Tuesday, March 03, 2015

How we spent 2 rainy days in Savannah, GA.

We recently took a vacation to "sunny Savannah." Haha. Good joke. It was cloudy & rainy for the whole trip. Bummer! But since we had looked forward to this trip for so long, we tried to make the most of our time there.

We flew into Savannah late on a Monday night and left early Thursday morning, so that meant all day Tuesday & Wednesday to explore this historic city, eat some good food, and see the sites.

Once we safely landed in the airport and collected the keys to our rental car, it was already past 10pm, so we booted up our trusty GPS to navigate us to Tybee Island, a beautiful island near Savannah. We chose to stay there for the sandy beaches, the palm trees, and the historic lighthouse. Tybee Island is a 15-20 minute drive from Downtown Savannah, so not too far from all the action, but still made for a peaceful getaway.
We were not to reach Tybee Island until LATE in the night, however, because of a bad car accident that occurred on the bridge to the island. The officer directing traffic encouraged us to turn around back into town because it would be a long wait. Although we were both exhausted from a day of airline travel, we took the opportunity to explore the historic district & grab a bite to eat. It was tempting to stop at the drive-though window of Chick-fil-A as we have never tried it before, but decided against it. We opted for some local bar food instead.

By the time we got to the historic district, it was almost midnight. We walked around & explored for a few minutes. Although it was late on a Monday, there were still people walking around like us. We found a great place to eat... but moments too late, as most kitchens closed at midnight. But we used the best travel advice given to us: "ask a local," which brought us to a small Irish pub on River Street called Kevin Barry's. Food is served until 2am! The bartender let us sample a couple locally brewed beers and we ordered a Fried Green Tomato BLT for me, and a Black & Blue Burger for him. The bartender was talkative and gave us recommendations for how to spend our time, sites to see, etc. If we ever move to Savannah, I have a feeling that Kevin Barry's will be one of our regular spots.
By the time we got home it was well past 2am. ZZZzzzzzz....

Which brings us to our first full day. Day #1. We woke up early (for us) around 7am. Ate the continental breakfast at the Dune's Inn. Talked with the lady at the front desk for activity ideas. Collected too many tourist brochures & maps. & headed for the beach. (Did we tell you that it was super windy & rainy? Don't believe us, check this video.) There is a fishing pier on Tybee Island that I'm sure would be bustling in the warm sunshine. Once we spent ample time "soaking in the rays" at the beach, we headed back to Savannah to take a trolley tour.
I highly recommend these trolley tours when you have time to spend in a city that interests you. Especially when it's raining. Ours had windows that closed, as well as a heater to keep us warm & dry. There were several tours & companies to choose from, we chose Old Town Trolley. We wanted to learn the history of Savannah, get a tour of the town, so that when we explored on our own, we knew where to go, and the importance for certain locations. This tour also allowed up to hop on & off the trolley if we saw a spot we wanted to explore. And we could use the trolley all day like a taxi service. It was pretty handy. Our trolley conductor was down to earth & seemed to love telling tourists about his city - especially where certain movies were filmed. I think we got more of the Hollywood history, than we did of actual history - still fun!
We ate lunch at One Eyed Lizzie's. Included in our trolley ticket were coupons to local places. We ordered an entree & got a free margarita. We split an order of fried shrimp, crab cakes, & french fries. Pretty good food. But I do not suggest all that fried food if you want to spend the rest of the day walking around town. Also we ate a late lunch, and fried food on an extremely empty stomach = no fun at all. ---though it tasted delicious! We met up with our TEAM mentor & his family at the restaurant. They were on their way to a missions conference, and Savannah happened to be along their route. We appreciated the conversations we had with them. Our mentor has been a huge help & encouragement during our process towards Zimbabwe.

By the time we were finished, it was past 3pm, and I felt ill. So we headed back to Tybee Island so I could take a nap & rest. Kameron wandered back to the beach, as the rain had finally stopped. The man at the front desk of our motel gave him some local Tybee Island dinner spots, so when I woke up feeling refreshed, we went out to eat on our island.

The place we picked was a little place called AJ's Dockside Restaurant. Nothing bad to say about the grub. We both ordered Mahi Mahi - mine on a saland & his with hushpuppies & fresh green peas.
Because the night was still young, but we weren't feeling too crazy, we opted to drive to see the Tybee Island Lighthouse in the dark. It was a beautiful sight to see in the night sky, but it was closed to public access until morning, so we walked to the beach and listened to the waves crash upon the shore. My groom took my hand and danced to lovely music in our minds. This sweet gesture brought tears to my eyes. (especially in this time of uncertainty of when we will leave for Zimbabwe, God gave me this gift of romancing me on the sands of Georgia) The cold breeze was nipping at our noses, telling us it was time to turn in and go to bed.
Day #2 began with partly cloudy skies, which means they were partly blue. We had high hopes for the morning. Forecasts predicted heavy rains to start at 3pm. We ate a quick continental breakfast at the Inn, grabbed some lattes at Tybean coffee shop, and headed back to the Lighthouse to visit the museum and climb the 178 steps to the top. & it sure was high! (imagine how I felt, with my fear of falling).
A quick sit on the beach. Grabbed a few seashells. & drove off the island.
On our tour trolley of Savannah, we learned of a part of town called City Market, and we made that our first stop downtown. City Market is a cute promenade that extends a couple city blocks, with cute shops and cozy restaurants lining the road. We asked the lady at an information booth where we should eat. She suggested a sushi joint, but we were feeling something more American and opted for a placed called . We shared a sample platter of sliders & each ate 3 little burgers. What's burgers without a local brew? We drank the local beer we sampled at Kevin Barry's from a couple nights before. It was nice enough that we ate outside.
Since rain was scheduled to begin at 3 that afternoon, we had better get a move on. Next stop: Wormsloe Plantation. Actually these days it's called Wormsloe Historic Site. There is a plantation on the land, but not accessible to the public. We were able to walk on some trails through a forest, and see the remnants of the first house on the land. It is located by a salt marsh, so there were some beautiful views. We took some fun pictures. We breathed in fresh air. We stretched our legs. All aspects of a great spot, in our books. As we were walking back to our car, it began to rain again... That didn't stop us from taking many pictures of the breath-taking, tree-topped driveway.
We had heard the the Bonaventure Cemetery was an beautiful & interesting spot to tour. We hoped to spend time walking through, but the rain was getting thicker, so we drove the roads. I always get creeped out in cemeteries, so while it was very beautiful, I was glad we didn't stay long. Maybe in the summertime, we might have taken a tour to find our some interesting history.

Despite the crummy weather, we still wanted to spend more time downtown. We headed back to City Market for a piece of pie. We were hoping to eat peach pie or key lime pie at Pie Society, but they didn't have much to offer for fruit pies, mostly meat pies. Instead we grabbed some peach cobbler a la mode with hot coffee at the Cafe at City Market. We were the only ones in the place - I guess 3pm on a wet Wednesday afternoon in February does not draw much of a crowd. It was a good atmosphere to chat. With all the touring & sightseeing, we hadn't had the chance to really talk about feelings, thoughts, and plans. We thank God for that delicious, Georgia peach cobbler.
Next, what better thing to do in the rain, but ride a ferry on the river to catch a different view of Savannah? We rode on a ferry called the Juliet Gordon Low. JGL was the founder of Girl Scouts, she was born in Savannah. Interest fact: I did a report on JGL in elementary school. That report is what gave me a heart for Savannah. The ferry only had 3 stops, and took a half hour. We could have gotten off and explored at any of the stops, but we stayed aboard, and called it good.
One place Kameron wanted to visit in Savannah was the fountain at Forsyth Park. It was on all of the"What to do in Savannah" lists we saw. So we saw it. We parked near the park, and began to walk towards the fountain. Each step we took, brought more and more rain. As soon an we reached the fountain, the skies opened & it poured out buckets of water. We turned right around & ran to our car.
We also drove past Chippewa Square where the bench scenes from Forrest Gump were filmed. The actual bench is not there, it was actually placed there for the movie, and removed afterward & lost somewhere. We were talking with a man at the visitor center who mentioned that he could never figure out how the bus was able to pick people up from that bench. At the spot it is only one-way traffic in the wrong direction. Then he realized, they changed the flow of traffic! Interesting things only locals would know.

Sopping wet, we entered a quirky eatery. Zunzi's is a South African sandwich shop, with HUGE sandwiches. I had to use a fork & knife to eat mine. fyi, when they ask you if you want smoked sausage or homemade sausage, try the homemade. they are referring to homemade South Africa sausage. a must try!-- though I didn't like it, Kam did. Also, try the South African sweet tea. Just what these two soon-to-be southern Africa missionaries were craving! While we were there a film crew was shooting for a show called Barmagedon. Maybe we'll make an appearance?
After two long days exploring this beautiful historic city, we were exhausted!! We headed back to the Inn to warm up, shower, and fall asleep watching a The Big Bang Theory marathon.

The next morning, we packed up, piled in the rental, and drove 8 hours to our next destination: Charlottesville, VA.
One regret I have is not taking a picture in front of a "Welcome to Savannah Sign" but we never found one. This "Welcome to Tybee Island" sign will have to do.

We also have several things that we did not get to do because of the weather and because of the limited time we had to tour Savannah. Oh well. We had a GREAT time!

Have you aver been to Savannah? 
What are your favorite "rainy day" activities while traveling?


  1. Y'all made an awesome time considering the crappy weather!! Such pretty pictures :) I haven't been to Savannah since I was little!!

    1. Thanks Pamela! We had a great time. It was our first time to Savannah.

  2. Looks like such a fun little trip! :)

  3. Cool! We hope to move there when we get back from Zimbabwe.
    We loved Tybean, what a fun little shop!
    Stay in touch & we'll get together. =)


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