Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Well, the sign outside the conference hotel in Savannah heavily suggested that we would be seeing some alligators. Or, at least, that if we did see some alligators, we should not feed them. The trip was a failure in that we didn't see even a single alligator.

Just so everyone knows: driving on the interstate across Georgia in a rainstorm is a BAD IDEA. You remember the night the lights went out in Georgia? Well, apparently they stayed out, because it's the darkest damn state I've ever seen. I mean, the astronomer in me hates light pollution, right? But my god, would it kill you all to put a street light or two near the off-ramps? I think your road-side commerce numbers would take a dramatic leap upward if you did. I'm just saying that I'm not getting off the interstate during a rainstorm in the black of night if I can't see what might be waiting for me. Just saying.

We did eventually pull off into the great dark night and get Catherine some boiled peanuts.

The conference was fine, and I learned a thing or two. It was fun having Jim around even though we only attended one session together (and he was late and then left early). Catherine apparently had a good time learning the history of Savannah. That's another thing--you want to know how to tell when you're over-interpreting your town for tourists? When you feel compelled to put up a sign telling everyone where Oglethorpe pitched his tent, that's when. In case you're all wondering where that might be, the sign/bench is in front of Hyatt Regency Hotel on Bay Street (see the Oglethorpe Bench Monument here). I'm serious. I have been trying to think of a more intensely interpreted location, and I just can't think of one. Possibly Gettysburg, but a) you need all the signage you can get to understand troop movement at Gettysburg and b) I still think Savannah has more.

On the way home, we stopped at Chick/Chatt (although we only saw the Chick part of that relationship). I think this is our first Western Theater battlefield, and I liked it enough that I'm writing my heritage paper (due Friday!) on it. Well, Chickamauga and the nearby lost battlefield of Franklin, Tennessee. We couldn't quite force ourselves into the tourist hell of Lookout Mountain (SEE RUBY FALLS), but plan to do it before we leave the Midwest.

There's probably other stuff I could write about if I tried a little harder. Churchill's Pub serves a good beer (says Catherine), as does Moon River Brewing Company (acoustics aren't great at Moon River, but it's your chance to eat in a building that a) is directly adjacent to a demolition site and b) once lost its roof to Hurricane David. I ate two pralines in two days. Over-priced, but good. The shipping traffic on the river is awesome. There was a dead body found in a nearby hotel. Catherine met a nice guy named Mr. Duncan who has a map shop with his wife (conveniently named V & J Duncan Antique Maps, Prints & Books). She bought me two maps of India (one from 1906 and one from 1860) and an 1858 restrike of an engraving depicting a Holi festival. We found out that Nashville, TN is only a 5-hour drive from Bloomington. We found out that Savannah is more like a 15-hour drive from Bloomington (Mapquest lies).

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