Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Oh, Savannah!

One of the beautiful city block parks in Savannah

Since I read The Work and The Glory by Gerald Lund, I have wanted to visit Savannah.  There is something so enchanting about the south.  I can still remember the descriptions of the River Walk area down by the water front where Joshua had his mill.

I just have realized that so many of our ideas of where to travel have originated between the covers of best loved books.  I wish we had had more time to spend there.  But at least we were able to take the back roads to get to our hotel.  It took longer but was so much more interesting and pretty.  We have a thing about back roads.  We enjoy them.  We saw way too much freeway on this trip because we wanted to cover a lot of territory, but our favorite way is to just meander along stopping when the fancy strikes us.  The country sides of both South Carolina and Georgia were lovely.  The green was just so noteworthy there.  Everything green like only God can do it.

The rain clouds followed us to Savannah.  There is something cozy and romantic about traveling in a car in the rain.  We love it.  We had two rainy nights in Georgia.  I could hear Brook Benton's song in my head both nights.  Oh wait, I think I'll put it on as I write.  Ah. perfect.  ;-)

A real Magnolia!
We were just a week or two to 
early see them all in bloom.
We stayed just outside the city limits of Savannah and saved a ton of money on our hotel.  That night we went to a local restaurant recommended by the hotel concierge.  It was a family style type restaurant whose name escapes me but,  it was the epitome of southern fried everything. They had it all decked out in 70s decor...lots of brown and big booths that could hold a large family.  There was a lot of y'allin' going on in there.   It is where the local likes to go.

We had our first hush puppies and still don't know what they were.  The little waitress couldn't quite tell us.  Some kind of fried dough like a donut in the shape of a fish sugar.  In fact, I thought is was fish, all tucked in with the other fish on the fry plate and was dipping it in tartar sauce.  Jim thought that was hilarious.  (Jim of all people who eats the weirdest concoctions you can imagine on a weekly basis!  Ahem! ) Cole slaw was the only green thing in the room.  We were beginning to rethink the notion of eating something unique each place we visited.  Even delicious can be over done.  I could envision our blood turning pink from all the deep frying.

After writing that last paragraph I had to find out what they are. Here is Paula Deen's recipe for them you click here you can see how to make hush puppies and how they got their name and some tricks for not getting your hands gooey in the process in the video.

Speaking of Paula Deen, we admired the Lady and Her Sons for begin closed on Sunday!  I am sure she is doing it for the right reasons~honoring the Sabbath Day.  There were plenty of tourists that were hoping she would have been there.  Savannah has lots of beautiful churches and we enjoyed hearing the bells ring most of the day.  We took this photo below when it cleared up in the afternoon.

In the morning as I have mentioned previously, once we got over the fact that it wasn't Saturday and we had missed church, we had our second shower of the day on the open air City Tour trolley.   It was so pretty in spite of the wetness.

Looks a lot like San Francisco right here.  
I love these fancy row houses.

So many pretty colors used in good taste
 in both Charleston and Savannah

The architectural features of these beautiful buildings and homes are amazing.  The one thing I think I love about the east and south so much is the noticeable difference between it and the newness  you feel in the west.  I wouldn't exactly call it antiquity, but it definitely has a more established, historical feeling.  There is a sense of pride in the maintenance of the things of the past that we don't feel here.  It has a regard for the permanence of things,  and it is accompanied by a certain special respect for preserving it.

One of the fun things about this tour was they picked up passengers in character from the early days  in their history.  This guy was a person that died during the civil war.  He died in his own neighborhood when he and his brother were arguing about the issues of slavery and he was accidentally shot.  This was a real historical character.

Loved the brick sidewalks

We passed by some beautiful little inns and hotels 
and of course some spectacular homes.


This looked like fun!

One of the most distinctive things about Savannah is that they have many many block sized parks in the downtown area.  You can walk a few blocks and then sit and enjoy a park bench and a little rest.   I am thinking this may be very welcomed when it is very hot and humid in the summer. 

 Many of them have historical monuments and water features and it seems to be a place where people congregate to chat and be together with friend and strangers soon to be friends.  This was very reminiscent of the Italian piazzas.  You see the buskers singing and playing their instruments.
You see people picnicking in the squares like we did.  That was delightful.

We met a wonderful old black man there that was so talkative and sweet.  Jim and I thought he was just delightful.  He was preaching the gospel and singing and selling his flowers he had woven from the reeds he had cut from along the river banks and then dried.   Jim bought me one for Mother's Day in hopes that our donation would be helpful to him!

 I tried to take their picture together but the camera was on video so I got a little piece of a spontaneous song he was singing us about God. Too bad I only caught the part about the devil 'cuz he was singing a lot about Jesus most of the time.  Nice guy, he was a kick.  Jim is holding the flower he bought me in his hand.

We wanted to go to the Ole Pink House for dinner but they were full so we landed up at the Pirate Restaurant recommended by our tour guide.  Umm, it was not really that great....too Disneyland-ish. It might have been more fun with some grandkids.  The food was good though.


Well,  the funny thing is the place that made me want to come to Savannah actually turned out to be a bust.  It was tacky and seedy and full of unsavory characters.  It features lots of booze and nasty t-shirts and the like.  The river right in front of this was cool but not this part.  Too Bourbon Street for us.  We drove by a few times to see it and that was it.


 River Walk~Not Our Cup of Tea

The rest of Savannah was charming and we enjoyed our short stay here.  The next day we were heading out early for Virginia and spent most of the day driving.  Our next destination, Thomas Jefferson's Monticello in Charlottesville, VA. 


Sister Susie Says said...

My friend is watching "North and South" with Patrick Swayze. I saw it a long time ago. I haven't read "The Work and The Glory."

Hush Puppies! I was raised in Key West, Florida. We always made hush puppies with our deep fried fish and I made the coleslaw. Mom just used corn meal, egg, onion, milk. She made the batter thick and spooned it in with the frying fish. It "balled" up on its own. As soon as they would pop up, you just roll them over for the other side to brown. Yummy!

It's amazing the different building's styles in the different cities. Individual personality, I guess! What joy you have been having! It really makes me anxious to go on my trip! Love to you all, Susan