We were at Wormsloe Plantation (above), remarking on the flora and fauna along the Skidaway Narrows when I noticed a girl, probably thirteen or so, standing nearby. I screamed at her, "Watch out!" She didn't flinch. Not even her eyelids moved.
"Did it work?" I asked her, referring to her hiccups and my attempt to startle them away.
To which my husband said, "You mean did you convince her you're crazy? Yes. Yes it worked."
She looked at my husband. She looked at me. And then she hiccuped.
These southerners are cool cucumbers. Beginning with General James Oglethorpe, who founded the city of Savannah in 1733 in a burst of idealistic exuberance. He outlawed slavery and rum. He promoted freedom of religion and expression. He made peace with the local Native American tribe and Savannah escaped the kind of warfare that plagued similar settlements.
His city is flourishing today. It is less stuffy than Charleston. A little quieter than New Orleans. It is friendly, fun, and full of ghosts. (It's also full of tour buses. That's really my only beef.) If you're a rolling stone, put this spot on your list. If you're an armchair traveler, please join me for a short stroll through the Hostess City of the South.
FOURTEEN OF OUR FAVORITE SOUTHERN TITLES
We talked books a lot on this getaway. Our friends are great readers. I polled them for you and here are their favorite Southern titles.
My friend Henry's picks: "Good Country People" by Flannery O'Connor, "Why I Live at the P.O." by Eudora Welty, and if Cormac McCarthy qualifies as a southern writer, then "Blood Meridian" is his third pick.
My friend Heather's picks: "Bastard Out of Carolina" by Dorothy Allison, "Cold Mountain" by Charles Frazier, "Prince of Tides" by Pat Conroy, and "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" by Rebecca Wells.
My husband's picks: "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee, "Confederacy of Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole, and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain.
My picks: "The Keepers of the House" by Shirley Ann Grau, "As I Lay Dying" by William Faulkner, "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe" by Fannie Flagg, and "Hold Still" by Sally Mann.
For more armchair traveling down south, click here to read my post Three Sweet Days in New Orleans.