It was thrilling to finally head off from our long North Carolina stay once the holidays (and Hampton’s research study appointments) were finally wrapped up. We headed south from Chapel Hill, getting breakfast at the rarefied Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen, and making our way through the sandy pine forests of the unseasonably warm state. We passed Fort Bragg, from which thousands of troops just deployed to the Middle East in this month’s Iran war scare, and eventually crossed the South Carolina border (with a remarkably culture-as-costume Mexican-spoof amusement park/fireworks store/motel/restaurant to greet us). As we made our way through the state, a stunning sunset shimmered over the forested plains, and we made it to Charleston after dark. Tasty Hawaiian-Mexican fusion helped us settle in while I did some pre-work for interviews the following week.
Once daylight arrived, it dawned on us that Charleston was more like Charm-leston! The beautiful Old Southern buildings—deeply racist and problematic history of slave trading and racial dictatorship notwithstanding—made for a delightful few days of relaxation in a warm, homey town. It was full of students, right in the heart of the city, which was a surreal experience for us as a couple working our way out of our twenties. We caught our breath in a beautiful park with gorgeous handmade tiles all over its fountain, and ate a late lunch at Jestine’s.
The next day, we took the liberty of sleeping in before our drive along the southeastern coast into Georgia. It started raining as we escaped into the leafy Lowcountry hinterland, and cleared up briefly when we detoured to Hilton Head’s beautiful, endless beach before making our way into Savannah. Soon we fell in love—every street had a canopy of enormous trees, draped with languid Spanish moss tickling the streetlights. Even in the dark, the grande-dame houses spoke to the artistic nature of the town’s culture. We found ourselves a table at the phenomenal Atlantic and enjoyed the delicious food and cocktails before a nice night of rest. In the morning, Hampton made sure to get us a delicious (and unusual—biscuits with everything bagel toppings!) breakfast at Back in the Day Bakery before he dropped me off at the airport for my adventure west. Turning it over to him for an account of his last day in town!
After dropping off G for his flight, H mostly spent the day laying low, with the exception of exploring slivers of downtown and Forsyth Park, sampling the fare of Fox & Fig, and grabbing a coffee and quiche for the road from Goose Feathers Café. Savannah feels like a city we’ll one day return to and explore more of.