Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ghosts of Savannah

After our sophomore year at art school, M and I took a 2 week road trip to Florida. In the midst of a cranky day we found ourselves lost in the streets of Savannah, and were completely enchanted. We promised to one day go back.

Six years later, my first year of grad school over, M and D have a break from their busy schedules and on impulse we decide to return.

We arrive in lush, quiet Savannah under the cover of night. The air is heavy with history and the smell of magnolias and gardenias. Petals turn to perfumed mush underfoot. Parking the car by a large square with a statue in the middle, we walk through uneven brick streets to our bed and breakfast.

The woman behind the desk is grandmotherly, with a southern drawl and sweet smile. She greets us with a plate of freshly baked cookies and a tour of the house. She shows us the back porch where we will eat fancy breakfasts, and drink iced sweet-tea. "The property is an old carriage barn. They kept carriages downstairs and the upstairs were filled with haylofts. You have your own patio." She says, handing over the keys.

Exhausted from the 13 hour car ride but bolstered by cottage comfort, we go for a walk. Then we get lost in the sullen shade of trees and Spanish moss, panic silently until we find our way back. Streets dark, shadows heavy, there is a sneaking feeling of being followed I can't shake.

The next two days are a whirl: ambling down squares, smoking on park benches, going on house tours, a pub crawl where we can drink outside and listen to ghost stories: pirates and wenches, old brothels turned schools, plantation home mansions, grand cathedrals, antebellum houses, classical art and architecture.

People here are... nice. Like really nice. I find myself smiling and saying hi to just about everyone. My favorite part: they all have stories to tell. I follow their words and gestures until my head is filled up, until my own sad little tales begin to shed from my mind, like the magnolia petals we've been stepping on since we arrived.



Royal said...

I want me some strong ales and loose women!!

M said...

exquisitely captured, K.

Anonymous said...

this is pretty

Anonymous said...

i totally went to school in savannah. pretty much everyone ends up believing in ghosts. thats just what happens there.
these pictures are great by the way.

Anonymous said...

oh and the people there are really really nice

Anonymous said...

the pirate thing seems a little out of place here

Shivermetimbers said...

me thinks pirates used to rape, pillage and bootleg in savannah