Home Away From Home

A Day in Savannah

After a poor night of sleeping (think I apparently drank too much decaf tea) I got up about 7:00. We had already decided that we would get up and out this morning to begin our day of touring Savannah so after coffee and breakfast we left around 9:30. Gypsy took us right straight to the Visitor’s Center/Trolley Stop with no problem – no going down a one way street the wrong way! When we got there a trolley had just left so we had to wait a few minutes. They are scheduled every 20 minutes. Jerry went into the Visitor’s Center to get a package of M&M’s for me to carry in my purse just in case he had another sugar drop today. The biggest difference in the trolley tour in St. Augustine and the tour in Savannah is the distance covered. The tour in St. Augustine was shorter and walking between the stops wasn’t a problem. The tour in Savannah is much longer and covers a lot of area so we had to be sure we got off and on when we wanted to. If we missed a stop we just missed it. Walking to another stop wasn’t an option and neither was riding the trolley for a long time to get back to where we wanted to go so Monday night we sort of picked out some of the stops we were most interested in.

The first stop was the City Market. We got off there and went to the trolley store. They had several things we were interested in but didn’t want to buy anything and carry it around all day. One thing was a scallop appetizer dish that was on sale but we decided we would try to come back in the car after the tour. Right! That might happen. We went into a Thomas Kincaid gallery and his pictures are really pretty and affordable, in fact a small framed picture was only $89. I can surely see why he was called the painter of light. We went in one room where we looked at the changes in the painting as the lights were dimmed. Amazing!

We wandered around for a bit longer finding a chocolate shop that smelled incredible. We were able to resist though so left still having our good intentions to cut back. As soon as the next trolley came we jumped on. We were fortunate to be sitting in the front where the “windows” were pulled down so we weren’t in the open air. It was a little cool for that! We rode by the Juliette Gordon Low Birthday and the Chippewa Square which was famous not only for the Chippewa but also because that’s where Tom Hanks sat on the bench when the feather came floating down from the steeple of the Independent Presbyterian Church in the movie Forest Gump.

Forsyth Park was next and that is where the Confederate and Spanish-American War Memorials are. The soldier on the Confederate statue was made in Canada and the stipulation was that it should not touch Northern soil so it was shipped by sea to Savannah.

We rode by the house and the attorney’s office that were significant in the The Garden of Good and Evil. I read the book years ago but can’t really remember any of it so may try to re-read it since I can now picture the places where the events occurred.

We got off the trolley and walked to the Mickva Israel Synagogue. We caught the tail end of a tour so we listened to that and then went into the “chapel” – not sure what it’s called – and it was amazing. We listened to a taped explanation of the temple and then the tour guide took us up on the altar. We saw a Torah that was written on deerskin in the 2700’s. There were plaques around the room with lists of names. Some of the names had lights on beside them and that indicated that it was the anniversary of their death. The latest date I saw was 1953. The columns throughout the church appear to be marble but they are cast iron painted faux marble.

We walked to Lafayette Square on our way to the Cathedral and decided to have lunch there. Yep, Adkins bars and water again. Jerry was getting a little shaky so after the bar he also ate the M&M’s. He’s been eating the Ezekiel cereal each morning for breakfast and it has absolutely no carbs so that may be the reason he’s having a sugar drop. As soon as the sugar got into his system he felt fine so we went on to the Cathedral.

The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
I wish I could think of one word that could describe the Cathedral but I can’t. I heard one guy use “spiritual” and “awesome” and they both fall short. To say that it is a beautiful church is a great understatement. The Baptismal Font is just as you enter the chapel and is Italian Marble. The Latin inscription transcribes “He who sent me to baptize with water, he is it who baptizes with the Holy Spirit”. On either side of the church hanging on the wall are wood carvings from Bavaria called the Stations of the Cross depicting different stages of Jesus’ last days. The Confessional was on the left side of the church. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThree glass panels depicted a barren desert representing sin, the Prodigal son representing forgiveness and the Tree of Life representing new life. It was closed and apparently very private. Never having been in a Catholic church before it was interesting to me to see the confessional and the altar where the candles are lit. The church itself is magnificent with outstanding architecture. Only pictures could give the true picture as my words fail miserably.

We got back on the trolley and rode down Rainbow Row. The houses are all alike except for the color which varied in pastel colors. Houses in the Historical District cannot even paint their doors a different color without permission from the Historical Society. While I certainly understand the reasoning behind this I’m not sure I’d like to live in a house where someone else dictated how I decorated it. Right at the edge of the District was a bright pink house only partially finished. You could definitely tell that it wasn’t a part of the Historical District, more like the Hysterical District!

We rode by Emmer Park where the Vietnam Veterans Monument stands. Still can’t believe I saw the Moving Wall in Tampa at the Super Show and didn’t take a picture of it. The Celtic Cross Monument also stands there.

Savannah River Front
Savannah River Front
Next we ventured down under the Factors Walk where brokers used to bid on cotton to the river walk. Full of shops with lots of trinkets it reminded me of a real tourist trap. However we did see some interesting things: pole art which was PVC with some sort of digital screen painting on it. I would love to have one for the screened-in porch at the river but one little scratch would mar the finish so we pass on that. We spent a very short while there and then headed back to the trolley. As we got on we noticed that something was amiss and finally realized that they were trying to get another driver for the trolley because this driver’s wife was having a heart attack and he needed to get back. Really – just go. Hopefully everyone would have understood but I do admire his loyalty to his job.

By this time Jerry said he was getting tired. Although there was more that I would like to have seen I decided it was time to call it a day. I had eaten two Belvitas and one Adkins bar and I just didn’t have enough fuel in my tank to carry on. We got back to the trolley stop and he went inside for a few minutes. I got our parking pass validated and then went over to stand outside to wait for him.

Would you believe that although only one person was smoking it so permeated the air that I couldn’t stay there? We left and then suddenly realized that we wanted to go back to the first store to get the scallop dish. Turned on old faithful Gypsy and easily found the store. Parking was at a premium so Jerry just let me out and I went in and bought the dish, some hand soap and bath gel. Then went outside to wait for him. I couldn’t believe that in the entire city of Savannah there was one guy that came up, stood right beside me and lit a cigarette! Dang!

Went on back to the RV and rested for a while and then went outside intending to walk down to the river bordering the campground. We never made it as we met Steve and Sue from Rhode Island who have a Winnebago Adventurer. We talked with them a good while and then were joined by a couple from Pennsylvania on their way to Florida. By then it was getting dark and time for dinner. Anther couple with a Phaeton had been outside and I really wanted to pick their brain but by then they had gone inside. We went in, fixed some potato salad and peas and heated up the meatloaf. I only drank one glass of tea hoping that it wouldn’t bother me tonight.

Got in bed about 8:00 and watched NCIS. Nothing was on after that except the State of the Union Address so I turned off the RV and listened to a podcast by John and Kathy. I fell asleep several times during the tape but kept waking up. Jerry came to bed and immediately fell asleep. For the second night I had trouble going to sleep so no tea for me Wednesday night!

Home Away From Home

Beautiful Savannah

Woke up this morning freezing! I got up around 5ish to go to the bathroom and it was so cold in the RV. I put the blanket over the spread and climbed back in. It’s a wonder Jerry didn’t fall out of bed because I was right up against him. We didn’t see the need to keep the fireplace or quartz on last night and since it got down to 35 or so it was really cold. Jerry jumped up around 7:00 and turned the heat on and then we stayed in bed until it was tolerable.

Since the trolley tours weren’t operating this morning because of Martin Luther King Day (Federal Holiday) we didn’t hurry this morning. I needed to call the City of Kinston to get the total of our bill. Honestly Kinston – it is time to get technological. I found out how much our bill was and then went online to pay it and found out that First South wouldn’t get it to City of Kinston until the 26th. It’s the 19th! Oh well, as soon as we get home we’ll go downtown and pay it. Ain’t technology great?

Our plan was to go to Tybee Island for a bit and then wander around Savannah saving the trolley tour until tomorrow. As we were riding down the highway a ramp was closed by police and as I looked over I saw a horde of people and then realized that people were lined up for a parade in celebration of Martin Luther King Day. Gypsy took us downtown into Savannah and every road we went to was blocked. It was kind of like you can’t get there from here! We decided to just walk around and found a parking place but realized that it was paid parking and we had not one quarter so we pulled out. Jerry dropped me off in front of what I thought was a coffee shop – t wasn’t but they told me that we didn’t have to pay parking meters today since it was a federal holiday so off we went to find another parking place.

Layfayette Square
Layfayette Square
We finally found a parking place and our first stop was the Cathedral of St. John. Wouldn’t you know it was closed for worship so we went across the street to Layfayette Square. David called and Jerry talked for a while and I wandered around trying to find some sunshine. Then we walked over to Colonial Park Cemetery. Graves there went back to the 1700’s and there were over 700 buried there who had died from yellow fever. Many of the tombstones were unreadable due to age.

We walked back to the Cathedral but it was still closed so we went back to the car and had lunch. In a city full of good restaurants we sat in the car and had Adkins bars! Really! Then we finally headed to Tybee Island. Quite frankly it was a disappointment in that it only had a small stretch of stores and they were the typical tourist stuff. We only stopped for Jerry to go to the bathroom in a portapotty and then we left, didn’t even see the water. I guess living on the coast makes us a bit uninterested in seeing another coast.

We decided to go to the Visitor’s Center and ride the trolley. Well – what a ride. Gypsy may have been confused or we weren’t listening but getting to the Visitor’s Center was – well let’s say interesting. Going down a one way street – yep, the wrong way. It was a short street and we didn’t meet anyone fortunately. We finally got to the Visitor’s Center and went in. It wasn’t very interesting plus Jerry began to feel as though his sugar was dropping. I had purposely kept a small bag of M&M’s in my purse for that eventuality but they didn’t work so he had to go buy a candy bar. He soon began to feel better and we walked outside. I walked over to the trolley sales desk to ask if we could bring out tickets from St. Augustine tomorrow and get the discount. Jerry still had his sticker but I didn’t. The guy said it wasn’t necessary, he didn’t need the tickets plus since it was so late he’d give us two days. We were supposed to get $4 off but I think it added up to almost $10! We got on the trolley and rode the entire route deciding to wait until tomorrow to go to specific places we were interested in. I do wish I could remember all the tour guide told us, even half of it. “Lily” was very knowledgeable to say the least.

After the ride we came on back to the campground. Since we will be leaving here and going to Raleigh to Bill Plemmons to leave the RV (more phone calls that took up our morning) we discussed whether to go straight to Raleigh on Wednesday or go half way and spend the night and go on into Raleigh on Thursday. Going to Raleigh on Wednesday and then to Kinston to a cold house seems a bit much to me but Jerry is the driver so I’ll let him make the decision.

Back at the rig we just rested a bit and then I cooked dinner: meatloaf in the convection and it was good and mashed, really mashed and lumpy potatoes and butter beans. A quiet evening. If it were summer we’d be outside walking around or reading or just meeting folks but it’s dark and cold so inside we are. Having only two slides isn’t so bad!