Savannah Smiles

For the past umpteen years (twenty, at a guess), we have spent several days in Baltimore every summer.  Our very good reason for our faithfulness to Charm City as a vacation spot is that my husband was born there, and that once-a-year trip is usually the only chance he has to see his mother and other family members.  We take the occasional side trip from there–to Philadelphia one year, always to a beach for a day, often to D.C.–but aside from a few days here or there in Gatlinburg, that has been the extent of our family vacationing.  We just don’t have the money–or the time–for more, since not only do we have to pay for every vacation we take, we also lose a week’s income since John is self-employed.
This year, though, John’s mother is spending almost all of every day taking care of her 93-year-old mother-in-law.  She’s worn out and not feeling up to company, and didn’t think it would be much fun for us either.  She encouraged us to take a break and try somewhere new.  So we decided to head the opposite direction and visit a city none of us (except Emily) had ever seen–Savannah, Georgia.
Emily had been to Savannah on a Girl Scout trip years ago (Savannah is the birth place of the founder of the Scouts, Juliette Gordon Lowe) and had long wanted to return.  I knew Savannah only from my reading of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (which made it sound interesting enough) and Gone with the Wind (in which Scarlett visits her aunt there and is bored to death, a good endorsement considering the source).  We knew it was near a beach and people said there was a lot to do there, so we found a hotel and headed south without much of a plan (with one of our members quite sure that it was going to be a boring vacation).
Well, we all fell in love with Savannah.  Three of the kids say they would like to live there (including the one who didn’t want to go in the first place).  Even John said he wouldn’t mind going back (and that is saying a lot, since John likes to cross places off his list and be done with them).  It’s just beautiful there (although hot hot HOT!).  And as we were promised there was plenty to do.
Some activities we enjoyed:
The Ferry across the Savannah River (Savannah has excellent and free public transportation):


Shopping and sight-seeing on River Street:


The beach on Tybee Island:
Oatland Island Wildlife Center:

Fort James Jackson:
Forsyth Park:


The Squares of beautiful downtown Savannah:



And the food!  There were so many restaurants to choose from.  Never did we have a bad meal.  The crab stew is especially noteworthy, the kind of thing that makes you moan when you taste it.  Our favorites were The Crab Shack on Tybee Island and the Casbah (with belly dancing!) in downtown Savannah.
We arrived on Monday night and left the following Sunday morning, and there was plenty more we wish we’d had time to do.  If you are within a day’s drive and are looking for a good place to take your family (or a nice venue for a romantic getaway, for that matter), I recommend Savannah.

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