Lovely Savannah

 

The Greening of the Fountains- getting ready for St Patrick’s Day

Ten years ago Dave and I made a stop in Savannah for a couple of days. That was enough for us to fall in infatuation. We wanted to come back and stay longer.

In our perpetual search for a place to plop long term during retirement, we’ve lived in several desirable places: the San Diego area, the San Francisco area, the Blue Ridge Mountain area, and the west coast of Florida. We are searching primarily for warmth, sunshine, and plenty to do both outdoors and indoors.

Savannah has a lot of all of those things.

The city is designed for walking. There are 22 squares that have lots of benches and live oak trees decorated with Spanish Moss. Some have fountains and statues. All have plaques explaining the history of the square and surrounding buildings. There is lots of history here, of course. Remember Sherman’s march to the sea? Remember King Cotton? Remember plantations?

General Sherman’s Headquarters

Around the squares and lining the river are many beautiful buildings harkening back to the time of cotton factoring, big banks, and piles of family money. There are double stairs that lead up to an elevated (providing privacy and dust abatement from the street) front door of these southern homes. The kitchens and servants quarters are at street level or below.

The churches occupy at least one corner of almost every square. An exceptional one to visit is the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.  These were “trusted” lands so the city founders wanted to make sure there were plenty of religious influences as well as  lots of culture. Because of that, there are many theaters and museums around the squares.

St. John the Baptist Cathedral

Adding to the romance of the city are the plentiful tours; many given in horse drawn carriages. If you prefer, you can have some strong student bike you around town in these two seater carts that are a little like rickshaws.

Scattered around town are many famous restaurants known for their southern cooking. Some present traditional southern fare like Mrs. Wilkes or Lady and Sons (Paula Deen) and still more are known for modern interpretations of southern food like Cha Bella, Elizabeth’s on 37th, and Sapphire Grill. The city in March invites outdoor dining and coffee drinking. The people watching is excellent.

Just part of the food at Mrs. Wilkes

Students are everywhere. The Savannah College of Arts and Design (SCAD) has buildings scattered around downtown and midtown. They seem to have taken over almost every vacant building. These young people are employed all over the place and they are the ones who lead the bike tours, wait tables, and picnic in the park. Their artistic touches make it fun to turn a corner and see an unusual bike or a rather talent less piece of art in a shop window.

Sunday we went on a tour of the Bonaventure Cemetery. It was voted one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world by CNN. It is on the Wilmington River and has lovely statues on some of the  prominent graves. Did you read “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”? The Bird Girl statue that was on the cover came from this cemetery. Even in death, Savannah is lovely.

Little Gracie at Bonaventure Cemetery

Will Savannah be “the one” where Dave and I spend more time in our retirement? Who knows? Like sampling flavors of ice cream, maybe the fun is in the tasting.