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Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

Each visit to Savannah I explore a little bit more, but will never be done with Savannah.  It is a city  shaded by history and centuries-old oaks.  Our first day on the trolley tour we got a good overview and picked up interesting facts from two separate drivers.

Forest Gump

Forest Gump boarded our trolley at the Chippawa Square, apologized for having eaten all the chocolates, said he was looking for Capt. Dan. When he thought he spotted him, he jumped off and ran down the street with arms flailing. Nice touch.

Square (Wright, I think)

This square is know as the wedding square for all the weddings performed there. Savannah is the only city in the U.S. with unchanged original plans. Thank God. They were brilliant –green space everwhere.

I must give kudos to SCAD (Savannah College of Art & Design) for a city more beautiful than when I last saw it about fifteen years ago. Their campuses are historic buildings they have restored, but they didn’t stop there. They lend expertise to private restorations. I may not be exact, but close when I say SCAD is responsible for restoration of between 75-95 buildings in the city. Imagine what that means!

Statue in squareI hope you’ll excuse me for not remembering the names of all the squares. Oh, to live in a city with so many beautiful open space that such a thing could happen.

It was worth taking the trolley tour the first day. They even picked us up at the Azalea Inn &  Gardens http://www.azaleainn.com/index.html://door, so a vehicle was totally unnecessary. Having done my homework, though, there were places I wanted to see that weren’t on the trolley agenda, so the second day we called a pedicab. Great decision. Brett, fabulous young SCAD student with calves like cantalopes, pedaled us from the B&B to the Pirate House, where we would eat and photograph ghosts. The orbs I was promised by my granddaughter and hairdresser didn’t appear on mine, unfortunately, but we had a great seafood meal, then cruised the Riverfront before calling Brett to take us to my “must see,” the Flannery O’Conner home. It was four blocks from our B&B and an easy walk “home.”

Pat with Brett in Pedicab, the way to go

I got a chill walking in one of my favorite author’s childhood home. O’Conner lived there until age thirteen. I took gobs of pictures, but will post only the most startling one, the “cage” Mary Flanner (her given name) was placed in as an infant to protect her from malaria. Some have wondered if that early experience gave rise to the dark themes in her writings.

Wood and screening "crib"Pat and I scheduled time for both our interests. Art overlapped, and we spent a lot of time in galleries. At City Market we bought birthday and Christmas gifts from unique shops (Pat’s favorite sport). I called O’Conners’s house and E. Shaver’s book store, a twelve-room, charming place for bibliophiles . When you have a friend like Pat everything goes smoothly. I enjoyed her choices and I think she enjoyed mine.

Paula Deen's

It was in the cards for Pat to eat at Paula Deen’s Lady & Sons. We were five minutes past cut off time to show up for reservations, yet were given a table right away. Collards, sweet potato, fried chicken, blackeyed peas, green beans, biscuits, etc. all cooked Southern. We were in heaven.

Joey

In the wee hours of Sunday morning we said goodbye to Azalea Inn & Gardens to catch an early train. We said our goodbyes to the B&B greeter the night before, because Joey, an adorable Yorkie, had not yet come to work. Oh yes, he is deposited in the door in the morning and picked up when his workday is finished after wine and nibbles time.

I didn’t mean this to be so long, but as you might expect, left out so much. If you are thinking of a relaxing, Southern vacation, don’t overlook Savannah. It is a jewel of a city.

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I thought the day would never get here and now our trip to Savannah is over.

Train station in Savannah

My long time friend Pat and I took the Amtrak there, and despite our trepidation, we were five to ten minutes early both ways. Another guest at our B&B who came a day later was held up an hour while a bridge near Jacksonville was inspected. For bombs? structural problems? No one knows.

Azalea Inn & Gardens in the Historic District took us back in time with its period furniture and heirloom garden.

Azalea Inn & Gardens

Dining Table

The dining table was elegant. The walls were painted with beautiful murals all around. Oil paint even covered the switch plates! This is where we had gourmet breakfasts and lively conversation with folks from N.C., OK, NY, GA, Washington State, England and Australia. I have probably forgotten some. Oh yes, a few more from Florida.

Happy Hour with with a few very congenial guests

I had a lot of fun with the Joe Biden look alike in left corner. He was a good sport and had been mistaken for him on several occasions, especially just after the election when he was in Bahamas at same time as Pres. Clinton.

Pat

My friend Pat below sitting on our private balcony. We had two bedrooms and a bath upstairs in the carriage house where birds sang at window level as a wakeup call.

My bedroom

This will have to be Chapter I. Next post will be on the beautiful city of Savannah.

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Are you the kind of friend who will talk me off a window ledge, or are you the one who yells, “Jump!”?  (Oh yeah, YOU try to punctuate that last sentence.) Anyway, as I was saying, here I am on the ledge, down below is an unproven, first edition of iPad, and I want you to help me make up my mind.

A few weeks ago few had seen the iPad, though rumors abounded. Even then I was snatching those trial balloons by the string and pulling them to examine. Well, now the newest tech creature is out there. I’ve held one in my hand, though it was wisely tethered to a strong desk in an Apple store. To my credit I didn’t hug it to my chest and suck my thumb right there, but almost.

So now you are thinking, well what’s her problem? She wants it badly; it might poke holes in her budget, but she wouldn’t eat cat food, so what’s the problem? The problem is I’m a practical girl. Objects should fill a need or at least beautify me or the house (extra points if it beautifies me). I’m not sure the iPad qualifies. This is my assessment.

First, why NOT?

  • I have a laptop.
  • I have a desktop.
  • I have books.
  • I have magazines
  • That pesky budget thing
  • iPad doesn’t have a phone
  • I don’t travel all that much

Second, WHY NOT?

  • So much easier to travel with than laptop
  • So much cooler than laptop (Think of modern cell & old mobile phone.)
  • So much lighter than laptop
  • Touch screen—Whoa Doggies!
  • Easy note pad & quick research at writers’ conferences
  • Cats won’t get in front of screen
  • Can read online magazines instead of germy ones at doctor’s office
  • Can update blog, twitter and Facebook anywhere (Why? I don’t know)
  • Can easily download and send pictures on the fly
  • I talk less than 10 minutes a month on my cell phone
  • I can watch movies, TV or listen to music while on treadmill

Probably the strongest argument for WHY NOT? Is the whole treadmill thingy. OK I don’t have a treadmill, but I’ve thought of getting one. The problem is without something to keep me from getting bored, we both know I won’t be using it. There is no room to keep a treadmill anywhere in the two rooms with TV’s. The guest room, though would be perfect, but it has no TV, no cable connection. You see where I’m going, don’t you.? Buy iPad, buy treadmill, work out regularly, lose weight, gain bone mass, strengthen heart, become hot babe with hot new tech device.

You can see I might not be objective. That’s why I need your help. What do you say? Jump or Don’t Jump? I’d like your comments as well as votes.

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Ghosts in Room 1170

I’m breezing along, checking out the deals on a travel newsletter when I see this review of a Quality Inn on International Drive, Orlando, Florida. You might expect such doings in an old inn, but modern one? Strange, but interesting. All you ghost hunters out there who have a go at it, I’d appreciate a report of your stay. The review:

 

Do not stay in room 1170. I booked a room at a great price. Our keys did not work the 1st time. Went to front desk to get the keys to work. They did not work. We had security help us to get in. Once we were in all this things started to happen. Knocks on the wall when noone was staying on either side of us. A dark shadow in the corner. Foot steps sounds in the room. A big bang on the day inside. At one point one pillow looked like something was pokingin it. A great room if your a gost hunter!!

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Casa Monica

Casa Monica

Lookout Hole just my size (5')

 
My favorite in the Lightner Museum

My favorite in the Lightner Museum

From rustic to pure opulence at Lightner Museum

From rustic to pure opulence at Lightner Museum

Be sure to look up at the Lightner

Be sure to look up at the Lightner

Beauty at the Lightner

Beauty at the Lightner

If you don’t know the meaning of coquina you have not been to St. Augustine, Florida. Take a trolley and you will hear the word until you giggle (or maybe that’s just us) – but with good reason. Coquina, made from tiny shells and cement was the building material of choice for many of the historic buildings and structures. How creative and “green” was that? Castillo de San Marcos, the fort dominating the Ancient City, is made of coquina. The material is so strong, yet soft, that cannon balls just made dents, leaving the structure intact.

 

Walls around the Fountain of Youth were made from coquina, with razon-like oyster shells added to discourage climbing. Even our favorite inn, The St. Francis, was built of coquina in 1791. We would have felt safer there than at home had Hurricane Gustav hit before we left.

 

Other buildings, such as what is now Flagler College and the Casa Monica Hotel were built in horizontal strips, so to speak. Long boxes were stacked on the dried cement below, filled, and allowed to dry before the next layer went up.

 

I would think the city is a shrine for creative builders, but we ordinary folks are mostly engrossed in another time, with surprises around every corner. Travelers interested in a rich slice of our nation’s past will find it here, layered by inhabitants from England, France, Spain, and of course, Native Americans. Those with an artistic eye will find beauty in the architecture, views and beautiful collection in the Lightner Museum.  And tourists who just want to be treated like welcome guests where ever they go, will feel pampered almost everywhere in the city.

 

I will post a few pictures over the next few weeks of objects and buildings that caught my eye on our recent trip. We did the rather frenetic MTV version that we tend to do on vacation, but you may savor tastes of the Ancient City in leisure. Enjoy.

 (Below I caught a boat sailing by the lookout hole at an opportune moment.)

 

 

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