What a lovely, relaxing day we had today! Now THIS is a vacation day!

We woke up around 10am and took our time getting ready…didn’t even leave the room until 12:30ish. Joe found out about a natural/organic coffee shop, The Sentient Bean, that was a 5-minute walk from our hotel so we went there for coffee and a small snack (me: bran banana currant muffin, him: chocolate croissant).

It was another “walking day”, so we first hoofed it over to the Owens-Thomas House to see a tour of the inside of the home. Our tour guide, Chris, was very knowledgeable and you could easily see that the original owners were VERY wealthy.

(ABOVE: Owens-Thomas House from street view. BELOW: Us in the garden of the Owens-Thomas House)

After the tour, we decided to stop off at Leopold’s Ice Cream, which was a staple of Savannah life from 1919 to 1970 and now reopened in 2004 (the current owner, movie producer Stratton Leopold, is the son of one of the original owners).

It’s built to look like a mid-1930’s ice cream shop, with a mix of authentic and period equipment intermixed with things invented by the “movie magic” talents of Stratton’s movie co-workers. I got 1 scoop each of Chocolate Chewies ‘N Cream and Girl Scout Thin Mints ‘N Cream, while Joe had 2 scoops of Caramel Swirl and it was AWESOME!

Our next stop was the Davenport House, which was another big ol’ opulent house. The house was lovely on the outside. On the inside, not so much. They didn’t have a lot of original pieces of wallpaper or rug patterns to work from so they just used what was popular at the time. As for the results, well, Joe repeated something he read on the ‘net and it really said it best…bad taste is timeless (grin). Sorry we don’t have pictures of the atrociousness…we weren’t allowed to take any photos while inside this or the Owens-Thomas House. Our tour guide for this house was a very young (late teens, tops) girl who tried very hard and was very polite but still needed some work before she could be considered a “good” tour guide. Hopefully she’ll become a bit more comfortable with the role as she does it more.

(ABOVE: Front of Davenport House. BELOW: Back of house, as viewed from its garden)

We went back to River Street after the Davenport House Museum. We still needed to buy crap at the crap shops, plus they were having an art show (think “Festival of the Masters” or “Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival”, but on a smaller scale) and Joe was interested in trying to find some artwork for his bathroom. No luck in that, but we managed to buy the crap we wanted to get.

By this point (6pm or so), we were both getting really tired of walking and decided to find someplace to eat. Joe had discovered Bistro Savannah online and saw it had gotten a lot of good reviews, so we agreed to go there and look at the menu. If the menu looked good, we’d try for seating. Without a reservation on a Saturday night, we figured if they couldn’t seat us, we’d try somewhere else (Joe, ever the planner, had 1 or 2 other places up his sleeve as backups). As it turned out, the menu looked great, it looked like the kind of place we would visit (Joe’s observation: all of the patrons “sort of looked and dressed like us”) and they had a table available for us so that’s where we ate. This was another natural/organic type of restaurant and the food was just terrific. We started with an appetizer of baked pita chips with 3 dips (goat cheese, hummus and an olive-based), then I had the lamb loin (SO tender!) with Swiss chard, while Joe had halibut with wild mushrooms. We shared a side dish of risotto to round the meal out. YUM! Definitely a place I would visit again.

Bistro Savannah

Us outside the restaurant

Their dessert menu sounded good but we decided to skip dessert in favor of continuing on our walk and getting dessert later on, perhaps at the Olde Pink House. We walked into a few shops on Market Street, went past Paula Deen’s place (sorry Rob & Scott…the boys weren’t there for us to take home to y’all) and, when we saw the faded Pepto Bismol pink hue of the Olde Pink House, we went down to the lounge bar.

The piano player was the same guy that had been there on Thursday night and he remembered us (Well, me. When you’re 4’7″, you’re memorable). We got our drinks and eventually got some seats near the piano player so we could hear him play and, more importantly, talk. Turned out he’s had QUITE the life…he worked with Liberace in Vegas in 1972 and 1973, played at Jim Williams’ parties (not in the “main room”, but, as he put it, “on the other floor, where the REAL party was happening”), his 86y/o mother lives with him and his live-in maid (who had been working for him for 14 years), he plans to build a 6,000 square foot replica of Rudolph Valentino’s house .. his family has owned for 125 years, he was half Italian and half Irish (I didn’t even smile when he said this. Well, not on the outside) and his Italian aunt and uncle were in “the family”. Which meant this guy was actually in TWO families (grin).

We eventually bought and split a slice of their signature 3-layer chocolate cake, since we loved it so much on Thursday. And when we were done, we just sat and enjoyed the moment, thinking about our vacation, with the fireplace burning and the piano playing. It was great.

We decided we needed to get back to the hotel and start to get ready to leave tomorrow. The walk home was quiet, save for whenever we (quietly) made fun of the passing ghost tours (“watch out for the orbs!”). Tomorrow we need to wake up relatively early, finish packing and make a handful of stops before we get back on the road. Can’t believe our mini-vacation is almost finished already!