14 March 2006

Charleston, SC

Sunday the 12th, Bill and I drove into Charleston, SC to visit Patriot Point Naval and Maritime Museum as well as to check out historic downtown Charleston.

Patriot Point is home to the USS Yorktown (aircraft carrier), DD-724 Destroyer Laffey, Coast Guard Cutter Ingham, and the SS-343 Submarine Clamagore. We walked through all of them, although they weren’t set up as nice or as informative as the Alabama was. At the Point they also have a mock-up of a PBR Vietnam Base Camp.

The Yorktown was probably the most informative of all the ships, they have different tours you can take and the Hangar deck is set up as a museum. In the hangar deck they have several displays including aircraft and some memorials. Probably the best set up they have is the Medal of Honor Hall, it’s nicely done. We don’t have any pics of the Hall, when you walk in it’s very quiet with an almost reverent feel to it.

On the Flight deck of the Yorktown they have some various different aircraft set up, again without any explanation of what they are or what the significance of them are. However, Bill read in the paper a bit about the F-14 Tomcat that I thought was pretty cool. The day that we visited the Yorktown and saw this F-14, was the same day that the last two combat squadrons of F-14s were returning to Norfolk to be decommissioned. The F-14 Tomcat will never again fly a combat mission. They are being replaced by the F-18 Hornet, the jet’s that the Blue Angels currently fly. I thought that was pretty cool.

After tooling around Patriots Point we drove through Historic Downtown Charleston. Other than some of the most beautiful houses that I’ve ever seen (that are private residences that you can’t walk around) I don’t really see the draw to this area. You have to find parking (good luck) than walk around the area and deal with crowds to really see it, we opted not to deal with that and just drove around. Neither Bill nor I really like large groups of people just to find out that really the only thing there was shopping and eating.

On our way out of Charleston we stopped at the KOA that we had originally stopped at and only stayed the overnight before pulling out and heading into Myrtle Beach. This is the sign I saw while standing right on the water line of the lake…that rules!

We returned to Myrtle Beach very glad, on multiple levels, that we decided to leave Charleston and stay at the Beach instead. We’ve really been enjoying Myrtle Beach and will gladly return here if we ever find ourselves on this side and in this part of the country again.