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Guest Blog: “To Savannah for the Holidays” via Amtrak

A guest blog from Kathy who lives in south Florida.  We love her tell-it-like-she-sees-it candor!

Solo travel holiday Christmas at Green Palm Inn Savannah GA via Amtrak rail travel

Holiday Food at Green Palm Inn

“For Christmas this year [December 2011], it was a choice of leaving warm sunny southern Florida and go home to Michigan where it would be cold, snowy, and freezing, or go to the Green Palm Inn in Savannah and spend the holiday at a beautiful Inn, with great friends, in a great city. The airfare to get to Michigan for the holidays was close to $700. The Amtrak cost was considerably less than half of the airfare to Michigan. So the decision was an easy one – to Savannah for the Holidays.

If I had made my decision early to go to Savannah it would have been less than $200 round trip on the Amtrak to get to the Green Palm Inn. It takes 10 hours to get from southern Florida to Savannah on the Amtrak. It takes 8 hours driving an average of 80 miles an hour and stopping twice to relieve the bladder and fill up on gas, IF there is no traffic and no construction.

With today’s gas prices it would cost me more to drive than to take the train so it was worth the extra two hours to take the train. The Amtrak in itself is a fun experience. You never know who you are going to sit next to.

On the way to Savannah I was seated by the window – which is where you want to be because the power outlets are there and you have control of the window shade. The seats on the train are huge, comfy, and spacious. There is a foot and thigh/shin rest. The seats recline back and there is a seat tray and pocket to store your things. Amtrak allows you to check in 3 bags and carry on 3 bags for a total of 6 bags with NO fees, making it easy to transport Christmas present to and from Savannah. You sit in the same train car with all of the other passengers that are going to the same areas. It ends up being like a little party. There is a diner car, a snack car, and a cocktail car. Great way to travel.

Once Diane, Inn Keeper for the Green Palm Inn and my best friend, picked me up from the station on the 23rd of December and we got all of my bags back to the Inn, we walked a few blocks over to the Screaming Mimi’s for pizza. The sign on the window declared that this is the best pizza in town. We decided to sit outside on this cool, dry, late evening. When the waitress delivered our hot, steamy great smelling large pizza, we laughed when she stated the knives, forks, and napkins were inside and to help ourselves if we needed any of these things. So much for service. The pizza was amazing, which is a huge statement for me because I have yet to meet pizza I do not like. The crust was perfectly thin and crispy. There was plenty of toppings and the sauce was just spicy enough!!! Great pizza.

Christmas Eve day was a day of preparation for a Christmas dinner. She invited her parents and some friends over for dinner. Turkey, pork roast and all the fixings were made and enjoyed by everyone. Gifts were exchanged as were stories and lots of laughter and fun.

Christmas day was spent kicking back in the comfort of this cozy Inn. We watched movies, and ate popcorn and left over Christmas dinner fixings.

The next day the weather turned cold and I didn’t bring the proper attire. We had to go buy socks to wear with my flip flops. No sense of buying a new pair of shoes because I very rarely wear enclosed shoes in Florida. Diane also keeps several knitted scarves and hats on hand for her guests for just such occasions.

For lunch we went to Wiley’s bar-b-que. We each ordered the sample sliders. Chicken, sausage, and pulled pork as well as sweet potato fries, a southern staple. The three different bar-b-que sauces were amazing as was the service. It’s a small place but it was busy with a stream of customers coming and going.

We went back to the Inn, parked the car and walked downtown Savannah to do some shopping. A new store called Simply Irresistible, a unique gift store was our first stop. They have various pieces of art work, trinkets and different items for all interests. Then we strolled over to Abajo Taco restaurant located in a basement setting in downtown Savannah on Broughton Street. We were greeted by the bartender/waiter named Christian. When I informed him that I was told the 1790 restaurant/bar had the best margaritas, his face crunched up in a “what are you talking about” look and all but called me crazy. We ordered the $5.00 Supreme margarita for the first round and then the $1.50 margarita for the second round. You could taste the tequila in the $1.50 margarita and I liked that one much better. Diane felt the $1.50 margarita tasted like cheap tequila so she preferred the $5.00 margarita. The salsa we had with our chips was delicious and had a bit of a bite to it.

Later that night a friend of Diane’s gave us tickets to the Savannah Theatre for the last showing of the season of “A Christmas Tradition”. It was amazing!!!!! The players had Broadway like talent that had you laughing, smiling and enjoying the entire show. Truly a fun time for all ages.”

We hope you’ll take off for Savannah soon on Amtrak, driving or flying!  We’ll help you also to connect to the little, memorable experiences for a holiday in Savannah everyday!

Diane McCray, Innkeeper Green Palm Inn

YouTube Travel Video:  The Softer Side of Savannah 548 East President Street, Savannah, GA USA 31401 Telephone 912-447-8901 / Toll Free USA & Canada 888-606-9510 greenpalminn.com | Twitter @GreenPalmInn | Facebook

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