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Our day started just across the border from Savannah in Hardeeville, South Carolina. Yesterday when we arrived in Savannah it was to late in the afternoon to do a tour of the historical district, so we opted to do the tour this morning. After experiencing it, we are glad that we gave ourselves plenty of time to explore Savannah’s Historical District.
Savannah is commonly referred to as the most haunted city in America. They have several night time tours that go through the streets of Savannah either by bus or on foot, pointing out all of the haunted sites along the way. Jasmine and I decided that one of these tours, while fascinating, would be a little to much for Shawn Reece to handle. We didn’t want him to have nightmares, so we opted for a standard daytime trolley tour of the historical district.
We found three tour companies that offered a very similar 90 minute guided tour of Savannah’s historical district. We decided to go with the cheapest, since budget is very important to us on this trip and we couldn’t really tell the difference between the three companies. The 90 minute tour was definitely worth the money. Our guide spewed out interesting facts the entire time we wound our way through the many streets and squares of Savannah’s Historical District. If we hadn’t taken the tour, we wouldn’t have known exactly what spot the Forrest Gump bench scene took place. The historical district has in total 26 squares. Each square has a different monument and is named after a person who is significant in Savannah’s history.
One of the first things that we noticed on the tour, was that most of the buildings surrounding the squares are original. The vast majority were built from the late 1700s to the mid-1800s. I found the architecture absolutely incredible. In every direction the landscape treated our eyes to 200 year old buildings, including several gorgeous old southern protestant churches. It seems that many different architectural styles were used as well. Truly phenomenal! I can see why people flock here just to see these buildings.
When the trolley tour was completed, we decided to do our own foot tour of the squares that we had seen during the previous 90 minutes. Jasmine, Shawn Reece and I ended up seeing 20 of the 26 squares by foot. It took us about 2 hours to walk through the 2.2 square mile historical district. I couldn’t stop taking pictures the whole time. Whether it was a 150 year old house, or a 200 year old church, no matter which direction I looked, I found something to be enamored with. The architecture varied greatly from street to street, but each historic building was inspiring! I saddens me to think of all of the square stucco boxes they are building all over Las Vegas.
The whole restoration movement was started by 5 women many years ago. The women all shared a common love for the wonderful history found in these buildings. They all pitched in and bought one of the historic homes before it was to be demolished! After they fixed it up, they sold it for a profit and then applied that profit towards the next restoration. These five women alone are responsible for the restoration of over 100 houses in Savannah. They eventually went on to form the Savannah Historical Preservation Society that still operates today. I think they are doing a wonderful thing in restoring these buildings.
On another note, I want to mention that we always felt safe as we navigated our way through the historical district as well. There was always a good police presence and no one bothered us at all. It was evident that they want this to be a pleasant place to visit. This is important as the average age of the tourists we saw was probably 60 years old. We wished that we had more time in Savannah, but at 2pm we decided it was time to head to Atlanta.
Savannah and Atlanta are about 4 hours apart so we quickly got into the car and headed northwest on the highway. It ended up taking us about 3 1/2 hours to arrive in downtown Atlanta. Since night had not yet fallen, we decided to tour the downtown area, including the Centennial Olympic Park. Unfortunately, when we got there it was very crowded and the combination of rush hour traffic and the attendees of a special event going on proved to much. The traffic was horrible and it took us over an hour just to navigate our way out. Tomorrow we are going to head there in the morning after visiting the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Site a couple of miles away.
Our hotel is in Marrieta, Georgia which is a suburb north of Atlanta. We found the area around the hotel quite interesting. Just down the road were quite a few subdivisions of southern style brick and stone mansions sitting right off of the main street. Most of the homes weren’t even gated. The architecture was really beautiful and different from anything we have seen thus far. The other thing we found peculiar is that several churches here have their own cemetaries on site. As we drove down the street we would see small plots of land dotted with grave stones right next to office buildings, shopping centers and houses. I wonder if they still bury people at these almost makeshift cemetaries anymore?
After a little exploring of Marrieta, we finally found a self car wash to clean off the love bugs from our windshield and front bumper. Love bugs are numerous in Central Florida and at times we would drive through swarms of hundreds of them. They are legendary for being hard to clean off of cars, but after quite a bit of elbow grease, the car was finally clean! After completing that daunting chore, we went to Target to get some supplies and had dinner at a great little Chinese take out place. Tomorrow we are going to visit the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Site and downtown Atlanta. I am also going to check to see if the Atlanta Braves are playing in town! It would be fun to catch another baseball game! On Friday we are heading back to another Six Flags theme park, this time Six Flags Over Georgia. Following a few hours of Six Flags fun, we are driving directly up to Nashville, Tennessee on Friday night. Thanks Y’all!
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The Coomer Family
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