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A Savannah Christmas Season Celebration

Program Number: 20734RJ
Start and End Dates:
12/10/2015 - 12/15/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Savannah, Georgia
Price starting at: $1,145.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Holidays
Meals: 12; 5 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 4 Dinners    

Federal-style homes decorated in period trimmings, musical celebrations of holiday favorites, and time-honored southern traditions — experience the magic of the holiday season, Savannah-style! Learn about the holiday customs of days gone by as you visit beautifully decorated historic homes that once belonged to notable historic Savannah residents and enjoy a holiday musical extravaganza at a local historic theater.




Highlights

• Enjoy visiting beautiful historic homes decorated for the holidays and open exclusively for Savannah’s annual “Holiday Tour of Homes.”
• Visit the historic Isaiah Davenport House and delight in a presentation on holiday traditions of the period.
• Experience Savannah’s most popular, grand theatrical presentation, “A Christmas Tradition,” in one of the country’s oldest, continually running theaters.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to 1.5 miles per day over uneven terrain, cobblestones; stairs in historic buildings; getting on/off coach bus.




Date Specific Information

12-10-2015

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Coordinated by Armstrong State University.




Savannah

One of the world’s most beautiful cities, with the largest National Historic Landmark District in the U.S., this is Savannah. Residents celebrate their culture, creativity and distinctive cuisine amid Revolutionary and Civil War battle sites, elegant architecture, lush parks, and more than 20 city squares.



Accommodations
First-class hotel in Savannah's historic district.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Darin Sehnert

A native of southern California, Chef Darin Sehnert pursued his culinary studies in hotel and restaurant management from California State Polytechnic University, and graduated with honors from Johnson & Wales University. He has been a chef in London’s theater district, at Walt Disney World, and the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. Darin has also served on the faculty of the School of Hotel & Restaurant Management at Cal Poly Pomona, and has conducted culinary programs with Le Cordon Bleu-Paris.
 
Jamie Keena

Jamie Keena is a singer of old songs. His repetoire includes folksongs of America and the British Isles, patriotic airs, and “songs written to order” by Tin Pan Alley composers. He received a B.A. in music from the College of William and Mary, and studied voice for five years. Jamie has researched the roots of popular song classics and the development of the music industry. He accompanies his singing with guitar, banjo, and ukelele, and also plays the fife, hammered dulcimer, and concertina.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Hilton Savannah DeSoto Historic District
  Savannah, Georgia 5 nights
 Hilton Savannah DeSoto Historic District
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Hilton’s Serenity Bedroom Collection. 246 newly renovated guest rooms with beautiful views of Historic Savannah. All rooms have windows that open. Complimentary wireless internet access in public areas of the hotel (lobby, bar, restaurant) as well as in all guest sleeping rooms. 32-inch flat screen TVs and MP3 docks. Luxurious Peter Thomas Roth bath products. In-room Cuisinart coffee maker and Lavazza coffee. Ample work space and ergonomic chair. “Print to Desk” service from guest rooms. Valet dry-cleaning/laundry. In-room newspaper delivery. Ironing boards. Hair dryers. Elevators. Lounge. Luggage hold. Room service. Safety deposit box.
  Contact info: 15 East Liberty St.
Savannah, GA 31401 USA
phone: 912-232-9000
web: www.desotohilton.com
  Room amenities: Please note: This hotel does not have any refrigerators available for reservation/personal use. We apologize for any inconvenience.
  Facility amenities: Pool - rooftop (outdoor) swimming pool & deck. Full-service restaurant. Bar and lounge Coffee shop/Café featuring Starbucks. Gift Shop. Guest activity/recreation desk. Fitness room. Automated teller machine (ATM). Concierge desk. Connectivity Station in the lobby with 2 Macs and 2 PCs with complimentary internet and printing services. Valet parking (only - no self-parking) at a discounted rate, at participants' expense, of only $18 per day (with in/out privileges daily).
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Bathroom: King rooms have shower only. 2-bed rooms have shower/tub combo w/ grab-bars. HC-accessible rooms (baths w/ roll-in showers) have only 1 bed (double, queen, or king - very limited availability); not available for same-gender roommates.
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Hotel's regular seasonal rate. Please call the hotel directly at 912-443-2021 Mon.-Fri. between 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. EST. Additional nights before and/or after the program are subject to availability and the hotel's seasonal rates. Hotel staff won't have specific program participant information earlier than 4 weeks prior to any program start but can still arrange additional reservations if space is available; the hotel fills quickly during popular travel seasons, so please call as early as possible to book additional nights.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Hotel's regular seasonal rate. Please call the hotel directly at 912-443-2021 Mon.-Fri. between 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. EST. Additional nights before and/or after the program are subject to availability and the hotel's seasonal rates. Hotel staff won't have specific program participant information earlier than 4 weeks prior to any program start but can still arrange additional reservations if space is available; the hotel fills quickly during popular travel seasons, so please call as early as possible to book additional nights.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Hotel check-in is available starting at 4:00 p.m.; registration with onsite-coordinator takes place in the lobby between 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. You will be staying at Hilton Savannah DeSoto Historic District that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends around 10:45 a.m. after morning class. Hotel check-out 11:00 a.m. You will be staying at Hilton Savannah DeSoto Historic District the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. Signing a Waiver of Liability/Hold Harmless Agreement is required in order to participate in the program. This form is mailed with the welcome materials and is to be mailed back to the university before the program start of the program.
  Parking availability:
Valet parking, at participants' expense is available at $18.00 per day. In/out privileges with unlimited vehicle access are included.There is also a parking garage 1 block down the street for $0.50 per hour.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Savannah, Georgia
  Nearest city or town:  Tybee Island Georgia
  Nearest highway: Interstate 95
  Nearest airport:  Savannah International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Savannah, Georgia
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Savannah Historic District

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
KShuttle
phone: 877-243-2050
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$20.00
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

25 - 30 minutes, depending on traffic 

 

Distance:

 

Approximately 18 miles

   

$30 round trip. Advanced reservations required. Book reservations online. This shuttle serves the Historic District and Hilton Head Island only. There is no free public transportation from the Savannah/Hilton Head Int'l Airport. Please check current prices when reserving since they are subject to change without notice. Website: www.kshuttle.com/

 
Driving Directions
  From Interstate I-95 north or south bound to Savannah Historic District/DeSoto Hilton: Exit at 99A (I-16 east), follow to the end where it merges into Montgomery Street. At the first traffic light, turn right onto Liberty Street. Follow for 5 blocks to the DeSoto Hilton, which will be on your right.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
(Thursday, December 10)

Note: Hotel check-in is available from 4:00 p.m.



   
 Arrive To: Program Registration: 5:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.
 Dinner: In our private meeting room at the hotel, enjoy a plated meal with iced tea, coffee.
 Evening: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have.

Indicated times are approximate. Program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration. The Group Leader will often be available during free time to accompany informal excursions, activities, or meals that have been excluded from the program cost. You are welcome to join if you like, with any associated costs on your own.

Continue getting to know your fellow participants, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.
   
Accommodations: Hilton Savannah DeSoto Historic District
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Savannah's Spirited Past & holiday-connected Events
(Friday, December 11)

Note: Getting on/off a trolley, walking up to 1.5 miles, steps, periods of standing, uneven terrain.



   
 Breakfast: In the hotel’s DeSoto Grille, hot buffet breakfast with juice, coffee.
 Morning: Our Group Leader, who is also a local expert, will provide an overview of Savannah with emphasis of Christmases past. Depending on your point of view, one of the most extravagant — or ignominious! — Christmas gifts in local history was 1864 when General Sherman “gave” the conquered city to President Lincoln. Like so much in Georgia’s oldest city, the pace of Christmas celebrations is more relaxed than in colder climes. The author of “Jingle Bells” moved here from chilly Massachusetts. The season is a time when historical heritage and contemporary festivities meet and mingle with lovely displays, bright lights, delicious foods, and traditional Southern conviviality.
 Lunch: At a restaurant in the Historic District, a plated meal with entrée, dessert, tea, coffee.
 Afternoon: We’ll depart the hotel for a walking and trolley field trip exploring the Historic District, including a visit to historically significant museum home, the Green Meldrim House. Learn about many of the fascinating aspects of Savannah’s history with special emphasis on Christmases past and other celebrated holiday traditions.
 Dinner: At a restaurant in the Historic District, plated dinner with a choice of 2 entrées, salad, side dish, dessert, plus coffee, tea, water.
 Evening: We’ll ride via trolley together over the river to view a very special and spectacular holiday lights exhibit tonight as well as the 15th annual Gingerbread Village and Competition at the Westin Resort. Each year thousands of visitors make the pilgrimage to delight in these culinary creations. The theme changes each year, with individuals and groups designing and constructing unique and inspired entries, culminating in a spectacular display.
   
Accommodations: Hilton Savannah DeSoto Historic District
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Moravian Customs, Holiday-themed Homes, Theater Musical
(Saturday, December 12)

Note: Walking up to 2 miles, steps, periods of standing, limited restroom availability. Private homes are not handicapped-accessible; wheelchairs not permitted.



   
 Breakfast: In the DeSoto Grille.
 Morning: Lecture/class by our professor of History on a group of early Savannah settlers, the Moravians, and their Christmas customs - some you may have heard of but never realized their origins.
 Lunch: In the DeSoto Grille.
 Afternoon: Now one of the city’s most popular and prestigious events, the “Holiday Tour of Homes” began relatively recently when Jim Williams — of “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” notoriety — opened his lavish home in 1974. The event has since expanded to include a variety of houses, each decorated according to the owner’s personal preferences and traditions. This “intimate visit with residents of Savannah’s Historic District” takes you inside private residences not open to the public at any other time. We’ll walk as a group to several of the homes; the interiors are self-guided. Gain an appreciation for Savannah’s other nickname, Hostess City of the South.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
 Evening: Tonight we'll walk as a group a couple streets over from the hotel to attend a long-running, popular holiday musical celebration at the Historic Savannah Theatre. During this 2-hour performance, filled with holiday glitz and glitter, the theatre is transformed into a perfect holiday picture, sharing memories of the Christmas standards that you know and love. Sprinkle in a little comedy and audience participation for the greatest event of the season.
   
Accommodations: Hilton Savannah DeSoto Historic District
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Historic House Museum, Free Afternoon & Evening
(Sunday, December 13)

Note: Walking up to 1.5 miles, two flights of stairs at historic home, uneven pavement.



   
 Breakfast: In the DeSoto Grille.
 Morning: We will visit the Isaiah Davenport House, a historic museum home for a presentation on holiday customs of the time period & the former residents, presented by expert guides in period costume & featuring the house decorated as it would be during a Christmas season of the time period.
 Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.
 Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You might like to visit River Street or City Market with its regional arts and crafts exhibitors and local entertainment.
 Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.
 Evening: At leisure. Want to see more of the Historic District? Consider a carriage ride to enjoy all of the outdoor holiday decorations on display. Or just enjoy the company of new Road Scholar friends.
   
Accommodations: Hilton Savannah DeSoto Historic District
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 5: Cooking Demonstration/Class, Historic Jewish Temple Visit
(Monday, December 14)

Note: Getting on/off a trolley, walking up to 1 mile, uneven pavement.



   
 Breakfast: In the DeSoto Grille.
 Morning: Today we’ll take part in a special, interactive cooking demonstration/class with a renowned local chef. The focus and the menu will be on dishes and recipes that have historical holiday connections and roots.
 Lunch: Enjoy the results of your "hard work in the kitchen" with a delicious meal featuring what was prepared in the cooking class.
 Afternoon: Later in the afternoon, we'll walk as a group a few blocks from the hotel to explore Temple Mickve Israel, perhaps the most unique Jewish temple you'll ever see - whose congregation has a long history, dating back to 1733, when 42 Jewish immigrants set sail from England with little more than their beloved Torah. This visit will be even more meaningful, since our holiday program coincides with Hanukkah this year.
 Dinner: At a charming restaurant in the Historic District enjoy your choice of 3 entrées, salad, side dish, dessert, tea, coffee; other specialty and adult beverages will be also be available for individual purchase.
 Evening: Linger over our final dinner together as you prepare to say farewell to new Road Scholar friends.
   
Accommodations: Hilton Savannah DeSoto Historic District
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Musical Entertainment, Program Concludes
(Tuesday, December 15)

Note: Hotel check-out is by 11:00 a.m.



   
 Breakfast: In the DeSoto Grille.
 Morning: With a talented local performer-entertainer-troubadour, enjoy a holiday music sing-along. This concludes our program.

We hope you enjoy all your Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. We encourage you to join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


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