We traditionally take Katie Bug (our oldest granddaughter) on a special vacation, just the three of us, each summer. She always decides the destination, and likes places "old people", like us, enjoy. We have such a great time, mostly watching her excitement as she learns about the bigger world around her, clowns around, or as she chows down on some crab legs!
This year's trip was just a four-day tour of Savannah and Tybee Island, Georgia. It was about 7 and a half hours from Harriman, straight down Interstates all the way. Judy did all the driving there and back, while I was saddled with the 'round-town driving. I think I would have much preferred the Interstate!
Savannah is an easy place to get around, once you discover that the town was beautifully laid out in perfect squares with straight streets that lead to an from the Savannah Historic District. Of course, the first thing you have to get used to are the squares, or little parks that are placed at every intersection in the historic district. This squares are America's equivalent of Europe's "round-abouts". You must slow down and follow around to your right in order to continue on your straight journey downtown.
Most of the "squares" contain a fountain, a statue, or monument dedicated to someone or some past historical event. These squares broke up our straight trip up and down Abercorn Street each day as we traveled from our hotel to the downtown sites.
Judy picked out our hotel blindly on the Internet, so it was quite a distance from downtown, but the place was nice so we decided to stay put and just enjoy the trips to and from our planned destinations.
We loved walking on Bay and River Streets, watching vacationers and following them into various shops and restaurants. River Street is like a little Gatlinburg with lots of unique shops and candy kitchens, and great places to get in out of the 90+ degree heat, cool off, and eat.
The walking isn't hard, after all your are at sea level, but during the hot summer months you want to be sure to carry water with you, and you need to find a place to cool off frequently. The heat is a "wet heat", very humid, so your body will know when it's time to take a break!
Katie loved the old buildings and cemeteries, and often said, while following me, "Papaw, do you have a duck in your pants!" I told her no, but she would reply, "I don't know...I can hear it quacking!" Sorry...I had to add that, she has a unique sense of humor!
We toured Bonaventure and Colonial Cemeteries and took loads of photos, but we never let our car get too far out of sight. The heat was oppressive and we enjoyed the cool while relocating within the 600 acres!
Tybee Island was another great place to visit and shop, or to take a tour of the Tybee Island Lighthouse, or the beautiful grounds of Fort Pulaski. Katie asked lots of questions and I answered or made up answers to every one! It was quite interesting to see this bit of history.
We also toured the Sorrel-Weed House. This house has a lot of history and even boast of having been a frequent lodging for Gen. Robert E. Lee when he was in Savannah. The house is also reported haunted, which fascinated Katie. She talked about seeing the house on TV and about the "orbs" that had been photographed there.
I tried to explain that "orbs" are nothing more than specs of dust that are captured by the reflecting flash on cameras. However, she preferred to believe, and I did capture some "orbs/dust reflections" while in the basement! You can see those and my other photos on my Flickr page.
Katie was also impressed by the old deep south "pineapple" tradition. Home owners would show off their wealth by going out and buying a very rare pineapple when ever visitors came to stay. They displayed them on their mantels to show how welcome their guests were.
The pineapple stayed there during the entire visit. However, if the guests overstayed their welcome the owner would simply take the pineapple down from the mantel and serve it at the next meal. That was a signal for the guests to make an excuse for them having to leave. Nothing had to be said, just put up or take away the pineapple!
Robert E. Lee, however, often carried extra pineapples with him. So, if he got up one morning and the owner's pineapple was missing, he would simple place one of his own there! Who knew he had a sense of humor!?