Monday, September 15, 2014

A WEEK IN SAVANNAH

Just returned from a beautiful week in Savannah, Georgia.  Gorgeous homes everywhere, history in every brick and cobblestone, 24 squares/parks all around the city, and live oaks draped with Spanish moss!  Hot and humid every single day = close to or above 90F each day as we walked and walked and walked.  So many photographs, I won't bore you with them all but will share a few.



We stayed in a lovely rowhouse (called the Bluebelle) in the historic district on East Jones Street (named the most beautiful street in Savannah in some of the books).  Yes, I wanted the blue one! 
Although the houses here are side by side with no room in between, we didn't hear neighbors at all except on the last day when we heard people in the beige house next to us (or was that a ghost walking around the running water over there - Savannahians do love their ghosts and ghost stories!). 



East Jones is a beautiful cobblestone street with brick sidewalks (you had to be careful and watch your step in case you walked on a crooked brick and twisted an ankle).  We rented the place for a week and it made for a nice home-away-from-home as we toured the city.  


Of course, we had to tour Forsyth Park (famous as the centerpiece of Savannah, although it is on the southern tip of the historic district, it has a beautiful fountain which seems refreshing on a hot and humid day).  

Magnolias were heavy throughout the park, and I had to pick up a pod with leaves and limb still attached to get a photo.  The pods seem to go from golden to reddish-orange on the trees and then fade to black as they lay on the ground, bright red seeds popping out for the next season.  Magnolias, live oaks, crepe myrtle, and other trees were  all draped in Spanish moss from every branch.






Forsyth is definitely family friendly - the day we were there, they were having some kind of Mommie+Me races and obstacle course runs with about 50 moms and their kids in strollers!





The fountain (not on the morning we went but on later as we were leaving).

















You could walk in the park and around the park for hours, looking at the beautiful old houses which have been lovingly restored.  
Savannah was in disrepute after World War II but in the late 1950's the people of Savannah who had the money and the influence began to push for restoration rather than tear down of the buildings.  Now just about every other house has been restored in the Historic Area with plaques on the sides stating when it was built and by whom.  








Houses outside Forsythe Square - an architects dream city with so many styles.










The Mercer Williams House on Bull Street (across from Monterey Square), built by the great-great grandfather of Academy Award-winning lyricist, Johnny Mercer (Moon River, Autumn Leaves, etc.) and restored by Jim Williams in the mid-1950's.

If you have read the 1994 John Berendt book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (or seen the movie), you will get an idea of some of the area and its residents - although he chose the quirkiest residents to be found at that time to put in the book).  I bought a copy of the book in the Mercer-Williams house gift shop (behind the house in the old carriage house) because I wanted to read it again after reading it years ago.


This is where Jim Williams had his famous black-tie Christmas party every year (and his infamous "gentlemen only" parties the night after the Christmas party).  This is also where Williams shot and killed young Danny Hansford.  Williams had four trials.  One man in the house told me, "He had four trials because he couldn't get a fair trial in Savannah.  Everyone had made up their minds.  He was finally aquitted, but was not found not guilty."  

In the same house, an older, distinguished gentleman replied in a soft Georgia drawl when I asked about the heat, "Well, yesss, it is warm.  But we only have winter two days in January." 

Well, I think that's enough for today.  Time to stop in to Clary's Restaurant for a sweet tea and something delicious to eat :)








6 comments:

Studio at the Farm said...

What a wonderful city!!! The row houses are gorgeous, as is the magnolia. Thank you, Rhonda, so much for sharing some of your photos!
Kathryn

Debbie Nolan said...

Rhonda - what a gorgeous place to visit. I so love those old antebellum homes. Great idea to rent a house instead of staying in a resort. Probably made you feel more at home as well. Thanks for sharing. Hope you enjoyed your sweet tea.

Barbra Joan said...

Oh this brings back memories, my friend and I stayed there jut 3 years ago.. everything you say about it is true and it's one place I would definetly go back..
A very artsy place too ...
Did all the ghostly things, and it's really got to be seen to be appreciated. I live in Florida, but Savannah is the real south...
BJ

debwardart said...

Mahhh Deee-ah - How could you NOT have a great time in Savannah! Don't you just love that slow drawl! Wish I could have hopped in your suitcase and gone along. Looking forward to some more photos and possible paintings???

CrimsonLeaves said...

Such beautiful architecture indeed! That heat/humidity would have taken all the joy of the trip away from me. Hopefully one day I can visit in the early spring or later in the autumn season!

RH Carpenter said...

So glad you are enjoying the photos and the virtual tour of Savannah, everyone!