"Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity."
– Gilda Radner
Let me begin by saying SAVANNAH IS AWESOME. We absolutely love this area - - so much so that we extended our stay here, which we have not done before on this trip. So let me just tell you all about it.
We are staying at Skidaway Island State Park which is beautiful. Our site is huge and very private and lousy with squirrels and live oaks covered with spanish moss (which, by the way is not Spanish nor is it moss -- it is part of the pineapple family). It has lots of nice trails and bike paths too which is really nice. Steve and I spent a couple days this week just hanging out here as it is such a nice place to stay. But on to our adventures . . .
Our first was a day in the city of Savannah. Please be sure to check out Steve's gallery for pictures of the city because there is just no way to describe the beauty. It is old world charm in spades. The architecture ranges from Greek revival to colonial and even a bit of French, sort of quasi-New Orleans styles. The city is organized around a series of squares that are used for both recreation and social activity. The landscaping in each square is meticulously done and a joy to behold, especially for someone like me who loves gardening. The best part about the city is that you can walk the entire thing and that, actually, is the best way to take it all in. Because of the squares, there's always a place to stop and take a break from the heat or to rest up and people watch. This day, to top off our Savannah visit, Steve and I had lunch at The Lady and Sons, the restaurant owned by Paula Deen and her sons. The restaurant has three stories and is constantly full. I had a half chicken salad sandwich and a cup of Confederate Soup (nine-bean soup) that was deeeeeelish! Steve had a tilapia sandwich that he said was just "alright". But the key lime pie was to die for - - I mean the crust had slivered almonds in it. MMMMMMMMMMMMM. On the way out of the city, Steve snapped a pic of the "Occupy Savannah" crowd. What a hoot!!!!!
The next day, Steve and I ventured out to Hilton Head Island. On the way, we stopped at the Del Webb community to check out their houses and get a feel for what they offered for a 55+ community. We really liked one of their model homes and what Del Webb has to offer. The community is no where near as large as The Villages, which we liked, but offers all the same type of social and recreational activities. We are keeping this on our list of options as we move forward. After our stop at Del Webb, we headed to the Island and had lunch at a really nice restaurant off the Shelter Cove harbor. At the time that we were there, it was low tide and it was fascinating to see that the water level rises 8 feet when the tide is at its highest. Interesting. Following lunch, we headed out to ride our bikes around the island. Hilton Head Island's community leaders recognized that their island is small enough (5 miles by 12 miles) that you can reach anywhere you need to go by bike, so they paved 50 miles of bike tracks that run all over the island. The beach can also be traversed via bike as the sand is very hard-packed, much like Daytona. We had a nice time just riding around and enjoying the beautiful weather and landscape. It got a little hot so, of course, we stopped for the requisite dish of ice cream before we headed back to Savannah.
There is an historic homestead near the state park we are staying in called Wormsloe. Steve and I ventured over there for a day of learning, exercise and a little geocaching. This home was built by Noble Jones in the early 1700s as part of an experiment that England was conducting. Some of England's poorest were taken to Georgia, given up to 500 acres each to work, and were required to develop a new community to expand the colony. Noble Jones was a carpenter, physician and a surveyor and became one of the more prominent members of the Georgia colony, along with James Oglethorpe who founded the city of Savannah. The house itself is what is called a "tabby" house because of the construction materials used to build it. The walls and foundation of the house is made from a combination of lime, sand, oyster shells and water and is quite sturdy. The Joneses lived on this plot of land beginning in 1737 and continues to live there to this day. They are now the Barrows family who are rather prominent in Savannah society, as you can imagine. The bad part of the day was the hike that Steve and I took on the property after we had finished geocaching. We took a poorly marked trail that was supposed to be a mile in length and head us back to the visitor's center. Unfortunately, that was not the case. We ended up lost in the woods, along with another older couple, and walked about 3 or 4 miles before we made it back to civilization. We remembered that we had our geocahing GPS and used it guide us on the right trails. That trek reminded me of the time my friend Michelle and I got lost on the nature trail across from Visteon. Recalling that memory made me laugh.
One of the really cool places we visited this week was Fort Pulaski which is out on Tybee Island. Construction on this fort began in 1829 and took 18 years to build. This fortification played a role in the very beginning of the civil war. In January of 1861, South Carolina attempted to secede from the Union, causing federal troops to occupy Fort Sumter two weeks later. That occupation caused Georgia's governor to call for the state troops to seize Fort Pulaski and arm it against the Union soldiers, as Georgia had seceded from the union just two weeks after South Carolina did. This fort was protecting the southern Atlantic coast for the confederate nation and faced battle with the union who ended up taking over Hilton Head Island. In April of 1862, a battle ensued and the fort was bombarded with artillery and the confederates surrendered. The outside wall of this fort still shows the battle scars. Check out the picture of the canon ball still lodged into the brickwork of the fort. Cool!!!!!
What a great week. We are headed back to Savannah this week to continue our tour of the city. Steve and I have a contest coming sometime in the next day or two so watch for that. It involves another cemetery and is a trivia question. The prize for this contest is pretty cool too. We also plan to attend a "low country boil" on Wednesday night at the Methodist church we attended yesterday. I will report back on what exactly that is when you next hear from me. At the end of this week, Steve and I pick up our oldest grandson, Jeremiah, who will be staying with us for a few days. The following week, our next oldest grandchild, Darius, and his sister Diamond are visiting. Can't wait to see the kids!!!!!!
Take care everyone
P.S... Tonight (3/26/12) our son, SSgt Steve USAF, will be escorting Karen Newman onto the ice where she'll sing the National Anthem prior to the Red Wings hockey game.. pretty cool. If you're going to the game try to get a video for us to post on youtube. Thanks y'all!