TL;DR | Stephen’s Mom visited charming Savannah, highlighted by the amazing Mrs. Wilkes House family style meal, down-‘n’-dirty Sandfly BBQ, and Leopold’s Ice Cream. Hurricane Matthew closed down much of the city at times, but we held our heads high and had a blast anyway!

 We got an early start from Atlanta to pick up Stephen’s Mom from the Savannah Airport, then went directly to the local staple: Mrs. Wilke’s House. With recent visitors named Obama and Spacey, among many others, this famous home cooking gave us a taste – actually full portions – of fried chicken, collard greens, black-eyed peas, mashed potatoes, beef stew, mac ‘n’ cheese, summer squash, pork loin, okra succotash, sweet potato, rice, stewed carrot, and of course tons of biscuits, sweet tea, and gravy. We also all had peach cobbler for dessert.

Walking down the wide avenues and crossing fountain-filled town squares under the shade of Spanish moss-covered oak trees is the true beauty of Savannah. We threw a football around Forsyth Park, found the place in Chippewa Square where Forrest Gump famously talked about that box o’ chocolates (there may or may not be evidence in the form of a video re-creation), and leisurely explored many of the charming streets. The unlimited free samples of honey at the Savannah Bee Company led to a few purchases, and at Leopold’s Ice Cream the server gave us an extra scoop on the house for being so enthusiastic (and indecisive) while ordering. After a few days of hearty Southern cooking, we didn’t need the fourth scoop…but with flavors as good as Chocolate Chewies ‘n’ Cream, Rum Bisque, Ginger, and Coffee Chocolate Chip we almost went back for seconds. Breakfasts consisted of delicacies from Pie Society and cappuccinos from Café M on Factor’s Walk, lunches of heavy barbeque and Zunzi’s addicting sandwiches (when a meal is delicious because of the dipping sauces, don’t ask what’s inside), and dinners spanned from home-cooked meals in the AirBNB (of note: all bread sold in Savannah supermarkets is essentially parboiled, and has to be further baked at home) to Cotton and Rye – whose feast on our last night in town won us over on the Southern lifestyle.

Escape the Room is big in Georgia, so we figured we would give it a try. On a weekday, there weren’t many people around. In fact we had the entire place to ourselves, so the three of us solved puzzles and riddles meant for 10-12 people. Suffice it to say we did not escape, though in our favor we did reach the last clue and found it unreasonably difficult relative to all the other ones. We aren’t bitter at all about that.  

Of course we had a more challenging escape in front of us when Hurricane Mathew caused a State of Emergency in multiple states, including Georgia. SCAD and other attractions closed down shop but we enjoyed the nice, calm-before-the-storm weather before leaving down a day early and diverting from our planned trip to Charleston with Emily’s parents (we want a raincheck!). While we were highly disappointed to miss the weekend in Charleston, the hurricane did allow us to head to Chapel Hill early for a surprise visit with Stephen’s former roommate Ben and his girlfriend Allison.