Day three of our adventurous trip to Savannah began after Will and I got to do what we call “sleeping in,” and what others call “oversleeping.” After a bit of scolding after we finally awoke, Will, Melva, Ryan, and I went on an Old Town Trolley tour that visited the sites in the historical districts of Savannah. The trolley tour took a little over two hours to complete and was detoured many times due to the ongoing Veterans Day Parade. However, we were still able to view the sites listed on their map. My favorite location was Chippewa Square where part of Forrest Gump was shot. I also found the grid square system that was developed fascinating. This particular method was used to tactically divide the area to allow the troops to fight at a square and then retreat to another square not more than 150 yards away.
I was amazed at the beauty of the buildings and homes in Savannah, some dating back to the late 18th century. All of the styles varied and were decorated by the overcast shadows from the Spanish Mossy Oak trees (also beautifully majestic) that populated the city. Another part that I enjoyed was the fact that we had the opportunity to see the Mercer-Williams house, which was featured in the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, starring Kevin Spacey and John Cusack. The trolley tour also took us by the 5-star hotel called The Mansion, adjacent to Forsyth Park. The Mansion, an 18,000 square-foot home, used to belong to a single family but has now been transformed into a famous hotel visited by many.
The desire for lunch quickly attacked the four of us as the trolley tour came to an end, so we decided to hop onto another one and get off near River Street, a prime restaurant location. The four of us chose to eat at a tavern called The Cotton Exchange that overlooks the Savannah River. After settling in at The Cotton Exchange, the one dish that seemed to be continuously ordered was the Onion Soup, so after jumping on the bandwagon, I ordered the French Onion Soup, too. It was one of the best soups I have ever tasted. For my entrée, I had blackened bleu burger which was just as delicious. I would have no problem recommending The Cotton Exchange to anyone looking for a nice lunch overlooking the river in a tavern-styled building.
Along East River Street is a statue of the Waving Girl. The Waving Girl has been a landmark to many sailors, welcoming any inward voyaging vessels or bidding ships good luck as they exit the port. The statue measured 12 feet tall with a 5-foot tall dog at its side. This was really pleasant to see.
Around 3:50pm we took a short car ride to nearby Tybee Island, the home of the Tybee Lighthouse. The 154-foot tall beacon was erected in 1736 and has been a means of guidance ever since. We were also able to tour the lighthouse, traveling up the six flights of stairs to the top (178 steps). The observation deck was open and tourists were able to step outside and enjoy the beautiful view of Tybee Island.
In comparison to Biloxi’s 65-foot lighthouse, Tybee’s won without contest, but I preferred the Biloxi Lighthouse’s story of perseverance and resiliency as it has weathered Hurricane Katrina’s storm and remains a symbol of hope to Mississippians.
The beach on Tybee, however, was prettier.
We completed the evening at the sister restaurant to The Cotton Exchange, One-Eyed Lizzy’s. We ordered a dozen oysters on the half shell and I ordered chopped sirloin as my entrée. I received a rather uncooked sirloin and after eating most of the sides, the restaurant was more than happy to fix my meal and comped us with a delicious warm bourbon pecan pie.
And we are now one day closer to the GPSA’s convention. We should be getting up fairly early tomorrow, so until then!