I want to visit Georgia: the state, not the state of mind

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I’ve been to Atlanta, but never Savannah. I wanted to name Abigail Savannah, call her Savvy for short. But Phil refused, insisting it was a stripper name. I also wanted to give her the middle name Brave, but again, we make concessions in our lives… then smile, shrug, and twitch our noses, adding, "Compromise," as if the word alone explains everything a person ever needs to know.

I’ve always had a love/love relationship with the South. I visited Lea there, when she was attending College of Charleston, and made my way through the town, crossing "must-eat" stops off a must-do list. Elderly African American men, took off their hats, shuffled to the gutter, and bowed to us. It’s something I’ll never forget. It was so disturbing. "The War of Northern Aggression" or "That Unpleasantness" still has a mark on the land and lives there.

I have a friend, whom I met through this blog, who told me all about Claxton, GA (home to the Claxton Fruit Cake). And now I feel something drawing me there. I’m fascinated by the Gullah culture, by the mix of people and cultures. I need to go visit. Soon. I’d love to go with the family, just for a quickie. So often we make time to visit Europe, take road trips to factory outlets, but we never visit America. I know visiting isn’t the same as living.

Speaking of which… I’m beginning to really like it here in Austin. People ask that often, how I’m liking it, how it compares to life in New York. The thing is, it’s not just comparing New York City to Austin, I’m comparing a life. Comparing my life as a single woman in Manhattan who was working full-time in advertising shooting red carpet events, to a wife and mother of twins living (and working from home) in the suburbs of Texas. It was a whole bunch of changes at once.

And I feel myself, right now, changing. I feel myself being more comfortable, more happy. Loving my new friends Lacey, Natalie, Wendy, Terri, Leslie, Letty, Tobie, Marcy, Jessica, Addie, Tiffany, Katherine, Caroline, Sandy… I’m loving the new friendships, getting more involved in Country Club life, more involved in volunteering, more involved with book clubs and with moms who don’t live for their children (that is, they can talk about other things, aside from parenting). I love having more people over for dinner, couples to our home for evenings of getting porch drunk. I’m just beginning to really love Austin (which means I’ll probably have to move to LA… cause that’s so the way life works).

A YEAR AGO: Fruitless Labor
2 YEARS AGO: Mother’s Day Gifts
3 YEARS AGO: Verbal Tennis
5 YEARS AGO: Silent Thunder



  1. What, no Lost post?

    Savannah, though historical, is dirty and boring. I enjoyed sitting on Forrest Gump's bench, but other than that, not so much.

  2. Don't move to LA!!

    Are you sure it's Texas that has you content? Sounds like you just enjoy your new "in the burbs" comfortable life.. That could be anywhere mama! I think it's just the pace that has changed and that's what has made you happy… You could still find that other places! Come back to the northeast!

  3. I think Savannah is amazing. I also really like Athens, GA. There's a super cute town kinda in the middle of nowhere Georgia called Americus that is ideal for a weekend getaway. It survived the Civil War so it's kept a quaint and relaxed vibe.

  4. Savannah is a great weeekend get a way! I live in Atlanta, but went to school close to Savannah. Lots of great shops, galleries and wonderful food!!

  5. Unfortunately, I have to agree with "plantation". I used to travel to Atlanta for business for about 10 weeks out of the year and one weekend my husband joined me down there and we made the drive to Savannah… and were sorely disappointed. The hotel where we stayed was amazing (I think it was the River Street Inn, but not positive- it's historic and has that "spooky Savannah" feel to it). Unfortunately, the rest of the city was pretty boring (not as big a let down as New Orleans, but I wouldn't ever go back. Also, Paula Deen's restaurant does NOT take reservations. By 11am the line out front was wrapped around 2 blocks, it was 90 degrees and they were no longer taking names for lunch. Big disappointment.

  6. You guys get porch drunk? It's amazing how different things are in PA – we get patio drunk.

  7. I always figured I was the only one who read both Achewood and Greek Tragedy on a daily basis-I guess not! That achewood strip was the first thing I thought of when I read this post.

  8. I thought Savannah was a fun long-weekend trip. My husband and I are both from the west coast (but currently in Memphis) and we went for our 1-year anniversary. If you like things like history, strolling in parks, taking photos, and eating good food then its fun. If you don't, then I could see how one wouldn't like it. We avoided super tourist places like Paula Deans and the expensive/fancy Pink House (instead we went to the Pink House wine cellar bar/restaurant). While there we took a walking ghost tour (I wouldn't pay for a driven one, its not worth it), visited old civil war forts outside the city where we saw a wild alligator in a moat and I had my first experience with the Atlantic Ocean. Do a little research before you go and you'll have fun.

  9. Mmmmmmm. Porch drunk. I'm in. Jules loves the playplace, and my Spanish improves after a drink or two. Plus Ian and Phil need to geek out on music soon….

    So happy things are going well for you here. Just think about raising those cute little kids in the middle of the city!

  10. Seriously, Steph? Elderly African-American men shuffled to the gutter and bowed to you?…I've lived in Charleston for 25 years and have never witnessed this spectacle. (You say this was when Leah was in college—are you sure you hadn't bar-hopped one too many times when you saw this?) I've lived in Chicago, Houston, San Francisco, and Rome. All of them were fun, but none of them can compete with the lowcountry of SC. The weather, the hospitality, the history, and the beaches are second to none.

  11. Austin is a GREAT town…I spent 4 years of undergrad there (and am totally biased) and slowly learned to love the city and all its charms. I can't wait to see you fall in love with it like I did :)

    People can talk crap about Texas all they want (which for the most part is probably warranted) but Austin is LEGIT! Don't hate!

  12. As a Georgia native, I highly encourage you to make a visit. If you like Austin, from what I hear, you'll love Athens, GA (home to the university). Same alt-rock vibe and lots of great old buildings and Southern decrepitude. As for Savannah, if you bring the munchkins, go to the Pirate House to eat. I'm sure the food was probably crap, but we loved it as kids- they put sparklers in the ice cream sundae and the fake pirates were swoon-worthy.

    I also recommend the Barbeque Shack in Toccoa, GA. There's nothing else there, but I have never forgotten it.

  13. With regards to "and with moms who don't live for their children (that is, they can talk about other things, aside from parenting)," I don't get why you see this as a negative.

    I think it is a blessing and an honor to be able to fully immerse myself into my children's lives. I would think you would too considering everything you went through to have them.

    Not trying to be rude, just disagree.

  14. if you do go to savannah anytime soon go to the resteraunts on the water they have great shops and theres a daquiri bar called wet willys thats awsome and if you plan on finding places to eat go to Paula Deens resteraunt but go early as they dont take reservations
    just my 2 cents

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