|On Friday the 17th we traveled to our next stop, Savannah, GA. We decided to spend a little more time here since neither of us had ever been here and we were sure there would be a lot of interesting stuff to see. The campground we picked this time was Red Gate Farm RV Resort, just 8 minutes from downtown Savannah. It turned out to be a really nice park, located on what once was 440 acres of farmland. The property has been in the same family for four generations and now the current owners are turning the property into an RV park. The facilities are great; a very nice clubhouse with a pool table and big screen TV, fishing ponds, a pool and a nice lounge area with showers and laundry room. There was just one tiny problem; the wi-fi wasn’t working at all for the first 3 days and on Monday they got it working at the office but not at our campsite. We made several trips to the office the rest of the week. The weather was unseasonably HOT all week, about 10 degrees higher than the normal for this time of year, the temperature highs were in the nineties every day, I guess you can tell from our previous posts, I really don’t like it that HOT.
Savannah has a lot of history; the city was established in 1733 when a British General, James Oglethorpe landed on a bluff along the Savannah River. It was Oglethorpe who devised the street layout that included 24 park-like squares, there are 22 of the original squares still in existence, each has monuments or fountains and dozens of huge Live Oak trees dripping with Spanish Moss. On Sunday we drove into downtown thinking that the traffic wouldn’t be too bad……it was still very busy, lots of tourists like us enjoying the sights. We went to the river front plaza along the Savannah River, the old cotton warehouses and other port buildings have been restored and are now gift shops and restaurants. Savannah is still a major port city with many big cargo ships arriving and departing daily.
Another day we drove to Tybee Island, a tourist and beach area and the sight of the Tybee Lighthouse, the oldest and tallest lighthouse in Georgia. Parts of the current lighthouse were built in 1773 but the original Tybee light beacon was built on the island in 1736. We had been told that no trip to Tybee Island would be complete without eating at The Crab Shack so of course, we had to go there too. We were not disappointed; it was a really fun place. We ate our lunch outdoors on a large wooden deck under huge trees. It was warm but the deck was cooled with large fans and misting systems. The tables are built with holes in the middle under a shelf for the condiments and under the holes are large garbage cans to dispose of all the shells and miscellaneous shellfish parts as you eat. Bob ordered a sampler platter that I swear was large enough to feed a family of four, shrimp, crab legs, mussels, crawfish, sausage, corn and potatoes.
One day, to escape the heat, we went to two malls, the Savannah Mall and the Oglethorpe Mall. The Savannah Mall, a small older mall, recently added The Bass Pro Shop as a tenant. The Oglethorpe was bigger and better. We also went to a large flea market one afternoon, but only some of the air-conditioning was working so we didn’t stay long.
Our most fun tourist activity of the week was an Old Town Trolley tour of Savannah. Just listening to the history alone made the trip worthwhile. Several movies have been filmed in Savannah including the “box of chocolates” scene from Forest Gump, as we rode by the park where Forest sat on a bench a Forest Gump look-a-like complete with his little suitcase came running down the street. The trolley tour took us past Paula Deen’s restaurant “The Lady and Sons” and many other Savannah landmarks including the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low, and the home of her in-laws where Juliette held the very first Girl Scouts meeting in 1912. There are hundreds of historic old homes in Savannah and most have been or are in the process of being restored to their original grandeur. Savannah is the home of The Savannah College of Art and Design that began in 1979 with 71 students and has grown to have a student population of over 10,000. Many of the downtown buildings, including a large cotton warehouse that is used for classrooms, art studios and galleries, have been purchased and restored by the college. After our trolley tour we stopped at the Savannah Visitors Center where I bought a book that was written about a murder that took place in Savannah, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, the book mentions many of the sights we had seen on the tour. We stopped for lunch at the Whistle Stop Café a restored rail car.
As I mentioned before it was HOT all week without one single drop of rain……I keep thinking that might cool it off a little. Next stop Jacksonville, FL, I suppose it will be hot there too.