7/1 Savannah, GA 1492 miles

If there are days better than today, I just don’t know if I can handle them. The morning started out with us driving around Atlanta. Sightseeing and basically taking advantage of our out-of-state plates and blocking traffic, stopping where we shouldn’t and being foolish. Atlanta is a beautiful city, so very mush to see. Nothing more exciting than the fight we saw between Wolf Blitzer and Larry King outside CNN this morning. Okay, we didn’t see the fight, but we saw CNN and it was pretty nifty.
Atlanta is a charming city with pleasant, accomodating people. However, I have one request: Atlanta needs to clearly label its streets so I don’t get so damned lost. I mean, it’s not like I didn’t have a map, but if I can’t match the picture to the streets, then the whole system falls apart.
After downtown Atlanta, we visited the Martin Luther King Jr. Center. It’s a very beautiful, peaceful place, and in visiting it you are reminded that there are so very few of us that actually do anything that makes a difference.
The next stop was Juliette, GA, home of the Whistle Stop Cafe, made famous by the movie, “Fried Green Tomatoes”. This town is pretty much one block and its entire industry is the tourists that stop by to see the cafe. I could sit for hours and listen to them talk and talk. A special thanks to the gentleman that offered to take our picture together.
Macon was much bigger than I remembered, and certainly less redneck. Lunch at Len Berg’s in the alley behind the courthouse. Highly recommended. The food was great, the service was a bit slow but charming and the whole place was just weird enough to a northerner like myself to keep me amused. Now I don’t mean that this is recommended in that sort of “I recommend pants with legs” sort of way, but in an “Oxygen is good for your brain” way. When you are in Macon, you will be tempted to stop at one of those crap-filled chain restaurants like Chili’s or Cracker Barrel, but don’t. Make a little effort, drive into town. You’ll find the courthouse, go down the back alley and there it is. Now don’t think “eeeuw, back alley”, think “distinctively charming”. This is one of the best places you will ever eat.
One point to keep in mind: I ordered iced tea and she asked me “Sweetened or unsweetened?” in her perfectly-timed drawl. I chose sweetened, thinking that it would save me the 32 seconds it takes to pour sugar in the glass, and assuming that sweetened meant that it was as sweet as iced tea purchased in a bottle at a humid gas station just off the interstate. One sip of the iced tea and I learned differently. This beverage pretty much peels the enamel off your teeth and makes a Caramello taste like vinegar. I had to squeeze many lemons into it to make it drinkable. After 3 glasses, though, I found it to be highly addictive and it’s really all I want now.
The meal itself came with the softest, sweetest biscuits and little deep-fried cornbread sticks. Heaven. The meals themselves were simple and tasty, without pretense.
Beyond Macon, down to Savannah, you drive down an incredibly lush, verdant corridor. Pretty much solid trees on both sides of the freeway, and the scent is intoxicating. Slowly, the land dipped lower and lower until we reached marshland and Savannah. The car gave us quite a scare by chugging and flipping on the ‘Check Engine’ light, but that was quickly resolved by getting some gas and caressing the hood slowly, telling her she was really a good car, the only car for us, yeah baby, none of the other cars got what you have…
Quickly check into the hotel and pop over to Tybee Island and the ocean. THE OCEAN! I live in Minnesota, we don’t have the ocean. It was warm and gentle and inviting and the first thing I did was call everyone on my cell phone to brag about my oceanic adventure. After 90 minutes of jumping around in the surf, I went and sat in the sand with the sun setting on my back and the ocean beating the beach in front of me. Dinner at a restaurant right on the beach. Jerk pork, too many beers and the salt drying on my face. Highway 80 back into Savannah with the sunroof open and the cool breeze on me.
More perfect than anything.
Tomorrow, Downtown Savannah, Hilton Head, Beaufort, and Charleston.