Monday, April 26, 2010

Savannah Retreat - Final Day

We were very sad to be heading back to the real world, we had a great time. Teresa managed to get us an invite to Sapelo Island due to her mother's connections through the UGA Marine Institute (note: it is VERY special to get onto this private island - not many people are allowed to do this and you must have special permission to do so).

We woke before the crack of dawn because we had to be at the ferry dock at 8:30 sharp and we wanted to be there by 8:00 since we had no idea where we were going. It was about an hour and 15 minutes further south from Savannah. We made the boat with plenty of time to spare.

Now of course once you get to the other side of the island, the Marine Institute said they would provide us with a car to ride around in. Now, we were not expecting anything spectacular but...we were not expecting a very rusted, very moldy, very scary car. It ran okay though and that is what mattered. We dubbed him "Jimmy" - well he already had that name technically so we just let it stick with him.

Thank goodness Teresa drove - I don't think I could have handled those roads - she did a great job - I was quite impressed by her driving skills actually. Only a tiny bit of the island is paved, the rest of it looks like this:

We first went to the Chocolate Plantation (which is derived from a French name - they didn't grow cocoa beans or make chocolate there or anything).

We also saw the Hogs Hammock community (which I kept calling Hogsmeade ala Harry Potter). It is a community owned by the Gullah people. We then saw the Reynolds Plantation (I think it made Teresa a bit sad to see that it had not be well maintained since she was last there as a child and also that we could not get into it)
We were running short on time - I wanted to make the noon ferry and it was already 11:30. Luckily our gracious UGA Marine Institute Program Director, Gracie, drove us to the lighthouse and to the ferry dock in record time. As we stepped onto the boat, they closed the chain right behind us...whew!

I would have like to have stayed on the island a couple of hours longer at least but if we didn't make the noon ferry then we couldn't leave until 4:30 and I didn't want to leave going home that late, we'd have to still eat lunch/dinner (there is no where to eat on the island) and we wouldn't get home until after midnight if we stayed that long. Hopefully one day, we can go again and spend a little more time there. We had 3 hours but wanted a little more.

All and all.... a great weekend retreat - we had a wonderful time and shared a lot of laughs. I wonder what we will do next year on Confederate Memorial Day?

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Savannah Retreat - Day 3

We were very disappointed when we woke up to a steady rain. We thought about taking a trolley tour but thought better of it. Instead we decided to ride out to Tybee Island.
We went by K-Mart so I could get an umbrella (since I didn't bring any) and I bought a scratch-off lottery ticket and won $150 !! Whoo hoo !! Yeah me !!

Along the way to Tybee, I asked if she had read "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" and she had and asked if she had ever been to Bonaventure Cemetary (often mentioned in the book) and she never had - so since it was on the way, we decided to stop by.

Now, I love cemetaries, love walking around them and the older they are, the better. So of course I love Bonaventure. I'm glad she wanted to stop too. I have 2 must stop places. The first is usually to see Gracie.

Gracie was an adorable and much loved little girl, who contracted pnemonia and died suddenly in 1890. A sculptor made this statue of her from a photo and apparently it is an exact image of little Gracie.
I always leave Gracie a penny when I visit her. When I went to leave it, I could see that I was apparently not the only one who leaves them for her.

The other one I must visit is the one below. I don't know why I love her so. I think it is just her simple elegance - she looks so serene and peaceful yet strong and protective.
We spent quite a bit of time at Bonaventure - there is just so much to see
After getting stopping by to give Johnny Mercer a bit of a hello and getting soaking wet, we found our way out and headed to Ft. Pulaski, which was our next stop along the way to Tybee Island.

By the time we got to Ft. Pulaski, the rain had stopped (thank goodness). It was extremly windy. I had never been to Ft. Pulaski before - it was so peaceful and calm out there. We stayed several hours. Also, it was pretty cool that it was National Park Week (all National Parks were free so we didn't even have to pay to get in)
It makes me sad to think that for many years, this place was overgrown by weeds. Thank goodness it was rescued from that and people can now see it. It was not a very active fort except right near the beginning of the civil war when the Confederacy tried to secure it before the North could inhibit it. After a 2 day long battle, the Confderates surrendered. There was just too much damage to the fort - you can still see cannonball holes in it and they say you can see a cannonball lodged in one place (but I never found it). I had an odd feeling I had been there before - perhaps I had, as a child and just forgot. Something just seemed so familiar about it even though I don't recall ever going there before.

Just before leaving, we found the Cockspur Island lighthouse.
After spending several hours at Ft. Pulaski, we headed to Tybee, we didn't have a lot of time there because we were going to meet my friend's dad for dinner soon. We did have time to see the lighthouse and swing by my former bosses home (she has since moved though) and just drive around a bit.

We then went to Uncle Bubba's Oyster House for a very, very late lunch/early dinner - it was about 5 pm and we hadn't eaten since breakfast around 8 am so we were getting kind of hungry by now. We sat outside and were surprised most folks wanted to sit inside. Until the wind about blew us away and then we realized why they sat inside. We still enjoyed sitting out by the water though. I had a nice crab cake dinner with "Savannah" red rice (which I think they made up for the tourist because I've never heard of such a thing) and some cheese grits. We also shared this awesome crab/shrimp dip appetizer.

Teresa's dad then met up with us there and we left our car park there while he gave us the tour of Wilmington Island (where he lives) - there are some HUGE houses there. He showed us where Michael and Paula were living when they met (apparently they still live in Michael's house) and he showed us the new house that Paula and Michael are building/have built - it was unreal - beautiful and I'm happy for her - for someone to come from humble beginnings and now be able to have this kind of money. He showed us his favorite hangouts and then we stopped to visit with his cousin and his wife and their mirage of pets - they had a yorkie that sat in my lap the whole time we were there - I loved it!
It was getting late and we knew her dad had a long work day and we wanted to get back and look up some info on Sapelo Island before we left so we headed back - after researching, we decided to go ahead with our plans to see Sapelo Island (although it was 1 1/2 hours away - the wrong way from where we needed to be headed back home) - I said as long as we could make the noon ferry back, then I'd go. She agreed and we soon drifted off in to sandman land after a very busy but enjoyable day.

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Savannah Retreat - Day 2

We had a free breakfast at the Country Inn and Suites and headed out in the rainy morning to Forsyth Park, where the Sidewalk Chalk Arts Festival was happening. I was afraid it wouldn't be going on since it was raining but it was mostly a hard drizzle and it eventually stopped. Here are a few photos.

(You see a lot of SCAD students' backsides)

We then went to City Market and shopped around and had late lunch/early dinner at Vinnie Van-Go-Gos

When we finished at City Market, we headed down to River Street to have a look around. We took the free ferry across the river and back (just because it was free and we wanted to take a boat ride). There were lots of arts/craft booths set up and we spent some time strolling (and shopping) through them. There was a live band playing and they were EXCELLENT !!

Much to our surprise and delight, they had a fireworks display on the other side of the river to end the evening's festivities. We loved it and thought it was a great way to end the day.
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Friday, April 23, 2010

Savannah Retreat - Day 1

I had off for Confederate Memorial Day and so did a friend of mine. Her dad lives on Wilmington Island (near Savannah) so we decided to pay him a visit. She never gets to go to Savannah as a true tourist - because when she goes, it is mostly a short trip to see her dad.

Since I've been several times, I pretty much just let her do whatever she wanted. We had a nice time.
We didn't do a lot - we got a late start because Ga Power decided to come block my driveway for a few hours and install a new pole - so we didn't leave until almost noon. We packed a cooler full of ice, filled it with bottled water and diet cokes and headed out. We ate lunch at Zaxby's in Dublin and had dinner at the Lady and Son's with her dad. Her dad knows Paula Deen's husband. He made a phone call and we walked right in and were seated right away for dinner (normally there is a 2 or 3 hour wait). Here is my dinner...fried chicken, low-country boil (shrimp), collards, lima beans, black-eyed peas, mac-n-cheese, swiss steak and a biscuit. I just got a little bit of everything so I could decide what my fave was. I went back for a little more shrimp, lima beans, collards, and got some mashed potatoes instead of mac-n-cheese the next time around. We all decided that the shrimp was the best !!

After dinner, her dad drove us around Savannah a bit and drove us down River Street. It was getting late by then (almost 11 pm) and we knew he was tired (and so were we) so he took us back to our hotel for the evening.
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Glee - Emma's Pamplets

I love the pamphlets that Emma has in her office. Emma is the high school counselor, but when students come to see her for advice, she is obviously quiet nervous about it and doesn't know how to handle it.

They don't focus the pamphets in her office really, but it is one of those subtle things that you see in the background. Here are the titles of a few of them.

My Mom's Bipolar and she Won't Stop Yelling

So, You Like Throwing Up

Wow! There's a Hair Down There!

I Can't Stop Touching Myself

DIVORCE: Why Your Parents Stopped Loving You

Help, I'm In Love With My Stepdad

I Still Breastfeed, but How Old Is Too Old?
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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Brittnay - Glee

I am so glad that Glee is back - I missed it !! You know it is so hard to pick a favorite character - I can't do that because I like them all in their own different ways. But I must say that Brittnay cracks me up every single time she opens her mouth! She is played by Heather Morris.

Brittnay is one of that characters that kind of lingers in the background for the most part. She doesn't say a lot but when she does - oh my gosh, you about bust a gut from laughing so hard. She mostly just has a bunch of one-liners.

I think her delivery of the lines is perfect but also I think her bit of sweetness and naivity adds to it. Brittnay is both a Cheerio and Gleek.

One episode had them all in wheelchairs for the week, when Brittnay was asked where her's was, she simple replied "I lost it" (who loses a wheelchair?)

When asked to raise their right hands and repeat an oath, she raised her left hand

Mr Schue: Can anyone tell me what a ballad is?
Brittnay: A male duck

Later, when drawing ballad song titles out of a box - Brittnay says "I bet the duck is in the box"

During a discussion, Brittnay asks "Do you know that Dolphins are gay sharks?"

Mr. Schue was having a discussion that the boys weren't treating the girls well and said something along the lines of how they were misogynistic.
Brittnay says "when I pulled my hamstring I saw a misoginist"
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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Spring in Piedmont Park

Finally, finally Spring is really here - and what a glorious Spring it is !! The weather was 100% perfect today ! Not too hot, not too cold - it was baby bear perfect and was just right!

I got up early and headed down to Piedmont Park to take advantage of the beautiful day and the clear atmosphere. I took almost 200 pictures - wow! I had no idea I took that many. Here are some of my faves from the day (I had a lot more favorites but I tried to narrow it down a bit).

A view of the city

Pink Dogwood
Silly Duck in a Tree (I watched this duck for a while because he kept looking up in the tree at some robins and I thought he wanted to be in the tree too - he finally got up in the tree but then seemed a bit perplexed on how to get back down)

Another view of the city - reflected in the lake

Funky Flower

Dogwood Trees

Dogs playing in "Piedmont Bark"

Flower, flowers, everywhere!
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Friday, April 2, 2010

Easter Buckets

I found these cute little buckets somewhere - Michael's, I think - several week ago. Later, I got some Easter grass and candy and today I filled up the little buckets for my staff. This time I waited until later in the day and delivered them while they were sitting at their desks - so they'd have to at least acknowledge them. They all said thank you. I still don't get the impression they are truly happy to receive my little holiday gifts but I enjoy giving them, so.... I give them.

Happy Easter !!
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