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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Our Weekend in Savannah

2015 was a year of "cheaper travel" for us. Our 10 year anniversary is in 2017 so we are wanting to save as much as we can for a BIG trip to celebrate the milestone. We did a timeshare deal for our anniversary trip this year to Hilton Head and decided for our little Christmas getaway to again stay rather close to home. We have been to Savannah together before but it was back in college on a Christian Student Center trip for like one night. Zach has visited for work and has said he thinks it's a city we'd enjoy together. Why not try it out!

We decided to keep it to a two night stay. We debated three nights but decided we'd rather spend a little more money on nicer accommodations and stay less time than stay somewhere cheaper for longer. We hit the road first thing Friday morning and came back Sunday afternoon. It was really the perfect amount of time away, perfect distance from home, and just a perfect weekend!!!

We also decided to change things up this year...rather than buy each other a ton of Christmas presents we decided to take our Christmas budget and go outlet shopping together! We are the ULTIMATE OUTLET TEAM (UOT baby!) and this adventure did NOT disappoint!!!

We got to the outlet area (which is right outside of Savannah) at lunch time so we hit up Panera for lunch. The ONLY bump in our otherwise awesome weekend was a little personal family issue for me. It was one of those times where I just could not stop crying. I felt bad crying at our lunch and at the start of our fun time together! The food still was amazing though haha even through tears I didn't stop grubbing ;) 


We had SO MUCH FUN shopping. We went all out with our spending and stayed EXACTLY (like legit to the dollar) on budget. We also joined this discount club thing for the outlet and it saved us a TON of money just on that one visit. Every single store we shopped at we ended up using a coupon :) And I even scored a free tote bag for submitting all of our receipts. You know me, I can't not get deals!

I LOVE that Zach and I enjoy shopping together. I don't think it's something that a lot of couples like to do with each other? We truly both have a BLAST with it and like the entire process. We help each other find things to try on, watch each other try everything on, and help decide what to purchase. A deal high is even better when you have someone to share it with ;) 

Something I was excited about was to shop for Italy! We weren't 100% sure Zach would qualify for the trip but I decided I wanted to go ahead and get some clothes to wear there just in case. My wardrobe is pretty much a "mom closet" which means it's filled with lots and lots of cotton and like nothing remotely dressy. Italy is a President's Club trip which is the top 85 agents in the company. Let's just say that junk gets fancy. I've always envied Zach's mom b/c she buys new clothes when they make Aflac trips and I was excited to get to do the same thing! 

I may have been with Zach but I still had to text Casey some of my finds ;)
Don't these both look super Italian?



Snack break for pretzels!



It's probably the nicest outlet I've ever been to (which is saying a lot b/c I LOVE outlet shopping!)



I am def a grown up as my favorite finds were from Express, Banana Republic and Loft. I really really love Loft!  A lot of their stuff does NOT have hanger appeal but then when I try it on I love how it fits. I think it's because they have a petite section :) We went to Loft near the end and we were running SUPER late for our dinner reservations so we divided and conquered a bit and I took pics of what I wanted Z to help me decide on getting ;)



We started shopping at 1ish and completely finished spending our money at 8:15. Our dinner reservations were at 8:30. OOPS!


We ran to the bed and breakfast and just tossed on clothes and walked to our dinner. Luckily the restaurant was super cool about us running late! We ate at the Olde Pink House and I want to go ahead and give a BIG shout out thank you to my long time friend Amelia! She emailed me a list of "must do" items in Savannah and it was a HUGE help in planning our weekend. Zach also did a good bit of his own research and picked fabulous restaurants :) I love when Zach plans our trips! 

We both LOVED The Olde Pink House. If you are EVER in Savannah it's a MUST DO. Legit best food of our LIVES. Every single thing we had was delicious. And the people who work there make it such a fun environment. We had a blast and laughed a lot and also had some deep conversation together too which was a great balance :)



AMAZING fried chicken


Shrimp and grits!






We didn't get back to our room until after 11. We were both EXHAUSTED but already having such an awesome trip! Zach found our bed and breakfast, East Bay Inn, and it was perfect. Awesome location (great for my foot!) as well as a BEAUTIFUL room. We were so impressed and it was well worth the money we spent to stay there!



Our Room


I mentioned in my post about my night away for my birthday at Jekyll Island Club that the East Bay Inn blew it away. And it's true, the room at the East Bay Inn farrrrr surpassed the room I stayed in at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel!


I was pretty pumped to surprise Zach with my pjs for the trip! We LOVE Parks and Rec and finished the show while on the trip so my "Treat Your Self" pjs were appropriate :)


The Bed and Breakfast served breakfast (shocker haha) so we took our time the next morning and enjoyed eating and calling the kids to check in. We originally had booked a walking tour for the morning and called and canceled. I felt super bad doing that but my foot was just SORE from all the walking the day prior and I knew I'd be miserable on a walking tour. I also had a super bad migraine (thanks to our alarm at home going off at 4:50 AM so we were up dealing with the alarm company...) so some Mountain Dew helped me out and we went on a walk down River Street!








There were several cute shops (we found everyone souvenirs!) and we especially enjoyed the outdoor market. We found this AWESOME little shop that took local artifacts and created beautiful and unique jewelry. They had this one necklace called a "Frozen Charlotte" made from these little glass dolls that people used to use as party favors. They'd freeze the dolls to help keep drinks cool during the party and then the guests got to take them home when the party ended. Of course since they were called Charlotte's we had to have one for Mrs. Charlotte! It was much more than we'd normally spend on a thank you gift so it was part of Christmas for her too ;) 


Only in the south can you find this movie for sale on DVD...




For lunch Zach found this place called the Soda Pop Shop and we went to try it out. Savannah is a very artsy town and it was pretty hilarious how old we are now because we just did not get the fashion trends going on with the college kids we kept seeing! This restaurant was a very "local place" which was nice and it wasn't touristy at all. And the prices were DIRT CHEAP. The guy who worked there was probably one of the nicest people we've ever met in the food industry. He was just a genuinely nice guy! We enjoyed taking in our surroundings and enjoyed the awesome food!





Couldn't resist a chance to sit on Santa's lap when we hit up a candy store on the way back to the room!


We were pretty pumped about some down time. We wanted to have time to truly enjoy our hotel room and to relax together which is something we don't often get to do at home. We showered and hung out and watched Parks and Rec and went through all of our outlet finds! Merry Christmas to us :)



We had an early dinner reservation at a top rated Italian restaurant. We both wanted to wear some of our new stuff for our big fancy night out :) 







YUM!



After dinner we walked back to the room and changed for our ghost tour! We've done a ghost tour together in St Augustine but, again, it was waaaaay back in the day so we were PUMPED to go on another one together. We booked a riding tour because of my foot and I will say it just didn't come close to comparing to the walking tour. If you wanna do a ghost tour...do a walking one! Also we did the 9:30 (latest) tour so we could have plenty of time for dinner and that was also a mistake. Instead of having a fun family friendly atmosphere we had a bunch of loud drink rude people. Not. Cool. 

We also ended up being extremely early and they couldn't get us on an earlier bus so we just hung out and got more candy from the candy store on River Street!




Who doesn't love old school childhood candy?!?!


This man was singing Christmas songs by the river and it was super romantic. Zach gave him some money and he called me over to sing to me. Watching the lights of the boats go by us on the river and standing there just the two of us (along with this man of course) was very romantic and was a special moment we both enjoyed :)


While on the ghost tour we did go into the house where the lady who founded the Girl Scouts lived. I'm not a Girl Scout kinda girl (and to be honest I think the cost of the cookies is a rip) so I didn't really care much about seeing her house. Although seeing the beauty of the older home was a neat experience and it was also pretty spooky at night! 

I LOVED the stockings :)


Helllllo crrrrreeeeeeppppyyy




We survived the ghost tour 
(more like we survived the wild drunk people haha!)


Since our walking tour didn't work out we booked a riding tour to see the city for our last day. We checked out of the bed and breakfast before getting picked up by the shuttle for our tour. I do have to say that not only was the East Bay Inn romantic and beautiful...it had a KILLER location. I have to be careful with my foot about walking too much and we were SO CLOSE to everything that it made walking a breeze! Aside from the pain I had from the first day of shopping, I was good to go the entire trip! I iced it a good bit but otherwise didn't have any issues. I also wore Toms the whole time and bought some new "dressy" flats I even wore to dinner one night and walked in them just fine too!

We were SUPER sad to leave our awesome b&b and I'm about 99% sure we will be back :)




I'm glad we got to see the Olde Pink House in the daylight!


Our tour started at an old train station and we were early to our bus so we went inside to look around a bit. This huge mural reminded me of Parks and Rec...although not as graphic haha



Sights from our tour! It was a GREAT experience!!! We were disappointed with the ghost tour but VERY pleased with our riding tour of the town! Our tour guide actually told better ghost stories than our ghost tour lady did haha He gave us a TON of facts about the city and we really enjoyed it (I feel dumb for not writing any notes b/c now I don't remember much of it at all ha!)







I do remember that this is the restaurant where the author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil overheard the story that inspired the book (when we got home from the trip Zach bought the book and I plan to read it as well!)



I also didn't know anything about Paula Dean prior to this trip but man what a neat back story to her success! Our guide did a great job telling about her without saying who she was which made it an even better story. She's def one of those people that I can see a movie being made about at some point! This was her first restaurant!


The one negative about our tour bus was that he just dropped us off at this random location and was like "see ya!" They had a shuttle that would come pick you up, supposedly at every stop every 20 min. We originally had planned to go to Pirate House for lunch. We ate there years ago and enjoyed it (and I remember eating there when I visited Savannah with my chorus group in middle school) but since we were dropped off at this random spot we went ahead and just decided to hang out there and check things out!

Yummy cookies...and free samples :)


Neither of us had ever had anything from Paula Dean and decided to hit up her flagship restaurant! Since it was Sunday most places had a buffet lunch so we took our time and enjoyed the southern cooking. I think it's SO SMART how she took traditional southern food and made it HERS ya know? Mrs. Charlotte makes similar dishes every night and to be honest I like Mrs. Charlotte's butter beans better than Paula's ;) 




This was an accidental pic but that corn casserole was LEGIT


omgggg ammmmazing dessert too!




We walked a good bit back because I wanted to stop by and see the spot where Forrest Gump's bench was :) I love some movie trivia! 



Found it!


We also tried to find a spot where supposedly some free masons used to meet and there is a whole conspiracy about why Sherman didn't burn Savannah is b/c he was part of this secret organization. Totally sounds like a Dan Brown novel and I looooove me some conspiracy theories (Did we really land on the moon? Did Sandy Hook really happen? Is Beyonce really an illuminate?) but we didn't have any luck finding it! Maybe next visit!

We also didn't have luck with the whole every-20-min shuttle thing. We ended up waiting over 40 min and had to call them twice to get someone to come get us! Once we got back to our car we stopped by the outlets one more time (we had to cash in our receipts to get a free tote as well as a free $20 gift card to spend!) and then headed home! 

We had a blast listening to old school songs and talking and joking around on the drive (sometimes the drive is half the fun right?!?) and of course we busted out some old school candy cigarettes. You know when you were a kid you TOTALLY pretended to smoke 'em! Don't deny it haha! This is the closest either of us have ever been to smoking anything! 


We got back so quick that we hit up McDonald's for one last treat and then surprised the kids at night church at Zach's parents church. It was the perfect opportunity to visit our former congregation and had the added bonus of completely shocking our children! They were so pumped to see us and we were pumped to be reunited with them! 

It was an especially relaxing weekend for us b/c Britt stayed with Casey and Jordan for the weekend. Since they had been out of town for her birthday party, she spent the weekend with them to celebrate her birthday. When Zach was growing up and his parents went on Aflac trips they often split their kids up and I can see why! I felt SO much less stress knowing that Mrs. Charlotte only had Kye and Tess and that Britt was having her own special time. Each big kid felt special and had their own unique experiences that weekend and they are MUCH easier to parent when they aren't together. I felt like our awesome caregivers had an easier time, our kids were having more fun than when we're usually away b/c they felt extra special, and I could reallllllly relax in a way I can't usually do when we travel! It was really awesome! 

We had a BLAST from start to finish and truly loved Savannah! I hope we're able to go back soon! I love traveling with Zach. We make such great memories together and it really keeps our spark strong for our marriage! 



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