. We knew we were in the right place when we rounded the corner and could see the queue of people - luckily we had arrived at about 10.50 (it opened at 11am) otherwise we could have been waiting a long time. Locals that were sitting at our table told us sometimes the queue extends around the corner! Once inside we were shown to a dining room table that seated 8. The three other people at the table pretty much kept to themselves, which was a shame. We had a nice chat with a lady from Riley, North Carolina outside in the queue. The main meat for the day was fried chicken (yum) but there were heaps of bowls of other things (most that we couldn't identify, but it was fun tasting!) and I tried a little of everything - from what I could identify (or guess) we had cabbage, black eyed peas, squash, okra & tomatoes, green beans, baked beans & bacon, beef stew, macaroni cheese, cornbread, corn muffins and glasses of sweet iced tea. For desert there was banana pie or cherry cobbler. Everything was very nice, though you did feel a bit rushed as you were aware that people were waiting outside to come in and take your place! We were told by one of the staff/waitress that it was 'tradition' that you take your own dishes to the kitchen after you'd finished - which we did.
After lunch we strolled up to Chippewa square, where parts of the movie 'Forrest Gump' were filmed (we watched it on DVD last night) and tried to figure out where the park bench that he sat on would have been
. Then we took a photo of Kate in front of Juliette Gordon Law's historic house (she was the founder of the Girl Scouts). Hopping on another free bus we took a ride to the Savannah river front. Lots of cobblestone roads, and steep, uneven steps down crooked lanes. Next stop was the historic markets (they used to be Cotton warehouses) where we found our carriage tour. We had a driver called Beth, who had the most unusual voice I have ever heard over here! The carriage was pulled by two draught horses (one white, called Charlie, and one brown called Justice) and we had one other couple on the tour with us. It was really nice just cruising in the carriage with the horse's hooves clopping. We wove in and out of the many Savannah squares (filled with lovely old oak trees & more Spanish Moss - except one, Wright Square I think, that doesn't grow the moss - local legend is it's because this square was used for executions...) and past historic buildings, while Beth entertained us with humours stories & the history of the buildings & squares.
After we'd finished the tour we went and got some home made icecream from a huge confectionary store in the market - they made everything from toffee apples, to candy & chocolate there on the premises. 38 degrees outside, by the time we returned to the truck and checked the thermometer. We got the tire put on after a lot of waiting before driving back to the RV for hot dogs & marshmallows cooked over a campfire. While eating at the picnic table, we spotted some deer eating in the trees near us. At 8pm we went down to the Interpretive Centre and met Sarah there - no one else turned up for the walk. We went across bridge over the marsh and a little way along the track - with Sarah telling us all about the marsh flora & fauna. We didn't see any animals, but we had a great time. The kids had a blast asking her questions, and answering hers (she said they were very smart kids...!). Added to that the abundance of stars scattered across the sky, and looking up at them through the jagged silhouettes of marsh trees...just priceless.
We drove into the outskirts of Savannah to get the tire fixed but after waiting a bit we decided to change our carriage ride to 2pm, as we would have missed our booking of 10am. Then they dropped the bombshell that we needed a new tire (US$250) as the old one had a hole in the sidewall. We decided to use the spare tire to get to Savannah, and have the new one fitted on later. So we drove into town, through some beautiful tree lined streets - overlapping in some places & with Spanish Moss hanging down - magic. We found a parking building & then hopped on the free bus shuttle that rumbles around the historic centre. I have to admit I felt I little odd us being the only white people on board. We got off at W Jones st, where Mrs Wilke's Dining room www.mrswilkes.com was. Mrs Wilke's is a Savannah must see - popular with both tourists & locals. Mrs Wilke (who is now deceased) opened a boarding house in the 40's serving up traditional Southern home cooking. People eat around huge dining tables and pass dishes to each other, just like you would if in someone's home