Sarasota to Savannah to Richmond

January 22, 2012 10:47 – 10:47

This is a blog entry just for my own future memory… so I can later determine where I was, and when. For most of the past week, we were staying in a rental house on Man of War Circle in the East Paddocks area of Sarasota. It was spacious, but had 1MB DSL. So, internets were a lot slower than we typically find when renting a house. The house had an unheated pool and “hot tub,” and the 55 degree water was a bit too chilly for us to venture in for a dip.

We left for home on Friday morning… January 20th. We’d thought about stopping either at Solomon’s Castle or at Paynes Prairie State Preserve along the way, but decided to err on the side of getting on up the road. For lunch, we picked up stuff from the deli counter at a Publix, and then spent close to an hour trying to find a picnic table. We finally did find one, in Brandon–it was the 5th or 6th one that we tried. So much for saving time by stopping for a quick picnic on a nice day.

On the way to Sarasota, our only overnight stop was at the Comfort Suites in Brunswick, Georgia. For the record, they had the fastest Comfort Inn internet speed I’ve ever seen, topping 30M—even faster than the FiOS we currently have at home (25M). The room was also spacious and comfortable. Note to self—Brunswick is the place to stay when heading to Florida. Except for the water and breakfast, that is. Their water has a heavy sulfur taste. Note to self—always have a gallon of normal water standing by. You never know when you might need it. As for breakfast… their eggs tasted like Styrofoam, and I’m pretty sure have never seen the inside of a henhouse, let alone a hen. Note to self—next time, skip the “free” breakfast and hurry on down to Hardee’s.

Friday night on the way back north, we stayed at the Comfort Suites near the Savannah airport. Called a “contemporary” design, the room was extremely narrow and cramped, and their “high speed” internet was a highly variable 2 to 3MB. It was good enough for streaming Netflix, but stopped and stalled a lot.

Note to self: avoid any Comfort Suites that bill themselves as “contemporary.” And, if it was a suite, then I’m a Swede. At breakfast, the eggs looked real enough, but I think they were scrambled in warp engine oil. They were like eggs produced by an alien replicator. They looked correct, but their taste and molecular structure were all wrong, as if they’d been produced by someone who had seen eggs, but never tasted them. They were hard and grainy, and tasted of some odd cooking oil not yet discovered in this part of the galaxy.

For lunch on Saturday, we stopped at a small place in Manning, SC, called D & H Bar-B-Que, and both had the buffet offerings. The fried chicken was excellent–large juicy pieces of chicken, cooked to perfection, and extremely fresh. The BBQ itself was typical lackluster Carolina BBQ, with a ready supply of vinegar masquerading as BBQ sauce.

Yes, I know many love Carolina BBQ, but I grew up with the stuff, and never quite understood how anyone could eat it. My father loved it, and Parkers in Wilson was a required stop every time he went to NC. I’ve never yet been able to taste any hickory smoke in Carolina BBQ. I’ll take Tennessee and St. Louis BBQ, any day. The best BBQ I’ve ever had–bar none–came from a place called Three Pigs of Rockville, in MD. It closed decades ago, but the Three Pigs in McLean, VA comes very close. They called theirs Tennessee BBQ. They cooked it over hickory logs right there in the restaurant, and they had a sauce that’s to die for.

For dinner Saturday night, we went to a Chinese restaurant called Yummy House, which  did not live up to its name. The soups and spring rolls were good, but the entrees were awful. The disappointing thing is that the reviews we read were all glowing. So, either the folks around Savannah don’t share our tastes in Chinese food, or a lot of the Yummy House family have been busy writing reviews.

Saturday night, we were at the Springhill Suites in the Short Pump area of Richmond—technically, it’s in Henrico. Note to self—look up and find out WTF “Short Pump” means. Edit: According to WikiPedia, it’s named for a short-handled pump that was at the front of a tavern that was here.

The room at Springhill Suites was also fairly narrow, but is in fact a “studio” suite. This means that the area with the sofa, desk, microwave, and mini-fridge are separated by a semi-partition, but not by a door that closes. It’s fine, but not huge. The internet again has been governed down to 1M. Good enough for streaming Arrested Development at reduced rez, but not much else.

After our Yummy House experience, and because it was late, we decided to entrust our dinner to Five Guys. They never let us down. Did you know that you can order your burgers without buns?

For breakfast… the Springhill Suites featured egg patties, I guess thinking that if you slap one of those and a sausage (which was good and real) onto a biscuit, they will provide a sufficient illusion that you’re eating actual eggs. I don’t eat biscuits, so the illusion doesn’t work for me. Again, I’m not sure where these eggs come from, but I’m sure that they’ve never seen the inside of a hen. I’m pretty confident they were equal to the task of serving as a high protein breakfast, much as eating a tree limb would provide one’s daily allowance of fiber.

The reason for this post, which contains little of interest for anyone other than me (unless you want to know about hotel internet speeds and breakfasts, and where Karen & I eat lunch), is that I spent a fruitless hour trying to figure out where we stayed the last time we were in Richmond. Alas, I didn’t blog our activities, and trying to find anything I might’ve said on Facebook back then is hopeless (at least until/unless I switch to “timeline” view, something I’m resisting because it’ll probably mean a couple days of work to render it safe). So… next time, I’ll have this as a reference.

  1. One Response to “Sarasota to Savannah to Richmond”

  2. Hey there! I wanted to send you a quick note to let you know that we would love to become your stopover hotel when traveling through the Savannah, GA area. Our Hampton Inn is located just off I-95 at Exit 109 in GA. I noticed that you were underwhelmed with both breakfast experiences in Georgia, and I invite you to come and try ours! Please let me know when you’re passing through again, so that we can get you in at our wonderful hotel. Thanks!

    Brittany

    By Brittany on Jan 24, 2012

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