Sunday, September 8, 2013

VACATION!!! ... Charleston

We finally went on vacation. YAY!! We went to the Charleston area and stayed with my mom. It was a long weekend, Thurs-Sun. So... here are our adventures.



THURSDAY:

The kids worked hard to get Thursday and Friday's school work done this day before we could leave. So, we arrived at my mom's a little before 6pm.
The first night was dinner at Poe's Tavern. This picture was really because I wanted a picture of the mural in the background but didn't want those ladies to think I was taking pics of them so.... ignore the cute girl and check out the mural of Edgar Allen Poe in the background. Isn't it cool?

Their menu was made from Poe's stories. I had the Pit and the Pendulum. :) My mom had The Starving Artist (which wasn't a story but still funny) and the kids had The Raven. I can't remember Paul's. It had Poe stuff all over it. It was decorated with rustic wood and lightbulbs hanging from the ceiling but it had marble counter tops. I never would have thought to put that combo together but it looked great! It was such a fun place to eat. :)

Poe's tavern was just a couple of blocks from the beach so the first night we walked on the beach. We decided not to get wet. haha! The kids were soaked head to toe.

Sullivan's Island lighthouse at sunset. I thought it was beautiful.


Collin cracked me up in this picture. Not quite sure what he was doing. haha!

My mom took a couple of pictures so, here's proof that Paul and I really were there!! Normally we're the ones behind the cameras. ;)


FRIDAY:
We spent the entire morning at the beach. Yay for the beach!


After lunch we headed over to Charles Towne Landing. :) Here is a model of The Carolina.

Here are shore birds native to SC. They have a whole little "zoo" like area devoted to animals who are native to SC.

This black bear was so cute!! He sat down, looked at me and yawned. I just wanted to scratch him behind his ears. He reminded me of a big, dumb dog. LOL! Of course, he obviously isn't and I wanted to keep all my limbs attached to me so I did not reach into the fence to pet him. LOL!

These were just all along the path. We talked to a lady who worked there and found out these are banana spiders. They are HUGE!!! So huge that Paul said he would scream like a little girl if one was on him. The thought of that made me want to put on on him. However, his saving grace was that they are so huge that I didn't want to touch one. They are completely harmless to humans and just eat bugs and were EVERYWHERE!!!




These were the beds on the boat. Not much room. There were 4 beds for 6 people. Eeeew!!! They were so tiny the kids wouldn't even lie down, I can't imagine a grown man curled into the fetal position in the hot summer down there. Yuckers!

They put the kids to work. Here they were trying to pull up the anchor. The man showed them how hard it was for only one of them to do it. Ryanne was hanging by her stick and it wouldn't budge. Collin could hang from it and get it to move very slowly. Together, they were able to raise the anchor an entire foot. The man then had everyone applaud and then said, "Now only 99 feet to go." Collin shoot his head and started to leave the boat. LOL!

He came back for a new job though --- pumping water out of the bottom of the boat. Unfortunately, he didn't enjoy that one any more than the previous job so he was done working on a ship. The only other option was to be the bucket boy... dumping the urine and stool. Ew! He quickly refused that one. Luckily, there really was nothing in the bucket. :)

We went to the Tattooed Moose for dinner. I don't remember the sandwich I got but it was super yummy!!! :)

We went to the park to play after dinner. It was a fun park! It was by the harbor so all the equipment was themed... boats, dolphins...etc. Fun fun!!

My mom had excellent timing with this picture. Ryanne was thrown from the spinning bowl thing. LOL! Too funny! :)
After the park we walked down the pier to look out into the harbor. Look! My mom took a picture of the kids and me. More proof that I was really there. :)

This is a pic of two boats going under the bridge from two different directions at the same time. The kids were so sure they were going to crash so we had to stay there and watch to make sure they made it under OK. hehe!

This was them watching the boat.
SATURDAY:


Splash park!! Yes, this is how we started the day. :)





After the splash park, the kids dried off a bit and Collin put a shirt on. We walked over to the Exchange and Dungeons for a tour.






This was exciting for me because Howard Pyle wrote one of my favorite books! I had no idea he was a painter too!!! :)


This was the original brick that divided land and the sea. It's hundreds of years old. Awesome!!


Example of prisoners in the dungeon --- 40-60 men and women in there and the area they were kept was so small. Crazy!!

They managed to keep 95% of the original bricks from the 1700s. I found that amazing! I love the design of the ceilings and walls in the dungeons too. So cool.


After the museum and dungeon, we decided to walk around downtown. We hit up the market (which was amazing!) and then just walked around. This was an art gallery. It was like it's own little secret garden in the middle of a city. Absolutely beautiful. If the van wasn't at a parking meter that was almost out of time then we would have gone down there. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough time. Isn't it beautiful though?

We originally were going to go on a walk through Charleston where you find 10 iron gates along the way and they take you through beautiful hidden paths. Well, we didn't get to do that but we found some beautiful sites along the way. Churches and other building are absolutely beautiful. Here are some shots....




Finally we went to the Aquarium. Here are the kids petting a baby shark.

This is one thing that is really cool that we haven't seen at other aquariums we've been to. There were employees at different stations for educational purposes and to talk to the children. It was awesome! There were some on sharks' teeth, shells, petting stations.... all kinds of nifty things.





This was the upside down tree. Basically, it was a camera in a fake tree that then put you on a screen upside down. This is how Ryanne and I look at ourselves when we're upside down. LOL! 

Chameleon 

Crocodile




Tallest (not the largest) aquarium in the world.

The kids watched their first 4D movie ever!! And my second 4D (first being Honey, I Shrunk the Audience). It was on prehistoric water animals. It was fun!

Bald Eagle

Collin found out they were endangered so he wanted a picture of him and the bald eagle together.

Otters are really fun to watch. We probably could have stayed there all day.


Cottonmouth

Albino gator. A lady working there said he stays so still because he doesn't realize he's an albino and thinks he's hidden. When he was born they knew he wouldn't make it as an albino because all his prey would see him so they had to bring him into captivity. Poor guy. He thinks he's hiding though.

Another station... let's pet the king snake!!! :)

The stinkray was trying to escape. haha! The guy feeding them said they have jumped out before but someone is always there to put him back in.



This bird was beautiful and I happened to mention that his beak was perfect for plucking eyeballs out of sockets. After that he followed me around.

See, he followed me over here too. He flow to there as I left him and watched me as I walked out of the room. Beautiful, but creepy, eyeball plucking bird.

Collin holding a starfish. He had already petted stink rays and horseshoe crabs. Ryanne was afraid to hold the starfish. Silly girl!

Diver!!

These are my favorite to watch... jellyfish! I think they are so beautiful as they glide through the water. If I were a sea creature, I think I'd want to be a jellyfish. ;)

Educational game time. The lady asked the questions to the kids then the diver spoke through some electronics in his diver suit and explained the answer to the kids. It was pretty cool.

The harbor outside the aquarium. Apparently, in the state of SC no sea mammals (dolphins and whales) can be kept in captivity so they have this as an opportunity to see dolphins. We didn't see any here but when we were at the beach on Friday we saw quite a few. One came up very shallow. If they're there, no sharks are though. :)

We went to Zeus's for Greek food for dinner. We were all very tired. Collin was like this until dessert when he tried baklava. We all shared it so he only had about 2 bites of it and then he was on a major sugar high and bouncing all over. It was hilarious!
SUNDAY:
When we go to the beach we always spend Sunday morning walking the beach. It's our goodbye and opportunity to think about how grateful we are for the beauties we have on this earth.
I think I have the coolest husband!! He walks down the beach playing the ukulele.






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