Today was our full day in Savannah! We didn’t really have anything on the itinerary other than a ghost story walking tour in the evening, so we got up and got breakfast at a more leisurely pace. The Marshall House has a fantastic continental breakfast included in the price of the room, with baked breakfast quiches in addition to all the usual fare. And a big bowl of fresh cut fruit! Yum!
After breakfast, we set out for the day. We checked out the riverfront again, this time during the day. Most of the buildings on the riverfront used to be cotton warehouses, where the cotton was stored while it awaited shipment to the North and to Europe. Slaves loaded the cotton and were chained in the warehouses at night, as legend has it, so of course they are haunted! During the day though, there the riverfront area is a bustling tourist area, with restaurants and gift shops, and it really doesn’t give away too much about its cruel past.
Next we wandered up into an area above the riverfront that has a couple of antique shops, and Jon let me have my fill of browsing. They had some neat old bottles, but nothing that I had to bring home with me. We also went to the City Market, which is full of touristy art galleries and gift shops. Jon loved the portraits of Big Lebowski characters (in bright, psychedelic colors of course) that we found in one art gallery. He made me take a picture after I let him know in no uncertain terms that the Big Lebowski portrait would NEVER be decorating one of the walls in our home!
There was one wine tasting room named Meinhardt’s Winery in the City Market, but a prominent sign was displayed that proclaimed “NO SHARING!” (the all caps and the exclamation point are their emphasis, not mine). To be honest, we were a little miffed by that, and decided not to try their wines. Let’s be honest – wineries give a sample of the wine to show people how it tastes and to get people interested enough to buy the wine. You are going to offer the same 1-2 oz. sample, why do you care if one person drinks it all or if 2 people share it? Not to mention, this wasn’t a free tasting – you had to pay for it, so if I had to BUY that 1-2 oz. sample of wine anyway, doesn’t that mean I own it and can share it with whomever I like? I can certainly understand that this was a tourist area and you probably get a lot of people who aren’t going to buy, but really, if you are that worried about it, why would you set up shop in the middle of the tourist market!? Ok, I just had to get that out there… I’m done with my rant now… moving on… The shop had fruit and muscadine wines, and while it would have been interesting to try them, the muscadine cider the day before hadn’t blown my mind.
At this point, I was already starving, so we stopped at Anna’s Italian restaurant for lunch. I ordered a mushroom Swiss burger (Jon thought I was crazy for ordering hot food, because it was really hot that day, but it just sounded good!) Jon had a shrimp salad. Both our meals were good, although nothing spectacular. Mom and I had been to the same restaurant and had tapas for dinner, and they were really good, so I would still be willing to go back and try the tapas if we are ever back there (which I hope we are).
From City Market, we continued on our way, stopping here and there to look at historic homes, meander around squares, and take in the Colonial Cemetery. Colonial Cemetery was Savannah’s second cemetery, the first one having been filled much earlier than the founders expected (probably due to those pesky Yellow Fever epidemics) and eventually covered over with buildings as Savannah grew (and yes, they did leave the bodies in the ground – just built right on top of them!). Colonial Cemetery was used by union troops as a campsite during the Civil War (only the officers got to stay in the nice historic homes I guess), and during their spare time, they took to re-carving the headstones.
If you pay attention while you wander through, you will find some genealogical impossibilities. We found one where a boy, aged 11, died in 1820, his wife, aged 17, died in 1823, and their son, aged 12, also died in 1820, just a few weeks after his father. See where I’m going with this – the son would have been born before the father!
The cemetery is full of these tricks (or maybe Savannah just had a lot of time travelers), and if you are the patient type, who reads all the headstones, you can find dozens. I could wander around cemeteries for awhile, but Jon was getting bored, so we continued on our way.