Lemon custard ice cream on a waffle cone while sitting along the Savannah River.  Street musicians and ladies weaving baskets.  Balloon animals and preparations for the coming St. Patrick’s Day celebration.  Shrimp and crab cakes and cold beer on a patio as the sun sets and the sound of a lone saxophone carries upward into the darkening sky.  Savannah, Georgia.
Walking through downtown– used book stores and art galleries.  And slightly obscene t-shirts that make me choose my words carefully as I explain a little without explaining a lot. Makes me glad we didn’t come down for the actual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
  
This is all before our Ghosts and Gravestones Trolley Tour through downtown.  Once the sun actually set, we boarded the trolley for the ghost stories of one of America’s most haunted cities.  The highlight of the trip was a stop at a warehouse built over the site of a triple ax murder.  The story, which was pretty darned gruesome, did not deter Isaac or Harper Lee in the least, and they were the first off the bus to get inside.  The coolest part was that we got actual ghost hunting equipment, ala Ghost Hunters (which I somewhat shamefully admit is one of my favorite shows).  We were given temperature gauges as well as EMF (electromagnetic field) detectors.
The tour guide explained that if our EMF detectors, which had green lights, turned to red, then we may be in contact with a spirit.  He also said that if there was a dramatic drop in temperature on the gauge, that was another sign.  He cautioned that a drop of one to two degrees meant nothing, but that ten or more may mean that we needed to get our cameras out and try to capture something on film.
Now… if you don’t believe in this stuff (like Rob), you can skip this part.  But if you are like me and LOVE ghost stories and DO, in fact, believe in all this hokey nonsense, you might like this.  As we moved to one spot in the very dark warehouse, the hair on both my head and my arms stood straight up.  I felt a very strange prickly sensation all over that was not like cold but something else.  At that moment, my EMF turned red.  And then Isaac, a few feet away, shouted, “My temperature just dropped eleven degrees!”  I thought about walking away and getting closer to other members of our group, but I took out the camera instead.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get anything on film, but it was cool nonetheless.  Did we come face to face with a spirit?  I don’t know.  But man, it was fun… and very creepy.  
Both kids enjoyed it , but Isaac was surprisingly animated, talkative and inquisitive with the guide, questioning him about the equipment and answering all his questions to the group. He even volunteered to tell his own ghost story to a trolley full of strangers.  Hilarious.  
The Gold Dome of Savannah City Hall behind us.
Late morning on Tybee Island– one of our favorite spots.  We came to Tybee a few years ago, when the kids were still pretty little.  Both times, we rented an inexpensive cottage within walking or biking distance from the beach.  This year’s trip was much warmer.  Glad I didn’t go with my first instinct, which was to leave the bathing suit at home.  It’s mid-March, and we left home with snow on the ground, so I did not have high hopes regarding sunbathing.  
But when we got there, the temps were in the mid-70’s and we had perfect beach weather.  I felt like I’d been let out of prison.  I think my skin has literally been starving for sunlight.  My feet needed to be set free from the confines of wool socks and heavy boots.  My pale, pasty legs needed some light.  And I soaked up every ounce I possibly could.
And I ran.  Hard.  And far.  And it was awesome.  This winter has sucked in terms of running for me, so being able to put on a pair of shorts and a singlet and be soaked with sweat by the end of a run felt amazing.  I love to sweat.  I love heat.  I love the sun.  Please, Lord, have mercy and send spring as soon as possible.  Now that I’ve had this taste of freedom, I don’t know if I can take the 35 degree temps with 25 mph winds that we came back to yesterday.  I want the sun to bake out all the impurities and winter blahs and leave them behind on the green grass or sandy beach or whatever trail I happen to be on.  Sweet freedom!
This is what it looks like once you’ve run the winter blahs out– beautiful, soul-cleansing exhaustion.  It comes with sand rashes and jellyfish stings, but it’s all good because it feels like summer after a very long, hard winter.  That’s the Tybee Lighthouse in the distance.  Our cottage was across from the old fort and next door to the former enlisted men’s mess hall.  
Very cool.
And who wouldn’t love a restaurant where you get to eat beneath oak trees decked out in Christmas lights and are visited by dozens of well-fed cats meandering under tables and between people’s feet?  Plus, they had good food.  Isaac pretty much ate his weight in seafood this week.  That kid really needs to get a job at the coast someday.  
Like the sign says– the Big Kahuna.  He spent one afternoon perfecting his stand-up paddle board skills.  I see a new toy in our future.  I’d like to learn how to do it as well.  
Just not in March.  
In the Atlantic.
My best girl.  
Isaac met a white umbrella cockatoo named Gilbert at the Bird Rescue.  They jived immediately, and the bird pretty much ignored Harper Lee and I but was completely smitten with Isaac.  I think the feeling was mutual.
While Rob was paddle boarding, we hit all the wonderfully weird art shops on the island. This place is called Fish Art, and we stayed there for well over an hour.  The lady behind the counter was quite gracious and went out of her way to help both kids as they shopped and browsed and picked up nearly everything in the store.
Fish Art on Tybee Island

It was a great Spring Break– emphasis on both the “Spring” and the “Break”.  Both were sorely needed.
*My next post will feature other photographs from Fish Art (I got some pretty cool photos, plus it’s always nice to find art inspiration) as well as book reviews and recommendations for runners, philanthropists, armchair travelers, and mid-life warriors.  The beach is an excellent place to catch up on a lot of good reading.
Be hopeful, people.  I hear the frogs peeping outside my window right now.  
Spring is on its way.
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