Thursday, January 1, 2009

Fort Pulaski, Bonaventure Cemetery, More Savannah

Hi all - Dianne here.   Monday we journeyed over to Tybee Island to pick up our second mail batch and do a little sightseeing.   I had my camera with me, but didn't really find anything photo-worthy there on Tybee.   It was a drizzly day, so we pretty much just viewed Tybee from the car.   On the way out from Tybee Island, we ate lunch at Uncle Bubba's Oyster House, owned by Paula Deen and her brother, "Uncle Bubba."   Excellent food!   I had a shrimp salad sandwich and Roger had a crab cake sandwich.   (Roger also had a "breakfast juice" - the famous Chuck Gemmer recipe.)

Just before lunch, we visited Fort Pulaski.   We got there just in time to take the interpretive tour given by a park ranger.   Note the small opening in the original old door.  Turns out, not only was that used for soldiers to shoot their guns out through the opening, it is now used by the park ranger to exit the grounds after locking up for the night!   I can't get that mental picture out of my mind, the ranger stuffing herself through that door at the end of her shift!   We learned how the prisoners were jammed into tiny spaces, five or seven to a bed, and most, if not all, were suffering from dysentery.   Add in the humid heat and the mosquitos, and I cannot even imagine how miserable they must have been.  

Tuesday we just hung out here at the campground, hiking and enjoying the day. 

 We had a good campfire Tuesday evening (with wood purchased here at Skidaway).   We have decided that the wood we bought in Edisto must not have been seasoned properly.  It just would NOT burn!   As you can tell from the photos, the boys were "plumb tuckered out" from hiking. 

 Not sure why Charlie the cat was also so tired; must be from stalking squirrels through the window.

New Year's Eve we drove over to Bonaventure Cemetery and walked around.  Another beautiful setting on a beautiful day.  For those who remember "the book," I'm including a shot of Conrad Aiken's gravestone in the shape of a bench, next to his parents' double tombstone (they died in a murder-suicide; his father, a doctor, shot his mother, then himself, in a fight over -- among other things --having and attending too many parties). 

  We also saw famous composer Johnny Mercer's grave, and that of his wife.  On Johnny's tombstone the inscription read "And the angels sang."   On his wife's, the inscription read "You must have been a beautiful baby."   

After leaving Bonaventure, we drove back into

 downtown Savannah for ice cream at Leopold's.  I'll let Roger describe that in more detail, as he inhaled one chocolate soda, and almost bought a second!  

We also stopped in at Parker's Market and purchased three bottles of wine.   Don't get the mistaken idea that we bought these for New Year's Eve; we were in bed, asleep, by 9:00!!   Tybee Island had a fireworks display, but it didn't begin until midnight.  We knew there was just no way....

Roger here.....  My dad taught me how to make "old-fashioned" chocolate sodas when I was a kid - smashing up syrup and ice cream at the bottom of the glass, before adding the soda water and scoops of ice cream.  You really don't see them very many places these days, but they are delicious.  The one I had at Leopold's was especially good.  Leopold's itself was fun and interesting.  It is an old fashioned soda fountain in the historic district.  The business was opened in the early 1900's by three brothers who had immigrated from Greece.  Stratton Leopold, the son of one of the brothers, returned from a career in movie making (Hollywood - producing several notable films including Mission Impossible 3) and now operates the business.  All the ice cream is made at the store and it is outstanding.

Dianne mentioned Parker's Market.  We stopped there because the owner is a good friend of our friend, Jay Ricker.  Parker's is a chain of convenience stores, but the one we stopped at in the historic district is unlike any convenience store I have seen.  It is in an old, historic, building.  It does have a couple of gas pumps under an old archway in front of the building, but it is really more of a gourmet market.  There was a deli, gourmet foods, and an extensive wine area with the wines arranged by country, category, and Wine Spectator rating.  (I am sure my friend, Jay, appreciates this.)  Fun.

One of the things that we have not talked a lot about is the friendly people that we have met along the way - many of them traveling the country as full-timers in their motor homes, as we are doing.  We all kind of stand out because of our age and the fact that we tend to stay in the camp sites for extended times - not just on weekends.  The Georgia - Michigan State game is later this afternoon.  I have promised a couple of Georgia fans that we have met that I would cheer for Georgia.  (I really think that is mandatory here for personal survival.  The Georgia fans seem to have the same enthusiasm as the Ohio State fans I have seen back home, and everyone here is a Georgia fan.) How bout them dawgs!

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