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USS Yorktown

July 19, 2010

Because of my extreme dislike of wasting any of the precious few summer days allotted by our fine state, the fellows and I had a change of plans. Typical for us. We’re hardly pros at sticking to a plan.

We were slated to come home from the beach on Saturday, for two whole weeks.   But, home seems like such a gargantuan waste of our freedom. And that August 13th date is looming over me like tropical storm clouds.  Though tropical storms at least generate excitement.

So, since we’re not too far from Charleston, it seemed like a good idea.  And it was. I am the queen of good ideas.

A friend recommended Hyman’s seafood(if you by some off-chance catch this, thanks Monica), so Saturday night, we waited in a really long line for about 45 minutes for some really good seafood. Really good.  Oysters, crab cakes, fried fish, it was a good time.  We all participated in the gluttony and when we reached our hotel that night, we all waddled like ducks, we’d eaten so much.

The next day, Patriots Point was on the agenda.  We took the kids on a tour of the USS Yorktown, a naval aircraft carrier that’s now part of the maritime museum in Charleston.  It was an amazing place to tour.  So much history unfolded there.

I was struck by a quote on a letter I read on the tour. 

“He stands in the unbroken line of patriots who have dared to die
That freedom may live, and grow, and increase it’s blessings.

Freedom lives, and through it, he lives–
In a way that humbles the undertakings of most men.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt

The ready room really affected my husband and I.  Pilots came here for briefings on the missions they were about to undertake.  The idea that they sat in those very chairs right before they risked or perhaps lost their lives for our freedom leaves you in awe of their bravery.  And as a mother and wife, it leaves you with a lump in your throat.


As we toured the ship, I found myself more than once being really moved by what I was seeing.  I thought about the soldiers in far away lands hoping for words from home, and the disappointment they must have felt if they didn’t receive one.  Soldiers in our country choose this life knowing they’ll face these hardships. And that they do impresses and amazes me. 

The tight sleeping quarters with their cots secured three deep with chains seemed like way less luxury than these heroes deserved.

And the hospital area broke my heart.  I couldn’t imagine a mother’s 19-year-old son, or 30-year-old husband having to recuperate so far from the comfort of their own homes in these conditions. Their were beds everywhere, no privacy to be had.  I imagined nausea, and sleeplessness, and it was so hot and oppressive, with no natural light or breeze  anywhere. For some reason, I have no photos of this area. 

The tour had a lot more to offer than we could take in.  July isn’t the time to visit.  It’s really hot in some places.  Like, car with the windows up in July, hot.  And the kids were busy going from one exhibit to the next, so we didn’t have time to read quite as much as we’d like.  I’d love to visit again, in one of the cooler months, without the little kids.


We opted out of the tour of Fort Sumter, though we’ll try again some time.  We were really hot and hungry, so we decided to go for a bite.  We headed over to Shem Creek for seafood at Red’s Ice House.  We had some of the best oysters ever.  So good that my husband, who’s not a huge eater, ended up ordering seconds. 

He looks full, doesn’t he? Notice his Shark Weed t-shirt. It’s part of the package that we received after our close call with the shark.  I had no idea you got prizes if you weren’t eaten. Did you? I’ll blog about all of the goodies we got soon!

The kids watched the dolphins and we enjoyed the view while we gorged ourselves.

Our plan was to take the kids to the Waterfront Park and let them play.  We figured they could get wet in the fountain and cool down before we started for home. 

They were tired and irritable and being down right ugly to each other.   So, in a totally uncharacteristic move, I decided to head for home.  There were some tears, and some pleading, I’d go as far as to say begging.  These are my kids afterall, and going home rings of missing out on big adventures to them too.  But, I needed to prove a point, so I headed for home.

The kids were apologizing to each other, each thought it was their fault that we were leaving.  I never raised my voice, I just said, “Okay, we’re done.  If we can’t have fun together, we’re not going to try anymore today.”  

I had a second reason, but I didn’t tell them.  I have a headlight out and have to go to the Chrysler place to replace it and haven’t done it yet, so getting on the road before dark sort of made sense.

Okay, this is certainly the world’s most boring blog post.  My blow-by-blow of our day.  But, it’s all I’ve got this morning.  I’ve got to start planning our next excursion.   We don’t have much time left. 

And one thing’s for sure, they’ll make the effort to get along better next time.  ‘Cause they know I mean business!

Have a great week!

19 Comments leave one →
  1. July 19, 2010 9:39 am

    Glad you ended it funny cuz I was kinda sad with all the military-death stuff above. 🙂 LOVE that he’s rockin the Shark Week t!!

  2. July 19, 2010 9:45 am

    Sounds like the Queen of Good Ideas know when the kids have had it. I love taking tours too and can’t wait until my little ones are old enough to enjoy that type of activity. Great pictures. The infirmary would be horrible. I’m almost glad you didn’t get pictures of that area.

    I love your husbands shirt. Yes, you should get prizes for not getting eaten by sharks. Can’t wait to hear about it.

  3. July 19, 2010 9:51 am

    You are awesome and have totally inspired me to take advantage of our summer vacation and of all the beautiful places close by! So last night, I packed up our crew, packed up a picnic and we headed up to the mountains for a beautiful hike. And later this week, we are going camping and to a cave. It was so nice last night. My fighting children didn’t fight the whole time and it was such a great adventure!! Thanks for being a great adventurer and for telling all about it!

  4. July 19, 2010 10:20 am

    Yes, you have inspired me to post more of our vacation pictures. Have I posted any? I know people love to see the pix! We took the kids on the USS Midway in San Diego and we all loved it! It is sooo massive though. After 3 hours they were cooked! I have many similar (though not as good) pictures of our trip as your trip!

    • July 19, 2010 12:26 pm

      I’ll have to come check out your pictures! I do love a vacay! I think I read somewhere that the Yorktown had 3500 people living aboard it. In such close quarters, I’m surprised people didn’t kill each other! I want to take the kids to Ft. Sumter, but we’re going to wait until it’s cool.

  5. July 19, 2010 10:27 am

    I enjoy the play by plays of your days…they are way more interesting than mine! It’s so hot here, I can’t even think of going anywhere. By the way, good for you for sticking to your guns with the boys…they really will know you mean business next time!

    • July 19, 2010 12:25 pm

      Amy, it’s hot here too! Yesterday, it was 100 without a breeze in sight and the humidity was terrible. I think my kids would have been way more easy to get along with had it not been so furnace like!

  6. July 19, 2010 11:09 am

    I really resent you making me feel like such a bad mom! I won’t even help my kids make a lemonade stand. I am DREADING it.

    Glad you’re having fun! And your boys look just like your hubs!

    • July 19, 2010 12:23 pm

      That cracked me up! I dread a lot of stuff too!
      We are having fun, and my husband could have spit a couple of them out of his mouth! The youngest is all me, but the older boys, geez!

  7. July 19, 2010 12:31 pm

    I think this is the first time I’ve actually seen your real blog. Rather than the mobile version. Cute! I didn’t even know the real name. I’ll do my best to remember it.
    While I know very little about the living conditions of soldiers, I suspect the ship is more comfortable and clean than many field situations.

  8. July 19, 2010 12:48 pm

    As always, I love to live vicariously through you! I agree, your kids really favor your husband. Thanks for posting those wonderful pics and for teaching us all a great lesson!!

  9. July 19, 2010 3:42 pm

    What a moving tribute. I have toured the Yorktown and it is indeed, a place to stop and remember the mighty sacrifice of our soldiers.

    I’m with you on counting down these summer days. They whoosh by entirely too fast.

  10. July 20, 2010 12:08 am

    Woman, I don’t know how you have the energy to do all this stuff! Spill the beans (or whatever super vitamins you’ve been taking). I’m away for the week at my sister’s house, and two days of it and I’m so tired I’m seeing double!

    Your hubby looks like he’s a hoot. And these pictures are fabulous. I was especially struck by the airplane seats, for some reason. Stark and whatnot.

    Can’t wait to hear more about your free loot. Show, show!

  11. July 20, 2010 1:09 am

    Wow…thanks for taking the time to share all of your “last minute” excursions. I seriously feel like I have been on summer vacay with you…sort of! I think it is so good to have constant reminders that we are “at war”. It’s so easy to just go about our day and forget.
    Thanks for the reminder.

    Love the hubs shirt…can’t wait to see the loot you got for “surviving”!!

  12. July 20, 2010 7:52 pm

    I’m soooo jealous! I really am. Did you push lots of buttons? My husband and I like to tour submarines and ships, and I push all the buttons. One time, I actually pushed a button that DID SOMETHING and I shut off some engines. Oops.
    We like to take this particular train ride that goes past air craft carriers, but have never been on one. Just THINK of all the BUTTONS that are on one of those. And the switches that could be flipped, and the handles that can be twisted. *sigh* So. Jealous.

  13. July 22, 2010 2:48 pm

    I need to take some tips from you and be much more adventurous. The good news is, I feel like I have gotten to go so many places and do so many cool things by reading your blog. You really are an awesome mother. I also have to agree with what you said about the soldiers. It is an amazing thing they do for our country. My brother recently enlisted and it has brought a whole new light to the subject for me.

  14. July 23, 2010 8:21 am

    Your photos are so great. You’re really talented. I enjoy posts where I’m offered a glimpse into someone’s life, and your kids will love these posts when they’re older!

    You cracked me up about being given prizes if you’re not eaten by a shark! I had no idea! Please write a post about the prizes. Cause I hope and pray that I’m NEVER in that situation.

    The dinner you described sounds so relaxing and fun, watching the dolphins, etc. Your husband looks like he’d be so much fun.

    • July 23, 2010 10:35 pm

      I did write a post and show off our Shark Week goodies!
      Thanks for the compliment, I love playing with my camera. One day, maybe I’ll figure it all out!
      And my husband is loads of fun! He keeps us all laughing!

  15. Monica permalink
    July 25, 2010 2:43 pm

    Glad you enjoyed Hyam’s and the Yorktown.

    Geoffrey and Ian have slept on those three-high stacked cots with their Scout troop. They said it was a little tight!

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