Monday, Nov 3
Hello again – on our way to Savannah!
Stopped for lunch in Metter, Georgia, on the way to Savannah, at a place called Jomax BBQ. It was packed with people and the menu was shocking! Small salads were $1.50, hamburgers were $4.29, sandwiches $5.99. Meals included 3-4 sides. So cheap compared to where we just came from. People were so sweet – loving the South!
Our host for our apartment in Savannah, Jason, was very accommodating and we arranged to check in at 2PM. Jason showed us around the apartment, (so roomy!) and gave us the breakdown of downtown, what to do and where to eat. This is the stage of our visit where our eyes glaze over as we try to digest all the information about our new surroundings. We do find though, that within the first few days, everything makes sense and we are able to find our way around.
We picked up our supplies and went for dinner at a neighbourhood restaurant, Blowing Smoke. Gotta love the southern BBQ! This place had a Mexican flare to it and we loved our first meal in Savannah. Joe had the pulled pork plate which was so flavorful! The restaurant is all open; so basically we were eating outside. Ahhhh….
Tuesday, Nov 4
We begin our exploration of Savannah. The temperature is perfect; around 23 C – we are able to shed some layers and dress for the weather. The sun felt great.
The first thing we are amazed about as we walk, are the beautiful oak trees. Spanish moss drapes the trees in an eerie, spooky way that looks like the whole city is still dressed for Halloween. It is stunning. And as the moss sways in the breeze and glistens in the sun, you think of movies with swamps or plantations – down by the bayou…so beautiful. The moss is actually an air plant from the pineapple family and was/is used as a stuffing in upholstery, bedding and voodoo dolls! The roots of the trees have grown so much over the years that a lot of the sidewalks have buckled and bricks are broken and/or very uneven. We looked like we were staggering a few times and tripping the light fandango!
There are so many incredible homes here I can’t stop taking pictures of them. The moss covered oaks surround and shade the majority of them; adding to their charm. It was difficult to decide which pictures to post.
We walked down by the waterfront; a long walk from our apartment but thoroughly enjoyable. Most of the buildings lining River Street are former cotton warehouses that have been transformed into trendy restaurants and shops. There is even a little artists’ flea market type building.
We learned that Savannah is the fourth-busiest and fastest-growing container terminal in the U. S. This is home to a distribution centre / warehouse for IKEA, Target and Heiniken; to name a few. That explained why we saw many semi’s hauling containers on the highways on the way into Savannah.
For lunch we found a restaurant in City Market; a cool couple of blocks of restaurants just off the waterfront. I had a delious Georgia Peach Sangria. How can you say no to something like that? Thanks to Jan and Brian for the tips here!
Savannah is the birthplace to John Mercer; the founder of Capital Records and famous song writer:
We bought tickets on hop on hop off trolley and rode the circuit to get a better sense of this incredible, historic district. Some of the ‘facts’ the guide revealed that seemed a little far out, were noted as inaccurate by Google. But, hey – that’s what makes great legends, right?
Savannah has 22 public squares in this district; most with a statue or monument but all beautiful. So nice to sit on a bench and people watch and enjoy the surroundings. So much open space – not sure if we saw them all.
My favorite keyhole / private home yard shots:
We were told that Savannah has been dubbed “America’s Most Haunted City”. I would have loved to have take a haunted house tour! They say people still paint their veranda ceilings blue to ward off evil spirits. Spooky stuff!
Everywhere we went we saw references to SCAD; Savannah College of Art and Design. The schools 11,000 students are from the US and more than 100 countries. Our Airbnb host, Jason, was a recruiter for SCAD and traveled the world promoting this Savannah gem. The most noted thing about SCAD is that for the last two decades the society has restored many of the city’s architectural treasures and ‘neglected structures in overlooked neighbourhoods’ and transformed them into amazing buildings. The society totally reshaped Savannah and is well respected; with a lot of the credit going to Paula Wallace; the President. Two famous Paula’s here, (this is the other one):
Wednesday, Nov 5
Armed now with lots of history about Savannah, we went back on the trolley and hopped on and off a few times. We returned to the waterfront and had lunch at a local favorite, The Shrimp Factory. Joe had a great looking shrimp fry that came with Hush Puppies – now we now what they are! My seafood bisque and shrimp sandwich hit the spot.
More awesome visits:
Coolest drain spout!
After several hours of more exploring, we stopped for a well deserved beer before heading back home. Don’t we look happily tired?
Thursday, Nov 6
Today we went on a road trip to Savannah’s beach on Tybee Island. We walked along the beautiful white sand and then Joe went for a run along the shore. It was so incredible to see his silhouette running into the sun while I enjoyed the chilly water on my feet; another WOW moment…
We went up to the lookout and there in the water where several Dolphins! We were amazed and watched them surface in a few spots near the shore. Fisherman had their lines in along the pier. A sign said ‘no shark fishing allowed’. Wow – sharks too? This beach area has many restaurants and shops but was quiet during our off-season visit. During the summer months the beach is said to be packed and traffic jams for hours. Happy we missed that.
Lunch was at a local spot on the way home – The Sundae Cafe. My swordfish taco was great; Joe’s pecan crusted chicken salad was delicious but a tad dry. Another great Southern Hospitality experience here.
We went to a Mall – shopping occurred! Joe bought and read a book while I sped through several stores looking for a pair of shorts. No one has shorts! I did find the perfect pair but on my way to pay, they announced their systems were down so I couldn’t buy them. Will have to wait until Florida!
Friday, Nov 7
Another suggested place to visit in Savannah is Bonaventure Cemetery. It was a huge place so we got a map and walked around. Lots of interesting plots and of course the trees made it all very hauntingly beautiful. We weren’t really comfortable here; we felt like we were invading a place dear to the locals. Only took a few pictures and we were on our way.
Our rental car has been making weird noises since we picked it up and because we are going to have it for another month, we decided to return it today. We went to the nearest Enterprise and they sent us to the airport. Nice drive and we got to see more of the city. Enterprise happily switched out our car so we are pleased.
We had seen several ‘Sisters’ restaurants on our journey so decided to try the Best Soul Food in Savannah. We both looked at the menu and couldn’t find anything we wanted to order; strange things and all deep fried. However we went with the lunch special – baked chicken and 2 sides. Joe had the green beans with his and I tried for the first time, collared greens. Let’s just say this was not our best meal. Everything was so salty we spent the rest of the day drinking water. Our own fault for our menu choices…
That called for a makeup meal so we had a fabulous dinner at the Mansion Hotel back in the historic district. I had a delicious roasted beet salad and perfect scallops on a bed of risotto. Joe had a kick ass Kunk Pow appetizer and nice steak. That was a very happy dinner!
Saturday, Nov 8
Today Savannah was hosting the Rock and Roll 1/2 Marathon so we went down to check it out. There were 17,000 entrants and the streets were packed along the race track. Very inspiring to walk among so many athletes. The feature entertainment was Phillip Phillips; an American Idol winner a few years back. We enjoyed the R & B band a lot more!
Had some great Sushi for lunch – just in time; I was starting to have Sushi withdrawal. Their Savannah roll was to die for!
We finally figured out which park Forest Gump was filmed in and took some shots where the bench was but isn’t anymore. They really play up this famous movie here.
Check out these sidewalks made with oyster shells:
We browsed an antique shop located in a huge neighbourhood home. Lots of interesting things; several fur coats. This really gave us a sense of the size of these southern homes. So big – so many rooms. Our apartment is also in a big home with 2 other suites. Today we sat on the front porch to be neighbourly but it was chilly so didn’t stay long. Our last dinner in Savannah was at a busy pub; we had to wait 45 minutes out front but everyone had a drink while they waited. So different!
Sunday, Nov 9
Today we are headed for 4 days at Dayton Beach Shores, Florida. I am writing this as we drive. Cloudy, but 72 F. A few relaxing days on this Atlantic beach and then on Thursday over to another beach community off of Sarasota. Joe’s former Movie Gallery boss Chris Germond and his wife Heather live there and are meeting us for dinner on the weekend. OMG – someone else to talk to!!
Still working on the next few months’ bookings. Very time consuming; I might consider the travel industry when this is done! We did book a flight into Madrid for Dec 11 – will arrive Dec 12 – our 34th anniversary! We have been looking at pictures of Portugal and Spain. We are getting excited about that!
Since the next few weeks are beach time, I may not update the blog for a couple of weeks; we will see.
Thanks for listening ! Over and out from I95 Florida!
Paula and Joe