Today was the first of two full touring days in Savannah. We had purchased tickets for the Old Town Trolley Hop on Hop off tour for both days.
The Trolley has a stop one street over from our hotel so we hopped on this morning and took it over to the visitor center. We looked around a bit there and then got back on to go one stop to the first thing we wanted to do.
Juliette Gordon Low was the founder of the Girl Scouts. Our first tour of the day was at her birthplace and home. As we found throughout Savannah, the houses are available to see by guided tour only. We were lucky to arrive about five minutes before one was to start and there was room on the tour for us.
I really knew very little about Juliette Low, who only went by the nickname "Daisy." It was very interesting to learn about her life and the Girl Scout organization. The family was wealthy and the large, open house reflected that.
One of the rooms on the tour is a library / education center that is meant to be hands on. The organization wanted to reflect the value of experiences and hands on learning. There were little centers with activities and shelves with books that you are welcome to look through.
Any Girl Scout that takes the tour has the opportunity to purchase a special pin that is to be worn on their uniform under their troupe number. We had three girls on our tour.
We had about an hour until our lunch reservation but it was only a short walk so we decided to walk there and see if we could be seated early. It was busy but we were able to get in so we enjoyed our meal at The Olde Pink House. The restaurant is housed in an historic mansion and decorated accordingly.
I decided to start a theme of trying shrimp and grits so that is what I ordered. Chris had the chicken fried chicken. Both dishes came with collard greens and Chris actually ate them so you know they were good. For dessert we shared the Praline Basket, which was a shell made of praline with vanilla ice cream and berries inside. We enjoyed our meal here for sure.
Finishing lunch, the next house we wanted to tour was the Owens-Thomas house. The family was prominent in Savannah and another popular feature of the home was that Marquis de Lafayette stayed in the house for 2 nights when he was touring the US.
We did not have as much luck with timing for this house. We had missed a tour so had to wait 40 minutes for the next one. We walked around the gift shop a bit and then rested on a bench. About 15 minutes before the tour, they let you into the Carriage House which had been the slave quarters. There was some information to read as well as going to the upstairs area to look at how it was set up.
This tour was very good as well. We were able to see the basement where the slaves would do most of the cooking and other house work. We then went to the two floors of the house to see the living spaces and bedrooms.
This house was ahead of its time as it had indoor plumbing and water before even the White House did.
One feature that was interesting was that they wanted everything to be symmetrical. So if there was a door on one side, there needed to be a door on the other side. They carried this so far that there were about 3-4 "doors" through out the house that were false doors. They were just there to keep the symmetry of the room.
We finished the tour at about 3:45 pm. Unfortunately, most of the house tours end at 4:30 / 5 pm so we didn't have time to get to the third one we had chosen. There are actually many more but we had to pick out a sampling.
The trolleys do run until 6 pm, so we decided to walk to where we got off in the morning, which was stop #2, and take it around to the stop near our hotel, which was stop #9. That way we would have listened to the whole tour information - and we didn't have to walk back to the hotel.
There are several Forrest Gump locations in Savannah. The bench was in one of the parks but it was vandalized so there is now only a replica in one of the museums. But the church pictured below is where they drop the feather in the beginning.
That was the end of touring for day 1. We still have another full day here tomorrow.
I have been a huge Disney and travel fan since childhood. I love going to new places and, of course, heading to Disney as often as I can.