Monday, November 25, 2013
Rock 'n Savannah, Pt. 1
After our family moved out east to Philly, a wave of nostalgia would overwhelm me every time we flew back to San Diego. Seeing the red tiled roofs overhead was a signal that I was home again. Now that I live out on the west coast again, I would have to say that my annual trips to Savannah have taken over in the department of nostalgia. I guess it's true what they say about the grass being greener. Regardless of trite sayings, Savannah is a beautiful yet quirky little gem of the South, kept fresh by the College of Art & Design, which brings an element of youthful culture to the city. I decided to do the Savannah Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon again this year; any excuse to travel to Savannah is a good one as far as I'm concerned.
I took the red eye out, arriving the morning before the race. I was actually able to sleep on the plane, so I felt pretty rested by the time we landed. The city was preparing for the race, as huge artistic guitars began to dot the historic downtown area. The first thing on the agenda was to get to the hotel to drop off the bags and freshen up a bit. Typically I stay at the Hamilton-Turner Inn, but this time, decided to spend the first few nights at The Mansion on Forsyth Park since the finish line for the race was a mere block away.
The cab driver had a difficult time getting to the hotel due to roadblocks that were put out to help facilitate the setup of the race. He got out of the car, moved one out of the way, and then went postal on the race employee who told him he couldn't do that. It was decided at that point that this was not the cab driver we'd use on the way back to the airport!
The hotel was built in 2005, adding on to an existing brick mansion from 1888, thus the name. Here is a tower that remains from the original structure:
The property is well maintained with a huge collection of modern art from hotel owner Richard Kessler.
We were told that none of the art was for sale, but that if you asked, Kessler would give you a price.
This was one of the pieces I really loved, by artist Vasily Shulzhenko.
The rest of the art was a little funky for my taste.
A large copper wall hanging at the entrance with the hotel's emblem helped remind guests where they were staying:
The inside lobby was like an overdone Roman palace. I wouldn't say it was my taste, but you could definitely tell that some money had been dropped on designing it. More statuary...
luxuriously rich materials used for the registration desk:
lots of crystal and sparkles along with fresh flowers to help tone things down a bit...just a bit.
There was even a painting by the artist Arvid that depicted my very favorite winemaker, Silver Oak.
A pool outside the lobby was actually more of a place to stand around with a cocktail in your hand. I made an attempt to do some laps in it, but it was just too damn small for that. I would call this a poser pool.
The marble and flowers in the elevator seemed vaguely reminiscent of a mortuary.
The room was beautiful; large and well appointed, with a great view of the poser pool. The bed was VERY comfortable, too.
With the advent of mobile devices and laptops, do people actually use desks anymore? Inquiring minds want to know.
The tub came in handy after the race:
One thing I can definitely say about this hotel; the staff was VERY well trained and genuinely friendly. Every single person we dealt with was a pleasure. Huge kudos to Kessler on that one.
Once we were settled in, it was off to The Expo at the Convention Center. The line wasn't too bad for the ferry to cross the river:
A panorama shot across the river to the Convention Center:
Before we knew it, we were there, picking up our racing materials:
More to come...
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