Saturday, April 14, 2012

Savannah for St. Paddy's, Our First Night

First things first - we booked our trip to Savannah for St. Patrick's Day just over a year in advance. We got a AAA rate on the Four Points Sheraton in the historic district - with taxes it was just over $100 a night, so basically...a steal for a Thursday-Friday-Saturday stay over what is possibly the biggest holiday of the year in this city! Whereas some friends who tried to book a room in May 2011 (so, about 10 months in advance) couldn't find one in the historic district for less than $289 a night. Needless to say, this was just one of many times that my super-far-in-advance planning was quite rewarding ;)

We worked half-days on Thursday March 15th and then drove the approximately four hours to Savannah that afternoon, arriving around 5:45 in the evening. We had scheduled a Haunted Pub Crawl with Cobblestone Tours for 8 PM, but before that we decided to grab a quick bite to eat.

Vinnie Van Go-Go's was recommended by the Moon Handbook Savannah that I read just before our trip - as the "best pizza place in Savannah". Now...they don't except reservations and you have to pay in cash, both of which I can deal with. Unfortunately, by the time we checked in and changed and headed out there was too long of a wait for us to sit down and eat dinner at Vinnie's. Instead we just grabbed slices from their to-go counter.

The verdict? Well, I'm a pizza nut and the best thing I can say about this pizza is that it was...okay. The crust was very bland and there was altogether too much sauce. It wasn't the worst pizza I've had, but if it's truly the best pizza in Savannah, then...I feel bad for Savannahians.

Also, I can't help but note that it bugs me that this restaurant is named Vinnie Van Go-Go's. Because obviously it's named after Vincent Van Gogh. Who was Dutch. And so far as I know, the Dutch have nothing to do with pizza. Do they think that Vincent Van Gogh was Italian? Or do they think that by changing Vincent to Vinnie it sounds...funny, and Italian? I just don't get it.

Anyway. Our Haunted Pub Crawl started at the Moon River Brewing Company, so after we ate our pizza we headed over there and decided to try some of their beers before the tour began.

Moon River Sampler
About to go on the Haunted Pub Crawl
Unfortunately, the beer was just about as okay as the pizza. They were all extremely hoppy, which in my experience means that they just aren't quality brews and the brewery is trying to hide that. Though to be honest, I've also had worse. So it is what it is, I suppose.

Our tour began in the basement of Moon River. Our tour guide, Julie, introduced herself and told us about the building and the, err, ghosts that haunt it.

Now, we really liked Julie. She was funny, she was friendly, and she was knowledgeable. I would highly suggest taking a tour with her, whether it be this one or a carriage tour during the day (because she does those as well, though we didn't get to experience one of her carriage tours...sad). If you believe in ghosts, than this Haunted Pub Crawl is right up your alley. If you are more like me and don't believe in ghosts, it's still a fun evening. Basically it's two and a half hours of bar-hopping and drinking and hearing about Savannah's history...and, of course, hauntings.

Our second stop was Pour Larry's, a dive-bar type place in a basement in City Market, and third was Hangfire, which was a really neat little corner bar that sort of came into play later in our weekend (sort of). The great thing about Hangfire (besides the pretty good beer selection) was that you could get kind of obscure drinks there, a la Dark & Stormy's. Plus they had really cool light fixtures!

Our last stop was another little corner bar, O'Connells. They had a pretty big whiskey selection, but other than that it was a bit slow and we decided to head back to the City Market area once the tour was over. We did stop and rest in one of the squares, sipping our beers and talking, which was honestly really nice. It was fairly quiet, and it was the last night of that that we experienced on our trip, but honestly who wouldn't love hanging out in a quiet beautiful square, drink in hand?

Of course...then we went to another bar and kept drinking and went to bed too late. I think this end-of-the-night picture says it all.

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