February 29, 2008

Welcome to Savannah (Part 2)!

We stayed at The Marshall House in Savannah. The Marshall House has a very interesting history. It was built in 1851 as Savannah's first hotel. It has its original staircases, wood floors, fireplaces, brick walls and the doors in each guest room. The atrium (which was once a courtyard) has been glass enclosed to give a sense of its original use. From 1864-1865 the hotel was occupied by Union troops under General Sherman. It was also used as a Union hospital until the end of the Civil War.

In 2003 the Marshall House was featured on Great Hotels. It has been voted the "Best of Savannah" twice. In 2005 it was even featured on the Travel Channel's Haunted Hotels!

The Marshall House has just undergone a $12 million restoration. I can't recommend this hotel enough and we will certainly stay there again.

Gorgeous original staircase from the lobby to the 2nd floor

This was a little sitting area in our room

I believe this bed was the most comfortable I've ever slept in away from home

Corner of the "sitting area" just off the main lobby

Looking out from the sitting area into the lobby

Front of The Marshall House

French doors that lead into an adjoining restaurant/lounge

Original floor!

Atrium where breakfast was served

Portrait of Gen. James Marshall (Mary Marshall's husband)

A "must see" is Bonaventure Cemetery. Just outside of Savannah, this cemetery is rich in history and permanent "guests". Originally a plantation, over the years it was divided and eventually became the cemetery you see today. It is so peaceful and has more of the oak trees with dripping moss.

Gracie Watson's grave is one of the most visited graves at Bonaventure. She was the only child of her parents who owned one of Savannah's hotels. She died in 1890, two days before her 6th birthday. A noted sculpturer carved her life-sized likeness from a photograph. It is said that no matter where you stand to view her tomb, it seems her eyes are following you. Take a good look at Little Gracie and see what you think!

The detail is unbelievable. It is sculpted (sp?) to be the exact size of Little Gracie at her death wearing her Easter clothes

Her grave is beautifully maintained

Johnny Mercer is another famous "guest" at Bonaventure. His home is the Mercer-Williams house featured in "Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil". This bench depicts many of the songs he wrote.

Family burial plot of Johnny Mercer

OK....(drum roll)..... finally------------- It's off to The Lady and Sons for Sunday lunch!

In order to get your name in the hat for the Sunday buffet, you line up about 8:00 so you can get on the list. They start taking names at 9:00 for the 11:00 buffet. Hubby got up and went to get in line...even at 8:00 he was about 5th in line! These were some of the folks standing in line about 10:45 (what were they thinking!) trying and get a seat that day. The line goes around the building!

This is Paula Deen's shop right next to her restaurant. While hubby was standing in line, some of the staff were watering the planters...naturally, the water dripped down on all standing in line (not a good thing!)

Doors to enter The Lady and Sons. There are three floors to the restaurant and we were on the 3rd floor

Yummy fried green tomatos served with salsa and a valdalia onion relish. Hubby could not wait for his first bite so that's why there is an empty spot on the plate!

You know you are in the South when you get a sprig of mint in your ice tea!

Hoe cakes and garlic cheese biscuits

Fried chicken, mashed potatos, mac and cheese, collards....put some South in your mouth!

Good grief....it was soooo good!

I cannot recommend a trip to Savannah enough. Even in February, the weather was spring like. I went once before in May and it was wonderful.

Hope ya'll enjoyed a little bit of our trip to Savannah. I can't wait to go back!!!

February 28, 2008

Welcome to Savannah! (Part 1)

Our trip to Savannah was ab-so-loute-ly devine! You can't imagine a city more beautiful or so typical of the Old South. We arrived on Friday afternoon and after checking into our room (there will be another post on our room, Bonaventure Cemetery and of course - Paula Deen!), we got out and started walking. The city lends itself to a wonderful walking adventure. Everywhere you turn, there is so much beauty to behold. The city is home to the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and there were a lot of students out and about. No matter what time of day or night we were out, we saw folks just walking along, enjoying the scenery. It was very reminisent of what I consider an old-time downtown where everyone lives and shops. Remember Andy Griffith? It's a little like that but more sophisticated.

Savannah was established in 1733 by its founder James Oglethorpe and a group of English settlers. Oglethrope is credited with creating the city squares that make Savannah so unique. The squares are surrounded by homes, churches, shops and galleries.

During the Civil War, Savannah was the "prize" at the end of the Union army's "March to the Sea" in December 1864. It was spared by General Sherman who made Savannah a Christmas gift to President Abraham Lincoln.

Today, Savannah invites the traveler to experience its spendor and discover secrets of the Old South. Come along with me and experience some of the beauty of Savannah.

Just down the street from our hotel was this wonderful shop - The Paris Market. If you are ever in Savannah, I highly recommend this shop. So "chic"....filled with natural decorations. The shop owner was very kind in allowing me to take pictures of their store.

I fell in love with the green plates and bird's nests. I bought six of the birds nests and you will see them on my Easter table. If you look close, you'll see the "placemat" is simply torn brown kraft paper (I'm going to try and do this on my tablescape too!)

I love these robin's egg blue quail eggs (got several of them for my bird's nests)

The storefront window just beckons you to come in and see all the goodies

Do you remember the book "Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil?" Well, this is the famous Mercer House where it was filmed. We got to go inside and the tour guide gave us a great history of the house. There never was an actual Mercer that lived in the house but it has retained its name as the original owner of the property was named Mercer. He lost all his money during the Civil War. When Jim Williams acquired the property, he restored it to how it appears today....in fact, his family members still live in the home.

The front window to your left is where Mr. Williams shot his "partner". Jim Williams was tried three times of the "murder" but was acquitted all three times.

Savannah Cotton Exchange along the river banks

These pigeons were everywhere along the River Walk....they loved you to throw bits of food so they could eat. They did not appear to be afraid of humans, in fact, they would just about land on you if you had something to eat!

Savannah River Queen on the Savannah River

Now for some of the exquisite architecture on the squares. These are all private homes that are occupied. Stunning! Look at the detail over these windows.

Hubby loved this house....everywhere you looked you saw towering oaks filled with Spanish moss

There were planters everywhere you looked. I wonder how they get them to look so beautiful in February?

Looking through one of the squares at a home on the other side

I could not get over the fig vines that covered walls everywhere you looked!

So stately with their black doors and ivy-filled planters

I love this doorknocker. This was a design studio with shops in Savannah and London

When we got to Charleston, this plantation was right off the interstate. It was in the process of being restored but the tree lined drive made you feel as though you were arriving at Tara
We didn't stop and get out because you could not go in the house due to construction but I thought it looked so southern with its oak trees and moss

Final stop in Atlanta and of course had to go by Ballards Backroom!

Tomorrow I'll show our hotel, tell a little of its history and finally tell about going to eat at The Lady and Sons! OMG it was soooo delish!

February 20, 2008

Savannah Here We Come!

We're off to Savannah and Charleston Friday morning...be gone a week!

Monday morning the twins had to go to the dentist....when we got there they wanted their picture taken. Taylor went and stood behind Jackson - are they little "hams" or what?

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