Though I can always be counted on to tap my feet and sing along when Rock the Casbah comes over the radio, The Clash is far from my favorite band. And yet, their 1982 hit Should I Stay or Should I Go is the perfect soundtrack to the travel dilemma I’m currently pondering.
When I wrote about our planned travels for the year, all our trips but one were set in stone. A journey to Austin, Texas, in October was the only one asterisked as tentative. The husband wanted to see Circuit of the Americas, a car race that I didn’t have (nor currently have, nor will ever have) any interest in. However, just back from Miami where he watched the city’s first Formula 1 race, he no longer rates the Austin circuit as urgent. He’ll almost certainly go someday, but it can wait. Furthermore, some cursory travel planning has revealed that there’s already a dearth of available lodging in the area on race weekend. As unappealing as loud, smelly car races are to me, they clearly have a following—tickets sell out fast, and hotel rooms along with them.
This brings me to the crux of my problem: I now have a four-day weekend in October just sitting there, taunting me. To be honest, except for relatively recent trips to San Antonio and Phoenix, we usually make a point of staying home during this annual break. I may love travel, but I’m also a big homebody, and because of that, this autumn weekend is my favorite break of the entire year (aside from summer, duh). Unattached to any holiday, it’s free from the cooking, baking, shopping, decorating, gift-buying, festivity-planning, cleaning, hosting, or long drives to visit family that add stress to many of the other school-year breaks. It’s just four lovely days of me-centered, obligation-free bliss.
Then again, a place like Savannah is really at it’s most visitable in spring and fall, when the heat and humidity aren’t so oppressive that they make summertime in Death Valley seem appealing. The city has been on my must-see list for a while, and though Charleston, South Carolina, is higher on that list, I have reason to believe I might be headed there next year. It’s a long shot, but I’m saving it just the same, which brings us back to Savannah.
My vacillation has inspired a pros and cons list to aid in my decision making. I’ve asked the husband—my would-be journeymate—for his opinion on the matter, but he refuses to discuss the topic (something about not wanting to “get (me) started down the obsessive path of travel planning”). Since you’re much more reasonable than the husband, I’ll put my list to you:
- sprawling live oaks draped in Spanish moss
- genteel Southern charm
- Southern cuisine
- history and architecture
- cobblestone streets and verdant parks
- pleasant ambling in an eminently walkable city—no car rental needed
- quaint B&Bs in the historic district
- interesting museums (Savannah History Museum, Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters, Prohibition Museum, among others)
- pleasant weather (unless there’s a hurricane—see Cons)
- October is hurricane season!!
- no me-centered, obligation-free weekend of bliss—a much-needed indulgence after the most stressful six weeks of the school year
- onerous work-related obligations hemming us in are preventing us from making it a five-day weekend and begging the question: Is four days in Savannah—two of which would be travel days—enough? I mean, a good museum can chew up half a day or more, and Savannah appears to have several.
- as I opined in Travel: Long-n-Strong or Short-n-Sweet, the ratio of travel prep stress to travel enjoyment can be out of whack on such a short trip, even if all goes well.
- I’ve read that weekends can get a little over the top due to the city’s liberal open container laws and the bachelor(ette) parties it draws. A little revelry is fine, but I’ve seen words like “debauchery” used to describe Savannah weekends.
Ultimately, of course, the decision will rest with the husband and me (and I’ve just found two museums—Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum and National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force—that may break the stalemate and open things up for discussion), but I’m curious what you, dear readers, think I should do.
So come on and let me know. Should I stay or should I go?