So here we are in lovely Savannah GA. We left the house around 2pm and, after dropping Pippi off at Grandma & Grandpa Heg’s house, going back to the house to get the XM receiver, dropping paperwork off at work and stopping off at the Eye Vet to pick up some drops for Pippi (she doesn’t need them yet but the place is in Maitland and will save us a trip in a few weeks), we were on our way.

The trip was relatively uneventful…we read all the signs for the citrus ($1 a bag!) pecans ($3 a pound!) and Russell Stover (free samples!) places (most the signs were the same or at least very similar, even though they ran all up and down I-95…I wonder if they’re all the same owner?), contemplated stopping at the TWO Stuckey’s we passed (I’m seriously thinking of getting a small pecan roll on the way home. I’m “due” for one), discovered, through the exit signs, that Amelia Island was actually on the EAST Coast (sorry Rande…we both thought it was on the Gulf) and stopped off for a bite at a Panera in Jacksonville (if the strip mall it was in wasn’t owned by the same company that owns The Loop, I’ll bite my hat. Except for the Walmart – I know, eww – it had virtually the same stores as The Loop, up to and including the Ashley Furniture across the street).

Arrived at our hotel, Mansion on Forsyth Park, around 8pm. WOW what a pretty place on the outside! The original building (which is now used as the hotel’s restaurant, lounge, cooking school and wine cellar) was built as a private residence in 1888 and the attention to detail in the architecture is just amazing. Inside the main building is lovely as well, with a very posh, luxurious theme throughout (lots of marble on the floors and walls, crystal chandeliers, dozens of pieces of artwork throughout, etc.). I took some pictures but they were during dusk and really don’t do the place justice. I’ll get some new ones later on in the trip.

By the time we got settled in our room, it was nearly 9pm and we were starting to get hungry so we asked the concierge for some recommendations of someplace light to eat. She recommended a nearby BBQ place called Sweet Leaf Smokery & Eatery, which not only was just a 2 block walk from the hotel, but didn’t close until 10pm. PERFECT! And as RaeRay would say, Yummo! We shared a smoked sampler plate, which included 1/2 rack spare ribs, smoked chicken, pulled pork and chipped BBQ beef. For sides we got macaroni & cheese (not as tangy as we’re used to and I’m pretty sure one of the cheeses was ricotta…really good), smoked veggies (just OK) and their “famous” corn pudding which, as per our waitress, “Paula Deen loves” (this was the first place we ate so we’re curious to see if the legacy of Paula Deen will follow us to EVERY restaurant we visit, like when we went to England the first time and signs that proclaimed “William Shakespeare visited/wrote/drank/peed/slept here” were everywhere, or if Paula actually DOES like their corn pudding). The food WAS really good…especially the corn pudding, which had to have at least a tablespoon of butter in each mouthful (grin).

We got back to our hotel a little after 10pm and are now settling down to go to bed. We have an early start tomorrow, with appointments for both of us at a local spa starting at 10am. So until tomorrow…g’night y’all!

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