Enjoying a Slice of Life in Savannah!

 Dear Henry,

I never told you about my trip to Savannah this year, did I?

This past March I traveled to Savannah Georgia for a long weekend. It was such a much-needed trip and was the first one that I've taken since the COVID pandemic closed everything down.   I was really excited about the trip, Savannah is a great place for history, and it is also the home of my middle son, who, because of the pandemic, hadn't been able to come home for some time.

Savannah was established on February 12, 1733, when General James Oglethorpe and his group of settlers aboard the ship HMS Anne, landed at Yamacraw Bluff. The river and city of  Savannah were hugely important during the early years of America, and it became one of the major export centers of cotton and timber for Europe.   The city is still a large shipping hub for the country and it is easy to spend hours watching the big cargo ships travel up the Savannah River. 

Unlike many other Southern cities, Savannah didn't suffer much burning and destruction during the Civil War (the residents surrendered to General Sherman before it got that far) and so much of its early architecture is intact, making the city a great place to study both early colonial American history as well as the history of the Civil War. 

I stayed at the Cotton Sail, a converted cotton warehouse built in 1820, that overlooks River Street. It had great features, including 200-year-old heartwood pine floors, a wonderful view of the river with a small balcony that is a great place to watch the shenanigans on River Street. 

And there were lots of shenanigans that weekend.

Unbeknownst to me before this trip,  Savannah Georgia has one of the largest St. Patrick's Day celebrations and I had inadvertently booked one of the best hotel rooms for the experience.  The balcony was a great place to watch the St. Patrick's day festivities.  

What surprised me the most was the lack of ghosts. Savannah is a city known for its hauntings, yet, I couldn't find any information about any resident ghosts at the hotel I was staying at, nor did any wake me up and it seems that the Cotton Sail may be one of the only historic hotels in the area that isn't haunted.

I got to see some great historical sites while I was there, including Wormsloe, the ruins of the area's oldest colonial-era tabby house, the famous Pin Point Museum which occupies the former A.S. Varn & Son Oyster and Crab Factory, and the notorious Fort Polaski. I also got to attend Mass at the beautiful and historic Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, the mother church of the Savannah diocese, and the former parish of the writer Flannery O'Conner.  I was a little bummed that I didn't get a chance to see her childhood home, but COVID was still affecting may operating hours in the area and there was so much I didn't get to see.

Fortunately, my son lives there so I have plenty of reason to go back often.

When I began the trip I was a little nervous about trying to travel during the pandemic but it turns out the hardest part of the trip was trying to adhere to the dietary requirements of Lent because let us be honest, Savannah has some great food and while I tried to "eat in the spirit of poverty", I became increasingly grateful that full fasts during Lent were no longer a requirement.  I have to particularly shout out the restaurants "Top Deck" - the truffle pretzel was very tasty and much more decadent than I thought it would be -  and "Hitch - Treylor Park" - where I enjoyed a sloppy joe with mismatched fries and a very, very good (but a little over the top for Lent) pecan pie with vanilla ice cream. I will definitely be stopping by both places the next time I'm in town.

And I'll definitely be going back - there is so much to still to see and, well, hanging out with my son is always a treat.

xoxo a.d. elliott