My Downtown Savannah Escapade: The Ride.

posted in: Story, Travel, Work 11
In Savannah. Photo: Me.
In Savannah. Photo: Me.

I’m feeling weird about telling that harrowing tale straight out of the gate vis a vis my report on Savannah. Let me tell you something good.

After I had seen the strange thing, a wave of exhaustion passed over me; I needed to head back to my room. This would mean that I would need to find the ferry boat again and wait around for it with all those no-see-em bugs flying into my eyeballs. This did not seem like something I could physically manage, so looked to see how much it would cost for an Uber to take me from where I stood near Bay Street to my hotel at the convention center. When I found it would be a measly 11 bucks, I punched “Confirm Pickup” on my screen.

I have never had an Uber driver collect me in actual pickup, but within a few minutes, a young man named J.M. waved to me from inside a shiny black Silverado truck across the street.

“Mary Katherine?” he called in the best southern accent you’ve ever heard, making me glad my Uber profile uses my full name. I waved back, delighted to get to ride home in the cab of a pickup. You can take the girl out of Iowa but you can’t take the love of a good pickup truck out of the Iowa girl, trust me.

I was so happy to be off my feet and J.M. was a sweetheart, affably fielding the many questions I was asking him about Savannah. As he drove down Bay Street and we chatted, I looked out the window at the vibrant nightlife, the couples and families and packs of friends walking along the elevated strip. J.M. was so knowledgeable about everything and I loved getting the facts and figures in that accent:

“Yes, ma’am. Savannah’s the fourth lah-gist export city in the You-nahted Staits.”  J.M. was really getting into the good stuff, stories about 19th century trade customs, population numbers, fascinating history. As we approached the street’s terminus, I felt seriously bummed that my Savannah escapade was going to end soon. Then, I had an idea.

What if I paid J.M. to drive me back up Bay Street and cruise the loop just once, just so I could see the whole stretch of it? I had 20 bucks in my wallet — was that enough? Would it be super, super weird to ask him to do that? I didn’t have much time. Up ahead, just one red light away, I could see the entrance to the bridge that would take me over the river and home to my hotel (and out of Savannah for who knows how long?)

A thought popped into my head and forced my decision: Frankly, I want to be the kind of person who offers her Uber driver 20 bucks to drive her around town for a minute. I just want to be that girl, you know? So, apologizing in advance for any weirdness and assuring him I was not a creeper, I asked J.M. if he’d take my money.

“Well, sure,” J.M. said, seemingly not that taken aback. “I’m happy to do that, ma’am. It’s funny you ask; my other job is working a tour boat down on Riverside.”

Yep. I got the nickel tour of Savannah from an actual, off-dutry tour guide in a pickup truck for the low-low price of 20 bucks. Not bad; and all I had to do was ask. (Well, and fork over a twenty.) 

The drive was great. Between my own exploration on foot and hanging out with J.M., I definitely feel like I got a taste of Savannah. J.M., I told you I would blog about our trip when I got the chance and I gave you my card so that you could find PaperGirl and read it. I hope you’re seeing this so that I can say thank you once more.

Your car smelled great, by the way. As a regular Uber user, this is something I do not take for granted, sir.

11 Responses

  1. Jennifer Reinke
    | Reply

    What a great experience Mary Katherine! Life is too short not to “seize the moment”. And as someone who has never used Uber, I’m glad it was a good experience.

  2. Nadine donovan
    | Reply

    I am so glad you took the bull by the horns and asked him! Sounds like it was the best 20$ spent I have heard of in awhile! Good for you!

  3. Louise
    | Reply

    I love this post! Doing something on a lark is always fun, especially in the south with a tour guide and a pickup! I’m so glad you had an experience to help mitigate the poor woman’s fall from the carriage. I hope this memory is the one you take with you.

  4. Betty Elliott
    | Reply

    When my daughter was in 6th grade, we took the Girl Scouts to Savannah (the birthplace of American Girl Scouts!). It was one of the best trips we ever took. We went on a walking ghost tour and our guide was fabulous! She had the girls convinced they might see a ghost peering out of the windows of the houses we passed.

  5. Bobbi Penniman
    | Reply

    Fabulous way to connect, and get the flavor of Savannah. I’m sorry I didn’t see you, my big days at the show were all day Thurs and Fri afternoon. Did you get some Shrimp & Grits while you were there? I did, twice, at 2 different places (just checking LOL)

    And I love my Ubers playing slow jazz. I’d forgotten how great that makes me FEEL. I get that smell thing too.

  6. Barbara
    | Reply

    Good for you Mary. He sounded like a really nice uber guy, and makes up for the frightening day before.

  7. Jennifer Moore
    | Reply

    J.M. sure sounds like a real Southern gentleman! Glad you had fun in Savannah (despite the bugs) and got to explore the area a bit! Hope your classes went well!

  8. Sarah
    | Reply

    Great adventure & story. More power to y’all.

  9. Terri
    | Reply

    Savannah is my favourite U.S. city (so far). My bucket list includes Chicago to see more Frank Lloyd Wright buildings. Loved your post Mary!

  10. Brenda Dunn
    | Reply

    I love Savanah I live in Rock Hill SC but we go to Savanah every chance we get. MARY I WOULD LOVE TO MEET YOU AND YOUR Mom but with my health I’m not sure if that will happen but a girl can have a wish.I love seeing you all on your show and hope that continues love reading everything you write I’m so inspired to quilt when I see how you all make it so simple and explain it so well. Glad you had a wonderful time and maybe one day we will be able to meet.God bless you and keep you well.

  11. Shannan Sabby
    | Reply

    Does anyone else think that sounded like the beginning of a Nicholas Sparks book??

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