Low House, “Jingle Bell Church” & Zunzi’s

Savannah has so many cool historic sites to visit. It’s been called an open air museum by some. It reminds me of visiting the Smithsonian in D.C. and knowing I’ll never get to see everything and know the story about these historic buildings, statues, people and sites.

Here are a few more sites we visited – The Low House, The Church known as the Jingle Bell Church and lunch today at Zunzi’s.

Let’s start with Zunzi’s. We had lunch there today. It’s located downtown Savannah on York Street. The owners Johnny and Gabriella Debeer have another location in Atlanta. It’s very small, but a fun place to visit. It’s a walk up diner with a line usually down the sidewalk. They say their menu is influenced by the owners South African, Swiss, Italian and Dutch heritage. When we arrived, they asked if we’ve been there before, if we had any food allergies and offered us a little sample cup of their chicken, two sausages and our choice of their many sauces. I did not try the “Shit Yeah” sauce!

Once we ordered, we took our carryout boxes and drinks around the corner to their comfortable outside tables and chairs. They also offer free Wifi and drink refills. To get your refill, you go in what looks like the backdoor to their restaurant, but they meet you there and take care of the refill for you. It’s another one of those you don’t want to miss places. One of the drivers on the Old Town Trolley Tour buses pointed it out when we drove past.

Their website is http://www.zunzis.com

Here’s a couple pictures from our visit there.  .

If you can’t read what it says on the cup, it’s this: “ZUNZI’S PROMISE TO YOU. Here at Zunzi’s, we want you to have such a great experience that you can’t help from saying Hell, Yeah! If at any point you don’t feel that way, let us know and we’ll make it right. We Promise.”

It was fun and the food was delicious. If you get to Savannah, add it to your must see list.

The next place I’ll tell you about is the church known as the “Jingle Bell Church“. In the early 1800s, a group of wealthy, liberal-minded Englishmen interested in building wealth through the cotton industry migrated to Savannah. When they couldn’t find a church to attend, they formed the Savannah Unitarian Society. They eventually built a church which has a very interesting history. Too much to tell about here so go online and check it out. In May of 1851, they hired a minister named John Pierpont, Jr who had a brother named James. James served as the church music director and organist. While serving there, he wrote and copyrighted a song called “One Horse Open Sleigh” and that’s how the church became known as the “Jingle Bell Church”.

The Unitarian church wasn’t very popular in Savannah. There were attempts to burn it down, it went broke a couple times and moved a couple times. You can now see it in Troup Square at East Harris and Habersham Streets.

The last site in this post is the Andrew Low House. Andrew Low was another one who migrated from England to build wealth as a cotton broker. He built the house in 1849. He died in 1886,the same year his son,William MacKay Low, married Juliette Gordon. William inherited the home from his father and they lived there for a while but spent most of their married life in England.

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Workcamping and Savannah

On this rainy day in Savannah, I’m sitting here at the table in the motorhome looking out the front window watching people tear down getting ready to pull out while Dave is changing out some of our lights. We’re replacing the overhead lights with LED lights. 

CreekFire RV resort is less than a mile off I-95, it seems most of the campers here only stay 1-2 days. Since part of Dave’s job here is to escort campers to their site, he gets to talk to some of the people that come here.

A couple across from us just pulled out. They’re full timers, driving a motorhome and pulling a car, similar to us. They’re a young couple that work from the motorhome. He does some kind of consulting work and she writes a blog. They told Dave they’ve completely redone the inside of their motorhome. I would have liked to meet them and get to know them a little, but they’re gone already.

The couple next to us, who are not workcampers,are here for a couple months. They’re also full-timers but are from here in Savannah. She has to have surgery and wanted her doctor here to take care of it. As soon as she’s cleared by the doc, they’re back on the road again.

We just met a woman from Ohio who is a traveling nurse. She travels by herself with her small dog and is here for a few months.

I’m watching another couple load up their golf cart. I think they’re going further south for the winter.

Dave met another couple from Ohio. They planned to travel with their friends also from Ohio. When the Ohio weather report called for a major cold front moving in the couple Dave met called their friends and suggested that they needed to go now. Since the friends said they couldn’t go yet, the couple Dave met told them I’ll see you there and took off. Their friends arrived two days later.

Another couple we’ve met here are workcampers too. Well, at least he is. They’re also full-timers. They have a son here and another one out west somewhere. We’ve only seen her once. CreekFire requires couples to work 32 hours a week in exchange for a full hookup campsite. So he’s working all the hours. (Anything over the 32 hours is paid.) They don’t seem to do anything or go anywhere when he’s not working, I asked him if they’ve toured Savannah and he said they only go to visit their son and his family whenever they aren’t working. If his son is working, he said, they just stay here.

Such a shame. There’s so much to see here. So, let me tell you about one of them, The Pirate’s House Restaurant. The structure of the Pirate’s House building now is actually several buildings put together. Inside the buildings is the oldest house in Georgia. Built in 1733, it’s a white little 2 room house with a fireplace between the rooms and a sleeping room above them. Over time this little house evolved and more buildings were added. It’s been restaurants, serving no alcohol, a ladies tea room, restaurants serving alcohol and bars. Now all the buildings are under one roof with a gift shop and dining throughout the several rooms. The location of The Pirate’s House is just off River Street. As the port became busier, privateers started arriving hoping to make their fortune. Following them, the pirates came in. This area became a very scary part of town. The owners of The Pirate’s House at that time decided the restaurant absolutely needed to serve alcohol to all these sailors coming in off the ships. The placemats at the restaurant tell the history of The Pirate’s House on one side of the placemat and on the other side, it tells about the house being haunted and Robert Louis Stevenson getting his inspiration for the book Treasure Island.

Remember, the tunnel I talked about earlier so that sailors and merchants could get up to the city? Well, the tunnel also came up into the Pirate’s House. This made it a quick route to the alcohol.

Many, many, pirates sailed into this area. And, many, many, drunk young men sailed out of this area unaware they were going to be part of the Pirate’s ship’s crew. When the captain was in need of crew members, he headed to the Pirate’s House found a few local young men, got them drunk, carried them out of the tunnel and when they woke up, they were at sea. They could either stay or swim back. Many of these men were never seen again.

Again, I have to add my disclaimer about doing your own research. This information came from the placemats, the tour we took at the Pirate’s House and some Savannah tour books. Our tour guide, dressed as a pirate, was also a history teacher, so most of our information came from him and from the guidebooks.

Here’s a few pictures and one more bit of random information. Whenever your walking on the sidewalk in the Savannah squares and the sidewalk changes to slate, that means you’re in front of a historical building.

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River Street – Savannah

River Street Old Town Trolley Tour Stop

Stop 10 on the Old Town Trolley Tour is River Street.  Appropriately named since it’s the street beside the Savannah river. This was probably the first street built in Savannah since it was used to deliver commodities to the city from the ships that sailed up the river from the Atlantic ocean. The Atlantic is only 18 miles from Savannah’s River Street.  The city sits up high with a significant drop off to the river.  This created a major problem for the sailing crew to get their products and supplies from the ship to the city above.  Because it made a good look out point for the military Savannah was built at this location

Originally, they tried to carry supplies up the cliffs to the city. That failed. Another attempt was to make some sort of a hoist system with ropes and pulleys. Because of the sandy soil, everything kept coming loose and that failed also. They couldn’t get any leverage to carry anything up.  One solution was to dig a tunnel which worked and I’ll write more about that later. Another solution was to use the stones they had used for ballasts on the ship and make a road up the hill.  The pictures below are ones I took showing the ballast road, some street views and some of the steep crooked steps.

This street now still has most of the original buildings and consists mostly of gift shops, souvenir shops and restaurants.  You can also get on one of the river cruise ships here. They offer dinner cruises and sightseeing cruises. I believe the tour guide said originally the river was about 14 feet deep, but now is 42 feet deep and there is a plan to make it deeper. It is now the 5th busiest port in the U. S.

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Savannah, Our first visit

Since  we are going to be in Savannah for the next couple months, most of my next blogs are going to be about Savannah.

On our first visit to Savannah, we parked in the Whitfield street parking garage as was suggested to us by the folks at CreekFire R V resort. It’s an underground parking lot that costs $5/day and opens into Ellis Square.

The city of Savannah was designed to be built in 24 squares. One of those squares was Ellis square. At one time the city tore down Ellis Square and put up a 6 story parking structure.  Recently, I’m not sure of the exact time, the city “reclaimed” that square. They tore down the structure and built an underground parking garage. They are in the process now of rebuilding and replanting the center square.

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We’re here now. Where’s the…?

We arrived in Savannah at the new work camping site. As you may already know, our 10-year-old Weimaraner travels with us. Since we don’t want to miss out on exploring the area, one of the first things we do is look for a dog boarding place. This is helpful to have so we can enjoy the new location, use daycare if we’re going to have a long day or if we want to go away for a few days.

There are several places we actually start looking for and in no particular order. But, the first two things we needed to do was get the laundry done and get some groceries.

The laundry was easy since there’s a laundromat on site. Google searches are great when you can just say “grocery stores near me” or “dog boarding near me”. I kind of like Food Lion grocery stores and there happened to be two nearby. We also got a list of dog boarding places to check out by doing the google search for boarding places near me. Let me tell you, most of them look a lot better in the pictures! I think we spent 2 hours driving around looking at kennels. We found one that seemed ok. We checked it out by taking Sarge there for a few hours of “doggy daycare” while we checked out a little of Savannah. Sarge played outside the entire time we were gone, got a little muddy, they cleaned him up, dried him off and everybody was happy. So, that’s the one we’re going to stay with.

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We’ve Arrived at the Creekfire RV Resort

 This is the site we left in Florida on New Year’s Day. We gave ourselves 2 days to make the 8-hour drive to Savannah so we didn’t arrive grumpily and at night. It didn’t take us too long to tear down, get loaded up and leave Florida. We were trying to beat the rain. We arrived in Florida in mid-October and I think it rained almost every day! The day we left the ground was soaked and big puddles everywhere.

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New in 2019

Most of us have read or heard part of it. My guess is most of us don’t know all of it.

So here’s the full Serenity Prayer.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.

Courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.

Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.

Trusting, that He will make all things right if I will surrender to His will.

That I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with Him forever in the next.

Amen

I thought this would be a great way to start the new year. Make it your best!

#serenityprayer