Sunday, April 18, 2010

Savannah and Tybee Island

After leaving St. Augustine, we spent several days in Savannah, Georgia.

We stayed at a comfortable camping site about 20 minutes from Savannah's downtown historic district. The facilities were nicely maintained and we had a nice little "lake" front view.

However, the wifi we were assured was available turned out to be an extremely weak signal accessed on a park bench outside of the main office or at a cramped table in the laundry room which closed from 9:30 p.m. to 9 a.m each evening.

We didn't travel there to spend time online, but taking care of "business" on the road is a challenge.

We spent an entire day touring the Savannah Historic District, an area which roughly corresponds to their city limits prior to the American Civil War. The original plan for the city was laid out in 1733 by this gentleman, James Oglethorpe.

We decided we would take a 90 minute city tour. When that finished, we started walking throughout the district, starting with the city center, where we found a statue of composer/lyricist Johnny Mercer, a native of Savannah.

Oglethorpe planned the city in 1733 around four open squares. Additional squares were added in the 18th and 19th centuries. 21 of these original squares still remain.

The squares are named in honor of a person or historical event and most contain monuments, markers and statues. They also were in full spring bloom.

We ate lunch in The Pirate House. The original section of this structure was built in 1733  as a gardener's shelter. We ate in a section built in 1753, which was built as a tavern and became a notorious hangout for pirates.

We enjoyed our meal until a family with EXTREMELY obnoxious children was seated next to us.

Now, we love children and have certainly eaten many of our meals surrounded by them. This table of people included two elementary aged children who had absolutely no clue how to behave in public. Paul had to finally ask the little boy, around 8 years of age, to please leave our table so we could eat our lunch. No, we had not seen Jack Sparrow. And maybe an "inside voice" would have been more appropriate as well. They received no guidance from their parent. It was really quite odd. We hurried so we could get back outside.

Ah, that's better. The azaleas were in full bloom. We walked until we got tired and then we would sit down in one of the squares or parks and enjoy the beautiful weather.

Being ultimate tourists, we took Paul's picture where Forest Gump's park bench was located. "Life is like a box of chocolates."

The colonial charter of Savannah prohibited Catholics. The English were afraid the Catholics would be more loyal to their enemy, Spain, than to England. Saint Augustine was a little too close for their comfort. After the Revolutionary War, Catholics were allowed to settle in the city. As their numbers grew, they built a huge French Gothic Cathedral. Who could ask them to leave after they built such a big church?

We walked past the childhood home of Flannery O'Connor, located very close to the cathedral. I think seeing the proximity to the church helps one to better understand her Southern Gothic novel, "The Violent Bear It Away."

We couldn't get enough of those beautiful azaleas in each square.

The next morning we went to Tybee Island, Savannah's beach area.

Of course, our vehicle found its way to the lighthouse.

We  are both drawn to learn about the way the lighthouse keepers lived. This keeper's home was very well restored.

In order to boost morale in such remote locations, there was a rotating library system provided for the keepers and their families. This home had library box number 313 on display. I tried to imagine opening each box as it arrived to see what books would be available.

The lighthouse is painted in the 1914 day mark. It still provides a working signal.

In fact, we could see several ships waiting to come in on the next high tide as we stood on the top observation deck.

Savannah is a perfect combination of history and beauty.

I am so glad Paul convinced me to make this stop on our way home. Next stop, South Carolina.


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

What a charming city! Those flowers are just beautiful.

Ugh. I hate dining next to people who don't know how to discipline their kids... So, so, so annoying...

Welcome home!!! :)

marybeth said...

Great photos, once again.

Abby said...

Wow! Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! So much history to. I love that part of the country - and look forward to some day traveling it.

Oh, nothing makes me more crazy than parents that don't have any family structure - or teach their children manners! I won't go on a tangent, thought.... ;)

It's refreshing to see everything so green & in full-bloom!