Saturday, January 18, 2014
We returned to Tybee/Savannah on Friday January 17th. Our first trip back since mid-December when we hosted for the Cottage Tour to benefit the Humane Society. Last year this week it was in the low 70s. Yesterday was great with temps around 66. Last night the dreaded polar vortex breezed in and this morning it was 39 and windy. It did warm up to 66 in Savannah by 1:00 today. We had a great day. Decided to do some outside walking interspersed with indoor activities. We parked in the Whittaker Garage which was well located to Bull and Broughton streets. We toured the Williams Mercer House on Bull Street and visited the Carriage house gift shop to purchase tickets. Tours start at the top of the hour all day. We only had a twenty minute wait till our tour. The tour lasted about 40 minutes and included the sunken Garden and the downstairs hall and rooms. It was an interesting tour since the house is fully furnished much as it was the day Jim Williams passed away in 1990. The grand hallway was 40 feet long with beautiful ceramic tile that was orginial to the house. Lots of art work and unique furnishings. Our tour guide was knowledgable and we enjoyed learning more about the house. He touched briefly on the murder that occured in the house. The murder was the focus of the Clint Eastwood movie, Midnight in the Garden of the Good & Evil. Eastwood filmed the movie in the house and Kevin Spacey played the part of the house's owner. Jim Williams was involved in saving and renovating over 60 historic homes in Savannah. He was 6.4 a tall and darkly handsome man who looked much like the character that Kevin played in the movie. The house is in remarkably good condition. The tour was $12.50 which we felt was reasonable. The gift shop had some interesting things. I restrained myself from buying a reproduction cheese board. We just downsized and gave away a boat load of stuff as I was reminded. So we left the cheese board for another buyer. Our next stop was the SCAD store. Items designed by SCAD students. A wide variety of items which you can see on their online SCAD shopping site. I found a leather and snake skin black purse that is still calling to me. Only 8 inches long but quite deep with expectionally nice hardware and a body strap. The design and materials were top drawer as reflected by the price. As we were walking towards the SCAD shop we noticed that SCAD trolley buses were taking people to the SCAD equestrian center for tours. We pass the center in South Carolina as we are coming into Savannah. Every time I mention how much I would love to see more of it. We asked at the store what was required to participate in the tour. It was Free and the trolleys left hourly. After our shopping and not buying spree we only had to wait a very few minutes and we boarded the bus for the 15 minute ride to the center. The center was amazing with facilities for 60 horses. The barn, riding arenas, fencing and fields were picture perfect. The tack room reeked of fine leather and the saddles and other tack were gleaming. Perfume to my horse loving nose!
The barn manager was a delightful young woman who was clearly passionate about her work. We enjoyed listening as she showed us around. They are preparing to soon build another large barn. A recent gift of substanial acreage insures that the SCAD facility will continue to prosper. The students compete in equitation on the flat, over fences, and dressage. They have 60 on the team and must compete for their spot each year. Their grades must stay at or above a 3.0. In addition they have responsibilities at the barn and must work out at the gym one day a week since they too are athletes just like the horses they ride. The horses are all gifts coming often from the show ring or rarely from the race track. The team competes with other colleges in nearby states. I asked if they had ever considered competing at the Roanoke, Virginia show and they have not due to the distance. They do compete in other Grand Prix events. After a short trolley ride back to Bull Street we walked over to 1 Broughton Street to the Kayak Kafe for an enjoyable lunch. It is a small local place and it was hopping.
We got the last available table. They have a nice web site and Facebook page where I had checked them out. The food was as good as the online reviews said and we enjoyed it and would return. A Starbucks was next door and since it was cool out we stopped in for Cinnamon Dolce coffee. We walked back from Broughton Street to the Whittaker Garage and headed back to Paws and Paddles to recharge and enjoy the last of the sunny day on the sun porch. All in all a delighful day. I had spent some time planning our day. There is so much to do in Savannah you can become overwhelmed without a good plan. Plus a car is a liability. Walking or taking a trolley or carriage ride is the way to really see Savannah. In a car you don't notice the important things. Walking can be tiring so again my plan was to see and do things in a confined area. It worked out beautifully. I hope to put together another day trip for tomorrow to the Jepson & Telefair Muesums. I also want to visit the new iMax theater in Pooler which is close by Savannah to catch the new Tom Clancy movie with Chris Pine in the role as a young Jack Ryan. Picture taking was not allowed at the Williams Mercer House so I borrowed shots from their web site.
The Grand Hall entrance
The Exterior Front View
A Artists Rendering
Barn Exterior Front
A Dream of a Tack Room...the leather smelled heavenly.
Up, Up, & Away...
A well controlled strong trot...
The land behind the trees was recently donated to SCAD
Web photo of the covered arena...
Some of the SCAD Team from the web site.
Doodles of horses from the Web Site...Thought these were very representative of the horses we saw and loved on today.