Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I'm back! Savannah Recap

Good morning! Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving! I flew home from Savannah yesterday and am trying to get back in the swing of things. If you haven't been to Savannah, GO! Go now. I LOVED it. We had such a nice trip and thanks to their strong appreciation for the military, we were able to save a lot of money. I couldn't believe how many places offered military discounts (and big discounts at that)! Southern hospitality at its finest. Today's post will be about my trip since I haven't had time to do projects lately. Hopefully you don't mind! I promise to start back up with projects tomorrow.

Mom and I flew into Savannah Thanksgiving day. My brother and his fiance picked us up from the airport. We visited the 100 acre Bonaventure Cemetery that afternoon. It's Savannah's most famous cemetery and is hauntingly beautiful. Very picturesque. The moss hanging off the gigantic trees gives an eerie vibe to the place. It's extremely haunted (or so they say). It is free to drive/walk through.
Little Gracie's grave. One of the most haunted grave sites in the cemetery. She supposedly cries tears of blood.

The cemetery is backed by water. Beautiful.

We stayed at Staybridge Suites in the Historic District for $98 a night. It was the perfect location. Savannah is a very walkable city. It's relaxing to walk along their 22 historic squares. This is a city where drivers wait for you. Think the opposite of New York City. No traffic or honking.

Tree full of Spanish Moss in one of their many squares
Friday morning we booked three tours with Savannah Walks for $45. We did the Civil War Tour, the Ghost Tour, and the Historic Homes Tour. All three were fascinating and a great way to become familiar with the city. Our tour guides were fantastic!

Did you know that Savannah has been named the most haunted city in America? I believe it after the stories we heard on our ghost tour.

Ice cream at the famous Leopold's is a must. They are top 10 in the world.

Be prepared to stand in line.

We ate pizza from Vinnie Van GoGo's (recommended by a local) which is located in the City Market. Only $2.50 a slice and the slices are gigantic! The place was packed when we were there at 10 p.m.

You must walk over to the City Market. It has live music on the weekends and neat shops and restaurants. This area is different from the shops along the river, but is within walking distance of it.

Saturday we drove out to Fort Pulaski which was a major part of the Civil War. It's about a 10 minute drive from the Historic District. We got in for free thanks to their military discount.

After Fort Pulaski, we drove through Tybee Island which is close. That afternoon we headed back to the Historic District and took the free ferry across the river to the convention center. They had a free international dog show going on. It was a hoot!

Be sure to use the Dot system if you're tired of walking. They have a free bus, trolley, and ferry.

One of my favorites! I love Poms!
My brother with his favorite. This chow chow was a winner!
We walked through the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist. It's free to walk through. My pictures don't do it justice.

After that we toured the Owens-Thomas house. It was $15 to get in. Unfortunately, no one is allowed to take pictures on the inside of any of these antebellum homes so I only have outdoor pictures. They are all furnished with gorgeous antiques. Many of them originals to the homes.

Back of house

Back of house (or courtyard)
That night we ate at The Lady & Sons (Paula Deen's) restaurant. It was delicious. Very rich food. They offer a 20% military discount and our waiter gave us two free desserts. Thanks, Paula!

In the Paula Deen store that's connected to the restaurant.
I love this buffet!
Paula and I. BFFs.

As we walked out of Lady & Sons, we heard fireworks down by the river. They had a great fireworks show with boats going up and down the river all decked out in Christmas lights. Free!

My brother and his fiance left Sunday morning. He had to head back to base (Fort Benning) and she had to get back to Lincoln, NE for nursing school. Mom and I stayed an extra couple days.

Sunday, we did the Historic Homes tour and walked through the Juliette Gordon Lowe Birthplace. She helped start the Girl Scouts. The house was beautiful.

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We ate lunch at the Crystal Beer Parlor which was recommended by a local. Neat place.

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We noticed the Historic Savannah Theatre had a Christmas show called A Christmas Tradition Sunday afternoon. We stopped in to ask how much tickets were. They were $35, but they have a program called Tickets for Troops which provides free tickets to active military and their dependents. Since my dad is active, my mom has a dependent ID. They gave us two free tickets. We were so grateful. This was one of my favorite activities of the trip. The show was FANTASTIC! They do it every year. The first half they sing popular Christmas songs, but also incorporate a Trans Siberian Orchestra song with a light show and even a song in Stomp fashion. The second half is based on the Christmas Carol story with Ebenezer Scrooge. They wrapped it up with O Holy Night and I honestly had tears in my eyes. It was so beautiful. It certainly got me in the Christmas spirit. Thank you Savannah Theatre for your strong support of our military.

Monday we toured the Andrew Lowe house. He was the wealthiest man in Savannah during his time. His home was immaculate. They just don't build them like they used to. They let active military and their dependents in for free as well. Thank you!

That afternoon, mom and I mostly shopped and walked around. Here are some random pictures from throughout our stay:

Green-Meldrim House under some renovations.
Outside one of the three candy shops. They have free praline samples which are dangerously good.
The Grand Victorian Lady

Store fronts along the river.

Kehoe House
Champion-Fowlkes House
Our last night there we ate at the Pirates House which was built in the early 1700s and is supposedly very haunted. It's a neat old building and much larger than the picture lets on. The food was delicious. We both ordered salmon. We heard many spooky tales while dining. I was a bit creeped out. Great way to end our trip.

Long story short, visit Savannah. It's a city full of fascinating history, spooky tales, and charming architecture. Next up on my places to visit - Charleston!

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