Oh, Savannah!

I never thought I’d say this about any city in the South, but I think I’m in love with Savannah.  Or maybe it’s just the moss.

The old part of Savannah is dripping with Spanish moss, which now officially replaces cooked beans as my “most difficult to photograph” subject.  In fact, walking or driving around the 21 central squares of the old town, each a little oasis surrounded by beautiful old houses, it’s hard to make any progress at all, the shutterbug instinct replacing any desire to arrive at a given destination.

The vegetation is lush and exotic everywhere you look,

and the streets are lined with huge old trees, giving everything a dappled appearance.

Some streets are made of brick, or like this one, of old ballast stones from Savannah’s shipping past. Some are made of tabby, an ancient building material that combines sand and crushed oyster shells.  There were lots of fine old buildings around every corner, and I wanted them all.

There were symbols of Savannah’s traditional commitment to the arts

and to hospitality.

I’m not sure how pineapples came to be a symbol of hospitality, but that tradition is alive and well in Savannah, as are the famous gas lights.

And speaking of hospitality, when we went up to a rooftop bar overlooking the river and its deep sea port

we shared a table with a young couple, because the charming spot was quite full.  We chatted, refreshed ourselves after a hot day of sightseeing, and they picked up the check for our drinks on the way out, not something that happens every day.

On our way out of town we stopped by the famed Bonaventure cemetery, undoubtedly the loveliest I’ve ever seen.

These four little graves speak to the hardships of early Savannah life; each child died before the age of two.

From here we were off to a quick family visit in Atlanta, then back to the Pacific North West, where Beppo, Zazou, and cool weather awaited us.  It’s been quite a journey, one I’ll be thinking about for a long time to come, and I thank you for joining us.

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11 Comments on “Oh, Savannah!”

  1. Wolfgang Says:

    That is what I call a charming town.

  2. Ujwala Samant Says:

    Savannah sounds and looks beautiful Abra! Thanks for sharing this. It’s on my list of cities to visit for sure now.

  3. Debra Lane Says:

    I’ve always wanted to visit Savannah. I love old architecture and the mature trees. Beautiful!

  4. Zuleme Says:

    Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil! Great book, I read it before visiting Savannah.

  5. heidih Says:

    Thank you- now Savannah is on my list. As for the pineapple as a hospitality symbol- I was told that when the sea captains arrived home from an exotic locale where pineapples grew they would nail one to the front door as a symbol to all that the captain was home and all are welcome to visit.

  6. Abra Bennett Says:

    And in Savannah we heard that the hostess would set two pineapples on the table at the beginning of the evening, and when she took one away, it was time to go home!

  7. paula Says:

    Thanks for taking us along with you!

  8. Lori Says:

    So happy you enjoyed it. We love spanish moss – makes the trees take on a mystical quality.

  9. Wendy Says:

    I am totally going to start doing the pineapple thing at my dinner parties! 🙂

  10. Debbie Says:

    I am from Savannah and yes, it is lovely. In fact, when Sherman marched through Savannah during the Civil War, he spared Savannah and presented it to the President as a gift. His headquarters are on a square in the old portion. I now live in Santa Monica, CA but my family is still there so I am able to go back and visit a couple of times each year. There is also a lovely story about the famous Spanish Moss in the trees:
    A lovely princess and her love, upon their wedding day, Were struck down by a savage foe amidst a
    bitter fray;
    United in death they were buried, so the legend go “Neath an oak’s strong, friendly arms, protected from their foe;
    There, as was the custom, they cut the bride’s long hair with love And hung its shining blackness on the spreading
    oak above; Untouched, undisturbed it hung there, for all the world to see. And with the years the locks turned grey and spread from tree to tree.

  11. Abra Bennett Says:

    Debbie, that’s a beautiful story. Thanks for that!

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