Four years ago, we visited Savannah for the first time. It was Valentine’s Day weekend and instead of drinking wine and professing our undying love over lobster and chocolate, we sat in a hotel room, illuminated only by the muted television while we tried to convince a 7 month old Em to sleep in the weird crib/baby cage provided by the hotel. We were strict on her sleep schedule but hadn’t mastered the skill of juggling her well-being with our own sanity. Our whirlwind trip from Ohio to Georgia involved towing along most of that child’s belongings, unsure of what exactly a 7 month old needs for a long weekend. Which we realized was only about a quarter of what we packed.
In a rush to get her to bed, we forgot to eat dinner. Josh sat in the bathroom and whisper-yelled into the phone, calling practically every restaurant near City Market and on Bay Street to find a place that delivered. And no one did. Later, we realized that they were all within a three block walking distance to our hotel. I don’t remember what we ate that night. It doesn’t really matter because we were excited. We were moving to Savannah. Was it love at first sight? No, but we were eager for a new adventure and Savannah certainly had enough to offer. We spent the evening pouring over real estate sites and trying to get our bearings on this pocketed city with mansions next to liquor stores. We were enamored with this slow, stereotypical southern town. Once we agreed to the move, Josh’s transfer happened quickly and we were Georgians within a month and homeowners shortly thereafter.
Four years later, we’re getting ready to say goodbye to Savannah. Josh is being transferred to Charlotte, North Carolina next month and we’ll be making the move soon. Our house (hopefully) lists next week and we are feeling excitednervousthrilledstressed and crazy. Mostly crazy. We’ve been ready for the next step of our adventure and we’re elated that it has finally arrived. Getting our house ready to list is… exhausting. All of the projects that you put off because, you know, life with two rambunctious little kids is work enough. Well, surprise, those projects don’t go away. You still have to do them. Except you have only two weeks to complete them. There deserves to be a designated ring in hell for the home buying and selling process.
Unlike Savannah, I won’t have the opportunity to visit Charlotte before we move. The extent of my experience with Charlotte involves driving through it at night on our way to Panama City Beach for spring break in 2004. I was strung out on Benadryl (seriously, antihistamines and I are not friends) and I ate my weight in pancakes at a 24-hour IHOP. More recently, I’ve had the pleasure of sitting in rush hour traffic on 77 on our way to Pennsylvania. It’s pretty clear that neither of these experiences will be helpful when it comes to finding the right neighborhood for our family.
Savannah has been good to us. Not always, but mostly. Our family grew here. I’ve grown here. Emotionally, spiritually, mentally… and even probably even a little bit physically. We’ve made friends, lost friends, celebrated new life, remembered lives, recognized dreams and closed doors on others. We’ve had fun playing southerners. We’re just ready to do it from somewhere a bit more northern.
Now, we start our Savannah bucket list! We have about two weeks before Josh relocates so we’re trying to cram in as much fun and Savannah as possible (when we’re trying to not kill one another over home projects). I doubt we’ll fit it all in but fortunately Savannah is a great place to visit. We were able to secure a babysitter for this evening so we can enjoy a proper Valentine’s Day in Savannah. Hopefully it doesn’t involve delivery.