From South Beach to Savannah in Honor of St. Patrick

So I went to Florida and Atlanta recently and let me tell you something…there is something special about that part of the US. I stayed in a town called Key Largo in the keys, which is about 70 miles south of Miami. Being that it is an island, the way of life there is completely relaxed. On any given day of the week, you can walk into a beachfront bar, my favorite happens to be snappers, order up a dozen mouthwatering oysters with a pint of Yuengling beer and waste away the rest of your day chit-chatting and munching to the rhythmic hum of the salt water breeze blowing through your hair. I mean does it get any better than that? The only drawback about going there in the winter is the high price of lodging as this is high season. But once you get there, everything else is relatively inexpensive.

Next was South Beach and all its Latin flavors. I wasn’t there long as I had other matters to attend to, but the energy on the SOBE strip was primal. All the girls are wearing skimpy bathing suits, and the guys walk with no shirts. Loud music blaring from every direction, the hot sun shining with all its lustful fury, Cuban bar-b-cue and palm trees everywhere! Sounds like heaven, doesn’t it? It most certainly was. As I said, I didn’t stay long, but did manage to do a little shopping and had the most amazing Cuban style chicken!
What happened next was a true surprise! First I headed west to Tampa and Orlando after that. Both were nice cities but nothing really special. Orlando has Disney World and Sea World. I drove through both but visited neither as these tourist traps have a way of sucking all your money without you even noticing. Besides I’ve already been to Disneyland and Sea world on the west coast. The real surprise was to be found in Savannah, GA.

Having been driving for 4 hours straight, I was exhausted. Still about 40 miles from my destination of Hilton Head Island, I decided to stop for the night and continue the trip tomorrow. I pulled off the highway and found a random motel and checked in. Hungry, I asked the concierge to point me in the direction of a decent restaurant to which he replied, “just go into downtown, you’ll find something there.” And find something I did. I didn’t realize that it was St. Patrick’s Day and had no idea that Savannah has the second largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the US, just behind New York. The river that runs through downtown was died green, massive sections of the downtown were blocked off for live concerts, every bar has crowds spilling out of it…Mayhem! As crazy as it sounds and of course with St. Patty’s Day being a drinking holiday, you’d expect this to be a free-for-all! On the contrary! It was very well organized, nobody was out of control, the environment was friendly and inviting the people were incredibly nice and welcoming. I am not the type to go out by myself. I mean back home, I find it difficult to get take-out alone. But there was something so pleasant about the environment in Savannah, I had absolutely no reservations about being out on the town solo. And Furthermore, I had a great time meeting people, socializing and of course drinking a pint or two in honor of good ole’ St. Patrick! What a night!