Park Here

It’s been a long haul down the road to get to Savannah, Georgia.  Now we’re here and on a quest to find some inexpensive short term accommodations.  I drive around and around, making calls and inquiries only to arrive at reality check one–no nearby campgrounds with openings for a tent. Their idea and my idea of “self-contained is very different.  So it’s into the historic city limits and more driving around, this time in heavy traffic and one way streets. We go back and forth through town, making calls to hotels and Triple A only to arrive at reality check two–no hotels that are reasonably priced and dog friendly.

Things are looking grim. I’m usually far more organized than this.  I’m tired, and hungry, and it appears at least for now, there’s no option other than to look for a side street, pull over and rest for a few hours until I can figure out a better plan.

Beautiful historic Savannah doesn’t make it easy to park, that’s for sure.  Street after street of metered parking only, no open spaces, or spaces too small for my truck and cargo rack.  I finally find a spot to squeak into right off of East Bay, in front of the river side area. I drop some money in the meter, and lock up to go find food. 

As it turns out I’m on the waterfront of a “Sea Food And Eat It” paradise.  OH the options are almost endless!  I walk down some narrow stone stairs, cross the cobblestone paved access and onto the boardwalk.  I swing into Bernie’s Oyster House. It’s historic, it’s casual, and the place is packed.  I decide to not try to be seated, and order take out dinner at the bar instead. 

A couple chairs down from me sits a well dressed guy, maybe early 40s.

“you must eat here often too—best service is at the bar!”  He had just received a giant plate of big beautiful shrimp, sausage, potatoes, and corn on the cob.

“First time, actually.” I quickly ordered my seafood chowder and crab cakes to go.

He had just gotten off work, and went on to tell me all about the best food, the best bars, what’s going on in the next few days, the river walk, and this place.

The building is actually an 1817 pre-Civil War warehouse that used to be where they stored the cotton that was shipped all over the world. It’s also connected to Eli Whitney, inventor of the cotton gin.  Due to the success of his invention and boom of cotton production in the south, this building was expanded by three whole floors in 1853.

And then my take out arrived.  I bid him good night, and headed back to the truck. 

Ah yes, life in the truck.

Keeping the kids happy on this road trip is actually pretty easy, but indeed time consuming.  As long as we stick to the system, there’s not much to go wrong.  After surveying the area to make sure it was “dinner friendly”, I got their bowls out, the water, and proceeded to dish up din-din.  Since we had a strip of grass and a sidewalk to work with, I tied out all 3 along the side of the truck so we could eat dinner as a family.  When we were all through with our meals, I walked them up and down the little parkway for some exercise, then back to the truck.  I dropped another couple quarters in the meter, jumped into the driver seat and hunkered down to take a catnap before the next attempt to find somewhere to stay.

Drifting…..so tired….heavy…sinking…sinking….

 

“tap! tap! tap!”  on the car window.  I about peed and went through the roof!!!

 

It was that guy from the bar. 

“hey, are you ok?”  He is asking.  As I roll down the window partway the girls go into a barking frenzy and start lunging for him.  Buddy joins in the barking chaos from the back and is rocking the truck from spinning in his kennel so hard. 

This is a sure fire way to make a statement, and usually squelches any ideas of potential foul play.  The guy steps away from the window.  I’m sizing him up (mace or filet knife?) and quickly determine there is no threat here. I calm the dogs down, and get a proper introduction to Kyle.  We chatted for a few minutes, and I gave him the short version of my situation. Besides being extremely knowledgeable about Savannah food and activities, he also knows where to park.  He advised me of a place I could go, and even park overnight without being harassed.

“Where is this place?”  I asked. 

“Well it’s where I live. If anyone should happen to come by or bug you,  just honk your horn and I’ll come down. Or sick your dogs on them.”  He laughed.

I also laughed.  Ya, right, of course it’s at his place.  Although I am typically suspicious and on guard at all times, somehow, I trusted this Kyle.  He gave me his address and walked away.  There I sat.  Pondering. Oh what the heck.  I GPS’s his address and pulled in to the backside of the building where he advised.

Three hours later, I woke up from my supposed 30 minute nap.  It was dark.  The dogs had to pee.  There was a piece of paper under the wiper blade.  I got out, and grabbed it.

 

Hey PR,

U R welcome to crash here any time you need to. 

Glad to help an outdoorswoman in a bind.

For hotel try the Hampton in Port Wentworth —its only 10-15 minutes

Safe travel,

Kyle

 

I GPS’s the  Port Wentworth Hampton, called, and indeed, they were reasonable, dog friendly, and had a room waiting for us—we were there in less than 15 minutes.   

You never know where you’ll find a kind person and a helping hand.  This perfect stranger didn’t have to help me out, but he did—no strings.  Kyle, you know you rock!

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