2016 APQ UFO Challenge List

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Fall Break in Savannah

A few weeks ago, I had the great pleasure to load up a van of 10 8th grade girls and one other parent and we headed south to take the trip our Girl Scout troop has planned for the last two years.  The girls decided on a camping trip early in their 6th grade year that they wanted to do a troop trip, so we set a goal, started planning, learned from another troop, and then sold cookies like crazy.  It all came together and happened so quickly, but we had such a great time.

I am a lifetime Girl Scout and never had been to Savannah to see the sights where Girl Scouts began. I found this trip quite emotional to learn about our founder, see the city in which she lived, and experience it all with my daughter.  I told parents and the girls that I wouldn't share their pictures without their permission, so here you'll see pictures of the sights with a few of my daughter and me mixed in.

We started with a lovely carriage ride around the city - it is a lovely, preserved old town with lots of old buildings, historic homes, and beautiful little parks/squares all over. We learned a little about the history of the city, from the dark days as a major location for slave arrivals and sales, to the importance of cotton to the city and its role in the Civil War. It was a great intro to the city.
I think this is the Andrew Low home, but it may be another historic home. 

Wright Square - I think this is the one where Forrest Gump's "Life is like a box of chocolates" scene was filmed.
Early evening view of Juliette Gordon Low birthplace

Our first full day in the city started with a tour of the Juliette Gordon Low birthplace. It was a fascinating look at her background and family. I did not know that she was in an unhappy marriage and close to requesting a divorce when her husband died early in life (he was in his 40's). After that, she decided to spend time in England with Lord and Lady Baden Powell, where she learned of scouting. She brought it back to the US and recruited the first scouts from the wealthy families which whom she interacted. She came from a wealthy family and married into another, so she was in a quite elite crowd in Savannah. I did find a sewing machine in her house! Always fun to spy sewing/quilting items when touring homes.

This library has a wall of books by women or about women - so cool! 
After the tour of the birthplace, we headed out to Tybee Island, where we visited the Marine Science Center. We had a tour where we learned about the flora and fauna that live in the area, and then went out to the water to do some seining (looking for critters in the sand with a sifter). The girls loved playing in the water and exploring the beach and they wished we had more time there.

Following the beach, we went to the other end of the island to explore the Lighthouse and its grounds. We learned a lot about where to build a lighthouse so it doesn't fall into the ocean and we were surprised to learn about how many different ways it had been painted over the years. It was windy at the top, but a great view of the area. We also enjoyed a short video in one of the buildings about what life was like at the lighthouse. The historical society has done a really nice job of restoring the lighthouse keeper's cottage and maintaining the grounds.
View from the top of the lighthouse

I spy a quilt in the lighthouse keeper's home! 
On our second full day in Savannah, we started again out at Tybee Island and went on a dolphin cruise. We came under the bridge to the island and were in an area full of dolphins. It was amazing to see so many of them (and some little ones) all around us. They played in the water and we even saw a few jumps. I didn't get any pictures of the dolphins as I spent the whole time just taking it in.

That afternoon, we toured the Andrew Low home (Juliette's grandfather) and learned about how the family came to be so wealthy. The home was beautifully decorated and it was an interesting tour. We also visited the carriage house behind the home, the first Girl Scout Headquarters.
Plaque commemorating the first meeting place

There are mirrors on both walls, and we were trying to get an infinity picture...didn't quite work! 
In between all the tours and activities, we had great meals, shopped all around the city (and really enjoyed the candy kitchens), and enjoyed time together in the hotel - the girls really loved their social time.

On the final morning, we packed up and headed out of town for the long drive home. The trip went so quickly after planning for two years, but it is one I will cherish for a long time! I think this is a city I will return to. I am sure there is more to explore!


Kate said...

Savannah is such a fun place to visit, beautiful and old architecture, plus lots of history. Looks like everyone had a very fun trip.

Carol said...

What a fun and educational trip for the girls (and for you, Jennifer!). I've always wanted to visit Savannah--some day :) My oldest son was the only one who stayed in Scouts and did become an Eagle Scout. I was a Camp Fire Girl for a while--they didn't have Girl Scouts where I grew up :) You are certainly helping to create some wonderful memories for your daughter and the other scouts!

Laura said...

We went to Savannah last fall and loved it. Our trip was cut short by a hurricane evacuation, but the city was amazing. We did a lot of walking and took a trolley tour of the city. We also hit Bonaventure Cemetery, Fort Pulaski, and Tybee Island. I'd love to go back someday!