Mansion on Forsyth

Posted: under Travel.
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Mansion on Forsyth

My husband had to work twenty days in a row before getting a day off.  His work days are not like most – up at 4:15 a.m., seldom home before 6:30 p.m.  Add to that countless committee meetings and business meetings and phone calls at all hours of the night.  He was exhausted.  As his day off approached, he declared that he wanted us to go to a nice local hotel so that we could sleep in.  I balked at first.  I felt like that  was unnecessary and extravagant.  However, when the big day finally arrived I was glad that he persisted and I relented.  It was only 6 a.m. on his day off when his phone started ringing, and text messages began chiming their dreaded alert.  He was right; we had to get away.

He made reservations at the Mansion on Forsyth, an elegant hotel in the historic district of Savannah.  It looks out upon Forsyth Park and is an excellent location for strolling the downtown area.

I am not from Savannah.  I have lived here for ten years, but I am free from family connections that might in any way connect me to the traditions and superstitions that make Savannah so unique.  I watched Mansion on Forsyth being constructed.  I was impressed how the new construction perfectly matched the original Victorian mansion, which had once been a funeral home.  Therein lay the challenge.  When the hotel opened, my husband and I were eager to try the restaurant, 700 Drayton.  It was remarkable!  I still remember the baked chevre appetizer.  It was an all-time favorite meal.  I asked around to native Savannahians about 700 Drayton and learned that no one would try it!  Their responses were the same: “I could NEVER eat in the same room where Uncle So-and-so lay dead.”  Well, their loss.

So my husband and I went to stay at the Mansion, knowing already that locals measured it with a hefty amount of superstition.  What did surprise me was that the designers actually seemed to deliberately incorporate a “haunted house” theme throughout the entire hotel.  Here are a few photographs I took with my iPhone.  I did not expect the unusual decorating, otherwise I would have been better equipped.

Mansion on Forsyth bedroom

The rooms are extremely comfortable, although quite unusual.  The colors were muted with splashes of blood red velvet.

Bathroom curtain

The elegant bathroom is separated from the bed by only a curtain.


The light fixtures were creepy-looking candelabras.

The large bedroom mirror was convex, creating a sort-of funhouse quality.

Creepy shadows

Light fixtures were also unique in the unusual shadows they cast.

The entire hotel is decorated in bold and bizarre art work.

This one makes me giggle.










A little creepy.








The lounge looks like it belongs in the game of Clue.

Mrs. Peacock did it with the candlestick in the lounge.


Chandeliers that illuminate the hallways have black crystals!

Black crystal chandeliers

The Grand Bohemian Art Gallery is connected to the hotel and has an impressive collection of artwork.  I was swept away by landscapes by a French artist named Jean Claude Roy.  Many talented local artists sell art there as well:  Rebecca Cope, Tiffani Taylor, Irene Mayo.

J C Roy

J C Roy








For out-of-towners, I highly recommend Mansion on Forsyth for both comfort and elegance.  For the locals, I hope my snapshots provide a peek at a place that few of you dare to tread.  As for me?  I didn’t lose any sleep.






Comments (2) Jul 18 2011

Jellyfish Island

Posted: under Boating, Traveling with children.
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Jellyfish Island



Some weeks are long, and some weeks are longer. We had one of those weeks where the domestic peace of  every evening was disrupted by a meeting or outside obligation.  So it was with great joy that we awoke on Saturday morning to find perfect weather.

The sun was shining.  It was warm, and not a bit hot. The sky was what I call “Savannah Blue” – an intense, clear blue.  If you stare into a Savannah Blue sky, you can see the blood cells flow through the capillaries in your eyes!


We have a boat, but we had not taken it out even once yet this year. And in a few hours we would again feel a crush of obligations and deadlines.  Without a moment to lose, we grabbed our life jackets, swim suits, and sun screen. There was no time to hunt for fishing gear or the cast net. The tide was going out!  We didn’t even take time to pack a picnic lunch.  Instead we stopped at a grocery store on the way to the marina.  There I bought highly processed foods that my children LOVE and that I SELDOM buy:  Cheezits, Nutter Butter cookies, and Fruit Gushers.  (Hmmm… dairy, grain, protein, and, ummm, fruit.  A square meal, right?)


We loaded up the boat and headed out of the marina with no destination in mind.  We ended up in the Calibogue Sound, a body of water south of Hilton Head Island and north of Tybee Island.  The sound is frequented by dolphins and on this day the water was as smooth as glass.  Off of Daufuskie Island we encountered an enormous sand bar.  We decided to anchor the boat to explore it.

Checking the depth

Cannonball Jellyfish

Cautious investigation








The sand bar was littered with cannonball jellyfish, also called “jelly balls”.  I have been told that they are not poisonous to humans, but we were content to study them from afar.


Having great fun












The children romped in the tide pools, discovered hermit crabs, explored the drift wood, and watched rays swimming in the shallows. Jets flew overhead, skywriting advertisements for the Beaufort Air Show.  You don’t see skywriting everyday!

Exploring driftwood

Little adventurer











We could see Hilton Head Island.  We could see the Tybee Island lighthouse.  And yet we felt so wonderfully remote.  Such perfect peace and quiet.  God blessed us with a perfect outing.

Impromptu footrace

Quiet reflection












After about 45 minutes, we had to pull up our anchor and leave.  Low tide was approaching.  While we loved our “island paradise”, we didn’t want to put our towing insurance to the test.  On our way back to the marina, we stopped along the banks of the Tybee Cut, where the children found shark teeth and, unfortunately, a vulture skeleton.

Shark teeth

Checking out the wildlife










It was not a thrilling day.  Or an exciting day.  But it was exactly what we needed:  a time to rest from our toil, enjoy one another, and delight in Creation.

I know that in a few hours after our special time, the high tide covered our sandbar and obscured our “island”.  If we went back to that location again, I do not know if we would find our sandbar the way we remember it.  That is the nature of tides, the sea, and the sand – always changing, always being changed.  But I do believe that my children will never forget the day they discovered “Jellyfish Island”.









Comments (0) May 08 2011