When we checked in at Travelodge in Richmond Hills, we paid for one night first. After we had settled in our room I went to the office to help myself to the free lemonade for hotel guests. Wendy the desk clerk was still on duty and I got to talking with her. She asked me what our program was for the following day, and I told her we were planning to go sightseeing in the historic part of downtown Savannah. She suggested that we take the Old Town Trolley Tour of old Savannah for $28 per person. The price sounded reasonable as it also included complimentary pick up service from the hotel and back. We figured that we would be spending much more in gas driving to the city, plus all the costly parking fees. So we signed up for this tour, and also paid for an additional night. Dinner for the first night was at ARBY's....roast beef sandwich!

The next morning the bus came a little after 9. There were already two ladies on the bus and we picked up more passengers from different hotels on the way to the city. The dropped us off at the starting point of the tour company's main office which is across the street from the Savannah History Museum, where we paid the balance of our tour fee and changed to another bus which was the actual tour bus/trolley.

The bus driver was also the tour conductor and he began by introducing himself, and said he would be giving a live narration of all the places we would be seeing or passing by on the tour. The best part was that we could get off and reboard another incoming bus, similar to the 'hop on, hop off' tour buses you see in major cities around Europe. He told us that there would be a total of 15 trolley stops, and we could get down at any time and explore on our own at our leisure. Obviously, it would be impossible to get off/on at every stop due to time restraints, so we decided that we would get down only at a few locations. In the meantime, the driver gave a running commentary of all the interesting spots as we passed them, and I managed to take a lot of photos from the bus.

We were especially interested in the Mercer-Williams House where the Clint Eastwood directed film, "Midnight In The Garden Of Good & Evil" was shot. This movie also contained many scenes of Savannah, of which one was in Forsyth Park, so that's where we first got off the bus to look around the area. Forsyth Park is a huge public park full of live oak trees with the dripping moss. The centerpiece of this park is the beautiful fountain where we found many people taking pictures of it, and of themselves with the fountain as a background. Needless to say, I took several photos of this elaborate fountain too.

Savannah is full of open squares, called the 'Crown Jewels' of the city, and one of them is Monterey Square which is situated right in front of the Mercer House. Monterey Square is considered to be the most picturesesque of Savannah's squares and has been used as a setting for several Hollywood movies, including "Midnight In The Garden Of Good & Evil." As a matter of fact, another square in Savannah called Chippewa Square was where Tom Hanks sat on the bench telling his life story in the well known film, "Forrest Gump." Anyway, back to Monterey Square. I sat there for some time, taking in the stately surroundings while waiting for my friend to return from her exploratory tour of the Mercer-Williams House.

While waiting for the next trolley at the bus stop, a large group of Indians (Indians from India, not the native American Indians) alighted from another tour bus carrying big containers, pots and pans. I could even sense the exotic aroma of whatever food they had inside the containers. I love Indian curries and the fragrant odors of the Indian party made me feel hungry! I'm not ashamed to say that I was even debating with myself whether to ask them if they had brought any biryani (yellow Indian rice) with them. No doubt they were going to have a picnic in the park. Wish I could have joined them, LOL.

Well anyway, we boarded the next trolley that came along and passed so many famous landmarks of the city that I just couldn't remember all of them. We descended once again at River Street overlooking the Savannah River, which I think is the most attractive part of old Savannah with its nice view of the river and the boats going down it. Most of this street is cobblestone, and strolling along the waterfront where there is a diverse collection of shops, restaurants and antique stores, can be a pleasant way to spend an afternoon or evening. We had lunch there at a restaurant called "Spanky's." Afterwards, we walked over to the Statue of the Waving Girl who according to legend, waved (using her handkerchief or apron) at every ship that entered and and departed the port for 44 long years.

Our next and final stop was at the Exchange Bell near City Hall on Bay Street. There we saw the Cotton Exchange Building which was completed in 1887 during the glorious period of old Savannah. We spent some time in the area taking in all the attractions while waiting for the trolley to take us back to the starting point of the tour. All in all, both of us enjoyed this tour and felt it was really worth the price we paid. After the bus dropped us back at our hotel we went to Kentucky Fried Chicken nearby and bought some chicken combos to go, which we ate in our room.

The following morning which was our last day in Savannah, we made a detour on the way back home to pay a visit to the Bonaventure Cemetery which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Actually, cemeteries are not among my favorite places, but we wanted to see it because, again, it was featured in the "Midnight In The Garden Of Good & Evil" film. There we found the grave of Johnny Mercer who was a famous American composer/lyricist who wrote so many evergreen classics, such as 'Moon River,' 'Autumn Leaves,' 'Fools Rush In,' just to name a few, which still remain popular songs up to this day. Although Bonaventure Cemetery has a strong reputation as being one of the most haunted locations in the United States, we were there in the daytime and the atmosphere was not as spooky as I had thought it would be. A number of notable Savannah personalities are also buried there, one of whom is Little Gracie who died when she was only 6 years old. Her statue is one of the most visited in the cemetery. There is always a bunch of toys at her gravesite as people would leave them there for her to play with, and some claim that she will cry tears of blood when her toys are removed. According to local folklore, Little Gracie is among the most haunted spirits residing at Bonaventure Cemetery. Sure sounds creepy, but sad too......

From the cemetery we headed back towards Richmond Hill, and only made a brief stop at a rest area in Georgia before re-entering Florida. We pulled in at the first Florida Welcome Center where we enjoyed the customary free drinks of orange and grapefruit juice. It is a very popular spot indeed for motorists and vacationers! One last stop was for lunch at a Captain D's seafood restaurant outside Jacksonville, and then Home Sweet Home in Orlando.

All in all, it was a delightful trip to Georgia, known semi-officially as the "Peach State." It is one of the original 13 colonies of Great Britain, and is full of rich history, amazing attractions and pretty places around the state. Everytime I hear the song, "Georgia On My Mind," I will always think fondly of this great state in the American South.