Archive for January, 2013

Mr. Happy Goes to Charleston: A Photo Essay

Some of you may remember Mr. Happy (who is sort of my blog mascot).  Technically he is jointly owned by me AND grandson Daniel.  He lives in the back seat of my car (Mr. Happy, not Daniel) and helps me pick up Daniel from kindergarten a couple of days a week.

For months now, Mr. Happy has been nagging me for a train ride to Charleston, so early last Saturday morning, we hopped on board the 8:15 Amtrak bound for a one-night stay in the Holy City.

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Less than two hours later, we arrived  in beautiful Charleston, SC. (sister city of my hometown of Savannah).

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From the station, our Charleston taxi driver (who “drove” like a wild New York cabbie) whisked us to our hotel, the Best Western King Charles Inn in the historic district ( a very nice hotel–stay there sometime).

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The folks at the hotel treated us like royalty–especially Michael, Rhonda and Richard–and even gave us a beautiful upgrade … with rocking chairs on a balcony:

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After reading up on some sites to visit, Mr. Happy and I hit the road walking.

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We learned a bucketful of area history from guide extraordinaire Boyd Schuler when we toured the historic Edmondston-Alston House on the Battery overlooking the bay.

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I want that house to be MY house!  (If you have about four million extra dollars, please PayPal it to me ASAP.  Thank you.)

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We devoured some DElicious seafood at Hank’s.

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Went back to the hotel for a little rest …

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… before going to Godiva’s for some high-end chocolate.  Here’s Becky telling us about the latest Godiva and Charleston news:

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And co-worker Chris making chocolate strawberry footballs (WHY couldn’t the Falcons have won!!!):

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More touristing (is that an okay word?):

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And here we are at the Circular Congregational Church on Meeting Street.

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Pretending to preach:

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Time to go.

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A really fun trip for both of us.  See you next time.

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I Woke Up

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Twin Peeks

GrandTwins Matthew and Madison

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Sunday Quote

“In this New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, never in want.”

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Five Friday Happy Bringers (1/25/13)

Hello Friday!  So glad you’ve arrived, Good Friend.  I’m HAPPY you’re here for lots of reasons, but here are FIVE:

1.  This week I officially fell in love with my two classes of  ENG 193/Composition for International Students at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design).  They are such a creatively diverse, dynamic and fun group of young people from China, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Columbia, Korea, South Korea, Mexico and Iran.  (I’m sure I will be posting more about them as the quarter progresses.)

2.  The laugh-out-loud book I’m currently readingIs Everyone Hanging Out Without Me by Mindy Kaling (from The Office fame).

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3.  This great quote:

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I SO believe that, but I also SO often don’t follow it.

4.  Grandson Gabriel sleeping in his car seat.

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Is there any greater JOY than children?  (Okay, maybe sleeping children.)

5.  Toothpaste

A 1000 smiles this weekend!

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Fascinating Forgotten Fort

On Saturday I traveled half an hour south of Savannah on Interstate 95 to visit the long forgotten town of Sunbury, Georgia and the Fort Morris State Historic Site.  (By the way, did you know you can check out free passes for Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites at your local library?  Well, maybe not if you live in London.)

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If you read my latest Five Friday Happy Bringers post, you know that I’m rather proud of my brand new … blog microphone!  Here I am trying to use it.  Toward the end of the video, I went a little beserk and sounded simply foolish (“Thanks for seeing me”??  Huh?), but I was too tired to tape it again.  And my hand was aching from holding the microphone.  And I was hungry.  My on-camera skills hopefully WILL improve soon.  Who knows, I may be interviewing YOU soon.

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What an interestingly educational and fun afternoon I enjoyed!  Even though I arrived just an hour before closing, I was graciously greeted by THE COOLEST couple, June and Stan Dean from Bellingham, WA, who are enjoying a three-month stint as volunteers at Fort Morris.  Here I am with June.

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June and Stan have been volunteering at state parks and historic sites for twelve years, traveling around and living on-site in their RV!  (I need to volunteer more, and not just at food samplings and such.)

(Link for volunteering in Georgia:  http://gastateparks.org/Volunteer?siteid=5&wrapid=1)

June showed me a short film about Sunbury and Fort Morris.  I learned, for example, that before the Revolutionary War, Sunbury rivaled my hometown of Savannah as Georgia’s busiest port–and that a truckload of famous folks hailed from Sunbury, including two of Georgia’s signers of the Declaration of Independence: Lyman Hall and Button Gwinnett.  (I struggle with this lifelong SERIOUS problem with thinking that everybody’s name is so much cooler than mine–Neal.  But really, aren’t both Lyman and Button the neatest names?  If I were still in the child-bearing mode, and had a baby boy, I think I would name him Button.)

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According to the brochure that June generously handed me, “In November 1778, a British expedition … moved on Sunbury by land and water.  When the British leader demanded the surrender of the fort and town, American Col. John McIntosh replied, ‘We, sir, are fighting the battle of America … As to surrendering the fort, receive this laconic reply: Come and Take It!'”  I’m impressed with this quote for many reasons, including the use of the word “laconic,” as well as the encouragement for me to tell the tax collectors of our fiscal cliff raised taxes, laconically, to “Come and Take It!”

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After meandering through the museum, I left June and Stan, rang the bell, hid behind a bush, tried to fire a cannon, and then set off to explore the old fort’s grounds and earthwork.

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Such beautiful views of nature in this sleepy section of forgotten South Georgia.

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Now, where am I supposed to go next?

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Okay, across the bridge.

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At one point I got a little tired/hungry so sat down for more brochure reading and snacking.  But then I remembered I didn’t bring any food, darn it.

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Look at this sharp palm tree trunk.

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Ouch.

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Instructions, instructions:

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And finally, here I am throwing up and catching a walking cane-type stick for good luck.

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A wonderful way to spend a weekend afternoon!

Fort Morris Website: http://gastateparks.org/FortMorris/