Friday, May 31, 2013

I Lost my Mind in Savannah

We have been traveling, Harold and I. I didn't tell you I was on the road because that's one of the things I don't feel comfortable revealing on the World Wide Web, like my birthday, or my Social Security number, or the number of my bank account. It just doesn't seem sensible, even though the gun club meets at my house when I'm gone, and my son checks in twice daily to feed and exercise the Rottweilers. You hear stories, is all I'm saying. Bad things happen. So I kept mum. You may have noticed that I had some trouble getting on the internet while I was gone.

We left a couple of Sunday mornings ago with an actual itinerary, more or less: most importantly to see beloved relatives in Florida and Mississippi, but first to spend a night in Savannah. I visited Savannah with my sister and her cat, years ago, and we had such a good time there that I wanted to show Harold the city. So we blasted out of the house and down Route 29 at the crack of dawn. As usual I began to think about the things I was supposed to have brought with me and might have left behind. First thing I recalled was the camera, still hanging on its peg in the closet. Never mind. I had my new smartphone. I would take pictures with that.

Toothbrush? Yes. Sunscreen? You bet. Underwear enough for two weeks. It wasn't until the following day,  as we were crossing the bridge to Savannah, that I remembered the email from confirming the prepaid reservation I'd made at the boutique hotel where my sister and I had stayed. In my mind's eye I could see the reservation confirmation clearly, still sitting in the printer at home. Not, alas, clearly enough to read it.

I don't know what you do when you panic. What I do is forget proper names, as for instance the names of hotels, streets, and acquaintances, and then after that I start on ordinary nouns. "Where is this hotel?" Harold said. "What is the name of it?"

"I can't remember. But I know where it is. It's right down on the street by the river. It's an old cotton warehouse."

"What's the name of the street?"

"I'll know it when I see it," I said.

River Street Inn

For some reason he didn't trust me on this. "I'll just stop at the visitor's bureau. They'll have a map and the names of some likely hotels." Moments later he came out of the visitor's bureau with a handful of brochures and a map of Savannah. "The River Street Inn," he said. "That must be it. An old cotton warehouse."

"No, I don't think so," I said. "It doesn't sound right. Just drive." He began to look uneasy.

On our way to the street down by the river (East Bay Street, in case you ever need to know) we passed a Starbucks and some other things. Then up and down East Bay Street until I saw it, the same hotel where my sister and I and her cat had stayed, the East Bay Inn. An old cotton warehouse, brick, with tall windows and a parking lot around to the side. We parked the car and went in.

We had no reservation there.

I had reserved us a room in some similar hotel by mistake, and paid for it, and now we had no idea where it might be.

The desk clerk was charming, warm, and helpful. "You can use our computer in the lobby, if that will help," she said. I sat down at it and poked the keys. No good. I couldn't figure out what to do at that point. I was now in full panic mode and terrified of going crazy in front of Harold. You know how it is. It's bad to alarm your significant other.

But, wait. What I needed was to get back on my own email on my own laptop. "Let's go to Starbucks," I said. So we stashed the car in a nearby parking garage, took my laptop and retraced our steps to Starbucks, stopping three or four times to ask directions of kindly passers-by. With a good, stiff drink of java under my belt my faculties began to return, and by the time I booted my email client I realized that I didn't even need an internet connection. The email from was right there in front of me on my laptop. "The River Street Inn," I said.

Harold did not say "I told you so," bless his heart. As nice as the East Bay Inn was, the River Street Inn was even nicer, with a view from our room of the boats on the river. They wanted us to park the car in the very garage where we had left it. We went on to have a wonderful time in Savannah. So all's well that ends well.

So far so good. Am I going to do that again? Don't know. I'll just have to take very good notes from now on.

Kate Gallison


  1. I enjoyed all the laughs this gave me... Harold sounds like a gem! Hope you had a lovely trip! TJS

  2. Who knew there would be TWO converted cotton warehouses? Glad all is well.


  3. Harold is a gem. As for the converted cotton warehouses, there may be more than two, since the big tourist area is down by the river where the cotton was shipped in the old days. Harold liked Savannah so well that we may go back next year. New Orleans Lite, we called it.

  4. Kate, do I hear the beginnings of a novel set in Savannah??? Hope so... tjs