Savannah Streets

I really liked Savannah, the streets were clean and the people were very friendly.  We spent one morning/afternoon in Savannah and here are some pictures from our time there:

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The fountains and squares there were beautiful.

The fountains and squares there were beautiful.

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Riverwalk area

Riverwalk area

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City Market area

City Market area

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photo cred: Isabella

photo cred: Isabella

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{this moment}

{this moment}

A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.- via soulemama

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Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

I was really excited to see this Cathedral in person, before this past weekend I had only seen it in magazines.  So when we arrived in Savannah and the outside was covered with scaffolding for renovations, I was pretty bummed.  Despite the outside being pretty well covered up, we ventured inside and were able to see the beautiful stained glass windows.  We gave a small donation, picked up a postcard and started snapping pictures left and right.

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If you have a chance to ever visit this cathedral I highly recommend it.  There are certain hours where you can visit in between the services, it is free (donations accepted) and there was a guided tour taking place while we were there but it did not hinder us from exploring in any way.  I can’t capture the light streaming through the stained glass windows accurately , you have to see that in person.

Nightly Walks

Ben’s favorite time during vacation was our nightly walks on Tybee beach.  The beach was usually empty and after a late dinner we grabbed bags for shell collecting and our small flashlight.  In between scanning the sand for treasure,s we dodged crabs running sideways across the beach and Blackburn pointed out every hole in the sand so we could look in and catch one by surprise.  The girls wrote messages and drew pictures in the sand.  Here are some moments from our walks:

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View of Tybee Lighthouse

View of Tybee Lighthouse

Dogwood Cottage

Dogwood Cottage

looking over the dunes with just a sliver of light left in the sky.

looking over the dunes with just a sliver of light left in the sky.

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They are so fast and sneaky.

They are so fast and sneaky.

"Hole, mom"... "mom there's a hole"... this was the phrase repeated every night on the beach

“Hole, mom”… “Mom there’s a hole”… this was the phrase repeated every night on the beach.  See the legs barely sticking out.

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Oatland Island Wildlife Center

One of the places we visited on vacation was the Oatland Island Wildlife Center in Savannah, Georgia. Originally built as a retirement home for the Brotherhood of Railroad conductors, it later became a hospital during World War II and then was occupied as a laboratory for the Center for Disease Control until 1973.  Today it houses environmental classrooms, event rooms, and serves as the information center for the Wildlife Center. It is rumored to be haunted (we spoke to one of the groundskeepers) and with such a diverse history it could very well be.

We were given a trail map when we first arrived.  The trail was a little over a mile and none of the kids had any problems keeping up.

We were given a trail map when we arrived. The trail was a little over a mile and none of the kids had any problems keeping up.

This sign was close to the parking lot and gave me a chance to explain to the kids who Smokey Bear was...

This sign was near the parking lot and gave me a chance to explain to the kids who Smokey Bear was…I remember seeing him on commercials when I was younger.  

We did not see the fox or cougar, and we caught a brief glimpse of the bobcat before it sought shade under the brush.  We did see the Birds of Prey.

We did not see the fox or cougar, and we caught a brief glimpse of the bobcat before it sought shade under the brush. We did see the Birds of Prey.

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Ledbetter Pond

Ledbetter Pond

Stack of canoes - marked for employee use only, love the different colors.

Stack of canoes – marked for employee use only, love the different colors.

A lizard we saw on the trail.  We saw these little guys and crabs everywhere.

A lizard we saw on the trail. We saw these little guys and crabs everywhere.

Isabella and Ben on the boardwalk area

Isabella and Ben on the boardwalk area

They just wanted me to hurry up so they could get in the shade.

They just wanted me to hurry up so they could get in the shade.

Blackburn's favorite sign ever.

One of Blackburn’s favorite signs.  He is a huge turtle fan.

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I love all the spanish moss on the trees.

I love all the spanish moss on the trees.

An abandoned tower.  We thought it could have been an old ranger lookout tower...view from the base.

An abandoned tower. We thought it could have been an old ranger lookout tower…view from the base.

It's just asking to be climbed.

It’s just asking to be climbed.

Old building, I went off the path to peek inside...

I went off the path to peek inside this beauty…I’m pretty sure horror movies start this way.

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While we were here we also saw Bison, deer, barnyard animals, visited the greenhouse and the butterfly garden.  It was a great way to spend the afternoon and was less than $20.00 for 2 adults and 3 kids.  If you visit with kids I would recommend telling them that seeing all the animals is not a guarantee.  The kids were a little bummed they didn’t see the cougar or the fox, but we explained to them that this is a natural habitat and in order for it to feel more like their homes the animals needed to be able to hide and seek from us.  They were more than satisfied at the end of the trail and enjoyed touring the gift shop before heading back to Tybee Island.

Weber Beach Rentals – Tybee Island

We just returned from Tybee Island, GA and I have a ton of photos to share.  First, I will start with the lodging. We rented a great cottage on the North end of Tybee within walking distance to the beach.  It was exactly what we wanted.  The location was perfect, quiet at night, yet close to the beach.  I really did not want to be in a party area, living in a college town makes me crave calm and this place was perfect.  Having a kitchen allowed us to cook gluten-free meals without having to scramble at restaurants or only have prepackaged snacks for the girls.  Here are some pictures of the cottage…

We rented a cottage from Weber Beach Rentals.

We rented a cottage from Weber Beach Rentals. The address was 7 Dogwood Avenue.  It had a plaque on the outside that designated it as being in the Historic District.  

Isabella really liked this spot in the front yard

Isabella really liked this spot in the front yard.

Ben and I spent several nights out here under the ceiling fan and relaxed as we listened to the cicadas.

Ben and I spent several nights in the breezeway relaxing and listening to the cicadas.

The kids shared this room.

The kids shared this room, which had cable t.v.  (the majority of our time was spent out of the cottage, but when we were here, Vita could be found in this spot watching the Disney channel-most of you know how I feel about t.v. and we don’t have cable at home, so she soaked this up while she could.)

This was the room we used.

This was the room we used.  Plenty of closet space and dresser space available.  The cottage also had a washer and dryer in the bathroom which was great for cleaning sand and sticky ice cream treats from the kids clothes every night.  

Having a kitchen made the trip so much easier.

Having a kitchen made the trip so much easier.  Eating in new places with the girls can be tough.  Things are advertised as gluten-free but we don’t want to take the chance of it not being true or it being cross-contaminated, so we made most of our meals here.  This also helped save us money throughout the week to do other activities.  

Relaxing living room.  We usually listened to music in here while dinner was cooking.

Relaxing living room. We usually listened to music in here while dinner was cooking.

A welcome sight.

A welcome sight.  

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Over the next couple days, I will share pictures from our trip.  We went to the beach several times a day, visited some cemeteries with amazing headstones, toured an animal preserve, strolled Savannah streets and parks, did a dolphin tour in the Atlantic Ocean and visited a plantation.

She turned 7!

On Saturday Vita celebrated her seventh birthday.  The pool party we had planned was canceled because of weather so everyone just came to our house for a small get together.  There was cake, wii, games and presents for the birthday girl.  Despite the change in plans, I think everyone still had a good time.  Instead of Vita wearing her bathing suit, she picked her new My Little Pony shirt from Courtney.

Some of the girls at the party.

Some of the girls at the party.

playing the wii and waiting for my friends to arrive

playing the wii and waiting for more friends to arrive

Ben's mom made fruity pebbles, rice crispy treats and Ben made the gluten-free Hello Kitty cake.

Ben’s mom made fruity pebbles, rice crispy treats and Ben made the gluten-free Hello Kitty cake.

spin the nail polish game (Ben's mom saved the day by finding last minute game ideas) the girls really liked this...

spin the nail polish game (Ben’s mom saved the day by finding last-minute game ideas) the girls really liked this…

First person to paint their nails wins...

First person to paint all of their nails wins…

Who knows Vita the best...answering questions like her favorite famous person, color, place to travel...

Who knows Vita the best…answering questions like her favorite famous person, favorite color, place she wishes to travel…

The boys worked together on this one and didn't do too bad on the questions.

The boys worked together on this one and didn’t do too bad on the questions.

Isabella and Caroline had the most answers right so they got to pose with Vita.

Isabella and Caroline had the most answers right so they got to pose with Vita.

Blowing out the Birthday candle.

Blowing out the Birthday candle.

Chow time!

Chow time!

Blue icing + blue tongues

Blue icing + blue tongues

funny faces

funny faces

Opening cards and gifts

Opening cards and gifts

Birthday flowers

Birthday flowers

Rock Tumbler!!!!!

Rock Tumbler!!!!!  Thanks Julian and Tasia

She spent some of her birthday money and bought herself this apron.  She has grand cooking plans.

She spent some of her birthday money and bought herself this apron. She has grand cooking plans.

Happy Birthday Vita.  We love you so much!!

Happy Birthday Vita. We love you so much!!