Monday morning we woke up in Columbia, SC. After complimentary breakfast at our hotel we headed out in search of good coffee and then on to the Capitol building for a virtual cache and a bit of sightseeing.
The virtual cache involved the still flying Confederate flag [as of Monday June 15th] in the front of the capitol building. A hotly contested situation for decades – and currently. I wonder what will happen to the cache as the flag is coming down.
There are several spots on the exterior marked with bronze stars where General Sherman’s troops hit the buildings with cannon. I like that they left the marks and noted them in this way.
Above is a monument to fallen soldiers in a war with Mexico in 1847. Lots of palm trees, the state tree of South Carolina.
We lingered for a while and then headed to Charleston. This is a city I have wanted to visit for most of my life. Below cobbled streets made from ballast carried on ships. VERY hard to walk on!
Upon arrival we parked and went to Southend Brewery & Smokehouse for lunch. B had the shrimp and grits and I had She Crab soup and Fried Green tomatoes [I couldn’t help it – another photo of food!].
Small portions but very filling. Both B and I each had a flight to sample their beers.
The interior is very industrial with exposed beams and brick. I really liked the atmosphere although jarringly they were playing 90’s country overhead. The reason I know this? I used to listen to country in the 90’s [let’s keep it our little secret ‘mkay?].
After lunch we wandered down to the water. There was a boardwalk that had a covered section with about a half dozen porch swings hanging from the rafters. A nice breeze was blowing and there were a couple fountains that you were invited to cool off in.
We ventured in to Washington Square Park to find a virtual cache. There were lots of cool vignettes to see along the way. I love how the grill in this fence is not covered over in greenery.
I really like how the ivy emphasizes the stairs at this home.
We stopped for coffee in the blessed air conditioning. This horse was in the lobby of the building.
Along the road there were hundreds of old homes and street parking was at a premium. Many notifications on gates stating “private property, enter at invitation of homeowner only”.
Even thought this was a city I have been dying to visit most of my life, it was different than I thought it would be. The downtown historical area seemed really commercial.
We stayed for a few hours and then headed to Savannah. The destination we were both really looking forward to. It was later in the evening as we pulled in and we set out to find a hotel. We were hoping to find one in the historic district with parking so we could do a lot of walking. We struck gold on the third place we checked. People, if you are EVER in the Savannah area I IMPLORE you to stay at the 17hundred90!
Our room was $119 and included two free drink vouchers, parking and a continental breakfast. The main hotel building was built in 1790. We were told we would be staying in a guest house which was built in the early 1800’s. This guest house had two bedroom suites and a full living, dining and kitchen. The other bedroom was not occupied that night so we had the entire place to ourselves. Below a shot of the front of the house on Oglethorpe, the main street in downtown historic Savannah.
This hotel even has a ghost named Anna. Here is the alley entrance to our room for the night.
Our bedroom suite had a king bed and a rather lavish bathroom with granite counters, a shower and jacuzzi tub. The bed was so tall I actually needed to use the provided stool to get in to it!
This was the chandelier over our bed.
The kitchen on the main floor had been redone with stainless appliances and granite as well. The bedroom, living and dining rooms all had period pieces.
I believe what the kitchen is now used to be outdoors as there are windows from the dining to the kitchen.
After leaving our bags we went back to the bar in the main building for a drink. As we walked in we were trying to decide where to sit when three older people said “you are not from around here, sit with us”. We spent a good hour chatting with Jill, Mary & Jeb who are from Savannah [Mary is from Greenville, SC]. We also chatted with Bud [Jeb’s nephew who was more our age] and had lived in Seattle for about seven years. It was certainly a kick in the pants!
We were in need of sustenance and walked a few blocks to The Old Pink House for dinner. B had Pecan Crusted Chicken Breast, Blackberry Bourbon Glaze, Sweet Potato with Pecan Vanilla Butter and Collards and I had Caramelized Vidalia Onion & Sweet Potato Ravioli w/Savory Pecan Cream Sauce. The meal was delicious and we received a tour from our waiter afterwards who gave us dessert on the house after we had a lovely chat about his time spent in Seattle. Later we found out it’s incredibly hard to just walk up and get a table. Luck was with us!
On our way back to our room we stopped at Reynolds square to listen to a gentleman play the violin – Moonlight Sonatta. It was eerily appropriate for the area and the evening.
The next morning after breakfast we inquired weather we could stay in the same room for another night. We realized the night before we needed another day in the city to see all we wanted to. A room in a different guest house was available and they said they would bring our luggage over when it was ready. We set off as happy tourists.
It was super hot and humid and we stopped in to a local place for coffee. It was blessedly air conditioned and decorated in a great bohemian way.
This quote was placed on the wall just under the deer head. “No whining, no complaining, absolutely no frowning. Only hugs, smiles and warm fuzzy feelings are allowed.” I wholeheartedly agree and the coffee was excellent too!
Not only do I take photos of things I walk on but I also take photos of things above me. Tin ceiling in the coffee house bathroom.
We found several caches that day and earned our Georgia souvenir. We walked around most of the city including its 24 squares. They have an open container law and we, of course had to stop in and get a beer to go!
One of the harder caches we found was near this statue called The Waving Girl. The statue is a representation of Florence Martus and her devoted Collie. She was lonely and would welcome each passing ship with a wave of her handkerchief during the day and a lantern at night. The sailors would respond with a toot of their horn. She kept this up for 44 years and welcomed more than 50,000 ships. Florence grew in to a legend, a ship was named after her and this statue was placed in her honor.
This cache was a bit harder and right from the start I had an idea of how it was disguised as we had seen something like that before in Seattle. After taking turns standing in the shade and looking in the sun, we finally found the cache. We decided a late lunch at The Pirate House was in order.
One of the oldest buildings in Savannah built in 1753. It opened as an inn and was located near a 100 acre lot called he Trustees Garden which was the first experimental garden in America. General Oglethorpe who founded Savannah had the vision of a Utopian society. Below is a photo of the original Herb House. Eventually it was enveloped in to the building it is today.
Our waiter [also someone who had lived in Seattle – noticing a trend here?] suggested the buffet and since we only had about fifteen minutes until it closed he suggested we use two plates.
I tried to take small portions of everything and load up only one plate but was not successful. Some of the items on the buffet; fried okra, mashed sweet potatoes, collard greens, fried chicken, roasted veggies [I can’t remember everything]. There was also cornbread and biscuits. We were stuffed and a pirate tour after the meal was a great way to get some air conditioned exercise and learn a little about the history of the place.
We went back to our new room for a little down time. Here is the back entrance to our guest house for the second night.
The patio was just off our ground floor room. This one had a queen bed.
We had our own parlor on the ground floor.
Front entrance. Loved the front door knob and overhead fixture in the ground floor hallway.
The bedroom featured a fireplace, another jacuzzi tub and a window from the bedroom to the bathroom. I suspect the bathroom was carved from the original back porch. That tub easily fit two people.
We had a mini fridge and coffee maker as well. A quick rest and shower and we were ready to do some more wandering of the squares and some geogaching. We found a cache in one of the squares and I left a trackable which has now made its way to Jacksonville, FL.
We stopped by the Mercer house made popular by the book and film Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil which was closed for touring [next time]. It was named for Johnny Mercer, a lyricist and composer and the founder of Capitol Records.
Saw this stuffed peacock in someones window just on the other side of the stree from the Mercer house. I heart peacocks! This is when a local walking his dog stopped to chat with us [did the photo taking identify us as tourists?].
We ended up in Forsythe Park which is the largest “square” in the city covering over 30 acres and has the most dramatic fountain. It was laid out in the 1840’s. The fountain was built in 1848. On St. Patrick day every year the city dyes the water of the fountain green. There is a rather large Irish immigrant population in Savannah.
I had the Welsh Rarebit and B had a sausage stuffed with mashed potatoes. After we walked back to our room and showered to cool down we headed to bed. The last few days of our trip will be posted tomorrow.