November 4 - 6, 2019: Goose Creek and Charleston, South Carolina
As we continue to head South for the Winter, our next stop was at another high school buddy of Craig's, Cliff and Deb who live in Goose Creek, South Carolina which is close to Charleston, South Carolina. So...this was a great stopping point for exploring the area!
As soon as we arrived, we got the trailer parked on the front side lawn area of their house and Cliff took us for a ride in his pedicycle. What a great way to see the neighborhood!
Cliff and Deb own Choice Gymnastics so they were pretty busy during our stay with work. We had a lot of sightseeing we wanted to accomplish, so...it worked out perfect that we all came and went as we pleased : ) We did find time in the evenings to catch up and hang out.
The day we got there, Cliff went off to work and we headed out sightseeing. We headed to downtown Charleston and walked around the streets looking at the different architecture, churches, water fountains, Battery Park, French Quarter, Old Slave Market, and Rainbow Row. Whew...we even found time for an early dinner. We did not have a lot of time in Charleston so we did not tour any of the buildings and wanted to see as much as we could.
In case you are not familiar with Charleston, South Carolina it is a port city founded in 1670, lined with cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages and pastel antebellum houses. The Battery promenade and Waterfront Park overlook Charleston Harbor, and across the water you can see Fort Sumter, which was a federal stronghold where the first shots of the Civil War were fired.
The first picture is Rainbow Row.
The second and following pictures are from the Battery area. The homes are antebellum mansions. Look at how they cover the old brick that probably dates back to the 1700-1800's with stucco.
These were both common occurrences: grass or fern growing out of the side of building due to the clay and dirt used to create the brick/mortar and concrete steps used back in the days of carriages.
The Battery is a landmark defensive seawall and promenade.
Amazing trees, these are the Cinnamon Bark Crepe Myrtle. Look at how the roots have grown up and filled the hole in the sidewalk. These were EVERYWHERE downtown! Cobblestone street EVERYWHERE also : )
What...is Craig looking at? Live nude cats? This was actually really cool. For $15 you could go in and play with cats and...adopt one of them or just get a kitty fix. A neat idea and no...we did not go inside or we would be traveling with a cat now ; )
We walked to Waterfront Park and out onto the pier. There was a pod of about 10 dolphins playing in the water so we watched them while the sun set. Very cool!
One of the days, we took a ferry out to visit Fort Sumter. The only to visit the fort was by an organized ferry ride which took about 30 minutes each way. We had an hour to explore the fort before the ferry departed. Those that have been reading our blog...you know how much time we spend at museums and such, so....we visited the onsite Visitor Center/Museum quickly and then toured the fort. As you can see from the pictures, it started out as a cloudy, raining day and then the sun peaked out in the afternoon.
On our way to Fort Sumter, we passed the Castle Pinckney which was a small masonry fortification constructed by the US government in 1810. It was used very briefly as a prisoner-of-war camp (six weeks) and artillery position during the American Civil War.
Fort Sumter was notable for two battles of the Civil War. This is where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. It was one of a number of special forts planned after the War of 1812, combining high walls and heavy masonry.
Notice the floor near the cannons? It was a different material and this was the 'swing' area so that men could swing the cannon before firing.
The last picture with the group of men was a military group of engineers that traveled over to see the architecture and how the fort was built.
There were about 4-6 original shells embedded in the walls of the fort. Pretty amazing!
To repair walls they used sand and....shells in their mix. Look close at the last picture and you can see the shells.
Fort Sumter was really cool. We have been visiting a lot of Civil War museums, monuments, cemeteries, etc. so this fit into that perfectly since this was were it all started.
That same day we then visited the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum since it was right beside the ferry landing for Fort Sumter. Wow, this was amazing as well.
We toured the USS Yorktown Aircraft Carrier (DV-10), Medal of Honor Museum, USS Laffey Battleship (DO-724), and Vietnam Experience Exhibit. We did not have time to visit the USS Clamagore Submarine (SS-343) and since we have seen the USS Bowfin in Pearl Harbor, so...just not enough time!
Below are random pictures from the USS Yorktown Aircraft Carrier:
Did you know that the Medal of Honor has been awarded:
Civil War = 1,522 medals
World War I = 124 medals
World War II = 464 medals
Korean War = 132 medals
Vietnam War = 250 medals
While the Medal of Honor is now the highest military decoration attainable by a member of the United States armed forces, during the Civil War, it was the only one. Thus, it was often awarded for reasons that would not now satisfy the stringent modern criteria. For example, Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton promised a Medal of Honor to every man in the 27th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment who extended his enlistment. 311 accepted, but because there was no official list of their names, the War Department issued 864 - one for each man in the unit. In 1916, a board consisting of five retired generals reviewed Army awards and recommended that these 864, as well as others, be revoked.
Next, we toured the USS Laffey. The USS Laffey which was constructed during World War II and launched in 1943. The ship earned the nickname "The Ship That Would Not Die" for her exploits during the D-Day invasion and the battle of Okinawa when she successfully withstood a determined assault by conventional bombers and the most unrelenting kamikaze air attacks in history. Laffey survived despite being badly damaged by four bombs, six kamikaze crashes, and strafing fire that killed 32 and wounded 71. Watch the History Channel Special.
Next was the Vietnam Experience Exhibit. As you can see, it was getting dark so we had to cut this portion short.
Click to play and be sure to have your volume turned on. The gun actually shook and made noise ; )
Both Fort Sumter and Patriots Point were awesome. My recommendation would be to not do both in one day. We spent about 5 hours in Patriots Point alone and did not have enough time to see everything. If you enjoy this type of history, arrive at 9 or 10am and stay as long as you can handle it ; ) As it was, we closed the place down and we still needed another 2-3 hours. And...allow time to stop for lunch!
After eating dinner, we stopped by Cliff and Deb's Choice Gymnastics to see the gym. Wow...this place is huge! We arrived right as the last class was finishing up so we hung out and waited for Cliff to give us a tour. And, of course, Craig had to have a little fun ; )
We only had a few days in Charleston, South Carolina and realized that we need to come back. There is so much history and so much to do, so...we will be back!
We had an awesome time staying at Cliff and Deb's place and really appreciate their generosity. Carson is the doggie and she was a sweet heart!
THANK YOU CLIFF, DEB, AND CARSON! ! !