Final Savannah Recap

All right, I have no delusions that you want to hear/read/see every single thing we did on our trip, so I’ll wrap up the rest of our time (excluding a brief review of our motel which will come later) in Savannah in this post.

After strolling the shops for the afternoon, Jordan got to pick our next move.  We went to try out an old speak-easy.  The drink list was fun; I’d maybe only tried one item on it.  I went with a Creme Brulee Imperial Stout (Souther Tier).  It was delicious, but I cannot imagine any person wanting two, considering how sweet it was.

We headed over to Six Pence, where we had some supper.  It was your standard good pub food.  I was craving a Reuben sandwich, so I ordered one sans corned beef.  The waitress suggested I ask for a grilled cheese with sauerkraut, which saved me three dollars.  Good service.

We headed back to Broughton to try Leopold’s Ice Cream Parlor.  Honestly, I still do not understand why there is always a line outside this place.  I am guessing I need to google its history to understand it.  The ice cream was good, though.

(one of two pics together from the whole trip)

Ice cream cones were eaten on the way to the pick up for our Ghost Tour.  Savannah is known for being one of the best Ghost Tour cities in the country, so I had high expectations for our tour.  It was fun to see the city at night, and I did pick up some interesting historical facts that I would not have otherwise, but I was expecting a bit more from our tour.  (In our guide’s defense, we were stuck with some slightly disruptive drunk ladies for most of the tour…boo).  I did get one slightly strange photo from our tour.

Not sure why the exposure happened that way, but I doubt it was supernatural…Although our Ghost Tour was a bit of a let down, that did not ruin our overall feelings about our trip.

We had a great time.  Savannah is meant for those who love snapping photos.  It is romantic, quirky, yet laid back.  It has plenty of places to find quality food.  If you think Dixie cannot win over your affections, try a weekend trip to Savannah (just don’t go in the summer, or wear heels on cobblestone streets).

 

**And two random pictures here.  The first is for the Forrest Gump fans among the blog readers.  Here is Jordan waiting for a bus in the same square as Forrest. (Chippewa Square)

And my dear sister, Shannon, this one is for you.  If you look closely, you can see that the pink elephant used to be wearing a pair of glasses, but they have been cut off.

Afternoon Stroll Down Broughton | Savannah Part III

The last post didn’t exactly end with a cliffhanger, but I’ll still pick up where we left off.  It ended up taking longer than expected to find a cafe with reasonable and healthy choices that was not filled with people.  We lucked out by stumbling into Kayak Cafe, one of the few places that we visited in Savannah that doesn’t shy away from plant protein sources.  My tofu tacos were not amazing, but they were tasty, light, and fresh.

After eating, we explored the shops.  I am not really a shopper.  Jordan may disagree with you, though, since I do enjoy shopping more than him (which isn’t saying much).  I think men struggle with the idea of moseying through shops all afternoon even though there are no plans to make any significant purchases.

Hey, we’re not going to make it to NYC to see the window displays, I might as well take in the Holiday displays in Savannah, right?  The French Market had some fun decorations.

 

There were other stores with fun displays or items that were deemed photo worthy (admittedly, it doesn’t take much).

One of my favorite stops was at the Savannah Bee Company.  Samples were everywhere, and the displays were as elegant as honey can be.

We also stopped for another sweet treat on the same street.  A French cafe was full when we were looking for lunch, but the lunch rush was over when we headed back for some pick-me-ups.  This was my first time ever eating a macaron.  I know, I can’t believe it took me 26.5 years either!  I thought I would prefer the Nutella flavor to the Lavender/apricot, but was surprised at how good the L/A was.

After the nourishment, we headed back to the motel to recuperate for the evening’s events. I had a gay ol’ time walking up and down Broughton.  I loved that the Christmas spirit (or at least the consumerist spirit with a holiday flair) seemed to be in full swing.

A Morning in Savannah’s Historic District

As promised, you guys will get to see much more of our Savannah adventures.

We started our last full day in Savannah early.  Instead of eating doughnuts at the motel yet again, we decided to try out one of Savannah’s cafes for breakfast.  It was a short walk over to the Goose Feathers Cafe.

 

Though it seems that everyone else was ordering the Belgian waffles, Jordan and I went with croissants.  I had eggs and cheese; he ordered something called the Eggetarian (poached egg, tomato, pesto, and Hollandaise sauce).

 

Somehow, I was also convinced to get some caffeine with my orange juice, in the form of a Butter Rum Mocha.  Delicious.  Truly delicious.  But I couldn’t have more than about half before the caffeine started hitting me.

Must say, this was a much more satisfying breakfast than our previous one.  We did make an unplanned stop after breakfast…spent longer than we planned on here.  Don’t judge us.  I cannot resist a Holiday season sweater that is 60 percent off.

We stopped back by the motel to drop our purchases off at the car before heading toward and down Bull Street.  The rest of our morning was spent simply walking.  Walking through parks, through the numerous squares, down interesting streets, etc.  Many, many pictures were taken.

It seemed that there was a photo worth taking in every direction.

The Savannah Theatre, where John Wilkes Booth may have performed when visiting his brother:

Houses around the squares:

Have to have ourselves in a couple photos to prove we were there:

Intense little watchdog did not like me taking pictures of the house:

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.  Unfortunately, we did not time it right to be allowed inside the building, but I hear it is beautiful.

Another famous house: The Mercer House (apparently known to the locals as the “Murder House”).  It looked unhaunted enough to me during the day from the outside 🙂

Our wandering was not without some purpose yesterday morning.  A must see when visiting Savannah is Forsyth Park. The fountain in the park is one of the most well-known sights in Savannah (along with the Bird Girl from Bonaventure Cemetery who now lives in a museum…).

There were oodles of amateur photographers at the fountain.

We stopped for a water break at the Forsyth Park Cafe…

…before stumbling into the Farmers Market.  The market was smaller than Knoxville’s at this point in the season, but featured Southern favorites, such as pecans, collard greens, and okra.

Fresh produce is always tempting so we decided to head back North toward the Savannah River in search of an early afternoon lunch.  And with that, folks, I reserve the right to drag out my photographic vacation into another blog post.

As always, thanks for reading/looking.

Busy Savannah Day | Tybee Island and Bonaventure Cemetery

We’re back at the motel for now.  Jordan’s catching up with a high school friend on the phone, and I’m catching up with the day’s photos and of course, a blog post for the four of you out there who read.  I love all four of you 🙂

Our day started with a meager doughnut and juice/coffee breakfast at the motel.  Apparently, Krispy Kreme forgot to stop by this morning, so the supply was low (and a day old).

After barely breaking the fast (breakfast is usually epic for us…or we eat two breakfasts on vacation), we decided to head to the ocean via Tybee Island, just outside of Savannah. Today’s weather lends itself to wandering…on a beach or in a cemetery.

Couldn’t help but stop along the way when we noticed a Turtle Crossing.  I’m familiar with Cattle Crossings and Deer Crossings in the Midwest, but Turtle Crossings are new to me.

The Turtle Crossing ended up being a great spot.  There were egrets and herons galore nearby.  There was also a nice palmed trail to wander around on.  The trail was three miles long, but I’m guessing we walked less than a mile ourselves.  Still plenty of time for photos.

We struggled to balance the camera on a piece of wood along the trail for the photo op:

Though we saw no turtles, we figured we had better move on if we were going to make it to Tybee Beach.  There was another pit stop along the way for a photo op….

Public Library!

Oh, yes, and the Tybee Lighthouse.  The oldest and tallest lighthouse in the state of Georgia.

We had 15 dollars in cash, and entrance to the museum is 8 dollars per person.  Thus, we carried on to the natural attractions on Tybee Island.

The beach was not particularly crowded, which was nice to see.  Jordan snapped away while we were here, so nearly all beach photos are his.  I remained pretty incognito with the hat/sunglasses combo while there.  You’d think I was afraid of the sun of something.  Also, I realize I do not look lady-like at all while squatting to examine seashells.

It didn’t take long before our stomachs started pleading with us to supplement our breakfasts.  So we bid adieu to the beach and found a lovely, laid-back restaurant on Tybee Island: the Tybee Island Social Club.

This restaurant specializes in tacos.  And Jordan is on a mission to find the World’s best fish taco.  It also has some vegetarian options, so it was in for me. Service was friendly and prompt.  The food itself took some time to arrive, but I’d prefer that over food prepared an hour earlier.

I ordered the veggie taco and black beans.  Jordan had an orange pork taco and the fish taco. We also split a basket of sweet potato fries that come with delicious chipotle aioli sauce.

My taco was good…the fry bread shell was awesome.  The beans were some of the best I’ve eaten.  Jordan raved about his pork taco, which he believes is maybe the best taco he’s ever eaten.  As for the fish taco, he still ranks the taco from Poe’s Tavern’s (Charleston, SC) a cut above the Social Club’s, though he still recommends the Social Club’s fish taco.

After eating, we headed back toward the city, but made one very crucial stop: Bonaventure Cemetery.  If you’ve read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, than you know that we had to stop.  That, coupled with my affinity for photographing cemeteries, made it an absolute must.

The cemetery is certainly beautiful and intriguing.

Once again, If you’ve read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, than you know understand the significance of Conrad Aiken’s grave.  Conrad Aiken was a poet from Savannah, whose parents met a tragic end.  He used to sit, have a drink, and talk to his parents at their graves, while looking out toward the water.

When he died, he chose his gravestone to be in the shape of a bench, so that people could continue on doing the same.  There is a tradition of drinking martinis on this bench.  (If you don’t believe me, you can easily google it).  Though we had no idea how to mix our own martinis until today, we decided to take part.  Jordan felt a bit sheepish, not really understanding the significance, but he said it didn’t seem that weird…all things considered.

Weird, maybe.  But tradition?  Definitely.

Well, Jordan is now off the phone, and my post is coming to an end.  Have a great Friday night everyone.  I’ll be sure to check in again tomorrow at some point.

A Vegan Thanksgiving Menu

Last year, I was a turkey-eater.  This year, I am not.   But I am still such a sucker for holiday spirit that I had to make a hearty meal.  (Read why I am having Thanksgiving five days early here).  On top of cutting out the bird, I have been avoiding dairy for the past few days.  And I like a challenge.  So while I am not a vegan, my Thanksgiving meal was.

I shared the meal with the Husband and our friend.  This was the first turkey-free Thanksgiving for both of them as well, and I was a wee bit nervous that the Husband may start to miss his turkey.  Also, when my pal’s husband heard that I was going to make an all vegan Thanksgiving supper, he said it sounded awful.  I was going to make my dinner guests forget about the bird and prove my naysayer wrong.  The pressure was on.

I will occasionally serve my meals in courses, but that is not the norm.  I served everything together, aside from dessert, unless you are counting my place settings as appetizers.

Pears are beautiful in the fall.

On to the main course.  The entree was Sweet Potato and Tempeh Shepard’s Pie.  It may not photograph well, but it is a tasty dish.  I’ve got a request for the recipe from the other Jordan, so I’ll be blogging that soon.  Both of the Jordan’s gave this a rave review.  And I must say, I quite enjoyed it myself.

I also prepared some “stuffing.”  This and the rolls are the two things I did not make from scratch.  I had a bag of bread crumbs and seasoning.  I used vegetable stock, Earth Balance, pecans, onions, and celery to bulk it up.  Once again, this seemed to go over pretty well with the crowd.  For my liking, however, it was a bit dry.  Good flavor, just dry.

The brussels sprouts were made to be sweet and sour, and I based my flavor choices off of the suggestions from another blogger.  The cranberry sauce had an orange flavor twist, and was free of added sugars (aside from what was in the orange juices).  I used stevia to soften the tartness.

The meal’s components look a bit more attractive in the buffet line than they do on the plate.  See for yourself.

Buffet line:

(Those aren’t baked potatoes; they are whole wheat rolls–Alexia brand).

On the plate:

Since we were all prepping ourselves for today’s race (which we are currently running as this blog post goes up!), we tee-totaled.  Jordan kindly assisted me by beating a pomegranate, and we had some pomegranate seltzers.

The final test came when we sampled the desserts.  I like pecan pie better; Jordan asked for pumpkin pie.  I knew we didn’t each need a pie to our own.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, until I saw a blog post with mini-pies.  Problem solved.  I used the same recipe as she did for the crusts, but then went on my own for the fillings.  If anyone is interested (or I feel like sharing!), I can post the vegan filling recipes to the blog as well.

The pumpkin pie turned out well, even better than I expected.  But I am still a pecan pie girl.  Delish.  I topped my mini pies with coconut cream.  The guys went with Bunny Tracks ice cream.  To my surprise, Jordan said he liked the pecan pie better, too.

Overall, I call this a Holiday success.  I was excited that all of my sort of recipes worked out at the same time.  Seems like a rarity when I am so often trying new things in the kitchen.

I think I proved the skeptical friend wrong.  If only I could ship some Shepard’s Pie across the sea to him.  🙂

Anyone else trying anything new this Thanksgiving?

Slow Cooker Vegan Leek and Potato Soup

We’ve been making use of our slow cookers lately.  Who says you need a roast?

While grocery shopping this week, Jordan suggested we buy some leeks.  I had not eaten or purchased a leek since the Spring of 2006.  How do I know?  While studying abroad, our horrid cafeteria served up leek and onion casserole.  Think slime covered in rubber that slightly resembled cheese.  It definitely ranks in the top ten worst things I have ever eaten.  So I avoided leeks.  It seems a bit hypocritical for me to avoid a vegetable because I didn’t like it that one time, right?

But alas, I felt convicted and was convinced by the husband to give leeks another chance.  He said we should try potato and leek soup.  And so I did.

Potato and Leek Soup, Vegan, Serves 4-5

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups peeled and chopped potatoes
  • 3 chopped leeks (using the white and light green parts only)
  • 6 green onions
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 T flour
  • 2 seasoning peppers (we used 2 seasoning habaneros–same flavor, minus the heat)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker.  Stir to make sure that the flour has been mixed in well.  Turn slow cooker on high for 7 hours.  After seven hours, puree or mash (your call) the soup.  Garnish with daiya “cheese” and green onions if desired.
Seems like leeks deserved another chance after all.