Once upon a Southern weekend, three friends moseyed down for a lazy weekend in Savannah and Tybee Island, Georgia. Along the way, we met a noble Knight and shared a fine meal. We stepped back into time, climbed a lighthouse, and caught a few waves.
|Me and Author, Christian Terry|
The trip really began when I got to meet fellow author and long-time internet friend, Christian Terry. His wicked cool book, Ten Lives, BUY HERE was the first gamer-lit book I ever read. It’s a fast-pace urban fantasy adventure that I recommend everyone read. And, even though I’m deep into writing my latest novel, I’m bugging him daily to find out the release date of the next installment, Seven Lives. It’s gonna be good. I just know it. In the meantime, we've been internet friends and writing colleagues for quite awhile, and it was really special getting to finally meet in person.
|Spanish Moss, Bonaventure|
We had two goals on our weekend in Savannah. We wanted to see as much of Savannah as we could, and we wanted to get out to Bonaventure Cemetery. After scouring tons of options and opportunities, we settled on the idea of taking an on and off trolley tour, Old Savannah Trolley Tours, through Savannah. For one fee, you can hop on and off at different locations all over the city all day long. Having only one day to see Savannah, this seemed like our best option.
So, onto our first trolley we boarded, and soon, we were off. The tour guides, we had three, all told different stories and facts about everything we passed, and occasionally, at different stops an actor would hop onto the trolley and tell us a little bit about themselves and their life in Savannah. This is how we met Forrest Gump. Our favorite re-enactors on this tour were the pirate and the dandy architect we will forever call “portico”. The city of Savannah has done a wonderful job with this tour. You don’t have to get on and off. If you want to ride all day long, you can, and believe me, you won’t be disappointed. In fact, we rode once through the entire tour before we stopped to get off at the Cathedral.
|St. John the Baptist Cathedral|
The Cathedral… Look, I don’t know why...Cemeteries and Cathedrals...these are my things…
The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is simply stunning, an inspirational, jaw-dropping blend of colors, architectural design, and a sort of silent peace found in cathedrals everywhere.
In the afternoon, we drove out to Bonaventure Cemetery. I could have spent years here and not explored every nook and cranny. It took me a few moments to get my bearings in the maze of tombs, to wrap my mind around the graceful charm found among the haunting monuments and trees draped in Spanish Moss. In general, Savannah is an old city, a true necropolis. Bonaventure is the magnificent crown to this literal city of the dead.
***If you visit here or any other cemetery, please be mindful. It’s heartbreaking to see tombstones, vaults, and graves that are broken or knocked over because someone mindlessly or accidentally bumped into them.***
When our day came to an end, we were glad to return to our little cottage we rented out on the marsh to watch the sunset and prepare for the next day’s outing.
|Tybee Island Lighthouse|
On day two, we loaded up into Indigo Montoya with the beach tent and chairs and headed over to Tybee Island.
The mission was to climb to the top of Tybee Island Lighthouse, all 178 stairs, despite it being one of the hardest in America to climb to look out over the ocean.
|View from the top of Tybee Island Lighthouse|
For me, the climb up was fine. A landing waited for us every 25 stairs, and I swear excitement propelled me forward because I made it to the top before I realized it. Lighthouses fascinate me. I blame this both on Jimmy Buffett and my author friend, Vicky Holt, whose fabulous book, Beckoned, takes place at a lighthouse, but that is a story for another day.
|North Beach Swing|
Two-thirds of the way back down from the lighthouse, my legs became jello. To solve this travesty, we headed to the beach. On North beach of Tybee Island, the beach is lovely. The sand is darker than most of the beaches I’ve visited, but still lovely. The lack of commercial buildings and high rise hotels makes Tybee stand out. A beach day here feels like a way of life rather than a vacation.
|Sunset on the Marsh|
On our final night we had a meal on the deck out by the marsh of our little cottage with our new furry friend, Socks, as we talked about all of our experiences on our Savannah/Tybee Island weekend. Tybee Island turned out to be everything we'd hoped, a quiet beach spot free from touristy mumbo-jumbo. It's sandy-shelled shore served as the perfect place to take a breath and enjoy salty sea breezes. Savannah, in a very real way, was exactly as I'd expected too. A slow Southern city, a remnant of a time long gone, that leaves an ache in the pit of my stomach as I try to deduce whether I should be happy because these old houses and traditions still exist or be disgusted by their very existence. The opulence and gentility did not swirl into creation via a magic wand. Blood, sweat, and tears and the literal building over dead bodies is how her grand beauty came about. Savannah is a city of old splendor and elegance, and currently, Savannah is an old but modern city where they are trying to tightly hold onto their past, while standing with the present and looking towards the future, and despite my mixed feelings, I enjoyed my romp throughout the old squares and left wanting to see more.
Have any of you been to Savannah or Tybee? What did you see/do?