Updated: Jul 25, 2020
I must begin by saying that I take Coronovirus very seriously. When I'm home, I stay home, except to buy groceries or meet friends in very spacious outdoor areas. When I'm in public, I wear a mask, and I will not eat in a restaurant. When traveling, it is more difficult to do these things, but I believe it is still possible to travel safely and responsibly!
So many people are experiencing anxiety right now. Whether it is directly related to COVID-19 or the economic crisis that has resulted from it there is a great deal of uncertainty and unrest in the world, which is affecting people in adverse ways. When thinking about travel during normal times, I know that planning, illness, airplanes, etc are also sources of anxiety for some people. Much of that is currently out of the equation since our options for travel are limited. For those of us who are brave (or a bit crazy), a road trip is one of the few reasonable options.
While a road trip require less planning than an extensive international trip, there are still things to consider, especially in the midst of a pandemic. What is open? What are the safety protocols where I'm going? Is there outdoor dining? Should I just stay home? A travel advisor can help to figure that out and help with the details, and one reason I'm traveling now is to explore the options.
I don't know about you, but I'm not spending money on gas for commuting right now, so with my super efficient Prius, buying gas for a weekend road trip is not a problem! I visited The Henderson Beach Resort in Destin, FL earlier in the summer, which I wrote about here. Earlier this week, I returned from a 2 night stay at the Perry Lane Hotel in Savannah, GA, and it was wonderful! I needed a RESET, and I needed a place with a pool, near the water, not in a big city, and with good dining options. The mission was accomplished!
With one quick stop along the way, a trip to Savannah is 4 hours from Atlanta, each way, so you can leave early and make it in time for lunch, which is what I did. I searched for non-touristy places to eat, and I found a wonderful place called The Wyld Dock Bar, which is in a marshy area on the outskirts of a residential area of Savannah. They have plenty of outdoor seating, mostly on a deck that overlooks the wetlands. I even saw a couple who had been eating get in their little boat, with their dog, as they were leaving. That made me reconsider my life for a minute. What a lovely life it must be to take a boat ride from home to eat at a place like this! Days later, that is still on my mind. Anyway, I had some delicious fish tacos and a glass of rosé and was ready to venture into town to check in to my hotel!
Rather than taking advantage of valet parking, I chose to find parking on the street. That wasn't much of a challenge, actually. The worst part was walking in the heat from the car to the hotel. Check-in at the hotel was quick and easy (all employees and guests wearing masks), and as you check in, you are given a glass of bubbly. I believe it was actually cava, so I won't call it champagne. It was lovely! I was slightly disappointed that my room wasn't ready when I arrived, but the attendant took my number and said she would call when my room was ready. After maybe 20 minutes, I got a call, and the room was ready!
The lobby of my building:
Perry Lane Hotel has two buildings. One houses the restaurant & coffee shop, rooftop pool & restaurant, and the fitness center. The other is just rooms, and the top floor is for events, with areas that are both enclosed and open air. My room was in the second building on the 5th floor, one floor below the event space. It was a beautiful room--very warm and inviting, but also with interesting, artistic touches, such as a Playbill from a Broadway show and a hand-written letter hanging on the wall. It also smelled wonderful, which is important to me (in this blog post). I will now associate Perry Lane Hotel with that fragrance. My first reaction was that it smelled like tea, and when I read the label of the bath products, I noticed that bergamot was an ingredient. Such a thoughtful fragrance since tea is something that brings us comfort!
As quickly as possible, I put on my swim suit and found the pool on the rooftop of the other building. Since the elevators were very quick. it didn't take long! The roof was pretty busy with people enjoying Sunday Funday, and honestly, it was probably a bit busier than I would have preferred during this time. However, I didn't feel unsafe. I was able to keep my distance from other people. Peregrin, the rooftop restaurant & bar, occupies half of the roof, while the pool area is the other half. Of course, people at the pool are encouraged to enjoy food from the restaurant/bar, and a server is available.
Video of a room tour and pool tour!
I was told that The Wayward, one of the hotel's bars would be hosting a cocktail tasting at 5:00, so I had to check that out. I found out that they actually offer you a choice of 2 cocktails, and you are allowed two per room. I decided to have one (sort of a rum old fashioned), then go in search of dinner and have another after returning. I went out for a walk, in search of a place with outdoor seating for dinner. Although there were a few choices in the vicinity of the hotel, nothing seemed quite right. I ended up ordering food to be delivered to my room from a restaurant I trusted, and that worked out really well. A salmon dish and a Caesar salad from The Chart House was a lovely dinner, and it also allowed me to spend more time in my beautiful room!
The next day, I went out for a walk along the river to see the more touristy area before more people were awake, and before it got too hot. It was a nice walk, and I returned to the hotel at around 10am, where I planned to stay for most of the day by the pool. For a while, I had the pool to myself for a while, which was wonderful. Then, a few people trickled in. It was never busy. I had hoped to eat lunch from Peregrin, but I found out at noon that they were closed for training that day. Not only was I disappointed that I had to find food elsewhere, but this also meant that I wouldn't get to try the things I wanted from their menu! I found a great salad nearby and took it up on the roof to continue to enjoy the pool!
My post-lunch nap, in the shade by the pool, was the time when I really began to feel that the reset was starting to work. When I reach the point that I don't want to move and am content with being there and doing nothing, then I know that I'm actually relaxing. I just had one more task to accomplish, though, so I decided to leave at around 3:00 to explore Savannah Wine Cellar. I recently learned that they have a nice selection of naturally produced (sustainable, organic, or low intervention wines), and you can do tastings in the shop. Sounded like the place for me, and I was not disappointed!
Normally, you would have a card and go around to the different dispensers to buy small samples, but currently they are dispensing samples for you in clean classes. I had a lovely conversation with Bridget, one of the shop owners, and I started out by trying 3 wines, which led to trying three more wines. I was able to try an orange wine, a rosé, whites & reds, and one wine from Slovenia! They were all completely lovely, and I ended up purchasing two bottles of wine that I found interesting and delicious!
From there, I was off to Tybee Island to have a quick taste of the Atlantic Ocean. Believe it or not, I was ready for an early dinner, so I stopped at The Deck Beach Bar and Kitchen, which is the sister restaurant to other restaurants in Savannah. I ordered fish tacos again, and they were truly the best I've ever had! The photo doesn't do them justice. It's what's underneath that tasted so good. I walked out onto the sand and made my way back to Savannah with a brief detour to see the Tybee Island Lighthouse.
Upon returning to the hotel, I went directly to the hotel to enjoy a glass of wine and the sunset. There were a few friendly people up there, and one couple, from Ohio, had just arrived for their honeymoon. Since they weren't able to go to St. Bart's, they decided to live it up at of Savannah's best hotels. They were having a great time already, and I admire the fact that they still went somewhere! I also loved the story of the creative masks they provided to their wedding guests, which I'll save for another story!
The sunset did not disappoint, and the reflection in the water was mesmerizing. I found a small snack at the nearby shop and called it a night. It was a fulfilling and relaxing day in Savannah. The next morning, I went for a walk towards Forsyth Park in Savannah. Along the way, I saw Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist, the childhood home of Flannery O'Connor, and the famous fountain in Forsyth Park. These were all sites I had never seen, after many prior trips to Savannah, and I'm happy that I went for that walk. I believe the thrill of seeing new and beautiful things and walking paths you've never trod is part of the joy and magic of travel.
I returned to the room in time to get ready for my drive back to Atlanta for what would be a full afternoon. I was truly reset, and that feeling has continued through the week. Always observant, I reflected on what I learned on my trip, as well as the changes I felt, and I explored ideas to prolong or relive the feeling relaxation and reset while at home. It wasn't a big trip, but it was enough to make me a happier, more mentally healthy person!
I wouldn't describe myself as an empath exactly, but I'm somewhere along those lines. After having a conversation with a client, I get a strong feeling for what they need and what they should do. The answer might take a few days, but they often come quicker. This works well for me as a travel advisor (and as a voice teacher, actually), so if you are in need of a reset or any sort of vacation, I would love to have a conversation to determine how I can help you plan for the best possible experience during this very interesting time in history. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find the contact form on my website at www.pilkingtontravels.com. I look forward to hearing from you!