24 Hours in Savannah

Savannah was the first stop on our trip we named the “Southern Swing”, which also included Charleston and The Inn at Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina.  We only had 24 hours to spend in Savannah before moving on to our next stop and we made it count.

Savannah Georgia

Our initial impression of Savannah was from the airport which was the cutest airport I have ever seen!  The airport employees had plenty of southern charm and hospitality, which eased the pain of one of our bags not arriving.  How can you be mad at the airline when the airport employees are just so darn nice?

Our drive from the airport to the hotel in the historic district was a challenge due to a parade that closed many of the streets.  We rely on the GPS so much these days that this was a challenge, but we somehow found our way.

Savannah is a walkable city so the rest of our day was spent on foot.  First stop was lunch at The Olde Pink House.  It was easy to know when we had arrived because it was literally a big pink house!  I started my meal with their signature drink, the Pink Lady.

Olde Pink House Pink Lady

The Olde Pink House is a Georgia mansion built in 1771.  Oh, and it’s haunted!  Savannah is known as America’s most haunted city.  We ordered traditional southern cuisine and the food was wonderful.  I may have also had a second Pink Lady too.  One thing I found odd was that tour groups were being led through the restaurant while we were eating so I felt a little like a zoo animal.

After lunch we walked and walked and walked some more.  Savannah has 22 small parks known as squares and we tried to see as many of them as we could.  There were statues and monuments as well as huge oak trees draped with Spanish moss.

In additional to the squares, Savannah also has a number of larger parks.  Forsyth Park is known for its giant fountain.

forsyth park savannah

The moment I remember most from our day in Savannah was hearing a man singing Georgia On My Mind near one of the squares.  We stopped to listen…it was just such a perfect moment.

Welcome to Georgia State Sign

The following morning we walked along the Savannah River on River Street before heading out.

One thing that surprised us a little was the number of homes that seemed to be in disrepair and in need of a little TLC, however we thoroughly enjoyed our short time in Savannah before heading to charming Charleston and The Inn at Palmetto Bluff.

5 Tips for Happier Air Travel

child to prepare for the trip

I have been flying across the country for business once or twice a month for the last six months and since I cannot afford to fly on private planes, or even in first class, here are some things I found to make the experience less bad.

1. Sign up for TSA Pre-Check
Once approved, you can go through the TSA Pre-Check line which means you do not have to take off your shoes or lightweight jacket and can leave your laptop and quart sized bag of liquids in your carry-on. Also, you get to go through the old school metal detector instead of the spinny thing where they look at you naked.

2. Stay Warm
Even in the summer I tend to freeze on airplanes. Bring socks, a sweater and a thin warm blanket that will fit in your carry-on to put on while on the plane.

3. Eat
Bring food on board or eat before boarding so you do not get stuck with just the limited on board choices from the cart. Fellow passengers often laugh at me and my bag of food, but are soon jealous when I have a sandwich, chips and a cookie and they are eating a box of stale snacks.

4. Entertainment
Small devices can now be used during the entire flight so bring your iPad or favorite electronic device and don’t forget your power cord!  Most planes now have wifi and in-seat power.

5. Roll Clothes
I know people have probably heard this before, but rolling your clothes really does save a lot of space in a suitcase and can make a huge difference in how much luggage needs to be hauled. I can now pack for two weeks in one suitcase and a carry-on (which is a huge improvement for me!).

With planes getting more and more cramped, flying is rarely fun, but these few things help me get to my destination a little bit happier than I would have otherwise.

What are your tips for better air travel?

How Flying With A Cat Is Like Flying With An Infant

Cat in carrierWalking through the airport you could tell that people felt sorry for us. We were already weary from the wailing, but little did we know what was to come while onboard the airplane. Were we traveling with an infant or small child you ask? Oh no. We were flying with our cat, Minky.

I imagine what we went through is how most parents of young children feel when traveling by air.

– Other passengers looked at us with pity

– Flight attendants gave a reserved smile while thinking “better you than me”

– My bag was packed with all sorts of things just in case there was an “accident”

– I was projectile vomited on

Minky had no idea what was in store for him the day we moved to California from Virginia.  Let’s just say it didn’t go well…I am just thankful that when Minky launched out of the seat and attached himself with his claws to the seat in front of him that he did not scratch the head of the passenger in front of us.  It’s the little things, right?

We of course did make it to California, but flying with a cat cross country again is not on the top of my list of things to do.  Or Minky’s.

Open Water

What is it like to be driven in a boat for two hours 40 miles off the coast of Australia into open water and be told to jump in?  For me, terrifying!  I always freak out a little when I get in the water off a boat to snorkel.  When we snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef (years ago on our honeymoon) the first thing I saw when I got into the water and my finally got my breathing relaxed was a reef shark.  Yikes!  I looked all around and couldn’t see anybody else because we went with a small boat of only about 6 people and they had all already swam off in different directions.  I think the shark was as scared as I was though and swam away to hide from me.

My snorkel man had no problem though.
snokel man
A few years before this trip a couple was left behind by a dive boat and the story inspired the movie Open Water.  Luckily this was still fresh in everyone’s mind and there were multiple counts of people before boats would leave so I am here to tell you about our trip rather than you hearing about it in a movie.

The 7 Beaches of Caneel Bay

Staying at Caneel Bay on the island of St. John in the US Virgin Islands is like staying at seven different resorts all in one since there are seven beaches on the resort’s 170 acres, and an eighth beach also within walking distance. Each of the Caneel Bay beaches are wonderful, but each is a little different, providing something for everyone.

1. Turtle Bay Beach

Turtle Bay beach is my favorite of the seven Caneel Bay beaches, especially early in the morning.  None of the beaches get really crowded, but I like getting here early when nobody else is there.

Turtle Bay Beach St. John

There is good snorkeling and swimming.

Turtle Bay Beach St. John

And I like watching the boats go by.

Turtle Bay Beach St. John

2. Scott Beach

Scott beach is my second favorite and I like it in the afternoon when the sun is shining on this side of the resort.  Although I have never had issues with kids at Caneel Bay, Scott beach is one of two adults only beaches at Caneel Bay.  We have never snorkeled at this beach, but apparently there is sea grass that attracts sea turtles.  Most of the Caneel Bay beaches do not have any services (drinks, towels, etc.) however Scott beach has a supply of towels and a small stand where you can get drinks made during certain times.

Scott beach is the longest of the Caneel Bay beaches.  Here is it as seen from the water.

Scott Beach St. John

And as seen from land.

Scott Beach St. John

 Scott Beach St. John

3. Hawksnest Beach

My husband loves Hawksnest beach.  The sun shines on this beach in the early part of the day and by late afternoon is completely shaded.  The water is warm and he likes to end the day here with his chair pulled into the water.  There is good snorkeling at Hawksnest beach and there are nice views of other beaches that are not part of Caneel Bay.

Hawsknest St. John

Hawksnest Caneel Bay

Hawsknest Caneel Bay

4. Honeymoon Beach

Ahh, Honeymoon beach.  This beach is breathtaking it’s so beautiful.  It requires a short hike to get to it so it’s not as convenient, but it’s worth the walk.  Snorkel boats also show up in the afternoon so it’s best to get here in the morning.  This is also the only beach that does not have guest rooms on it.  A stand was opened recently that rents chairs and water sports equipment and you can order food from Caneel Bay.  I like Honeymoon beach less since the stand opened, but it is still beautiful.

Honeymoon Beach Caneel Bay

The view of Honeymoon beach from our room.

Honeymoon Beach Caneel Bay

And the view of our room (in the distance) from Honeymoon beach.

Honeymoon Beach Caneel Bay

5. Paradise Beach

Paradise beach is also adults only and only has a couple of guest rooms near it.  It is the perfect beach for a quiet sunset and it is quite small so usually there are only a few people on it.  The downside here is that there were a lot of sea urchins in the water when we were there so we had to be careful.

Paradise Beach Caneel Bay

6. Caneel Beach

Caneel beach is the main beach where the boats dock and is next to the front desk, water sports desk, restaurant, bar, etc.  It is probably the most “crowded” but still isn’t crowded.  Non Caneel Bay guests can also use this beach.  Families with small children tend to stay here for the convenience of being near everything.

Caneel Bay

7. Little Caneel Beach

Little Caneel beach is a small beach that is really only used by people staying in the rooms on the Little Caneel beach.  Again, this beach is close to all the facilities and great for families with small kids.

Little Caneel

All the Caneel Bay beaches are great, but if I had to pick, I would spend the morning at Turtle Bay beach and the afternoon at Scott beach.  The variety of beaches is one of the reasons we love Caneel Bay so much.

What is your favorite Caneel Bay beach?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...