I remember visiting Savannah, GA many years ago. I remember a foul, sulphuric smell of the city’s paper mills. I remember taking a bus tour on which my Grandmother told the tour guide that we are descendents of General Sherman. I can’t believe we weren’t taken to one of the famed city squares and stoned to death.
Yesterday, decades later, I re-visited Savannah. The smell is gone and we all kept quiet about our infamous relatives. Three-generations making our way over cobble-stoned streets, past famous movie locations and dining on television-famed Southern Cuisine. Tonight I sit with my feet up, reflecting on a beautiful day, and longing for another bite of Paula Deen’s Flourless Chocolate Torte.
Leaving the Hilton Head, SC area we drove about 30 minutes to the Savannah Convention Center and took the Ferry across the Savannah River. The ride takes just minutes, it’s free, and we had the good fortune of spotting some dolphins along the ride.
Our first destination was the City Market to explore the numerous art galleries and studios. The only snafu was allowing a little boy to spot these run-through fountains. He has an extremely mean Mother who said “no” to being soaked for a day of sightseeing.
The only thing that perked him back up was hanging around the meeting site for the carriage rides. While I viewed art, chatted with photographers and did a wine tasting, he got to know all of the different horses by name. I am sure he would have been driving a carriage had I allowed him to stay all day.
Thanks to Savannah College of Art and Design, this city is rich with artists in every medium. The city market has galleries, co-ops and studios and I could have spent all day long visiting with artists and taking in their various styles. When youngster patience was pushed to the max, we moved on. The kids did a salsa tasting while my dad and I did a wine tasting.
Georgia weather begs for beverages that are cold and refreshing. The wines from the Meinhardt Vineyard were just that, light and fruity. We left with a bottle of red and a bottle of white. I plan to enjoy them later this week while gator-watching.
Time for lunch!
Little feet moved quickly in anticipation of seeing Paula Deen and filling up on her buttery delicacies.
This is all that we saw of the Deen family:
I highly, HIGHLY suggest making a reservation at Lady and Sons restaurant. We booked a Saturday lunch about 5 days in advance. While many others waited in line for hours to book a table we leisurely planned our day around our 12:15 seating. Phone numbers, menus and other information can be found on their website. http://www.ladyandsons.com
Soooooo – how was it????
I love the building: a 200-hundred-year-old Hardware building that has been renovated, but retains enough structural details to hint at its history.
Our service was excellent. While I had hoped for a guy or gal with the same syrupy southern voice as Paula Deen, I really can’t complain. Our drinks never dropped below half a glass and she was incredibly informative when it came to dealing with their Gluten Free menu.
I loved the Southern details. Doilies as placemats.Soft linen-like paper napkins. Giant mint leaves generously adorned drinks and desserts.
The menu was what you might expect: fried chicken, meatloaf sandwich, pulled pork, fried okra….. battered, fried, rich Southern cooking. The Gluten Free menu had just 4 options – 2 salads and 2 fish dishes. I could have been happy with any of the four, the kids were not as overjoyed. We got a combination of the choices and all were very fresh, and the side veggies were cooked perfectly!
With everyone else stuffed with mac and cheese, biscuits, casseroles, and creamed corn the Celiacs among us still had room for dessert. The Flourless Chocolate Torte was rich and fudgy, served with fresh whipped cream. The kids attacked so quickly I forgot to snap a photo. Just keep in mind that 1 slice is PLENTY for 2 or 3 people. The others around the table nibbled on Gooey butter cake (report is that is tasted gooey and buttery) and Peach Cobbler (a little peach, a lot cobbler.)
I enjoyed the experience. I wouldn’t mind going again to sample the dinner menu, but I would be just as happy trying out some of Savannah’s less trendy locations. I was thoroughly impressed with the fact that they have a Gluten Free menu and that the staff seem very knowledgeable and accommodating. If Ms. Deen happens to be listening, a roast chicken dish, or a bun-less burger and maybe a corn or cheesy-rice side-dish would be delightful, especially for the kiddos!
Whew…. time for some walking.
We crisscrossed around the city, shopping in antique stores, peering into old-fashioned barber shops, listening to street musicians, and basically being silly tourists.
Finally, we reached our destination, Chippewa Square – also known as Forrest Gump Square.
The bench that Tom Hanks tells his story from was placed in this park especially for the film, and is no longer there. If you want to check out the famous bench it is in the Savannah History Museum
Here is Harry sitting on that cement wall behind the bench. “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”
At the beginning of the film, a feather floats down into the square from a church. Here is the steeple of that church.
Time to head back to River Street. Our 3 goals on river street included:
1) Candy Stores. While we didn’t need any more sweets, it was fun to see the barrels and bins of treats and watch pralines and salt water taffy being made.
2) The Bob’s Your Uncle store. Why? Well, Bob IS our uncle. The kids wanted to buy him everything in the shop.
3) See Savannah’s Waving Girl.
This statue is of Florence Martus, a well-known woman nick-named the Waving Girl. The daughter of a sergeant stationed at Fort Pulaski, Florence later moved to a cottage along the river near the entrance of the harbor with her brother George, the Cockspur Island Lighthouse keeper. At an early age, she developed a close affinity with the passing ships and welcomed each one with a wave of her handkerchief. Sailors began returning her greeting by waving back or with a blast of the ship’s horn. Florence continued her waving tradition for 44 years. The facts about why she started and continued the waving tradition for so many years remain a mystery.
Here is our waving girl bidding farewell to Savannah.
Savannah is certainly a family friendly city and well worth a day trip or even a weekend away. There are many restaurants and bars, LOTS of historical homes and museums, to include the Girl Scout museum and beautiful city squares canopied by Live Oak trees. I already have a to-do list for our next visit.
Here are a few more shots I captured and then played up on the retro feel of the city.