We stayed one night in Wilmington, NC on the way down to Savannah, on a quiet street in the city. We had some coffee in town and then went to bed early. The next day we drove all the way down through South Carolina, stopping in Myrtle Beach to get propane at the KOA. I thought about visiting Charleston but ultimately we decided not to in favor of spending more time in Savannah.
Before getting into the city, we went to the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge which is actually still in South Carolina on the other side of the Savannah River.
Things were starting to look very swampy.
The Wildlife Refuge included a four or so mile gravel road that looped through the park, complete with the option to tune to a radio station at certain stops to hear informational recordings. Mostly these were about the history of the area (it was a rice plantation for a long time) and the natural surroundings. We saw our first gator lurking in the muck of a still creek.
A mile or so down the road another large gator was basking in what remained of the sun along the banks of the creek. We got out of the van to look but didn't get too close – he was smiling at us. A bobcat also ran past the van at one point which was cool to see.
The city of Savannah allows RVs to park overnight for $7 outside of their visitors center, which is where we slept for two nights. Unfortunately they said they won't be allowing this too much longer which is a bummer for other RVers. The visitor's center was the hub of the tour vans, trolleys and even a hearse for ghost tours. We arrived in the evening and quickly set out to walk into the downtown, which we were more or less already in.
Savannah is so far my favorite city on the trip. Every few blocks in the historical downtown there are commemorative squares with a monument or statue and live oaks draped with Spanish moss and benches.
It really is a beautiful city. We spent a few hours wandering around and seeing as much as possible and had some pizza for dinner.
The morning of the next day I walked down the street from our parking place to Pulp, a local bookstore and gallery I had found online. The owner was there and took some of my comics to sell on consignment and I talked with him for a while about his store and galleries in general. I was happy to unload some of my comics and get them into a store somewhere.
Dan and I spent the day exploring the city independently for the most part. I wanted to just aimlessly walk around (doing what I do best) and go in shops, see the Savannah College of Art and Design museum and look at the houses. The day was beautiful and warm.
One of the best ways to get out of the heat in a city is to visit an old church – they have amazing architecture and paintings, are free and cool inside.
St. John the Baptist Cathedral:
We both went to Forsyth Park, one of the most photographed places in Savannah - the white fountain is very popular.
I walked past the childhood home of author Flannery O'Connor.
Pretty Savannah homes:
Painter Jacob Lawrence show at Savannah College museum:
Dan and I met back up in the afternoon back at the van, had some food then rode our bikes back to Forsyth Park and played some frisbee.
Forsyth park fountain at dusk:
It was pretty lively there for being later in the day: dogs running around, people playing soccer and a Zumba class happening on the outdoor stage. We rode around the city for awhile and came across some kind of outdoor masquerade party which I was kind of jealous of.
Street at night:
The following day we went to a coffee shop for a while:
Then we drove to the edge of the city to go to Bonaventure Cemetery. One of the things you hear a lot about in Savannah is the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt, an account of a murder in Savannah in the 80s that involved notable and eccentric Savannah residents. The cover of the book featured Bird Girl, a bronze statue that was once located at Bonaventure and is now held in the Jepson Center for the Arts (we saw the statue through a window from the outside). Although Bird Girl is removed, there is no shortage of beautiful graveyard statuary still in Bonaventure.
The cemetery is huge - 160 acres. We probably spent about an hour there. Notable people buried here include songwriter Johnny Mercer, Jack Leigh (who photographed Bird Girl for the cover of Midnight in the Garden), novelist and poet Conrad Aiken and multiple Civil War Generals.
You might be able to see she is missing some fingers:
Most of the rest of the day we spent driving en route to Florida.
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