Saturday, October 15th:
For Fall Break, my parents and I decided to go visit Savannah, Georgia! None of us had ever been there before, so we were excited! My dad drove down from New Concord, Ohio on Wednesday, but my mom had to work Thursday and Friday. This morning we got up and left Columbia, South Carolina at 7:30 am. We arrived in Savannah around 10:30 am. It was an easy drive; we were on the interstate for the majority of the time, as opposed to when my mom and I went to Myrtle Beach and had to drive on a smaller road! Since we went the weekend after Hurricane Matthew, we were able to see areas of the interstate that had flooded and saw a lot of standing water along the side of the road. Luckily, Savannah was not badly damaged during the hurricane!
Our first stop was the Visitor’s Center to learn about the city and get our bearings. We got maps and did some souvenir shopping, which was nice to get out of the way first so that we could leave our items in the car. It was starting to rain, so we decided to go see the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist before doing the trolley tour, since we could be inside at the Cathedral. The Cathedral was absolutely stunning! It is very rare to see magnificent cathedrals like it in the United States. It was very similar to the Cologne Cathedral in Cologne, Germany (it was smaller though). We walked around and looked at the architecture for about 15 minutes. There was a HUGE organ in the back that was beautiful! Around 11:15 am, we began to see more and more people sitting in the pews and saw people up near the alter. We weren’t sure what was going on, but we decided to head out. On the way out, we saw a sign that said the Cathedral was closed for mass and that it would be closed in the afternoon for a wedding and would reopen around 4 pm. We were glad that we got in when we did!
After the seeing the Cathedral, we headed back to the Visitor’s Center to get on our hop-on, hop-off trolley tour. The trolley tour was a lot of fun and was a great way to see the city. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and told us a lot of interesting facts and stories about the city. He told us that the double staircases on some of the houses were to separate the men and the women. Additionally, the third step on the staircase had a special area to scrape off the bottom of a person’s boots. We drove down River Street and he pointed out the Flying Girl statue. The statue is used to commemorate Florence Martus, who waved a handkerchief at boats entering Savannah in an effort to great them to the city. We also drove by the Pirates House, which is a historic tavern.
The tour ended around 2 pm, so we got off and headed to the Crystal Beer Parlor. My dad found a brochure for the restaurant in the Visitor’s Center and it sounded like a good place. We actually had to wait for about 20 minutes. The restaurant was very small (it used to be a grocery store) but had amazing food! We split fried green tomatoes for an appetizer, because my supervisor at UofSC told me that they are a southern staple and I couldn’t go to Savannah without trying them. I’m glad she told me to try them, because they were delicious! I then had a meatloaf sandwich, which was outstanding! We then got back on the trolley and went down to the Riverwalk. Our tour guide had told us that the Riverwalk had flooded during the hurricane, but everything was back up and running when we got there. Some of the store owners told us that they had lost a few items, but it wasn’t too bad.
After walking along the Riverwalk, we got back on trolley and went back to the Visitor’s Center to get our car. It was about 5:15 pm and the trolley stopped running at 5:30 pm. We then drove to Forsyth Park and walked around. We didn’t explore the entire park, but we walked around for a little and it was beautiful! There were so many pretty oak trees (both in the park and in the city!). Near the fountain, there was a wedding party taking pictures. We enjoyed watching them.
After walking around the park, we decided to head to our hotel, which was about a 15 minute drive west of Savannah. We relaxed for a while and then we went to a Ruby Tuesday for dinner. After dinner, we went back to our hotel and got ready for bed. Overall, my dad and I really liked Savannah because it reminded us of a small London. There were small green spaces every couple of blocks and most of the residential buildings were three story townhomes, similar to London. My mom liked Savannah, but she thought the homes were too close together.
Sunday, October 16th:
This morning, we got up around 8 am and had breakfast at our hotel. We then decided to drive out to Tybee Island, which is about 25 minutes east of Savannah. We got to Tybee Island around 10 am. We wanted to go on the boardwalk, but it was closed because it was being inspected for damage from the hurricane. That was ok though, we didn’t want to go on it if it wasn’t safe. We walked along the beach for about an hour or so. We then got lunch at Subway and did a little souvenir shopping. The store owners said that they had lost some of the merchandise from the hurricane, but because they had boarded up the windows and doors, it wasn’t too bad. We then drove to the Tybee Island Lighthouse. It was really pretty! We thought about going up to the top but we figured we weren’t missing much. We left Tybee Island around 1:30 pm and arrived back in Columbia around 4 pm. We had such a great time and I’m so glad we went!