War machines

Charleston Travel Blog

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"Sam & Mira" in front of the USS Yorktown with Bubbie

When I awoke this morning, I was groggy as could be.  Tylenol PM knocked me out last night.  I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.  All that walking yesterday helped that, too.  I stumbled into the shower and felt the water sting my ankles.  When I looked to see what was causing the problem, I was shocked to see both my legs, just above the ankles, and part of my right foot were covered by red splotches.  Now where could I have picked up poison oak (or ivy .. I think that is what they have on the East Coast)?  I didn't walk through any wild areas and a food allergy would have covered my whole body.  Ditto mosquito bites - there would be raised bumps from that!  Bed bugs?  No way - I checked the bed.  This itches!!!!!

After a hearty breakfast we went over to Patriot's Point to take a boat tour out to Fort Sumpter.

"Sam & Mira" with Bubbie at Fort Sumpter National Monument
  The boat ride was very pleasant.  The weather is cool enough that I needed a light jacket.  There are dolphins in Charleston harbor and we could see them jumping through the water a short way from the boat.  I assume they have learned that fish move out of the way of boats which would make them easier to catch.  Please don't quote me on that - it is pure conjecture on my part.  They were not, as far as I could tell, playing in the bow waves.

Fort Sumpter was very interesting.  It's history is so much a part of the American psyche and some of the feelings of mistrust between North and South that to some extent still exist to this day.  The fort once stood 50 feet high.  Today, with the uppermost two stories destroyed, it is only half that.

Eastern wall of Fort Sumpter
  We were only allowed to stay at the fort for one hour and the time really flew by.  It is a very powerful place and I needed a bit more time to absorb that power.  When one thinks about the hundreds of thousands of people killed because of the South Carolinians firing on the Fort to begin the Civil War, it can be overwhelming.

After a quick lunch of cheese and fruit, we went to visit the USS Yorktown, a decommissioned aircraft carrier from World War II.  It is perhaps most famous for being the ship that brought back the Apollo 8 astronauts from their mission to circle the moon.  The ship is permanently moored at Patriot's Point.  It is of great interest, but I truly do not enjoy war machines.  The views from the flight deck are beautiful, especially of the gorgeous Ravenal Bridge.

Jag and Roz on flag-lined walkway to USS Yorktown at Patriot's Point

Jag went up on the ship's bridge while I gave my protesting feet a much-needed rest.  Sitting on a bench near me was an equally tired woman.  She turned the conversation to politics, something I'm always happy to discuss.  Her daughter, or perhaps daughter-in-law, joined in and began repeating many of the lies being spread on the internet about Barak Obama: he is a Muslim, he refuses to say the Pledge of Allegiance, he won't put his hand over his heart when the American flag passes by and (this is a good one) he removed the American flag from his airplane and replaced it with a personal emblem because he wants people to worship him (daughter says: "I saw the pictures of the plane!").  Oh - one more thing: "how come, if he had such a poor childhood, he could afford to go to all those fancy schools?"!!!  I told them that his grandparents raised him and that he worked hard to pay for school.

The beautiful Ravenal Bridge into Charleston
  He is so brilliant he probably got full scholarships!  It was very hard to keep from laughing, or throwing both of the harpies overboard!  I suggested they read Snopes.com because that website is apolitical - the mom didn't believe me.  So sad.  So ignorant.  There was more, but I just can't remember all of it.

Enough politics!  After the Yorktown, we went on to visit a submarine, the USS Clamagore.  A submarine is one of those things everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime.  It is so claustrophobic and conditions on board were spartan at best, I don't know how the submariners could stand it.  The noise factor alone would have driven me insane in a matter of minutes.  Sleeping quarters, shower facilities, even eating space was at a premium.

Funny-faced airplane on flight deck of USS Yorktown
  We went on to visit the Coast Guard cutter USS Ingham.  I had never been on a cutter before and I had no idea they could be so big.  This one is still being refurbished by volunteers.  By this time I had enough of war stuff.  Jag went on to visit the destroyer, USS Laffey

I went back to the car to write my journal and relax.  It was a cool day,  but the car was warm inside.  Too warm.  I opened the doors but was bombarded by pairs of mating insects.  I closed the door.  Got warm.  Open the door.  Was bombarded.  Closed the door.  I could repeat that for the almost one hour Jag took to tour the destroyer.

"Sam & Mira" with Ajja on flight deck of USS Yorktown
  Jag told me they were swarming all over the ship as well.

Dinner tonight was at a fun barbecue restaurant called Sticky Fingers.  It is franchised in a few places, but the food was quite good.  The problem with barbecue is the amount of sugar and carbohydrates in the sauces.  This restaurant offers several different sauces and sells bottles of the sauces as well.  This gave us an opportunity to check the ingredients: just not good for diabetics.  The taste buds may be delighted by barbecue, but one's blood sugar takes a big hit.

Laundry tonight, then off to bed.  We leave beautiful Charleston tomorrow for equally-beautiful (so I have been told) Savannah, Georgia.



jagnroz says:
Thanks Alyssa. Good suggestion, but I think it probably is poison ivy. There are no blisters, which one would get from chiggers. I still cannot figure out where or how I may have picked up this ugly mess!
Posted on: Sep 22, 2008
alyssa_ob says:
Was it chiggers?
Posted on: Sep 21, 2008
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Sam & Mira in front of the USS Y…
"Sam & Mira" in front of the USS …
Sam & Mira with Bubbie at Fort S…
"Sam & Mira" with Bubbie at Fort …
Eastern wall of Fort Sumpter
Eastern wall of Fort Sumpter
Jag and Roz on flag-lined walkway …
Jag and Roz on flag-lined walkway…
The beautiful Ravenal Bridge into …
The beautiful Ravenal Bridge into…
Funny-faced airplane on flight dec…
Funny-faced airplane on flight de…
Sam & Mira with Ajja on flight d…
"Sam & Mira" with Ajja on flight …
The flags are flying in the stiff …
The flags are flying in the stiff…
Small sailboats in regatta
Small sailboats in regatta
USS Yorktown, seen from the tour b…
USS Yorktown, seen from the tour …
On board the destroyer USS Laffey
On board the destroyer USS Laffey
USS Laffey
USS Laffey
photo by: denisx