I finally made it to Savannah in the spring of 2008, six months before I left Ottawa with Miranda. This harried road trip featuring bad motels and restaurant food convinced me that there had to be a better way to travel.
After spending a sticky day exploring Savannah’s historic district, I decided that the next day should be spent visiting the environs, my expedition culminating at Tybee Island, Savannah’s ocean playground.
It was the first week of April and still bitter cold back home, but on Tybee the sun was shining and it was hot. The Atlantic ocean beckoned me and I heeded its call, wading in carefully, then plunging in head first when I discovered, to my delight, that the water was warm!
Swimming opened up my appetite and I went off in search of lunch, finding it at a shack-type restaurant right on the beach called the North Beach Grill. I decided to take a chance on it since it was packed. It was a fantastic experience; a cruddy little restaurant open to sea breezes, salt shakers rusty from the sea air, rum flowing liberally, and Caribbean-style music booming from speakers. I ordered ‘grilled shrimp’ which was nothing like what I expected. I got whole shrimp, still in the shell with the legs on ’em, swimming in a cajunny-style sauce with a helping of freshly cut fries. It was one of the most undignified, delicious, and fun meals of my life. It took forever to peel those suckers using my fingers! It was there that I realised that coastal Georgia is a world unto itself where sweet tea runs freely, huge mountains of sweet shrimp big as a thumb cost less than a burger, and the people know how to take the time to breathe and enjoy a moment. It’s not paradise, but came pretty close to that for a sun and warmth-starved gal who had just fled winter!
That day in the water reminded me that when I am drained, water can renew me. I remembered this my first day in Edmonton.
(As a side note, that night I received an email that changed my life forever. But that’s another story, part of which you read whenever you visit this blog.)