“Georgia On My Mind”
By: Lori Walker
(4 min read)
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
It’s one of the best ice-breaker questions many of us use to get to know someone. My automatic answer will always be Savannah! Although I lived in the Coastal Plain region from the ages of 18 through 24, there is nothing better than visiting the city today.
Savannah is the oldest city in the state of Georgia. Nestled along the Savannah River, it was the main location for importing commerce into the area and the leading exporter of cotton to the world.
It is home to one of the largest National Landmark Historic districts in the United States. With its grid street layout, it features twenty-two breathtaking squares. As you stroll under the Spanish moss-covered trees, it feels like you are walking through time. The Hostess City of the South is easily remembered for its most famous square, Chippewa.
You may be asking yourself, wait, what the heck are you talking about? Let me give you a hint. The feather falling from the sky in the opening scene of Forrest Gump? The bench? The box of chocolates? You get the picture!
Speaking of movies, if you want a glimpse into the eclectic mix of colorful characters and Southern Hospitality, I highly recommend Midnight in The Garden of Good and Evil. Directed by Clint Eastwood, it is the true story of the scandal surrounding Jim Williams, an antiques dealer and a historic preservationist during the 1980’s.
I would come to have my own real-life, similar adventures soon after I moved there!
My ex-husband was stationed at Fort Stewart, home of the 24th Infantry Division. Approximately 43 miles outside of Savannah, the town of Hinesville was about to experience a sudden rush of activity a few years later. No one predicted Desert Shield and Desert Storm were looming right around the corner.
Since I was born and raised in a small town, I had no idea what it was like to grow up in a military family or how to be an Army wife. There was so much to learn from the fascinating friends I was beginning to make.
I got a job at fast food restaurant, where I met my first, genuine Southern Belle! Tammy has a heart of gold. She is genuinely one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. She and I would eventually become roommates. Together, we managed to create some hilarious, memorable stories of our own!
Tim is one tall, handsome drink of water! With his Southern accent and insanely funny sense of humor, you can’t help but fall in love with him. He and I share a passion for 80’s hair metal bands. When I hear the song, I Remember You by Skid Row, my mind instantly envisions our favorite concert – Firehouse! Those were the days!
Last, but never least, is the Chicago-born, Puerto Rican ball of fire, Marisol. As a human resources director for her office, she maintains the perfect balance between classy and sassy. And shout out to her bad-ass, perfect gentleman boyfriend, Darryl! His kindness and patience have saved the day on more than one occasion for us!
My son was born at Fort Stewart. When he was less than a year old, we made a series of moves, eventually ending up back in my hometown of Pittsburgh. For his 16th birthday, we planned a vacation so he could visualize where he came from. But more importantly, I wanted him to meet the people who were in our lives at the time.
We made a second trip in 2012, so that he could experience the chaos and glory of St. Patrick’s Day! Savannah boasts the second largest parade and celebration in the country. It is quite the spectacle!
Last summer, my daughter-in-law approached me about taking a family trip to Savannah. I was all in! She found an Airbnb in the heart of the historic district. I was so excited! I invited my niece, April, to join the fun with us!
We agreed to travel in September. The weather is cooler, and it happened to coincide with Marisol’s birthday! Our days were filled with tourist activities. A walk along the infamous cobblestone-lined River Street, gathering souvenirs from its quaint little shops. There were a few historic home tours, showcasing the architectural beauty and grandeur of the era.
But our favorite was the walking ghost tour! After all, it is a must for a destination that is included on the list of “America’s Most Haunted Cities!” For those a little more daring, a fully-guided night tour at the Sorrell-Weed House is sure to give you chills!
Our nights were filled with delectable food choices. We dined at a fabulous Cuban restaurant with live music to celebrate Marisol’s birthday. We wrapped up the evening with a horse-drawn carriage ride. And, I was blessed to meet a new friend, Heather, who encouraged me to write more stories!
I believe in manifesting, miracles, and maintaining lasting friendships! I’ve come a long way from a naïve 18-year-old girl. My experiences have shaped my hope of a world where different ethnicities, cultures, and lifestyles blend into an exquisite bouquet of support and understanding. Because in the end, all that truly matters is love.
Savannah will always hold a special place in my heart. My friends make it so! I love that dreamy, ethereal feeling when I recall memories or anticipate my next trip! Georgia is always on my mind.
So, I ask You now. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? Once you imagine it, step into the blissful feeling of being there. That’s where the magic is. Enjoy your adventure! I’ll be here when you get back…