Thursday, July 3, 2014

A "Golden Birthday" Celebration in Savannah, Georgia

Golden Birthdays are pretty special for a couple of my friends and me.  In honor of turning the age of the date of your birthday, we’ve celebrated in Las Vegas and now Savannah, Georgia.  This trip was not only a great way for us to celebrate each other as we get older, but to catch up.  Thousands of miles separate us, so our sporadic celebrations are a great excuse for us to spend time with each other.

The “Golden Birthday Bash” trip to Savannah wasn’t my first trip to one of the most beautiful cities in America.  Years ago, a family trip landed us in the city for a week of pure bliss.  During that seven day trip my great love for Savannah began.  Since then, it has not weakened and the Birthday trip only created a greater appreciation for this wonderful, Southern gem.

View from McMillan Inn porch.

McMillan Inn
The McMillan Inn served as our “home base.”  This historic bed and breakfast was decorated with Victorian-era pieces.  All of the décor was pretty amazing, yet also a little creepy to wake up to.  It was built in the 1800s, and has seen some renovations in recent years with the development of a “dipping pool.”  The pool was what sold me on this bed and breakfast and its great location.  We were a couple blocks from one of the most historic squares in Savannah, Forsyth Park.  

Forsyth Park fountain.

Forsyth Park.

The city of Savannah is built around squares.  Each square is named after another person in the city’s history.  Forsyth Park has a large fountain and green space as its focal point, making it a great attraction for tourists and locals. 

On our first night in the city we had a tapas dinner.  This was my first experience with a tapas restaurant.  The food was amazing, and I enjoyed having the option of ordering a few different dishes and tasting everything.  After our bellies were full we heading down to the Savannah River front for our river boat cruise.  I’ve been on a number of river boat cruises.  This one was my least favorite.  There wasn’t much to see along the route once you got past the River front area.  Nonetheless, it was still a fun night dancing, being called “kids” for requesting current music and catching up.

The next day we took a trolley tour through the city, stopping at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist to snap some pictures of the beautiful church.  This was the second time I experienced a trolley ride through the city.  It is something I highly recommend to those visiting Savannah.  On the tour you get to see a great deal of the city squares and hear about Savannah history as well.

On the trolley tour.

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.
That night was the highlight of the trip for me, the Creepy Crawly Pub Crawl.  The crawl began at Six Pence Bar, where we scarfed down some delicious food before starting our walking tour through the city.  Like the trolley tour, this was my second haunted pub crawl.  The stories though, were brand new.  Our tour guide did a great job of telling some of the long-standing ghost stories of one of the most haunted cities in America.  We were able to walk through, and spend some time at a couple of these very haunted places. 

Confederate Soldiers gravestone at Bonaventure Cemetery.
After spending two hours walking by cemeteries, listening to the horrors of people from years past who haunt homes and restaurants, we were all a little unsure about heading back to our very old Bed and Breakfast.  We also checked all of our pictures after that night.  Word has it that ghosts tend to show up in pictures at some of these haunted spots, and have even been known to follow people around on their trip through Savannah.  Luckily, we didn’t find any ghosts making an appearance in our pictures.

Little Gracie.
We also headed out to Bonaventure Cemetery.  It is a very old cemetery with family plots dating back to the early 1800s.  One of the most popular stops is at "Little Gracie."  This statue is of a little girl who died of pneumonia.  It is now famous because it is so pretty, yet sad.  Little Gracie is buried alone -- with her closest family living 1,000 miles away.

Before heading to Savannah I re-read the most popular book about Savannah, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”  The book is based on many people who actually lived in Savannah and references places and locations through the city.  Before I left the city I had to stop at one of these places, Clary’s Drugstore, for breakfast.  Our group sampled a majority of the items on the menu, and I went home satisfied that I had checked off another item on my Savannah travel list.

The famous Mercer House from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil book.

Savannah is one of my favorite places I’ve visited in the states.  The beauty of the city, mass amount of delicious restaurants and history all create a huge appeal to me.  The short “Golden Birthday” trip allowed me to explore some new things, with old friends, making fun memories.
Until next time Savannah …

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