Monday, October 25, 2010

Road Trippin' : Charleston

Over the weekend we escaped routine and drove down to Charleston. It's only 3.5 hrs away, and we'd been planning on heading there as soon as the weather cooled off some. With forecasts in the low 70's and no commitments over the weekend, we jumped at the chance!

We had dinner on the way down at Red Lobster. Funny how a normal meal can feel like such a treat to the critters. We let them have Shirley Temples with their kids meals and Gunnar remarked "We're the luckiest kids in the world, we're eating like Kings and Queens tonight!" I love it when they realize that they have a good life!

Pictured above is the Ravenel Bridge. It's a really dominant feature in the skyline there. I wish the picture could do it justice.

First stop, Fort Sumter. The kids were especially excited for the ferry ride.

Up to the museum, and docks on the other side of the building.

There was so much to take in from the docks, we took a lot of scenic shots.

We saw a message in a bottle while we waited for our ferry. Eagle-eye Savi, on the job!

The kids played on this little beach between the docks.

We watched the carrier ships come in to port. Each of those containers in the size of a semi, crazy huge! I told the kids, that's how we get all the things that are "Made In China" into the Walmarts. LOL

On the boat! The kids were up and down the stairs between levels, in and out of their seats so many times....but, oh so happy!

Our approach to Fort Sumter.

A view from inside the fort, with our ferry in the background. It was about a 40 minute trip to get there.The kids weren't ALL that interested in the history, but they sure did love exploring the canons and the fort itself.

Just outside the fort there was a lovely thicket and beach area. I love this shot with Sydney running and the rest of my peeps in the right hand corner...

Sullivan's Island and lighthouse in the distance. We watched a pod of dolphins play in the water here just off the fort too.

After a late-ish lunch in the parking lot we were off to check out Folly Beach. We love packing our lunch when we're on trips. It makes everything a lot less stressful because we don't have to worry about when and where to find food. We just stop whatever we're doing when we get hungry, eat, and move on to the next adventure.

There are MANY beaches in Charleston, but I really wanted to see Folly Beach because I recently read a fictional novel based there. My family lovingly obliged me..

Kite flying. It was quite windy there.

Evidence of an old pier.

Seashells! More to add to my collection. :) The big kids spent an hour hunting for sand dollars and playing with sand crabs.

Junebug spent that time doing THIS. She dug with shells and made sandcastles and soaked it all in. It was a glorious 72 degrees and breezy. We couldn't have special-ordered weather more perfect!

We had a quick dinner at Quiznos (thanks for the free kids meals, we LOVE that place) and headed to the historic district and battery.

We mostly drove through that area, but stopped at Battery Park and watched many brides being photographed by the river walk. It was the perfect time of day for it!

Gorgeous old Live Oaks.
Savi on a stack of cannon balls.

Gunnar on a cannon. (hee hee)

Confederate statues with gorgeous sunset...

It's so cool to see the sunset over the water on the East Coast...not used to that.. This is over the Ashley River, I believe.

We then went back to the hotel, went swimming then hung out in the hotel with popcorn, ice cream and a movie. We had been out and about for over 9 hours and it was nice to relax.

I think we could drive downtown to a hotel 25 minutes from home, hang out in a hotel and the kids would be just as happy with the vacation! They love hotel life!

The next day we only had 1 item left on the agenda: Aquarium! Our zoo membership gets us a discount, so we definitely wanted to get that in while we were in town.

We got to see some river otters at play in this area. It was fun because it was decorated for Halloween throughout the aquarium.

My kids are brave! They touched a snake. Gunnar happily told me that "it's not venomous, it'll just squeeze you to death". (tee hee)

They had a fabulous touchy-feely area. Syd's favorite is the starfish.

We also got to touch some sting-rays (barbs removed). They are a lot smaller than the ones we've seen before since we're on a different coast now. It's cool to see different species.

Loggerhead turtles. My favorite! Love this shot, looks like they're going to kiss.

We took a break midway through and went out to a little grassy area, dockside, for a picnic.

Gunnar was cracking me up with his love for his chocolate cupcake. (courtesey of Homewood Suites free breakfast, gotta love all those hotel points!!) Who eats chocolate muffins at breakfast!?!? We decided to take ours "to go" for later. Turned out to be PERFECT.

Savannah, on the docks.

The critters playing with the froggy band.

The penguin area at the aquarium left A LOT to be desired. If you are local and want to see penguins, your best bet is the Columbia Zoo....they have an amazing area. SC Aquarium, not so much. THIS was the CUTEST penguin there!

We love love love to get away together. I always have so many good memories from these concentrated times together as a family. I am so glad we've been able to subsidize some family time with points earned from Chris' travel over the years. It's good to have pErKs!


  1. Haha! Tell the kids that I am waiting right now for a container ship from contains tens of thousands of adjustable wrist weights that I'm packing into an exclusive item for Sam's Club next month. ;) It's really cool to see those giant container ships coming through the Panama Canal, too.

    Awesome pictures!

  2. Fun stuff! What a gorgeous weekend for you. Did you see the Morris Island Light at Folly Beach? We still need to take our kids to Fort Sumter.

  3. Glad you such a great time. Love all the pics. Isn't Charleston the greatest place?!

  4. Tricia - We saw the Morris Island lighthouse in the distance from Ft Sumter, but we didn't see it up close. Luckily, there WILL be a next time! :)

    It is a VERY cool place. I know we'll be back again and again.

  5. looks like such a great weekend!! i love the comment about eating like kings and are awesome!!