what an intense and packed journey this has been! Blessed that I just returned safely and surely revived from an Easter get-away to the US east coast with stops in: Savannah, Georgia; Charleston & Hilton Head Island, South Carolina; Raleigh, North Carolina, and some additional days in the good old but refreshed big apple aka New York City. NYC has become my annual destination to check on friends, the city’s status and progress. I perceive it to be the World’s Capital by now due to its fantastic mix of….everything. But more on that later below.
Savannah, Georgia was on the list for ages and the city does by far not disappoint. The Civil War era with all its dark past and some glory left that town with haunted houses -as they say- and a classic architecture of Colonial vs. Southern vibes. Front porches, best of wood, Spanish moss nearby on most trees, past vs. presence can be felt in all old town. I perceived the city to be a blend of Barcelona and London, Southern vibes and American consumer-feels with all the wonderful impressions that are collectable there despite the bloody past. Many people died in and around Savannah during the Civil War times, yet the city did its fair share to support American development with all its own history. We took the “Ghost of the Dead” tour that walks you around town and informs about what cruelty happened and which fights were fought. Also, you get the right vibes to start your very own Savannah adventure. You will actually learn a lot about the history and both the cruelty and insanity in good and bad. I’d go, well walk, for it again: book your tour here.
When seeking for semi-southern to semi-all-American breakfast, do head to “The Funky Brunch Café” and enjoy the vibing colors of the cafe, its craziness, and some awesome menu and great coffee with it. Really, go funk yourself there and as the name says it can do a lunchie-brunchie, too. The weather around Savannah feels almost like Northern Africa which is because of the same latitude. The people are friendly and relaxed, yet tourist-proven 😉 But around Easter 2022, I can report that there were almost exclusively American tourists and not really many others from abroad. But the vibe in town is not typical or sorely American, more a mix of Europe with the South to point that out. Even though I am sure that people from all over the world will like or even love it here as well.
As we went slightly north to hit Charleston in the state of South Carolina, which is really not a super long drive as Savannah is a border town of Georgia to South Carolina, we stayed at a hotel in Charleston to explore that city as well. Also, exploring the nice Hilton Head Island offering a beauty of a beach was on the list to be check-marked soon. But let’s have the pictures telling the story as follows shortly.
Charleston felt more southern than Savannah somehow to be honest, but is north of it despite being in the southern Carolina state 😉 Charleston is great for a stroll that will always offer a slight sea breeze but also great views onto impressive architecture. The mostly Victorian but always well-maintained houses there are either kept classical or mixed with modern glass elements. Guess most is “old money” in that town and the shopping opportunities and some restaurants cater the posh. Yet, everyone can be happy here and enjoy going out. Be it in the French Quarter or other parts of Charleston. Similar to Savannah, you tend to dream of just chilling on some front porch somewhere underneath a giant ceiling fan and with a drink, of course. So while Charleston also clearly portrays its culture and history, it also succeeds in providing for a great holiday destination and good vibes – with or without a drink, inside and outside of shops, bars, restaurants. I did just love the southern warmth paired with high air quality and all those things to do.
Depending on where you stay and what you wish to do, you will find yourself crossing one of the biggest bridges in the USA that spans from described down-town Charleston over to the East with Mount Pleasant. We stayed on that other side which brought us closer to a decommissioned aircraft carrier and later to an afternoon destination of Isle of Palms Beach on Hilton Head Island. I just put two pics of that beach above already and the aircraft carrier pics follow down below, guess you’ll figure that out, eh.
But first: food. Breakfast is my favourite, so when seeking for fabulous things to eat in the morning, head to “The Big Bad Breakfast” and ask for Sirk’s Orange Juice in the Face Special… Well, depending on your waitress 😉 We enjoyed the pancakes alongside other ‘healthy’ choices. And choices, well, plenty of meats for breakfast if you’re into it. Other than that just wait for the evening to come to loose yourself in the rich night life there or enjoy dinner at Felix Cocktails and Cuisine, where I drank the superb “Monténégro”.
Lard did have mercy by the way..!
And even though it was a decommissioned aircraft carrier that I am writing about and which I am about to show you here -as it might be difficult being invited to one currently in service- these impressions about what a complex, impressive, massive construction, machinery, and organization an aircraft carrier is, were simply great. What a vibe and scenic opportunities do await here – check it out for yourself one day. Have a look finally as follows:
As the road trip continued by going to North Carolina coming from Savannah, South Carolina as most southern point, we enjoyed both the small to medium country roads and the parts on the interstate. Watching the cars and trucks go by is just an essential part of any road trip, especially in the USA. Our destination was North Carolina and the city of Raleigh. On the way we had short stops in small towns like Hemingway or Walterboro, some randomness is always needed with a road trip, too.
Raleigh has become a centre of tech and other industries and interestingly many European companies do have a hub over there. Also many great schools and the North Carolina Museum of Art are found in this underestimated city. Raleigh has some southern vibes but also gets almost all four seasons from what I learned. It is a widespread area paired with the Durham area and one heavily depends on a car here. That reminded me how intensely the US depends on cars when you are outside metro areas, so worth the Uber app or that rental or a local friend 🙂
The Museum of Art is displaying phenomenal contrasts of Modern and Classic paintings plus sculptures and installations outside in one of the biggest museum parks I ever came to explore. Surely took some pictures there, too and found myself killing time and reflecting on life as well as on this great Easter trip.
Before highlighting shots from the forementioned Arts Museum of North Carolina, let me jump in on one pic above. When fuelling up and realizing the US is roughly now about on 3/4 of the prices on petrol like Germany back home, I had to document the “I did that” stickers on the fuel pump there. I supported Biden recently and surely he is not to blame for the recent inflationary prices, yet I understand the person who stickered here to an extend. The US, similar as Europe, faces massive challenges now with all happenings worldwide and especially in the Ukraine that lead to unsatisfactory feelings within most people.
Later in New York City, I was happy to see many Ukrainian flags out as well, but be assured even throughout the road trip we spotted many supporters of the Ukraine which was simply a great ‘side note’. On cars and pick-ups and many houses we spotted the flag, sometimes alongside the American flag. But back to Arts: isn’t it just beautiful which deep outcomes people can have and what strong stimulus to the brain and soul Arts can deliver and hopefully always will succeed to. Below painting flashed me totally:
End of road trip.
Start of by taking off to New York City, NY.
I know, I been to New York so often and have had it in the blog some times before (like 1st here, 2nd here in context, third here). Yet, to me it is the capital of the world. Obvious reasons: people, cuisine, culture, pace and performance, possibilities, craziness, fun, architecture, and people again. I met Hultians (I had studied my MBA at HULT International Business School in case you were wondering who I refer to with Hultians) and close friends in the big apple and stayed again south of Brooklyn on Coney Island. Which is strongly in Russian and Ukrainian hand, actually. But America sets the tone and as mentioned earlier, Ukrainian flags to be seen on every block! Hell yeah, seems to work out, all peacefully and the noise came as always from the subway that runs above the street in this part of the BK (Brooklyn).
HOPE. Hope for that big new spark in the brain or hope for meeting someone or having an idea of a lifetime or just to have a fabulous time might always be on the list for everyone’s visit to NYC. Been headed to Manhattan automatically, had to and enjoyed it. Despite taking note that as always New York is the epicentre of everything: it WAS (thank god now over!) for the pandemic, but now it IS for inflation sadly. Everything costs a fortune except clothes in some outlet or backstage stores. I did my fair amount of shopping, yet eating out or just a refreshment got expensive in 2022. Well, at least no need to refuel like during the road trip..Vroom!
Highlight of this year’s visit was the Easter Cruise on the Bateaux featuring a close-up with “The Lady” – the statue of liberty. I felt sort of liberty during all of this journey empowering my soul.
New York has its own magic during every part of the year, every month. And it seems I was never aware of April being the month of cherry blossom which is indeed found in some parts of most boroughs. And from beach to skyscraper, from messy corner to posh corner, New York delighted like it should and like it is enjoyable as we all want it to be. NYC could easily be the World’s Capital and I believe everyone from every corner of the world can get something out of New York no matter when. Global on a big apple scale for sure.
Thanks for reading this longer entry and upfront for sharing your feedback,