Day 53: Midnight in the Garden . . .

We had the whole day to explore Savannah and with the help of Brian and Joan we came up with a plan. We drove downtown to the visitor’s center, bought our tickets for the Hop On/Off Trolley and our selected activities for the day and walked over to the Museum of Civil Rights. It was closed. So, we walked back to the Visitor’s Center and were reimbursed for our tickets. Then we hopped on the trolley and started the tour around historical Savannah. It is as beautiful as you see in all the pictures and films.

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The design of the 22 (originally 24) squares was the idea of the founder of Savannah, James Ogelthorpe, in 1733. It was designed that way partly as a way to protect the city from military attack. I am curious if the square design lends itself to a stronger sense of community.

There are 15 stops for the trolley and you can get off at any to see the sights and then get back on and travel to your next destination while the driver provides details about the history of the city and the sites. We got off at stop 5 to tour our next choice in activities, the oldest active reform congregation in the country, Temple Mikvah Israel.

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It was closed due to Sukkot. Ugh! Now we needed to come up with another plan. We looked at some reviews of the home tours and selected the Green-Medrim House because it had some civil war history to it. General Sherman used it as a base when he was in town. It was definitely interesting to learn how Mr. Green basically saved Savannah from being burned down by his hospitality.

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Afterward we hopped back in the trolley to get to a good place for lunch. The driver suggested the river area, which is a street of restaurants and shops along the Savannah river. Thinking it was going to be something like the shopping neighborhoods in San Francisco, we quickly discovered it was much more like the Santa Monica pier, tourist shops and fried food. Luckily I had eyed a place close by from the trolley and managed to find it. We ended up having one of the best meals of our trip so far. The restaurant is called B. Matthews, a nice little cafe/restaurant. We asked the waitress for her recommendations. She said they are known for their fried green tomatoes and shrimp and grits. We ordered each and split them.Yum!!! That definitely made up for all of our failed plans for the day.

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After lunch we wandered a bit, hopped back on the trolley to finish the tour and returned home and had a lovely evening with Joan and Brian. Thank you Joan and Brian for your Southern hospitality!

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