Thursday, July 01, 2021

The Great Getting Out Of The House Southeast USA Vacation Of 2021 - Days 8 And 9

We got up early, the first in a week I think.  We really slept in a lot this vacation which was very welcome.  We headed south to our next destination, Savannah, GA.

The truth be told, we really didn't have any concrete plans for Savannah.  Since we didn't have anything big like the Hunley or Fort Sumter we decided to do what we did in our Canadian train trip and ride the hop on hop off trolly.  Riding the trolly would give us the lay of the land and show us what Savannah has to offer.

The Basilica stained glass.
Savannah is a beautiful city with historic buildings and streets lined with spanish moss draped trees.  The historic portion of the city is built around 22 squares.  There were once 24 squares but some were lost to development. The city is currently reclaiming one of the lost squares so it can be restored.

A statue dedicated to a black Haitien regiment who fought in the Civil War.
Our trolly tour was narrated by a docent in historic costume and, at random stops along the route other costumed characters would board the trolly to explain part of the city's history.  It was interesting but, once again, it was a bit whitewashed and fixated on death (The trolly company does haunted tours which bled over into the standard tour a bit).

After doing the full two hour loop we stayed on and returned to a square next to a Catholic basilica and the childhood home of Flannery O'Connor.  The Flannery house was closed when we got there.  It appears that COVID did a number on a lot of the museum's and historic homes in Savannah.  The Wife called a number and sent an email to an address on a sign outside the house hoping to set up a tour of the house but she never received an answer.

After that disappointment we went into the lovely Catholic Church and cooled off a bit before getting back on the trolly and heading for another landmark, Leopold's Ice Cream shop.  Unfortunately we misread where it was and got off at the wrong trolly stop.  We decided to walk the eight blocks or so to the shop.  By the time we got there we were hot and sweaty and we were greeted by a long line snaking outside Leopold's.  We stood in line for ten or fifteen minutes before giving up.  It was too hot and the line was moving too slow.  We walked to the nearest trolly (the one we should have gotten off at) and road the trolly back to where our car was parked.  Not a very satisfying day so far.

The Chandler Oak, here since the 1700s, draped in spanish moss.
We checked into our hotel which was close to a trolly stop and the city market area.  We walked down to the city market and looked for a place to eat.  There were fewer places here than we expected.  We finally settled on a cafe/bar that actually had good food.  The rest of the city market was a bit underwhelming.  It was very small, just two blocks, and lacked character.
The famous Forsyth Park fountain.
On day nine we were going back to a couple places along the trolly route.  The first was Forsyth Park. The park was a nice place to walk despite of the large Confederate soldier memorial.  The memorial was balanced in the park by a large fountain.  A lot of people were out in the park today and it was nice seeing people out and about.  The park was full of trees covered in Spanish moss, a type of bromeliad.  Across the street from the park a large and very old tree called the Chandler Oak Tree stands in front of what once was a hospital.  The tree has been here since the 1700s.

The Waving Girl of Savannah.
We got back on the trolley and headed for River Street.  This street is lined with restaurants and souvenir shops.  Very touristy but a good place to procure magnets.  There were also statues dedicated to enslaved families and Florence Martus (the waving girl).

It was along here that we encountered our first mask required visitor's center.  Until then masks had been optional and were rarely seen.

We returned to the hotel, cooled off a bit, then ended up going back to the same restaurant we'd eaten at the day before.  There were plenty of restaurants in the Savannah historic district but they were all a bit ... froo-froo for us.

We came into Savannah with low expectations and that's what we got.  The place felt older as opposed to Charleston which attracted a younger crowd.  Sometime when we go into a place cold like this we find something that pleasantly surprises us.  Savannah had few surprises.

Photos can be found in my 2021-06 Southeast USA Google Photos album.

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