Atlantic in the Starlight District

Hello and happy summer days!  I recently took time away from the garden, and most especially the dahlias (greedy plants), to have a hair cut downtown.  Because of a nasty thunderstorm that cropped up, as they do along the coast of Georgia in the heat of the summer, I asked dear husband to drive me downtown.  I am terrible at navigating, and knowing that flooding occurs during some of these flash flood storms, I decided I would let strong and handsome partner lead the way.   Sweet hairdresser overbooked herself, and after an hour and a half of waiting I angrily said, “BYE BYE”. Or in Southern, BUYEEEEE.

If your partner was kept waiting in the car that long, when you promised a half hour wait, would you have a quick plan to diffuse the situation?  Mine involved food.  Opening the car door, I chirped, “let’s go have an early dinner at Atlantic, my treat!”

This is such a fun restaurant!  I thought it was named Atlantic as it huddles mere miles from the Atlantic Ocean.  Not so.  It takes its name from the Atlantic Service Station, a former 1930s incarnation!   It is known as a neighborhood eatery!

Approaching from the parking lot, we were immediately cheered despite the clouds, by the sight of Chef cooking to order outdoors.  Known for their wine tastings, we immediately said YES to a Spanish sparkling wine.

The menu lends itself to sharing, though I didn’t ask dear husband to share his lobster roll. Because of the rain threatening, we did not sit outside,

but I am looking forward to a return visit to try it out.  We loved the friendly atmosphere; everyone was having a good time!  This was just the ticket to take my fuming away, relax, and enjoy the sultry summer night in Savannah.

Now on to those greedy dahlias.

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Summer Anniversaries

June brings summer weddings, and when all goes well year after year, it brings anniversary celebrations.  I feel blessed to have made it to this one , happily, and look forward to more.  To celebrate we took a boat ride with friends  to Wassaw Island, a barrier Island that protects Skidaway Island.  Wassaw is a wildlife refuge that is even quieter than Cumberland Island or Sapelo Island, two sea islands to the South.

We left the marina with bright blue skies but when we arrived on shore, we looked behind us and saw some mean weather approaching from Savannah.  But we walked the beach, drank some peach sangria and headed home before dusk, and managed to avoid the dark skies approaching.

We continued the celebration the next day by checking into the President’s Quarters, a B & B or Inn, if you will, in the heart of the historic district of Savannah.  Adjacent to Oglethorpe Square and the Owens-Thomas House, it is a convenient spot for an overnight.  Walking distance to newly opened HUSK, made this the ideal spot to spend an evening.  We had a warm welcome, drinks and hors doevres were served for visitors and after we had enjoyed some small talk with fellow visitors, we walked over to Husk.  This is the new Savannah.  If you go, be sure to start out on the second floor at the bar – wow!  Then be escorted to your table and get a very personal introduction to Sean Brock’s philosophy of food and cooking in the South.  The menu changes.  The carnivores had steak tartare, and reported that the pork dish was sublime.  Swordfish can be badly cooked, and I always hold my breath that it is not tough or stringy.  This was the very best!  The surprise of the night – fried chicken skins!  Hey, this is Southern cooking!  I can’t wait to go back again!

Once home again, we drove straight to the Farm because we knew the cherry tomatoes were ripening faster than we could pick them.  Five paperbags full  were delivered to friends, and we have been eating them every way you can imagine.  The eggplant, peppers and basil are ready – it is summer!  The edible flowers that I grew from seed (Siskyou Seed) make wonderful bouquets and perk up a salad or tray of appetizers.  ANd how do I know it is June in Georgia?  – the first DAHLIA bloomed.  It is not a show stopper….the first one to bloom never is, but it paves the way for the many that are to come.  This is really such a wonderful time to be in the garden.  The heat index makes it difficult to work mid day, but the mornings and late afternoons bring so much joy!  Happy gardening!

PS  There are some interesting buildings, of the historic mansion type, for sale in downtown Savannah, but I would miss the garden.

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Charleston with my Chums

The heat has started to settle in Savannah, so we decided to make a trip for an activity that is guaranteed air conditioned….shopping.  There is so much to love about Savannah, but the shopping experience is not one of the top ten reasons to visit.  They are working on it, but not there yet, and so off we travelled with threatening skies to Charleston!

SKidaway Island

Sister cities and only two hours apart.  The South Carolina low country looks just like ours.  But their King Street shopping has it all over Broughton St.  Not to say that Broughton Street has not been revitalized!  It has, but it is still not up to Charleston standards.  I love shoes, and there were many options.  I love to visit galleries, but I only found one, open by appointment.  Okay, maybe Savannah takes the nod on that score?

Jewelry?  Check.Clothing? Check.  Handbags? Check.  

We had lunch at Toast.  I remember the best grilled cheese and tomato sandwich, ever.  But it is no longer on the menu…a disappointment.  But it was still an easy luncheonette experience and a cool way for us to revive before we hit the streets again.  More shopping…yes, shopped until we dropped, and still didn’t get to either end of King Street!  We didn’t even have time to stop at Trader Joes.  WHy oh why, Mr. Trader Joe, wont you open in Savannah?  No time to stop at Costco, even though we were prepared with iced Yeti coolers!  We headed South for Savannah, our new hometown.  But isn’t it just like Charleston to show us their colorful side by way of a turquoise house as we left her pretty streets?

The chums decided that the next time we crave a shop til we drop day, we will invite the spouses and stay overnight.  Maybe drinks on a roof top?

And then a Southern dinner and a welcoming hotel room?  We have stayed at the Mills House and the Planters Inn, but next visit it may be the Wentworth Mansion…heard they would truly fit the bill for this group.  Any other recommendations from my readers?

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Welcome Weekly Weeder

One of the first activities I volunteered for in Savannah was helping out at a place called Sparrow Field where a small group of gardeners, funded by Skidaway Audubon and other altruistic organizations, created a beautiful garden on a berm that separated a golf green from a beautiful wild field.  The drive in to the parking area is quiet and peaceful.    The opportunity to create a pollinator garden and bring butterflies and other beneficial insects was seized upon, and the valuable work done there is appreciated by many.

 One of the first sights of the day!  This is what we all long to see….  A caterpillar using this plant as a host plant to fuel its journey to butterfly status.

Now Georgia gets pretty darn hot in the summer so not all summer Friday mornings will be as pleasant as today.  But the word will go out as the sun rises higher and hotter, to come earlier in the morning and beat the worst heat of the day.  The area I weeded today was below a bluebird house.   I remained as quiet as could be and slowed my weeding motions so as to not frighten the parents flying in and out.

All of you gardeners out there, understand what a morning this was….bliss!

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