I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah with 140 heavy guns and plenty of ammunition and also about 25,000 bales of cotton.                    William Tecumseh Sherman to Abraham Lincoln, 1864

I stood agog in Lafayette Square in Savannah, amid brick paths, trickling fountains and dark trees hung with Spanish moss. Before me rose up a cathedral of linen-fresh whiteness with twin Gothic spires, and around it stood 200-year-old houses of weathered brick, with hurricane shutters that clearly were still used. I did not know that such perfection existed in America.

                    The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America
                                             Bill Bryson

Savannah is sleeping amid its baskets of azaleas.
                      America Day by Day
                                             Simone de Beauvoir

Savannah is a beautiful city, filled with fabulous architecture 

 Sorrel-Weed House

beautiful squares  Orleans Square

overwrought iron

Iron dream

and atmospheric cemetaries.

Colonial Park Cemetary

In July, it is so hot

It’s too darned hot
even the windows were sweating.
We had a lovely visit. Arriving about midnight, we fumbled with the lock box on our condo, to the bemusement of the cockroach watching from the wall.  The stately oaks planted in the median wore an extravagant amount of Spanish moss, and insects whirred in the trees.  Morning found us strolling towards the river for breakfast, and once fortified, we sallied forth to sightsee.The trick to visiting Savannah in the summer is to stay in the shade as much as possible, and take regular breaks to be in air conditioned comfort, preferably with something cool to sip. Sunday we strolled the historic district, getting a feel for the town.  It’s laid out in a very tidy grid, which makes it easy to get around, and the scale of the blocks is very humane. Monday was the day for taking care of business — we took a tour of SCAD in the morning, and my daughter sat in on an inking class in the afternoon.  While she did that, I found a snackIf it’s fried it must be goodthen visited Wild Fibre Yarns and scored some nice hand dyed alpaca yarn, but no Sea Island cotton in sight.  This shop is so civilized, by the way, that they offer cold bottled water free to bedraggled visitors on days so hot that the magnolias droop.  Did I say it was hot?

Dinner at The Shrimp Factory, where we feasted on deviled crab and Low Country-style boiled shrimp, and I had a Chatham Artillery Punch, which is not for the faint of heart. Tuesday was more sighseeing, with museums, historic houses and an Internet cafe to keep us busy. Wednesday was the long trip home. Did you know there are no direct flights from Savannah to Seattle?