Travel and LifeStyle!
When I picked up my car to drive from Atlanta to Savannah, I had no particular expectations in mind…I heard it was a beautiful southern city and I just wanted to spend some time enjoying the weekend. It was similar to a blind date…you read the profile, learn about him, scan his pictures, think he might be your type and you say “yes” just to experience good company. No more, no less.
You never imagine that when you first see him standing tall in front of you in the afternoon light, there will be a mini explosion in your heart and the more you see him and the more you get to know him throughout the evening, you realize that you are falling for him and there is no turning back. By midnight you understand this is it…he is the one for who you were waiting your entire life!
Savannah did exactly that for me! The charming southern architecture, the oak trees with hanging Spanish moss, the beautiful parks, the statues, the benches, the street side cafes and the always smiling people – I was blown away!
I was in no rush….the weekend was mine, just for me. I started walking through unknown streets from one square to another to immerse in history, beauty and the memories of endless favorite movie scenes stored in my mind over the past twenty years.
I reached Chippewa Square where Forrest Gump told his life story while sitting on the bus stop bench. I sipped my Starbucks tea while sitting on a bench observing the sky through the floating moss. There was magic in the air. So many untold stories still whispering through the branches of the trees….just waiting to be written.
Forsyth Park was beautiful not only for its gorgeous natural look and large white Parisian style fountain but also for the beautiful people milling around. I made fast friends with a local Jazz player who shared his life and travel memories and fantasies. I watched people practice volleyball before getting into the game, couples running together, friends smiling and walking while sharing coffee…everyone was making a statement that life is beautiful!
The charming big southern homes and architecture was inviting. It was so tempting to jump through the fences and take a peek further inside…to know the life experience people had before and are having now over two hundred and eighty four years of history. I wanted to know the eccentricities behind the stories about actual residents like Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
The numerous street side cafes are there to take rest any time and watch people as they walked by. Leaning back in my chair, I eavesdropped on conversations floating around me. No one was in a hurry. Everyone took time to discuss life….the life that matters to them.
I remembered Julia Roberts arguing with her husband in front of the Six Pence club in Something to Talk About. In a different context…it felt like people here had always something to talk about from their heart. Looking at me they commented, “have a beautiful day!”, praised my earrings and complemented my hairstyle. These were just honest and open compliments with nothing else attached. This is the moment I fell in love with the people.
Walking along the street getting lost in the darkness of street side antique stores, I picked up Oak and Thyme soap from a local boutique. I savored paintings by famous local artists visible through the big glass windows of the galleries and found myself completely spellbound by the work of the upcoming artists of SCAD. I lost track of time not even noticing when sun started to go down.
The street lights were coming alive along the cobbled stone streets making the scenery more magical. The river boats were getting ready to on board people for a leisurely cruise along the Savannah River. The Tamalgade Memorial Bridge was standing tall in the breathtaking background of an orange and yellow sky.
By the end of the day, when I was ready for dinner, I was overwhelmed by the choices of restaurants. It was too hard to pick one. I chose the Olde Pink Lady…an amazingly beautiful old southern house turned into restaurant and bar. With 16,000 square feet of space, you can choose any type of seating you like – from a cozy romantic corner to vibrant bar side stool. The food was mouthwatering with plenty of healthy choices and options. The bar downstairs had the added charm of live music with people dancing who were immersed in love.
According to Travel+Leisure readers, Savannah ranked 17 of the top 20 most romantic cities on the planet. Reviewing the list I realized I have visited 10 of the top 20 romantic cities listed (7 of which fell in the top 10). I could not agree with the rankings. Savannah was number one for me. I have never seen any other city where people could be seen holding hands while walking together as could easily be seen in Savannah. It was really unbelievable! Love was in the air and people were in love. I was not in Savannah with my love but I felt him in every breath. I was holding his hand throughout, leaning on him, sharing smiles and standing under the century old big Oak trees in his strong arms just like Vivien Leigh was with Clark Gable in Gone With the Wind. The movie was complicated with mixed emotions of love and betrayal as life is but the photo below captures the moment of century old love, romance, passion and attraction which defines Savannah and Southern charm!
Travel and Leisure’s reader’s choice for top 20 most romantic cities in the world are below to choose your next gateway with your love. If I were you, I would suggest selecting Savannah first (if you have not been there already!).
The paragraph below is T+L’s description. I actually spent quite a bit of time in the honey store and picked up something I liked even before reading about it. Coincidental? Or there was love and magic in the air? I don’t know….It is for you to find out!
1.Venice 2. Paris 3. Carmel-by-the-sea 4. Florence 5. Rome 6. Honolulu 7. Charleston 8. Bruges 9. Quebec City 10. San Francisco 11. Santa Barbara 12. Victoria 13. Barcelona 14. Siena 15. Monte Carlo 16. Seville 17. Savannah 18. Salzburg 19. Aix-en-Provence 20. Lucerne
“There is magic in the coastal city of Savannah, Georgia. The storied antebellum buildings and ancient oak trees draped with Spanish moss make it at once both quaint and bewitching (there are of course the ghost stories). City squares are peppered with azaleas, statues, and benches: including the one where Forrest Gump explained life’s beautiful unpredictability. Pirates once used Savannah as a smuggling post, but today the cobbled River Street is ripe with cute candy stores brimming with homemade saltwater taffy and pralines, as well as bustling bars and restaurants serving the best regional fare (think: buttery biscuits, fresh-caught shrimp, and sweet tea). Handcrafted leather shops, charming apothecaries, and even a honey store, it’s easy to see how the “hostess city of the south” lives up to its sweet reputation.”