On my 26th birthday, as I sat over a celebratory dessert with Hubby, the ice cream in front of me was melting and so was I. Something about 26 marked an end for me. It made me aggravated that I hadn’t yet reached goals which I never truly set for myself in the first place. By this point I should know what I want to do with my life, right? I should be getting there by way of the fast track, right?
And now…now I was no longer in my early twenties, but now it was mid-twenties, soon after it would be late twenties and then…I didn’t want to think about it.
Thus sparked the inevitable fear of reaching thirty.
I have never needed a major pomp and circumstance over my birthday. But I didn’t want to turn thirty during a normal work week at a job that was just another in betweener.*
*In betweener, look it up in the dictionary and you will find a list of all the jobs I’ve held that were place holders for my dream job.
I don’t know how I managed to score a man who spoils me as Lance does, but I constantly need to remind myself to never ever take his goodness for granted. Knowing my over the top emotions towards turning thirty, he planned the ultimate vacation to celebrate the 5th anniversary of my 25th.*
*All 30th birthdays should be known as this. Not only does it make you feel a little better to say it this way, but it is almost every time guaranteed to make someone in the room chuckle.
On my birthday we were in beautiful Savannah, Georgia. When I knew Savannah was a destination in our trip there were only two stops that were absolute musts: Back in the Day Bakery (post coming soon) and The Paula Deen Tour.
Savannah offers many different trolley tours, but the Paula Deen tour was the only one that interested me. I’m not a big time tour person. I don’t even like carrying my camera around because I hate looking like a tourist (I do though, of course). I like to immerse myself in a new area and figure it out for myself.
The Paula Deen tour has been something I have always wanted to do, so naturally, Hubby made sure that it happened.
If you are ever looking for a charge of inspiration, listening to a rags to riches story with an emphasis on perseverance is always helpful. We drove in the open air trolley around the sweltering streets of Savannah and heard story after story of the physical, financial, and emotional struggles Paula Deen faced in order to reach the position she is in today.
Aside from the beautiful architecture of many of the homes we passed and the different locations of note in Paula’s career, we also were driven by the church where Jingle Bells is rumored to have been written.
This was a major bonus for me as anyone who knows me can attest that I am a Christmas freak down to my very core (yes, Christmas music is already playing in our home).
Following the tour, we were dropped off at The Lady & Sons, Paula’s restaurant right in the heart of historic Savannah. I admit, I am an over-the-top dork who made Hubby take me there earlier in the day so that I could shop at The Paula Deen Store without having the rush and claustrophobic feeling of everyone from our trolley shopping all at once.
Part of our tour price covered our buffet meal and a no wait entry to the restaurant. While diners can order off the menu, the buffet is outstanding and the truest Southern meal we have ever eaten. The best fried chicken, rib meat so tender it falls off the bone, and sides galore filled with depth and flavors that only a true southerner could create! We walked away from the table pounds heavier, but wishing we could sit down and eat it all over again.*
*At least, that’s how I felt!
I can’t look at the pictures for too long without getting a desperate urge to jump in my car and head for Georgia. We did, however, find ourselves back at The Lady & Sons for lunch another day in our trip, but that story will be saved for another post.
That night, Hubby and I strolled the streets of Savannah, popped in an out of little shops, got stuck in a downpour of rain (it was a nice change from the heat of the day), and then enjoyed ice cream at Leopold’s.
I usually think that ice cream is ice cream. All ice cream is created equally delicious and beautiful, however Leopold’s was something special. I ordered a scoop of Chocolate Chewies and Cream, which was chocolate cookies and sugar laced almonds mixed together with the creamiest ice cream I have ever experienced.
One of my favorite things about Savannah, aside from the food and shopping, was the beautiful Spanish moss that drapes itself so elegantly like garland over the trees that cover most streets.
I don’t know what overcame me at twenty-six, but I can thankfully say that thirty brought about no tears and only smiles. Perhaps thirty has given me the wisdom portion of the serenity prayer, a prayer that I learned Paula Deen used to help with her anxiety, during her toughest times and still continues to recite each day.
Not a bad idea, Paula.