Church, The Beach, An Old Fort, A Cemetery & A Stroll

Posted by on September 24, 2013

I’ve fallen behind once again…

Sunday, September 22nd.

St. Michael's Church - Tybee Island, GA

St. Michael’s Church – Tybee Island, GA

We got a little rain last night and a little drizzle this morning…in fact that drizzle lasted a good portion of the day.  It wasn’t until late afternoon that there was no rain/drizzle/mist at all.  But that didn’t stop us from having a great day!

We had an early breakfast of biscuits & gravy before leaving home shortly after 9:30 am.  Our friend, Larry B, had recommended that we visit Tybee Island, which is about 25 miles from the campground.  We decided to attend mass at St. Michael’s on the island and then visit the beach for a picnic lunch.

St. Michael’s is one of the smallest Catholic churches we’ve seen, established in 1791 the inside walls are all pine boards making it a

Overast skies didin't deter beach goers..or us!

Overast skies didn’t deter beach goers..or us!

very cozy place.  We were addresses by Sister Virginia of the Columbian Sisters during the homily.  She is a small Filipino woman who has spent her life working as a missionary.  Michael and I agreed that she was one of the more enjoyable visitors we’ve listened to.

After church we drove a short distance to one of the many public parking areas to gain access to Tybee Beach.  We paid $4.05 to park for 2 hours.  We found a nice covered swinging bench to park our belongings, removed our shoes and headed to the water.  The sand was like walking in powder and water was the perfect temperature!  As we traversed the sand Michael stepped on a dead jellyfish that had washed up on the beach…ewww….just a wee bit ooky in my opinion.

A great spot for lunch, people watching and enjoying the ocean

A great spot for lunch, people watching and enjoying the ocean

You’d think he’d watch where he walks…nope…a little later on he nearly broke a leg when he stepped into a DEEP hole!  He’ll never learn!

We didn’t think we’d use up our 2 hours worth of parking but we came pretty darn close to it.  We enjoyed lunch (cheese, sausage, crackers, fruit, chocolate) and just watching the water and the people on the beach.  It was quite overcast but the temperature was perfect (mid 70s) and even the mist didn’t spoil our time on the beach.  I told Michael I could spend every Sunday like that.

Part of Ft. Pulaski with a ship going by on the river in the background

Part of Ft. Pulaski with a ship going by on the river in the background

On our way to Tybee we noticed a sign for Ft. Pulaski National Monument.  We decided on our way back to Savannah we’d make a stop and take some time to visit and we did just that.  With our America the Beautiful pass our entrance was free.  We arrived about 2:30 and went directly to the Visitor’s Center where I quickly stamped our passport book before we went in  to watch the 18 minute video that had just started.  When the video ended we had enough time to walk over to the fort and meet up with a guide who was starting a guided tour at 3:00 pm.  The tour lasted about 40 minutes and provided quite a bit of information about the various cannons etc used.

Ft. Pulaski was built to protect Savannah (a major seaport) from any attack by sea.  In 1862, a battle between union and confederate soldiers took place at Ft. Pulaski and the fort that was

Much of the damage was repaired soon after the battle (the newer bricks) but much of the damage is still visible.

Much of the damage was repaired soon after the battle (the newer bricks) but a lot of the damage is still visible.

considered ‘as strong as the Rocky Mountains’ was damaged so badly that the confederate forces surrendered only 30 hours after the bombardment began.

Next on our agenda was a visit to one of Savannah’s most historic cemeteries – Bonaventure Cemetery.  We didn’t end up getting there until 4:45 and it closed at 5:00 so we just planned to quickly drive in and see what we could see.  This was one of the best laid out cemeteries we’d seen.  They took into consideration that many people are interested in the history of these cemeteries.  There were wooden arrow signs pointing in the direction of the ‘celebrity’ graves.  So we easily found the grave of Johnny Mercer – lyricist, songwriter and singer.  He was also co-founder of Capitol Records.  A couple of the songs he’s written that might be familiar to you – ‘Moon River’ and ‘Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive’.

Hauntingly beautiful

Hauntingly beautiful

Since there were several cars roaming through the cemetery at 5:00 pm we decided to continue touring the cemetery.  This was probably the most beautiful cemetery we’ve ever come across….but also the most eery too.  The big, beautiful trees dripping with Spanish moss contributed to the Gothic feel of the place.

We located a couple more ‘celebrity’ graves – one was that of Gracie Watson, a 6-year-old who died in 1889.  There is a life-sized marble statue carved from a photograph of her that decorates her grave.  The beautiful sculpture has captivated Bonaventure visitors for decades and even turned Gracie into a cemetery celebrity.

The cemetery overlooks the Savannah River

The cemetery overlooks the Savannah River

We also came across the unique mausoleum of John Mongin who was a rice and cotton plantation owner during the late 1700s in South Carolina.  He moved to Savannah and became a prosperous merchant.  The family vault is an example of an Egyptian Revival style tomb, apparently popular in Victorian times.

We were met by a city worker about 5:15 and told that the gates were locked and to make our way to the front and he would be up to let us out after he corralled everyone.  He was very friendly and told us that he has to corral visitors every night at closing time.  If you’re into cemeteries…this is one not to miss!  We’ll go back since didn’t get much time there.



By this time we were getting pretty hungry so we decided to splurge.  We’d both been craving a good steak for a while and thought that it was time.  After doing a short search on my phone I found a restaurant called Dockside about 5 miles away.  It turned out that the restaurant was right on the riverfront. (Savannah sits on the banks of the Savannah river).  We found a parking spot large enough for the ‘hippy’ truck and made our way down the cobble-stone street to the restaurant where we chose to sit outside.  There was no one on the patio but by the time we left every table was full…guess we started something!

We both ordered surf & turf (ribeyes & shrimp) and were both very pleased with our meals.  We even had a saxophonist playing across the street for a while.  Very nice.

A beautiful evening for a stroll along the water

A beautiful evening for a stroll along the water

After dinner we decided to take a walk down the riverfront.  Such a beautiful place…lots of touristy stuff…river boats…cobblestone streets…street performers…  We stopped at a couple of candy/ice cream shops along the way.  We were given samples of cinnamon taffy and a praline.  I’m probably in the minority but I’m just not a fan of pralines….just too sugary for my liking.  Michael ended up getting a raspberry ice cream cone and I got a chocolate covered pecan cluster.

There were several Munzees in the area (regular & virtual) that we capped while we walked back to the truck.  Dinner and a walk was a great way to end a perfect day.

We got home about 8:30, spent some time surfing the internet and watching TV before calling it a night about 11:00 pm.


One Response to Church, The Beach, An Old Fort, A Cemetery & A Stroll

  1. Donna Rogers

    Johnny Mercer wrote the lyrics to Moon River, Henry Mancini the music. It was written in a 9 note range because that is all Audrey Hepburn could sing. I thought you would mention the words on their slabs. You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby for his wife, And The Angels Sing for him.

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