Savannah & Key West & Nassau Drive and Cruise 2009
DRIVE & CRUISE T TRIP MAY 2009 Saturday, May 23 Savannah, GA HISTORIC SAVANNAH & & TYBEE ISLAND, GA After a 17‐hr. drive JACKSONVILLE BEAC CH & KEY WEST, FL we arrived at our NASSAU, BA AHAMAS non‐smoking hotel 5/22/09 4:40PM – 5 5/31/09 2:20AM near the riverfront in the historic section of Savannah. On our drive we saw deer, an eagle, dead armadillos, buzzards, and a pheasant.
Over 2 ½ centuries old, Savannah’s 21 “squares” or garden blocks are named in honor of a person or event. Many contain monuments and other tributes and are adjacent to historic mansions, churches and a cemetery. Magnificent architecture is everywhere.
The First African Baptist Church (le eft) claims to be the 1st black Baptist c church in North America. The Cathedral of St. John the Ba aptist (center) was rebuilt in 1900 af fter a fire in 1898. The Independent Presbyterian Church (right) was rebuilt in 1891 after a fire d destroyed it in 1889.
Savannah boasts a restaurant operated by Food Network personality Paula Deen & also the 1st Girl Scout headquarters & the birthplace of founder Juliette Gordon Low.
The Old Savannah Cotton Exchange was built when Savannah ranked 1st as a cotton seaport on the Atlantic and 2nd in the world. Over 2 million bales a year moved through Savannah.
These flowers are planted in Chippewa Square at the spot that Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) sits on a bench for about 80% of the movie telling his story to anyone who’ll listen. The bench is no longer there. It is now housed at the Savannah History Museum. The movie producers changed the direction of traffic for the movie.
River Street, cobblestoned & lined with shops/restaurants on one side & the Savannah River on the other, was once a seaport for most of the cotton and tobacco grown in the South.
Colonial Park Cemetery became burial grounds in 1750 and a city park in 1896. The broken gravestones are affixed to a wall in the back.
We were the only riders on this beautifully restored streetcar.
Because of tax law, tall windows were often used instead of doors to access balconies.
Sunday, May 24 Tybee Island, GA After ouur complimentary breakfaast, we drove to Tybee Island to see the and tallest lighthouse oldest a in Georrgia. TYBEE ISLA AND LIGHT STATION
General James O Oglethorpe, Governor of th the 13 colony, o ordered it built in 1736. It has been rebu 4 times. There are uilt 178 stairs to the observation deck located 145 ft. abbove the ground.
The historical society maintains the grounds and museum while the U.S. Coast Guard still maintains the light with its 9 ft. tall Fresnel lens as a navigational aid. The U.S.P.S. issued a commemorative stamp in 2003.
Built across from the lighthouse in 1898, Fort Screven was one of the last coastal artillery batteries along the East Coast. It w was active in the Spanish‐American Wa ar and both World Wars.
Behind Fort Screven is the Atlantic, making Fort Screven a true fort by the sea.
It was a 3 ½ hr. drive to our 23‐ room oceanfront hotel where the Duke & Duchess of Windsor, John D. Rockefeller, Harry S. Truman, F.D.R., Jean Harlow & Al Capone Jacksonville Beach, FL have stayed.
We e arrived at the cruise port early and had to wait a holding parking lot in a beffore being moved to the lon ng‐term parking area. Parrking cost $75. Emmbarkation went very smmoothly and we were the 20t & 21st persons to th boaard.
Our ship’s route is in red. We’ll have a full day and a half at sea, 1 day in Key West, 1 day in Nassau, then another full day at sea, and arrive back at Jacksonville the next morning, giving us 5 nights on board.
Jim checked in with Mom to be sure everything was ok before we sailed to another country.
We had a few hours before we could get into our stateroom, so we explored and had lunch.
The captain hosted d a gathering on our “form mal” night, providing free d drinks and the advice to relax x and enjoy. He said there w were 7 American crew membe ers and the rest were from 94 other n and countries. He is Italian they speak to each oth her in their broken English. We crruised by Miami i and saw several l storms in the d distance. Each evening we enjoyed haute cuisine in the main dining room at our 8:15 seating.
The Museum of Art & History By being first off the ship beh hind the photographers at 7am we enjoyed the sights of f this tiny 2x4 mile island undisturbed – including the o original Margaritaville from the popular song.
The roaming chickens were once a source of food, eggs, and ill‐fated recruits for the now‐ illegal practice of We have an Illinois Route 1. cock fighting. This U.S. Route 1 spans the Atlantic coastline.
With 88 steps, this lighthouse is half the size of Tybee’s. We didn’t climb it.
We also saw and learned about many other mansions & interesting houses. We discovered the need for “eyebrow windows,” gingerbread design, “widow walks,” zig‐ zag roofs, shutters, and painting the porch awning undersides blue.
Flying the US and Conch Republic flags We had to ride the conch train! Key West identifies itself as The Conch Republic ‐ a “tongue‐in‐cheek” micronation created in 1982 in protest of a U.S. border patrol roadblock that inconvenienced residents and was detrimental to tourism.
At the cemetery, the newer graves are put above ground in vaults as there is no more room underground. 100,000 people are buried there, many more than the 30,000 residents living on the island.
A large manta ray in the world’s largest open‐air aquarium at Atlantis
We walked to the public beach, passing an inlet with turtles. Locals barked their wares & services, selling pop, water, chips, jet ski rental, drinks in coconut shells, hair braiding, jewelry, flute playing, and chair & umbrella rental.
In 1973 the Bahamas gained independence from Great Britain, but remain part of th he The steering wheel is on Commonwealth and follow such cu ustoms the right in this taxi we as driving on the other side of the r road. took back to Nassau. Both drivers said that times are ver ry hard. Businesses have closed & locals are e hurting.
We bargained for a wooden goblet at the Straw Market where locals sell straw work, crafts, jewelry, t‐shirts, sea shells and other trinkets. Parliament Square includes the Senate and House of Assembly with the statue of Queen Victoria in the center of the complex.
ancient gravestone At the small Bahamas Historical Society Replica of an Museum we saw ancient boat artifacts & learned about Bahamas’ beginnings and the transition from minority white rule to black majority rule. We then climbed 65 limestone steps carved by slave slabor in the 1790s. It was later nameed in honor of the 65 years of Victorias reign. A water rfall was recently added. The staircase leads to Fincasstle Fort which supposedly affords nice views of the e ocean. Before we could get there, we were suddenly b bombarded by an extreme “squall” with at least 60 mp ph winds and torrential rain. Drenched, with tree e limbs falling around us, we descended the stairs a and took shelter in the “canyon” with a family from ano other Carnival ship. After 30 minutes it was over and we e walked back to the ship through the flooded streets of tthe downtown, marveling about our intense and aw wesome experience. Staircase To Fort
Friday, May 29 Carol bruised her arm C on a metal cup holder o while laughing during a comedian’s show following dinner. Flying fish! Really!
Whether we ate in the Imagination Carnival uses every Dining Room or opportunity to snap photos for The Coconut Grove Bar and purchase, particularly before Grill or elsewhere, meals, but we we did not go ended up liking our own poses and hungry or shots better! thirsty! Complimentary lemonade, iced tea, water, milk, teas, coffees, cocoa & OJ were available. Jim purchased a $33 beverage card for his unlimited soft drinks.
Our dinner companions were from AL as were most of the guests! Our wait staff sang after dinner. a There were 2 production shows.
Jacksonville, FL The dolphins greeted us in the waterway upon our return, but that didn’t help alleviate our disappointment that our cruise was over and we had a long drive back! It helped that we could take our own luggage off the ship and our car was parked nearby.