You know how thinking back on certain memories can make you feel like they occurred yesterday but also seems like so long ago all at the same time? That’s exactly how it felt to be celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary back on March 26th. It was especially surreal as we watched two couples get married that weekend while we were away celebrating our own milestone.
On March 26, 2011, Brad and I were married. We actually now live very close to the church in which we were married so we of course had to stop for a quick selfie before we hit the road. And once we were on the road, it started to rain just like it had 10 years earlier. Every big day we have celebrated together, it has rained. We of course took the wedding day rain to be good luck like the old wives’ tale says but it also rained the day we took Laney home from the hospital in 2017 as well as the day we brought Morgan home a year and a half later. I love these little God winks. They are never lost on us.
Since we became parents back in January 2017 when Laney was born, our life has been focused on kids and family time with few opportunities for Brad and I to really pour back into our marriage. We left Laney for a quick less than 24 hours trip to go to Greenville, SC when she was 4 months old to go to an Eric Church concert — Brad’s favorite country artist. And we left both girls for the same length of time while I accompanied Brad on a wives-included business trip to Charleston. Other than that, our foursome has done almost everything together.
We had dreamed about going to St. Lucia for this anniversary, however, with the pandemic we decided to put that on hold. (We’re coming for you one day, St. Lucia!) With our current upstairs renovation still underway, our belongings are still out of sorts until we can get the house reorganized, but as I have cleaned out, I have come across some really fun things I haven’t laid eyes on in years — our engagement announcement from the newspaper, honeymoon pictures as well as a picture we took of the location Brad proposed in Savannah, GA during our senior year of college at Georgia Southern University. It reminded us that in that moment, we dreamed of the day we could afford staying in a hotel like the Westin across the Savannah River.
So can you guess where we decided to go to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary? Yep. Savannah, GA to stay at the Westin on the river. Back where we agreed on forever.
R O A D T R I P
On Friday, March 26, we loaded the car, dropped the girls off at school, picked up bagel sandwiches from Chick-fil-A, took a quick selfie at the church, picked up our cake from our baker and began our journey south for our first weekend away from the kids to focus on and celebrate us! Because we now live where we got married, it was so fun to call the bakery that made our wedding cake 10 years to have them make us an anniversary cake in the same flavor and style of our wedding cake! She even gave me a cake topper that she insisted I take with us. So sweet! It took at least half of the trip for me to get used to the quiet coming from the backseat and not having to pass back snacks every so often.
As it rained, we had some really great conversations reminiscing about the years that had passed. Savannah, GA is only a short two and a half hour drive from where we live so it went by pretty quickly. We accidentally missed our turn in to the hotel so we went across the bridge and drove through downtown, parking and walking a portion of River Street. We stopped in to the Savannah Candy Company and had a piece of praline. Because did you really go to Savannah if you didn’t have one and document it?! We also bought a peanut butter cup Rice Krispie treat that we enjoyed later that afternoon. Spoiler alert: It was not worth the $8 that it cost.
C H E C K I N G – I N
It was such a crazy feeling to pull up to the hotel that we had admired so many years before. Once we checked in and grabbed some lunch, we did what any parents on an adult-only getaway do — we took a nap! (Ha!) And it was glorious! At one point, I heard little feet running down the hall and thought it was Morgan coming into our room until I realized I wasn’t at home.
Once up, we got ready for dinner. On our desired menu for the weekend was sushi and steak with sushi being our choice for Friday night. After some research online we found what we thought would be the perfect place based on the menu and reviews.
D I N N E R D A T E
CO takes OpenTable reservations online, however it was showing none available for that night so we walked in to see about the wait. We walked into a quaint space with a modern vibe, a small bar area and different sized dining tables. They were full at the time but told us to come back at 8:30pm. We agreed to the wait and felt like rebels since that was usually the time we were putting kids to bed. Who were we?! In the mean time, we decided to walk over to City Market, a spot I remember from our day trips to Savannah when we were in college. (Statesboro is a small college town with limited shopping and restaurants, but with Savannah only a 45 minute drive away, it was a fun place to spend Saturdays from time to time.) As we were walking there, we passed Lady & Sons which is where Brad took me to dinner the night he proposed. It used to be hot spot! They don’t take reservations over the phone — you have to show up in person early in the day to get your name on the list. Doesn’t appear that’s necessary now but when we ate there it was a big deal to have gotten a table!
City Market is a really cute area with restaurants, live music, outdoor seating, bars, shopping, brick walkways and lights strung through the trees. Savannah, GA also allows open container so you can grab a drink at the bar to go, which I did. I tried to Georgia Peach Sangria from Cafe at City Market and sipped on it as we walked around listening to the live music.
We returned to the restaurant at 8:30pm and were seated. We had already looked over the menu and knew what we wanted to order but also enjoy getting recommendations from our waiter or waitress at places like this. On this particular occasion, our waiter made a recommendation for a lemon sushi roll. It was one that reading it sounded a little strange and was something we wouldn’t order, however, we took his word for it and tried it.
With little pieces of sliced lemon on top, we were skeptical but it was SO good! It was like a refreshing bite of spring in your mouth. The appetizer and our sushi plate was one of the best we have had in awhile! We even asked for additional app sauce to use for our sushi too. It was an incredible dinner!
A W A L K D O W N M E M O R Y L A N E
Afterwards, though we surprisingly didn’t feel as stuffed as we thought we would, we decided to go down to River Street and walk to the spot where Brad proposed.
What was once a dark walkway down away from the shopping part of River Street is now illuminated by a parking lot for a new hotel, the Homewood Suites which looked really nice! From there, we went back to the hotel and enjoyed some of our cake before calling it a night. It had started to melt during our quick walk on River Street earlier in the day so it slid slightly on the plate, but that lemon poppyseed cake with buttercream frosting tasted just as good as it did on our wedding night! I even packed our wedding cake knife set.
S A T U R D A Y
The next morning, we slept in, leisurely got up and got dressed for the pool. We grabbed Starbucks, which was onsite in our hotel, and found a spot towards the back of the pool deck. We sat in some Adirondack chairs around the fire pit overlooking the river. Brad had some work to do on his laptop and I wanted to read on my new Kindle Paperwhite. One of my favorite things about staying on the river was seeing the large tug boats and the huge cargo ships pass by! We also witnessed the groom and his groomsmen practicing their choreographed dance for that evening’s wedding reception.
S P A T I M E
After that entertainment and some R&R, we took the shuttle from our hotel over to the golf course clubhouse which is part of the resort where the spa is located. We had booked a couples massage for early afternoon. Prior to our treatment, we had complimentary champagne and were able to sit together in the co-ed common area, which was nice since some spas keep you separated. We enjoyed a 50 minute massage and then a 20 minute soak in the (hot!) hot tub in our room. It was so relaxing! Afterwards, we were given trail mix, yogurt covered pretzels and dark chocolate covered espresso beans. We took a quick peek out at the golf course, which was beautiful and then took the shuttle back to the hotel.
S H O P P I N G O N R I V E R S T R E E T
Back in our room, we got dressed for our evening out to go do some shopping on River Street. Once there we were able to find what we wanted fairly quickly. When we travel, we always get a new magnet for our refrigerator. I wanted to find a hat too and then we also wanted something small for the girls. I found mine in a cute shop that wasn’t your typical tacky tourist stop and then we later found mermaid hats for the girls. At that point we had had enough of River Street. It was the same as we had remembered from our college days … crowded with interesting locals mixed with tourists, the same restaurants with meh menus and scary staircases. The only other thing I had wanted to do was grab a drink at Wet Willy’s for old time’s sake, but the line was so long! It was the only place we had seen monitoring occupancy and doing temperature screenings. Otherwise, Savannah was very relaxed in regards to the pandemic.
Our original plan was to go to a nice restaurant for seafood and steak back in City Market, however, we opted for something easy on our last night. We ordered pizza from Vinnie Van Go-Go’s which is also in City Market. It’s a walk up and go type place. You can either order at the window or you can place you order online to pick up. We ordered ours online as we drove over that way from River Street. While we waited, I enjoyed another fruity sangria from Cafe at City Market and we people watched. It was prom night for Savannah high schoolers so a lot of kids were out taking pictures and going to dinner and it also seemed like every bride was there for their bachelorette party doing those pedal carts where you drink while propelling the cart as you show really interesting dance moves to the loud music playing. Let’s just say all of this made the wait go by really quickly!
We took the pizza back to the hotel where we enjoyed outside on the patio. The hotel had little intimate set ups with private fireplaces. So nice! The pizza was 10/10!
The rest of the evening was spent outside by the river. After dinner, we shifted to an oversized lounger right by the river and watched a bunch of ships go by. Later, we sat in the hot tub (once all of the cheer competition tweens were finally taken to their rooms) before heading up for the night.
S U N D A Y
Once again, we slept in and took our time getting up. We initially wanted to go downstairs to have breakfast in the restaurant, but we had leftover pizza that we enjoyed cold and decided to just grab Starbucks coffee and hit the road feeling rested, rejuvenated and reconnected.
W E L C O M E H O M E
My parents met us at our house to drop the girls off and it was such a sweet reunion. We got to hear all about their fun weekend with Nana & PawPaw and we spent the afternoon relaxing together. Even though we weren’t gone that long, we were ready to see our girls. Because even amongst the engagement excitement in Savannah all those years ago, we were dreaming about the days we are living now.
O V E R A L L T H O U G H T S
Overall, we had the best weekend together! We checked the nostalgia box by staying at the Westin on the Savannah River; however, they are due for and upgrade. We probably wouldn’t stay there again due to several things other than the need for a decorative overhaul: poor service and not the best food options. Room service is still currently not being offered and there were times when no food options were even open, which we ran into when we wanted a mid afternoon snack but nothing was to be found until the restaurant opened for dinner. (The pool grill is still closed.) We also ran into some poor service. They would run out of pool towels and even after being notified several times, didn’t do anything to solve the problem. River Street also isn’t much to look at. While on River Street, you don’t look at anything other than what’s ahead or at the water. Being 10 stories up in our hotel, the buildings looked like they hadn’t had a pressure washing in years. I think I was expecting a cute view of something like you’d see in Charleston but that was a hard no. We were initially bummed that we couldn’t get a room with a balcony since they are extremely limited, but luckily it didn’t matter once we saw the view.
Q U I C K R E F E R E N C E G U I D E
Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa (where we stayed)
Homewood Suites (newer hotel near our engagement spot)
Perry Lane Hotel (not on the river, but it to look like a cruise ship on land)
CO (Awesome sushi (!!) & Pan-Asian far with a focus on Vietnamese dishes)
Cafe at City Market (yummy to-go Sangrias)
Belford’s (Upscale steak & seafood restaurant. This was on our list but when with pizza instead. Definitely going next time we are in Savannah!)
THINGS TO DO
At this point in my life, I have never been happier and I feel like our marriage is as strong as ever. Life has been good to us thus far and we have so much for which to be thankful!