We were up by 8am and out the door a few minutes before 9:30. Mrs. Wilkes’ was just a short walk from our hotel so we enjoyed the Savannah morning while strolling to brunch.

The Wilkes House opened as a boarding house in 1943 and moved to is current location in 1965. Although Mrs. Wilkes passed away in 2002, her family continues serving people traditional southern homestyle food, family style, from 11am to 2pm. They take no reservations; you must stand on line, which is why we got there at 10am for an 11am opening (and were still about 20th on line). By the time 11am came around, the line was LONG. By the time we left, the line was REALLY long.

But it was SO worth the wait…they served fried chicken, beef stew, corn casserole, beans, okra salad, black eyed peas, macaroni & cheese, macaroni salad, sweet potato casserole, cornbread, biscuits and gravy, white rice and gravy, snap peas, squash casserole, some sort of noodle dish, sweet tea and that’s just what Joe and I can REMEMBER. And it was all SO good!

There was one older gentleman a few people in front of us who said he had been going there to eat for 34 years and in 34 years, nothing had changed. Well, except that they used to serve Flounder on Friday but didn’t anymore because flounder got too expensive. But otherwise it had been exactly the same for 34 years.

We rolled out of Mrs. Wilkes’ and walked a few blocks to the Savannah Visitors’ Center and Museum. We saw a brief history of the early history of the city at the museum, followed by exploration of exhibits of transportation, farming, education, involvement in wars and the arts (which included one each of Johnny Mercer’s Grammy and Oscar awards, as well as the bench that Tom Hanks sat on in “Forrest Gump”).

(the bench was a studio-made prop and was placed at the north end of Chippewa Square for the movie)

Before we left the museum, we bought a walking tour and started following the route.

We spent about 2 hours following the map and directions, seeing and learning more about the big ol’ opulent buildings

We eventually got a little bored with the walking tour so we stopped off at the Sorrel Weed Mansion to get a tour of the INSIDE of one of those places. The tour was fun and rather interesting, especially because the restoration is something of a “work in progress”.

One guy on the tour, though…what a PITA he was. He was apparently a Civil War buff and he challenged the tour guide (obviously just a college kid) on several little petty things that no one but him would care about (“his name wasn’t “Smith Jones,” it was “Jones Smith.” Shit like that.). But I guess it made him feel superior. Pity it just made him look like a pompous ass. Gee, who does THAT remind you of? $2 says he was a Lt. Colonel at some point in his life.

After all this walking, we were starting to get a little thirsty. Kathy & Geremy had recommended a pub to visit if we felt the need, so we stopped off for a pint.

We next stopped off at Temple Mickve Israel, which is the only Gothic style synagogue on the U.S. We took the tour, which lasted about a half-hour, along with 4 other people who were obviously much more impressed with the whole “Jewish thing” than we (a non-practicing Jew and a non-practicing Catholic who married a NPJ) were (I don’t care about the religious aspect of the whole thing…I just love cathedrals, period). But we still enjoyed learning about the congregation, its history, choir, stained glass windows, etc. As Joe said, “I had never seen a synagogue that looked like a church”.

(Above: outside. Below: inside)

(Live long and prosper?!?!?!)

We left the synagogue around 4pm and walked back to the hotel. I wound up napping for a half-hour or so, while joe looked on the ‘net for places to eat. Once I woke up, we went to a coffee and sandwich place one of the bellmen recommended, called Gallery Espresso Cafe. I got a BLT on whole wheat while Joe got a chicken salad sandwich and we shared a slice of peanut butter pie for dessert. After stuffing ourselves at Mrs. Wilkes earlier in the day, it was just enough.

We walked back to the hotel and hung out in the lounge until our trolley from Old Savannah Tour’s Ghost Tour picked us up at 8:15pm. We them picked up some more people at other local hotels, then started the tour, which lasted from 9pm to 11pm. Our tour guide, Omer, showed us several “haunted places” while telling us the background stories of each. We were able to get off the trolley at one point to take pictures of “one of the most haunted buildings in Savannah”…where you can take pictures and “orbs” mysteriously show up on your picture (before the boarded up the windows, flash pictures would reveal how a “man” would show up in the upper right hand window”). What’s more, if you zoomed in on the orb, they would often take the form of a human face. Amazing and incredible, huh?

Or more a bunch of bullshit, if you ask me…orbs are nothing more than dust and atmospheric crap caught up in the light of the flash. As for the “human face”…humans are programmed to see “faces” in things…look at a cloud or the moon long enough and you’ll see a face in it…ESPECIALLY if someone has just placed the thought in your head that you’re going to see a “human face” in whatever you’re looking at. We also stopped at The Pirates House, a local restaurant, because their basement is supposedly very haunted.

Welp, we all went down there but nothing supernatural happened, saved for photographing more orbs (orbs in 250+/- year old dusty basement. Who’dve thunk?)

(Above: glass pane on the way down to the basement. Could that be the profile of a woman’s face?!?!?!?!? Below: Orem and another person on the tour, surrounded by “orbs”)

Now don’t get me wrong…I don’t watch Ghost Hunters on TV because I don’t like the idea of unexplainable spirits from the Great Beyond. And I certainly won’t want to ever MEET a ghost or spirit. But ghost stories and orbs? Puh-leez.

Omer dropped up off first and we got settled for the evening. Tomorrow is our last full day and we plan to take it easy…no wake-up call and no set plans yet.

More when I can…