Sunday, March 25, 2018

Tuesday, December 19, 2017 – Charleston, SC – Partly Cloudy – mid 60s

IMG_20171219_Charleston Approach

Approaching Charleston

IMG_20171219_Charleston GunboatIMG_20171219_USCG Gunboat

Our Gunboat Escort

The ship is overnighting in Charleston, SC.  It’s a beautiful day here along the Atlantic Coast.  As we have seen before, our ship is being escorted to the dock by a USCG Gunboat. 

Visible from the ship are the aircraft carrier, USS Yorktown, and the Arthur Ravenel Jr Bridge.

IMG_20171219_USS YorktownIMG_20171219_Arthur Ravenel Jr Bridge

Another day of room service as we are both on early tours this morning. I guess I am not tiring of the delicious pancakes and eggs.

IMG_20171219_room service


I am on “Kingdom of the Sea” and Ellen is on “The Best of Charleston”.

I only had 20 passengers in a 40 plus capacity brand new bus. Our guide is Fran, born and bred in Charleston. I couldn’t tell how old she was but she told some tales of long ago Charleston (“when I was a kid”). The bus took us on a tour of the city of Charleston and stopped at the following sites:

The Citadel – a military college I was familiar with. The actual stop was at one of the churches (Charleston is known as the “Holy City” because of the large number of churches it has). While the passengers were in the church and looking for washrooms, I walked a block back to the Citadel entrance where a huge class ring stands (the ring is about four feet tall and is a replica of the college’s ring) and took pictures – very impressive.

IMG_20171219_The Citadel

The Citadel

 IMG_20171219_Citadel Class Ring 1IMG_20171219_Citadel Class Ring

Huge Citadel Class Ring

There was also a vintage jet on the grounds of the Citadel.

IMG_20171220_Citadel Jet(1)

Charleston Museum – This museum, located in the city of Charleston, has a replica of the Civil War Submarine, HL Hunley. on display in front of the building.  This was both a rest stop and an opportunity to take a look at the HL Hunley, that made history by sinking the USS Housatonic back during the “War Between the States” (Fran’s term for the Civil War). 

IMG_20171219_153003IMG_20171219_the Hunley

IMG_20171219_Hunley model 1

IMG_20171219_Hunley model 2

The HL Hunley

Ellen’s tour took her to the Hunley Museum, where she was able to see the real Hunley, recovered and stored in water to delay disintegration. 

IMG_20171219_Hunley Museum

Hunley Museum

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IMG_20171219_the real Hunley(1)

The Real HL Hunley (stored in water)

IMG_20171219_Hunley DNA TestingIMG_20171219_DNA ID Hunley crew

Scientists are working to identify the crew of the Hunley through DNA.

2nd Presbyterian Church – from the museum, we walked a couple of blocks (difficult for some – I stayed and walked with one passenger, who had mobility issues) to the 2nd Presbyterian Church.  The church is adjacent to an old cemetery.

IMG_20171219_2nd Presbyterian Church

Joseph Manigault House – this house, once owned by a wealthy Rice Baron, was saved from destruction and is now a museum.

IMG_20171219_Joseph Manigault House

IMG_20171219_Manigault House plaque

IMG_20171219_Manigault House 1

Manigault House

The house was very warm and musty inside so I just took pictures from the lobby. We were also treated to iced tea and “Benne Seed Cakes” –

 IMG_20171219_benne seed cakes

Benne Seed Cakes

thin wafers coated with benne seeds – tasted like peanut brittle without the peanuts – I really didn’t like them all that much. Benne seeds are a Southern treat and used in baking.  Some passengers bought bags of seeds at the shopping stop at the end of the tour.

No tour would be complete without a look at Ft. Sumter.  The tour took us to the Battery area,

IMG_20171219_the Battery

a defensive seawall during the conflict but today the sight of impressive antebellum homes. 

IMG_20171219_Charleston HomesIMG_20171219_Charleston. Homes

We stopped at White Point Park (sometimes called Battery Park) to get photos of the homes and the Fort in the distance.

IMG_20171219_Ft Sumpter

Fort Sumter

IMG_20171219_White Point Garden ParkIMG_20171219_White Point Park cannon

IMG_20171219_White Point Park statueIMG_20171219_White Point Park revolutionary war statue

White Point Park

The rest of the tour consisted of another run through the city of Charleston – we drove by Francis Marion Park. the church where a mass shooting occurred a few years ago, down King Street (major shopping) and then back to the ship.

IMG_20171219_returning to Serenity

Returning to the Serenity

We got back after the Lido Closed so we had lunch at the Grille. I managed to have gazpacho the entire cruise. A tuna melt with tomatoes and grilled onions was lunch today.  Again, the food was great.

I did a laundry load so we had clean clothes for our next trip and to make it easy to pack. Ellen did a great job of getting all packed for our disembarkation tomorrow.

I finally finished “The Silent Corner” – I expected a bigger finish from Dean Koontz. I had most of the book figured out early on but I wanted a Jack Reacher finish. I did like the main character, FBI Agent Jane Hawk – there are more Jane Hawk books to come.

We couldn’t finish off the cruise without one final Kosher dinner – Ellen had lamb chops and I had my favorite hot dogs. We also had them make us a challah and some chopped liver. All good tonight. A good finishing act for our culinary trip.

Tonight’s headliner was the pickpocket artist, Bob Arnot – so We we passed on the show.

There was no farewell show tonight so we just relaxed the evening away.

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