Friday, 31 May 2013

USS Yorktown, Charleston, waterpark

So we awoke early (thanks boys...) and eager for our next days adventures.  We left our friends at the house and headed towards Charleston.

Top Gun plane
We had already decided to visit Patriots Point.  This is an area of Charleston harbor which is home to various American Navy ships and aircraft. You can also get a boat to Fort Sumter from here.  We parked up, suncreamed the boys and headed in. We decided to let Seb walk, using his bat reins, as getting the buggy around could have been difficult.  It was reasonably priced, and as we had 3 small ones we even managed to hitch a ride on a golf cart from the entrance to the ship itself.  USS Yorktown was big.  Everything was really well laid out as a museum.  It is only when you start learning about these things, as a foreigner, that you come to realize just how much military action the US has seen.  We spent a good couple of hours exploring this huge aircraft carrier, and barely scratched the surface.  By lunch time the boys and I were beginning to wilt, in need of food we headed back to dry land.  On our way out, we stopped in the Vietnam Support Base.  Again, this is a war I know very little about, it is before my time, and not really relevant to British history, so it is not studied in depth at school (I did WWI, WWII and the bit in between for my GCSE history).  I would love to learn more about it.  I am finding that the longer I am here, the more I want to know about world affairs, not just an islands past present and future.

From there we headed into Charleston.  We traveled down to the very base of the city, and had a drive round.  Having driven through the historic area of Georgetown on out way to Myrtle Beach, we knew what to expect.  Only this was on a larger, grander scale.  People have told us that one of the reasons Charleston has so many old historic houses is due to the poverty that was abundant after the Civil War.  This prevented people from knocking down houses and building afresh.  Instead they had to 'make do and mend'.  The South Carolina Historical Society have played a big part in this.  They hold open days at various times of the year to different houses and gardens.  Not something my boys would put up with....  We found somewhere to park (yes, even in historic Charleston we found a multistory), and walked till we found a place we deemed suitable for the kids.  So we ended up in an Irish pub, Molly Darcy's.  It was quiet, we were given a seat by the table football, which the boys loved, and we were all starving (If I remember, I will blog about this on Feeding Goslings).  We left via the back door, and stumbled across the area where they keep all the horse and carriages.  The boys loved seeing the animals, but we deemed the rides themselves a little expensive (and boring for boys).
Customs House
So we kept walking and stumbled upon the City Market.  We must have entered it from about half way back down towards main street.  It was heaving, so busy.  It was hard to stop and look at anything.  In between the buildings were roads, which the horse and carriages were using. As we headed towards main street, the items for sale became more touristy.  We exited opposite Customs House.
One big boat
In the water behind, we could see a huge cruise liner.  We headed towards the water, passing a freight train, full of BMW X5's. We walked towards the Waterfront Park, which like most city parks here, had a water feature the boys could run around in.  We got them down to their pants, but they are a pair of chickens, and after 5 minutes standing on the edge, it was time to redress them and move on.  By now it was really hot.  We had seen a couple of water parks advertised locally so headed to try one out.

On the way to Splash Island, Sebastian finally fell asleep.  We paid our state park entrance fee, and headed to the water park.  Parked up, put Seb in the buggy, where he went back to sleep.  The boys got changed, I sat on a lounger while Seb slept and the others played in the water.  It had clouded over, but it was still really hot.  Seb must have slept for an hour before waking up and realizing where he was.  All the boys loved this place, and really didn't want to leave.  So much so, that we were the last paying customers out of the park.  We headed back to the house for a final evening with our friends, before going our separate ways the next morning.

We had to leave very early the next morning, as Oliver had his end of year pool party at a friends house.  After driving part of the way home, I was very tired, and the weather was looking pants.  We managed to persuade him to stay at home, and go to the pool instead.  Bad mummy alert, but I was very relieved.  We spent the afternoon vegging around the house, relaxing and watching 'Wreck it Ralph' for the umpteenth time.....

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