Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Savannah sojourn, part 2

After last night’s creepiness, I awakened bright and early to stroll back into the landmark district. Since I’d joined the Old Town Trolley tour so late the day before, they let me ride again the next day for free. This time, though, I got on and off the vehicle since I was slightly familiar with the town by now. Three guesses where I headed first. That’s right—the cemetery! (See the pix in a previous blog.) And then I explored a few old houses before settling down for tea at the Gryphon Tea Room. I stuffed myself with scones, jam, and clotted cream as well as dainty finger sandwiches. Oh, and I had an awesome tea—Madagascar Vanilla, I think it was called—that comes in second only to the life-transforming Lovergirl violet-vanilla concoction over at Extraordinary Desserts in San Diego.

Three more guesses as to where I might have headed next. No—actually I’m going to give you one guess. That’s right! I went to a house where a murder took place. (See the pic of the Mercer-Williams house in a previous blog. Man, I wish I could’ve taken more photos. Dopey battery.) Throughout the day I kept reading from my HAUNTED SAVANNAH book by James Caskey. Good stories, and they served to excite my imagination. In fact, I came out of that day with an idea for a Savannah vampire story that I might be writing for Amazon Shorts. We’ll see what the old schedule allows me to do.

Then dinner time beckoned. I took a tip from my B&B hosts and went to an off-the-beaten-path restaurant in the Victorian District, which is trying to establish a better reputation, and I’m so happy I did. 514 MLK is a simple yet elegant spot to search out. With brick walls, white linen tablecloths, and a very friendly wait staff, it’s the type of place where you know the food is going to kick ass. Too bad I lost my notes from that night. (Figures.) I can tell you, though, that I had goat-cheese salad (YUM), and a Red Snapper Florentine which was mouthwatering. I followed all that up with a ginger-laced crème brulee. Yes, it was terrific.

Afterward, I decided I wanted the “bells and whistles” type of ghost tour, as opposed to the previous night’s more intimate and straightforward one. The Ghosts and Gravestones tour offered by Old Town Trolley Tours was quite fun, complete with a dramatic driver who spun a great yarn, as well as a ghostly Anne Bonny (an actress) who met us in the cemetery. Now, unless you’re with certain tours, you can’t get past the gates after a certain hour, so that’s one of the reasons I booked with this company. I even got gnawed on by a chigger, so that was a bonus. But, in all seriousness, the best part came when we went to the Weed-Sorrel house, which is said to be one of the most haunted in Savannah. (I think a lot of them say that though.) But, you know what? I got very freaked out here. It wasn’t because they initially put us in a cold cellar and left us by ourselves to watch a short presentation about the place’s history. It wasn’t even because a Sorrel ancestor took us upstairs and related the tragic tale of a supposedly murdered slave and the resulting ghosts that were born from the dark events. No—it was because our guide played a recording taken by a ghost hunting outfit one night. Whether it was real or not, it was disturbing. It featured a woman screaming for everyone to get out and, under all that, you could barely hear a man’s voice warning her to stop. They told us that the recording was on the up-and-up, and that made the experience even creepier.

So, I didn’t sleep well that night.

But when I left Savannah the next morning, on the way back to Atlanta to stay in the Airport Westin (which was awesome! I loved my king-sized bed. It was big and decadent.), I knew I’d be returning for more.

Hopefully soon, too.

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