We left the house a little before 8:00 AM and headed for Charleston down the backroads.
We always take the backroads. Why? Because the traffic on the highway is usually horrible, and even when it’s flowing well, a lot of people shouldn’t be allowed to drive. It’s a privilege, not a right.
Secondly, there is nothing to see on the highway.
Year’s ago, I found Mayesville by accident. Then the old downtown was deserted. Now they torn down a lot of the old buildings and refurbished a couple.
I would have never taken my original pics of Mayesville if I hadn’t wandered the back roads and rolled into it by accident.
We stopped by Salem Black River Church as well for a break on the way. It’s one of the oldest churches around these parts and is reportedly haunted. It’s of such interest to local ghost hunters that there are security cameras and patrols after dark. No trespassing is enforced.
We finally made it to Charleston about 11:30 AM and made our way to the SC Aquarium.
The aquarium opened in May of 2000 So this year they celebrated their 22nd anniversary. It’s a great place. They have live touch tanks where you can actually touch some fish: Manta Rays, tiger sharks, starfish, and the like. Pretty neat.
The big boast of the SC Aquarium is the main tank which is called The Great Ocean tank.
The largest exhibit in the zoo is the Great Ocean Tank, which extends from the first to the third floor of the Aquarium and is the deepest tank in North America (42 feet); it holds more than 385,000 US gallons (1,460,000 l) of water and contains more than 700 animals…
We were standing on the first floor and my daughter was really excited and was oohing and ahhing like a little kid. She’s 17.
A volunteer, named Angela, came over to my daughter and said, “hey you wanna see something cool?”.
Let me stop here for a moment, for a little PSA.
You know all those things you tell your kids about not taking candy from strangers? Don’t get into the van? Don’t help look for the lost puppy?
All that went straight out the window.
The next thing I know, we’re following some strange lady through a door and into an elevator. Where were we going? Who knows? I was just along for the ride apparently.
You can raise your kids. You can give them all the knowledge possible. All of a sudden, forgotten!
Some weird things have happened to us over the years just by chance. This is how we ended up in an abandoned park on top of a mountain. That’s an older story. Today was pretty neat.
The tank that I was talking about earlier, The Great Ocean Tank, is where she was taking us.
We got a behind-the-scenes look at the workings of the aquarium. One of the cooler random things that has happened to us.
The wife loves turtles and got to meet Caretta today. A lot closer than most visitors do, I suppose.
Caretta will turn 28 years old next month, and weighs over 220 pounds. She came to the Aquarium in 2001 at the age of 14. As a hatchling, a couple had taken her out of her natural habitat on a beach in Florida to keep her as a pet. Not realizing how large loggerheads become, they soon discovered that she was outgrowing the small enclosure they had kept her in. Once too big to care for and deemed non-releasable due to her upbringing in captivity, she was brought to the Aquarium du Quebec in Canada. The South Carolina Aquarium was in search of a sea turtle and she was transferred to our facility to live in the Great Ocean Tank in 2001. -From the aquarium website.
The moral of this story, I guess, is that sometimes, very rarely, stranger danger isn’t a thing.
And to think I wanted to go to the zoo today because it would be way cheaper.
We got more than our money’s worth today. Special that ks to Angela. You made our weekend.
More from today tomorrow. We just rolled in. It’s late.
Earlier this week, I posted about wanting to go to the mountains. Later this week, I was outvoted, and we are heading to the coast tomorrow. Charleston, SC, to be specific.
Which is fine.
I am not a fan of the coast. I do not like the beach. I would rather stand on a mountain than get sand in every crack and crevice of my body.
But Charleston is great for a day. The Aquarium, historic downtown, maybe we’ll stay for the ghost tour, who knows?
I’m on a wander, and I’ll get some decent pics, I’m sure—plenty of history and graveyards. Maybe I can get the crew to travel on a little further to the Angel Oak. The only problem with that is the last time we went there were so many people you couldn’t enjoy the size of the tree. It’s an incredible sight. It’s a lot to take in.
We shall see what we shall see. And then I’ll show it to you—the pics. Not…never mind.
I guess this is an extension to what I write every day. It’s personal without being personal. I don’t know if that makes sense. This is my outlet. Just trying to catch any new followers up with what this is about.
Knowing I had to go pick up those packages yesterday, I did some prior proper planning and asked my don, Sam, if he wanted to ride with me several days before. Rock Hill means one thing to him, Joe’s Classic Video Games.
My son is an avid collector of video games. It’s his passion if a twelve-year-old can have a passion. He collects older consoles as well. His oldest one being a Nintendo Game Cube (that will probably make a few who read this feel old.) The Game Cube is ancient tech to him.
So we rode together yesterday and were gone half the day. It was great!
When it’s just me and him we can just be guys. I’ve missed a lot of his school stuff this year. Awards, performances, Beta Club induction to name a few and this saddens me.
We talked about it a couple of nights ago, and he understands. But he shouldn’t have to. I should be there. Always.
Today is Sunday. We’ve rested and are preparing for another week.
Knives sharpened, nails trimmed (I consider them tools and weapons), and neat. Packed out the EDC bag. I probably carry too much but…
Sitting near the front of Old St. David’s Church in Cheraw, S.C. is this headstone.
One half? You ask yourself what happened here. Was there a terrible accident involving a train? An auto accident? Maybe a farming accident? No. Sometimes the truth is just better. I received this bit today from Sarah Spruill with Visit Cheraw.
“Someone sent me your link re Laurence Prince. He grew up in Cheraw, but his mother was from Virginia. He was cremated and half of his ashes were buried in his father’s family plot and half in Virginia with his mother’s family. He would enjoy that this has gotten on the internet. Old St. David’s is a very beautiful church and cemetery. The oldest graves date back to the Revolutionary War, and the first Confederate Monument (c. 1867) ever erected is located here.”
I am pleased that Mr. Prince would have gotten a kick out of my having placed a piece about him here. It’s a shame to have never met him.
Thank you, Sarah.
This is a repost of a piece from my old blog Searching The South. Which I may or may not have an itch to start up again.
No. Not that LOST. Then I’d have to explain things to the wife and I’d be in a lot of trouble.
I went out shopping today by my lonesome. I had several things left to pick up for the wife’s Christmas and a few things for the kids.
The kids both have the flu and the wife stayed home with them. The original plan was a day out on Monday for Sam’s birthday and he had planned to head to his favorite place in the world, Joe’s Classic Video Games. So I headed downtown to pick up some things I know he’ll enjoy.
And then I took a wrong turn.
I ended up in a run down part of town. Somewhere I’d never seen before. It was surprising to see the change from gentrified downtown to this. It really shows you where the money is spent and where it isn’t. It’s sad.
Some people can buy it and don’t care. Others can’t afford it and put care into what they have. A little paint here, a live plant there, shows love for where one lives.
The bought side is perfection all the way. But not somewhere I’d rather be.
Back in the world of shiny plastic and traffic, I grabbed some lunch, finished up my shopping, and headed out of the city. I’m a country boy at heart. I was born and raised there, and the cities aren’t for me—even the small ones. I wouldn’t say I like town that much.
I took a turn off the main road and headed down a back road I used to run a lot when I drove a Coke truck.
And then I took a wrong turn.
Except this time it was just a long, winding country road that I’d never needed to go down before, just like I didn’t need to go down it today.
I had no signal, and my map wasn’t working on the phone, but how bad could it be. All roads lead somewhere, and they either connect to another or end. The worst-case scenario was I’d have to turn around.
I was listening to a political podcast and thinking about our country and the way it is right now.
We’ve lost the signal, our map isn’t working.
The best–case scenario is that we have to turn around.