Thursday, December 3, 2009

Savannah Fun

Mr. SPOT and I decided it was time to get to know each other and take a ride.  The time, money and weather were coming together and allowing me to take a longer distance trip. Mr. Oilburner has been on two weekend/overnighters and I have stayed home and held down the fort. But this time it was my turn. And I was going to enjoy it.

I found myself with a week off from work…that I was not expecting. Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t mind. But it was very last minute and the week of Thanksgiving. I pulled a few strings, looked at the weather forecast and decided to head south.

My first stop was Savannah, Georgia. My best friend lives there and it was time to spend some quality girls time together. I frantically assembled my camping gear and some clothing Thursday night for a Friday morning departure. Of course, I merely assembled the stuff. Didn’t bother opening anything or trying to pack anything. So the patience was a little lacking on Friday morning as I tried to shove everything in my saddlebags…and it wasn’t fitting.

I knew I was packing a luxury item or two. But I was only going to be gone for 6 days. And only camping for two nights. I needed to bring the “nice” clothes and shoes (as nice as I can get) to go out evenings in Savannah. But they had to be packable enough to squirrel away for the remainder of the trip. I also was insistent that I was going to bring my feather pillow. I had a compression sack from camping that would minimize the size of that thing.

Beyond that I just couldn’t figure out where in the world all of that darn space went from my saddlebags. They were full and I hadn’t even finished the packing!!! Argh. We scoured our kayaking equipment and allocated a cool dry bag that I used to use for my camera. It was the perfect size to take the leftover stuff and was easily Velcro-ed onto the bike. Viola!

Don't get the wrong idea.  I am using ultralight equipment since I also enjoy(-ed) hiking and backpacking; the bulk is there but the weight isn't.

I was emotionally spent after fighting with the equipment. (I know, sounds stupid. But I will get better as I get the hang of this!) So I sat for a few minutes and enjoyed the cooling fan before donning all of that hot equipment.

Forecasts called for a great day riding down to Savannah. Blue skies, bright sun and temps near 70 were welcome! I knew to expect rain on Saturday and Sunday. But I wouldn’t be riding, just roosting. Because the forecasts called for slightly overcast and mid-60’s on Monday and sunny and high-60’s Tuesday and Wednesday. (And yes, these were the forecasts for my destinations…not my current location.)

I took a longer route down to Savannah to avoid the interstates. I have traveled many of the backroads many times and didn’t have a problem with where I would be going. But my weekend experiences have convinced me that the entire infrastructure of this great nation is under construction. I don’t so much mind if the road really needed it. But was a little disheartened when perfectly good road that had been paved within the last 3 years was being ripped up and repaved just because the government stimulus money was in. I managed to hit about 5 different construction zones along the 264 mile route. Luckily some of the other ones were on the other side of the highway.

But let me tell you about Mr. SPOT...maybe he should be renamed to Mr. Tell-Tale.  I left the driveway and turned the tracker on and forgot about it.  I made a quick stop for fuel and called Mr. Oilburner to see how he was taking my departure.  :-)  He liked Mr. Tell-Tale but was frustrated with it's 10 minute update interval.  My fuel stop was 20 minutes away and he had only seen two updates.  ;)  He needed information faster!

OK.  I was ready to hit the road and put some miles under those tires.  My next stop was about 2 hrs down the road to stretch the legs and back.  Of course I needed to call some people and share my accomplishments.  Mr. Oilburner didn't answer.  hmph.  Savannah G did tho.  And the first words out of her mouth?  "I know where you are."  That turned into the first words out of everyone's mouths.

So the tradition became tracking while riding and OK when stopped for fuel or food.  Just so Mr. Oilburner could feel good when the little dots stayed put for a little while.  Since this was the first test of Mr. Tell-Tale I wondered what the map looked like.  Riding through some of the larger towns with traffic and stoplights I wondered if the lower avg speed was noticeable in the track.  (Found out later that it is true.)  Made it down to Savannah without issues.  Enjoyed blowing the off a couple guys as I speed away after passing a cotton truck. HEHE

I had just pulled into Savannah G's driveway, gotten my gear off and gotten off the bike when the phone rang.  I figured it was Savannah G since she certainly wasn't home.  It was.  :)  She would be leaving work momentarily and home in 5 minutes.  She had been watching the map all day and thought she had the time to beat me home.  Until the dot suddenly blipped on screen that placed me on the east side of I-95, close to home.  No matter, she was home right quick and we started our weekend!

I've since found out that many friends left the map open all day and watched my progress.  I found it hilarious and charming.  Note to self: be sure to turn tracking off if going someplace secret.

We spent time with friends and enjoyed some of the tourist trappings of Savannah.  We needed some tomatoes to try out a new zucchini and ricotta recipe so we went to Polk's Fresh Market.  It's a great little market and I wish they had more space, they had so much fun stuff.



We also were starving and headed for a BBQ place before we detoured to Polk's.  But they had their own BBQ truck up front that smelled superb.  Wow!  My new favorite BBQ.  Why do they have to be so far away?!?!?

We walked through Forsyth Park and enjoyed the liveliness and scenery.

Testing the physics of a dolly.

Find some interesting things on light poles here. I think the dogs have been leaving some greeting cards.


Weddings in the middle of the park.

 If you follow "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" you might recognize this.  Sorry for the quality, the big camera was at home.

We popped into the Gryphon Tea Room for the warmth and caffeine.  The ambience is original to the apothecary that used to be here. The stained glass windows and lighting fixtures were eye-catching.  And the orange spice tea with honey was exactly what we needed.

Continuing on we made it to the honey tasting bar Savannah G had told me of.  Wonderful!  So fun to stroll the counter and sample the honey's.  Even enjoyed the apple/honeycomb/cheese stack.  Savannah G enjoyed seconds and the wonderful sticky mess she made. I love how they lined and lit the honey bottles along the perimeter of the room.

 to be continued...

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