Only North and South Carolina were part of the itinerary for this trip, but we kept saying that it would have been awesome to visit Savannah as well, we just didn’t have the time… or that is what we thought.
After 2 days in Charleston traveling the “Eitan way” (most of you will know what this means) we really visited most of the important sights, and the next day we were planning on going to a plantation.
When we woke up, Eitan broke the news to Sarah: We were going to go to Savannah for the day. This decision was probably the most unplanned and spontaneous decision Eitan has ever made in his life. We have previously visited a plantation in Nashville, so we decided to see a new city instead.
The drive is an easy one and takes about 2 hours. We parked right downtown. We noticed that Charleston and Savannah have excellent public parking in the historic center for very reasonable prices.
We started our walk along the Savannah River. There are many sights around the historic district, including the steam boat cruise, very old buildings, and unexpected historical markers.
Some unexpected Jewish history.
Walking around the waterfront is very pleasant. The streets are full of shops and nice restaurants.
Nicknamed the Hostess City, Savannah was first settled in 1733 by General James Oglethorpe, making it one of the oldest cities in the country. It was one of the first planned cities, set up on grids with squares in between. Historic preservation saved many of the iconic buildings that the city is known for today.
We were starving because we really didn’t eat breakfast, so Sarah had the brilliant idea to call the Olde Pink House to make a reservation for lunch. This restaurant is the most famous one in Savannah, and we were extremely lucky they got us in last minute, even if they sat us at the location where the stable was located many years ago. The food was great though and didn’t taste like horse shit!
James Habersham, Jr., was a wealthy cotton planter who also aided the colonies in the fight for their independence. He was also known as a gracious host, generous with his southern hospitality and as such he dreamed of a home where he could unite his friends and family. Construction began on the Olde Pink House in the year of 1771, and was completed in 1789. Ten years after finishing the construction of his dream home, James Habersham Jr. passed away under suspicious circumstances. His home stands to this very day, known as the Olde Pink House Restaurant, and has become the preeminent place for both southern cuisine and 18th century architecture. It is also the “go to” location, the “must stop” for any ghost tour in Savannah.
They even have a speak easy in the basement.
We walked around the historical area. Besides the million degrees weather, it is a very walkable and pleasant city to walk around.
Our next stop was the famous Prohibition Museum, and let me tell you that it was incredible!!
The Prohibition Era began in 1920 when the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which banned the manufacture, transportation and sale of intoxicating liquors, went into effect with the passage of the Volstead Act. Despite the new legislation, Prohibition was difficult to enforce. The increase of the illegal production and sale of liquor (known as “bootlegging”), the proliferation of speakeasies (illegal drinking spots) and the accompanying rise in gang violence and organized crime led to waning support for Prohibition by the end of the 1920s. In early 1933, Congress adopted a resolution proposing a 21st Amendment to the Constitution that would repeal the 18th. The 21st Amendment was ratified on December 5, 1933, ending Prohibition.
We learned about everything from the Temperance Union, the prohibition loopholes and the raise of the mob.
The next stop was the house of Juliette Low, who is the founder of the Girl Scouts of America, a group better known for their army of girls in green uniforms that sell cookies outside the groceries stores.
Surprisingly, Sarah belonged to this cookie-selling army but didn’t know who Juliette was. So we didn’t bother going inside the museum house.
We walked to the Cathedral of St John the Baptist but unfortunately was closed due to a private event.
E. Jones St. has supposedly rated one of the most beautiful residential streets in the U.S. and while very beautiful I really doubt it is the best. It is lined up with historical houses and beautiful old Oak trees. We walked around for a few blocks debating if we should walk further north to get to the Synagogue.
When we finally reached the Synagogue at 4:30 PM, we were not allowed to go in to visit it despite the fact that they close at 5:00 PM. While we were sad to not let be in, we were devastated to not get a break in an air conditioned room.
Located in the Historic District of Savannah, Georgia on beautiful Monterey Square, Congregation Mickve Israel, founded in 1733, is the third oldest Jewish congregation in America. The first synagogue, constructed in 1820, was the first synagogue built in Georgia. The sanctuary, completed in 1878, features unique gothic style architecture and led Condé Nast Traveler to name Congregation Mickve Israel one of the 15 Most Beautiful Synagogues in the World. Being so deeply rooted in Savannah’s history, Congregation Mickve Israel is a thriving, active Reform Jewish synagogue as well as a captivating historical site for both the Jewish community and visitors from across the globe.
Walking back we found this great building which happened to be SCAD (The Savannah College of Art and Design). Unlike the Synagogue, they let us in with 5 minutes left before closing, because closing times actually mean something to these artsy people.
No photos allowed though, but I sneaked in one before being told so. The have a great gallery inside and a gift shop.
We walked back toward the riverwalk passing through the beautiful city hall. The location for the city hall was formerly home to the City Exchange, which had been built in 1799 and was demolished in 1904.
We spent the last couple of hours walking around the newest area on the riverwalk. They have art galleries, new hotels and restaurants, and a fountain where Ariela was able to do “splash splash” to cool down from the heat.
We decided to get dinner before heading back to Charleston, but we drove out of the city center to find a more affordable restaurant to eat at. Believe it or not, the average restaurants here are expensive, more than in California, with main dishes averaging $25-$30.
We found a taco place, and because we have been eating a lot of fried chicken, we decided to give it a try. They had unique tacos, but the tortillas were really bad, but I guess Savannians don’t really have access to Mexican food so this is a good option to have here if you are really craving tacos.
Ariela decided to make an absolute mess with the beans here.
On the way back we were hit with a super duper powerful thunderstorm. It was scary, but our brave driver Eitan got us home safely. The next morning we walked around downtown Charleston a bit more, had breakfast at a cute spot and then went to the airport which Ariela was very excited about.
Unfortunately, we lost our connection to Toronto in Charlotte due to our first flight running late, so we had to wait around 5 more hours at Charlotte Airport. Lucky for Ariela, we had pizza!
Our flight attendant gave Ariela a new flyer pin! she loves loves flying, just like her daddy.
Bonus Pic of the Day: From the airport terminal we were able to catch a glimpse of the Boeing Dreamlifter. With a volume of 65,000 cubic feet (1,840 m3) it can hold three times that of a 747-400F freighter. The outsized aircraft was designed to transport Boeing 787 Dreamliner parts between Italy, Japan, and the U.S., but has also flown medical supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are only 4 ever built.