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.

Would they stay or would they go?

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.

I don’t see the appeal. Photo by Chris Peeters on Pexels.com

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.

Preparing for holiday breaks invites a flurry of emotions. Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

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.

Appealing, no? Source: allposters.com

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:

Pros:

  • TRAVEL!
  • 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)

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?

54 thoughts

  1. Go to Savannah. It’s wonderful, friendly, low-key. We’ve been there for a long weekend a couple of times and enjoyed the boozy vibe. I didn’t see any debauchery, but did see an annual dachshund race.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Ally – I appreciate the feedback, and if I could time it to coincide with that dachshund race, I surely would. By the way, I just told the husband about your comment and he remarked that he’s impressed you’re up this early (assuming your in the Central Time Zone). I can’t say how much his impression would be affected if he discovered you are in the Eastern Time Zone. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I also use the carbon dioxide factor when making travel plans. Would being able to combine it with Charleston later on be more environmentally sensible and would you have more time to spend in each place if you went at a different time?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s something to consider. Unfortunately, as teachers, we are handcuffed to the restrictive school calendar, and summers (I’m told) are oppressively hot down in the Southeast. Still, it’s something to think about. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My sister and I went there for a weekend several years ago, as an add-on to a trip to Tybee Island. It was great. Fun to walk around and see everything, great food, and very different than other cities you’d visit in the US. It was like a smaller, less drunk version of New Orleans. (To be clear, I was never drunk in either locale, but many people who visit NOLA seem to think that is required.) I can appreciate the desire to sit at home. But you can do that for most of the winter.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. My philosophy on travel is if you want to go somewhere and you have the time and you can afford it, don’t put it off! So my advice is to go to Savannah! October is a beautiful time of year to visit. The Ships of the Sea and the Mighty 8th museums are wonderful. You will need to take an uber or cab to get to get to the Mighty 8th but it is worth it. Also be sure to get down to the Plant Riverside District on River Street. And eat lunch at Mrs. Wilke’s. You might enjoy taking one of the trolley tours. You’ll learn a lot about the city without wearing yourself out walking everywhere. PS – I have lived very close to Savannah for over 40 years.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I say go to Savannah! 🙂 From everything that I have read and heard it is one of the best places to visit and October would really be a great time to enjoy it without the terrible heat and endless crowds. Sounds like a perfect long weekend trip.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. When I published this I actually though to myself, “Grand Misadventures will surely have been to Savannah before and I’ll bet they can tell me all about it.” You’ve been so many places down in that neck of the woods, but not Savannah yet, it seems! Heck, maybe I’ll be giving YOU information about Savannah next fall. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I’d be torn too. I love the fall season here at home so it’s hard to talk myself into traveling at that time… even though it’s often also the perfect season in the areas I want to travel to (okay, a little convoluted, but hopefully you get the drift). Savana is beautiful and certainly worthy of a longer stay. Maybe go and “taste” the city, then plan a return trip when you can spend more time.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I would say – go to Savannah but master the art of doing nothing while you are away. I know it’s easier said than done, but give yourself a break! Allow some time for exploring the local area and visiting museums. Alternatively, sleep all day if you want or just read a book – if you feel pressured to ‘make the most of every single second you’ll never relax. It’s ok to not leave your hotel room if that’s what makes you happy – this is your time, do what you want with it. Aiva xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t know if I could sleep all day, but I will have to master the art of not seeing too many museums if we go. It might be more of a “wander around” kind of long weekend. It’s so different from the northern US that just wandering around at a leisurely pace should be enjoyable. Thanks for your perspective, Aiva.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. There’s also Hilton Head Island to consider, which is only 40 minutes from Savannah, an easy day trip so you would have to rent a car for a day but that would be easy enough. HH tends to be a bit more “refined” I guess I’d say than Savannah. I’ve never heard anyone describe HH as a big party town, like Savannah. Don’t get me wrong, I love Savannah too but there’s a reason I’ve been to HH way more times than I’ve been to Savannah.
    My post on HH: https://wordpress.com/post/runningtotravel.wordpress.com/14269

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I had no idea that Savannah was a popular tourist destination, especially for bachelorette parties! If anything, I would’ve thought that Atlanta would be bustling more. Then again, I’ve never been to Georgia (although I have extended family there), but I think it’d be neat for you to head over there. Always maximize your time enjoying yourself, even if it’s a four-day weekend!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Still undecided but leaning heavily toward waiting a year. In a year we’ll have the ability to make it a 5-day weekend. I’m told 2 full days just isn’t enough. To wait a year in exchange for a whole extra day seems reasonable to me. Just the other day we realized that Easter weekends each year provide an option of going. It’s all down to how much personal leave I’ve accumulated. We teachers don’t get much because of all the other breaks we have.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m from Georgia, so a little biased. Oct is a great time for Savannah, because it’s not terribly hot. Tybee Island has a wonderful beach. The Crab Shack is a fun restaurant. Take a dolphin boat tour! Or go kayaking at Skidaway Island. In the city, River Street is great for watching the container ships navigate the harbor, watching roving artists & musicians, and perusing the typical shops. Take a nighttime ghost tour (walking or carriage) to hear the dark history of pirates & notorious characters. The city is very walkable, with a multitude of green squares with fountains & benches, etc. Check out the SCAD (Savannah College of Art & Design) Art Museum. Savannah has a very interesting history & it’s a beautiful city! I think you would have a great time!

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I can relate to your decision quandry, but if there’s a choice of going and not going anywhere, I’d choose going! I’ve just pondered a long road trip back east to visit family in Mass. and Canada, but after paying to fill my gas tank, decided I should wait until next year, when I plan to buy a hybrid car. Just too expensive driving these days, will take a few smaller trips instead.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I think you should stay home, pour yourself one of those reds you bought on one of your previous West Coast trips and curl up with The Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt. It will get you in the mood for a proper visit. Mel (PS. Apologies for my silence – I am having nightmares with me email address. Hopefully we will return to normal viewing this week! Ugh!)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m definitely planning to read that book before I go – whenever that is. Actually, we’re leaning toward putting off the trip by a year. In a year we can make it a five-day weekend. One extra day may not sound like much on, say, a 10-day trip, but on a 4-day trip, an extra full day will probably make it feel very different/less rushed. No worries – I hope your tech problems are sorted soon.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I just checked out your post. I’m glad to know there’s another book out there that relates to Savannah besides Midnight… We’ve decided to put off our visit there for either a year or a year and a half. That way we can make it a 5-day trip rather than a 4-day trip. Thanks for the link.

      Like

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