Skidaway Island State Park
Today is the day we planned for a trip into Historic Savannah and we were meeting friends who were driving up from Jacksonville to spend the day with us. Once we met up in the downtown parking garage the first order of business was to get tickets for The Old Town Trolley Tour. Having done these tours in Key West and St. Augustine in the past, I know they give you a very good overview of what the city has to offer historically and recommendations of what to explore more in depth once you depart the trolley. The typical trolley tour is 45-60 minutes long and has more than a dozen stops where you are allowed to hop off or hop back on. They run this loop continuously and about every fifteen or twenty minutes a new trolley will come by every stop.
What I like to do is get on the trolley and do a complete loop to get the whole story, then pick the stops to explore more in depth on foot and get off at those stops on the second trip around. Today about half way through the first loop all six of us were getting hungry, so when we got to the River Street district with all the shops and restaurants it was time to get off the trolley and get something to eat.
Back before we started our fulltime journey in May, I decided that each time we dine out I would like to try something new to eat, something uniquely local to the area we are visiting if possible. Today in Savannah, GA for the first time in my life I tried a bowl of She Crab Soup and ate an entree of Shrimp & Grits at the Boar's Head Grill & Tavern. I was so glad I did because they were both delicious.
After lunch we got back on the trolley and finished the first loop. Just as we were starting our second loop, the one where we get off and on at the stops of our choosing, it begins to rain. Realizing that most of our chosen stops include outdoor walking tours, exploring the many squares that the city planners had created over a hundred years ago, we would have to go to Plan B, indoor activities. After exploring the interior at Cathedral of St. John The Baptist we attempt to get back on the trolley, but as it happens sometimes, the next one to arrive is full and no one is getting off in the light rain. The driver tells us that another trolley with seats available will be by in fifteen minutes, but if we don't mind a little walking that two blocks down the street on the right is Leopold's Ice Cream.
We saw this place on our first loop and the long line of people waiting to get in let us know this is one place we don't want to miss. So off we went and due to the light rain the line outside wasn't nearly as long as it had been earlier when we passed by. Long story short, it was well worth the wait in line!
With the weather only slightly improving, our friends decided to start their long two and a half hour journey back home to Jacksonville. Saying goodbye (or more accurately, see you later in January) to our friends we decided to reposition ROVER (our truck) to the free parking located at the last stop on the trolley tour because we still had time for a third loop around the city. When we arrived at Stop #2 the skies were clearing and we decided to chance the rain and get off the trolley, this is a stop we had to pass on earlier because of the rain.
Savannah has been the backdrop of many motion pictures over the years, but only one was a six time Academy Award Winner. In 1994 it served as the central backdrop for Forrest Gump. Stop #2 on the trolley tour features Chippewa Square which played a very important role in the movie. It was the location from which Forrest sat on the bus bench with his box of chocolates telling his whole life story to anyone passing by. The original bench had to be moved into a nearby museum for protection from people that were chipping away pieces of it to take home as a treasured souvenir.
Check out this Forrest Gump movie trailer!
NOTE: This setting is visible at the very beginning and several more times before the end.
I'm not sure why but I find it just as interesting to be standing where Tom Hanks did in his award winning role as where the founding fathers of this historic city gathered and planned for their futures and were later honored for their accomplishments.
One thing we both agreed on is that once we complete our first loop around this beautiful country we need to revisit the City of Savannah.
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