Days 12 & 13, June 3 & 4, 2023

We said goodbye to Charleston and drove approximately 2 hours to arrive in Savannah, GA around 11 am this morning. Savannah is a place that I have wanted to see since I was a teenager and I read the book Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil. Now, as we have arrived in Savannah I find myself trying to remember what the book was about, other than being set in this city. I think I’ll be re-reading it upon our return, or at least watching the movie.

We are staying at another state park, Skidaway Island State Park. Tip for travelers, state parks are great places to stay. They are almost always nice and cost about half what a privately owned park would cost. Bonus is that they also have entertainment built-in. The one we are at has multiple hiking trails, bike rentals, and playgrounds. But, we’ve only got a day and a half to explore Savannah so I doubt we get to see much of that.

We got camp set up and immediately set off for a place a local had recommended we see, Wormsloe State Historic Site. It was a good way to start off our sightseeing. The park entrance is a mile-long dirt road that has 400 live oak trees lining the road with their branches meeting in the middle. They create a canopy that makes you feel like you are in a fairytale. The drive-up was my absolute favorite part of the tour. The rest of the park included a walk through the ruins of the original home and an example of what colonial living was like. It also included a museum that explained the significance of the estate (basically the owner played an integral role in setting up the city of Savannah & the State of Georgia), but again, the best part was the mile-long drive in. We took some pictures of the driveway but I know we did not capture the beauty of the estate.

Next on the list, a cemetery! Yep, I tortured my family and made them go to a cemetery. I absolutely love walking through old cemeteries. I don’t know why, I just do. My grandmother and mother liked it too and every time I traveled with them we always found a cemetery to see, whether we had family buried there or not. So, I wanted to see the Bonaventure Cemetary. The cemetery is a famous cemetery that dates back to the 1800s. There are several graves that people go specifically to see, like Little Gracie Watson or Johnny Mercer, but I just wanted to see the artistry of the old stones and imagine the story behind each family plot. It is a beautiful place to visit and it is the cemetery that the photo of the “bird girl”, which is the statue depicted on the front cover of the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, was taken. I could have spent another hour wondering the plots but my kids were OVER IT! I will admit, it was hot and there was a lot of walking, but it was so beautiful, at least to me.

We saw both of these places then I was at a loss for where to go next. So, we did what any good tourist would do and we found the visitor center. That was a challenge in itself. Downtown Savannah is a busy place!!! We tried at least 3 different parking lots/garages before we found one we could park in. Luckily it happened to be right at one of the places I thought we wanted to see, River Street. The street is located along the river in Savannah. It is packed full of restaurants, retail stores, and art galleries that have all been built in renovated cotton factories. It was the perfect place to take an evening walk on this humid day because there was a breeze blowing in off the river. We found the visitor center and got a few ideas and then realized that there was one thing on this street that we had to go see, Gallery 209. We are typically not art gallery people (I mean we have 3 pre-teen/teen kids, not exactly their style yet), but this place had some special items. Our neighbor’s brother, David Shipper, actually had artwork displayed and for sale at this gallery. He is a photographer and he lives in the area. I had seen some of his work online just from what our neighbor, Susan, had shared but we wanted to see it in person and wanted to visit a place halfway across the country that we had a connection to. It was a very neat gallery and I’m so glad we went. We of course had to find the perfect photo to purchase to display on our “travel wall” back home.

We wrapped up our evening downtown with a pretty good idea of what we wanted to do the next day. Downside though, everyone was starving! Best part of RV life, we have a kitchen back at our home away from home. So, we headed back to camp and had fajita night!

Day two in Savannah started with a big pancake breakfast at camp. We needed to fuel up for a full day of exploring. We discovered, after trying to walk part of downtown last night, that the best way to see everything downtown was going to be hopping on one of the many trolly tours offered. We picked one that allowed you to hop on and off at different points around town. The best part of the trollies is that the drivers give you the history of all the significant points around downtown, which apparently is almost every park and building.

Savannah is one of the oldest cities in America so there are buildings, still in use, that date back to the 1700s. Restoration of these historic buildings and homes is constant, and we saw plenty of construction. The downtown area also includes 22 “squares” which are basically small parks nestled between the city blocks. Each square includes a statue, or fountain, or some type of significant structure in the middle and each one is dedicated to someone who made an impact of some sort on the city. The largest and pretties of these, in my opinion, was Forsythe Park. It has a fountain that is, at least according to our tour guides, the most photographed fountain in the world. I’m sure you have all seen a picture of it. A neat piece of trivia about it is that it was actually purchased from a Sears & Roebuck catalog for about $2500. We of course had to do our own photoshoot at the fountain!

We spent pretty much the whole day wandering around Historic Savannah. We hopped on and off the trollies, we ate a good seafood lunch (I mean you have to get shrimp & grits when you’re in the low country!), we shopped a little, we ate some great peach cobbler, we took a lot of pictures, and we made memories as a family.

Why do we travel? For the reason above, we want to make as many family memories as we can with our kids before they fly the nest. We want to show them that the world is so much bigger than our small corner of Arkansas. We want them to not be scared to get out in the world and see things. We want to spend time as a family (even when we are on each other’s last nerve). We want these experiences, we want this time, we want these memories.

Published by Kira Bridges

First of all I'm a believer in Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and savior. Second, I'm a wife & a mother. I am happily married to the most wonderful man in the world, Johnny Bridges. We have a 3 beautiful children, Logan, Macy & Noah. I am blessed & thankful for the blessings God has given me.