Georgia Part I: Skidaway Island

I’ve wanted to visit Savannah since I read ‘Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil’ many years ago. When we left Charleston, we stayed in the Low Country and moved south down Highway 17 until we reached the oldest city in the Peach State. When we arrived at Skidaway Island State Park, I knew it was going to be a great week. The park was beautiful, our site was super roomy, and we were only about 25 minutes from the center of Savannah. We were also fairly close to Tybee Island and Hilton Head Island (back in South Carolina). Between our lazy days exploring the park trails and day trips to the city and the shore, our 8 days that made up our first stop in Georgia flew by in the blink of an eye.

As we crossed over the Diamond Causeway on the outskirts of Savannah, we knew we were headed to Skidaway Island State Park. We did not know that Skidaway Island is listed as one of the most affluent communities in the United States. All of the homes there are located in a gated community called The Legends - one of the largest gated communities in the country. Mike did some research and found out that membership in the neighborhood will get you access to six 18-hole golf courses. As we rode our bikes along the streets, taking in the scenery of beautiful homes and lush landscapes, I continued to assure Mike that this is somewhere I could end up living. His response: too many gnats.

As we crossed over the Diamond Causeway on the outskirts of Savannah, we knew we were headed to Skidaway Island State Park. We did not know that Skidaway Island is listed as one of the most affluent communities in the United States. All of the homes there are located in a gated community called The Legends – one of the largest gated communities in the country. Mike did some research and found out that membership in the neighborhood will get you access to six 18-hole golf courses. As we rode our bikes along the streets, taking in the scenery of beautiful homes and lush landscapes, I continued to assure Mike that this is somewhere I could end up living. His response: too many gnats.

This is our little corner of the 10-top table during our lunch at Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room. There were 22 different dishes to pile onto our plates. If we ran out of anything the cheerful servers brought new piping hot bowls of replacements. Off the top of my head I recall we were served: fried chicken, bbq pork roast, beef stew, mashed potatoes, gravy, rice, creamed corn, baked beans, squash casserole, sweet potatoes, collard greens, lima beans, black eyed peas, fresh buttermilk biscuits or corn bread squares with sorghum syrup, mac & cheese, rice, cucumber salad, banana pudding, peach cobbler, sweet tea...We obviously went home for a nap after lunch.

This is our little corner of the 10-top table during our lunch at Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room. There were 22 different dishes to pile onto our plates. If we ran out of anything the cheerful servers brought new piping hot bowls of replacements. Off the top of my head I recall we were served: fried chicken, bbq pork roast, beef stew, mashed potatoes, gravy, rice, creamed corn, baked beans, squash casserole, sweet potatoes, collard greens, lima beans, black eyed peas, fresh buttermilk biscuits or corn bread squares with sorghum syrup, mac & cheese, rice, cucumber salad, banana pudding, peach cobbler, sweet tea…We obviously went home for a nap after lunch.

We were happy in this photo because we had only been standing in Mrs. Wilkes dinner line for about an hour and 15 minutes... and we could finally see the door!

We were happy in this photo because we had only been standing in Mrs. Wilkes dinner line for about an hour and 15 minutes… and we could finally see the door!

My mom's friend Sugar suggested we eat at Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room while we were in Savannah. After some online research, it was obvious it was a 'not to miss' destination during our time in this part of Georgia. We ended up sharing lunch with four people from Indiana (who really didn't have any proper manners at all), two local school teachers on spring break, and another couple who were also visitors in the area.

My mom’s friend Sugar suggested we eat at Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room while we were in Savannah. After some online research, it was obvious it was a ‘not to miss’ destination during our time in this part of Georgia. We ended up sharing lunch with four people from Indiana (who really didn’t have any proper manners at all), two local school teachers on spring break, and another couple who were also visitors in the area.

The multitude of parks in Savannah are certainly what gives the city so much of its personality. Forsyth Park is the largest of all the central community parks. I dropped Mike to the Army Air Base Golf Course and came here to wander around and people watch. It was lovely.

The multitude of parks in Savannah are certainly what gives the city so much of its personality. Forsyth Park is the largest of all the central community parks. I dropped Mike to the Army Air Base Golf Course and came here to wander around and people watch. It was lovely.

I was mesmerized by the Spanish Moss in the Low Country. It was eerie and soothing all at the same time. The landscape almost shimmered around us as the gentle breezes helped the lacy strands sway from the tree limbs. It also seemed to change colors based on the time of day or what the sky was doing.

I was mesmerized by the Spanish Moss in the Low Country. It was eerie and soothing all at the same time. The landscape almost shimmered around us as the gentle breezes helped the lacy strands sway from the tree limbs. It also seemed to change colors based on the time of day or what the sky was doing.

We stumbled upon this fountain down by Savannah's riverfront. You might be able to see it features green water. Almost all of the fountains in the central part of the city had green water flowing from them, as we were there the week before St. Patrick's Day.

We stumbled upon this fountain down by Savannah’s riverfront. You might be able to see it features green water. Almost all of the fountains in the central part of the city had green water flowing from them, as we were there the week before St. Patrick’s Day.

The marsh lands around Skidaway from a hike on one of the park's numerous nature trails.

The marsh lands around Skidaway from a hike on one of the park’s numerous nature trails.

Tybee Island is 'Savannah's Beach', about 20 minutes from the center of town. Tybee is a small beach community with a small inventory of single family homes. There were no high rise condos to be found, which made the place seem like someone's home town instead of a tourist destination. While were there, we had a couple of drinks and snacks on the patio of Sting Ray's Seafood Restaurant. Then we moved down the street to AJ's Dockside Restaurant (where this photo was taken) for a fresh fish and shrimp dinner.

Tybee Island is ‘Savannah’s Beach’, about 20 minutes from the center of town. Tybee is a small beach community with a small inventory of single family homes. There were no high rise condos to be found, which made the place seem like someone’s home town instead of a tourist destination. While were there, we had a couple of drinks and snacks on the patio of Sting Ray’s Seafood Restaurant. Then we moved down the street to AJ’s Dockside Restaurant (where this photo was taken) for a fresh fish and shrimp dinner.

The Spanish Moss using the sun and shadows to paint abstract images on the lawn below in another one of Savannah's beautiful parks.

The Spanish Moss using the sun and shadows to paint abstract images on the lawn below in another one of Savannah’s beautiful parks.

The spring break season was getting underway during our beach day on Hilton Head Island.

The spring break season was getting underway during our beach day on Hilton Head Island.

This was a wonderful state park and we are so happy we were able to get a reservation there. Due to their reservation calendar, we could only stay 8 nights. We would have happily stayed the maximum two weeks - if the calendar would have allowed. Any one who loves camping (from tents to motor coaches) should put this spot on their list of intended destinations.

This was a wonderful state park and we are so happy we were able to get a reservation there. Due to their reservation calendar, we could only stay 8 nights. We would have happily stayed the maximum two weeks – if the calendar would have allowed. Any one who loves camping (from tents to motor coaches) should put this spot on their list of intended destinations.

I promise this is my last picture of the oaks and palms draped in moss. Isn't it beautiful, though!

I promise this is my last picture of the oaks and palms draped in moss. Isn’t it beautiful, though!

I was surprised that we were allowed to take photos of Savannah's Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, but also very happy about it. The central altar was magnificent. As was the rest of the interior with its bright colors, natural stones, stained glass, and an enormous organ in the choir loft. I'm sorry I didn't make time to attend a mass there. It would have been very inspiring.

I was surprised that we were allowed to take photos of Savannah’s Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, but also very happy about it. The central altar was magnificent. As was the rest of the interior with its bright colors, natural stones, stained glass, and an enormous organ in the choir loft. I’m sorry I didn’t make time to attend a mass there. It would have been very inspiring.

The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist seems to be gigantic as it sits across from a park on the tiny streets of Savannah.

The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist seems to be gigantic as it sits across from a park on the tiny streets of Savannah.

The camping spots at Skidaway Island State Park were so spacious. There was plenty of space between us and our neighbors. This might have been the largest camping spot we have had since the Lower 48 in 48 Tour began.

The camping spots at Skidaway Island State Park were so spacious. There was plenty of space between us and our neighbors. This might have been the largest camping spot we have had since the Lower 48 in 48 Tour began.

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