In March 2020, we were all set to visit the happiest place on Earth, Disney World! The family had our matching shirts, Mickey ears, and autograph books ready to go, and then the unexpected happened, COVID-19. Our trip was just one week away, and Disney announced their closure due to the pandemic. As sad as we were, we knew we would get to go again (and we did, check out our planning process here). Disney was exceptional, and they reimbursed our whole trip! Frontier, on the other hand, could have been more accommodating. I understand that it took hours on multiple days to get through to them as thousands of people were canceling their trips. However, we were ‘disconnected’ several times before receiving a credit. It was not a pleasant experience!
Fast forward to late winter of 2021, the world was beginning to open, and it was time to travel again! After being home for so long, we were ready for an adventure. We had already rebooked Disney and, for this reason, decided to try somewhere different. From our local airport, Philadelphia International, Frontier mainly flies to Florida and the Carolinas. So what about Savannah? Charleston? Charlotte? We eliminated Charolette (although right now, I cannot remember why), then like any mature adults who are making a decision, we pulled out a quarter, heads for Savannah, tails for Charleston, and we had our daughter flip it! Heads for the win!
We chose to stay at the Residence Inn Savannah Downtown by Marriott. Upon arrival, we saw that the room was spacious; we had a queen size bed and a pull-out couch with a kitchen area; the kids thought this was the coolest! Ultimately, this hotel won due to the pool. For some people, this might not be important; however, the pool was necessary for us with the kids and the heat.
On our first night in Savannah, we ate at the highly recommended The Pirate’s House. In comparison to others, our reviews were mixed. The kids shared the Tough Captain Flint, aka chicken fingers and fries. My husband had the Seafood Harvest Platter; unlike others, he was underwhelmed and surprised by the many recommendations to order it. I am known to be a very picky eater; I do not like seafood or spicy foods, I am not adventurous, and I do not want my food to touch (tough date, I know!). However, I LOVED my meal! I had the Honey Pecan Fried Chicken; it was delicious! I would have gone back for it again if time allowed!
The restaurant itself was charming! The maps on the walls, various photos, and the ‘hidden’ treasure chest were a hit with the kids! Pirate-themed, of course, which our son loved! After dinner, we returned to the hotel for some rest, as we had a long day ahead of us.
Our morning started by walking from our hotel towards Forsyth Park, specifically the fountain. The walk itself was a wonder! The Georgian-style architecture was beautiful, something I had not seen before in person. The beauty only heightened as we entered the park. The greenery was unique to the area, and the 150-year-old fountain was an icon we knew we had to see! We enjoyed the beautiful weather while the kids played at the playground.
After leaving the park, we headed towards The Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist. It is worth a google if you have never heard of this church. It truly is stunning! The church allows self-guided tours with a donation of $3 per adult. The church was excellent, and the detail and the history within the walls throughout the church were nothing less than inspiring. From the moment you walk in, a feeling of peace is with you. If you are ever in the area, I encourage you to visit.
Once we left the church, we did a ‘house tour,’ starting with the home of Juliette Gordon Low, the birthplace of the Girl Scouts. This experience was a bit extra special for us, as our daughter is a Girl Scout, and she loved this experience. We could tour the home and, around the back, the Girl Scout meeting place. My daughter bought her Juliette Gordon Low house badge and a ghost tour badge.
The second house tour:
Next, we visited the Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters. This guided tour included the mansion, carriage house, slave quarters, garden, and butler’s pantry. Because our daughter, who was six then, had just begun learning more about history in school, these tours were both exciting and educational. She also takes after my husband and loves (almost) anything history!
Our next visit was to the Davenport House Museum. Similarly, this was also a guided tour, which again was highly informative and thought-provoking. Unfortunately, I was not able to finish the entire visit. However, my husband and daughter loved every moment and would recommend it! This long day of heat, walking, and tour hit hard on our three-year-old, so I left with him to find a place to cool off and eat.
The Lady and Sons for Lunch:
Luck was on our side, and we got a table at the popular The Lady and Sons, Paula Deen’s restaurant. Before leaving for our trip, we received many mixed reviews about this restaurant, but we chose to try it and were happy we did! We chose the three family-style dishes and ordered fried chicken, chicken, dumplings, and pot roast. This included four sides and picking mac and cheese, potatoes, creamed corn, and broccoli. All of it was delicious, and we left over full and satisfied!
Before ending the day, we needed to take up a walking ghost tour. We found the ghost tour a great experience, as we heard about ghost stories and the history of various homes and locations within the city. Highly recommend doing one if you are there!
Our friends were heading down the Disney and passed through Savannah on this day! We met them at the cutest little spot, The Funky Brunch Cafe. This place is unique as you can get a table with a skillet in the middle to make your own pancakes. However, let the skillet heat up before using it, or you’ll surely get some funky pancakes! Learn from our mistake, haha! We got to pick out some toppings and were given pancake mix in a squeeze bottle; we had so much fun making shapes, writing letters, and designing our pancakes!
After our delicious breakfast and fun time with friends, we decided to spend a few hours at the hotel pool. After a few hours of fun, we showered, dressed, and headed down to River St. River St. is filled with restaurants, bars, and shops; it has cute cobble-stoned streets that take you back in time. Next, we boarded the Georgia Queen and enjoyed a riverboat tour along the Savannah river. At one time point, Mother Nature decided it was time to break the humidity, and it rained. However, we made the best of it and enjoyed the boat ride and the surroundings.
We then headed back to the hotel to relax and prepare to leave the following day. Savannah was beautiful; it was a great choice and full of memories! There are many things we enjoyed and others we didn’t experience; check it out for yourself and let us know your thoughts!
One thing that we missed and I would love to do is a visit to Tybee Island. I have heard so many amazing things and feel we missed out. We did not go because I needed to figure out how to get there from Savannah.
Jessica, from According to Jessica, she used to live in Savannah, GA, with her family. Her family loves to go to Tybee Island, the beach closest to Savannah. Here’s what she had to say: If your family enjoys the beach, dedicate a day to spend at Tybee Island. Tybee is about a 30-minute drive from downtown Savannah and boasts some gorgeous coastline. On your way into Tybee, you can stop at Waves and grab anything you might need: beach toys, towels, sunscreen, etc. It’s a fun, family-friendly area, and our kids love playing in the sand and the ocean. My kids love to walk through the beach store. I recommend parking at North Beach if you have kids because the parking lot is easier to get your stuff in and out of, and there are lovely outdoor showers and public restrooms. There’s also usually a company renting out beach chairs and umbrellas.
I plan to take her advice and visit next time we are in Savannah!
The dreaded airline…
Before I end this blog, I need to reevaluate how we got here, Frontier credits. Terrible sleeper over here, so during my unnecessary 6 am wake-up, I scroll through my emails and see three (this amount is essential) emails from Frontier. They canceled our flight! Frontier was offering us credits to book on a flight called Rebook, or we could book through them to come home on Thursday; we were planning to leave on Sunday! My husband would miss two days of work, and I would have missed three! But wait, there’s more; let’s revisit those THREE emails…
We are a family of FOUR, not three. My husband and son have the same name, but my son with Jr. I tried calling, and you guessed it! I could not get through for a LONG time. Once an agent eventually answered my call, I passed from representative to representative; somehow, they could not see the problem. Why couldn’t I leave my three-year-old in Savannah, and he could travel back whenever?! After almost two hours of getting nowhere, I woke my husband up before I lost my mind. At this point, we were nearly three hours into my calling and getting nowhere. To make it worse, any flight leaving that day through rebook was gone.
Taking matters into our own hands…
Consequently, we decided to hang up with Frontier and figure out what we would do. With a lot of back and forth and time passing by, we decided to rent a car and drive home. Talk about an unexpected change of plans! The trip from our hotel to Philadelphia International, where our car was, was about 10-11 hours long, depending on traffic.
Ultimately, we planned to make the best of it and deal with Frontier later. Our journey began, stopping in Charleston, South Carolina, two hours away. We did not get to see or do much, but we had a lovely walk through the city and experienced a different type of southern charm. After enjoying another taste of the south, we felt it was time to move on.
Continuing our journey home:
Next, we headed four hours north and booked a hotel in Raleigh, North Carolina. We were exhausted when we got there and went straight to bed. Upon arrival, we went directly to Mount Vernon, George Washington’s Estate, in the morning. We figured, why not continue the educational, historical, and fun trip? After a few hours of exploring the house and grounds, it was finally time to head home.
We made the best of our unexpected and unwelcome surprise. Frontier was not easy to deal with, and in the end, we still needed to get our money or credits back. It wasn’t enjoyable. Most importantly, we now know NEVER to fly Frontier again, and I hope others can take something away from our experience.
Check out some great tours in the cities we’ve mentioned throughout this post:
After a long and unexpected journey with kids, I thought about some products I wish we had to make the trip easier. Check out my suggestions here!
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