Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Savannah - Day 4

We had a hard time getting started on Sunday, Day 4 of the honeymoon vacation. SP went out before he showered and got us some breakfast treats at Goose Feathers An Express Cafe & Bakery. I forgot to take photos of the blueberry muffin and spinach-feta quiche, but both were delicious.

Sunday we decided to drive over to Tybee Island. The car had been resting comfortably (?) in an underground parking lot since we had arrived. When we got in the car, SP said something about how he thought the battery was dead because the interior light hadn't come on. I ignored him - after all, we had it looked over before the trip to be sure it was OK to make a drive of 22 hours round trip plus side trips.

Turns out SP was right. Grrr. It's Sunday at 11:30 am and our car battery is dead. Underground. In Savannah, not our hometown. So we got out, went back to the hotel, and were happy that we have AAA. But all I could think was how it was going to take forever to get this fixed and how I was going to be stuck at the hotel all day and what a waste of a vacation day it would be.

SP called AAA. They said someone would be over in half an hour. Uh-huh. I liken this kind of thing to waiting for the cable guy to show up. Or the guy to come fix the sewer pump. So we ordered some decaf coffee in the lobby and settled into some chairs and started to look over all of our Charleston tourist information.

Miracle of miracles, the AAA dude showed up in 20 minutes. Our battery was truly dead, no hopes of simply charging/resuscitating it, but - WOW - the dude had a brand new battery for us and installed it for us!!! The whole dead battery mess, from discovery to completion, took an hour! Only an hour! OK, it cost us an unexpected $112, but just an hour to fix the issue! I love the AAA Savannah guy!!!

So off we went - but not without first stopping at Cupcake Emporium. Our carriage ride lady, Carol, had told us that Mabel Francis Potter makes the best cupcakes in Savannah, so we figured we had to try some! SP dashed in (I waited in the car - we weren't sure we were parked entirely legally along the road!) and got us cupcakes to go.

The road to Tybee was a short drive and not particularly scenic. In fact, we were very disappointed in Tybee Island. The beach homes were not that impressive, the road did not go along the water, so no pretty driving water views, and the restaurants and shops looked like horrible tourist traps. Sigh. Maybe I'm spoiled by having lived in Monterey, CA and driven right along the Pacific Coast and by all the gorgeous homes along the 17 mile drive... or maybe I'm spoiled by the Maine coast and the Cape Cod coasts, where gawking at the water is as much fun as gawking at the homes along the water... but Tybee was a letdown.

We headed over to Tybee Lighthouse - I like lighthouses. When we pulled into the parking lot, we decided to enjoy our cupcakes:

Chocolate for me and spice for SP. We did not share. We both enjoyed our cupcakes. Maybe not best cupcake ever, but the cake was moist (not dry) and the icing was smooth and creamy (though not as buttercreamy smooth as Bethel Bakery icing). I wouldn't seek out these cupcakes in Savannah, but neither would I avoid them, and if I walked by the shop, I'd stop in for a treat. Obviously, I was not going to be climbing the stairs of the lighthouse!!! I hung out in the parking lot, enjoying the breeze and view of cloudy sky & lighthouse while SP paid the $7 to tour the little museum and enter the lighthouse and climb to the top. Lots of stairs - 178 stairs:But he was rewarded with this scenic water/beach view:Unfortunately, the catwalk surrounding the top of the lighthouse was closed because of the strong winds, but he still got some great views from the windows.

Next, we made the short drive to Fort Pulaski. It's a brick fort. In the days before the Civil War, brick forts were America's main defense against overseas enemies. During the Civil War, new technology proved superior to brick forts. The Union army used rifled cannons to compel a surrender by Confederates inside Fort Pulaski. No one ever built a brick fort again after the battle. There's a moat surrounding the fort:The moat is about 8 feet deep and there is marine life in the moat, supposedly even some alligators, but we didn't see any. There's a drawbridge to raise the bridge spanning the moat:There's lots of cannons:And we learned that the lower, less red bricks were Savannah bricks while the upper, redder bricks were shipped in from Baltimore and other points north.There's also some bent trees that I thought were neat looking:After touring the fort, we headed back to Savannah and drove around a bit. After a short rest at the hotel, we set off in search of food since all we had for lunch was cupcakes! We decided to eat on River Street at The Cotton Exchange Tavern:It very cozy and tavern-y inside, with wood paneling and some exposed stone walls:We started off ordering some soup. Clam Chowder for me and Tybee Crab Chowder for SP:The look the same but the tastes are different! SP's was a bit spicier. The bread was nicely toasted, not garlicky, and great for mopping up every last bit of soup!

SP ordered one of the specials, shrimp, sausage, and roasted red pepper in a sherry cream sauce:He had lots of nicely sized shrimp and the sausage was tasty, too - not too spicy. I thought his sauce was delicious with just the right amount of sherry taste. In fact, I spooned some of it onto my dish, which was Shrimp & Crab Au Gratin: shrimp & crab in a rich white sauce with cheddar cheese served with steamed vegetables and choice of potato. I tried to drain the melted butter off the veggies, but the ones in the bottom of the bowl were swimming in butter. I didn't use butter on my potato, did use a bit of sour cream, sprinkled pepper on it, and ate about half the potato. The gratin was good, lots of seafood, but I thought it was a bit bland, almost lacking in one key flavor to make it truly delicious, but I'm not sure what that flavor should be. That's why I spooned some of SP's sauce onto my dish!

We were too full for dessert. I should mention that here, like at Cafe at City Market, our meals arrived before we had completely finished our soups. We weren't being rushed out the door, I think it was more that both places are so used to a lot of tourists and being super busy and tourists not wanting to linger over a meal on vacation that the kitchen quickly whips out the orders and doesn't worry much about pacing the meal. Although the soups were very tasty, given what the meal cost and my so-so thoughts on my meal, I'm not sure we would return.

After dinner we walked along River Street and over to Morrell Park where we saw the famous Waving Girl monument:Florence Martus waved to all incoming and outgoing vessels in the harbor for 44 years.

We also saw the 1996 Olympic Yachting Cauldron:The yachting events for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics were held in Savannah.

Then it was off to Leopold's for some ice cream:Coffee chocolate chip for me; Lemon Custard for SP. Both were tasty.

We slowly meandered back to the hotel, savoring our last night in Savannah. We really, really liked the city.

1 comment:

  1. I believe I have been to that fort--I did a community service trip in college and I believe the fort was one of our "off" days!

    Looks like fun, I hope you enjoyed your trip!