Family Travel: Savannah, Shrimp & Residence Inn… Oh My!

by DiPaola Momma (HNIC) on August 29, 2012

Being a big family has never kept us rooted at home. Given the opportunity, we pick up and go! Planes, trains and automobiles? We’ve done that. This summer we set out to explore the Gulf Coast. The adventure began with taking the kids, and even our car, along on the Amtrak Auto Train to Florida’s glimmering shores. Waving a fond farewell to Florida, we hit the road, landing in Savannah, Georgia.

If I had to use one word to sum up our stay in Savannah it would have to be, Magical.

To be honest, choosing to stay in Savannah was more a strategy than a burning desire to see the place before I die. The logic? The kids could only last a maximum of eight hours in the car before a hierarchy emerged and people started to be marked for elimination. Not good. So Savannah it was. Lucky for me -card carrying member of the Residence Moms Club- there were a few Residence Inns (RI) to choose from. Little did I know what amazing stay we’d have at the the RI Historic District.

From the moment we pulled up in front of the charming brick building -nestled amongst art museums, city trolley tour stops and historic landmarks- we were made to feel like family. A friendly valet welcomed us, helped with bags and made the kids giggle (a very “luxury property” touch). The desk staff got us checked in, in a jiffy, then gave us a mini tour of the property, from the fire pit crowning the sparking pool and courtyard, to the full dining area and bar, the place as an “Old South” feel and true Southern Hospitality.Obviously the kids loved the pool most of all. That and they Eggs Florentine, grits and fresh waffles at the free breakfast bar. My kids love to eat. I enjoyed having a full kitchen (hello, eating out with a family of 6 can break the bank) stocked with groceries that the RI staff picked up for me and had delivered to our room, swoon.

The staff were so much more than hospitality workers, they became our personal tour guides, recommending places the locals go to eat, indulging my obsession with Johnny Mercer and “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” and pointing us to an awesome dolphin tour. We got to see WILD baby dolphins!

My absolute favorite part of our visit to Savannah (other than the Shrimp and Grits at The Boar’s Head Grill and Tavern on the Riverwalk) was the afternoon we spent at Bonaventure Cemetery. Yes, I drug my kids into a cemetery as a family activity, don’t judge. In the visitor’s center, most people grab a map and go, in a rush to go find the Bird Girl. We lingered, and boy was it worth it. We met a lovely Southern Gentleman, a  member of the historical society and a treasure. He entertained us with an oral history of Savannah in a way no book or website could. We learned about the founding of the city, why the cemetery is laid out the way it is, how it was inclusive of several religions at a time when this was a rarity in the south. Some of the stories he told us were simply jaw-dropping. Like the one about his 200 year old obelisk that made it’s way into the Georgia soil all the way from France.

How did it end up in Bonaventure, and why? Well it was purchased by a local businessman who wanted to save the particular plot it resides on, for the day he meets his eternal rest. Where does one go to purchase a several ton marble obelisk from France? Why, eBay of course! True story.

Bonaventure was also the perfect place for me to hone my very-amateur photography skills.

From encounters with wild dolphins to a not-so-spooky walking ghost tour, amazing eats to quaint cobblestone streets, Savannah is a magical place imbued with true Southern hospitality, steeped in history and the perfect place for a family adventure!

 

Disclosure: Our stay at the Residence Inn in Savannah was compensated as part of my participation in the Residence Inn Moms Club. I was under no obligation to give this property a favorable review. As ALWAYS my opinions are my own. That said, you should stay at this property, words really can not describe how wonderful our stay was. 

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel Ferrucci August 29, 2012 at 10:30 am

Looks like you had a great time! I’ve always wanted to go there. We have a Residence Inn here right near us and my husband and I would book a room to get away just for the night!
Rachel Ferrucci´s last blog post ..Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club House Oreo Cookie LolliPops

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Candace August 29, 2012 at 11:14 am

WE actually took a road trip from NY to Savannah. I had a meeting as a blogger ambassador for Britax in NC and my husband has relatives in Savannah so we packed the (then two) kids in the car and off we went! Lots of fun!

I don’t think I have ever stayed in an RI before–something that would be great with our growing family–we now have three kids! I did stay in a few Extended Stays before, so I think I would love an RI!
Candace´s last blog post ..The taste of an authentic Italian meal from a microwave? Barilla Microwaveable Meals pass this Italian’s test!

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Candace August 29, 2012 at 11:17 am

PS — I just realized those GORGEOUS black and white shots were yours–I thought they were promotional shots! Love the composition on the statue one and the texture on the railing shot!
Candace´s last blog post ..The taste of an authentic Italian meal from a microwave? Barilla Microwaveable Meals pass this Italian’s test!

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DiPaola Momma (HNIC) August 29, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Where do I send the check for this comment? Ha ha.

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Ciaran August 29, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Looks lovely there. I love the black and white photos and the Spanish Moss.
Ciaran´s last blog post ..DIY Portable Movie Screen for Outdoor, Drive In Movie Nights

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5 Minutes for Mom August 30, 2012 at 12:28 pm

I would love to visit there some day. It looks amazing and I can tell you had a wonderful time!
5 Minutes for Mom´s last blog post ..Get Creative For Back To School With Colortime Crafts (Giveaway)

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Corey Feldman September 5, 2012 at 8:09 am

Never stayed at a Resident Inn, but it looks great. Also looks like you all had a fantastic trip. Glad it was so enjoyable.
Corey Feldman´s last blog post ..Egret and Red: The later years – Free today 9/5/12

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