Azalea Inn and Gardens dives head first into Gelato!

Have you ever wondered how the innkeeper at Azalea Inn and Gardens finds the time to explore the city, find new adventures, seek out great restaurants, and still manage to do all the other things that makes your stay memorable? Spur of the moment is the answer. There will be that little window of opportunity that you must squeeze into and make the most of. Yesterday presented just such an opportunity. Finishing up a photo shoot in the heat of a Savannah summer I knew this was the moment to sample two new ice cream shops in the historic district of Savannah. Capturing a parking spot on Liberty Street, just steps away from our first target, Mr. Koolz Gelato and Water Ice, we quickly fed the meter and nearly danced up to the engaging purple awning. Oh… Dear. The door was locked, lights on, no on home. Hmmm.

Well, it was only a short walk around the corner onto Bull Street and our next stop, Ice Cream, Etc, located in a former tobacco shop directly across the street from the Red telephone booth outside Six Pence Pub made famous in that Julia Robert’s movie, “Something To Talk About”. The store still smells faintly of tobacco, but surprisingly, is not off-putting. There is a pleasant young girl behind the counter serving a family of five everything from Cotton Candy ice cream to simple Vanilla. I have to chuckle to myself when the mom deftly begins licking the youngest child’s blue ice cream claiming “I’m just trying to keep it from dripping on you!” to the child’s protests. Is there a mom alive who hasn’t perhaps used those same words in the earnest fight to stop the drip? We learned the ice cream was not homemade, but enjoyed a scoop of coffee ice cream anyway, and decided to head home – after all, it was approaching 1:30 pm and we had guests to welcome.

As we passed the pretty purple awning of Mr. Koolz Gelato and Water Ice, we noted someone seated inside – did we dare take the time? Absolutely! Inside we found a pleasant smiling woman finishing off the last bit of her lunch. We mentioned that we had stopped earlier to which she quickly replied – it had been so quiet I thought I would grab some lunch! She hurried around the counter and offered us samples of anything, and everything! What to choose? Milk-based flavors of Lavender, Pistachio, Toasted Almond, and Coconut. Fruit-based flavors of Pear, Blood Orange, Mango and Sour Cherry.

I fluttered, I sampled, I re-sampled, finally settling on a double scoop with Coconut and Toasted Almond. I sank into a comfy chair near the front of the store to savor each delicious and decadent spoonful – overjoyed to know that there were fewer calories in this ode to summer than in ice cream! Ah, nirvana.

Between bites, I converse with the owner, Janet, ever curious about the story behind every face in Savannah. Janet moved to the area several years ago from New Jersey, but her story is sprinkled with enchanting details, mystery (which may have something to do with her other joy – reading Tarot cards, but that’s another story) and a passion for gelato. Though a typical day will see a sampling of 24 varieties, she estimates she had made upwards of 200 varieties and enjoys experimenting to get the full flavor just so.

I suddenly realize the time and jump up to leave. I can assure you, Mr. Koolz Gelato and Water Ice is a big YES on our recommendations to visitors to our city.