Distance from Cartagena to Charleston, SC – 1427
We are back on land.
We tried to get breakfast early but after the excursion crowd had departed.
As has been the case for most of the ports, we are not going to be on an
excursion today. But the cruise terminal
is essentially in the downtown area of Charleston so we are going to walk off
this morning and check out the stores and sights. It is a two part process: the first involves clearing immigration. Once our group number was called, we went to
the Cruise Terminal, where U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers were
waiting – a quick check of our passports and sea pass cards and we were
through. Since no one can go back on the
ship until everyone has gotten off and cleared, we simply proceeded to the
The length of our stay will depend on the heat and the availability of
shade. Charleston, at least the part we
were in, is a combination of upscale stores (e.f. Kate Spade, Michael Kors),
makeup stores, galleries, and non-chain eateries. It’s like a less glitzier version of Rodeo
Drive. Everyone is polite and end their
conversation with you with “Y’All have a nice day”. One woman, smoking on the street, moved her
cigarette away from us and said “Excuse Me.”.
I want what they’re on.
We walked down East Bay Street with a destination in mind, the Beth
Elohim Synagogue. There were a lot of people walking the streets and taking in the sights; there were also some folks who found a more unusual way of seeing the town - horse driven carriage.
We passed the Circle Church, with its interesting architecture and cemetery. The Church also puts on concerts - "From Gospel to Gershwin" (I'm OK with the Gershwin part but the gospel, not so much).
Ellen at Circle Church
We also passed a small museum and took the opportunity to get out of the sun for a few minutes.
Down the street from the Museum was a small park with a statue - I thought it might of a person related to the history of Charleston. It turned out to good old George Washington (probably did have a part in the history of area).
While walking, I
noticed the Indigo Inn, which happens to be the place we’ll be staying at when
we return to Charleston in December. We
walked in to see what it was like. The
man behind the counter was so friendly – he checked our reservation and then
offered us something to eat off their buffet.
So we had a chance to see what their food was like in advance. I tried a bagel and sweet roll with coffee –
I took some pictures of the stores along the street - from the names it seemed like this could have been a Jewish area at some time.
Jewish Stores (at one time)
Another photo stop was at a Charleston Fire Station. What caught my eye was the ceramic Dalmatian in front of the building.
It turns out we walked past the shul so we headed back. We stopped at Francis Marion Park (the “Swamp
Fox”) for some pictures - instead of a statue of Marion, there was a monument to John C. Calhoun - and then to the Walgreen’s across the street to pick up
a Charleston baseball cap.
Frances Marion Park - John C. Calhoun Statue
John C. Calhoun Monument
To get back, we walked on the next street up (King Street).
We did find the synagogue on the way back and were thinking of seeing
the interior but you can only do that if you are part of the official
tour. The tour had already started so we
decided to take some exterior pictures and keep walking around Charleston.
Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim garden
Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim plaques
Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Entrance
We continued our walk down King Street and St. Michael's Churchyard.
St. Michael's Cemetery
I couldn't resist taking the picture below for obvious reasons.
Pulitzer to Real Estate
After about two hours and 9000 steps, it was time to get back on the
ship. To get to the ship, we passed through a waterfront park with a wonderful fountain - lots of kids were running through the water to cool off. Ellen also get a free sample of local ice cream along with the usual "have a nice day". We also got a terrific view of Symphony docked.
Lunch was up in the Lido Café but they
had run out of lettuce so the salad was a little wonky. They managed to deal with the situation very well.
My last presentation, “The Lost Dauphin of France”, was scheduled at 4:00 PM. With the
all aboard time being 4:30 PM, many, if not all, passengers who were in Charleston
on excursions or on their own, will getting back in the middle of my talk. If I were getting back, all sweaty and tired,
the last place I would go would be the Starlite Lounge to hear a lecture.
I was the only person in the room until 3:50 PM, when Steve showed
up. An awkward introduction by Paul to
the 15 or so people who did show up was followed by one of my better versions
of this talk. I finished in just over 40
minutes, which actually left some time for questions. I did get some good suggestions, one being to
clear up who the players were since many of them have very similar names (e.g.
Holy Roman Empress Maria Theresia and Princess Marie Therese, plus all of the
sisters of Marie Antoinette). I will
work on that for the next revision. Obi
Wan, my only hope is that someone watches this on TV later on in the evening.
We passed on the Jim Brochu talk on Ethel Merman – not a big fan of Ethel
Merman and I feel I have met all of the unit requirements for graduation in
Film and Theater study.
We had kosher meals again in the Crystal Dining Room – we had ordered
Matzo Ball Soup but there was a glitch and it never arrived. Ellen had Lamb chops and I had my polish
sausages. So unhealthy and so yummy.
Our sail away from Charleston included a gunboat escort.
Gunboat Escort from Charleston
Sailing Away in the Gloaming
At 7:45 PM, we went to see Broadway Star, Josh Young, in the Galaxy Lounge.
He is the Tony nominated start of "Jesus Christ Superstar". He had a good enough voice but he sang one
song, “Shiksa Goddess” that made us cringe (and was borderline
anti-semitic). He is apparently marrying
his shikse goddess soon and that’s OK but the song didn't seem appropriate in
a mixed audience, where some people won’t understand it and other folks will be
From the show, we went to Deck 9 aft (girls smoking on Deck 8) and
chilled out on the loungers. Best part
of the evening for sure.
A very mixed day but, at least, it’s over.
Tomorrow, our last sea day. My
plan is to bypass all of the Film and Theater presentations save for Steve at
10:00 AM (he’s obviously a better negotiator that I am for time slots).