After our very long stay in Florida we moved on to Georgia. But only for a few days. We headed straight to Skidaway Island State Park just outside of Savannah. Our first day out we spent the day in downtown Savannah. I really liked the historic area. The squares were beautiful and plentiful…every couple blocks there is another one. Not that I know anything about it but I like the architecture. Living in an old house myself (our sticks and bricks) I guess I’m partial to older buildings. The weather was perfect the day we were there; not too hot, not too cold.
We took a guided walking tour that was free and got great reviews. While it is “free” they believe you will like the tour so much that you will tip your guide. I think it would be better for them to just say “you decide the ticket price”. But that’s just semantics. Our guide was a young kid who loved history and really did a good job of conveying Savannah’s important role in history. He pointed out the important tid bits like where the opening scene of Forest Gump was filmed, where the bus stop bench in Forest Gump was, and where the first Girl Scouts headquarters were (and that there was another girl scout related historic building in town that sold cookies for $2/box…we were unable to confirm this).
He also made a few suggestions for other things to do. At one stop he pointed down the block and said “see that loooong line of people? That’s the line to have lunch at Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room. Best southern food ever. They close at 2:00 so show up at 1:50 and you’ll barely have to wait. Show up hungry and in your stretchy pants.” I don’t know if it was because I was super hungry, or the claim of “best southern food ever”, or my desire to wear stretchy pants…but I immediately googled this place to see if it was a viable option for our wallet. $22 per adult, $11 per child (10 and under). It seemed expensive but I reasoned if we ate a late lunch maybe it would serve as both lunch and dinner. Steph and the kids were all game to go and a bit surprised because tightwad Papa rarely suggests we eat out. We have eaten out a total of 16 times in the almost 3 months we’ve been traveling. Four of those were Subway, five were visiting with friends/family and two were in Orlando parks…so I almost don’t count those. Anyway, we showed up and maybe waited in line about 15 minutes before being invited in to the basement dining room and sat at a table with 4 other strangers and a HUGE spread of food.
Mrs. Wilkes started this “boarding house” long ago as a place for locals to get a home cooked, hearty meal. And hearty it was!! We had mashed potatoes and gravy, cornbread stuffing, butter beans, rutabaga, cabbage, coleslaw, sweet potato souffle, beef stew, green beans, collard greens, baked beans, cream corn, okra, BBQ pork, fried chicken, black eyed peas, red rice, biscuits and cornbread. For desert there was peach cobbler and banana pudding. The food was amazing! Perhaps it’s my eastern European roots but the cabbage was probably my favorite side dish. The fried chicken is very popular but the BBQ pork was my meat of choice. And the peach cobbler…oh that peach cobbler…unbelievably delicious. As you can see in the photo above the meal was served family style which I thought was really cool. Reminded me of Juniper Valley Ranch south of Colorado Springs….it was in a house, there was no menu, and all served family style. The other two couples at our table were fun to chat with and were super nice.
Was it worth it? Yes!! When I went up to pay (cash and check only, no cards!) I told the cashier I have 2 adults, a 12 year old at the adult price, and two kids. He said in his southern accent, “I think we should do two adults and 3 kids….does that work for you?” Heck yeah it works for me! I did not tell him that all three kids put the food down like full grown adults. So it was $77 even and we left $16 tip (the serving ladies were so sweet and fun). It was a splurge, but I think it was well worth it. All said and done we paid $43 more than we did for our dinner at Disney World where we got basic hamburgers and fries.
With our bellies pressing against our belts we decided to “shop” at an antique store that our tour guide told us about. I like antique stores in general but this one was over the top. It was a 4 story house/mansion with 15 foot ceilings and completely stuffed with antiques. Total fire hazard. The pieces were amazing themselves but how it was packed in there and how they even got some of the bigger pieces in or out was even more amazing. The cheapest thing we found was a $125 basket (I think you can get one at HobyLobby for $5) and the most expensive thing we saw was a $35,000 table from London. The building itself was very impressive. However, it was in total disrepair. Giant pieces of plaster missing on the walls and ceilings revealing the lathe underneath. Enormous ornate crown mouldings that were covered in peeling paint (probably full of lead too!). It was hard for me to see a house with so much potential just deteriorating.
Our final stop of the day was the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, another suggestion from our guide. It was spectacular inside. The stain glass, the alter area and the pipe organ were highly detailed and beautiful.
It started to drizzle just as we got back to the car but it stopped by the time we arrived home. And for dinner…well, Mrs. Wilkes came through for us….nobody was hungry enough for dinner. Oh maybe Brielle had some carrots or something but no meal prep took place.
I definitely liked Savannah!
Which of these is not like the other
Forest Gump bench location
The Wilkes house
Waiting for food
A lotta food!
High priced table
The house is an antique
Porch of antiques
St John Cathedral
Our Girl Scout