1. The unbelievable beauty of the place. I guess modern architects don't totally suck (Santiago Calatrava for example, the designer of Milwaukee's spectacular art museum). But they did know how to build homes back in the 18th and 19th centuries. And public spaces. The 22 squares of Savannah are so beautiful, especially this time of year. The city has got to be one of the best places in America to find restored buildings...you can explore for days and not see them all. Here are a few fave examples, brought to you by ICU, my camera.
|Me and Davie in front of the famous fountain in Forsyth Park|
2. The live oaks. That's what they call the prevailing trees in Savannah, "live" because they do not go dormant. I guess they lose their leaves once a year but immediately get new ones. These trees are known for the broad spread of their branches, making them pretty much the best shade tree imaginable. They are also super strong and long-lived. Many of the trees in Savannah were here before the birth of the United States! I totally fell in love with them.
|The Candler Oak dates from ~1730|
3. The flowers. While we're on the subject of flora, if you travel to Savannah in late March/early April, the flowers are at their peak of bloom. And they are everywhere, especially the glorious white and pink azaleas. Our patio is nice in the summer, but not quite on this level. Wow, Blog.
4. The history. Even if you're not so much a history buff, you have to appreciate being in a place that was key to the original settlement of America, the Revolutionary War, and the Civil War. We saw the room General Lafayette slept in during his post-Revolutionary War tour of the U.S., and ate dinner in a building (The Olde Pink House) that was built in 1771 and used as a headquarters for the Union Army. So many places have remained much like they looked back in those days, like Factors Walk which was a commerce center for cotton in pre-Civil War days.
|The Olde Pink House|
5. The food. Speaking of The Olde Pink House, that is one amazing place to eat, Blog. In fact, we found scrumptious dining all over the Historic District. The seafood in this place is to die for. I don't know if I can eat the shrimp from Pick N Save ever again! There's also all kinds of quaintness in the dining locales. From the fabulous river view at Huey's to the elegant old charm of the Gryphon Tea Room, we loved eating in Savannah.
|BLT salad and Southern Sushi from The Olde Pink House|
|Ceiling at the Gryphon Tea Room|
6. The shopping. Savannah does have its share of touristy shopping, but it also has scads of fantastic boutiques that showcase the work of talented artists and artisans. (Intentional pun: SCAD, the Savannah College of Art and Design, is a big influence here.) We treated ourselves both to a print of the trees (see #2) and to this fantastic glass piece which we call the Time Tunnel Orb.
This just scratches the surface of the joys of Savannah, Blog. It's simply the most beautiful place I've ever visited. I'll put it to you this way: I had a fabulous time last year in Vegas but I didn't cry when I left! I comfort myself by thinking that right now in Savannah, those live oaks stand faithfully shading the lovely streets and squares, as they have for hundreds of years and hopefully will for hundreds more.