A few weeks ago Kongo’s sister-in-law, Toni, visited from Southern California. She had to hurry up because the treehouse in Florida is soon to be turned over to new owners and the monkeys are heading back to the West Coast themselves. Anyway, SIL came for a pleasant two weeks to help pack boxes, get well (while depositing her cold germs on the simians), and see a couple of sights that were on her bucket list.
Having read In the Garden of Good and Evil, SIL wanted to visit Savannah. Kongo explained to her that it was a fictional work but she wanted to see the real thing so we headed up the coast for a couple of hours to visit the “Hostess City of the South.”
Savannah is a city filled with squares, historic homes, history, statues, and fountains. Did you know that all the Confederate statues are oriented north so that they can face their enemies? Hmm. Also there are 22 squares in historic Savannah, one of the largest “historic” centers designated by the U.S. Government.
The Independent Presbyterian Church is the tallest steeple in a city full of steeples and cupolas. There’s also an impressive Baptist Cathedral and a score of other churches. It is the South after all and religion is taken seriously here.
The first picture in this blog is the beautiful fountain in Forsyth Park. It was made in New York City (a Yankee enclave) and bought in the 1850s by city fathers through a mail order catalog. Interestingly, another version of this fountain is in Cusco, Peru where Kongo visited last year. A picture of that fountain can be found here
Savannah is also a popular setting for movies. Dozens of films have been made here including, of course, the famous Forest Gump. The setting below in Chippewa Park is where Forest sat on the bench and told his story and uttered the famous lines about life being like a box of chocolates. Hollywood offered the bench to the city but Savannah, having doubts about the future success of the movie, turned it down. Go figure.
The Six Pence Pub on Bull Street was in the movie Something to Talk About. This is where Julia Roberts peered into the window and saw her husband (Dennis Quaid) with the “other woman.” There are some great lines in that movie such as when Julia stood up at the Savannah women’s club meeting and asked, “Is there anyone else in this room sleeping with my husband?”
There are a lot of other movies filmed here like Return of the Swamp Thing but Kongo couldn’t find that location.
Of course shopping was on the agenda. River Street is a great place for West Coast tourists to browse.
The architecture in Savannah is one of the major attractions and several houses were dressing up for fall and Halloween.
The founder of Savannah, James Oglethorpe, is featured in Chippewa Square overlooking the bench where Forest Gump sat. Naturally he faces south since that is where his enemy, the Spanish settlement at St. Augustine, was. These old guys always had to face danger.
We had a delightful late lunch at the Pirate’s House (thank you Toni!) which has been serving food, and sometimes shanghaiing unwary visitors, since 1753. The restaurant is on the site of the first botanical experimental garden in the Americas and new crops were tested here to determine their economic viability. The small house adjacent to the restaurant was the home of the gardener and is said to be the oldest house in Georgia.
I think that SIL Toni enjoyed Savannah but I believe her favorite pastime in Florida was shagging golf balls. Kongo’s house backs up to a green on a golf course and every day one or two balls come flying into the yard. SIL would sit on the back lanai and wait for one to roll close to the fence then sneak out, snag the ball, and then go into the house. Then she would watch from the window as the golfers went up and down searching for their out of bounds play. She has a cracked sense of humor that way but had great fun and Kongo’s stray golf ball collection increased significantly during her visit.
Travel safe. Have fun.