R V – Random

I haven’t posted for a while. We’ve been busy.

Savannah has a huge St Patrick’s celebration. Second only to Chicago. Every hotel, big or small, and every campground, big or small has been booked solid since this time last year. The hours at CreekFire have been extended and the CreekFire to Savannah shuttle has started running. It now runs 3-4 times per day. The extended hours and the shuttle running means they need more people to work more hours. They’ve added a couple more work campers and some more employees so that helps some but since they’re new they are just learning and getting used to everything now. One work camper is leaving in a few days and since he is really knowledgeable he’s going to be sorely missed. It’s only going to leave Dave here who has maintenance experience until the others get up and running. I’ve driven the shuttle into Savannah a few times and took a couple of the new people in so they know the route and the pickup/drop off location. I found out that on the day of the parade most of the streets will be shut down and on that day, CreekFire is adding a few more shuttle times and renting a second shuttle to use. Since all the shuttles and buses going into Savannah will not be using the normal route and drop off location, we have a new route to learn. Should be interesting!

During the business of working a few more hours, we noticed our shower had a leak under the drain. What Dave said should have been a 5-minute fix took about 3 weeks. Good thing there are really nice showers here at this campground and they’re not too far from our site! Our motorhome and most of those built around the same time all used abs, the black PVC plumbing materials, instead of a white PVC. We needed a new ABS p-trap. After traveling to Lowes and Home Depot, several camper stores, several mobile home suppliers and ordering parts online we still couldn’t find the ABS p-trap and size adapter we needed. We understood that you could not mix black ABS products with white PVC ones because the glue that has to be used won’t hold both plastics. We talked to a retired plumber who told us they could be mixed now and Dave even called Coachmen to see what could be done. It took a couple calls to Coachmen to get through to the right person but when he called back he was helpful. Dave finished the project using both ABS and PVC. It was so hard for him to work on this in a small R V bathroom with about an 8 inch opening under the drain. But he persevered and got it done.

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Savannah, A City Built on the Dead

When we first did the tour of the city, we had heard that Savannah was a city built on the dead. I thought that meant many people died to make the city what it is today. I was thinking of soldiers securing or protecting the land, people giving up their lively hood, fighting over land, whatever the case may be. But it turned out, I was wrong.

The city is literally built on it’s dead. Savannah was established as a buffer between the wealthy South Carolinians to the north and the Spanish Catholics in Florida to the south. There were battles to keep the land secure. The second bloodiest battle of Revolutionary war was fought in Savannah and Savannah lost many men who were buried here. Indians used parts of the area for their burial grounds. Many died from Yellow Fever. The French and British had a skirmish here. Add to this, natural deaths, occasional murders, and the Pirates coming into the city then you can see that there would be a great need for cemeteries. And, some families had their own burial plots next to their homes.

Over time, either from vandalism or just time-worn, many gravestones were destroyed or lost. From one of my previous posts, you may remember that the city of Savannah is laid out in squares. Homes surrounded these squares. As time went on and as the city grew with infrastructure being developed, roads were paved over areas that had been burial grounds. Some homes or municipal buildings have been built over areas that had been someone’s burial plot.

At first, when skeleton’s were found they had tried to move them. Later, as more and more bodies were found, some even in mass graves, the decision was made not to disturb them anymore, just leave them where they are and continue with the roads, or housing whatever the project in progress.

It seemed to be that the hauntings began when the bodies were disturbed. One such case was explained to us on the ghost tour we recently took. The Foley house was a boarding house established by a prominent widow living in Savannah. She and her children lived in this house and had frequent and sometimes long term boarders. At one time, two boarders came to stay with her. One was a bricklayer and the other one was an older wealthy exporter gentleman named Wally. Wally frequently wore a top hat. He and the bricklayer both had been staying there for quite a while. One night Wally ended up dead. One story is that he went into the widow’s bedroom. She awoke with him standing over her with his hands on her neck. He had tried to strangle her. She was able to stretch her arm out, grab the candle holder next to her bed and hit him over the head with it. When she did he fell dead beside her bed. Another story is that she murdered him for his money.

Remember, the bricklayer who was also staying at the boarding house? 100 years later, when some remodeling was being done on the home, the contractor renovating the house found a wall that didn’t seem to be in the right place. When opening the wall, they found the skeleton of the older man, top hat and all. No one had heard from or seen him prior to the brick wall being opened. Now, 100 years later, he is a frequent top hat wearing visitor in the former boarding house, now known as the Foley House Restaurant.

It seems that Savannah made a good decision to leave the dead where they lay as they continued their renovations and improvements to the city. Hauntings seemed to escalate when the bodies were disturbed.

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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 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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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’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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