05 October 2011

savannah: the tours

This summer, Husby and I vacayed (that's the past tense of vacay, right?) in the South. 

(Just to clarify: Southerners are quite adamant that Texas is not considered as part of the South. To further clarify: east Texas--and the town where we live--is more Southern than some cities in the South. But that's fine, we don't have to be included. It hurts, but Texans are resilient.)

(Speaking of Texas, did you know that we can fly our flag at the same height as the United States flag since we were once a nation? It's true! [We also love to brag about things like that, even as others roll their eyes.])

Back to vacaying...we had a fabulous week in the South. We decided to fly into Atlanta and drive to Savannah, and then onto Charleston and back to Atlanta. That wasn't the smartest plan since it's a five hour drive from Atlanta to Savannah--it looked so much closer on Google maps! We were so tired by the time we arrived. But it paid off in the end when we were able to spend time with dear friends.

Savannah is beautiful. The architecture is stunning and the history is amazing. Although I love the great State of Texas, we just don't have as much history.

Our first night in Savannah, we took a Ghost Tour. Although I hate scary movies, I like hearing spooky stories--unless I'm going to be home alone or walking alone at night (which doesn't happen very often or ever, by the way). I didn't think I'd need my camera; I forgot about capturing spirit orbs. Dang it. Savannah is considered the most haunted city in the United States. And I'd just like to say that there should be no complaining about this: THEY MOVE GRAVES AND BUILD ROADS OVER CEMETERIES AND FORGET WHERE PEOPLE ARE BURIED. Yeah, you're gonna have a ghost or two or forty six.

We learned that a couple of terms used today come from Savannah in the 1800s. They had three bouts of yellow fever. (Again, no complaining, you brought slaves over. You deserve it.) A symptom of yellow fever is extremely low pulse. There was an occasion where non-dead yellow fever victims were buried alive. The following morning they were found outside of their graves. Dead. So they started tying string to a finger of the "dead" with a bell attached on the outside of the grave. If they heard the bell in the night, they called it a "dead ringer." This shift late at night listening for dead ringers in the cemetery was called the "graveyard shift." Cool, huh?

When we go to a new city, we also love doing some type of a walking or biking tour. Luckily, there's a bike tour offered in Savannah. It was so much fun, even though I thought our tour guide was going to melt off of his bike. Evidently, some people can't handle the heat.

There is a large Catholic population in Savannah. The Irish came to Savannah and worked as cheap labor; Savannah had a huge Irish population, and has the second largest St. Patrick's Day festival after New York City.

Savannah is laid out in a grid system and very well organized...except for the names of squares and monuments. Oglethorpe Square does not include the monument to Oglethorpe. You'd need to visit Chippewa Square to see that.

Spanish Moss [which is neither Spanish nor moss] grows along the Live Oaks and Crepe Myrtles. Supposedly Spanish Moss doesn't grow where unsettled spirits still roam.

After our bike tour.

Our final tour in Savannah was a Dolphin Tour. I was super excited about this. Until we started speeding out into the middle of the ocean as water splashed in the boat. I was convinced it'd sink. Luckily, it didn't. Our guide told us all about the dolphins he'd seen on the three previous tours that day. Including..wait for it...baby dolphins that were two feet long and swim beside their mamas. Precious! I just knew my heart would melt. Which is probably why it was a good thing we only saw ONE dolphin in an hour. It was so sad; she should have been with an entire pod. I worried that she was being bullied. She gave us a few jumps out of the water.

We had a lovely time in Savannah, even though we arrived with a heat wave. (If you're keep track, this is our second vacation in a row with record temperatures. Next year, we're headed north.) The city is laid out for walking, which we love. We had way too much amazing food. And even more sweet tea. I'll share all about that tomorrow!

1 comment :

Kathryn said...

I LOVE Savannah. Our fav vacay ever! Was your ghost tour in a hurse with the top cut off? Haha!