There's something very special about Savannah, Georgia. We stayed in the famous historic district, this tiny pocket in what we later discovered was a pretty large city. We didn't see a Wal-Mart, or a Target, or a Waffle House anywhere close and it was as if we had stepped into another era walking down the ballast stone streets by the river. The streets were filled with trolleys and horse-drawn carriages, and every block centered around a town square lined with canopies of Spanish moss filled oaks. The city radiated with charm and the people exemplified Southern hospitality in every way. Everyone from the hotel housekeepers to the wait staff to the store owners had so much pride in their city and the people in it. They loved telling stories about haunted houses and legends and were always willing to share their favorite spot for the best fried chicken in town. I've truly never been to a place with so many wonderful people and I learned so much about the unique culture, stories, and staples that define this city.
...our first full day in Savannah started with this girl getting a little too much of the southern humidity! Although the temps. were actually cooler than they were back home all week, the air felt very different there. My mom described it as 'close.' When you go to take a deep breath, there's just not a whole lot there! After about ten minutes waiting for our trolley ride, I started feeling a little light-headed and even blacked out for a quick second. Thankfully, baby and I just needed to get used to it a bit as it didn't seem to bother us again the rest of the week!
...we spent the day on and off the Old Town Trolley Tour, a definite must-do if you're ever in Savannah. We hopped on and off all day long and saw so much of the city that way. From 'The Governor', an old British man who referred to Cruz as his "little friend," to "The Colonel," who talked like the guy from Field of Dreams and gave us the scoop of the city, we learned so many interesting stories that we wouldn't have known walking around ourselves. We loved the shops in City Market, loved strolling through the 22 town squares, and loved the old charm of the 17th and 18th century-style houses once home to Civil War generals and other history makers.
Some of our favorite trolley stops...
-The City Market stop...home to Paula Deen's, Lady and Sons restaurant, a beautiful quilt shop I fell in love with, and delicious Mahi fingers and shrimp tacos at Wet Willies!
-Chippewa Square...home to the filming of Forrest Gump and the famous bench where he uttered the famous words, "Life is like a box of chocolates..." My dad was once an obsessive Forrest fan, so needless to say, we spent some time reminiscing here.
"I'm Forrest, Forrest Gump."
Waiting for our trolley - Beau told Cruz a good many pirate stories during those waits...
-Forsyth Park and the picturesque Forsyth Fountain on the edge of town. This place is beautiful.
-The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. Speaking of beautiful...
...Cruz fell asleep in my lap on the trolley ride to the cathedral and slept soundly through that entire stop. When he was awake, he thoroughly enjoyed the open-air trolley ride.
...We took a break on River Street for awhile, the guys got some beers at The Cotton Exchange and Mom and I got some Georgia pralines and saltwater taffy at Savannah Sweets.
...We had the best night spent at The Pirate House in Savannah. This place is amazing! Once a legit pirate house, it is the oldest building in Savannah, built in 1754. Besides replacing the floor so we didn't fall through into the tunnels that lead to the river, the place is nearly original and includes the pub, the Captain's quarters, and the inn where pirates would stay after a long day at sea. It's also known as one of the most haunted places in the city. Our cute blonde waitress came to life when she told us spooky stories of the Yellow Fever crisis, transporting people through a series of underground tunnels for fear the disease would spread otherwise. Unfortunately, many people died in those tunnels, tunnels that happen to still exist throughout the city's network. I'm always a sucker for a good spook, and was totally ready for the Ghosts and Gravestones tour at dusk!
...We also had the best meal of our trip at The Pirate House. The award-winning Pecan Fried Chicken was so good I wanted to lick my plate and Beau's shrimp creole looked just as good. Dad drank some rum, we had yet another pitcher of sweet tea, and Cruz made eyes with the lady pirate wandering around the place. The atmosphere was super fun - one of my very favorite dining experiences.
...At one point, the pirate visited our table and asked if we wanted to hear a joke. Her joke was funny, but Cruz's inventive little punch line made us laugh even more. The joke went like this: "What is the difference between a pirate and Santa?" Santa says, "ho, ho, ho," and a pirate says, "yo ho ho." Afterwards, Cruz looked at us and said "Santa says 'ho, ho, ho,' a pirate says, 'yo ho ho,' and me say, 'hee, hee, hee.' Clever little boy!
...Afterwards, Cruz had one last encounter with the pirate outside, maybe one of the best moments of his life. The pirate came outside and asked if Cruz wanted to see her sword. Cruz was completely mesmerized with her and the look of awe on his face was priceless. My camera was all fogged up so I didn't get a picture, but it was adorable to watch him. He put his hands on his hips and posed with her, couldn't stop looking at her, and afterwards, got his very own jolly roger stamp on his arm. On the walk back to the hotel, he sat in the stroller with his arm straight out as if to show every passerby his new loot. It was a very proud moment for our little boy and a very fun night for us.
And back to our backyard...