Savannah has plenty to see and do

By RICK WATSON
Posted 7/21/19

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to go someplace new. Jilda and I did that this year when we vacationed in Savannah, Georgia, for our 45-wedding anniversary.Earlier in the year, we narrowed our …

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Savannah has plenty to see and do

Posted

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to go someplace new. Jilda and I did that this year when we vacationed in Savannah, Georgia, for our 45-wedding anniversary.

Earlier in the year, we narrowed our choices between Portland, Oregon., Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Savannah, Georgia. One Sunday morning in March, we both delved into research and developed a list of pros and cons for each area. All three offer things we love, including history, music, setting, and food.

Another item on our resolution list was to replace her old Honda with a Subaru Outback. We did that in April. Once we got our Outback, our choice of vacation spots was clear. Savannah was the winner because we could drive. Another plus was that Savannah is considered one of the most haunted cities in America. How cool is that?

Google map says that it only takes six hours to drive to Savannah. It took us longer because I had to make regular stops for hygiene breaks and to stretch my achy legs.

The drive took us through southern Alabama and Georgia. There were places in Georgia where we passed through what seemed like miles of peach and pecan orchards. One-stop was at an old general store where they had shelves of pecan related items. We walked out with a pecan log as big as my forearm. We told ourselves that we’d eat a little and share the rest with our family when we returned home. That pecan log didn’t make it to Savannah.

Lining the streets of Savannah were ancient oak trees with beards of Spanish moss. We booked a room at the Foley House Inn B&B.

We arrived later than we’d planned, and we were both starving. The desk clerk directed us to a gas station within walking distance just down the block. Visions of cold coffee and stale Moon Pies floated through my head. Our walk began with low expectations. What we found was, in fact, a gas station, but inside was a culinary oasis. We walked away from Parker’s Urban Market gas station with pasta, turkey wraps, and cookies fresh out of the oven.

The next morning at the B&B, we had a made-to-order breakfast, and the biscuits were almost as good as mama’s.

After breakfast, we decided to walk and get the lay of the land. Every few minutes, we heard the clomping hooves of horses pulling tourist wagons. Cameras clicked.

Making our way back to the room, we stopped at Chippewa Square and sat near the place where the feather fell on Tom Hanks at the beginning of the movie Forrest Gump. The park is directly across the street from the B&B. We spent a lot of time in that park. There was an artist set up near one entrance, and he was painting charcoal portraits. His work was amazing. Further into the park, was an older African American man playing the saxophone.  I can tell you the sound of that horn in the park was haunting.

There are 22 parks scattered throughout downtown Savannah. Each has statues, historical markers, stories, and characters who seem to live there.

River Street borders the Savannah River and has too many shops and restaurants to name. On day two, both of our wristbands buzzed saying we’d achieved our 10,000 steps. We kept ambling. Before we reached the B&B, a guy walking behind us shouted, “Take cover, there is a tornado warning.”  Leave it to two Walker County residents to take their tornados with them when they travel.

The food in Savanah was amazing. We had our anniversary dinner at the Public Kitchen and Bar, which was across Chippewa Park from our B&B. It was so good that we ate there the next night too.

A shortlist of recommended places to see is:

•    Telfair Museum of Art.

•    City Market.

•    The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.

•    The Savannah Waterfront.

•    The Wilkes House.

•    The Hearst Ghost Tours.

•    There is also an aquarium there.

We didn’t have an opportunity to get to all the things we wanted, but what we did see was amazing.

Another plus for Savannah is that it’s less than 20 miles from Tybee Island and the Atlantic Ocean. That’s where we headed on day three. What struck both Jilda and me was that Tybee Island looked like the Gulf Coast in early 1960. I saw no high-rise hotels or condos. The houses were nestled near the beach among the oak, palmetto palms, southern red cedar, and sea oats.

Things to see at Tybee Island includes the Tybee Island Light House, the museum at Battery Garland, the Fort Pulaski National Monument, and the old Cockspur lighthouse.

On the way back to the B&B, we stopped for a late lunch at the Crab Shack. The seafood was off the charts. Jilda and I shared a seafood platter that they actually brought on several platters. We had crab claws, oysters, shrimp, crawfish, muscles, and scallops. I needed assistance to get out of my chair. 

The restaurant is a rambling establishment with inside and outside seating. The décor is funky. The Crab Shack and the Flora-Bama must have used the same architect. In one area, they had dozens of small alligators that had been born and raised in captivity. As we drove away, we both vowed to go back to the Shack.

Savannah for our 45-anniversary was one of the best get-a-ways we’ve ever had. It was right up there with Ireland, and Sedona, Arizona. We’re thinking about spending my birthday there next January