Sometimes, in spite of our best intentions and efforts—creating itineraries, booking rooms, scheduling events, driving hundreds of miles—our vacation doesn’t meet our expectations. Maybe you missed The Mouse, or a sick-kid incident shut down the Tower of Terror after you waited in line for more than an hour. But high vacation expectations can’t be avoided; after all, most people get only a couple of work-free weeks out of the entire—and that’s a lot of pressure to spend them wisely.
As a result, I jump at any opportunity for a quick getaway, without all the itineraries, planning or driving. Without any expectations at all.
Such an opportunity presented itself this past weekend when a friend called me to say that a condo was available for me and my family at the newly renovated The Grant—a swanky collection of vacation rentals overlooking Savannah’s bustling Broughton Street.
I wasn’t packed and I wasn’t prepared. And I wasn’t opposed in the least. I had toured The Grant while it was in the process of being remodeled and was dying to stay in the historic building that now looks sleek and modern, but with a clear sense of history expressed through its high ceilings, and exposed bricks and beams.
When given the option, I didn’t want to be home where I’d spend my weekend doing tedious life stuff: cleaning, yard work, laundry, cooking. Because a vacation isn’t always about being delighted by new sights or experiences; sometimes a vacation is simply about taking a break from “adulting.” And I needed a break.
So my husband and daughter met me downtown—a mere 15 minutes from our home on the islands. We oooh’d and ahhh’d over the condo—the walk-in, black-tiled shower my daughter coveted, the mid-century chandelier my husband tried to stuff into his duffle (didn’t fit), and the complimentary soaps and shampoos that I added to my already extensive hoard of freebies.
And then … “So, what do we do now?”
Savannah doesn’t suffer from a lack of entertainment. From festivals and concerts to exhibits and galas, the hardest thing is picking the event du jour. This past weekend was no exception.
We left the condo and headed out on foot to Forsyth Park to check out the Savannah College of Art and Design’s (SCAD) annual Sidewalk Arts Festival where students and alumni create unbelievable chalk illustrations along the park’s pathways (like the “Pug with the Pearl Earring”).
There we stopped at the fountain and waited our turn to take the obligatory photo. We felt silly posing like out-of-towners, but we also felt a sense of appreciation for our beautiful city and the tourists who take it in with wide eyes.
But there’s a distinct advantage to being a local; we know what to do and where to go, and we bump into a dozen friends along the way.
We returned to Broughton Street for burgers at B&D (in the SCAD-appointed booth), stepped into a few shops we hadn’t noticed on our rushed errand runs, and then decided to brave the long line of tourists at Leopold’s Ice Cream, because when in Rome…
From there we considered catching a one-time screening of “The Force Awakens” at SCAD’s Trustees Theater, but instead opted to head back to the condo so we could relax (my husband), watch Nickelodeon (my daughter), drink wine (me, obviously). We all took turns looking down on the street, waving to folks we assumed wanted a room as cool as ours. We imagined living there, with all that life going on below, the spicy smells of ginger and lime chili sauce from The Flying Monk Noodle Bar, perpetually wafting upwards.
At about 3 a.m. I got up at watched the late-night revelers stumble to their cars (by the way, stay off the roads at 3 a.m.). Loud, alcohol-infused voices and heavy bass beats played on for about an hour before the city and I fell asleep.
The next morning, I returned to adulting with a bit more enthusiasm. More refreshed. After all, I hadn’t washed a dish or pair of underwear for 24-hours and this may be my new definition of happiness.
Most important, I returned with my expectations fully met without ever having to use a vacation day.