Last Friday, as I was reading a new comment from an old friend, my wife got a text asking if Dylan would like to spend “an overnight trip on a ship” this (past) weekend?
Are you kidding me?
Here it turns out a small group of Girl Scouts from Charlotte, NC had a package plan that they paid for with their Girl Scout cookie money funds and one girl had to cancel at the 11th hour. And it was a pretty sweet deal, especially to fall on the lap of a 7-year-old out of nowhere.
The trip included dinner at CiCi’s pizza Friday night, then an Oceanography class, scavenger hunts, a trip to the local aquarium (to play Shark tag?) followed by a movie in 4D, as well as a Harbor Tour around Charleston’s harbor. All meals were paid for.
A great weekend falling on her lap from completely out of the blue!
But wait! It gets better……
It wasn’t until a few days later that I found out the ‘ship’ Dylan and the Girl Scouts were going to spend the weekend camping on was an AIRCRAFT CARRIER!
the USS Yorktown, Dylan’s B&B this weekend.
Can you imagine?
They were staying aboard the USS Yorktown. And, after all the boat tours were finished on this retired giant by the paying tourists they had the place to themselves. This included running amuck all over the flight deck in the evenings and bunk beds 3 and 4 bunks high.
So we lost track of our little ‘Charmed’ one until Saturday afternoon (and some 300 pictures later on the spare phone) when we could accompany her and the small band of Girl Scouts on the Charleston Harbor Tour in the itinerary.
I enjoyed this tour a lot as it gave you views of Chucktown that we rarely get a chance to see unless we are playing tourist. I loved the views as well as the history of some of the forts. I am not sure if the girls got as much out of it as they just chased each other around the boat, whenever they were not looking for dolphins.
Remember this pic from the Charleston Postcard last week?
Castle Pinkney (left foreground housed Union prisoners) and Fort Sumter (right on the horizon guarded the harbor by the Union) , start of America’s Civil War
You can barely make out the two forts I mentioned. Here is a better view of the first fort, Castle Pinkney, built circa 1790. This forgotten fort was once the look out and protection in Charleston’s harbor.
the Castle Pinkney, built circa 1790.
Remember this scene from Pirates of the Caribbean?
Well the Castle Pinkney was once the end to 40 or so pirates’ lives by hanging back in the day. Hung out on an island before entering Charleston as a warning to other pirates ye say?
Our tour boat then chugged us out to Fort Sumter, the Federal fort to protect Charleston in the 1800’s.
the new and improved Fort Sumter
I heard lots of good facts about this fort, too many to
bore you with list here. The fort has been reconstructed though after its bombardment in the Civil War. One little known fact however was that one of the commanders of Fort Sumter was a Col. Abner Doubleday, who later went on to create our national pastime, Baseball. And a view from the air shows you that Fort Sumter is in the octagon shape of Home Plate in baseball. Hmmmm…
We got to see Charleston from the sea then as well. Remember these houses from Postcard? Yes, that was / is the skyline that greeted travelers approaching Charleston from the sea.
…as well as our proud Cooper River Bridge today….
The new Arthur Ravenel Bridge, formerly known as the Cooper River Bridge. Get over it!
Another interesting sight on our tour was this:
new Beamers off the boat
Charleston is third largest port on the US’s east coast; the entering port for lots of international trade. This is a parking lot full of brand new BMW’s. If you scanned the parking lot, they seem to go on indefinitely….
..and more new cars
While on the water we saw other types of fun, relaxing traffic illustrating how others spend their weekends. Besides the speed boat traffic in and out of the harbor and up the bordering rivers we saw…
As well as…
Sea Kayak traffic
And even several pods of dolphins on a sightseeing harbor tour.
Dolphin traffic ~ Skylar thought they were Sharks
It was a great way to get a glimpse and some colors of ‘the Lowcountry’, and an entirely enjoyable afternoon.
some of the colors of the Lowcountry
At the end of the tour Dylan made her way back to her aircraft carrier, while the rest of my family sought out some grub. Just coming off the water we were in the mood for some sea food. Opting for this rustic and scenic seafood restaurant, advertised by this beauty…
A cute little model to ‘lore’ you in
Shem Creek is a stream that flows out into the harbor and the sea. It is the home, or destination for many of the local fishing and shrimp fleets in the area. The ‘advertised’ views are nice and we had a great seafood dinner while the sun slowly set.
The sun going down on Shem Creek
It looks almost ‘frame-able’ doesn’t it?
Dylan had her aquarium trip on Sunday, complete with an educational show on Sharks. I hear it was OK.
Hopping on a Shark
We gathered her up, fed her, bathed her, and sent her off to nap (do you think the girls got much sleep on a rolling, empty air craft carrier without their parents?)
All in all, this ‘Charmed’ girl has had quite a summer including Disney World to radio stations and stairclimbing to aircraft carriers. It’s going to be hard to beat!
And let’s not forget about our youngest child following in Dylan’s wake.
Exploring some new things too
She is making a splash herself this summer.
My summer? I can’t seem to get my modeling career off the ground.
Have a great week everyone! I’ll try to do better next time!