28 November 2014

Doing the Charleston for Thanksgiving 2014

I spent last Sunday (23 Nov.) taking care of some personal business and starting to pack for this week's trip. (More on that soon.) Thus, I did not go to see another film in the St. Louis International Film Festival, which concluded that night. Wrap up, including award winners, are here: http://cinemastlouis.org/

The next day, I put in a full day of work at the car rental branch. Work was heavy in the morning, as usual, but calmed down by late morning, before picking up in the late afternoon. After work, I came home to finish packing and get some rest.

Mom and I were up early the next morning (25 Nov.) to catch our flight. A neighbor drove us to the airport, and we boarded a flight to Atlanta. After arriving there, we waited approximately one hour before flying from Atlanta to Charleston. A relative met us at the airport and we went to the guest house, where we have been the past few days. Mom and I went out for lunch in downtown Charleston and came home to rest.

Wednesday morning, I got a ride to go to Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum in Mount Pleasant, just north of Charleston. There, I boarded the retired aircraft carrier USS Yorktown (CV-10), a veteran of World War II, the Cold War, and the Vietnam War. Arriving just before the museum opened at 9:00 am, I stayed aboard Yorktown for just over four hours, following a tour throughout the ship, ranging from the engine room to the flight deck. I clicked away with my camera, taking over 700 images of the ship, several aircraft displayed on the flight and hangar decks, and displays throughout the ship. Despite the cold, overcast, and windy weather outside (which I thought was good for flight operations), I had a ball. The audio tour option that I chose was a great enhancement to my enjoyment of the visit. After lunch on board Yorktown and a visit to the souvenir shop, I was heading back to the guest house. Highly recommended to any history buffs (especially of naval and aviation history). You can find out more on USS Yorktown and other sites of interest here: http://patriotspoint.org/

Thanksgiving Day yesterday was real nice. I stayed at home, to--among other things--enjoy the 2014 MST3K Turkey Day Marathon streamed on YouTube. Six episodes of the 1990s movie-riffing show "Mystery Science Theater 3000" (MST3K to its fans) were streamed online and I had fun reliving the hilarity of a man and his two robots talking back at some awful movies. Here's the link to MST3K's official YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFzph9x-n9FR52BI94Zfgww

The feast--smoked turkey and company--was served early last night. My one brother and his family, and some friends of theirs, joined my Mom and I in the dinner. It was very nice and the food--especially the turkey--was delicious, plus we all had at least something to be thankful for in our lives. Here's hoping my fellow Americans enjoyed the holiday and had at least something to be thankful. (In my case, I'm thankful for having steady work, a place to call home, and many good friends and acquaintances around the world--in person and online.)

This morning, I was driven to Sullivan's Island just north of Charleston to visit Fort Moultrie, which is part of Fort Sumter National Monument. Established in 1776 to help defend Charleston, Fort Moultrie's defending troops successfully fought off a British fleet on 28 June 1776. This was an early victory for the Americans during the American Revolutionary War. Confederate guns bombarded the Union garrison at nearby Fort Sumter on 12-14 April 1861, starting the American Civil War. Fort Moultrie was modified and upgraded over the years, serving as a active coastal defense installation until 1947. The site is now maintained by the National Park Service. I had a great time visiting the fort and nearby visitor center for about three hours, snapping over 500 images. For more info on Fort Moultrie, visit: http://www.nps.gov/fosu/historyculture/fort_moultrie.htm

After the visit to Fort Moultrie, it was a good lunch at a Charleston restaurant, then to the guest house. Tonight, I'll start packing up for the return trip. I'll be back in St. Louis tomorrow and back to work on Tuesday. I hope all is well with you, especially those of you in metro St. Louis. The grand jury decision came down Monday night. Mom and I did not see any protesters on our way to the airport, but I am saddened by the violence that has occurred. I am not happy with the grand jury's decision and the underlying issues need to be addressed and soon; however, there is no justification for violence or bullying or other negative behavior by either side in this matter. I'll let it go at that.


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