Food, Leisure, and Unexpected Wisdom: An Afternoon Outing in Savannah

Last Friday, I picked the boys up from school and headed into Savannah.

As we crossed the Wilmington River, my seven-year-old impulsively rolled down his window and stuck his head out.

“What are you doing?! Roll your window up!”

He looked confused.

“That’s not safe. All body parts must remain inside the vehicle at all times.”

My attempts at humor were lost, and he sulked in the backseat.

A few minutes later he said, “I wanna do that every time we go over that bridge.”

I made a mental note to engage the child locks and windows, silently wishing I’d been blessed with a more chilled temperament. Surely that would make parenting my spirited children less nerve-frazzling.

“Like that!!! Mom, look at that awesome dog!”

The scene in the lane to our right brought an immediate smile to my face. The driver of a well-loved, buttercream-yellow Mercedes Benz was bopping her head to the music and smiling in the rearview mirror at her backseat passenger, an enormous St. Bernard, who naturally, was hanging his head out the window and grinning at my ecstatic children, residual slobber plastered to his cheeks.

My mood lightened. Our week was long and we were elated that the weekend was upon us.

I needed food, specifically beef.

I’ve been on a vegan cleanse since the new year but haven’t felt great. My body seems to function best when I eat red meat in small amounts. Too bad I’m better at cooking vegan fare.

Thankfully, good food abounds in Savannah.

We pulled into the parking lot of Green Truck Pub, home of the best gourmet, grass-fed burgers in Savannah.

We were greeted warmly and seated immediately in a cozy booth — a handy perk that often occurs when my exuberant children bust through the door of various establishments.

Emma, server extraordinaire, welcomed us with menus and crayons, took one look at my bouncing children and asked, “Can I bring you a beer? Two?”

I laughed and settled for unsweet tea, a sacrilege in the south, but Emma was happy to oblige. I scanned the menu for beverages that wouldn’t further amp up my kids as they begged for Sprite.

Emma cut her eyes at me and with the skill of an expert ventriloquist said, “I can do a fourth of Sprite and the rest sparkling water.”

I loved her instantly.

The three of us feasted on grass-fed beef from fabulous Hunter Cattle, a family farm in nearby Brooklet that we frequented when we lived in Statesboro.

The food, service, and atmosphere couldn’t have been better. Green Truck never disappoints.

The boys enjoyed sizable kids’ burgers with fries and apples, and I had the daily special — a clever name I can’t remember, boasting goat cheese and standard fixings, with a side of garden vegetable soup. Delicious! All the food is fresh and regional, and I loved watching my children devour it all, right down to the tasty, homemade ketchup.

I could have hung out all afternoon, but the boys were at their limit and ready for the playground.

If you’re a burger lover, put Green Truck Pub on your list next time you’re in Savannah.


We made our way over to Forsyth Park.


I snapped a few pictures while the kids dashed along the surprisingly deserted walking paths, arguing over which playground to start with — Forsyth is paradise for children and adults alike.

I did my best to simply be — the warmer weather was a welcome change, and though it was slightly overcast, the sun made its way from behind the clouds a few times, giving us a glimpse of spring days ahead.

As much as I hate to admit it, the dreariness of winter coupled with hectic, redundant days of school and work, are kind of wrecking my mood. I’m ready for summer.

As I watched the kids play, I was reminded of the importance of changing up our afternoon routine. I felt better than I had all week.

I planted myself on an empty bench and overheard a conversation between an older gentleman, a park regular I soon learned, and a younger guy who shared that he was a student at Savannah College of Art and Design.


I was distracted with other things and didn’t catch the beginning of their conversation, though I’m not sure it would have mattered.

The older of the two men made several profound statements, but the following was my favorite:

“We all have moments of not knowing. It’s what you do with that not knowing that’s important. I learned a long time ago that my best course of action is to head outside and sit with the trees. They sure know more than most humans in this town. I just sit on this bench and soak up their wisdom. Try it sometime and tell me I’m wrong.”

~  Anonymous Park Dweller

I’m pretty sure he’s onto something.

I’ll give it a try and let you know.


(Words and images, by Jenni Dowling)


7 Comments Add yours

  1. April says:

    I think the trees know a lot–I like listening to them. My daughter and I were in Forsyth Park. We were so disappointed that they were working on the fountain. I wanted to see the water splash and flow. Sounds like you had the best server, for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jenni D says:

      Bummer. Well, you’ll have to plan another trip down here. I agree that trees know a lot — it’s amazing the wisdom we can find in unexpected places.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. dyane says:

    This was a lot of fun to read, with the added bonus of tree wisdom!

    I got very hungry after reading the Green Truck Pub section! It’s always so nice to read about people who do a great customer service job because excellent customer service is becoming more and more rare.

    Thanks for sharing such beautiful pictures! My favorite part was reading the park visitor’s quote about the trees. That’s so cool you captured his quote! How funny to think that he has absolutely no clue that his words have moved on from the park to this blog and he has affected people he’ll never meet. Love that! 😉

    More quotes and foodie descriptions, please.
    I can relax in the fact that they are calorie-free!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jenni D says:

      Thanks, my dear. Green Truck Pub is the best. Seriously. Amazing customer service. Savannah has spoiled me as far as customer service is concerned. Obviously there are exceptions, but for the most part people go out of their way to make you feel welcome — and that’s the case wherever you go here. I have stories from Publix, the drug store, on and on. The sarcastic cynic in me was caught entirely off guard by the legit hospitality when we first moved here. I’ve lived in many places in the Southeast US, and frankly, I find much of the South somewhat fake. Savannah, as a whole, is not that way. There’s an eccentric yet progressive and certainly authentic vibe — it really works for me. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. candidkay says:

    Oh, to live near Savannah and wise old men on park benches:). I haven’t heard quite that much intelligence from our Chicago benches. One can hope . . .


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