May 20th, 2014 / posted by paularath
Jerry in Oglethorpe square with his watercolors.

Jerry in Oglethorpe square with his watercolors.

 

A horse and carriage rounds a square in Savannah.

A horse and carriage rounds a square in Savannah.

While much of our travel through the South has been on country roads and in tiny towns, one city we were looking forward to is Savannah, Georgia. It has not disappointed! In fact, we are spending three nights and four days in Savannah because it is such a rich and rewarding city.

The city planners deserve huge kudos for their historic preservation efforts – and I wish we had such outstanding planners in Honolulu. I think Waikiki and Kaka’ako, in particular, would be very different…sigh….

Savannah Madison Square tree with moss

Savannah is built around 22 squares, each a little jewel of a park and each with its own personality and character. We walked through every one of them.

The afternoon we arrived was a Sunday, so we headed out to the Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) Museum because we knew it would be closed on Monday. The excitement at SCAD, which occupies many of the city’s buildings now, was palpable. The year is winding down and exams are upon the students. The fashion design department held their annual senior fashion show Saturday night in the museum and it was fun to talk to the students about the show.

The current exhibit in the Andre Leon Talley Gallery is a retrospective of Stephen Burrows’ work.

Some iconic Stephen Burrows pieces.

Some iconic Stephen Burrows pieces.

Savannah Stephen Burrows 2

As we usually do in a new city, we spent most of Monday on a hop-on, hop-off bus. It’s a great way to get our bearings. At one point, an actress from the Savannah Theatre hopped on and did a rendition of a historical figure who was active in the abolitionist movement. It was quite charming and fun.

The actress who came onto our trolley to tell a little history.

The actress who came onto our trolley to tell a little history.

The architecture in Savannah is simply beautiful. It’s a real mishmash of Georgian, Greek Revival, Italianate, Regency and so on….but somehow it all works! One thing many buildings have in common is wrought iron. You see wrought iron absolutely everywhere. My mother would have loved it, as wrought iron was among her favorite things.

We are staying in a beautiful B & B called the Presidents’ Quarters. We’re in the James Monroe room. We have breakfast outdoors on the lanai at a wrought iron table. The weather has been absolutely beautiful, although they say it will heat up to 90-plus tomorrow.

The breakfast gazebo at the Presidents' Quarters B & B.

The breakfast gazebo at the Presidents’ Quarters B & B.

 

The beauty of Savannah lends itself to painting and Jerry has been doing lots of painting in the squares. Today we went down to the river to paint. My goal is to try to capture some of the feeling of the moss growing on the oak trees. It is so mysterious and beautiful. Thus far my efforts have been futile but I plan to keep trying.

I love the Spanish moss on the oaks!

I love the Spanish moss on the oaks!

My niece, Heather Rath, lives on Hilton Head Island, and we will drive there this evening to share a Gullah meal with her and her husband, Joe and adorable son, Gray. I didn’t even know what Gullah meant until she explained it to me. I hope to learn more this evening.

– Paula Rath

 

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