Sunday, February 20, 2011

"Irish for a Day...Southern for Life"

So I was talked into submitting a paper to the call of Papers for the ACIS Southern Conference. With much skepticism and fear of actually talking in front of a group of strangers, I was hesitant and fearful that my paper would actually get accepted...and on January 6th the verdict was set...a gaggle of Drewids would be heading south to Savannah, Georgia for this Irish conference because ALL of our papers were accepted.

The conference took place in Savannah's historic district! Where most of the streets are cobble stone, and the culture of the town just oozes out from every corner and seam that keeps the city together. On my first day here I had much time to kill, so I decided to explore the city by foot. So in the high 70 degree weather (In FEBRUARY mind you) I took in the southern air and enjoyed my afternoon. One of my favorite parts of Savannah is the number of squares and parks that they have (26 to be exact). Perhaps the most visited and better known is Chippewa Square. Which was the location where Forrest Gump sat on a park bench, telling the world that life is like a box of never know what you're gonna get. While the park is just as green and beautiful as the Hollywood version, the bench was just a prop used while filming. You can however visit the bench for a cost of $5 and a visit to the Savannah Visitors center, and home of the Savannah Historic Museum.

Chippewa Square

"The Bench"

One thing which surprised me about my trip to Savannah was the town's Irish history. There is a rather large Irish population found in this southern city. It was the final destination to many Irish immigrants over the years, and the town actually is home to the 2nd largest St. Patrick's Day Parade in the US! Who knew?

The Belfast Boys playing a private show for us at Kevin Barry's Irish Pub

                                                                       Se├ín O'Se Singing us a song!!! 

AND One can not come to Savannah with out visiting Paula Deen's restaurant The Lady & Sons. You have to get there early to put your name down for lunch and dinner (the line starts at 9:30, and usually wraps around the industrial looking building). But it is well worth the wait (and the cost)!! Inside the restaurant has a lived in feeling where you feel like your eating at someones home rather than an up scale establishment. I some good southern eats, and probably gained 500 pounds and 10-15 new cavities, but that's something I will just have to deal with.

Orleans my opinion the least cared about in the city

It was good luck to touch the rain spout...soooo it had to be done!

So overall my trip to Savannah was well worth the fear of public speaking. I was given the chance to practice my conference skills (in front of an audience of familiar faces thanks to the support of the Drew Community), listen to some pretty awesome Irish presentations to expand my knowledge of the culture I LOVE, experience the Savannah night life with a few great friends old and new, soak up the southern sun and culture with it's warm weather, live music, and good cookin'. One thing is certain. As I trek back to New Jersey's cold winter weather and cosmopolitan streets I sure will have Georgia on my mind.

This week's song of the week:
"Georgia on My Mind" - Ray Charles

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