Saturday, April 4, 2009

Georgia On Our Minds

There’s not that much to see and little tourism along the ICW of Georgia—with exception to the Island Areas of St. Simons, Brunswick, Jekyll, Sea Island, and Savannah. We traveled mainly through beautiful, deserted, brown-turning-green marshes, seeing the occasional small areas of gorgeous coastal homes—I’ve been taking pictures of the really spectacular ones. In addition, there are only five bridges we have to go under throughout the whole state of Georgia—amazing! So Sunday night when we tied up at Kilkenny Marina (up a pretty creek) there was nothing much more there than just that marina and a whole lot of tide—the restaurant which had been closed will reopen April 15th. But we were able to get a handful of live shrimp and try our luck fishing off the side of the boat—Kay catching and releasing the only small catch. Go Kay!

Monday, we passed the pretty lagoon area of “Moon River” just south of Isle of Hope—named from the same song written by Johnny Mercer (a local hero) and musical score added by Henry Mancini—made forever famous by Andy Williams singing at his very best. Gail and Gene, “Nightingale”, had the song on their boat and played it for us as we went by that very place—so special for us all—we won’t forget that day ever! Monday, we had hoped to get reservations at Thunderbolt Marina—Louis hearing (and it was confirmed!) that they gave fresh Krispy Kreme doughnuts to the transient boaters every morning. When we found out they had very limited transient space on that particular day, our plan #2 was easily put into place. We wound up stopping just a few miles short of Thunderbolt at Isle of Hope Marina—a very nice and very accommodating marina—plus they had a courtesy car and a courtesy van (perfect for six people!)—much better for us than complimentary doughnuts for sure! “C-Life” and “Nightingale” and “Bella Luna” all three signed up for the van (which we got for 6 hours!) and took off for West Marine. a liquor store, and a grocery stop. Plus, we wanted to drive the short distance over to Savannah and check out the public dock for available space—hoping to get our three boats there Tuesday by noon. We planned to spend several nights there. After finding an empty dock, we headed back to Isle of Hope for dinner at a wonderful, local, hot-spot—Driftaway Café. ( This restaurant has to be one of my most favorite places on the whole trip—everything was seasoned just right, the portions were perfect, we loved the atmosphere, and the wait staff were all so pleasant. We even called our “Looper Restaurateur”, Phil, and told him he must add this excellent place to his list!

Tuesday morning early, we left Isle of Hope in a swarm of relentless “no-see-ums” and headed to the public docks of Savannah—which do not take reservations—“first come, first served--as the sign said”. As we rounded the curve leading up to that dock there, we saw—to our dismay—a small cruise ship tied up in the very spot we wanted to be! Oh No! Robert tied up his boat in a small space and was quickly met by the Captain of the cruise ship. We soon found out that only twice a year do two cruise ships tie to this dock on the same nights—once in the spring and once in the fall. As luck would have it, we just happened to pick the one two-day period! So, being so good at this now, we settled for plan #2—we found a “marina” (just really a floating dock) only a few hundred yards from where we would eventually be for a few days—once the cruise ships left. But we would all have to pay a hefty price for that one night at $2.50 per foot. Yipes.

So now it’s Thursday, April 02, 2009—we have been in Savannah for two nights and will stay here another two, if we don’t get “run off” on these public docks by city officials. (So far, there have been no other boats wishing to use this dock.) We’re witnessing huge container ships coming right by us almost hourly into this busy port city and the small, green ferry boats taking people back and forth across this busy “highway”—we’re getting rocked by their passing (especially by the tugboat, "Diane"!), but not uncomfortably for any prolonged length of time. There’s a bad storm on top of us now—no one should be moving on the water now or tonight and probably not tomorrow morning as well. But since we’ve been here, we’ve taken a trolley bus tour of the historic district, been shopping in the quaint river front stores, been to several delicious restaurants (eating oysters and shrimp), and yes! Jane, we went to “Wet Willies” on your recommendation. You were right—the margaritas were absolutely delicious and I got a cup for you too—we’ll be back there, for sure, before we leave!

It’s now late Thursday afternoon and it’s raining hard and “we six” are sitting on our boat discussing our itinerary for the next few remaining weeks—I’m multi-tasking –listening to them, adding my two cents every now and then, and trying to finish this blog while our generator is running and I have power to this computer. (However, we have no wireless here at this dockage, so my posting will probably be when we get to Beaufort on Saturday.) We want our last big South Carolina stops to be in Beaufort, Charleston, Georgetown, and Myrtle Beach and we’ll hopefully be anchoring out some in between. Our girls and their children want to join us in Myrtle Beach over Easter week/ their Spring Break—having not seen any of them since Christmas, we can’t wait to see them all again!!

With Thursday being a total “wash” day of heavy rain, we decided to stay over in Savannah through Friday night—Friday was predicted to be beautiful. And beautiful it was, but high winds—good thing too, we had had over 3” of rain the day before and everything needed a good blowing off. We also wanted to experience “Mrs. Wilkes on Jones Street”—a 50 plus year old “boarding house” restaurant still going strong today which serves only weekday lunches from 11 to 2. So Friday morning off we went, expecting to have to wait in line about an hour for a place to sit at one of her only 8 big tables. Smelling the fried chicken wafting out the door every time it opened, we all were getting very hungry as we stood in line with about 100 plus people lining the sidewalk. Sure enough, after about an hour, we were finally “let in” and led to our table which was already filled with about 15 yummy dishes. This was to be a “family style” lunch and we were all ready to dig in!! Passing what-turned-out-to-be 25 dishes of meats, vegetables, salads, breads and desserts (unbelievable!) around the table quickly became work for the people in the middle of the table! But boy, was it ever delicious and worth the wait—we were told on two separate occasions from totally different people that this was absolutely the best restaurant in Savannah—forget the tacky Paula Dean’s—and they were so right. What a feast for the eyes and the tummy—we all left in acute pain—but all of us knowing we would definitely visit this place again!

After that so delicious lunch, we walked, so slowly!, through various gorgeous parks on our way back to the boats and stopped on purpose to see and appreciate the Cathedral of John the Baptist—a truly beautiful and historic Catholic Church which has just undergone a several million dollar renovation—a must see in Savannah, for sure. After a little bit of shopping too, late in the day we were back at “Wet Willies” for more margaritas & the crazy concoctions they serve & then the six of us went up on our flybridge to watch the sunset and the huge container ships passing. This being the first Friday of the month, the Westin Hotel (across the water from us) had fireworks at 9:30, which we all enjoyed tremendously. Saturday morning before we left, we were also able to enjoy just-as-they-were-setting-up the Street Arts Festival, which is held the first Friday “weekend” as well. We’ve had a great four days in Savannah—we’ll be back!

1 comment:

Jay Stockard said...

I don't know if you will have the time or the resources to make another post by the 9th, so I'll take this opportunity to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY "D"!!! Wish you were home so we could see you, but hope you have a GREAT day and we will celebrate when you cross your wake! I would mail you a card,but WHERE? Takw care, enjoy, and stay safe! Love ya Sis!