Monday, June 7, 2010


After we had a wonderful stop at St. Simons for lunch we made the rest of the journey to wonderful Savannah. We arrived at our hotel, the Hilton Desoto, in the afternoon and had a few hours of free time before the evenings activities, so we decided to use that time to explore the charming historic district. I instantly fell in love with it. It has 22 squares, which are basically little parks, tucked in among the streets that add so much beauty to the area. The square across the street from our hotel was Madison Square, I know perfect right? If any of you have been to Savannah you know that squirrels are anything but rare, they are honestly everywhere, but I couldn't resist snapping a few pictures of the cute lil guys, they are just so cute! Savannah is just a gorgeous, laid back place, its hard to describe in words, its like walking down a page of a picture book. The one thing that I was super excited to see in the South was the decorative wrought iron which is such a defining feature of Southern architecture so I made sure to take lots and lots of pictures of different styles of the intricate wrought iron work.

This was a plaque on a house we walked by, I just think it was so fascinating to be surrounded by so many homes that have such great history and character to them.

See these squares are just amazing, so lush and green. They are so PRETTY! And they are everywhere! Gardenia trees were in bloom everywhere, I couldn't believe it, they are such elegant flowers I never tired of admiring their beauty.

After exploring the neighborhoods of the historic district we headed back to the hotel to meet up with the rest of the group and Andrea for our evening outing. We began by touring the Davenport House. A few houses in the city have been restored and are now museums to show what these houses would have looked like when their original owners lived in them. They were really amazing, the interior design of that time is very distinct and so unique. My mom had done a lot of research on Southern architecuture and interior decorating before this trip and had made a scavenger hunt of different aspects of the federal/ neoclassical style for us to look for in each of these houses. It was a really fun activity, the rest of the tour was jealous they didn't get a list of things to look for and cross off, but it also really helped to show how those things really were defining and popular characteristics of the decorating of these exquisite homes. Some of the items on the list were columns (Doric, Ionic and Corinthian), hepplewhite chair, Chinese import porcelain, marble busts, egg and dart molding, plaster ceiling molding, rosettes, garlands, American eagle, claw foot, shell motif, epergne, fan light above the door, wainscoting, as you look at these pictures of the interior (which we had to scan from books because of the evil indoor photography rule) look for these elements of interior design, its amazing how prominent they are in both of the houses we toured here as well as the houses we saw in Charleston. My mom is amazing, she never ceases to amaze me. She is the best at researching things and retaining every detail that she researches. She is also awesome because she finds ways to turn things into learning experiences that are so fun! I loved doing the scavenger hunt throughout the entire trip.

After the tour, they had a lovely little reception in the backyard waiting for us. They had wine tasting of this very special wine, I don't remember what it was since our family opted for the lemonade option, and yummy pound cake and cookies, it was simple but such a memorable touch. They also handed out a "moral and physical thermometer, or a scale of temperance and intemperance. Liquors,with their effects, in their usual order." Water was at the top of the scale and it brings health and wealth, pepper in Rum was at the bottom which means its the absolute worse and it brought hatred, murder and death, pretty serious stuff, I will stick with my water. Its a pretty useful little scale. After enjoying the gardens and sipping lemonade, we walked a couple blocks over and attended dinner at Bistro 45. It was a delicious meal in a wonderful atmosphere! Then we enjoyed a nice walk home and savored the balmy Southern night air.

The next day we began by touring Juliette Gordon Lowe's house, she was the spunky little lady that founded the girl scouts. She had a gorgeous home, another thing that I love about Southern interior design is how they paint the walls such vivid colors, none of this neutral tan, white or cream stuff for them, their peach, baby blue, sea foam green and lilac lavender walls add such personality to the rooms. I got the second picture off the internet, it wasn't decorated for Christmas when we saw it ...

After Juliette's house we spent some time at the Ships of the Sea Museum. I have always had a secret fascination with model ships so I was intrigued by this place. The Titanic was the only one I actually recognized, but they were all pretty sweet. I liked the little figurines they had on each display haha I am such a child sometimes.

I thought these were AWESOME!! This is a sailors valentine, these beautiful masterpieces were brought home from a sailor's voyage at sea for his loved one between 1830 and 1890. Even though it would be super romantic if the sailors made these valentines themselves, which is what I originally thought, they were made by the local women on Barbados and sold in curiosity shops. No matter who made it I would love it if my sailor honey brought me home one of these, I find them to be amazingly stunning.

Then we went for a short city tour, and then we were let loose to do as we pleased for the rest of the day!! Our family continued to explore the amazing neighborhoods and look for antiques and Audubon Prints (that was the souvenir I wanted to bring back from the South.) Our travels did bring us to the waterfront to see the waving girl statue and the famous Savannah Cotton Exchange. The waving girl was a girl who would wave a white sheet from the window of the lighthouse to all the sailors, there are of course many different versions of the legend, but that is the basic story.

Today was a very hot day so we decided to have ice cream for lunch to cool us down. We went to Leopold's Ice Cream shop, its famous. I got the girl scout thin mint ice cream made into a sundae, I thought that was super appropriate since I had just walked the halls of the woman's house who started the organization, plus thin mints are the best. Man that sundae hit the spot, it was just what I needed to keep me going, I was on the verge of being a grumpy tourist which I strive so hard not to be when I travel. Then we continued our adventures and explored the Victorian district. The distinct architectural characteristic of Victorian homes is the decorative white wooden trim that makes these homes look like life size gingerbread houses, they are adorable yet elegant.

SCAD =Savannah College of Art and Design, it has a very strong presence in Savannah, it owned like half of the business buildings, but since its a design school, they were cool buildings.

This is the wonderful store that we found our precious Audubon prints at. It was a cute little place owned by a cute couple that lived in the upstairs part of the house, their house was nicknamed the wedding cake house because it looks like it is decorated in white frosting. They offered to give us a tour of the inside of their house, and we of course accepted, it was a beautiful house! When they first moved to Savannah, they picked out the square that they thought was the prettiest and waited until a house went up for sale around that square, and this was the first one that went up for sale! haha sounds like how I would chose a place to live, but they sure lucked out. They had these two little dogs down in the shop that they absolutely adored, and I didn't blame them they were incredible well behaved and sweet little puppies.

These are the prints that I got and this is how I framed them when I got home!! I just absolutely love them!! They will always be a very special keepsake from my first trip to Georgia.

Tonight we were on our own for dinner, so we researched our options and made reservations at the very lovely and elegant Elizabeth on 37th. It was in the most magnificent old building, I was blown away when our taxi let us out in front of it. The only thing better then the atmosphere was the food, OH MY GOODNESS it was honestly to die for, like seriously. Granted every single bite of food we ate on this trip was top of the line superb, but this restaurant just combined ingredients into these glorious and complex tastes that were so unique and exquisite.

After dinner we all sat on the porch and savored the gentle, cool breeze on our faces and the fullness of our bellies, it was a fun memory I'm glad we took the time to cherish the moment.

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