18/08/08-09 Savannah, pt.1o (in which something new is tried)

Day One – in which the road is boring and the audiobook is good

Savannah

is hot.

I know that seems obvious, but there are not a lot of situations where I am noticeably warm. I stepped outside and the air felt like it was the same temperature as my body, but humid. Every open restaurant door blasted cold air out onto the sidewalk, I’m still not sure if that was nice or disappointing. It wasn’t until the cold air hit me as I passed a restaurant that I really knew just how hot it was outside. I started off in my t-shirt, sun hat, and backpack, but quickly realized that with no real goal in mind, it was way too hot for that much. I needed to find a place to eat, but I wasn’t super hungry, so I dropped some stuff off at the hotel, French braided my hair back, and started again, this time with just my camera case.

The drive to Savannah is relatively quick when you consider how large America is, but it’s also relatively dull when you consider other, nicer drives through more interesting things like mountains and forests. I frequently found myself hemmed in by giant semi trucks, which is not terribly enjoyable in a VW Beetle, but then again I can’t imagine anyone finding that enjoyable. The road was long, the road was actually a boring highway, but I’ve made it to the apocalypse in Good Omens, so I might actually finish it on my way home. I normally do not like audiobooks, but I was so bored, it was nice to have something to listen to on the drive.

Day Two – in which the weather holds and the museums are blissfully air conditioned

Although the weather said it was supposed to rain most of this weekend, it only rained once today and I was safely inside the Davenport House Museum when it happened. I heard the thunder and worried I was going to have to walk back to the hotel in the rain, but what luck, I did not. This was later in the afternoon, so I think whatever rain god minds the south was feeling a little bit guilty about the way I was treated on my trip to Roanoke and decided to spare me the discomfort of being absolutely drenched while trying to enjoy a holiday where it’s possible to walk everywhere.

I didn’t walk everywhere today; really, Davenport House Museum was the furthest I walked since my plan is to go to the other half of interesting things tomorrow. My morning started, as they tend to, a little later than I meant. I’ve taken a much more relaxed view of holidays, where I used to meticulously plan where I was going to go and I’d get up early to get a good start, now I just sort of put things on a map and say “eh I’ll see what I’ll see today” and then just… go. So I just… went to Huey’s for breakfast (eggs Benedict) and then made my way to the Juliette Gordon Low birthplace.

“Are you a Girl Scout?” is the question on everyone’s lips in the house where the Girl Scouts of America founder was born. “Ah, I was, very briefly,” I laugh. “Turns out I don’t like being outside, I don’t like camping, and I don’t have much patience for arts and crafts…” I pay full price for the entry ticket. The tour guide is young and seems a bit anxious. I bet she’s a Girl Scout. She tells us to ask her any questions, like every guide does, except I also hear her answer questions with “I don’t know.” She seems like a summer intern. The house is nice, anyway, I stop for a moment to take a photo of the toilet to the curious looks of the other tourists. I told my friend two days ago that she “needs one of those toilets, you know the ones” and gestured pulling a cord and made a “wshhh” sound. She did know. So I sent her a photo of a toilet.

In my hunt for tea, I found a coffee shop, a honey shop, and an antique shop. The coffee shop had cheap, sad tea that I was not going to pay money to drink, the honey shop was full of delicious goods but none of them were tea and even though it was 90F outside I was on a mission, and the antique shop had a light meter approximately the same age as my preferred camera. So, of course, I paused my mission for tea briefly to see if the light meter worked by comparing it to the one in my phone. “I have a kind of weird request, but I just want to step out into the full natural light to test this $16 light meter, but I’ll leave my $300 camera with you as insurance.” The light meter worked, so I had a more decent look around and found a treasure trove of Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and other Stratemeyer books in the back. None of the Bobbsey Twins books really impressed me, but there was a bookmark advertising the store they came from, so I decided I would check it out later in the day.

Light meter successfully purchased, my hunt for tea resumed. I found a British pie shop that had twinnings tea, head a mug, and went back to my hotel to gather myself and my purchases.

Advantages of carrying a camera case and no other bags:

  • Can’t fit a lot in it, thus not very heavy
  • One strap, thus not very hot on my back
  • Three pockets, so organized
  • Disadvantages of carrying a camera case and no other bags:
    • Can’t fit a lot in it, must carry everything that doesn’t fit in hands, increasing chances of them being set down and never picked back up
      One strap, makes one shoulder hurt
      Three pockets, everything sticks to everything else and sometimes end up on the floor

    But it was too hot to carry my backpack all day, so I did what any sensible person would do and I had a midday rest when I dropped off my purchases at the hotel. Then I made my way to the Davenport House Museum, which I must admit I chose partially because it’s the name of a character in one of my favorite podcasts. There are a lot of House museums in Savannah and I wasn’t sure which to go to, so that seemed like a good enough way to choose. I really enjoyed the museum visit, but there were no toilets to photograph, so I settled for photographing the wallpapers and the desks. It wasn’t until I was posting the photos to Instagram that I realized I hadn’t taken any photos of the upstairs, but really once you’ve seen one old bedroom, you’ve seen em all. And I’ve been to a lot of house museums. I was delighted to find, in the gift shop, that the company who made a delightful blend of Earl Grey for the Biltmore House in Asheville had made a couple of blends of tea, both for the Juliette Gordon Low birthplace and the Davenport House Museum. I couldn’t resist the tin of English Breakfast, especially when I thought back to my tea cabinet at home and its relative emptiness.

    I did make it to the book shop with the Stratemeyer collections and nearly cried at the original 1930s Nancy Drew’s which were, sadly, way out of my price range. It’s understandable, though, Nancy is popular in a way other Stratemeyers, like the Bobbsey Twins, just aren’t. I was a bit disappointed in the Bobbsey Twin collection, they were all the purple reprints, of which I have many, so not really anything that spoke to me. At a vintage shop in Raleigh, I found some Tom Swift, Jr. with their dust jackets and loved the design of those (space! adventure!), but I can’t remember which one it was I bought then and none of the others in the shop really called to me. There was a Space Cadet one that I really liked the design of, but it was only sold as one in a set of three in the main bookstore, so that may forever be a missed connection. (Unless I go back to the vintage shop tomorrow and buy the one they had…)

    Another good thing about all these gift shops and other cutesy shops in Savannah is everyone is getting Christmas and birthday gifts from here. I was a bit lax in my gifts last year because I didn’t think about them while I was in California and I really regretted it later. So I decided to start getting everyone’s gifts while I was here to take some of the pressure off when Christmas gets near. I don’t even want to think about how much money I’m going to spend while I’m here, so I just keep thinking to myself “three paycheck month.” That, and the fact that these will be very good gifts when I finally give them.

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