Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Savannah, Day 2: Sunday, Jan 18, 2009

Sunday was the only full day I had with Paige in Savannah. If you've ever traveled with me or read some of my vacation recaps, you know I like to plan and do/see as much as possible! I don't want to miss a moment. This vacation was no exception. Luckily, Paige is a pretty easy-going person, and having already been in Savannah before, she said she'll pretty much go with whatever I plan. Perfect!

When I decided to go to Savannah, Jenn recommended I read Midnight in the garden of good and evil; the book was truly helpful in learning some of the city's history, getting familiar with street names, and also finding out where to have breakfast. Paige and I made our way to Clary's Cafe for some Southern cooking: it was a delicious way to start the day.

After a filling breakfast, I wanted to visit Congregation Mickve Israel, the third oldest synagogue in the United States. Let's just say I'm not surprised why my people spent 40 years in the desert. With 2 maps, we still could not find the synagogue. We ended up walking all the way to the end of Forsyth Park, asking for directions, and continuing to walk even farther, only to realize the directions were wrong. We turned around, and figured out that the synagogue was only a few blocks away from our breakfast place! Truly hilarious.

The building, however, was worth finding. The architecture resembles that of a church, and the glass windows are amazing. We were allowed to listen to a 10 minute tape telling us about the history of this congregation in Savannah. Alas, the gift store was closed; we left and took a 90 minute Oglethorpe tour. It was nice to relax a bit and see Savannah from a relatively comfortable trolley. The price of this tour was only $10, 50% less than its competitors, and I thought it was worth it.

Here is a fun building we saw while we were walking around: turns out it stands right outside of the Historic Society Preservation (or something like that) area of control: thus, it is painted a bizarre combination of pink, purple, green and yellow. Most of the other buildings we saw were subdued compared to this one.

Turns out that if you wanted to restore an old building in the Historic District, you had to paint it the same color it was originally painted. Who knew?

Before I forget, the first photo you see (at the very top) is representative of many oak trees growing in Savannah. The interesting fact I learned on my trip is that Savannah has evergreen oaks: the leaves don't turn yellow, but instead stay green year round! The "thing" growing on the trees is Spanish Moss: it's everywhere!

Just like many of the cities I've visited, Savannah is full of churches. One of the most famous churches, Cathedral of St John-Baptist, is truly beautiful. Unfortunately, there was a service in the church at the time of our visit, and we were not allowed to take any photos inside.

While we were on the trolley tour, it began to rain. I was not prepared for this: my umbrella was in the safety of my Virginia apartment. Great! At this point Paige and I decided to go our separate ways: I wanted to visit a few museums, and Paige wanted to take a tour of a house knows for its ghosts.

At first, I went to the SCAD Museum of Art. After walking 15 minutes in the rain, I was hoping for a slightly warmer reception than what I received. Let's just say a highlight was seeing beautiful orchids all over the museum. There were several exhibits, but my favorite one was a photography exhibit showing the works of Robert Mapplethorpe and Cindy Sherman.

I then made my way to the Jepson Center for the Arts. OMG, just the architecture itself was stunning! Clean lines, glass, high ceilings, wide staircases: it was beautiful! And then of course there was the art itself. Whoever says that size doesn't matter is wrong. When I came into the Anthony Palliser exhibit, I was overwhelmed by the size of the portraits (not to mention the lifelike faces looking back at me from the walls). I have never heard of Palliser before, but I found his work touching, emotional and refreshing. Below are some photos of the inside of the museum (I wasn't allowed to take any photos of the exhibits themselves). Notice the giant raindrops in the last shot (it was a glass ceiling).

What to do after the museum? Go to the gift store of course! I love buying jewelry whenever I travel as a reminder of a good trip. I was happily surprised to find a pendant that perfectly matched a pair of earrings I bought last year in San Francisco!

It was still pouring by the time I was done. Luckily, the trolley tour offered shuttles back to the hotel. I hopped on one of those and waited for Paige in the dry and warm hotel room.

I took this last photo on the way to the hotel...and I thought I was lost :)

I just realized I forgot to mention we had lunch at a Wild Wings restaurant in City Market. The wings were great, but I did not bother taking any photos. The funniest thing about lunch was how our server identified us on the bill: two girls. Paige told him he should have added "hot." :)

Dinner, on the other hand, was worth quite a few photos! Paige and I went to The Pink House, which was highly recommended by Paige's co-worker. It was a bit of a splurge, but so worth it. I will let you know what we ate tomorrow :) be continued.


BlueToYou said...

Yay! love the photos and am so glad we found the temple!

Anonymous said...

Love all your shots of Savannah. Thanks for sharing with us.