Since I came back down to the southeast in January there hasn’t been much time for sightseeing and getting to act like a traveling RVer. My days have been filled with work, looking for better paying work, keeping the blog updated, keeping up on e-mail, forums, other blogs, and the weekly girl’s night with friends.
A couple weeks ago though, I found a present on my doorstep from a kind stranger staying at the campground. Two prepaid tickets to one of the trolley tours in Savannah along with tickets for two house museums along the route. This happened on the night I got my very first speeding ticket. I think it might have been the universe’s way of saying “That was mighty dumb of you, but I do feel sorry for you so here you go.” The speeding ticket is $128 dollars, the full price for the six tickets is $98 I later discovered.
Who else would I invite along to use the second ticket but Julie, the trick was waiting for a day we both had off from work.
Well this past Sunday that day came, and it was good. Actually it was cold, for Savannah anyway. The night before and after got below freezing and I’d be surprised if it got up to 50 during the day, but a fun time was still had.
Savannah is gorgeous. In the bustling downtown area, narrow streets, a few still laid with cobblestone, are interrupted by 22 small square parks, most full of ancient Live Oaks. Street lamps imitate old gas lamps, and old houses full of history and character have plaques on them with the date they were erected – many date back to the early 1800’s before plumbing and electricity were around. Wrought iron fences, what one used to display their wealth back in the day, hide quaint little gardens that divide these houses. The tour we did was a trolley, but there are horse drawn tours too, and after a while you get use to the sight of horses alongside cars on busy streets.
On business streets, old narrow brick buildings share walls with each other and often are adorned with old painted letters about what business existed there in the past. Some of these buildings are in dire need of repair, and one can understand how Savannah has gotten the reputation for being one of the most haunted cities in the United States. The local college SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) is actually housed within several old re-purposed buildings and has been working on restoring a lot of other buildings in the city back to their former glory.
At the Savannah River, the rough cobblestone spills down the bank towards the water, and shops line the way. There are several pubs and fancy restaurants, a lot of clothing and knick knack stores, and two stores devoted to ice cream and candy. We take some time to wander through the two-building open air market along the water, but the wind and dropping temperature prevent too much lingering.
We escape the biting wind and have dinner in Churchill’s pub on Bay Street. Along with the tickets came two coupon books, and at this particular joint we get 10% off our bill. At one of the candy shops along the water we got 15% off, and still paid over $16, oops. It was tasty though!
For those who are planning to visit Savannah, I can’t recommend the trolley tour enough. The particular one we did was Old Town Trolley Tours at $26 per adult, but discounts are often available, especially if you play them off the other big trolley company in the area, Old Savannah Tours which starts from the same parking lot near the Greyhound station.
For Old Town Trolley Tours, if you rode it start to finish it is about 90 minutes and it’s chock full of interesting information about old time Savannah and it’s inhabitants. The best part about it though is there are 15 stops along the way, and you can get off at any of these stops to see the sights. Just make sure to get back on at the same stop to not miss any of the tour. There are trolleys running past every 20 minutes, so you won’t have to wait long to get back on when you’re ready to continue. This feature makes this 90 minute ride a whole day affair, and in fact if you’re thinking of doing this I’d definitely recommend starting it early in the day to get the most for your money as your ticket gets you on the trolley all day.
The other tickets were for the Davenport house ($8) and the Owens-Thomas house ($15) near stop #7 of the tour. These are both house museums, old houses that have been restored to approximate what they looked like in the past complete with old artifacts and can be toured for a more up close look of what life was like in Savannah in the 1820’s and 30’s. Personally, they’re both similar enough that I don’t think you’d want to spend money to do them both, and I’d recommend Owens-Thomas over Davenport despite the higher price because it’s longer, was restored better, and has more to see. The outside of the Owens-Thomas house is the first picture in the post, sadly photography was not allowed inside either one.
After getting to play tourist on Sunday, it’s now back to work. Still, that was a much needed reprieve from all the hustling I’ve been doing lately, and the memories of it should help fuel my motivation to keep going on the other less fun parts of this lifestyle as I kick job searching for the summer into high gear. Also, I want to give a quick shout out to the people who have ordered something using my Shop Amazon link. I wasn’t sure what kind of reception that announcement last post was going to get or if anyone would bother to use it, but as of this writing 4 people have, and I am very grateful.
Have a good week all!