I fell in love with Savannah many years ago. I was working in Las Vegas and I had just found out that I couldn't get time off to see my parents at Christmas. The thought of staying in Las Vegas during the yuletide season depressed the hell out of me so I looked at other options. I had only four days but I wanted to go somewhere different that would put me in the holiday spirit.
I had just read John Berendt's book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. It is part travelogue, part murder mystery, and part historical fact. There are many unusual characters but the center piece is the town of Savannah. If you've read the book, you'll understand why I made the trek that Christmas. I had to see this town for myself.
The town did not disappoint. Charming squares, friendly people (it is true what they say about southern hospitality), lots of shopping, great restaurants, amazing architecture and of course, a fabulous drag queen named Miss Chablis, one of the stars of the book as well as the movie by the same name. As an added bonus, the town was well decorated for Christmas and I even participated in a tour of some of the beautiful old homes.
I returned to Savannah a couple of years later, again during the Christmas season. Having more money than what I do now, I splurged and spent one night at the historical Kehoe House.
Yeah, it was pricey but well worth it, especially since the night concierge entertained us with ghost stories that actually happened within the guest rooms.
If you believe in those things.
You can check out the slideshow I made of this visit. Just click on the slideshow called Savannah. Turn up the volume and right click after the show has started to get the full view.
After I made the decision to take a sabbatical this year, I wanted to find a place where I could find inspiration for my writing. Where it would be quiet but not boring. Where I could eat well and hear good music. Where people wouldn't ignore me like they do in my Los Angeles apartment building. A place filled with history and ghosts and drag queens ...
Was it any wonder that I decided to take the trip back to Georgia?