Monday, June 18, 2012

Road Trip - Part 2: Oh Sanvannah

Oh Savannah – an exciting city with all the southern charm you can imagine.  We stayed in the heart of the Historic District.  We parked our car for three days and never needed to drive until the day we departed.  We over looked River Street and the waterfront.  This is a real walking city and walk we did.  We also took advantage of the city tour narrated by certified historians, some dressed in costume.  It was especially nice since you could get off and on whenever.  This city has lots of history, 22 park-like squares which you maneuver around like a round-about.  One of the squares, Chippewa, is where Forrest Gump’s bench was located.  The bench has since been moved to the museum of history in the Visitor Center.  I had Brian, hubby, sit on a bench in this park and named it Brian “Gump” bench.  This is also considered a movie city, where more than 20 major movies where shot in or near Savannah.  Some of these movies are: Cape Fear, The Last Song, Forrest Gump and the famous Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

We experienced the horse drawn carriage and Paula Deen’s (really more hype than good food – service was terrible and the food not so good) restaurant. This is also a city where you can carry alcoholic beverages as you stroll or walk, as long as it is in a plastic cup.  (sip as you stroll).  Reminded me of Bourbon Street.

The cemeteries were interesting, especially Colonial Cemetery, where you can see where some lived over 100 years or died before they were born.  This was caused by the Union troops during the Civil War who occupied this place and re-carved dates in the tombstones.   Tombstone rubbings are against the law, I’m glad I asked before I did any rubbings.  The most beautiful cemetery is the “Bonaventure Cemetery”.  It truly is one of the most beautiful places on earth.  It is the cemetery where one of the famous scenes in the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was filmed.  The famous statue has been moved to a museum and the city banned alcoholic beverages in the cemetery since the movie.  Story goes too many were coming to the cemetery to sip martini’s and picnic (scene from the movie).  What I learned, and so glad we booked a tour guide, was the carvings of many of the tombstones all have meanings.  It was all so fascinating I had to buy a book from B&N on the meanings.  Johnny Mercer, and family members are buried in this cemetery.  If you visit Savannah you definitely want to visit this cemetery.

Other than Paula Deen’s, we had excellent dining experience.  Savannah has many wonderful restaurants to choose from.  Did I mention Leopold's Ice Cream Parlor - heavenly - all homemade on site. Not to be outdone by the best pralines ever - better than New Orlean's.

There is so much to take in and we did quite a bit in 2 ½ days.  Loved every minute!  I would go back in a heart beat.  Any takers?  My bags are packed.
Bonaventure Cemetery pics will be the next post.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Road Trip Part 1

It was a wonderful 10 days.  It all started with a wedding invitation taking place Memorial Day weekend in Durham, N.C.  Well, I could not pass up the opportunity to first go to Raleigh (next door to Durham) to check on our Townhouse, proceed to Durham for the wedding, then on to Charleston to see number 1 son (one and only) and then to Savannah.  The weather was perfect for the entire trip.  We missed all the rain from hurricane Burl – we were always one step ahead of it.

The wedding ceremony took place in Duke Gardens.  It was a short ceremony, which everyone was thankful for since it was very hot.  The ladies were all given a parasol and everyone received a fan.  The fan contained the directions to the reception plus a Sudoku game to keep you occupied prior to the ceremony.  Duke Gardens is a beautiful place and if you are ever in the area you really should stop in – it’s free.  The bride was beautiful, along with her dress.  The reception was not like one I have attended before.  Besides the normal, buffet and band, no cake (bride does not like cake), there were arcade machines, casino tables and a photo booth.  It was actually a lot of fun.  We had a great time.

Off to Charleston (actually Goose Creek).  We spent 4 wonderful days with son, his girlfriend and friends.  Good friends of ours were also at the wedding and have a daughter who lives in the Charleston as well.  They rented a beach house for the week for a family reunion on Folly Island.  We went to Folly Island for an afternoon – I was not planning on going into the water so I did not arrive prepared for the beach other than a swimsuit and towel.  I managed to get sunburned (ouch), but the walks on the beach (my favorite thing to do) were wonderful and the water was quite warm.   It was so relaxing, I swear I could live on the beach, but my husband does not want to so I will settle for living on a lake in the mountains (we both love the mountains); the best of both worlds for me.  Dream, dream and more dreaming.  I will say there is no lack of restaurants in Charleston.  They are all good.  The charm of the area and the history, they seem to have it all, until we went to Savannah.  [I am saving a separate post dedicated to Savannah]  Besides good food eating out, we went on a sunset sailing trip from the Charleston harbor.  Another one of my favorite things to do, sailing.  When I lived in Milwaukee we used to go sailing on Lake Michigan and then when I moved to Maryland, co-workers owned a 40ft sail boat, so we would sail with them on the Chesapeake Bay.  Ahh the memories.  Sorry, side tracked again.  Back to Charleston – one day we walked down the waterfront and in some parts of the historic area and found several nice watering holes for a beer or drink – again it was hot and hotter.  My son had his walking GPS going so when I said it was time for beverages he knew exactly were to take us.  First we went to the Spilado Arts festival.  The art was only fine art paintings and very expensive.  I swear I under price my work after seeing these.  Don’t get me wrong – they were all very good, but had price tags of $800 and into the thousands.  We then went to a rooftop bar and restaurant where you can see the harbor and a lot of Charleston.  Good place for a quick lunch and drinks.  My husband and son asked what kind of beer they had and were instructed to look at the shelf which was lined with beer cans.  So they picked one they never had before, Tasmania only to be told after the order was taken the bartender said they no longer carry that beer, so they picked a second choice, again ordered and the waitress comes back saying they no longer carry that beer.  At this point I started laughing and they asked “so what beer do you carry?” since looking at the shelf, as instructed, does not seem to work, they settled for a local beer brewed in Charleston.

Flowers - "saucer" Magnolia

Art from Spilado Art Festival




Gotta love a man in uniform!
Then we went to Savannah – a place I have always wanted to visit – for 3 days.  It is beautiful, historic and has lots of charm.  Plus, many movies have been filmed their, the most famous is “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”.  I will have a separate post on Savannah – Road Trip Part 2.