Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Blog On Hiatus

I am sorry to say that I must put the blog on hiatus for a few months. My right hand is in need of surgery, that will happen later on this summer. Until then, I must use it as little as possible. That means, no typing, no mousing, no nothing :(

Thank you so much for your continued loyalty, and I hope to be up and running again as quickly as I can heal.

Your favorite blogger, Sandra

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Sail, Power & Steam Museum

Opening May 1

The Sail, Power and Steam Museum in Rockland is
 reopened for the season on May 1
and has a fantastic line up this year
 for YOUR entertainment.....

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Old Town Trolley Tour

(Please read “A Yankee Does Savannah” first before you read this story.)

I took the Old Town Trolley Tour around Savannah’s historic district while Nanci was doing her thing with Jeopardy. I took the Paula Deen tour the last time I was in Savannah, so thought I’d take in a little history this time. I love history.

My trolley driver and tour guide for most of the trip was named Scott. Besides all the historical facts he imparted to us, he also related some stories and facts you might not see in the history books. He was very entertaining and I enjoyed the tour very much. A beautiful blue sky kind of day with a slight breeze made the open air trolley ride even better.

There are 16 stops on the tour. I will tell you some of the stories and history Scott told us about along the way.

We were shuttled to the trolley’s car barn which is on Martin Luther King Boulevard. Here you will find the historic railroad station and at Stop 1 nearby is the Savannah History Museum; the Civic Center; Roundhouse Railroad Museum; the Civil Rights Museum.

I must mention that even the shuttle driver made us feel welcome before we even started the tour. He made sure we understood that we were now on “slow” time, as is the Southern way.

As we headed out to Stop 2, via Oglethorpe Ave., Scott told us about General James Oglethorpe, the founder of Savannah. Please see the other sidebar, “Oglethorpe and the Founding of Atlanta” for more of that history.

What he did tell us about Oglethorpe, who had a charter from the king of England to found the city, was the four things Oglethorpe would not allow in the new colony known as Savannah:

1.    No hard liquor was allowed. You could drink beer or ale, however.

2.    No slavery

3.    No Catholics

4.    No lawyers

The general was sent to the area to act as a buffer south of the Savannah River to protect the Carolinas from Spanish Florida and French Louisiana, both Catholic strongholds. Thus the ban on Catholics.

Scott told us, however, that after about 25 years, all four of the bans were lifted.

SCAD or Savannah College of Art and Design (I think that’s right) have done a lot of restoration work in the city. Scott pointed out the places they had worked on or were in the process of working on.

Stop 2 is the City Market area as you see in this picture. There was a horse and carriage similar to this one when we went by. What used to be an open market now has been built up with lots of interesting shops to visit. You can take carriage rides throughout the city, go by pedicab or even by Segway.
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

From the Lady Chablis internet page.
Scott pointed out many places along the way that had been the scene of many movies over the years. Most notable is the book made into a movie by John Berendt called Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil which was based on a true story. We went by Club One where one character, who is a real person in fact, Lady Chablis, a transgender woman, performed. She still does. I thought of Lady Chablis when I created one character in my own book, who was also a real person. You can take a tour that covers the life of Jim Williams from the book.
Other Scottisms
A couple of other good stories Scott told were about the Monument of the Confederacy and the first house in Savannah that had electricity.
The monument was paid for by the Daughters of the Confederacy. It was made in Canada and shipped down to Savannah so that it would not touch Yankee soil on the way down. It was placed facing the North—towards the enemy.
The first house with electricity in Savannah turned out to be a big event. Townsfolk were invited to come and stand outside the house when they turned the lights on for the first time. Everyone expected the house to explode when they turned them on so they all jumped back when the house was lit up.
Scott said that it became a big date night when a beau asked if his girl wanted to go see the lights come on in the house in the evening. Guess that was their “whale watching” gimmick in those days.
The Waving Girl
At stop 11 on River Street is a statue of a waving girl. She stood by the water and waved to every ship that went by for years and years. A sailor said he’d come back to her, so she waved every day in the hopes he would come back. Her name was Florence Martus. She lived from 1862-1941. When she died, 2000 sailors came to her funeral.
This is the only stop I got out at because it was a short walk to the candy store where I wanted to get some pralines. While I was there a humungus container ship came in to port right by where we were in the trolley.
The Final Calamity
OK, here it is. You cheaters have read all the way through so now I will tell you the end of the story.
When the trolley returned to the car barn and I was waiting for the shuttle to take me back to the hotel to meet up with Nanci again, I decided to call her. Guess what? No cell phone. My five year old Blackberry with every important phone number in my life on it was nowhere to be found.
Along the way I was struggling to keep track of a cane; the backpack; reading glasses and dark glasses; a hat, a pad and pen for notes; and later the bag of candy. Remember the text message I got when I started this trip back at the hotel? That was the last time I saw it.
So now what? The cell phone was the only way I could contact her. I had already checked out of the hotel. I was in a panic. I know my blood pressure went up considerably. Well, I said, she will probably go back to the hotel looking for me. I knew, of course, she must be panicking too at this point.
I had to wait a while for the shuttle, but when I got to the hotel and saw the car in the parking lot I breathed a sigh of relief.
Alls well that ends well, I guess. I left instructions for the possible return of my phone—fat chance—and we got on the road home to get back to our Butchie who was home alone with a pile of food and extra water.
Nanci says she thinks she did well this time with Jeopardy. We have our fingers crossed. We could use a break. Who knows what will happen if we attempt to take a trip to California for the show?
For more on the history of Savannah and its founder, General Oglethorpe, please go on to the next story, “Oglethorpe and the Founding of Savannah.”
Thanks for listening.

UPDATE: The lost is found! The good people of Old Town Trolleys found my phone and sent it back to me via Fed X yesterday, less than a week from when I took the tour. My heartfelt thanks go out to everyone at Old Town Trolley for their attention to details when it comes to their tourists. I highly recommend this tour if you are ever visiting Savannah. The drivers/tour guides are very pleasant in the southern way and very informative. Thank you Old Town Trolleys!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

AUGUST 14-16, 2015
Harbor Park, Rockland
For more information:
call 888-565-4951
or go to: