June 27th, 2009

green little review

Greetings from Augusta

We have left Charleston after a fabulous day at the waterfront there, starting with a morning walk from our hotel to the Spirit of Charleston, which took us on a half-hour cruise past the Charleston coastline and the visiting tall ships to Fort Sumter. I learned a lot -- for instance, I didn't realize that the entire island upon which the fort stands was built on an underwater sandbar -- from the audio tour on the boat, which covers both the historical background and some of the architecture of the city. Adam and I stood on the forward deck for the whole cruise watching the pelicans, swallows and seagulls, plus Pride of Baltimore under sail and tugboats directing enormous freight tankers to the deep-water docks. It was very hot within the fort where the Civil War started, though also lovely, with little fiddler crabs and arthropods among the rocks.

After the boat ride back, we went to the South Carolina Aquarium, which mostly focuses on native species though it has a visiting exhibit on Magellanic penguins on loan from SeaWorld. We picnicked on the tables behind the aquarium overlooking the harbor, then we went to the dive and feeding at the big sea tank, which has sharks, a sea turtle, moray eel, and a lot of fish. We also spent a lot of time in the "outdoor" exhibit of shore birds, turtles, crabs, and fish found near the harbor (the room is surrounded by mesh but is open to the air and has local plants). And we saw the Carolina rainforest, an exhibit on rivers with otters and snakes, the touch tank with horseshoe crabs, urchins and rays, an interactive exhibit on camping with skunks and owls, and the aforementioned penguins, whose feeding we attended. In the late afternoon, we drove to Augusta, where we had dinner in our hotel room and took the kids to the pool.

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Saturday we go to Atlanta to see Civil War sites and Gone with the Wind settings!