Here we are, at St. Augustine, wondering which way to go. Spend another night enjoying Ice Plant cocktails and finding another unknown stretch of water to explore, or go north. I did what anyone would do, I take my query to social media and ask the masses. Savannah or St. Augustine? At first, the race was close, but as the day went on it was clear that Savannah was the winner, so north we went.
By time we reach the campground, it’s evening which means dinner. Cooking on the road is a new thing to me, but that isn’t an excuse to slack. Tonights menu includes: Quinoa and lentil stuffed red peppers, BBQ falafel and roasted zucchini spears followed by a dessert of inside out apple pie. Yes, it’s just as good as it sounds, if not better.
The next morning starts with a view straight out of a movie. In fact, it has been in many movies, including Forest Gump.The entrance to, Wormsloe Plantation, will take you to another world. We got there shortly after they opened and set up to take a few pictures. We inquired if there was anyway we could access the grounds before or after they opened for better light. Yes they said, for $150/hr… I had to suppress my laughter until we left.
There are several things to do in Savannah, like Forsyth park or Tybee beach, but in the middle of summer I recommend eating and drinking indoors. For cocktails, the Artillery Bar is the best to be had. Yes, they come with their own set of “House Rules,” which call for no flip flops or beach attire, but as long as you don’t look like you were just dragged off the streets, I think they will find you a seat at the bar. For the whiskey fan, you can’t go wrong with “the Doc.” A mix between an Old Fashioned and a Manhattan with a twist; smoked tobacco. As one that detests cigarettes and turns green trying to smoke a cigar, this slight twist on a classic adds just the right flavor. For the adventurous type, “Oh great, real bullets,” is amazing. Smokey mezcal with a bit of heat and a bit of sweet hit the spot perfectly on a hot summer day. From there we went over to “Husk,” for some southern classics and local fare. Starters include fresh local shrimp and octopus with a twist; matcha and okra. Well damn, this is actually good! I hate to admit this, but I am not a fan of cheese. Believe me, I’ve tried over the years to see if there was something out there that wouldn’t make me turn my nose up and repress my gag reflex, but cheese and I will never be friends. Why this tangent about cheese? Well, when I saw shrimp and grits on the menu my taste buds started salivating, but quickly remembered the very southern and traditional way of making them includes cheese, lots and lots of cheese. To my very pleasant surprise the waitress informs me she can make it without cheese. Mother Mary’s cotton socks, saints be praised, this is a shrimp and grits made just for me!! Guess what I ordered… yes, shrimp and grits. And yes, it was southern perfection.
From Savannah we take a brief detour into “Svalbard.” What can I say about “Svalbard,” but it is scenic and I wish to return there soon… also there are polar bears everywhere…and no Starbucks. This is where I learned how reliant I am on coffee. I brought a red bull with me thinking that would be fine for the morning, but my stepdad is right, I am a high maintenance princess that has her needs, and coffee is one. The local diner is filled with friendly faces that offer you homemade pear honey for your biscuits, but the coffee resembles something from a drainage ditch. The local park office offers the closest thing to what could possibly be coffee, but I found myself drinking a cup of lies that just couldn’t be swallowed. Kids, don’t underestimate your coffee dependency.
Next stop puts us face to face with old friends and good food (also coffee). We find ourselves just outside of Atlanta, trading stories and trying new beer. Taco tour has once again continued and OMG people, Strange Taco Bar is the cats meow 😺 (or le tits as the kids say). I don’t even know where to start, so try to keep up with me: fried clams, ginger braised duck, cajun shrimp, chipotle tofu and pumpkin seed cauliflower tacos. I ate until I hated myself, then I ordered a jalapeño margarita. To work off all that scrumptiousness, I decided we need to do some hiking, or as he would call it, “the decent of hell.”
I love Tallulah gorge and make it a point to stop there every time I’m in Georgia. Unfortunately, due to heavy rain, the platform at the base of the gorge was closed, aka destroyed by fallen trees, so the only way down to the river basin was via sliding rock, which is a quarter mile trail at a 45 degree angle. If you want to talk about suffering, it’s this trail. You’d think downhill at a 45 degree angle would be a cakewalk, but noooooooo. This quarter mile down will take you a minimum of 20 minutes and most of that will be preventing yourself from face plating on a giant boulder. We stopped at the bottom and oohed and awed for about 10 minutes before we decided to go back up due to time constraints. The 20 minute decent turned into a 45 minute ascent. Your legs, and your loved ones, will hate you for the climb back out of the gorge, and when you get to the top you will feel like you deserve a medal and a small parade for your accomplishment. For us, this mean more tacos. On to Atlanta for tacos, Whole Foods and refuel. In our continued attempt to avoid people, we do not dwell in Atlanta, we keep heading south back to sweet, sweet Florida.