Conquering Savannah

It’s a day off to explore. Four solid days of riding and its time to see some sites right here in the heart of the old South.

Staying here about 10 miles south of the city, I was advised to leave the bike home and catch an Uber. It’s the way to travel when I can’t bike or walk there. We all better get used to it. For about $20 all it takes is a couple taps on the phone and magically a friendly driver appears. Oh so nice and easy, especially when there’s no haggling on price and the money magically transfers without shelling any currency. All of life should be that easy. Love them or hate them, Uber has changed everything.

In about 20 minutes I’m transported to a busy and vibrant city I barely remember 40 years ago when I last visited. All the tourists visit the Moon River and Historic Districts among many others. Fortunately, it’s an easy city to explore in about 1 X 1 miles broken up into square blocks and filled with square parks’ large and small building and old homes and, of course, tree-lined streets.

I arrived around 11:00 a.m and headed for the river front area where shops line the old port area on two to four levels above the water. This leads to the main historic area with all its business and tourists. The high-end stores and typical quality franchises are here (Starbucks, Hyatt, etc.). The riverboat and trolley tours are popular but I chose hoofing it in town.

My only slight problem is I am traveling with only 2 pair of shoes, i.e., a pair of sandals and my cycling shoes. At least my shoe planning paid off as I equipped my bike for Shimano SPD pedals which allow a shoe with an embedded cleat so that I can walk around flat, without a protruding big cleat. My typical road bike shoe uses the Look pedal system which is worthless for walking around casually. So I was able to cover a couple of the districts in town in a few hours.

Since I did not have much time and just a few recommendations, I hunted down what I could find. There was “Vic’s” located on the 4th level at the river front which Nikki had told me was a great place to hang out for a relatively cheap lunch with a view. Since budgeting and simple was my line of thinking, I passed.

All Hail the Great Dive Bar!

Then there was Pinkie Master’s which has a strange reputation as one of the great “dive bars” and relecting the real vibe of Savannah. So, thanks to Google I mapped it out and took about 1/2 mile walk away from the tourists and toward the center of town. There it was looking its part, although hardly in a bad part of town.

IMG_5782

So, part of the legend of Pinkie Master’s is that it was always a political watering hole where the big and small folk could meet and drink – probably the most popular sport from what I hear in this town. The exact location changed over time with its ups and downs. It’s truely a very small bar filled with memorabilia.

One of the great stories is of Jimmy Carter hanging out here and with the local pols. He has his own plaque on the wall and is famous for giving a speech standing up on the bar. He wrote this to the owner after they acknowledged his contributions to Georgia.

“I will always remember the times I had in your establishment,” Carter wrote. “When I ran for governor, Pinkie himself was one of my most important supporters. And when I was back in Savannah as President of the United States, I will never forget standing on the bar to say thank you.”

The bar has that old dark comfortable feeling with doors open and reminds me of the old small NYC Village bars like the Bitter End or the Dugout, but maybe even smaller. I order a beer and ask about food. The bar keep says no food here, but I can order something next door and bring it in. So, after a couple beers and listening to the Stones and Hendricks, I ask him to watch my stuff at the bar and I go next door and order a California King sandwich basically a huge turkey club on foccacia. He says he’ll deliver it next door at Pinkie’s when ready. Beautiful. Great, a sandwich personally delivered to your favorite bar, next door. This is living large!

I lingered long enough to finish lunch, have another beer and take a few pics then walked to the Hyatt and called for an Uber. Before you know it I was magically transported to the condo ready to plan out the next couple days.

Heavy rain is in the forecast for Monday.

If I can get myself to Beaufort SC then the next day to Charleston I can at least wait out the rain in a comfortable city like Savannah. At least that’s the plan for now.

4 Comments

  1. Paul, thanks so much for taking the time to post these great blogs. I’m enjoying the ride with you, if only vicariously. Hope you continue enjoying the journey and please keep the posts coming! (Damn, I’m so jealous!)

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    1. Pete I’m a geekhead at heart. I carry my iPhone, a small chrome book (miostly for data entry) and even a camera and lens. The gear is weighing me down but its worth it. 😉

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