The Tale of Two Cities

Hello! Have you forgotten about our trip that we took A MONTH AGO? Good grief, this is unacceptable.

Well just to refresh your memory, here was our vacation layout:

Fly to Jacksonville
Hang with the cousins
Get the runs within 20 minutes of saying hi
Play with the kids
Dirty up their house
Say Goodbye
Drive to Folly Beach, SC
Make a Pit Stop in Savannah, GA
Stay at the beach for a week
Drive back to Jacksonville
Arrive home with a few more sunspots on your face

That’s it in a nutshell. Bye.

Fine, okay I’m back… because I’ve gotta tell you about these tours we went on in. One was in Savannah and the other in Charleston several days later. It was yin and yang, fire and ice, oil and water, feisty and calm. I liked them both.

We left Jacksonville around 10am and had an uneventful 2 hour drive to Savannah. We like uneventful. We like spacing out. We like quiet.

I’m going to share something which may cause me to lose friends: Most of the time, I don’t like to listen to the radio.

I like silence.

That is, unless Boyz II Men are on and I can alternate octaves depending on my mood. If I’ve got eyeliner on and my hair brushed, I’m the bass graveling my voice a la Kathleen Turner. If I’m upset, it’s soprano all the way, wanting to go so high that my goal is to shatter the windshield. Then I’d be happy because my car would almost be a convertible. Then I’d be sad that I didn’t have a scarf for my hair. Then I’d be happy because if I were to have a scarf in my hair, I would feel the need to reenact Thelma and Louise. Then I’d be sad because I’m just not fond of driving over cliffs. All of those in between feelings would be sung via the Alto and Tenor boyz.

And that right there, folks, is why it’s normally silent. Too much drama.

Well, either silent or with a book on tape.

So, as we sat in blissful silence, pointing out different fauna or landmarks, we eventually arrived in Savannah. I have always wanted to come here and I want to go back. Two hours is just not enough, especially when you’ve got someone showing you around that didn’t make it on Jersey Shore… because she was too Jersey Shore.

We walked into the visitor center and when confronted with a billion different tours to choose from, saw a coupon for one and snagged it. That should’ve been our first clue. The coupon.

Because as we waited for take-off, we glanced at the trolly next door. There was literally a line from the visitor center onto it. Either they didn’t know there was a coupon over here, or their Fodor’s Guidebook told them to steer clear.
And clear they did steer. We felt lonely.
However, we did appreciate taking up the entire back row without guilt. And that’s always nice. So as a few more unsuspecting people jumped on, we headed out.

It was muggy.

So I chose to wear a cardigan, because that’s what you’re supposed to wear if you want sweat to drip down your back and you can’t pat it dry because in doing so it will cause your white shirt to get wet and maybe if you were still playing volleyball daily and were proud of your over-the-shoulder-boulder pebble-holder it would be fine, but hosting a post baby wet t-shirt contest due to a sweaty back while holding said baby is probably not the most flattering introduction you want to give to Savannah’s elite.
But I probably shouldn’t have been worried about making a good impression, there’s no way I could have, because our driver alternated between yelling at people with her microphone to get off their phone while driving, cackling when, as she pointed out a landmark, it looked like two people were doing the nasty. Then hollering back that we should have any kids on the tour close their eyes. There weren’t any children, except for Ruth. And she thought ‘the nasty’ meant they were eating avocadoes. She hates them so.

There was a brief pause of civility as we oogled over the lovely homes like this one…
…and then she was back at it: screaming at a girl on the sidewalk to turn around because she looked like Pippa and yelling ‘Nice horse!’ to a guy walking his great dane. Followed by You’re pretty cute, but I bet you don’t like women!

Ahhh, savannah southern hospitality at its best. I think my tactlessness would fit in just nicely down here. If not, I could always become a tour guide.
Ruth hung in there for the 90 minute tour. By the end we simultaneously juggled balls, patty-clapped, and stood on our heads to entertain her. It seemed to work, though, as several people commented on how well she did. No one seemed to notice the bedraggled lady holding her. Ah well.

We hopped in our car and continued on our way to Folly Beach. After a few stops before everyone settled down, it was back to silence with the occasional fervor of conversation.

Shortly we arrived and thus began our week with friends, a beach (briefly), and piñatas. On one of those days another couple and we drove into Charleston and did a tour there as well.

We waited in the shade for our ride.
Side note: J’s baby does not have a yellow perfectly oval with squiggly black lines face.

I introduced Ruth to a horse.
But she was mostly enthralled by this black one. I bet she knows how much I loved The Black Stallion growing up.
Our little carriage took off with only a few people. This was my fault, though, as I thought several other couples were coming with us and therefore reserved basically an entire carriage. In the end, it worked out for the best. More elbow room = happy mama.

The guide did not yell at pedestrians, nor drivers, nor the patrons, but instead gave a thorough (if monotone) background of everything we saw. It was calm, easy going, and breezy. Just what I needed after being sequestered in a bedroom with a teething baby girl (whose second tooth did in fact appear by the time we arrived home).

Ruth fell asleep on my chest, I semi-listened to the history of the town, and R took control of the camera. It was like he worked for National Geographic and just happened on a rare breed of animal.

Click-click-cliking away at everything. And I mean everything, including the little flag the guide would drop when the horse went tinkle. I mean, it was a Charleston tinkle flag, right? Therefore, it must be documented.

Like this one, I asked him later?
What is it?

I don’t know.


But he did capture things like this: a low-lying old tree in front of a big white old home that I would love to uproot and wheel back to Arkansas with us. So, it all evened out.

Ruth agreed with me.
Afterwards, we walked around a bit, ate a bit, and then drove back to the beach.

Two different tour guides and I liked them both. That pretty much describes me though. I like being around people that make me laugh, but at a certain point I like to ask, can we have a serious conversation too?

You need both.

And this trip, so far, had it.