10.13.2014

The Friendliest ... and Most Haunted City in the US

Happy Monday, peeps! Last week was fall break and the Skelleys got into all kinds of vacation fun, with half of us spending a long weekend down in Savannah, Georgia, and the other half going on a pumpkin patch tour of the greater Huntsville area with Gramma. I will let you guess which half went where. I made a couple of new friends on our trip, their names were Finn and Lance.


The weather was beautiful. It was actually 10 degrees higher than their normal October temps and my flannel and scarf-adorned self melted, but that is my folly. If you are planning a trip to Savannah, I have some recommendations and reviews to share today.

First off ... Lodging:



We picked the Hilton Savannah DeSoto because of its strategic location in the heart of the historic district.


I enjoyed it -- it had a certain retro charm, but there were several weddings there over the weekend and some were pretty rambunctious. At one point, the Sheriff Dept. was called (not by us). But it was fun to see everyone dressed up. Since we did not decide definitely that we were doing this until about a month ago, all of the king beds were already reserved and we had to make do with double beds. You would be surprised how often this happens to us. The nearby Cathedral rang their bells on the hour every hour starting at 8am, so there was no sleeping in.

View from the room:


Take a Tour:

We did a lot of walking on this trip. Savannah has 24 squares and I feel like we walked through all of them:


Again, flannel? Bad news bears.

I do highly recommend at least one tour, be it by carriage, bus, traveling bar (it does exist) or hearse (which seemed to be popular at night). We are fans of walking ghost tours and Savannah's did not disappoint. Voted America's Most Haunted City (yet also known as the Friendliest City, hence the title of this post), the two hour tour by Blue Orb Tours started out benign enough, but by the end, I was shaking in my Toms. Ask for Melissa -- she was a very funny and personable. But a word of advice: Don't wear platform wedges or spiked heels on a two hour walking tour. There are cobblestones.

I have an old grainy picture of the house in "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," from when my friend Allison and I spent the day in Savannah in 1998. I had read the book just before that visit. I thought that I needed a new one with a better camera. It is a beautiful house during the day ...


... and a stop on the ghost tour at night. Spooky.

On the last night, we took a horse and carriage tour through the city by Carriage Tours of Savannah. It was probably my favorite part of the trip. The weather was perfect and we learned quite a bit of history that we did not pick up on our own. Our sweet guide Jana was very knowledgable and friendly. We even were allowed to pet the horses, as you saw above.

I don't know how much The Engineer enjoyed it, but our guided tour of the birthplace of Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low was another highlight for me.


We are a three generation Girl Scout family. She was quite the lady and ahead of her time.


We also visited our very first lighthouse on Tybee Island, which is about 20 minutes from Savannah. Full disclosure: I climbed to the top but did not walk out on the railing. #weenie My legs are still tired.


We also toured Fort Pulaski, which is located on the island. This was more The Engineer's bag than mine, although the cannon firing was interesting.



The Savannah History Museum was okay, but nothing to write home about. My favorite part was all of the former Girl Scout uniforms on display -- and Forrest Gump's bench.


The square where he sat on this bench in the movie was very close to our hotel. 

And we would not be good Methodists if we did not snap a picture of the statue of John Wesley, who founded Methodism and preached his first sermon in America in Savannah.


Dining Deets:

The food, oh Lord. We did not have a bad meal. And almost everywhere we went, we dined al fresco, which just added to the vacation feel.

Best Dinner:

We ate outside whenever we could -- highly recommend Belford's (and their bread).


If you are dining on the waterfront, Tubby's is the way to go. We sat outside and watched the huge ships go down the harbor.

(Blurry phone pic)

Best Lunch:

The Public was conveniently located next to our hotel and we enjoyed a very nice lunch on their roof, but the best lunch award has to go to The Crab Shack on Tybee Island.


I have eaten a lot of crab legs in my life (A LOT) and these were the best that I have ever had. Conversation ceased as soon as our food arrived, which had a very handy garbage can attached to the table.


We were seated right on the waterfront and I was a little concerned about a gator swimming right up to our table, but thankfully, all the gators were on the other side of the restaurant. All 87 of them.


It was a really cool place that takes in stray cats and birds, (people will actually drop off their cats there) hence the Cat Shack.


Best Breakfast:

Our carriage tour guide Jana recommended J. Christopher's and it did not disappoint. The ham and mushroom skillet was mouth-watering good.

We also did Sticky Fingers because it is Marc's all-time favorite rib place, but sadly, it did not live up to previous visits. I also had a macadamia nut latte at Gallery Expresso that has ruined me for all other lattes.

It was a fantastic weekend that I was sad to see end. But what of the Little and Big? So they did not get to go anywhere during fall break? Don't worry one iota about them:


They had a fun-filled weekend with Gramma while we were gone. I am sure that my mother slept good last night. Thank you Mom, for making their fall break special and fun!

Thanks for dropping by and have a great week!

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