Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Day in Beaufort

Today we spent the day with Gia showing us around Beaufort then we took the kids to the pool for a couple of hours.  Tonight we went to dinner at a restaurant that she had read a review about called the Foolish Frog.  One of their specialties was Frogmore Stew and that is what she and I both had.  I was tempted to get Shrimp and Grits AGAIN but decided to try something different for a change.  It was yummy!  Thanks Gia and Jason for treating me to a yummy dinner of Frogmore Stew at the Foolish Frog!

This was just one of the many gorgeous mansions we saw today.  This Greek Revival-style home, dubbed “The Castle” for its medieval undertones, is one of the most photographed homes in the country. According to legend, an affable ghost—a dwarf named Grenauche—roams the Beaufort, S.C., property, showing itself only to sick children in need of cheer.  Forces of Nature was filmed in and around The Castle.
I loved how the trees reached all the way down and touched the ground!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Visit with Gia and Day Trip to Savannah

The kids and I left Albertville on Sunday morning heading to Beaufort, SC to visit Gia and her family.  Since she was just a little over 7 hours from my parents, I decided to use that as my stopping point on the way home and get a visit in also.  

Ethan greeted us at the door and it was as if the kids had just played together the day before instead of last seeing each other in April.  We got in just in time for dinner Sunday night and she had made a delicious meal of chicken cutlets, risotto, roasted vegetables and chocolate cake.  Everything was so good.  

Today we spent the day in Savannah, GA, a city rich in history, charm and beauty.  The streets of Savannah's National Landmark Historic District - one of the largest in the US - are filled with more than three centuries of history.  Ever since British General James Edward Oglethorpe founded Savannah in 1733 as our nation's thirteenth colony, the city has earned a reputation as a special destination.

Our first stop - Paula Deen's Lady and Sons restaurant to see if we could get a reservation for today.  We were able to get our name on the list for a 9:15 reservation so we went ahead just in case.  Then Gia drove us around Savannah showing us some of the historic landmarks.  We stopped and toured the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist.  It was built in 1873 and dedicated in 1876.  It is one of the largest and most beautiful in this part of the country and it definitely was!  When we walked in, one of the kids asked what kind of church this was and when we told them Catholic, they said, "wow, Catholics are so lucky"!  It was too cute.   My pictures do not do it justice.  It was absolutely gorgeous.
We walked across the street to Lafayette Square, one of Savannah's 21 historic squares,  so the kids could see the fountain.
I loved this painting that I saw at an art gallery in City Market.
By this time we were all hungry so we stopped and had lunch at City Market Cafe and I was lucky enough to get to sit by Elvis!
The kids really wanted to take a horse and carriage ride (and so did I) so we told them that if they would be good while Gia and I shopped a little that we would take one.  We looked around at all the little boutiques and shops and then stopped and had some ice cream to cool off before our tour.  We saw many historic homes and sites, some of which were absolutely gorgeous!
Built in 1818-1821. Juliette Gordon, known as Daisy,” founder of the Girl Scouts was born here in 1860. The house, filled with original family furniture, has been restored to the period of 1886, the year of Juliette’s marriage. 
The Kehoe House is an exquisitely restored 1892 Renaissance Revival mansion in Savannah’s Historic District. The Inn, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, features 13 original guest rooms and amenities that include daily cooked-to-order breakfast and afternoon tea.
One of the first two houses in Georgia to be designated an historic landmark.  The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and SCAD Architectural Committee voted it one of the most important houses in Savannah.  Built between 1839 and 1840, this house stands as one of the finest symbols of antebellum Greek/Revival architecture in the United States. Prior to and during the Civil War, it entertained both General Sherman and General Lee.
One of Savannah's most historic mansions.  This magnificent mansion, designed in 1860 for Hugh W. Mercer, Johnny Mercer’s great-grandfather. Construction was interrupted by the Civil War, and the house was not completed until about 1868. Jim Williams, long known as a preservation and restoration expert, as well as bon vivant and lavish host, became famous as the central figure in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. He bought the Mercer House in 1969 and spent two years restoring the home. Williams’ sister, Dorothy Kingery, now owns it. 
There is Spanish moss everywhere in Savannah ~ in all the trees in all the squares except for this part of this square.  Our tour guide told us that Spanish moss won't grow where there is lots of paranormal activity (ghosts).  She said the city had even tried to get it to grow in this area but it always just disappears.
Housed in a historic 19th-century building designed by architect William Jay, the Telfair Museum of Art features an outstanding permanent collection of paintings, sculpture and photography, as well as world-class visiting exhibits.  This is also now the home of the Bird Girl Statute from the cover of the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
This elegantly restored 1842 Greek Revival mansion showcases exquisite period antiques throughout and focuses on the Mid-1800's lifestyle of early preservationist Alida Harper Fowlkes.
Chippewa Square
Named in honor of the American victory in the Battle of Chippewa during the War of 1812.   Chippewa Square is the square where Forrest Gump's bench was placed during the filming of the popular movie.
The kids with our carriage tour guide horse, Hank

After our carriage ride, we walked over to River Street, Savannah's Riverfront, which is filled with shops and restaurants.   We made a stop in Savannah's Candy Kitchen, the largest candy store in the South, where the kids got to watch salt water taffy being made.  And of course, we had to make a few purchased there ~ taffy, peanut clusters and two different kinds of fudge to be exact!
Deen's restaurant but eat down on River Street instead.  We ate dinner at the Cotton Exchange Tavern where we had a delicious dinner of Shrimp and Grits.  This was my third time to have Shrimp and Grits in the last three weeks and in three different states!  As we walked back up River Street, we saw these in a boutique store window.  They are perhaps the ugliest purses that I have EVER seen!
After much talk of ghosts and ghost stories on our carriage ride and walking along the riverfront, the kids (except for Ethan) were all talking "ghosts" and wanted to see a ghost.  Ethan begged them all to stop because it was scaring him.  Then about that time, Gia said "boo" to him and it scared him to death!  He screamed and cried hysterically and we all couldn't help but laugh.  I think he cried all the way back to the car poor thing.