I don't think it possible to stroll down River Street on a cool Savannah evening and not feel perfectly at-ease. As soon as I stepped out of my car into the cool sea breeze, the smells of various restaurants mingling in the air, it felt right to walk a little slower and take in the low bustle of the street below, watch the Spanish moss sway on the magnolia and oak trees, see the massive freighters plowing their way up the river to the industrial docks. Replace the cars with horses and make the boat of wood, and it could have very well been two hundred years ago. That's what I really love about Southern culture: nobody is really in much of a hurry. I took my time walking to the restaurant, I took my time eating dinner, and I took my time walking along the terraces of the river's banks, soaking in the night. The bus tour I ended up going on was almost an afterthought, just a good way to pass time.
This particular one was a ghost tour. Savannah is supposedly one of the most haunted cities in the world. If you're into that kind of thing, I suppose a city founded in 1733 would be a good candidate for spooks. The drivers toured us around downtown, showing off amazing architecture while regaling us with tales of murders, suicides, and one ghost story about folks who died peacefully yet still haunt their old house. (That house, FYI, is where the founder of the Girl Scouts was born.) The peak of the tour was to go through a house said to be haunted by at least two women, one who killed herself and one killed by the woman's ghost (or so the story goes). It didn't feel overtly spooky or anything to me, though they went to great lengths to portray it as such. I mean, a replication of a voodoo worship room in the basement and flickering lights upstairs in the parlor? I got more out of seeing the architecture and backyard garden than hearing the tale of suicide and revenge from the grave.
The evening, though, wasn't very enjoyable solo. It was the kind of Friday night meant to be shared with a loved one. A loved one sitting at home 2,000 miles away. One of these days, pumpkin, you're coming with me.