Savannah # 2

We left Savannah and spent two nights in Chincoteague.  Then we moved on to  Annapolis.  Now we’re in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey visiting our friend Carol Carino.


The best beard in Savannah. 

I’d noticed this man sitting up ahead of us on the tour bus and tried to sneak a photo.  Then I tried when we saw him later on the street.  Finally I just asked him to pose.


The white beard against his dark skin was just too striking not to take a photo.

Candy Land…

  After our tour we went to lunch and then it poured.  So we raced next door to a building of art studios and a wonderful candy shop.


Singkey in the candy store.


I love caramel apples but unfortunately the apples have usually turned to mush by the time I’ve gotten them…so I don’t any more.

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These guys were making the taffy and occasionally throwing pieces out to the tourists.  I was just watching when the guy on the left asked if I wanted to catch a piece.  I thought “oh boy, I’ll probably miss and look goofy.”  But I made a great overhand catch with my left hand and he and I were both impressed.  Then we agreed I should be playing for the Sox instead of Carl Crawford and this was before that disastrous last game. Most of the taffy was thrown up to a shoot where it was then dropped out into the taffy display across the store.


Outside one of the galleries someone had brilliantly thought to paint these stools and then turn them upside down to hold artwork.

Other Savannah photos


I wish I gotten a better photo of the young girl in here black and white dress.

As you can see there is a head stuck in this photo I couldn’t possibly crop out without eliminating most of the dress.  I have lots of photos like this which certainly agues against trolley tours. 

We drove along the Savannah River front.  A cargo ship was being guided in by a tug.  Tugs have been required ever since one cargo ship ran into the shore.  According to our guide Savannah is the second largest port on the east coast after New York/New Jersey. 



“Florence Martus embodied the true spirit of Southern Hospitality. For forty-four years she greeted every ship entering the Savannah port by waving a cloth from her home on Elba Island. She was the sister of the Elba Island light-keeper and from 1887 to 1931 she was well-known for her welcoming persona. The Waving Girl Statue by Felix De Weldon, stands in Morrell Park on the Riverfront in tribute to Florence. It’s one of the recognized historic landmarks you can see in the riverfront park. The bronze statue of Ms. Martus is one and one-half times life size, mounted on a slanted platform with a bronze collie dog. It is also the first memorial to a Georgia woman in any city park. Visitors to Savannah must see the endearing Waving Girl, a special tribute to one of Savannah’s great residents and an eternal symbol of Southern Hospitality.”


Ballast stone streets.

“The origin of these stones is also unusual: they were transported from afar as ballast in the holds of sailing ships arriving in Savannah. Ships coming with little or no load would take on stones as ballast, and they would dump those stones as they took on loads in Savannah. These stones, probably from Africa or the Caribbean, were valuable building resources, because the sources of solid rock nearest Savannah are many miles inland across the sandy Coastal Plain. More ballast stone can be seen …… the cobblestones below.”

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Savannah trees with the hanging moss in all of the different squares that make Savannah unique and lovely.

“Spanish moss grows from hanging branches of trees in Historic Savannah Georgia and throughout the southeastern United States. It requires warm temperatures and high humidity to flourish — and that it does in Savannah!

It’s a good idea not to touch the Spanish Moss — as it contains chiggers and other bugs.”

Our guide told us if you want some moss as a souvenir to put it into a plastic bag and then zap it in the microwave when you get it home.  That will kill the bugs.


Singkey and Randal at 4:30 a.m. at the Savannah airport.

Our last stop in Savannah was at the airport.  Singkey’s flight was at 5:50 a.m. so we had to be at the airport by 4:15 a.m.  Randal and I said our good-byes and then took off down the road arriving in Chincoteague, VA about 5 pm.  More about that next email.



Visit to Savannah

Farewell to Singkey

  Singkey is our Chinese friend who had come to the United States to immerse herself in “American” English.  September 26th was her flight home to China.  Randal and I had gone to Hilton Head to visit with her and the family from whom she’d rented a room.  Our plan was to visit Singkey in Hilton Head and then drive her to Savannah for her flight home. 

  We spent our first day in Hilton Head visiting with Singkey and seeing the sights.  The next evening Randal took everyone out to dinner.


Ruth, Randal, Singkey, Linda (mom) Ashley (daughter) and Kathy a Chinese woman teaching Mandarin in the elementary public school on Hilton Head. Singkey and Kathy both rented rooms in Linda’s lovely home.  Not pictured is Wasabe, the large lab/Dane mix who lives with Linda and Ashley.

  The next day we collected Singkey and set off to Savannah, about an hour away.  I have been to Savannah twice before.  Once on my way from Tallahassee after my last days at Florida State where I got my Masters of Library Science, I stayed with a fellow student who worked at the Talking Book division of the Savannah Public Library.  Once when my friends Kathy and Caroline and I were returning to Roanoke from having done the 6 day Florida Safari bike ride.  I really like Savannah.  Both Randal and I said it would be a great place to live.  Half of the buildings in Savannah seem to be either owned by or being renovated by The Savannah College of Art and Design.




These two parts of SCAD are across from the Savannah visitor center.

Savannah is also known for the book and movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil


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Mercer Williams House

Antique dealer Jim Williams was accused of killing his young “friend” Dan Hansford.  The death took place in Williams’ home, originally built by an ancestor of songwriter and Savannah native Johnny Mercer.  I won’t tell more of the story in case someone hasn’t read/seen it.


“Described by one reviewer as Savannah’s “favorite greasy spoon,” Clary’s was made even more popular by Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil as the diner where eccentric Luther Driggers ate his breakfast and lunch. Lady Chablis is a regular patron, as is Midnight author John Berendt. Clary’s serves classic breakfast dishes, sandwiches, and burgers, along with some chicken, pork, and fish entrees”.


Jim Williams’s neighbor was just coming from her home when our tour guide pointed her out.  Apparently they weren’t exactly friends.  I might have to reread the book or at least re-watch the movie.

Just across the square from Jim Williams is Mickve Israel, the 3rd oldest congregation in America.


Looks to me sort of like a church….possibly to fit into the neighborhood.  From the synagogue website….

“Shalom y’all and welcome to the website of the third oldest Jewish Congregation in America!

We are proud of our over 275 years of history in Savannah. Our historic sanctuary was designed by New York architect Henry G. Harrison and built in 1876 in pure neo-Gothic style, reflecting the fashionable architecture of the Victorian era. It is the only Gothic-style architecture synagogue in America. Our three story Sheftall Memorial Hall addition, opened in 2003, houses our world class museum, library, Judaica shop, religious school and temple offices, as well as our impressive banquet room and full professional kitchen.

  Mickve Israel is a member of the Union for Reform Judaism.”

I had some problems taking photos from the tour trolley.


It’s a bird; it’s a plane, No It’s…… I have no Idea! 

We were all sitting on the left side of the tour trolley and the folks on the right side made no effort to move aside or make room for those of us on the left side to take photos.  So I’ve either had to crop or just leave in heads and elbows.  It was really annoying. 

That’s enough for this email.  I’ll write more about Savannah in the next email.  We’ve spent the day in Chincoteague and tomorrow will head on to Annapolis, another favorite place.

ps:  I’m watching the Sox who HAVE TO WIN THIS GAME AND TOMORROW’S GAME so I’m only sort of paying attention to what I’m writing….I can’t stand this.


Hello from Hilton Head

  Randal and I are in Hilton Head South Carolina, the first stop on our “road trip up north.”  Yes, South Carolina is still south of Roanoke, VA, but it is the first stop of our trip.  We’ve come here to visit our Chinese friend Singkey who is here immersing herself in English, albeit South Carolina Low Country English.  Monday Singkey will be flying back to China from Savannah so Sunday we’ll drive her there, tour Savannah and then have an early night.  Singkey’s flight is 5 am Monday so we need to get her to the airport by about 3 am!  Randal and I will say good-bye to Singkey and then just keep going up the coast if it hasn’t washed away.  We’re hoping to stop in Hatteras and Chincoteague if the weather cooperates.

Today we helped Singkey do a few last minute chores: close her bank account, get a suitcase for the return trip home.  Then we drove out to the end of the island to visit the landmark light house.  We had sun, rain, a lovely lunch and a photo op.


The light house behind Randal and me.


Singkey posing with light house.

Harbour Town Lighthouse

“The 90-foot, red-and-white striped tower of the Harbour Town Lighthouse on Hilton Head Island is the visual centerpiece of the popular Sea Pines, located in Hilton Head South Carolina.

Completed in 1970, this was the first privately financed lighthouse to be built since the early 1800s. Visitors who climb the lighthouse steps will find an excellent spot from which to view Hilton Head Island.”

We did climb to the top for the view…..


Actually it wasn’t the greatest of views but it was nice and breezy at the top.  The walk up the step was past displays and exhibits since the light house is also a museum.  Lots of those machines where you can press and image into a penny and we made one for Singkey. 


Randal and Singkey


I thought this one was fun!

Then it was time for lunch just across the way.


While we were waiting for our meals I noticed this woman with the flowered hat.


Randal and I split a grouper wrap and a half filled the plate!  Pretty good!!!


Singkey taking a photo of the information about the Liberty Oak.  She had chosen that image to emboss on her penny.  The plaque explains that the tree had been saved when designing the basin for the yachts and condos so instead of being perfectly round as the original design called for; there is an edge where the oak stands.

We walked over to the beach.



In China many of the women carry an umbrella to block the sun.  Singkey says she’s gotten some strange looks, but it really does work.  Chinese women don’t want to darken their skin so they protect it from the sun with umbrellas or long sleeves.


The clouds were lovely but the water wasn’t at all as clean as the Mediterranean.

Randal and I took Singkey home.  She rents a room from a lovely mom and daughter.  We will see them for dinner tomorrow.


Hilton Head is criss-crossed with bike/walking trails and one passes our hotel. 

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The alligator sign was just at the start of this bridge.


Hello from Roanoke

2729 Plantation Rd, NE

It’s September 16th and we’ve been home almost a month.  We’ve actually done quite a bit; I just haven’t taken many photos or taken time to write.  Randal and I each have new glasses (new sun glasses for me too), cleaned teeth, a temporary crown for me (I’ll get the permanent one when we return from “up north.”)  I’ve learned more exercises from Elmarie, the physical therapist I’ve seen for my back and leg issues, the same issues that sent me to have acupuncture in Malaysia and Ayervedic massage in India only now it’s to learn preventive measures.  Randal has spent most of his time supervising and occasionally actually doing work renovating one of his industrial buildings for the tenant.  My chores are the same ones I have on the boat; provide the meals, do the laundry, buy us some new clothes, and nag Randal to walk with me.  I have no washing machine here so sometimes we take the laundry to my sister’s house when we go for dinner.  Other times I take it to the laundromat just down the street.  People who use this laundromat are always quite nice and helpful to each other about the machines and such.  I went Labor Day and the place was packed so everyone was quick to get stuff from dryers so the next person could use it.  Two days ago I went in the morning and the place was practically empty.  I had two loads of wash so that was good.  I had my book, water and snack so I was all set.  At one point I was the only one there which was a bit creepy though all the walls are windows and there’s a branch library across the street.  Then a couple from Montana visiting her husband’s sick uncle who lived in Roanoke came in.  They had lots of laundry and chose four of the huge washing machines.  It took her, her husband, and me to figure out how to make the machines work.  While she was loading her clothes, two men came in each carrying a huge basket of laundry.  The Montana lady walked past where I was sitting waiting for my wash to finish, to look for someone who worked at the laundromat just as  her husband solved the “not working machine” problem. Shortly after that one of the men noticed two folded $10 bills on the floor and handed them to me.  I said they weren’t mine and took them to the Montana lady since she had walked that way but she said they weren’t her’s.  So then I took them to the other man and asked if they were his.  They actually had to be since he was the only one left and I knew they hadn’t been there when I first arrived.  He looked at the folded bills and smiled sheepishly and said yes.  $20 is a lot of money for anyone these days when it takes $50 to fill the car with gas.  I think it’s a great story and I think typical of “here.”

  Now some photos from around Roanoke…

The Roanoke Valley is developing lots of lovely greenways. 

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Roanoke River Greenway…Wasena Park


We’d planned to walk from Wasena Park downtown, but stopped in Crystal Springs instead to have our much deserved lunch.  Randal had a Caesar salad and I had a Quesadilla, typical American lunch fare.  Then we walked if off on the way back to the car.

For my friend Sarah’s birthday we went to the Arboretum at Virginia Western Community College to “paint!”

It was a beautiful day and we had lots of fun, but we’re both better librarians than artists!


Sarah and her help dog Drake.  Drake didn’t want to paint, but he did have a craving for the water we were using to clean our brushes.  He wisely made no comments about our artwork.


There are Master Gardeners who volunteer to develop and maintain the grounds and here are some at work.  A news crew from WDBJ7, the local CBS affiliate was there to do a news story.  Thankfully they didn’t care to see our works in progress.  Sarah and I had fun, Drake not so much….It was great practice though we have no great works of art to show for our hour painting. 

A favorite place to eat; Second Helpings is run by the Rescue Mission and proceeds help the needy.  The food is really good and plentiful and very reasonably priced.   They also run a used clothes/items shop and a gallery selling the works of local artisans and artists.

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It’s being great spending time with family and friends.  And I love having libraries again!!!!!!!!!  I did buy a Kindle but haven’t used it yet because there are so many books in the libraries that I want to read.  The Kindle is for when I have no library.  This afternoon I’m going off for a tour of our soon to be opened new Roanoke County South County Library.  I’ll post some photos in the next few days.

As for my Red Sox…in Turkey I woke to find they had lost and here I go to bed knowing they lost…..hopefully things will improve; I still have faith.    And speaking of faith, I’m half way through Mitch Albom’s (Tuesdays with Morrie) book,  have a little faith.  It’s quite good.

Next week Randal and I will head off on our trip up north so I will be taking lots of photos to share