Early Friday morning (November 10th) my Mom and I caught our flight to the East Coast. We were flying Delta (for the first time). Our flight took us to Atlanta, Georgia where we changed planes and ended the days journey in Jacksonville, Florida. We stayed Friday night in Jacksonville then headed to Savannah early Saturday morning in our rental car.
Our rental car was equipped with GPS which ended up being such a godsend. The drive from Jacksonville to Savannah on Saturday was pretty easy if not that scenic. I had arranged appointments all day on Saturday to view apartments. Because of our busy schedule we weren't able to check into our Bed and Breakfast until later in the afternoon. Due to not knowing the layout of the city of Savannah most of the apartments we viewed were located in unsavory parts of the city. It was really discouraging that first day because we were looking at 1 bedroom apartments in very sketchy parts of town that were renting for $800+. After several disappointing apartment viewings we went to check into our Bed and Breakfast. The placed we stayed at, called Savannah's Bed and Breakfast Inn, was just adorable. Our room was on the ground floor, or "garden level" as they like to call it in Savannah. The room had an exposed brick wall (a look I love) and exposed wood beams. The Bed and Breakfast was located a block from The Mercer House (if you've read or seen Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil you'll know what I'm talking about) in the Historic District.
Savannah is located 18 miles west of the Atlantic Ocean and was the first "planned" city in the United Sates. James Oglethorpe was the cities planner. You'll see the Oglethorpe name constantly when you're in Savannah, we actually stayed in the Oglethorpe room at our Bed and Breakfast. Savannah is made up of 24 squares that are placed in a symmetrical grid throughout the city. The squares are a mix of lush tropical gardens and ancient live oak trees covered with Spanish moss. Savannah has the largest Historic District in the United States. Many of the houses and buildings look very much like they did when they were originally built. And much of the preservation can be accredited to the Historic Savannah Foundation and the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). SCAD came along in the late 1970’s. Since its founding the school has been responsible for the restoration of a great number of the buildings in Savannah. The residents of Savannah are so grateful for the role SCAD has played in the restoration of the city.
Our Bed and Breakfast was located in the part of the city known as "NOG", which stands for North of Gaston St. Anything north of Gaston is considered the really old district. Unfortunately even if you live in a historic home, if it's not north of Gaston, no one cares. The district south of the Historic District is the called the Victorian District. There are nice pockets in the Victorian District but it still needs a lot of TLC before it achieves its full potential. A lot of the apartments I was looking at were in the numbered streets in the Victorian District. Unfortunately they were in blocks that had yet to be properly restored. The apartments were in neighborhoods where I did not feel safe, the quality of the apartments were dreadful, and they were asking way too much for rent. After wasting all of Saturday and part of Sunday looking at apartments in unsavory parts of town I kept hearing people offering the same advice. Which was, don't rent anything south of Forsyth Park (the largest park in the Historic District).
Okay, so back to the story. After checking into our Bed and Breakfast (this is still Saturday btw) we decided to take one of those super touristy bus rides around the Historic District. We hadn't yet had the opportunity to see much of the city besides the Victorian District. So it was quite the surprise when we realized that everything in the Historic District was just as charming as we imagined it would be. It's not cleaned up for the movies, it really does look as lovely in person as it does in film. After our tour we headed back to our Bed and Breakfast for "wine and cheese". When I made the reservations for the Bed and Breakfast the girl I spoke with informed me that she was from Washington as well. Saturday evening we got to speak with her. She was super nice and gave some helpful advice about the apartment search. For dinner we went to a restaurant called The Olde Pink House. The restaurant is housed in a brick Georgian mansion that was built in 1771 for James Habersham, one of the wealthiest Americans of his time. The old-time atmosphere comes through in the original Georgia pine floors of the tavern (located downstairs), the Venetian chandeliers, and the 18th-century English antiques. We tried to get reservations but of course they were booked full until 10:00pm. So instead we headed downstairs to Planters Tavern. They serve the same food as in the restaurant but the Tavern is definitely more atmospheric. There's live piano music and great cocktails. The decor is really interesting, especially what's adorning the wall above the fireplace. We shared an order of fried green tomatoes (my first ever) and they were sublime. I ordered the pan seared sea scallops (which were enormous) with mashed potatoes, eggplant and green beans. The meal was just delicious. Then we headed back to our room for a short but deep sleep.
We got up early Sunday and had waffles with pecan syrup for breakfast. Then headed off for another day of apartment searching. Most of the places we looked at were just as derelict as the ones we'd seen the day before. We decided to pop into the Mercer House gift shop to sign up for a tour of The Mercer House. They only show the first floor apparently due to Georgia fire codes. The back garden (where the tour began) was just stunning. There's a sunken sitting area made of bricks, like nothing I've seen before. The girl giving the tour informed us that it actually stays a few degrees cooler than the rest of the yard. We of course weren't allowed to take pictures. Apparently the sister and nieces of Jim Williams still use the Mercer House. The house was stunning, just like what you see in the film. His collections are astounding. I really wouldn't mind paying again to take a second walk through the house. They really don't mention the film much except to point out that amongst the family photos is a picture of Kevin Spacey in his Jim Williams garb.
After our tour we went to look at some shops located a few blocks from where we were staying. Savannah has a great bunch of shops in what is described as the design district. Although some were closed due to it being Sunday, quite a few were open. While in one of the shops I mentioned to the owner that I was in search of an apartment and eventually work once I get settled. She told me to bring in my resume, then informed me that her sister lives around the corner and is renting out her carriage house. One thing that really stood out to me about the people in Savannah is how nice they were and how willing they are to assist you in whatever way they can. We walked around the corner to look at the apartment, but before we got there I spotted a "for rent" sign attached to the stair railing of a gorgeous brick apartment building....To be continued.
[The picture collage at the top includes pictures of the exterior and interior of our Bed and Breakfast along with a picture of the square our room looked out to. The picture collage in the middle includes pictures of Club One, where Lady Chablis performs when she's in town. There's several pictures of the river front. One example of the Spanish moss that adorns many of the trees in Savannah. Several pictures of the numerous churches. And a look at the Talmadge Memorial Bridge. The picture collage at the bottom includes pictures of The Mercer House and the exterior and interior of The Old Pink House restaurant. As well as a picture of another Savannah square.]
Tomorrow I'm off to Savannah to find an apartment. I've set up quite a few viewing appointments. Do cross your fingers that one of them turns out to be just the apartment for me. Hopefully I'll be able to find some time to explore the city and a visit to Paula Deen's The Lady & Sons will for sure be taking place. I'll be back on Wednesday with hopefully good news and definitely plenty of pictures. I'm just thrilled to be going from weather in the low 50's to weather in the high 70's.
It may seem early, but I decided to go ahead and start listing my favorite "Holiday Good Things". My first pick is a pink feather tree from Michaels. "New this year, the 3-foot feather tree comes in pink or white. These trees are complete on stands and are perfect for doorways, corners, balconies and entryways. Ideal as they are, or decorate them for the holidays. The perfect trees for apartment dwellers or any small spaces." The trees are darling in person and the quality is excellent. The trees sell for $39, but in your local Sunday paper Michaels usually has an ad for 40% off one item.
This is a rather lengthy post but of the utmost importance. As I near 30, getting advice from older women and giving advice to younger women becomes so valuable. On the Get Crafty website they have a running thread on their message board called "Things I Wish I Had Known 10 Years Ago". As I read through the advice I thought most of it was so pertinent to where I am currently in life. So I decided to slim down the list a bit and now share with you my favorite 67 "Things I Wish I Had Known 10 Years Ago".
1. Always wash your face every night and apply moisturizer and eye cream.
2. Invest in your 401K at work.
3. If you have a dream job in mind, begin to work towards it now.
4. Keep a journal or blog.
5. It is important to schedule vacation time.
6. Keep learning. Read the newspaper, read non-fiction, take classes, attend lectures, ask questions, and travel.
7. Keep up with technology. Learn how to use the popular programs and some of the more obscure ones, depending on your interests.
8. Pay off your debt.
9. Try to always have a "get out of Dodge" fund. Save first months rent, last and deposit for an apartment and enough to live off of for as many months as you can squirrel away.
10. Take extremely good care of your back and teeth.
11. Wear sunscreen daily, even on your hands.
12. Live within your means.
13. Stay in touch with friends and family.
14. Take vitamins daily.
15. Pay off your credit card every month.
16. Take compliments gracefully.
17. Volunteer your time and talents.
18. Floss daily.
19. Wait until the other person is done talking to speak.
20. Give donations to your favorite charity.
21. Keep a spending diary.
22. Buy a house as soon as you can.
23. Send people surprise packages.
24. Drink 64 oz. of water a day.
25. Start therapy.
26. Laugh and be silly often.
27. Learn something new every year.
28. Get a passport as soon as you can.
29. Always have some savings set aside for emergencies.
30. Read anything and everything.
31. Have creative hobbies.
32. Get a pet.
33. Get overeducated.
34. Have nothing in your house that you don't know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.
35. Travel alone.
36. Buy your own tools and know how to use them.
37. Ask for help.
38. Invest early and often.
39. Learn other languages.
40. Spend time out of doors daily.
41. Don't preset requirements for the people you can be friends with. Befriend people of a variety of ages and with a variety of interests.
42. Improve your posture.
43. Learn how to cook one thing really well.
44. When depressed, go for a long run/jog/bike/walk/swim, and then come back inside and have a long hard sob in the shower and go to bed early. In the morning you'll feel better, even if the situation itself isn't exactly better.
45. Avoid people who are rude or condescending to service and wait people. It implies either a superiority complex or a lack of respect for hard work.
46. Tell everyone that you love that you love them on a regular basis.
47. Exercise everyday, even if it is walking from the back of the parking lot.
48. Wear a nude color bra under a white shirt.
49. Bare your soul to your dogs and cats.
50. Make and keep friends of all ages. You will learn so much from older and younger people.
51. Hold the door open for other people.
52. Order a glass of water with every alcoholic drink.
53. Learn to read maps and follow directions.
54. Treat yourself to expensive haircuts.
55. When you need help, ask for it.
56. Don't be afraid to turn 30.
57. Read everything. Reading fills in the gaps in your life experience, and gives you a wider view of the world.
58. Beauty doesn't last forever, so you need to cultivate your mind.
59. Always have some money that belongs to only you.
60. Don't be so serious.
61. Do what you love.
62. Take care of yourself first.
63. Stay in touch with friends from High School and College.
64. Don't date a man less intelligent than you, or one who does not have an intelligence you appreciate.
65. Trust your instincts.
66. Really listen to people when they are talking to you.
Last Sunday we went down to Seattle to see Molly Ringwald in Sweet Charity. We arrived in Seattle a few hours early (we had tickets to a matinee) so we went to Nordstrom to kill time. I'm in search of the perfect workout attire. At Nordstrom I spotted Stella McCartney's Adidas workout wear. I grabbed a handful of items to try on before spotting the price tags. Then begrudgingly put most of it back. That stuff, despite being so cute, is EXPENSIVE. I bought an Adidas (non Stella McCartney) jacket that has an interior pocket for your iPod. After leaving Nordstrom we headed to The Paramount Theatre. Our seats were sublime, eighth row. After years of sitting in the balcony I've discovered the joys of the main floor. Now there's no going back. It's like sitting in first class for the first time. Molly was adorable. Her singing voice isn't anything to rave about, but despite that I still thought she was great. She fit the role. But I will say that the plays ending left me unsatisfied. After leaving the Paramount we went to Tom Douglas' newest restaurant Serious Pie. It's located around the corner from the Dahlia Lounge. The interior is on the petite side with family style dining tables. The prices of the pizzas range from $11-$15. I asked how many people each pizza feeds and was informed that they're personal sized pizza. I think the prices are a bit steep for a personal pizza. We split a "foraged mushroom with truffle cheese" pizza and a "cherry bomb peppers with sweet fennel sausage" between three of us. If you aren't famished I suggest splitting. The pizzas were delicious and I think another trip is in order to try the other pizza toppings.