Tag - travel

Savannah 2019

I had the fortune to be able to travel to Savannah earlier this month for work — the same PersoniFest that brought me to Austin last year — and ye Gods, what a gorgeous city.

Sights along the way.

Savannah is a very walkable city, but here’s a tip from Old Lady Russell: WEAR WALKING SHOES. Seriously. There are ankle-wrenching cobblestones and stairs-of-irregular-height all over River Street. Like so:

Historic Steps – Use at Own Risk. Also dig my giant frizzy ponytail.

The food was so good. So good! Places we ate (not all are pictured, and most breakfasts/lunches were amazing buffets served at the conference itself):

  • Belford’s Seafood and Steaks for dinner. I had fried chicken.
  • Little Duck Diner for breakfast. I had biscuit sandwiches.
  • The Sunday Funday networking event this year was the Savannah Taste Experience tour. Six food stops and MILES of warm-weather walking.
  • The opening party was at Service Brewing Company. I ate everything.
  • Aqua Star at the Westin for dinner with our account manager. I had shrimp and grits, pictured below. I had shrimp and grits on multiple days. I have never had such creamy grits. Is the phrase “it gave me life” overused? Because the shrimp and grits gave me life.
  • The Pirate’s House for dinner, which is just as touristy as you can imagine and I loved every second of it. I had that pecan fried chicken pictured below, and a drink in the souvenir skull mug.
  • Goose Feathers Cafe for breakfast. I had the egg croissant AND bought a coffee mug to bring home.
Food adventures. Yes, that is water in the Little Duck diner glass but I loved the logo!

Coworker D and I left the morning after the conference ended (many people left during the last day of the conference, which … okay) so we had time to explore a bit more. On my list was the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low.

As a one-time girl scout, I couldn’t NOT see this place.

There are a lot of monuments to white-people history in Savannah. The Savannah Taste Experience tour guide did a good job in bringing in the less pleasant stories of the slave trade – I didn’t know that the largest slave auction in the US was in Savannah.


There were also quite a few places named for the (slave-powered) cotton trade and a lot of souvenirs featuring cotton, like cotton boll wreaths. And on a trip that showcased such friendly people and gorgeous weather and beautiful sights and amazing food, seeing those things were like hearing the clank of a defective handbell in a handbell choir. You can change the names of things without deleting their history. I’ve had a few different names now and I’m the same person.

Here are the selfies. Shout out to “Dave” who photobombed Coworker D and my photo in the one dive bar we visited. He had me text him the photo so he could send it to his wife. Hope you enjoyed, Mrs. Dave. There was a 90s party, which I dressed appropriately for. Starfox was headed to Savannah Comic Con, which happened at the same time. And I was asked to record a testimonial about the Personify software for next year’s conference. So if you’re headed to Colorado Springs next year, you’ll see my unprepared sweaty face and severe bun on the big screen. Sorry.

My giant face goobing around Savannah.

And it wouldn’t be a trip without OllieBear.

Here we are on the Savannah Belles ferry. In the background is the Talmadge Memorial Bridge (I am older than that bridge) and the Westin where we stayed.

I definitely want to go back to Savannah on my own time and dime. If you go, remember:

  • comfortable shoes
  • gnat repellent (article has annoying auto-play video and won’t let you see if you have an adblocker on). The gnats are where I’m wearing jeans and pants the whole time instead of the pretty summer dresses I packed.
  • anti-itch cream if you forget the repellent
  • product to tame your hair if it gets frizzy in humidity
  • an umbrella, because it’s the South and you’ll get killed with rain for an hour and then it goes away as quickly as it came

Next year’s conference is in Colorado Springs, which I am less than enthused about because I will always prefer warm weather over mountains.

Friday 5: Stay and Let Me Look at You

Happy Friday from Lexington, Kentucky!


It’s Maker’s Mark with a local gingery soda called Ale-8-One.

I’m here for work. I exhibited on behalf of TNP at a Hospital Medicine Conference for the last few days. The hotel is lovely, but set on a highway which is unwalkable. That combined with the typical conference schedule (Session breaks were for 15 minutes every 2 hours It’s hard to go somewhere, see a sight, and return in 2 hours) meant I stayed on property the entire time. Don’t cry for me.

Everyone told me Kentucky was horses and bourbon. Being a proud New Jersey resident, I’m against blatant stereotyping of states. But as the plane was descending I saw at least three dozen horses. And three steps away from my gate there was a bourbon store. Okay then. You win, stereotyping.

Things I did right this trip:

  • I went to the gym every day and walked on the treadmill for a half hour. I forgot how much I enjoy treadmill walks. I do! Not enough to buy a treadmill or go to a gym, though.
  • I made sure to get outside every day. I spent many of the 2-hour downtimes with my laptop by the pool.
  • I didn’t eat like a feral teenager with money. I made good food choices (I had a salad with steak on top 2 nights in a row), passed on desserts, and limited my alcohol.
  • You know those things at work (or home) that you put off over and over? I call them shame tasks and I knocked all of my work related shame tasks out while sitting by the pool.
  • I made sure to hit the hot tub. Priorities.
  • I traveled with a carryon bag only. It’s a nice exercise in packing and purchasing restraint, plus when I get off the plane tomorrow I can just go home. As it is, I packed a teeshirt, skirt, and 2 necklaces that I didn’t wear. And I packed 4 pair of shoes. I don’t know a way around that, though. I had heels for the meeting, flats for dinner, sneakers for the gym and flip flops for the pool.

    kim in a hot tub

    I had the hot tub to myself!

    I go home tomorrow. It’ll be nice to be home.

    Time for the Friday 5! This week’s theme is Stay and Let Me Look at You, which is a lyric from Neil Diamond’s September Morn. It was a song that was big when I was young and I guess it was sexy in the 70s, but is pretty creepy now. Let’s get to it!

    1. (Earth, Wind & Fire) Why are you dancing in September?
    WM was paid today for the first time since June 30. We save money for the summers, but holy balls something happens every year that takes the wind out of our sails. In 2016 it was our dead HVAC and poor Max. Last year was Murphy’s puppy expenses and 4 new tires. This year it was more dog bills. Not Ollie’s dental surgery because we knew that was coming, but his ear infections, sore neck, and then both dogs’ gastric distress in August. Holy balls.

    2. (Neil Diamond) September morning still can make you feel what way?
    Sad. I hate the later sunrises and the end of the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.

    3. (Green Day) What are some things you have to endure until September ends?
    Silly birthday month emails from retailers with crummy “gifts.” Oh, thanks for the 10% off of an order of $75 or more. So generous. Also this year, my free Starbucks drink was good on my birthday ONLY. They used to give you a month. Then two weeks. Now one day? Nah. My Panera free pastry was good for 2 weeks. My free coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts was 3 weeks. One day is mean.

    4. (Kool & the Gang) What place or thing is your September love?
    WM is my love every month of the year.

    5. (Willie Nelson) What is your September song for the rest of the month?
    That freaking Earth, Wind & Fire song. BAAAA DE YAAAAA DE YAAAAA DE YAAAAA. I’m hoping Demi Adejuyigbe celebrates September 21 again. He’s a great Twitter follow, if you’re still on that trash heap of a site. (I’m still there.)

    Time for bed. This time tomorrow I’ll be snorfling my dogs.

  • Floridian Friday 5 on Saturday: Games People Play

    Hello from RetiredLand, Florida! I’m here visiting with Dad for a bit, pretending that I’m retired, too. So far the weather’s been amazing by my standards, but chilly by Floridian standards. It snowed at home yesterday. I am SO SICK OF WINTER.

    Bitey McBiteface update: The vet signed Murphy’s release verifying he’s not rabid, and then diagnosed him with a double ear infection. Spaniels, people. Fluffy and adorable with giant stink-ears. My scar is healing. I think my lips are always going to be slightly asymmetrical, but in a way only I can see. Both perp and victim are ready to move on.

    Yesterday we went to the beach, where I read an entire book in one sitting! I picked up a little color, which is good. Except it’s all on my nose, which isn’t as good. Don’t be me. I posted this photo on Facebook yesterday and deleted it because I felt as if I was bragging.

    Indialanic, FL

    It’s time for the Friday 5! This week’s theme is Games People Play. Let’s get to it!

    1. How good are you at word games, and what’s a word game you really enjoy?
    I’m pretty good at word games. I love crossword puzzles the best. On the NYT Crossword Puzzle difficulty scale, I’m about a Wednesday level. The gimmicky Thursday ones always stump me. In competitive word games, I’m better with Boggles than Scrabble. I can create amazing words in Scrabble but I’ve never been good at maximizing the points per word. And then I lose.

    2. How good are you at trivia games, and what’s your strongest category?
    I’m pretty good. My strongest categories are the pop culture ones. And probably NJ history, if that ever was a category. My worst categories are sports and art.

    Melbourne, FL

    3. How good are you at spot-the-difference or what’s-wrong-with-this-picture games?
    I am excellent at those. But I’m that person who notices subtle logo changes at the grocery store. “Look! Vlasic’s softened their As!”

    4. How good are you at memory games, and have you ever played Simon?
    VERY GOOD. We didn’t have Simon as a kid. Instead we had the Sears catalog version called “Follow Me.”

    5. What’s your favorite party game of all time?
    Nothing beats the vindictiveness and violence of Musical Chairs. As a lifelong fan of pro wrestling, chairs make the best party prop. Second place is Codenames, which I played for the first time in Seattle last year. It’s easy to learn and a crapton of fun.

    Next time I come here, I’ll be able to bring a Shorti to the beach!

    It might be “chilly” here but the sun is shining brightly. I think darts are on the schedule for today. Enjoy your day, whatever the weather!

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