Saturday, September 19
If you told me that a visit to the Deep South would bring 74 degrees temps & light summer breezes, I wouldn’t believe you. Yet here we are. Saturday was an all-day crash course on Savannah’s historic district, starting at the Visitors Center/Museum block on Liberty, zig-zagging through the streets lined with mossy live oaks and antebellum homes, and punctuated with pocket parks.
Savannah is much like Charleston at first glance, but sleepier, cozier, with a more lived-in elegance. It is drenched in the natural beauty of deep shade, green, flowing water, and storytelling signs and monuments framed into every street. The ornamental architecture is stunning, but it is only a backdrop. Interesting sounds, colors, and textures emerge from everywhere; pocket gardens tucked in a street corner by a 300-year-old house; an international cafe; a sidewalk painter; the sound of a flute or a bagpipe; pleasant smells that pass before you can place them. Walking through Old Savannah is like meeting a person who is ridiculously good-looking but down to earth, catching you off guard and leaving you flustered in the nicest way. It has the feel of a city where its present and its ancestral past still coexist with a mutual affection.
We glimpsed a few of the top attractions, including Forsyth Park, the monument squares, City Market, and walked part of River Street where the container ships pass right alongside the old-fashioned steamboats.
On the way out, we detoured to Tybee Island to see the oldest lighthouse in Georgia, and its smaller sister further inland.
Sunday, September 20
Our Sunday was an all-day trek from the South Carolina border to Florida. We gambled on skipping the Interstate (I-95) in favor of the local Highway 301, which turned out to be a bonus! The road was in much better shape with almost no traffic, even in the two-lane stretches. “Historic 301” was once the primary route for agricultural transportation before the days of interstate, and now it’s a relic of classic rural Southern byways.
We changed to Highway 84 at Jesup through Valdosta, crossing the Florida border at sunset, and boondocked in Tallahassee under a misty September moon.
Next stop: Carrabelle