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Georgia on my mind--P_M's Savannah trip report

Georgia on my mind--P_M's Savannah trip report

May 16th, 2007, 06:00 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
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Georgia on my mind--P_M's Savannah trip report

DH and I have returned from a lovely long weekend in Savannah. We wanted to stay in the Historical District but we found accommodations to be fairly expensive. We debated between Thunderbird Inn, which is a budget hotel in the Historical District and Staybridge Suites on the river. We also considered a small B&B recommended by a Fodor friend, and if I had it to do over again thatís what we should have chosen. (I should have known better, this Fodorite really know her stuff. Bad P_M.) In the end we decided we wonít be spending much time in the room so we went for value and chose Thunderbird.

We arrived early Saturday afternoon just after lunchtime. When we checked into the Thunderbird it looked great. The room had been recently refurbished and it was quite spiffy looking. The Thunderbird is located just around the corner from the Visitorís Center so we picked up the trolley tour of Savannah. It was a gorgeous afternoon and the trolley tour gave us a great overview of the city. We had dinner at the City Market Café while listening to a salsa band in the plaza.

Later that evening we took a ghost tour on a different trolley. Some people think itís silly, but DH and I really enjoy ghost tours. Weíre not firm believers in ghosts, but we try to keep an open mind. While on the tour we made a stop at the Six Pence pub to get drinks to take on the trolley. Yes, Savannah is one of the few cities in the US where you can take drinks to go. I loved it!!

We returned to the hotel and went to bed around 11. We could hear some laughter in the parking lot but we tried to ignore it and sleep. As the night went on, more and more people joined the party and it started getting really loud. We kept turning up the a/c to drown out the noise but it just didnít work. I called the desk a few times to complain and the night clerk said she would tell them to quiet down. It went on and on, then at 2am I called the desk clerk and threatened to call the police if she didnít break up this party. She assured me she would make them go inside. Before too long the noise ended, but only after someone cussed out the clerk, very loudly. I felt badly for her, but this party was getting out of control.

We got up the next morning and talked about what to do. I realize the hotel doesnít have complete control when guests act like inconsiderate butt heads, but this was intolerable. We didnít know if this would keep happening night after night, so we decided to check out and move to Staybridge Suites downtown. I have to say that Thunderbird is a good value for the money and what happened to us was probably a fluke, but we just couldnít risk another sleepless night.

P_M is offline  
May 16th, 2007, 06:05 PM
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You could have stayed at my place if I had known you were going to have so much trouble. Savannah is a great city.
Ike is offline  
May 16th, 2007, 06:10 PM
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Thanks for the offer, Ike. The story gets better.
P_M is offline  
May 16th, 2007, 06:11 PM
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The next morning we awoke late, due to not sleeping much the night before. It was pouring down rain so I started going through my brochures to see if any museums or historic homes were open. It was a Sunday and nothing would open until the afternoon, so we jumped in the car and headed for Tybee Island. We arrived in time for brunch at Fannie Maeís, and it was dee-lish. Love those crabcakes Benedict!! After brunch we walked around on the beach. It was still cool and drizzly, but I had to put my feet in the water. We visited a few little shops and headed out to the lighthouse. The lighthouse was very impressive from the outside, but due to weather conditions and poor visibility we decided not to go in and climb to the observation deck.

We were driving back toward Savannah and I saw a sign for Ft. Pulaski. I remembered someone on this board recommending that, so on impulse we decided to check it out. OMG, Iím so glad we did because this was one of the highlights of our trip!! We went to the visitorís center and watched the movie about the fort. Then we came outside and it happenedóthe sun came out to greet us!! I was so excited, I really thought the whole day would be rainy!! DH and I are not big Civil War buffs, but Ft. Pulaski was fascinating. We wandered around the fort, just soaking it all up. Iím so glad we went to Ft. Pulaski, and I highly recommend it to any visitor to Savannah.

We came back to Savannah and checked into our new hotel, the Staybridge Suites. Itís expensive, but a beautiful hotel. We spent the evening walking along the river and eventually had dinner at the Pirates House. Great food, and there was a ďpirateĒ going around greeting people. I was very impressed that he was careful not to scare little kids. And man, was he cute!! He looked just like Johnny Depp. We went back to the river and had a few drinks at One Eyed Lizzies. We enjoyed visiting with the bartenders, some locals and other tourists at the bar.

The next day we had a great breakfast buffet at our hotel then went for a walk in Forsythe park. Such a beautiful park, and that big fountain is something else!! We walked around a few of Savannahís squares, then we decided to visit a restaurant recommended by Rachel Ray, called Mrs. Wilkes. The line was rather long but for some reason we thought it would move a lot faster than it did. WRONG!! We ended up spending 1.5 hours in line!! The food was typical Southern Style, and there is no menu, they simply put about 20 bowls on the table and everyone passes it around. The food was excellent BUT (please donít flame me for this) it really wasnít worth the long wait in line. Savannah has no shortage of southern-style meals and Iím sure we could have got something good at another place without having to stand in line for so long. But no regrets, we had the experience of eating at a famous restaurant in Savannah.

We went on to visit some historical sites, such as the Juliette Gordon Low House, the Sorrells House, the Telfair mansion and the Telfair Art Museum. That was a lot for one afternoon, but lines were short so this was doable. Later that night we had dinner at Moon River and joined a pub crawl. The tour guide was a young chick around 21 and when she told us she was new, we didnít expect much from this tour. But within 15 minutes she proved us wrong, she was an absolute HOOT and she knew her stuff about Savannah. After the tour was officially over she still hung out with us in the last pub and we really enjoyed meeting her.

We went back to the hotel and took one last walk along the river, as it was our last night in Savannah. You know that sad, sinking feeling you get when the trip is coming to a close? Then I felt even sadder thinking about getting up at 4am to catch a 6am flight. Yes, thatís insane by some peopleís standards, but we wanted to get home early. So we bit the bullet and got up at 4 the next morning. We took one last look before driving to the airport and said our sad goodbye to Savannah.

So all in all it was a great trip. So what about the partiers at the Thunderbird or waking up to a rainy Sunday morning, it would have taken a lot more than that to spoil a trip to Savannah. Great people, great food, thatís why Iíve still got Georgia on my mindÖ.
P_M is offline  
May 16th, 2007, 06:35 PM
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Thanks for the trip report, P_M. It sounds like you had a marvelous trip - even with the rain. I didn't know about the Staybridge Suites on the River. Must be new - I'll check it out. Sorry you didn't choose the B&B - you would have had very quiet nights and coffee in the courtyard listening to the fountain, but it sounds like the location of the SS was perfect for you. I like the pub too. One of my favorite memories was traveling back from a dinner outside on the sidewalk via a pedicab - complete with the pups I'm thrilled the smoke didn't impact your trip and the rain wasn't steady. Savannah is a favorite - and I'm lucky enough to be there next week. I may stay at the SS in your honor!
starrsville is offline  
May 17th, 2007, 04:26 AM
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Thanks for the report, PM. I think my high school class will be doing its next big reunion in Savannah so I have saved all your recos.
Starrs, what's the name of the b and b you recommend?
cmcfong is online now  
May 17th, 2007, 04:32 AM
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What a nice, detailed report P_M, one to save for future reference. Is the salsa band a regular feature? Anyone dancing?

Thanks so much for posting. Sounds like a great time!
ellen_griswold is offline  
May 17th, 2007, 04:32 AM
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What timing! I just posted a question about what to do with a 13-year-old boy in Savannah - Ft. Pulaski it is! I was also asking about basic hotels. I wonder how often people party at the Thunderbird? I, too, would like to know about the B&B.
bellhouse is offline  
May 17th, 2007, 04:37 AM
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The Eliza Thompson House is a B&B that friends enjoy nearby. The other place is my "secret place"
starrsville is offline  
May 17th, 2007, 04:39 AM
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PM....Sorry about that rain, but we really needed it! (Could you come back soon and bring some more?)

Fort Pulaski is one of my favorite places! But it's hard to convince people that they ought to go see a fort. I can even remember how I felt as a little girl, standing up at the top and looking out over the marshes. It's just beautiful.

Sorry about the Thunderbird too. These things happen. I think the loud ones know that the management really can't or won't do a thing.

The Staybridge is fairly new. It took a good amount of construction to convert that old warehouse and join it into the new construction.

aileen679 is offline  
May 17th, 2007, 05:47 AM
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You didn't just get back from Savannah, right? Because I was there this past weekend visiting family. We stayed at the Thunderbid and didn't have any problems on Saturday evening. On Sunday, it was sunny and beautiful! Too bad that happened at the Thunderbird. We didn't experience anything like that.
Shari is offline  
May 17th, 2007, 05:58 AM
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It's certainly the most reasonable. Much as I love Rob, I'm not going pay B&B prices for a couple nights with a teenager. The Hampton Inn looked good, too, but it's more expensive.
bellhouse is offline  
May 17th, 2007, 06:28 AM
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P_M - Great report...

One of my dearest freinds just accepted a teaching job at the college/Univ there. She is an artist and hence will be at the Art School.

She is leasing an apt in the historic section and said I could stay any time!! I cannot wait!!

My DH is a huge civil war buff and has visited tons of sights but not that one, I will have to encourage a little getaway!!
annesherrod is offline  
May 17th, 2007, 06:49 AM
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Thanks for the great report PM "S". LOL. My duughter was there last year- we haven't been in a while, but it's definitely worth a trip back! BTW....what do you expect from a hotel that's named after a $6 bottle of wine? ;-)
LLindaC is offline  
May 17th, 2007, 09:55 AM
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We have had good experiences with Priceline. Recently, for Savannah, we had the Hyatt, historic district, for $71.00. It saves to try PL.
Jed is offline  
May 17th, 2007, 03:53 PM
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Hi again.

Jed--I agree about priceline!! I've used it many times and I've won some great bids in the past, but this time it just didn't happen for us. I started out bidding $75/night in the Historical District and I went all the way up to $100. Nothing. The hotels must have been very full that weekend.

ellen_griswald: The salsa band was great and yes people were dancing. I don't know if the band is regular because the date just happened to be May 5 (Cinco de Mayo). They kept making references to this holiday so I wonder if that's why they had a salsa band.

Shari, we must have been there the weekend before you.

annesherrod, I'm jealous, I wish I had a friend living in Savannah. If I did, I would come back in a hearbeat and bring that rain aileen asked for. It's been so rainy in Texas this spring, I think we are stealing everyone else's rain. The Texas legislature has always been pretty sneaky, but how did they pull off that trick? Hey, I've got an idea. Next time it rains, I'll take my hair dryer outside and point it to the east!! OK, aileen??

bellhouse, I think Ft. Pulaski is a great place to take your son. Be sure to walk around the outer perimeter of the fort. On the back wall you can still see where the cannon balls hit. And watch for alligators in the moat. (Don't worry, they will stay in the moat) ;-)

According to the locals, we were indeed lucky in terms of the smoke from the wildfires. We never saw the haze or smelled any smoke. We sometimes have smoky skies here in TX because the Mexican farmers burn their fields, so I know exactly what our Georgia friends are going through. I truly hope those fires will be extinguished soon.

I GA!!
P_M is offline  
May 17th, 2007, 04:05 PM
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Hey, P_M, glad you GA! When you want to come back, let me know. I can schedule time in Savannah anytime - and need to be there at least 4x a year. So, head on back when you can and you've got a free place to stay and someone to dine with at night (I gotta work during the day! )
starrsville is offline  
May 17th, 2007, 04:09 PM
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It's a deal!!
P_M is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 04:56 PM
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Hi P_M,

Thank you for taking me to Savannah with you and DH. No, I haven't been, yet, but reading your trip report gave me a lovely insight. Parking lot party revelers bad; salsa band good! ;-) Glad you enjoyed your short and very sweet trip!
AnnMarie_C is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 09:34 PM
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Hi P_M

Don't you just love those short weekend breaks?

More about the ghost tour. What's that all about?

We're actually thinking of a Savannah road trip in the fall. I'll have to check out the sites you mentioned, especially Ft. Pulaski. What was the name of the B&B?

kopp is offline  

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