Savannah in Spring

28 04 2016

Piggybacking off my last post about Pie Society, that might have been our reason for visiting Savannah, but it wasn’t the only attraction. We turned it into a lovely day trip, just in time for the green fountains a few days before St. Patty’s.

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Hard to see the green…this one’s better:

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Festive! And so many flowers in bloom:

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We spent some time at first in the Pie Society area (City Market), walking around to see shops, art galleries, and most importantly, treat shops:

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This one was making fresh praline and giving out samples of it. Of course we were easily coaxed into buying some.

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Outside it was beautiful with lots to see. Check out this underground bar!

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Then we stumbled on Byrd Cookies. Lots of variations of little, round, crunchy cookies. Got some oatmeal for my co-worker since she raved about them, and the guy in the store said they’re the classic ones and a favorite of locals.

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After Byrd’s, we saw another fountain and then went for lunch (afternoon tea really) at my favorite place, The Gryphon. I’ve written about it previously here.

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Just as gorgeous as ever.

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And just as unique.

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It was a pharmacy at one point, as you can see from the old “tablet” drawers above.

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I love afternoon tea. Cute + delicious, it looks like there’s not enough there, because it’s all small bites, but we were stuffed by the end. I started from the bottom tier and worked my way up.

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I’m hungry again just looking at these pics! After lunch, we wandered back to our car, parked on the street. Just so happened it was parked in front of an old house doing tours for only $10/person.

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It turned out to be the Frances Sorrel house, built in the 1800s. The house has been through a lot; in the 1990s someone bought it and started refurbishing it, but not necessarily in a way accurate to the period, so it’s a mix of unfinished, old school, weird 90s stuff, and in-progress.

This piece below was original, and really beautiful:

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And check out this ornate mirror:

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This next pic really shows how much the house has changed over time.

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They had gone underneath the current wall covering and found this – battered but original paint designed to look like relief. The tour guide was using her phone as a light so everyone could see.

The tour includes the main floor (sort of the like second floor), the basement level, and the outdoor back courtyard. They don’t yet let people onto the upper floor with the bedrooms.

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The bottom floor of the house was a department store at one time; now it’s mostly barren brick. Once part of it was also used by a doctor as an operating room. Lots of ghost stories (they do a night tour as well.)

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The courtyard in back of the house is a good way to see what a work in progress the place is.

Our guide pointed out that the brick on the ground had thumbprints in places:

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The story is that slaves at the time (early 1800s) would make these bricks and these prints were made by the brickmakers. They also have a 2 story building out back, that I didn’t really get good pictures of, where the slaves lived. In the upstairs, it was just one big room where everyone lived. A terrible part of history, but one that’s important to remember.

Here’re steps down to a basement area in that building. Didn’t ask what was housed there, but the courtyard at the time was for horses/chickens, so maybe it was related to that?

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And one last shot of the juxtaposition of old and new:

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If you’re ever in Savannah, get some British pies, some afternoon tea, and walk around the place. So many old houses like this one to explore, as well as more modern shops/restaurants.

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