Bella Vida by Letty

Georgia

Travel: Doors of Savannah’s Historic District

Doors of Savannah's Historic District

I visited Savannah last year and not only do I have wonderful memories but I also have a ton of photos.  One of my photo projects was to focus on the doors and windows of the beautiful historical homes.  Most are well kept and in great condition.  I was enchanted with the architecture of Savannah’s Historic District.  There was so much to look at.  So many little details, I just wanted to eat them all up.  I walked up and down the streets for hours under the canopy created by rows of ancient live oak trees draped in Spanish moss.  I felt I was in another world and my imagination ran wild.  It was early so I had the streets mainly to myself except the incredibly loud sounds of cicadas was a constant reminder I was not alone.

Doors of Savannah's Historic District

The houses and public buildings are arranged around a series of public squares.  These squares are actually tiny little well kept parks.  The perfect place to sit and rest.  The town plan was created 1733 by Gen. James E. Oglethorpe, founder of the British colony of Georgia.  Now that’s old.  It really makes you appreciate what a fine job the city does of maintaining and preserving its history.

 Doors of Savannah's Historic District

It’s a wonderful place to enjoy architecture.  The homes are representation of eighteenth and nineteenth century architecture in a variety of styles including Federal, Georgian, Gothic Revival, Greek Revival, Italianate, Regency, Victorian, Colonial and more.  The section of quaint Victorian houses were so pretty you can’t help but be reminded of the gingerbread house.

 Doors of Savannah's Historic District

Among the historic homes that have been preserved are: the Pink House, the Sorrel Weed House, Juliette Gordon Low’s birthplace, the Green-Meldrim House, the Owens-Thomas House, theWilliam Scarbrough House, and the Wormsloe plantation of Noble Jones. The Mercer-Williams House, the former home of Jim Williams, is the main location of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.  Savannah’s historic district is actually is the largest registered urban National Historic Landmark district in the United States.

 Doors of Savannah's Historic District

If you are visiting Savannah Georgia I recommend you make some time for a leisurely stroll to the Historic district.  It’s truly a feast for the eyes ya’ll.

 Doors of Savannah's Historic District

Have you been to Savannah?  What’s your favorite place there?

 

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“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” Helen Keller

“Not knowing when the dawn will come, I open every door.” Emily Dickinson

“Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door. ” Coco Chanel

 

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Road Trip: Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah Georgia

Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah Georgia
Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah Georgia

A recent road trip led me to Georgia’s oldest city, Savannah. Established in 1733 this seaport city is rich with history, culture and things to see. The local government makes it apparent it is committed to protecting and preserving important landmarks by doing a consummate job of maintaining its many parks and squares.

One interesting place I visited was the Bonaventure Cemetery. This particular cemetery was incorporated into the city’s park system in 1907 but the land has been in use as burial grounds since 1847. Like a few other places in Savannah it’s famous for being featured in the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah Georgia
Tree lined dirt paths at Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah Georgia

At the entrance of the cemetery a red brick building built in 1918 serves as the Bonaventure Administrative Building and headquarters for the City of Savannah Department of Cemeteries. Inside I was greeted by a small white haired lady balancing the largest thick black rimmed glasses on her tiny nose intent on having me sign the guest book. I politely conceded.

The navigator in me immediately gravitated to the giant map on the wall at the visitors center next to the podium where the guest book rested.  The cemetery’s location was at the very  edge of the Wilmington River making it the first thing I wanted to see, the view of the water.

To get there we drove past rows and rows of gigantic live oak trees draped in Spanish moss. Trees that were already well established long before the cemetery. You could feel their strength by noticing their growth. Wide, tall and twisting to survive everything man and nature has done to them for over 250 years. The cemetery takes advantage of tree lined roadways to provide access and separate the major cemetery sections.

Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah Georgia
Wilmington River Savannah Georgia

The scenic shore at the Wilmington River turned out to be as lovely and picturesque as I imagined it. Once I saw the watercourse and the movement of the city beyond bright green banks I felt a peaceful calm wash over me. Colossal trees held city noises back leaving us with nothing but the loud buzzing of cicadas which at times can be deafening when they decided to hum together. While the trees could protect us from the suns direct light there is nothing in the world that can beat back the humid sweltering midday heat of the south.  One in the afternoon at the height of summer was incandescent.

Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah Georgia

I wasn’t sure how it would feel to be in an old cemetery where the final remains of writers, poets and confederate soldiers had been laid to rest. Not because of the many ghost stories of howling dogs seen roaming in packs after midnight or statues of little girls that cried tears of blood if you didn’t leave a trinket because I love ghost stories, especially making them up.

I just knew I did not want to disturb the energy that has been accumulating there for hundreds of years.  Before the cemetery there was a plantation which the owners lost during the American Revolutionary war.  Then during wartime it became a hospital before becoming a plantation again. This land has seen many come and go.  Today it continues to receive and entertain a steady flow of visitors.

Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah Georgia

Kicking up dust we drove slowly down the dirt paths trying to avoid the few other visitors there on that day.  I didn’t want any distractions.  I didn’t want to have to wait.  I just wanted to snap away with my camera quietly and spontaneously.  Combing the graveyard with a curious eye and listening intently, always listening.  Walking a little making sure to take care where I stepped I discovered many interesting tombstones, headstones, vaults, statues and dedications.  Some were simple while others wildly elaborate or obscenely huge.

I know I don’t care for elaborate tributes when I’m gone. I’d rather enjoy a shared laugh spending quality time together while I’m here.

In the meantime enjoy these images I captured and were the ONLY things I brought back with me from the Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah Georgia.

Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah Georgia
Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah Georgia

 

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Relax

“The only Zen you find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.” Robert M. Pirsig
Amicalola Falls, Dawsonville, Georgia Sunset 2009

I can’t remember ever feeling more relaxed than at this mountain top.  After a day of hiking and exploring among nature I felt fulfilled.  My body wasn’t sore.  I wasn’t tired.  Sitting in a comfortable Adirondack chair with my feet propped up on a stone wall taking in the view was completely satisfying.

“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” Chinese proverb

Amicalola Falls, Dawsonville, Georgia Sunset 2009

I was in no rush to do anything or due to be anywhere.  
I was free to simply be.  
To feed my soul in contemplation,
To feed my eyes with the beauty of nature,
Fill my lungs with fresh air
and do nothing.
Free to do absolutely nothing.

“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” Baba Ram Dass

Amicalola Falls, Dawsonville, Georgia Sunset 2009
“Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.” William S. Burroughs
“Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.” Ovid
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