Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Olympics: Don't give up on your Dreams

I have been caught up in the Olympics like a lot of people and ran into this little video that offers hope to the little guy without a lot of talent. Stephen Colbert does a good job of adding a laugh on the road to Vancouver!

The Colbert Report
Skate Expectations - Speedskating Race - Shani Davis

And when you finish viewing the video jump over to No More's blog and check out a picture of his younger speed skating days.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Savannah: The Garden of Good and Evil

I love Savannah Ga! It is very high on my list of great places to visit, right up there with St. Augustine. I say that because Savannah's downtown area is one of the largest National Historic Landmark Districts in the United States.

I do not visit as often as I would like because it is a two hour drive versus thirty minutes for St. Augustine, but when we do go it is well worth the time. As always click each photo for a better view.

I love Savannah because it seems to blend together the historic with the scenic and does it with a sense of style and character that makes you feel at home. Founded in 1733 it was America's first planned city and the 23 parks or "Squares" as they are called provide a multitude of places for quiet reflection or fun people watching. It first came up on my radar in the Clint Eastwood movie "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" but you have probably seen parts of it in several movies from Forrest Gump to TV's Ghost Adventures.

Speaking of movies, here is the famous park bench from the Forrest Gump Movie;

The lady Chablis is still appearing in a local club since the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil;

and the Six Pence pub from Julia Roberts movie "Something to talk about" are all big tourist attractions. I like the pub because it is a bit of England dropped down in the old south.

The area abounds with cemeteries and ghost tours are a staple of any midnight visit.

Despite the fact the balancing girl is featured prominently in Clint Eastwood's movie, it is not a fixture in any of the cemeteries. But, as you can see in this shop window, a copy can be purchased almost anywhere in Savannah.

The guide indicated that each crypt holds about 18 people. Bodies were placed inside and nature and the heat were allowed to take their course so that in a few years decomposition would allow another family member to be interred. No wonder there is talk of ghosts, they are probably angry at being so crowded.

The same was true for the Jewish members of the settlement. James Oglthorpe designated this plot as Jewish holy ground and about 16 members of the faith are buried here.

James Oglethorpe looms large in the area as he was the founder of the Georgia colony and for his time was considered a revolutionary thinker in that he wanted to resettle England's poor and especially those consigned to debtors prison in Georgia. Few debtors took the offer and ultimately many Scots, poor English tradesmen, artisans and religious refugees from Switzerland, France, Germany, along with Jewish refugees decided to immigrate as a chance to start a new life in the colony.

John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Movement, was appointed by Oglethorpe as the Minister of the Parish of Savannah. His stay was short lived and filled with controversy but he too figures prominently in one of the squares.

But, the river views are what make the place. It is a combination of old world and deep south all rolled into one. There is the constant bustle of trips on the riverboats,

and minus the cars, the look of American Venice as you walk near the river's edge.

But, the trip could not end without giving tribute to "the old made new" in a discovery we made. If you look closely in the previous picture you see a truck parked near the street. A closer view shows that the owner has lovingly restored this symbol of a time long gone.

A look on the inside shows a lot of time and care was taken to make this baby shine.

The owner was more than willing to take time to give us the long and short of how he first found and then restored "Lucille" to it's current state... But then, that is Savannah!