Day 4 of our Retirement trip: We stayed at the lovely Dresser Palmer Bed and Breakfast in Savannah – built in 1876! The ceilings in our room were 16 ft and there was a transom over the door to the bathroom. After a delicious deep dish French Toast Breakfast, we took an “on-off” Trolley Tour to get the flavor of Savannah. Savannah was designed in Wards, each having a Square (lovely park surrounded by community buildings, church and historical homes) of which Savannah has 22 all laid out in a grid. This keeps the traffic pace calm and slow, and makes it very welcoming and appealing. We mostly stayed “on” enjoying the slow, southern banter of the tour guide, the sights of the city and the lovely weather ( in the high 70’s in October – and warm sunshine). We did get “off” to sample Pralines and fudge at the City Market, and have lunch in an outdoor restaurant.
We took in the Cathedral of St John the Baptist, looming up near Lafayette Square. The interior was very colorful and beautiful. Like many buildings, it had been renovated in the early 20th century after a fire. It was especially beautiful at night.
We took in the Southern custom of Porch Sitting and relaxing in the afternoon on the rattan rockers on the porch of the Dresser Palmer house. This house was built in 1876! It has 16 foot ceilings, 3 inch thick doors, transom windows inside and many other Victorian amenities. It was fun to meet other traveling Boomers every late afternoon as we enjoyed the customary glass of wine and appetizers while rocking away on the porch.
We finished off the evening with a yummy meal at the Pirate’s House on Broad Street. This building was built when Oglethorpe came over from England in1733. It started as a gardener’s house for the public lands to get a cash crop: mulberry bushes for silk, grapes for wine, neither of which worked out, until they planted peaches. It actually failed, but evolved into a place for sailors to hang out, and eventually, the pirates!
We had the best biscuits I have EVER had! The flakiest, the butteriest! I ordered the traditional shrimp and grits, and Jim ordered their famous Pecan Fried Chicken! ARGhhhhh!! We finished off the evening listening to a blues band at the City Market.
Day 5 of our Retirement Trip: Friday, after a ham and cheese egg dish for breakfast, with rosemary redskins, we ventured to the Victorian Cemetery called Bonaventure Cemetery, as mentioned in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which I am reading on this trip. ( I like to read novels that take place in the culture or geography of where I am touring). Cemetery scouting was a favorite past time of my mom’s. I am learning to enjoy it too, especially this one that has many sculptures of angels, uniquely shaped tomb stones, and lots of old ironwork. We liked to see how long ago people were born and died. The earliest I found was an 1805 birth. We also found a poor family who lost 3 babies in a short period of time…..the last two were named the same name. I can only imagine they wanted a son to carry on the family name.
Our car next took us to the Tybee Island Lighthouse, in use since 1747. I only went up 50 steps, but got a great view. Homes on Tybee Island are generally built on the second floor, the first floor reserved for storing vehicles, shower stalls, to wash off the beach sand before entering the house, servants quarters, and also to not flood out the house when storms, hurricanes and surges come up.
The beach was flat like Daytona’s beach, not populated and very beautiful. After relaxing on the beach, lunch at the North Beach Grill complete with old hippie 60’s tunes, and a drive into tow to see the pier, we headed back to our “home” to get ready for the Savannah River Queen Dinner Cruise.
Dining and Dancing on the Savannah River Queen was a wonderful way to finish our time in Savannah. Y’all come back now!