After yesterday, we felt we had a good sense of direction about the city and what we wanted to do today was well within walking distance for us (the furthest point was about a mile away), so we ended up not using our second day of the trolley pass. We had it with us in case we decided to hop on, but it wasn't needed. It was finally a beautiful day so we were happy with walking to our locations.
Our first stop was the Davenport house, which we had planned to do yesterday and didn't get to. The Davenport family was working class, in contrast to the two homes we saw yesterday which were owned by wealthy families.
The story of the house was interesting in that it was not owned by the Davenports throughout history. It had eventually fallen out of the families' ownership and in the 1950s it was a boarding house that was pretty run down. The city was going to buy it and tear it down. But seven women formed together and purchased the house (and eventually created the Savannah Historical Society.)
Through the research and restoration process, a document was found that listed the assets of Isiah Davenport at the time of his passing. He died in his late 40s from the yellow fever. It was decided that the house would only contain items that were listed on that document. They were able to recover some original items that had been with descendants of the family but many of the originals were gone. So they use items that are antique and exactly what was listed but they are not origin to the Davenport home.
When they removed the many layers of paint from the walls, they found wallpaper. Again, it was not able to be restored but they found a company to make the exact kind of wallpaper that would have been used. The wallpaper was certainly an interesting aspect of the house.
Our next stop of the day was The American Prohibition Museum. The museum was very well presented with a combination of actual items, information to read, and wax figures depicting various scenes. There were also costumed employees in different sections that would speak in character about a particular situation.
There was a lot to learn in this museum. While I definitely knew what prohibition was, I was not aware of all of the details. I think the museum also did a good job of presenting the ramifications of what occurred not just for the people that lived through that time period but for the history of America moving forward.
Towards the end of the museum, you come to a door that is an entrance to a Speakeasy. There is no handle but there is a button to push. There is also some writing on the door that says "Tell them Gus sent you." When you push the button, the eye level window opens and there is an LED screen with eyes looking at you. The voices says "Who are you? What do you want? Who sent you?" You say that Gus sent you. The voice says "Ok, well if Gus sent you, you can come in." And then the door pops open for you to enter.
And you enter the Speakeasy, where you can get cocktails that were specific to prohibition time. We had pre-purchased a drink coupon for each of us when we entered, but you can also buy drinks right there.
Just before you get to the Speakeasy door, there is a section about the start of the dance the Charleston. There is one part where there is a large mirror with videos playing above it showing ladies doing the Charleston. You are encouraged to try it out for yourself and there are even foot steps on the floor to follow. When you get into the Speakeasy, you find out that it is a one way mirror. So when you are in the Speakeasy, you can watch guests try their hand at the Charleston and they don't know it. It wasn't very busy when we were there but we did see a few people try it while we were enjoying our drinks.
After the Speakeasy section, there is a little more to the museum about the repeal of prohibition and a short movie that summarizes everything. It was a very well done exhibit and we enjoyed it.
The museum sits right in the City Market which is a few blocks of shops and restaurants so we had planned to walk around there a bit before lunch. We bought some pralines... because you kind of have to.. and some Boyd's cookies. Chris also got peach wine which he wanted to bring home to try.
Our next stop was Lady and Sons, Paula Deen's restaurant. In researching, I had read some mixed reviews but we were determined to try it anyway. They do have a buffet and you can also order from a menu. The buffet really wasn't overly appealing to me and Chris doesn't like them in general so we decided to order off the menu. I started with a Savannah Lemonade that was peach flavored vodka, lemonade and a splash of Sprite. They came around with hot cheese bread that was AMAZING! It had to be packed full of butter but it was warm and cheesy and dense.
For lunch, I went with my theme and had shrimp and grits. This one was definitely the winner! First it was huge!! The plate weighed a ton. There was a lot of flavor and it had a little kick as well. I only managed to eat half and took half back to the room for later tonight. Chris had a BBQ pulled chicken sandwich which he didn't rave about but said it was good. You can also get one piece of fried chicken as an add on so we got one to share. Wow, it was good! Chris loved it. I had a bite but my meal was so big that I let him have the rest. We were definitely too full for dessert at the moment so we got a piece of pecan pie to take to the room as well.
We left the restaurant and decided to walk along River Street to get back our hotel. It was a beautiful afternoon. We passed the Waving Girl statue. The story goes that this young lady was in love with a sailor and when he left to go to sea, she would go to this park daily and wave to the ships coming in hoping to find him returning to her. She did this for 43 years and never found him.
We also saw the Olympic Torch monument that was placed in the park because the yachting events for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta took place on the Savannah River.
River Street is also a series of a few shops but mostly bars and restaurants. You can carry open alcohol containers on the street here and there were already some folks that had been over served walking around - and it was only 4:30 pm. I can imagine that area gets a bit rowdy in the evenings.
And with that our time in Savannah comes to an end. I was a little unsure about it at first because I had really loved Charleston. But like Charleston, I would have liked at least another day here to do some more touring. It is a beautiful city with a lot to see and do.
Tomorrow is a full travel day for us, as we start to head back north. We will be on our way to our final destination (how can this trip be almost over already?!?!)
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.