I've finally had a little bit of time to catch up on some photo editing and selecting photos to share on the blog. I can't believe I am so far behind in sharing my travels with y'all. Life has just been crazy busy. I have already shared what I wore on my trip to Savannah during Thanksgiving last year. Sean and I went down to Georgia to visit my sister and her family for the holiday.
My sister and I are really close, but 3,000 miles between us meant I hadn't seen her in about six years. My niece was just a baby the last time I was able to travel to Georgia; So it was great fun to spend lots of time with them while we were visiting! In today's post, I share photos from our family time fun, with a little bit of our Downtown Savannah excursion thrown in.
Besides a short and very busy trip to Georgia for my sister's wedding in 2007, Sean hadn't really been to the South before. He never had the chance to see too much of it or be a bit touristy. I was really excited for him to see scenery he had never seen before, like the Atlantic Ocean. He even saw a real-life field of cotton! I lived in Georgia and South Carolina for a decent chunk of my pre-teen/teen years. We would drive through Savannah to go back and forth between cities when visiting friends and relatives. When I lived in Brunswick, Georgia, we had to make the hour drive to Savannah or to Jacksonville, Florida to get to a bigger selection of stores. However, I never saw any of the downtown area or any historic locations or been a tourist in the city. In a way, it was something new for both of us.
Our main focus was on spending time with my family, but we were able to fit in some sightseeing here and there. I'll share more of mine and Sean's day out in the city later on, but for now I wanted to focus on all the family activities we took part in.
Our first full day was spent leisurely getting ready before heading out to outlet shop and get groceries. My sister Crissy was so great about providing for my gluten-free needs and planned some tasty meals for dinner too. The Tanger Outlet mall actually had a Torrid outlet! I haven't seen one of those before. This outlet had a decent selection of stores that carry plus sizes, like Lane Bryant, Torrid, Maurices, Dressbarn, and more. We had a great time meandering around, being silly, and getting to know the kids' personalities better. My niece and I share a love of cutesy, colorful, and sparkly things. Crissy and I were excited to take her into Claire's jewelry store together. We also ventured into the Peanut Shop and sampled lots of flavors of peanuts and satisfied our sweet tooth at River Street Sweets. The weather was amazingly perfect! Back here in the Portland area, this time of year is typically wet and raining non-stop. To have sun and 70 degree weather at Thanksgiving was so amazing to us. It has been quite a while since I lived in the South, so sometimes I forget about things like that. I packed for temperatures bordering on slightly chilly, so I was lucky I found and bought a cute short-sleeved top at Torrid. It was in the 80s before we left to go back home.
On our second full day in town, the five of us ventured to Downtown Savannah and River Street. As the name implies, River Street runs along the Savannah River and marks the northern limit of the Historic District. The century old buildings were once cotton warehouses and have been converted into antique shops, boutiques, galleries, brew pubs, restaurants, and hotels. It is a super busy street with lots to do and see. We had lunch at Barracuda Bob's Bar and Grill. They had an array of Southern delights, so I decided to indulge in pimento cheese dip, a fried green tomato sandwich, and sweet tea. I do miss my Southern food! The Herb Pimento Cheese Dip was delicious to all of us! The pimento cheese was topped with bacon and green tomato marmalade, served with grilled pita for dipping. I still want to try to recreate it at home.
After lunch, we strolled down the street and stopped in at almost every store along the way. Sean and I always look for a little trinket to display on a shelf, an ornament, and some artwork from our travels. We definitely found a variety of items to meet our needs downtown. There also seems to be a River Street Sweets store every 50 feet! hahahaha The kids were jumping to get their hands on some candy! Along with bulk candy and some more retro candy, they also sell taffy, pecan pralines, pies, cakes, ice cream, toffee and brittle, popcorn, chocolates, roasted nuts, and various chocolate covered cookies and confections. It is sweet-tastic sensory overload and smells amazing! Sean and I kept our sweets-buying to a minimum, but had to indulge in some pralines and chocolate-covered goodness.
I also have to point out how adorable my niece is in her "Hailey look". My sister said she wanted to dress like me, so she donned her cute skinny jeans, a long-sleeve tee, sneakers, and a cute crossbody bag. My sweet little mini-me diva!!
I've been obsessed with Spanish moss on trees my entire life. Growing up in the South, it is everywhere, but I've always thought it looked very ethereal and romantic in a sort of darkly mysterious way. I'm kind of obsessed with photographing trees, so it should come as no surprise that I took quite a few photos of trees on our trip. After walking the entirety of River Street, we climbed up some stairs to the bluff that sits at city level and overlooks the river. Emmet Park is a strip of green at this end of Bay Street. It was named after Irish orator and patriot Robert Emmet. The park is lined with gorgeous trees and houses memorials, historical markers, the old harbor light, and various anchors. Many Irish dock workers and their families used this park for recreation from around the mid-19th century.
Past Emmet Park is Factors Walk, a collection of brick buildings (the upper floors of the buildings accessible from River Street) that offer more boutiques, a coffee shop, and the upper floors of the previously mentioned inns and hotels. Iron and concrete walkways connect the buildings to the bluff. We stopped for coffee since the kids had to go potty badly at this point. Sean and I meandered around taking more photos and looking at the scenery. We continued down Bay Street and then headed down a few blocks to City Market, a four block hub of more upscale restaurants, cafes, art galleries, specialty shops, and boutiques. It would be fun to spend various times of day here because they have live music in the evenings. Crissy and I were mesmerized by the lead voice of a band called The Steppin Stones. We heard them start to play as we were leaving. We had to go home to get ready for dinner, but we both wrote down the name of the band because we wanted to hear more of her voice.
Thanksgiving and the day after were spent at home. They were very relaxing, leisurely days hanging out with the family. We played with the kids and watched them play Minecraft, visited with my sister's neighbors over some wine, ate tasty food my sister made, and laughed a lot. Crissy and I planned on going to a wine and painting event together, but we decided it would be more fun for us to hang out at home in our pajamas and paint with the kids too. We picked up supplies during a Wal-Mart run and used painting inspirations from online to create our art. I LOVE Crissy's owl painting!
In the following days, we did some more sightseeing I will talk about in an upcoming post. But aside from those excursions, we spent time with the family. Sean and I were excited to help decorate the Christmas tree with the kids. I unwrapped and handed out ornaments while Sean helped my niece and nephew hang them up. Crissy and I share a love for Josh Gates and his Travel Channel show Expedition Unknown, so we actually got to watch a new episode together too. It was nice to have that downtime at home and so wonderful to spend quality time with people I love. It meant so much to me to be able to see my sister again. Crissy is really good about keeping me up-to-date on the kids and making me a part of their lives, but it was also incredibly awesome to get to know them better face-to-face too.
I'll have more from our trip in a follow-up post. Sean and I added a road trip of the Southern coast to our future travel plans. I really want him to see Charleston, South Carolina. I remember loving it when I visited decades ago.
Have you been to Savannah? Did you have a favorite activity, restaurant, or shop while you were there? Let me know so I can add things to my list for future visits!