Tuesday, September 28, 2010


The picture above is of the sun rising over Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island, where I am excited to say Gearry, the puppies, and I will be camping next weekend. We haven't been tent camping in a couple of years and I haven't been to Jekyll Island in at least 10 years, if not more, so I'm excited for both reasons. It will be our first little weekend getaway since the move and, as Jekyll Island is super dog-friendly (they consistently rank as one of the top 10 most dog-friendly beach destinations in the U.S.), Bailey and Zoey get to tag along. I'm excited for Zoey to finally get some time to run and play on the beach, as dogs aren't allowed on the beaches at Tybee. The thought of watching the sun rise on the east side of the island, spending the day with the dogs on the beach, riding our bikes everywhere (20 miles of paved bike paths), watching the sun set on the west side of the island, and basking in the moonlight around a campfire with a cooler full of cold drinks has me wishing this work week away.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Familiar Faces.

On Thursday and Friday, Gearry and I were treated to our first guests from home since our arrival. (We met friends who were vacationing on Hilton Head for dinner one evening last month, but these were our first visitors actually in Savannah). It was beyond fantastic to see familiar faces: Veneita, Gary, Chris & Michelle! They were down this way for Chris's half-Ironman race in Augusta (today) and decided they would make a mini-vacay of it, scheduling a couple of days in Savannah for some sight-seeing and hanging out time.

On Thursday evening after I got off of work, Gearry and I met the Apples at their riverfront hotel in the historic district, The Bohemian, which I must say is one of the most uniquely beautiful hotels I have ever been in -- absolutely no expense or detail spared, from the lampshades to the drawer pulls. It was so great to see family! We made the long trek to Cilantro's (literally a one-minute walk across Bay Street) where we ate some delicious Mexican food outside by the fountain, took advantage of 2-for-1 margarita Happy Hour, and laughed long and hard. After dinner, we took a short walk through City Market to stretch our legs and then made our way back to The Bohemian's rooftop and riverfront bar, Rocks on the Roof. It was a full moon and the views of the river and the Talmadge Bridge were breathtaking. We enjoyed a few more drinks and shared lots of stories and memories from growing up. Unfortunately, I had to work bright and early the next morning, so we had to call it a night around 10:00. But, after a long day of traveling (for them) and working (for me and Gearry), a reasonable bedtime didn't sound too bad.

Gearry amazingly had the day off on Friday (he's in between quarters right now, the fall quarter beginning this coming Wednesday) and so even though I had to work all day (not an option to take off since I had just started my long-term sub job a couple days before) he was able to play tourist on Friday and spend the whole day with the Apples. They took a trolley tour of the historic district, checked out some of the historic sites, like the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist (gorgeous!), and had lunch at Tubby's Tankhouse on River Street. Later in the day, they headed out to Tybee and checked out the view from the pier. Shortly afterward, I finally finished up at work, did a super quick shower & clothes change routine, and met them for dinner at Marlin Monroe's. We sat outside on the beach deck with a spectacular view of the ocean. In preparation for leaving for Augusta in the morning and after a long day of sight-seeing, everyone was ready to turn in relatively early, so we said goodbye at the restaurant and Gearry and I headed home while the Apples headed back to the Bohemian, where they were treated to an awesome fireworks show over the river before turning in for the night.

Chris took some neat pictures, so hopefully I'll be able to put a few of them up in the near future. It was hard to say goodbye to everyone, but it's nice knowing that Thanksgiving is so close and we'll have four days in Indiana to spend time with everyone, and then another 7-10 days at Christmas. LOVE Savannah and we know we made the right decision, but definitely can't wait to see everyone again!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Morning Glory.

Today has been one of those days where Travis Tritt's "It's a Great Day to Be Alive" just keeps playing over and over in my mind. (If you're not a country fan, think of some other song that speaks to the magic of finding joy in the simple pleasures of life, despite the rough spots that will always be there.) Of course, it's still early in the day and lots can happen, but there's something to be said (and posted) about a morning where you wake up and start thinking right away about the fact that life is not perfect and it's not going to be today, but yet are able to embrace the happy energy that comes from the little things: a hot cup of locally roasted coffee, a bowl of cereal you haven't had in years, a light, salty-scented breeze while walking the dogs, and a great (albeit toasty) trail run along the water.

We all know by now that if I could spend every waking moment within sight of a body of water, I would be one extremely happy girl. Brad Paisley's song "Water" is my life theme song. So, it should be no surprise that I decided to abandon my typical 3-mile run around our neighborhood this morning so that I could finally check out the McQueen's Island Historic Trail. It's only a hop, skip, and a jump away from our house (less than five minutes) and I've been meaning to make my way over there for some time now. It did not disappoint and will likely become my new running spot of choice when I have the time to actually go somewhere for a run, rather than just running around my neighborhood. The crushed gravel surface is a lot more gentle on the body than road surface and the view cannot be beat. The trail is located on a very narrow strip of land (i.e. McQueen's Island) between the river and marsh. By very narrow I mean not much wider than the trail itself! The trail runs six miles in length from the west just over Bull River bridge to the east at the entrance to Ft. Pulaski, about 3/4 of the way out to Tybee. I saw lots of animals on my run (and heard lots of other not-so-interesting-and-more-like-scary ones rumbling around in the thick marsh grass as I passed), including a plethora of birds (if I knew anything about birds, I would tell you which ones), fish, butterflies, something that looked from a distance sort of like a raccoon (but I can't be certain since I immediately ran away from it), and, of course, tons and tons of tiny crabs. They are all over the path and scatter just before you smoosh them. There were a few smooshed ones, as well, that apparently didn't have a quick enough reaction time to escape from runners before me.

Monday, September 13, 2010

45 Days Without a Microwave

This post could have been titled "45 Days in Georgia," but as I really have been living here the entire 45 days without a microwave, I thought this title would present a nice opportunity to brag about such an exploit (I've been wanting to go sans-microwave for a long time) and a change of pace from the very-much expected "45 days in Georgia" or "45 Days in Savannah" or perhaps even "45 Days of Surviving Mosquitoes the Size of My Hand." Our microwave in Indiana was built into our kitchen and so we had to leave it. We could have simply bought one here for the guest house, but what a perfect opportunity to see if we could do without it. And we have. It really makes you think about what you're eating when you can't just toss it in the microwave and nuke it.

Almost all my complaints about Savannah in these first 45 days are bug-related. For instance, the GIANT palmetto bugs (i.e. coastal cockroaches) that somehow find their way into the tiniest nooks and crannies and into your house They are pretty much unavoidable and everyone finds them in their houses here from time to time, no matter how nice. But I am not exaggerating when I say some of them are the size of my middle finger and I've let out a few screams when I have walked into the kitchen in the middle of the night to get a drink of water and HELLO, CREEPY LITTLE FRIEND! I think I have already complained in at least one post on here about the mosquitoes (I found some organic bug lotion that is working pretty well, but it stinks SO bad that I can't put it on unless I have time to shower before going somewhere... It really turns me into a walking citronella candle). They are insatiably hungry little suckers! And, last but not least of the unholy trio, are the red ants! They are everywhere... You really can't walk in the grass without stepping into a pile of the little punks and suffering some painful bites up and down your feet and ankles. While the palmetto bugs are inevitable no matter what, my hope is that with the slightly cooler weather that is coming soon the mosquitoes and ants may back off. I have my doubts.

But enough about bugs, insects, and such. How bout these cute seagulls? A group of them wouldn't leave us alone at the beach on Saturday (that's what I get for dropping a single lime tortilla chip) and I used the opportunity to get some cool close-up shots. "The beach" has pretty much become our home away from home, which was only to be expected. We spend at least one day of the weekend there, sometimes two, mostly reading, lounging, napping, doing a little boogie boarding, and taking long walks. There is something so naturally soothing about being by the water, listening to those crashing waves that have been crashing since who knows when and will continue to crash until who knows when. Sitting there in our beach chairs with Gearry, with a cold drink and a good book, I want for absolutely nothing in the world. Even though we both have crazy work weeks, when the weekend rolls around it still feels very much like vacation.

My work at St. Andrews is still going great. I have been subbing a LOT in addition to my regular daily Sundowners hours, every day but one in the past two weeks. I'm still so happy that I was able to carve out a little space of my own in such a school and hope that it will become bigger as time goes on. I will be teaching P.E. for all grades in the lower school (3 years old through 4th grade) from Sept. 22nd through Oct. 12th and met with the current teacher today to go over plans and ideas for the stint, so I'm pumped for that experience.

Gearry is wrapping up his first quarter at the Culinary Institute this week. He is ready for a much lighter fall-quarter schedule, including every evening at home for the first time in our marriage. We've both decided we're probably going to get sick of each other, but we're OK with that. It's the little things that excite us.

Another thing that's exciting us is that we have visitors coming in a few weeks! Aunt Veneita, Uncle Gary, and Chris and Michelle will be in town the weekend after next for a couple of days preceding Chris's Half-Ironman in Augusta, and we can't wait to spend time with them!