An old friend of Rick's from their New York Maritime days, Kevin McCarey, invited us down to Savannah to visit one of the city's many museums and have dinner with he and his wife Fran. Sounded like a fun get away to us. It may seem strange that we feel the need to get away at times from the life we live, but like everyone else, we get into our ruts and it's good to change things up sometimes. We packed for one night and drove the two hours from Charleston, SC to Savannah GA.
When we have to stay overnight away from the RV with our dog Honey, we usually look for a La Quinta Inn because they are pet-friendly and don't charge an extra pet fee. They aren't a fancy hotel in any way, but usually they suffice. There are three La Quintas in Savannah, but based on my research online, I thought they looked a bit too time worn. So for one night we decided to splurge and stay downtown in the historic district at The Brice, a pet-friendly boutique hotel. This was a first for us and we were really glad we stayed there.
|Looking up in the foyer at The Brice|
After being greeted enthusiastically (with major dog treats!) by the valet, the concierge and the front desk, we went to our room to settle in. The hotel website had promised a dog bed and dog dishes for Honey, but they weren't in the room, probably because we had checked in early. One call to the front desk, and all her accoutrements showed up in a flash, along with another treat.
|One of three 7" gourmet dog cookies Honey got at The Brice|
The decor of the hotel is what I'd call new urban funky chic, but not in an extreme way. This is historical Savannah, so of course there is tradition mixed into a more contemporary ambiance. The guest rooms and common spaces were interesting, comfy and somewhat unconventional, at least compared to La Quinta.
|Common space off the lobby at The Brice|
|The "Secret Garden"|
Our room had more than the typical amenities: a well stocked minibar and bathroom, lots of unusual throw pillows, extremely comfy beds and a unique selection of art on the walls. Everything was very clean and fresh.
|Our room at The Brice|
|Funky chic decor at The Brice|
We left Honey to luxuriate in the room and asked the front desk to call a Pedicab for us. While we waited out front Rick and the valets and concierge talked football. (Amazing where you find Patriot's fans.) Our Pedicab driver Royce, ("Ride with Royce and Rejoice!") peddled us slowly through the narrow streets and historical squares while chatting in a friendly way about Savannah. I am convinced that "Pedicabbing" is the best way to see Savannah, as long as the weather is good. It's slow, calm, safe and so scenic. You pay your driver what you think he or she deserves, unless you are renting by the hour.
|Rick and Royce or Boyce (we disagree in our memory of his name) our Pedicab chauffeur|
Royce dropped us at the Jepson Center, one of several Telfair Museums in Savannah, where they were having an exhibit called Monet and American Impressionism. (No photos allowed.)
|The Jepson Center|
We met Kevin there, where he is a member, and he generously treated us to the exhibit. In addition to being a classmate of Rick's from the SUNY Maritime College, Kevin is an author and filmmaker who currently teaches at Savannah College of Art and Design (acronym SCAD, which has a very strong presence in Savannah). Kevin has made an outstanding documentary film about Frederick Freiseke, one of the American Impressionists featured in this exhibit. He was the perfect tour guide.
|Kevin and Rick reunite|
Afterwards Kevin took us for a long stroll through historic Savannah as the sun set. One beautiful garden square after another is what Savannah is known for.
|The Mercer Williams House of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil fame|
|Historic Temple Mickve Israel|
|One of many historic inns and B&Bs|
|Sunset in historic Savannah|
The temperature was perfect and we could have walked forever, but we worked our way to Bella Napoli, a cozy Italian restaurant, where we met Fran for lovely dinner.
Kevin walked us back to our hotel where Honey was happy to see us. She hadn't gotten into any mischief. After a good night's sleep we got up early to take Honey for a long walk and find ourselves some breakfast. Our walk took us along the upper levels of Savannah's historic waterfront. The row of buildings are old multi-storied warehouses of cotton companies converted into restaurants, boutiques and other businesses. From the sidewalk we were on we could look down to the lower level basements and the original cobblestone streets leading down to the river.
It's a complex and beautiful historic neighborhood I'd like to explore more.
We ended up at Goose Feathers Cafe for a tasty and inexpensive breakfast of croissants, cinnamon rolls and coffee at their pet friendly outdoor seating. Savannah is dog friendly, with lots of outdoor seating, water dishes, and specialty stores for dogs. We wound our way back to the hotel, through many of the beautiful squares again, and checked out from the Brice where we had felt so pampered. It was really hard not to stay longer.
Before leaving Savannah, Honey and I found Daffin Dog Park while Rick went to the elegant Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum. Everybody was happy, aesthetically pleased and well cared for by the time we headed back to Charleston. I hope we return to Savannah for an extended visit someday soon.