november in savannah - pt. I of III

Gather 'round, folks! Here's a three part tale about an absolutely enchanting weekend spent in the sweet southern town of Savannah. This story starts back in June, I was dancing in my driveway with a save-the-date for Jeanne and R clutched in my hand. I've been giddy for months about this wedding, the first one of my adult life that I didn't have to work. But wait, no, I guess this story goes back a heck of a lot farther back than June. It goes back to my days in SCAD days volunteering at DeSotoRow (now Fresh Exhibitions) with my grand gallery family, Jeanne as one of the acting mother's to the crazy group of student volunteers. 

these photos are the product of sleep deprivation and success...

these photos are the product of sleep deprivation and success...

...a great auction for our dear DeSotoRow, and a rare photo of a mostly beardless R.

...a great auction for our dear DeSotoRow, and a rare photo of a mostly beardless R.

I met R through Jeanne, and found that for her electric exuberance and silly side, he had a complimentary cool quiet and utterly engaging personality. You know those people you meet and you're instantly like, 'man, I totally wanna have a beer and pick this person's brain!'? They're those kinds of folks. For all their magnetism between friends and strangers alike, they've an even greater draw to each other and are kind of a power couple; unfortunately, Ranne doesn't have quite the ring that Brangelina does, but we'll all power on regardless.

ANYWHO! Back to this weekend. My guy couldn't get out of school/work to visit Savannah for a long weekend, so my mom and my pup and I headed south Wednesday night. 

I do so dig empty gas stations at night on 95.

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We made it to Florence, South Carolina for breakfast, and just in time to get some great early morning shots; I rarely wake up for sunrise, but holy cannoli, it's so worth it!

Florence was sleepy this early, but a great place to stretch our legs.

This, by the way, is what majority of the 10.5 hour drive looks like.

The last time I visited town, I somehow managed to not make it to Zunzi's. Anyone who has lived in or visited Savannah will generally tell you that you HAVE to go here, and that you HAVE to order *insert menu item here* because it's heaven on earth. Me? I don't care what you order, just go there, respond to any affirmative questions with "shit ya!" and get ready for a magical food experience. It's worth the wait in line, it's worth the sticky fingers, and you should totally invest in a half and half rooibos/lemonade. My go-to is the portobello sub with chicken. I'm literally drooling writing this paragraph, yikes. 

This is the gorgeous joint we scooped, so cozy and right on Taylor!

After settling in, I decided to buzz around town and make some overdue social calls. I'm sad I forgot to bring my camera in to Alexander and Bergen Hall where I visited some of my former professors and ceramics homies. I got a little choked up in the studios; art school was exhausting and so, so much work, but I miss it every day of my life. I miss Savannah, too, with all it's quirks and strangely lovely people.

Part of my goal in visiting Savannah was to photograph as many of my friends as possible and to just enjoy shooting in between my paid gigs. It's a rare thing that I pick up my camera for personal work for more than a few night shots or food work here and there...

My bud Ashley from Kent Island I've known most of my life. She's been living in Savannah for quite a few years; we worked together for a bit, but now she's apprenticing at Kustom Hustle tattoo and I am SO excited for her. She's incredibly talented, and let's be real - she's got appointment cards with shark pineapples on them. Instant love! 

This is our dear John, who met up with me for the greatest happy hour in Savvytown (no, really $2 Sweetwater/Terrapin draft beers? the best!). 

Noticeably absent: photographs from the delicious dinner at Leoci's with my Savannah family. The Original Mary, Stewart, and Susannah.  Too much good conversation, amazing Italian eats (homemade gnocchi, yum!), and chianti to remember to grab a picture!


Friday was sleeping late, last minute shopping, visiting Foxy Loxy for my go-to iced americano and a bourbon bacon brownie in the sunny courtyard. And also a hard cider, cos it's Friday, and vacation time!


We headed home, got dolled up and headed out to grab a trolley to take out to Old Fort Jackson. The temperatures had started dropping with the sun...

...but fortunately there was preparation for just that; kerosene heaters, bonfires, and cocktails!


Old Fort Jackson was totally transformed from the historical monument to a beautifully decorated scavenger hunt. Everything glowed golden from fires and heaters and candles.


Every corner of the fort had something fun and different; a bunker with a Moscow Mule bar (made with key limes, holy delicious!), raw oysters near the bonfire, baked brie with jalapeño raspberries upstairs, cured meats and olives and cheeses in a little nook looking out at the river, all with a blue grass band setting a supremely sweet and southern tone for the night.

The catering was done by Leoci's, which, whoa! Two nights in a row of homemade goodies? Yes please! French Knot were the planners behind the whole shindig, and they did a phenomenal job, I loved every second of it.

Oh, did I mention, FIREWORKS!? Y'all know my obsession with photographing them...

What an enchanting evening and that was just the warmup...wait 'til you see the wedding! This week I'll have all three of my recap posts from Savannah, and my full preview of Mike + Nicholette's wedding. Can't wait! -MJ