Friday, January 9, 2009

Vacation Diary - day two Charleston SC

Charleston wakes up slowly, easing into the day like a true child of the south. The sun coming over the horizon is weak because of surrounding fog, people on their way to work don't seem to be in the same rush as in other places.  The urgency to get somewhere is not apparent, Charleston will always be here.It has survived the war of northern aggression, the great war and WWII, Korean and Vietnam. Each time the wars have reached deep into the souls of its people and taken their men, their lives, but not their spirit.  Still even though it has the feel of the old days, the new days are here as well. People are on cell phones, mp3 players in their ears. It is an unusual mix of the old and new. 
There is a story about St Peters church in downtown Charleston. It has the highest Steeple in the city, during the civil war the boats would shell Charleston Harbor  aiming at the steeple, The citizens finally painted it black, so they could not see it at night. The shelling stopped.  The steeple still stands a tribute to the surviving spirit of a great city. 
We got up on Day two,. We wanted to get an early start and we got out at 10 am. Well, I think that is early here.
My daughter and I started at the most important place to us. We jumped in her car and headed to North Charleston and Tanger Mall. Tanger Mall, has 90 outlet stores assorted restaurants, 
a dollar store,  gas station and the the big two, Walmart and Sam's club, which were our destinations. An enigma, whats was a pine grove one day was Tanger the next.
We drove around looking for a parking space, which is no small feat. The city has it own brand of people. We drove around looking for a space and lucked up behind a lady who was walking down the middle of the parking aisle, we couldn't pass her so we slowed way down and followed. Suddenly a truck, as if on cue backed  out of a space. It was an old beaten up pickup, with a cover over the bed.   She opened the back door of the truck, proceeded to put her purchases in, put her basket in the roundup, blew us a kiss and waved as she hopped in to the truck and drove away. Only in Charleston. My daughter asks me what was That?
There is but one word for that, I told her an Yiddish word "chutzpah". says it all. 
We finally found a parking space and did our shopping headed out into the day. 
Deni works at Denny's we drove by and to our dismay saw the new golden Corral bursting at the seams, that is going to hurt her business.
Tommy Hilfiger is doing a great business, as is L'egg shop,Timberland's shoes. And I discovered
something. An Outlet Mall just marks things down and makes them affordable for the little people, but not less expensive for us. For instance it is priced out of our range  at the big stores, but just barely in range in the outlet  stores. 
So we headed to Barnes and Nobles,  and Pay less shoes. places we knew we could afford. 
Driving over the Westmoreland  bridge, from North Charleston to West Ashley where we live, the view from the Westmoreland bridge is marsh. On some days, you just know you are in Charleston by the smell, it can be felt from all over the city. 
  General William C  Westmoreland died in Charleston, in 2005 at the age of 92. He led our troops in the Vietnam war to victory. He was a great leader. 
We called it a day. Tomorrow we will head to (today) Summerville. The town it says is on the Historic registry. It shall be interesting...
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