kayaking on Loch Leven near Glencoe, Scotland, 2018

kayaking on Loch Leven near Glencoe, Scotland, 2018

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Tybee Island, Georgia

On our way from Savannah to Charleston, S.C., we detoured east and spent a few hours on Tybee Island. I had heard of Tybee Island before, primarily as a destination wedding hot spot. And true, we did see a few pop-up chapels. The beach area was crowded and smaller than I expected, But it was a Sunday in June, after all. We saw the usual businesses you'd expect to see in a coastal town that thrives on tourism -- sundries and souvenirs, pizza shops, and ice cream parlors.

Image result for ice cream parlor photos

The main attraction for Bob and me was the Tybee Island Light Station and Museum. Originally built in 1773, this site is one of the best preserved Light Stations in the country.

Prior to the installation of electricity in 1933, the light required three light keepers to maintain the flame. The museum is comprised of the light house grounds and the well-restored buildings -- the Head Keeper's Cottage and two Assistant Keepers' cottages, and a summer kitchen. The gift shop is housed in what was once a three-car garage. Besides the light itself, my favorite building was the Head Keeper's Cottage. The Keeper and his entire family lived on the grounds. For a "cottage" it was quite spacious and comfortable. It was easy to imagine a family living there in the shadow of the lighthouse.

Bob and I climbed the 178 steps to the top.

The view was worth it.

Of course, we couldn't go to Tybee Island without a stroll along the beach. We found a fun swing overlooking the ocean.

Next stop, Charleston, South Carolina.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Savannah -- Historic Meets Haute

Bob and I went on a vacation earlier this month. We jam-packed a three city tour into one week. A bit of a whirlwind, and not the least bit relaxing, but we saw and did a lot, waked miles and miles, and had a lot of fun. We flew from Houston into Atlanta, rented a car, and drove to Savannah, GA.; Charleston, SC, (after an afternoon on Tybee Island); Asheville, NC; then back to Atlanta, making a giant circle. We had never been to any of these cities prior, so it was a much-anticipated adventure. All three of these cities were completely different, and we loved each one.

Savannah exudes southern charm and hospitality. We checked into the Savannah B&B, a delightful inn on a quiet street in the Historic District, got the grand tour of the inn, and settled into a cozy, comfortable room all the way at the top of two long circa 1853 staircases.

Savannah B&B Inn

It was late in the afternoon when we arrived in Savannah, and we were eager to explore. First stop, Forsyth Park, right around the corner from the inn. Oak trees and spanish moss, shade from the heat, park benches for resting and enjoying the natural beauty . . . it was prettier than we could have imagined.

This fountain is the focal point of Forsyth Park and an icon of Savannah culture.

Savannah has a free bus system that took us to the waterfront. We strolled River Street, perused the craft vendors, marveled at the centuries-old, onyx-colored cobblestones, and found fantastic gelato at River Street Sweets.

Savannah B&B says good morning to guests with a fabulous breakfast buffet. We dined on the patio overlooking lovely courtyards, then returned to Forsyth Park because we'd read about a Saturday morning farmers' market there. We found a surprisingly wide variety of vendors. Loved it! Unfortunately, because we were traveling, we couldn't buy much. I DID buy a glass of fresh-pressed watermelon juice!

Bags and bags of Georgia peaches

One of our favorite things about Savannah was the 22 squares of green space dotting the neighborhoods at every other turn. Parks add so much to the quality of life in a city.

It was hard to know what to do and see when we only had two days in this delightful city. We toured the Owen-Thomas House, and the awe-inspiring Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.

We went to City Market, where I ate grilled grouper and drank peach sangria. We explored the shops along Bull St., sampled chocolates at tony Chocolat by Adan Turoni. A highlight of the day was a carriage ride through the town -- history, humor, and horses.

For dinner that night, we ate at Crystal Beer Parlor, recommended by our front desk hostess. She was spot on. It's a neighborhood joint but the line was out the door. We were seated sooner rather than later by opting to sit at the bar, where we chatted with the barmaid and watched a Tom Cruise movie on the TV over the bar. The beer selection was good and the food even better, but the standout was a freshly-baked soft pretzel the size of a platter.

Sunday morning, we had only a few hours to sight see before moving on. So we zigzagged through the Victorian District and toured the Sorrel Weed House. It is supposedly haunted, but I didn't see or sense any spirits.

In my title, I referred to Savannah as haute because that was the vibe I got. It was fun and a bit frivolous, but folks seemed to dress up a bit more than in other tourist towns. I saw so many women walking around in high heels. I, of course, wore my tennis shoes.

Next stop, Tybee Island, on the way to Charleston.