La Famille MoMP headed south on Friday, to the Lowcountry, the Southeastern Coastal Empire, or whatever you like to call it. This was our last vacation before parenthood. Our Babymoon, as the pregnancy websites call it. What it was, was relaxing, and warm.
We departed Framingham at the arsecrack of dawn on Friday, and by 11 AM, we were in our rental PTCruiser, headed north out of Savannah/Hilton Head Airport on I-95 towards Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. I am a fan of SAV, let me tell you. The airport is small and quiet, clean and contemporary. The people were charming, the lines short. We had our rental car keys in hand before our luggage made it onto the conveyor.
We found the DVC resort on Hilton Head
with only a minute hitch, and were able to check in early. The hitch landed us at the local Piggly Wiggly
for tshirts and sustenance (we are now rolling "Big on the Pig" style!). On the advice of a tourist rag, we headed out to Sea Pines, a closed resort community at the southern tip of the island. We heard there was shopping and food there. The Crazy Crab
, in Harbourtown, was reminiscent of the Weathervane, especially their location in Kittery, ME, for those of you who know it. Lots of seafaring kitch, oddly enough, from New England, and a crab logo that loosely reminded me of the dancing clam at Harry's truck stop
in Westborough, MA (perhaps his hillbilly cousin?). The She-crab soup, however, was quite tasty! After that, we ignored the impossibly touristy "shoppes" and grabbed some mint chocolate chip ice cream before we headed out. The lighthouse was apparently built as a tourist attraction, and was not an actual lighthouse. We didn't pay the admission fee. We are cynical.
After some recovery time on the verandah of our hotel room, we decided on some lowcountry fare for dinner. Spartina's Country Kitchen
, near Coligny Circle, was just the ticket! Fried green tomatoes, fried chicken, a side dish bar featuring fried okra, macaroni & cheese, collard greens, black eyed peas, skillet corn... oh, heaven. And the Krispy Kreme bread pudding was sinful. Yes, bread pudding made from day-old krispy kreme donuts. ::sigh::
Morning arrived, and we headed out for breakfast. (Yes, all we did was eat.) Stack's Pancakes
served up a good breakfast in a setting befitting a Disney-MGM Studios location. Despite the decor, the breakfast was yummy. We stopped at Pirate Island Adventure Golf
for two rounds of mini golf, then tried out the pool at the resort for a few hours. The pool was lovely!
We grabbed a light lunch at Parrot Cove, across the marina from DVC Hilton Head, and then did some more lounging on the verandah. Our first misadventure happened when I got an ice cream craving at 4:40. We had dinner reservations for 8:00, so I figured a cone wouldn't interfere too badly, but by the time we got our tushes in gear, and got to the ice cream place it was 6:30. (It was the South, things move slowly there...) Then, it was cash only, and we had $3 between us. Boo. We trekked around, looking for an ATM, gave up, hit the Piggly Wiggly for some Ben&Jerry's, and ate it in the hotel room.
Dinner was lovely. Charlie's L'etoile Verte
is a quaint little French restaurant that looks like someone's very gracious home. Mark had a rack of lamb, I had a duck breast. The food was perfect, the atmosphere charming, the service, pretty darned good. The bill, astronomical! But it was a splurge... We knew that going in.
Sunday morning found us at the Hilton Head Diner (what? no hyperlink? I couldn't find a website...), also sporting a decor out of a theme park, but very good challah French toast. We packed up the PTCruiser and drove back south towards Savannah.
Again, we were able to check in early at our hotel in Savannah, and we struck out on foot to explore a little while the day was still young. Savannah is very walkable, and so pretty. We found the birthplace
of Girl Scouting's founder, Juliette Gordon Low, quite by accident. We wandered through the city for a few hours, grabbed a light lunch at the Express Cafe
and bought pralines at city market. After that, the heat sent us back to the hotel for some rest.
Dinner was a gift from the Bosses, we had carte blanche reservations at Cha'Bella
, an organic rustic Italian place on Broad Street. It's won a bunch of recent "Best of" local awards, and got rave reviews from a friend of theirs who travels through Savannah often. The restaurant wsa lovely, with a charming, funky patio, perfect for a Savannah evening. Sadly, the Sunday B Team was working, and between the questionable service, and the poor quality of the food, we were, suffice it to say, disappointed. They were sold out of three entrees, several of Mark's mussels were still frozen when they came to the table, and my "filet" of beef tenderloin was tough and gamey. I have to assume this was an anomaly, since Savannah is supposed to be at the forefront of the new cosmopolitan South. We skipped dessert and got ice cream at Leopold's
We were asleep early, and got up and moving just early enough on Monday morning to discover that you needed to put your name in at 9:30 AM in order to get a decent seating time for lunch at The Lady & Sons
. We wandered the squares of Savannah for an hour, before returning to the circus that is lunch at Paula's place. We gorged on crab stew, friend green tomatoes, pulled pork sandwiches, and chocolate gooey butter cake. Oh, My Tummy! The woman is my idol! More walking was necessary after such a lunch, so we toured around a little more.
One last ice cream stop before we left for some Georgia peach ice cream, and then it was time to return to the airport. Several uneventful hours and flights later, we were pulling into our driveway.
So, having eaten a swath down the Coastal Empire, we return to work, and all the nonsense.