Monday, September 15, 2014

Savannah-Bound: Savannah, the Next Day

Although the plan was to sleep in, Isabel's not really a late sleeper.  She woke, got dressed, and in the process woke me up too.  We left David sleeping and went to explore the hotel and maybe find something to eat.

We found a Starbucks in the hotel, had some muffins and drinks, and then went exploring.

A gorgeous Chihuly hangs in the second floor entrance to the hotel's restaurant.  My favorite colors.

Decoration for an Indian wedding taking place that morning.

The view of downtown Savannah's waterfront from our hotel.

After exploring, we woke David, got packed and left out beautiful resort, to head back over hte bridge to Savannah.  We parked in the visitor's center, where parking was free on Sundays. Hooray.

We entered the visitor's center, got free maps, bought a Self-Guided Tour of Savannah book and headed out on foot.

I took WAY too many pictures. I'll post the ones that I like most.

Sorrel-Weed house.

Guardians of the Nicholas Kruger House. Each of these birds is holding a round stone between its wings.
If the bird would fall asleep. he'd drop the ball on his foot, waking him up to continue his vigil.

Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church

Hamilton-Turner Mansion, believed to be haunted by the Hamilton children.
 The house was featured in the book "Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil." 
The Hamilton-Turner
mansion was visited by Walt Disney. It became the inspiration for his "Haunted Mansion."

We walked for almost two hours before FINALLY stopping to eat at the waterfront.  I was cranky and hungry and tired.   Being Labor Day weekend, it was crazy-packed.  We waited an hour and 10 minutes to eat at the Pirate's House.  Memo if visiting: MAKE RESERVATIONS!  If you make reservations, you get seated immediately.  I wasn't greatly impressed.  Tourist restaurant with tourist fare.  

After eating, we continued on our tour, heading back to the car in the process.  Savannah has SO much history.  It was beautiful.  I can't understand anyone being in Savannah and not loving the history and the gorgeous buildings everywhere.

We drove home that evening, Sunday, because David had to work Monday night, and we didn't feel like spending another night in a hotel.  

What a fun, spontaneous weekend getaway!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Savannah-Bound: Savannah First Night

Back to the Labor Day weekend vacation:

We drove over the bridge that goes from Savannah to a small island between Savannah and S. Carolina to get to our FREE hotel, the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa.

Driving over the bridge to get to our hotel.

 There was ZERO parking.  The parking lot, usually a fee-to-use lot, was wide open and there was NO WHERE to park.  Cars were double-parked, parked in fire lanes, etc.  I know it was Labor Day weekend, but what the what?  David dropped us off while he went back to circling.

We learned that there were not one, but two weddings being held this evening. Hence the free parking / no parking situation.  We ended up parking on this bridge, pictured above, until later in the evening (way later) when the wedding guests had gone.

Our view from the room!  Wedding party # 1 on the left, leaving. Wedding # 2, nit started yet, on the right.

We decided to give Isabel an hour in the pool before we jumped on the free ferry to take us across to the historic Savannah waterfront for dinner.

The waterfront of Downtown Savannah is behind us. We have to take a ferry to get there.

The hotel as seen from our deck chairs.
We went upstairs so Isabel could change and then caught the ferry over to the mainland.  It was busy. Lots of traffic, lots of people, and in my opinion, not very kid-friendly at night. I was a little disappointed at my first taste of Savannah.  

We were starving and EVERY restaurant we stopped at had over an hour-long wait.  Isabel was sagging.  It was past her bed time.  We ended up at Tubby's on the second floor of a building.  The wait was over an hour. We had no choice.  Tons of people, some getting seated way before other's who had been there longer, making people angry and leave, and then suddenly, random young staff guy walks over to us, sees Isabel lying on my lap, and whispers "Just the 3 of you?"  I nod.  He says "I got a booth, want it?"  DO I?  I get up, call David and hurry after the young man before anyone notices that we just jumped ahead of a bunch of people who are downstairs listening to live music and watching artists paint.

Two very tired ladies.

David plays games with Isabel to distract her from being so tired.

We had a good dinner. Mine was the best meal of the three of us.  Parmesan chicken alfredo over linguine with mushrooms, spinach and garlic.  SO GOOD.

The building the restaurant was in had many levels.
We walked back to the Ferry stop, took the ferry, David moved the car to a real parking space, and off to sleep we went.

Our hotel, from the ferry.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My Husband the Rock Star

I have never been flying with David in the 15+ years we have been together.  This past weekend, on Saturday, I took my first flight with him and our daughter.  More on that later.

The reason for this post it to discuss our Sunday flight. We decided at the last minute to fly to the airport in Chattanooga to surprise some family throwing a birthday party. The flight was four hours one way.  The way up was long and not too eventful . We had to bypass a storm which took us out of the way by half an hour, he had to maneuver around some pesky clouds and the winds on the landing in Chattanooga were a bit rough. For four and a half hours, this was not too bad.

We spent about 3 hours with the family and then headed back home, departing at 6:15 p.m.

The skies were fine.  We could see some lightning in the distance. This made me nervous but David was not concerned.

Eventually, we headed towards Jacksonville, Florida to avoid a storm. Unfortunately, we could not.  The skies were dark, the rain was coming down and the clouds had dropped low.  Trying to skirt around the clouds, we were smack dab in the middle of the storm.

I was not wearing a headset.  I could not hear what was going on.  I could see David talking to the control tower but had no idea what was going on.

I'm muttering under my breath "I want to land. I want to land. I want to land." He sees my mouth moving, takes off his headset and yells over the noise "What?"  I yell back "I want to land!" He nods as if to say "DUH!" and goes back to talking to the control tower.

The rain is falling down hard. There's lightning in the sky. The clouds are blocking his view of the airport.  He pulls a HARD FREAKING BANK TURN right towards the airport.  All I'm thinking is "Jacob doesn't know. He doesn't know what's going on." and "Please land, please land."

I'm not making deals with God. He and I are good.  There's no deal to make. We talk all the time.  I know where I'm going.   I'm just thinking of Jacob and Isabel. Jacob needs us. He's not ready for this.   Isabel? She's asleep in the back seat of the plane, oblivious.

David is full-on concentrating.  He's talking to the control tower. I can't hear anything over the noise.

Please land.

Isabel wakes up.  She yawns and says "Are we home? Oh, wait.  This isn't the airport that we left from.  Aww,  man. I want to be home. I have to pee."   Completely oblivious to what's going on.

David skirts a cloud blocking the runway; it's in his way and he can't land. He banks HARD right again to go to the other side of the runway, where it was clear.

Please land.

He makes it around in a circle and comes straight down, kind-of high. I'm thinking to myself "We're too high!" and he just drops us down right on the runway.  He tells me later this is on purpose.  He does some maneuver with one flap/wing/something that drops us quickly to the runway.

We land smoothly and taxi off the runway.  I let out my breath.  Isabel says "When can we leave again?"

We're directed to a parking spot.  The people at the airport lounge direct us to the bathrooms while David's outside closing his flight plan.  I'm calm, talking to Isabel about going to the bathroom and having to be patient while we wait out the storm.

I'm in the bathroom with Isabel, who still knows nothing is amiss.  She enters a bathroom stall, I turn on the tap in the sink, shove paper towels in my mouth to stifle the sobs, and start to cry.  Isabel comes out, and I feign complaining about the rain ruining my makeup as I wipe my eyes.

We stay in the lounge in recliners, Isabel with a blanket and pillow, eating free snacks and watching the Disney channel, me and David snoozing off and on for over two hours before we finally get back in the plane, in the rain,  to make the last 50 minute ride home.

He landed, fueled up, tied the plane down and we headed home in the car, to get to bed at 3 a.m. Monday morning.

I have never been more proud of my husband as I am right now.  He will try to play it off. He'll tell you he was nervous as hell and was putting on a brave face for me.  I'm here to tell you to ignore that.

Will I go flying with him again?  Yes.  He flew the &;^%$ out of that plane in that storm.

The man is a rock star.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Savannah-Bound: St. Simmons Island

After leaving Jekyll Island, we crossed over to St. Simons Island. We were hungry and it was time for lunch!

The streets of St. Simons Island

An arts, crafts and pottery show right in front of where we parked.

The young man carrying the backpack came up to David because
David was wearing a t-shirt saying he was a pilot.  The kid had just done his first
solo flight the previous week and talked to us about it.

We walked up and down the street, looking at menus, and chose Iguana's.  Website link.  It looked like it had reasonably-priced food and zero wait.

After a yummy lunch of shrimp Po-Boys and buffalo shrimp for David, we headed over to Fort Frederica, where we had an amazing hour and a half of fun.  See my special post about that here.

After the Fort, we headed north to Savannah!!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Savannah-Bound: Jekyll Island

So as I mentioned in my last post, we took a very last-minute vacation when we figured out David had Saturday through Monday off.  David mentioned Savannah, Georgia, which is only 4 hours away and I said Yes!   David's boss offered him a Monday shift (Labor Day) and after discussing it, we agreed that we needed the cash and cut the vacation short by one day.

I used points I accumulated from all my travel with work to Panama, Atlanta and Charlotte.  We left Saturday morning and drove north. We decided, since check-in was 4 p.m., to spend the day exploring Georgia.

First up: Jekyll Island.  So cool.

This sucker was HUGE!!

Jekyll Island Island Hotel

Goodbye Jekyll Island

The bridge to St. Simons Island, our next stop.