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Friday, January 31, 2014

Strolling Through Savannah

Nearly to our Florida destination, we stopped for two nights in Savannah, GA. We used Airbnb to find a room at a historic home in the Victorian District close to Forsyth Park. It was close to downtown, but far enough away to find parking.

It rained most of the visit, but we still got to get around the city, see the architectural highlights, stroll along the riverfront, and stock up on local treats.

William Washington Gordon Monument, Telfair Academy of Arts & Sciences, & Peeking through the African Church Key Hole (Closed Mondays)

When we got into town, we grabbed a quick bite and a flight of brews at Moon River Brewing Company. We walked around the surrounding squares and streets to get a feel for the area while we waited for the Savannah Walks Ghost Tour to start. While I may not be one to investigate the paranormal, city ghost tours are a good way to get a tour of popular areas safely at night to make the most of my time. A good ghost tour has more of a history lesson than a mission to scare. In old towns like Savannah, you get history that pre-dates the Civil War. We walked through some major squares and heard stories about burials, hangings, and the people that were memorialized. We stopped at 17Hundred90 Inn & Restaurant for a story and a drink and walked on to learn more about the history and haunting. 

Every city has a theme. The running theme in Savannah seemed to be a disregard of the dead throughout history. There were roads expanded over cemeteries (paving over the grave of a signer of the Declaration of Independence). There were historical figures moved into monuments. A Christian church was built over a Jewish burial ground. A monument was put over the grave/memorial of the Native American that brokered the Colonists acquisition of Savannah. Through the tour, I got interesting tidbits about the surrounding buildings like the Owens-Thomas HouseThe Olde Pink House and the First African Baptist Church. It was a good way to decide what to see the next day.

The next day we walked over to the Sentient Bean for a good cup of coffee and delicious quiche. We walked through Forsyth Park. The roses were in full bloom. People played tennis and took family portraits. It was a wonderful December day. Despite the threat of rain, we couldn't resist the urge to walk downtown. We looked at the restored Victorian homes with their beautiful detail, vibrant colors, and large porches. We were greeted by an old woman sitting out on her porch as we walked by. Southern hospitality.

We picked up a tour book on the way and sat in the squares to take in the monuments and read through the book. We hit the major architectural points, squares, and statues. It seemed that there was a square every block. We stopped for lunch at Your Pie for a quick bite and brew.

We walked through the city and down to the waterfront. We looked at the statues and plaques describing the area as it once was. We browsed through an open-air market. We nearly reached the end when the rain came.  It was time to hit the shops as we walked back. We walked to a shop that had a variety of peanuts and other snacks and got some to take to our Florida hosts. We went to River Street Sweets and stocked up on pralines, chocolate-covered pretzels, and truffles. We sampled some local honey at Savannah Bee Company and picked up a couple of jars that were distinctly different than Indiana honey. We headed back up to Moon River to wait out the storm. We wanted to have dinner at the Olde Pink House, but the rain didn't seem to break and we ended up having dinner at the pub. 

The rain stopped and we walked back. We stopped at another location of the Savannah Bee Company and tried some St. Ambrose meads. This Michigan meadery makes straight meads, meads mixed with tart cherries, bourbon barrel-aged meads, and meads mixed with wine grape juice.

We headed back to the room dodging puddles and enjoying the cool night air. The same woman that wished us good morning wished us a good night as we neared the house. Southern hospitality.

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