out the next morning.
Changing into clothes appropriate for a pleasant dinner in a town oozing with southern charm (there’s that word again), we shared concerns that dinner might disappoint. Would it be too “touristy?” Fortunately, our concerns were unfounded. The Olde Pink House was a beautifully restored mansion with a charming service staff. Judy ordered the filet mignon and I ordered the pork loin with a molasses bourbon sauce. Judy commented that the filet was perhaps one of the tenderest pieces of meat she had had in a long time. The pork loin — particularly the sauce — was equally fabulous and we thoroughly enjoyed our meal. We strolled back to the hotel in the now very quiet city, eager to get to sleep and an early start in the morning.
Next Up: The Final Push and Will it Fit?