Savannah in Time

We Wander Savannah

There are just some places that make you feel as if you have stepped back into another time. Historic Savannah is an exquisite kaleidoscope of history, charm, graceful beauty, antebellum architecture and warm southern hospitality. Where it is enough to walk the tree lined streets and sit for spell in one of its twenty-two cobblestone squares. Art and music are immersed in the city at every turn. Add to that an eclectic mix of great food and a lively night scene (including ghosts of centuries past) and you meet the current day Savannah in all of her splendor.

2- IMG_5421Savannah is quite the storyteller. As you walk through the streets you will meet many of her heroes, memorialized by hundreds of plaques throughout the historic district. Wander with us in time to meet a few of the local residents.

Introducing James Oglethorpe, Founder of Savannah and the Colony of Georgia

James Oglethorpe was a British soldier, member of parliament and a social reformer. During his time in parliament he was active in advocating for the conditions of navy sailors and leading prison reform. As a representative of King George II to the American Colonies, he was sent, at age 36, to establish Savannah and the 13th colony of Georgia. He landed in Savannah in February of 1733 and was carrying with him the original cotton seeds responsible for the inception of the cotton industry in the south. Georgia was considered a key military buffer between the English Carolinas and the Spanish catholics in Florida. James Oglethorpe, with specific ideals, had four distinct prohibitions in the Charter for the new colony.

First, while it mandated acceptance of all religions, and indeed grew from the influx of religious refugees throughout the world, it did prohibit Roman Catholics. The risk that they could be sympathizers or spies for the Spanish in St. Augustine was too great. Second, it prohibited the importation or use of Rum and other hard liquor. Only ale, beer and wine were permitted. Third, lawyers were banned from the colony. Oglethorpe and the Trustees wanted Georgia to be “free from the pest and scourge of mankind called lawyers.” They believed that each colonist should be able to plead their own case. Lastly, it prohibited the ownership and use of slaves in the colony based on humanistic principles.

His charter also had limits on the amount of land that could be owned by a single colonist, and his vision for the layout of the city of Savannah with its squares (known as the Oglethorpe Plan) is still largely in place in downtown Savannah. While he was only in the Colony for ten years, returning to England in 1743, his influence is felt to this day. We found ourselves sitting “with” him quite often in Chippewa Square, facing South.

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Meet General Hugh Mercer, Confederate Army

General Mercer was a Confederate Army General whose grandfather and namesake, Hugh Mercer of Pennsylvania, was a General under George Washington in the American Revolution. Following in his family’s footsteps, Hugh attended West Point in 1824, but was expelled for participating in the Eggnog Riot of 1826. After he was pardoned by President John Quincy Adams, Mercer was permitted to graduate in 1828, third out of a class of thirty-three cadets. After spending most of his duty in Georgia, he retired his commission in April of 1835 and settled in Savannah. In 1860 he hired a well-known architect to design a grand home for his family on Monterey Square. Soon after, in 1861, he enlisted in the Confederate Army and was commissioned a Colonel in the 1st Georgia Infantry. By October the same year he was promoted to General and served as Commander of the District of Georgia. The architect he had hired returned to New York when the war broke out and all work on the home stopped. General Mercer fought at Dalton, Marietta and Kennesaw Mountain. After the Battle of Atlanta in 1864 he became ill and was relieved of command. When the war was over he returned to Savannah but sold what existed of the home in progress. The home was completed in 1868 by the new owner John Wilder, so none of the Mercer family ever actually lived in the Mercer mansion. In 1872 General Mercer’s failing health caused him to travel to the spa resort of Baden-Baden for treatment, where he died in 1877. He was buried in the Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah.

The Mercer House has had a number of different owners. In the 20th century it was also a meeting hall for the Shriners for several decades until 1959 and then it was vacant and in disrepair for a decade until it was acquired and restored by a dedicated private restorationist in 1969.

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Meet Florence Martus, Savannah’s “Waving Girl”

In 1887, at age 19, Florence took it upon herself to be the unofficial greeter of all ships entering and leaving the Port of Savannah. She would wave anything… dish towels, pillow cases, hand towels and at night lanterns, never missing a ship for 44 years. Day or night, rain or shine, the sailors on these ships looked forward to this warm welcome in Savannah. It is estimated that 100,000 ships passed in her 44 years on watch. With her brother, who was the Lighthouse Keeper on Elba Island, they also would occasionally perform rescues for boats they discovered in distress.

When her brother retired in 1931 they moved off the island and city officials in Savannah had a welcoming ceremony for her. Her reputation as “Savannah’s Waving Girl” had circulated the globe and small gifts and poems were sent from the many sailors who missed her. In 1938 the city threw Florence a big 70th birthday party with over 3,000 in attendance, including the Savannah Police Band, the U.S. Marine Band and the Coast Guard Cutter “Tallapoosa”. When asked to give a speech she was so overcome with emotion that she could not utter a sound. She passed away February 18, 1943 and on September 27, 1943 the Liberty Ship SS Florence Martus was named. In 1971 the city commissioned sculptor Felix de Weldon (the Iwo Jima Monument sculptor) to create the Waving Girl statue. Her memorial is the only one in a city park of a Georgian woman.

Read more about Florence at Florence Martus

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Meet Jim Williams, Restorationist & Designer

No, not Kevin Spacey of “Midnight in the Garden of Good an Evil” … although he did create a remarkable likeness. While Jim has the distinction of being the only person in Georgia to be tried four times for the same crime, which after eight years resulted in an acquittal, this often overshadows his remarkable contributions to historic Savannah as we know it today.

Jim Williams was the son of a barber and studied piano and interior design before falling in love with the 19th century architecture in Savannah. In 1952 he arrived without much money and worked restoring antiques. In 1953 he opened his own antique shop and in 1955 purchased his first of more than 50 downtown buildings he restored through the years. “Downtown Savannah was crumbling as businesses fled to the suburbs. It was quiet and in the 1950s you could buy a nice home for $ 5,000.” In 1969 he purchased the Mercer House, now known as the Mercer Williams House, restored it and made it his residence. In the basement he had his workshop and the carriage house in back was his antique shop. He was said to be quite industrious and would frequently work on his restoration projects well past midnight. He was the Co-Founder of the Downtown Neighborhood Association, the President of the Board of Trustees of the Telfair Museum, a life member of the Humane Society and a wonderful musician. Through the years he had mentored and taught several young apprentices whom he thought had talent yet uncovered. Danny Hansford was one such apprentice. While only two people will ever know the truth of what happened that night, Danny had been a very troubled teen, in and out of mental hospitals and attempting suicide on two occasions. At the time of his death his mother had taken out a peace bond against him. In the four trials, the first two convictions were overturned due to police officers committing perjury and for lack of due process. The third trial was a hung jury. Eight long years after the fatal shooting Jim Williams was acquitted. He sat down for an interview with the Atlanta Journal Constitution (linked below) and spoke of rejoining Savannah’s social circles with a return to his annual Christmas gala. That was to be his last Christmas party as six months after his acquittal he suffered heart failure and died.

In an interview, his sister Dorothy Kingery, remembers …. “When you met him you would never forget him. He was electric. He was good looking, bright, well read and very social.” She shares her brother’s life work in her book “More than Mercer House… Savannah’s Jim Williams and his Southern Houses”, which includes many of his own essays about the homes he restored.

Read the 1989 Atlanta Journal Constitution interview here Atlanta Journal Constitution Jim Williams

See Dorothy Kingery’s interview here Dorothy Kingery on Jim Williams

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Here are a few of our Savannah favorites.

Favorite Five – When in Savannah

1) Walk. Walk More. Sit a spell. Enjoy the music and smell the roses.
Downtown Savannah is certainly one of the most walkable US cities I have ever seen. As one of the first planned cities in the country, Savannah is a pedestrian’s dream. Stroll often and meander through River Street, City Market, Forsyth Park, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, the 22 squares and the beautiful buildings. Pick a bench, relax and sit a spell. Within a day and a half you will feel like you are a local.

2) Take a tour.
Walking tours, trolley tours, horse drawn carriage tours… whichever is your fancy. The storytelling on the tours is awesome. You will see two trolley companies. Old Savannah Tours (the white trollies) are locally owned and operated and have options for an overview tour or a hop-on, hop-off pass. According to our guide the Old Savannah tour drivers do not have scripts, so every time you hop-on with a different driver you might get different stories. Walking history tours by Genteel & Bard and walking architecture tours by Architectural Savannah are also great. Savannah Carriage provides historic carriage rides for individuals up to parties of ten.

3) Home Tours & Museums.
Savannah has many options for Home Tours and Museums based on your interests. The Juliet Gordon Lowe House & Museum (Founder of the Girl Scouts), the Prohibition Museum, the Telfair Museum of Art, the Davenport House and the Mercer Williams House are just a few of a long list of options.

4) Savannah Theatre.
The Savannah Theatre has the distinction of being the longest operating live music theatre in the country, first hosting performances in 1818. It is a fun few hours with an entertaining ensemble. The Sunday matinee also provided a reprieve from the heat for a short time.

5) Relax at the pool or go to the beach.
Let’s face it… the heat and humidity are real. Make sure you have access to a pool for a little cool down. Tybee Island is also about a twenty minute drive if you want to have a beach day.

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Favorite Five – Local Treats

1) Alligator Soul Restaurant
There is so much delicious food in Savannah but the experience at the top of our list is the farm-to-table cuisine of Alligator Soul. The Chef provided an exquisite meal from start to finish. The Sunburst Salads (one modified), the Candied Bacon, the Diver Scallops, the Filet and the Alligator Soul Banana Beignets were all amazing! We will definitely return next time!

2) Leopolds Ice Cream
This Savannah institution is celebrating 100 years in operation. There is always a line but they keep it moving. The Ice Cream is solid and if you are adventurous, they have their own seasonal flavors that I have never seen anywhere else.

3) Breakfast at the Emporium
My favorite dish by far with the Smoked Spring Mountain Chicken Hash… it was mouthwatering! The Eggs Benedict was another popular choice and when in the south treat yourself to their beignets and the house special .. the apple fritters. Breakfast at the Emporium will be a regular on our list.

4) Peregrin Rooftop Lounge
The Peregrin Rooftop Lounge at the Perry Lane Hotel offers wonderful craft cocktails, daily specials and views for days. It’s a popular spot and can get busy up there so any early happy hour or after dinner drinks are a great option.

5) Byrds Cookies
Their motto is “mini-cookies, mighty flavor.” With several Byrds Cookie stores do a little taste test and find your favorites. The chocolate chip, confetti cookies and lemon coolers all passed with flying colors. Next up to try … key lime, Georgia peach and maple wafers.

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The Perry Lane Hotel

The Perry Lane Hotel certainly lived up to its recent award as one of the 20 Best New Hotels in the World. Champagne upon check in, an attentive staff and beautiful décor are just the beginning. With three bars, a restaurant, Bowerbird Coffee Shop, an arcade, gelato stand and a rooftop pool on property it takes the hotel experience to the next level. There are events happening every day for Perry Lane guests- from musical performances to wine tasting in the Library… they’ve got it covered. The refillable jar of Byrds Cookies in the room every day was a big hit also. The Emporium Restaurant had amazing breakfasts and the door staff team could not have been friendlier. The location is very central in the historic district, one block away from Chippewa Square. The Perry Lane Hotel created a fantastic home away from home – thank you team Perry Lane!

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Just a Few Tips-

1) Unless you will be doing day trips a car is more of a liability. With downtown parking at a premium overnight parking is very expensive. The uber ride from the airport is about ten miles.
2) That said, easy day trips from Savannah include Tybee Island, Hilton Head and St. Simons Island.
3) The Alligator Soul Restaurant is subterranean so be sure to make reservations and ask for a wine vault or “window” table. (They are not real windows but have been created to add light.)
4) For the trolley tours it is easy to decide on the spot and pay when you get on the trolley. For the more specialized walking tours and horse drawn carriage tours reservations are needed.

10- IMG_5433Savannah we love you!

Of all the Gondolas in all of Venice…..

We Wander Venice

I have loved Italy since the moment I met her. From the energy I felt my very first steps in Rome to the dreamy hillsides of Tuscany… the coasts, the islands, the alps, the food and especially her people… she is a masterpiece. It is indeed la dolce vita. One of her finest jewels is Venice, the city of marble palaces built on a lagoon. The history and the grandeur of old Venice is like an enchanting spell. My first time in Venice, however, I was actually quite sick… yet even still she captivated me. It is a place where you start walking… down alleys, over canals, through piazzas … and you just keep walking. Around every corner is the most beautiful architecture that transports you back in time to a gilded age centuries earlier. It is perhaps the only city in the world where getting lost is both inevitable and the goal!

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During our prior visit we stayed at the Hotel Danieli, a palace in its former life, right on the Grand Canal and steps away from Piazza San Marco. It was fantastic and would be a hard act to follow. Its’ grand décor was breath-taking and the breakfast on the roof terrace overlooking the canal was a highlight! This visit we chose to stay at the JW Marriott private island, Isola delle Rose. It has a complimentary water ferry from the resort to Piazza San Marco to travel back and forth at ones convenience. I wasn’t sure if I would like not being right in the heart of Old Venice, but from the moment our water taxi pulled into the dock for the JW Marriott the experience was exquisite. The service, the check-in, the assistance with anything… was all seamless. Our room was large and comfortable and the deck overlooking the grounds was expansive. Having just arrived in paradise, we quickly made the decision to avoid the mid-day heat and crowds (when the bulk of the tours and tourists are out) and spend the afternoon relaxing at the roof top pool that looked out over the water towards Venice.

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Later in the afternoon we took the ferry over to wander, get lost, sit at the cafes, check out the dueling musicians on the square and enjoy the sights. It was perfect. Venice in its’ “golden hour” is quite possibly my favorite time of all. The crowds are starting to thin and many streets we walked we had all to ourselves. As we were heading back to the Square we paused on a bridge to enjoy a light breeze and stumbled into a banner being unfurled proposing marriage to a young woman in the gondola below while musicians played on the bridge and the couple was showered with rose petals. Just after the bridge the celebratory Prosecco was waiting… this young man thought of everything! (Of course I had to airdrop the video of the proposal to the orchestrators on the bridge.) We continued on to enjoy a glass of wine, live music and people watching at St. Mark’s Square. On this evening we encountered a group in full renaissance regalia travelling through. We were able to ask them where they were all going and it was 93 Americans heading to a Venetian Wedding Ball! How cool is that for a destination wedding? A gondola proposal, a wedding and a ball … the City of Romance shines brightly.

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On our last night we scheduled a birthday dinner on the canal and chose to take the traditional gondola ride before our meal. We had not really planned it, but wandered into an area that had several waiting gondolas and decided that the trip would not be complete without this quintessential Venetian treat. Some new friends we had met were just returning from their ride and as we left they snapped a few photos of us in the gondola. The pictures always make me laugh as our energetic Gondolier posed for most, if not all, of the photos. He was well into his standard narration when he suddenly asks me “Are you a swimmer?” Surprised by this random deviation from his explanation of the city hall building I said “many, many years ago.” He straightened his back and set his own shoulders and said “I thought you were a swimmer from your shoulders.” He proceeded to tell us that his 15 year old daughter, Guilia Salin, swims for the Italian National Team as a Junior and had recently done an international championship meet in Indianapolis! He pulled out his smart phone and showed me an Arena sponsored video on YouTube about her. (For all my swimming friends… she is a mid-to-long distance freestyle competitor. She also recently medaled at the Mare Nostrum! See her video link below).  Of course I told him about my nephew getting ready for his big nationals swim competition in July as well. Of all the gondolas in all of Venice we would happen into the one owned by the Father of an Italian swimming star. It truly is a small world… and we may leave swimming but swimming never leaves us. We wish you continued success Guilia… we will be watching and cheering you on from the US!

Our dinner on the canal with the rising moon was the best birthday celebration and a perfect finale. Thank you Venezia for your magical hospitality. As always… we leave you wanting more.  Venezia ti amo. Finché non ci incontreremo di nuovo.

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Did you know?

• Between the end of the seventh century and 1797, the Republic of Venice was once one of the most powerful countries in the world. It was an economic powerhouse which that built a mercantile empire in the Adriatic and the eastern Mediterranean. In 1797, after being weakened by two centuries of war with Ottoman Turkey and only 11 ships left, it fell swiftly to Napolean Bonaparte on May 12 and their millennium of domination came to a close.
• The first public casino in the world opened in Venice in 1638. The Venetian Council did this to try to control the illegal gambling during the Venice Carnival.
• The first woman in the world who graduated from University was born in Venice June 5, 1646. Elena Lucrezia Cornaro who was awarded a doctorate in philosophy by the University of Padua, Italy, June 25, 1678. (She originally applied for a doctorate in theology but the Roman Catholic Church intervened saying no because she was a female).
• After the Napoleonic Wars and the Congress of Vienna, the Republic was annexed by the Austrian Empire, until it became part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1866.
• Venice is made of 117 submerged mini-islands which sit within the shallow waters of the Venetian Lagoon. (The lagoon has an average depth of 34 feet.) The buildings are constructed on wood pilings to rise out of the water.
• Venice has 177 canals. The S-shaped Grand Canal splits the city in two.
• Venice has 417 bridges. 72 of those are private. Most of the bridges do not have steps as they were built when horses were used for transportation
• Venice is home to more than 450 palaces
• There are about 350 gondolas in Venice. There are only 3 or 4 Gondolier licenses issued annually. To qualify, applicants must be able to finish an extensive training and pass a rigorous exam. There are only 400 licensed Gondoliers operating in Venice today.
• Venice is sinking at a rate of 1-2 millimeters per year
• Venetian legend says that if a couple in a gondola kiss as they pass underneath each bridge they will remain in love forever.

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Jaimi’s Top Five Things to Do:

1) Get lost. Venice is a magical maze of alleys, bridges and squares. Even during the busy times of day, there are many “streets” (alleys) that are empty. Wandering is a great way to lose the crowds. Just make sure you have comfortable walking shoes.
2) Take a Gondola ride. It is the quintessential way to experience the “City of Water”.
3) Go to church. In addition to the famous St. Mark’s Basilica there are 139 churches in Venice, 88 which still hold services. We love wandering in and enjoying the frequent music as well.
4) Views- St Mark’s Campanile (lift only) & if you are like me and like stairs to work a little bit for the view… St. Mark’s Clock Tower (Torre dell’Orologio) 132 stairs
5) Island of Burano – take a ferry or water taxi to this colorful fishing village. It is like walking through a kaleidoscope in time and if you are a fan of color do not miss this beauty!

Five Local Favorite Treats:

1) Enjoy the Café culture… even if it’s just for drinks and light appetizers. During the evening St. Mark’s Square has live music everywhere.
2) Osteria Oliva Nero. A lovely family run Osteria. The owner, Isabella, took our order and made recommendations for both food and wine that were wonderful.
3) L’Ombra Del Leone Café (right on the Grand Canal -great views out towards san salute and guidecca) Reserve the patio with the view. Wonderful service and the food was delicious.
4) Gelato! When in Italy it’s all about the gelato!
5) Splurge – lunch, dinner or Sunday brunch at Restaurant Terraza Danieli. Location, location, location!

What are your favorites in Venice? Please share them below.

Wander with us on Instagram @anywherewewander and join our #wewandertribe on Facebook Anywhere We Wander.

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More on Guilia Salin, Italian Swimmer

The Great Cape Lobster Roll Challenge Round 1

A few days into my Cape Cod Discovery Tour I decided it would be fun to do a Lobster Roll Tasting Challenge around the Cape.  All along Highway 28 and in each town I explored  there were so many lobster and seafood restaurants that it sort of suggested itself.  There was the “Lazy Lobster”, the “Lobster Shanty”, the “Lobster Pot”, the “Lobster Trap Fish Market“, the “Wicked Oyster”, “Seafood Sam’s” ….  the list goes on and on.  Growing up seafood was not served in our house.  It just wasn’t on the menu.  The closest I came to eating fish of any sort were Gorton’s Fried frozen fish sticks… and even those were very rare.  (Since I grew up in the Army, moving from base to base, the joke in our house is that it took me quite a few years to realize meat did not originate from a Commissary.)  In complete contrast, Scott grew up hunting on the farm and vacationing in Maine fishing camps before his earliest memories.  In fact by age eleven, he was “working” as a camp boy during the summers up in Maine.  So the tradition continues and we make the annual fishing trips to the lakes and woods of “Downeast Maine” every year.  (Why they say “downeast” is a mystery to me as it is about four hours north of civilization in my book.)  But I digress.  The thing about where we go on Big Lake in Maine is that to get a lobster roll in a restaurant it is about a one hour drive… each way!  We make that trek once or twice every time we are in Maine.  They are not as good as when we make the trip to buy fresh, whole lobsters…  but no trip to Maine would be complete without at least one lobster roll.   So imagine, by comparison, that I am driving down the Cape and it is a literal repository of lobster fare!  Hence the “Great Cape Lobster Roll Challenge” begins.  Each day in my wanderings I was too busy to stop for lunch.  Around 4:00 pm I would be hungry enough to stop and search for the “best lobster roll in” whichever town I happened to be near.

Lobster Roll Contender No. 1 – The Black Cat Tavern, Hyannis

I had walked around five miles in Hyannis and when I searched for the “best lobster in Hyannis” the Black Cat Tavern popped up first.  I was seated on the front patio and the menu read “Giant Black Cat Lobster Roll” for $ 28.95.  In Perry, Maine the price is $ 19.99.  I asked if they had a regular sized lobster roll and the answer was no, the giant one was the only one but that it was seven ounces of the very best lobster meat.  I also asked to substitute coleslaw for the potato chips.  When the roll arrived it did not seem that “giant” but it was certainly delicious.  The meat was very fresh (thankfully no marine residue which sometimes sneaks in there) with just enough dressing that the lobster flavor really stood out.  When I got the bill I noticed that they charged me an extra dollar to substitute the coleslaw that I didn’t care for, but the lobster roll was divine.  This challenge was off to a great start and contender number one was a big success!

Lobster Roll Contender No. 2 – Skipper Chowder House, South Yarmouth

The next day I was mid-Cape, so I just searched “best lobster roll in Cape Cod.”  Not very scientifically- one restaurant that popped up several times was the Skipper Chowder House in South Yarmouth.  It was also on the way back to my hotel so that worked perfectly.  The staff there was awesome. Chatting it up with my waitress, who was born and raised in Yarmouth, she gave me her insights into more fun places to see on the Cape, as well as her favorite surf spots.  She let me know that Skipper had won multiple awards for their clam chowder, so we added a cup of that as well.  They actually had three different lobster rolls on the menu. The “Traditional Lobster Roll – 4 oz”  ($ 21.99), “Skipper’s Lobster Roll Supreme – 8 oz” ($ 26.99) and “The Wicked Awesome- 8 oz” served hot with melted butter ($ 29.99).  After a little back and forth we decided that since I was also getting their signature “Cape Cod Clam Chowdah” we would stick with the traditional lobster roll.  The “chowdah” arrived and it was decadent and delicious!  The very best I can remember.  From now on every cup of chowder I order will have big shells to fill.  Then the lobster roll arrived and I could not believe my eyes.  “Are you sure this is the regular?” I asked.  “It looks like a lot more than four ounces!”  She just laughed and said “well, they don’t actually measure.”  The lobster was incredible.  I had to eat some of the lobster first before I could actually eat it as a roll and the meat was fresh, tender and oh so lightly dressed.  Wow!  We have a race!

Lobster Roll Contender No. 3 – The Lobster Pot, Provincetown

Provincetown has a lot of restaurants and night life.  There were three top options that came up as “best lobster roll” in Provincetown so I opted for the iconic Lobster Pot.  Their menu touted that their chowder had won “Best Of” by Cape Cod life for nineteen years and seven different Chowder Festival grand prizes… so I started with a cup of chowder here as well.  Had I not just had the incredible Skipper clam chowder the day before I might have been impressed.  But today it did not compare to the flavor, the amount of clams or the richness I enjoyed the night before.  Next up was the lobster roll itself.  It was certainly more typical of the lobster rolls I had experienced in the past.  It did not seem as fresh, which may be because it had too much dressing, so the flavor was more of the mass-produced and stored lobster salad.  Don’t get me wrong… it wasn’t bad.  It just did not compare to the prior two.  The best thing that happened there was the couple at the table next to me had just driven down from Maine and had happened across a place called “Red’s” that Andrew Zimmern had featured.  They said that the lobster roll there was unbelievable.  Their cell phone photo revealed that it was located in Wiscasset, Maine… which was somewhat on the route up to Big Lake.

Lobster Roll Contender No. 4 – The Tavern, Nantucket

When I arrived on Nantucket Island from the ferry out of Hyannis I walked around the docks and saw a fun restaurant called “Cru” right on the water.  Imagine my shock to see their menu listing… “Nantucket Lobster Roll – warm and buttered” listed at $ 38.00!!!  Toto… something tells me I am not in Kansas anymore!  After getting lost in the whimsy of Nantucket for most of the day, I didn’t have very much time before I had to catch the ferry back to Hyannis.  My google search tells me that the “Straight Wharf Restaurant” has a highly rated lobster roll, but as I walked in they told me that they were not serving them today.  Running out of time meant the next option was The Tavern right by the ferry dock.  Their lobster roll was a solid, basic roll you would expect in size and in dressing.  It was really good and a little on the small side, which meant I still had room for the French fries for the first time!

Alas, my time in Cape Cod, and therefore the Great Cape Lobster Roll Challenge, comes to an end.  There were several towns and several highly rated lobster rolls that I missed.  So what is a girl to do?  Why close off Round 1 and do the next round on the next trip of course.

So, without further ado, here are my rankings for the lobster roll contenders.

#4- The Lobster Pot, Provincetown

#3- The Tavern, Nantucket

#2- The Black Cat, Hyannis

#1 -The big WINNER of Round 1 is the amazingly sweet and tasty Traditional Lobster Roll at the Skipper Chowder House in South Yarmouth!

If you love lobster I highly recommend a visit when you are on the Cape.  It is a wonderful, casual restaurant with something for all ages right by the water in South Yarmouth.  I have heard that the local owners are awesome and treat their team really well… which is probably one of the reasons the service is so awesome! Keep it up Skipper…. see you next time for Round 2!

They say that once you get Cape Cod sand in your shoes you will keep coming back… and in my case that is certainly true.

Post Script.

Since it is not on the Cape, but actually in Maine it did not qualify in our Great Cape Challenge, but I did manage to stop at Red’s Eats in Wiscasset, Maine on my way up to Big Lake.  Holy lobster roll!  It was unbelievable!  It is a road side shack that always has a line.  There are some patio tables out back where you can sit to enjoy your feast.  One lobster roll will set you back $ 27.95 plus tax.  It. Was. Huge.  They serve it with local Katy Maine drawn butter because of course you have to eat over half of the lobster meat before you can even think about picking up the roll.  As I was dipping the lobster in butter I picked up not one, but TWO whole lobster tails.  I believe this roll had about two lobsters worth of meat on it.  I personally hate the work of picking a lobster, so usually I will eat the tail and call it a day.  I was in lobster heaven.  The best lobster I have ever tasted already picked for me!

So yes, Red’s Eats is simply the best and the biggest lobster roll I have ever experienced.  If you are driving the coast of Maine it is worth the trip, and, for what it’s worth, the line at about 6 pm isn’t even that long!

Thanks for wandering with us!

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Busy

If you are like me you are busy…. and that is Busy with a capital B.  It seems that everyone is… regardless of what phase of life we are in.  Everyone I can think of… from young students to retired Grandparents are busy, busy, busy.  One priority that keeps me super busy is trying to show up for my family and friends, whenever and wherever possible.  Perhaps the fact that I was not able to have children influences my commitment, but showing up for family is HUGE for me.  Being the “driver” personality I am I just “may” overcompensate. 😉  My family loves me and puts up with me anyway.

I decided to start this travel blog “Anywhere We Wander” eleven months ago.  I have started the Instagram page and stories, the Facebook page and the website… but I have yet to write my first blog.  My goal of the blog was to curate highlights from various destinations around the world.  When we travel and I am researching destinations, I am always looking for those things to do and food experiences “not to miss.”  I love TripAdvisor for certain things, but it is a LOT of information and does not always curate the top experiences very well.  So the blog is going to focus on our picks for Top Five.  Top five things to do, top five eating experiences, top five tips… you get the picture.  That way, even if your time in a certain location is limited, it can be a resource helping you hone your own list.  After all, it is what I am always looking for when I am researching.  We will also have guest bloggers, with a range of likes and dislikes, so that you have a few different lists to compare.

I had decided that since I moved to England with my family at age 6, London should be my first blog post.  After all, it was only fitting as my first international destination that started a lifelong passion for travel.  More recently I decided that my first blog should be more of the “About Us” to kick things off.

Yet, here I am, writing my first blog about “busy-ness.”  Scott and I just returned from a fantastic 23 day grand tour in Europe and were home less than a week before it was time to head to the East Coast to celebrate his parents 70th wedding anniversary.  Yes 70…. the big 7-0!!!   At almost 93 years old and almost 92 years old we need to celebrate them whenever we can!  Since the east coast is synonymous with “fishing in Maine” for Scott that was of course added to the agenda.  Early June is fly-season in the woods of Maine (black flies, mosquitos, you name it) which happen to love me.  I, however, do not return the affection.  So, I decided to opt-out of “the guys and the flies” fishing fun and have my own adventure.  I was, however, too “busy” to plan it.  People kept asking what I was going to do and I kept saying I had not figured it out yet.  I knew I would land in Manchester, New Hampshire (as we have the Southwest Airlines companion pass) but I had not decided where I would go from there.  The day got closer and closer and I still had not decided.  The night before we were flying I rented a car.  While we were sitting in the airport that morning I decided I would start at Cape Cod and see what that was all about so I made a reservation for two nights.  Perhaps even funnier is that I did not realize that Cape Cod was not, in fact, a town until I arrived at my hotel and a friend asked me which town I was staying in.  It did not take me long to realize that this beautiful slice of  beachy Americana would take longer than two days to enjoy, so I have settled in for the duration.  I am not sure what I expected, but it is actually quite amazing here.  More importantly, enjoying this unplanned, solo adventure without a schedule is a respite that I did not even know I needed.

So back to busy-ness.  We all have our own forms of Busy.  What this adventure is teaching me is that no matter how aligned our Busy is with our Purpose we sometimes need the time and space to just be with ourselves in a new environment that removes the noise and lets us truly rest.  I absolutely love sharing my journeys with Scott.  I also love the camaraderie and fun of sharing adventures with family and friends.  It never occurred to me that I was missing anything as I go about scheduling my “Busy” and wandering the world. There is certainly a place for quiet discovery, unplanned adventures and simple relaxation. Thank you Cape Cod for the reminder.

#anywherewewander #allwhowanderarenotlost #travel #travelblog #busy #time #taketime

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Arrivederci 2017 and Ciao 2018!

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Arrivederci 2017 and Ciao 2018! #2017bestnine is in the books. We can’t wait for all of the places #wewander in 2018.  Cheers to making this the best year ever!
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Follow @anywherewewander for more 🌎✈️☀️ #worldtravel #adventure #wanderlust #bucketlist #travel #luxurytravel #luxury #travelinspiration #welltravelled #TLpicks #fodorsonthego #IamATraveler #anywherewewander #AWW #destinationhighlights #localdelights #thatonething #wewander #cntraveler @cntraveler @fodorstravel @travelandleisure @travelchannel