Monday, February 14, 2011

Charleston and Fort Sumter

Happy Valentine's Day! I was pleasantly surprised to be presented with a cupcake this morning at work. That's a great way to start a day. I think it's impossible to be grouchy or irritable when eating a cupcake at 9 AM. There's an idea to create world peace. Let's get Pillsbury and Betty Crocker on board and run with it.

Yesterday, my fellow mercy volunteers and I took a trip up to Charleston. It was a great day to be out and about with the beautiful weather. The highlight of the trip for me was visiting Fort Sumter - where the first shots of the Civil War, excuse me, the War Between the States as it's referred to here, were fired. After getting past the weird sense of pride Charleston still has for starting the secession, I really enjoyed the visit. They take you out on a ferry to the fort - as it is it's own man-made island of granite on top of a submerged sand bar. It really is a marvel that they built such a fort in the early to mid 1800s. It was just cool. Unfortunately, they only give you an hour before your ferry leaves - and ours was the last of the day. I could have easily spent 3 hours. I love unique history like that of Fort Sumter. Trying to put myself in the shoes of the Union garrison that briefly held the fort in 1861 and seeing that first cannon shot exploding overhead was moving. Imagine being there when everyone realized, "Oh crap. Not only is our country, which is not very old, no longer unified, we're at war." I've never felt uncertainty about the future to that degree; I've never been directly affected by any conflict. I've never had to risk my life to fight for something I believed in. I can't imagine an all-out war on American soil. Reliving the events that tore our country apart, and seeing how it is now just gets you thinking. Anyway, enough history geek ramblings. Not hard to imagine that I was one of those kids that watched the History Channel everyday after school. By the way - they've ruined the History Channel with all the stupid reality shows like ice road truckers and all that other random programming. Sorry if I've offended any rabid ice road truckers fans, but come on.

Another thing I realized in Charleston is how crazily similar it is to Savannah. Churches have the same names, candy kitchens with free praline samples, container ships - to name a few similarites. However, the downtown seems quieter and more intriguing to me - probably because I haven't spent the last 6 months there as I have in Savannh. I do think that Savannah is far prettier and has so much more green space. While both cities have palm trees and oaks - Charleston seems to have favored the former and Savannah the latter. I'm a bigger fan of the oak / spanish moss combo, but maybe that's just me. It was a very fun trip, and I enjoyed getting out of town for a little while.

This should be a good week at work, with some plans possibly coming together for some people in SOURCE.

I hope everyone is doing well. Best wishes from Georgia!

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