14 July 2007

Home Again

After being in the mountains, my parents and the girls came down to my place to visit with me and to go to the beach and the aquarium, and a very fun park that I discovered. In fact, I go with friends and their kids to this park when I can. At the beach, two good friends from here joined us for some shell hunting, and we had a fun time. I had to go to work, but my family went to all the fun things to do. Unfortunately, I got home after the girls were in bed, and left to go back to work before they were awake, so mom and dad brought them to work where I could see them, and hear about their day at the aquarium and the park. My supervisor and boss came to hear about it too. And then to say goodbye, each of the girls sang us a song of their choice. Not only are my nieces extremely cute, they also have good voices. It is fun to listen to them.

Fourth of July

After visiting Charleston, I flew home and drove up to the mountains to spend some time with my family, especially my parents and my nieces. I had so much fun and it was good to see them all. We went swimming and had good times. My nieces had been with my parents for a week, while my brother and his wife were on a business trip, and Mom and Dad had helped them learn to swim without their life jackets. When I got in the pool, they would swim from the step to me. With the older one, I would inch back until I could tell she was starting to struggle, and would stop. She kind of caught on and accused me of doing it. The next day, I did the same thing and she said that I was doing the same thing as Grandaddy. It made me laugh that Dad and I do the same thing. The younger one finally got up the nerve to go down the slide if someone went with her. That was fun too. It is a bit of a challenge to go down the slide with two people. Getting up the last stair and getting her on your lap was a bit of a trick. We had a lot of fun, and I got lots of water up my nose and stuck in my ear. Eventually, after going down the slide with some of the others, she decided to go down by herself and then she was addicted. It was funny to watch her slide, get out, wait her turn and slide again. The best part was that she started holding her breath from the very top, as soon as she got up to the last stair. It was a crack up.

A Memorial

In Missouri, we stopped to eat our picnic lunch in the shade of the tourist center, and on the same sight was a monument to the Missouri firefighters. I guess this stature of the fireman praying was the second one made. While the first was on it's way to be delivered, 9/11 happened and they sent it to New York to be part of the memorial there. So, this monument was actually the second one made. I really liked the fireman's prayer. I had never read it before, but it was nice. I guess the heat was getting to me because I didn't know what the statue signified until I read the plaque.


During the road trip, we came across a town in Indiana (I think) that boasted a giant statue of Superman, for obvious reasons. It was kind of out of control, but it was also a very big statue. We made the 15 minute detour to see it in honor of my brother who is a big Superman fan. The statue was outside city hall. It was kind of funny. I only come up to his knee.

Other spots in Charleston

Here are a few other places in downtown Charleston. This door had some beautiful etching and then to come across one of these really old cobblestone streets...wow. Of course, couldn't do anything about the hummer in the background. There were also many old churches there. We walked through a few cemeteries, which are always interesting in old towns like this one.

02 July 2007

A vacation

I may not have time right now to tell all of my adventures, but they will appear, with pics over the next week I would guess. I know I have not been great at updating this, but I am trying. I am nearing the end of my first ever vacation from work, and it has been a lovely almost 10 days. I took vacation to drive with a friend who was moving to the new city so that the days of driving would at least be not driving by oneself. Let me tell you, Kansas is a long state that seems like you are not moving far because it all kind of looks the same. You will read more on the roadtrip probably before you even read this. Anyway, it was fun to be tourist and help my friend get settled in a new place. Will write more later.

Patriot's Point Park

This is a cool place to go for the morning. It has the USS Yorktown, an aircraft carrier, as well as a WWII submarine, a destroyer and a coast guard cutter. It was an interesting experience and fun to see how people live on those kinds of ships and boats. If I may say though, the coast guard cutter had the most room for living quarters and would be a good choice for those who like a little more space. The Yorktown also houses the new Medal of Honor museum, which was amazing. It was really well done and informative. Hot and humid though, so if you go, take your water with you.

We continued the day by having a picnic lunch, not realizing that where we chose had quite a few mosquitos...in fact, the whole area does. I must have gotten one every 30 seconds or so. Crazy, but it is easier to not scratch when you have multiple bites than if you only have one.

Historic Charleston

For the capital of a state, downtown Charleston is pretty small, although some parts are really pretty. We went and visited one of the historic houses there, and they had done a beautiful job of restoring it. It was called the Nathaniel Russell house after the father of the family who built it. These are pictures of the front of the house. The house itself had been home to three different families, a finishing school and then a convent school. Surprisingly enough, the free flying staircase was still standing and in beautiful condition. We also just walked around town, if I may say, stay on Meeting St and the streets on the east of it up to the water front. We walked over to King street and just thought it was kind of dirty. It is crazy how one street can make a difference in looks, from historic and nice to something that looks like downtown San Francisco. Anyway, there are houses that still have the original bricks from 150 years ago, and original cobblestone streets. It was fun...a bit crowded on Friday nights, but still good.

Ft. Sumpter

I ended my Charleston fun by spending the morning at this fort. It has seen a lot of history, that is for sure. Interestingly enough, the state flag emblem comes from something that happened at a sister fort. During the revolutionary war, the British attacked Fort Multrie in order to get a foothold to attack Charleston, but the palmetto wood that they had used to construct the fort was so spongy that the artillery and cannon balls bounced off the walls and did no damage. Kind of crazy...must have been cool to watch. All the bricks surrounding the fort are the original ones, and that big, black cement structure on the inside was part of a reconstruction effort to update the forts in the late 1800's, I think. They even have different flags of the Confederate states and the Northern states during the civil war.