Saturday, October 16, 2010

Chaney Vacation Take 2 - Savannah, GA

The next stop on our trip took us to Savannah, GA. We spent a full day and part of the next day in Savannah on our way to the Smokies last year when we were on vacation but we knew that that wasn't enough. We wanted to go back and do some more exploring.

When I was looking for a place to stay in Savannah I was really excited when I came across the Thunderbird Inn. Not only is it affordable, but it looked like a unique place to stay and it was within walking distance from all of the things we wanted to do in the city. The staff was very, very friendly and helpful and the toiletries, oh the toiletries! I have a love for things like these and had seen a photo of their packaging on their website. As silly as you might think it is, it was a draw for me when I booked the place. They did not disappoint! I brought them all home with me. Later on I realized I should have packed them before our room was cleaned in the middle of our stay because they might have stocked the room with more, but I suppose that would have been a little greedy. It was really, really nice to be able to park the car and leave it, not having to worry about parking. I'd like to think that getting all of that exercise by walking balanced all of the eating out!

Since the drive from Charleston to Savannah is only two hours, once we checked in we headed right out for a walk. Addie fell asleep so we hung out in one of the many awesome squares that the downtown area of the city was designed around. When she woke up we visited some of the places we'd seen before and figured out what we wanted to do with our days there. Initially we had planned to take a trolley tour like we did last year but already having been on one tour with Addie we decided we probably remembered most of what we learned the year before and decided against the guided tour.

 Again, much of our time was spent walking around the city and stopping and letting Addie roam around the parks and other areas. It pays to wander around the streets and check out the homes there, just like Charleston. It was nice to take our time and not feel rushed. We went back to Forsyth Park to visit the famous fountain there and spent quite a bit of time on the playgrounds, especially going down the slides.

Last year at Forsyth Park!
One day we visited the Jepson Center for the Arts and the rest of the Telfair Museums. We were actually able to get a pass that was good for one visit to each of the three locations but the pass was good for a week so we didn't have to see all three in one day. We visited the Jepson Center first and saved the other two for the next day. The Jepson Center was showing some cool exhibits and also houses a children's area. Addie met a friend and enjoyed building and destroying with the blocks, playing with the magnetic walls and being able to run around in general. It was nice to have something for us and for her, too.

Always in motion. On the rooftop deck at The Jepson.

Interactive exhibit.

We also checked out the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist (you can't really go wrong with an old, huge, beautiful church) and did a lot of walking along River Street and the shopping areas in town. We had to re-visit a jewelry shop we stopped by last year and, of course, GAP, since those are so few and far between these days. We agreed that one of our best meals was the night we went for pizza at a local place, Vinnie Van Go Go's. We saw it but didn't eat there last time and it was recommended by one of my sister's friends so we had added it to our to do list. We sat outside on a cool night and had some really good pizza.

On our last day we drove out to Tybee Island. With living close to the beach already we had not planned to visit the beaches in the area but we had already knocked off most of what was on our list and thought it would be fun to take Addie out there. We didn't stay long, but ended up there an hour or so before sunset and enjoyed an almost deserted beach. It's weird when going to a beach with brown sand - not that it isn't pretty, but I have to say, I prefer the white sand of the gulf coast!

After we packed up the car and checked out the next morning we made a quick visit to Bonaventure Cemetery. We'd heard that this cemetery was worth visiting and we didn't want to wish we'd gone and not visited like we did last year. While cemeteries with a lot of history can be cool, I think we were a little disappointed and didn't spend much time there. Not that it wasn't cool to see but at that point we might have been a little ready to get on the road. 

I'm so glad we took the time to explore Savannah. Like Charleston, it harbors a lot of history and is a beautiful city - one of the prettiest I have seen.  It also is home to the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and other schools so there are many people out and about all of the time. It is a busy city, but somehow all of the awesome squares and trees and Spanish moss seem to close it in and make it quieter than it really is. And yes, there are many dogs, too, although I'm sure we saw and met more in Charleston.

I am thankful for our vacation. While it wasn't the most relaxing trip we've ever taken, it was good to get out of town and be together, just the three of us. Vacation 2010 is history - what will next year bring?!

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