We really built this trip up for Braeden, telling him all the time that we're going to Charleston. As we were packing, we'd ask where we were going and he would say "Going to Charleston" very cutely. We knew he was interested in what we were doing but that he didn't really understand we were going on vacation. The drive down went pretty smoothly. We had planned to drive straight through, but it was obvious Braeden wanted a break from his carseat. We stopped around noon for lunch at McDonald's. Amazingly, Braeden didn't insist on french fries...he ate apple slices, chicken nuggets, and drank milk.
When we finally arrived in Charleston, we took Braeden to the aquarium which is right on the harbor. It's absolutely beautiful on the water. We could look out on the Ravenel bridge which is a cable bridge that's 3-miles long and has a pedestrian walkway. Mat and Braeden ended up walking half-way across the bridge Thursday morning so Braeden could see the boats and the water. Just inside the aquarium there's a giant tank with local fish and a big turtle. Braeden LOVED the turtle and followed it around the tank. I loved the turtle because he would snap at the tails of the fish as they swam by. I got some great photos of Braeden watching the turtle.
Me, I made friends with a very sweet duck. She swam right up to me and quacked at me so sweetly. She didn't leave my side for almost five minutes.
To save a little money, we brought cheerios, fruit, and juice for breakfast.
After Braeden's nap, we decided to head to Folly Beach to walk on the beach and play in the surf. Timing being what it is we stepped onto the beach just as the lifeguards were clearing the beach due to a big storm coming. As the huge raindrops started to hit us, we ran up under the covered pavilion and right into the midst of seven lifeguards. With the beach cleared, it was just us and them. They took pity on us and invited us into their tiny headquarters to ride out the storm. And what a storm it was! Thunder, lightning, wind, and rain. The lifeguards (and Mat) started shouting and jumping around exitedly when one of them noticed a waterspout had formed directly in front of us. Mat tried taking pictures, but they didn't really come out. Here's one of the storm though.
The lifeguards were great with Braeden...they really liked having him there. One guy gave him his bag of cheez-its which Braeden devoured! And he had a great time playing with the red floaty thing lifeguards use.
I spent Thursday at the conference. Mat and Braeden walked halfway across the Ravenel bridge that morning. The bridge takes you from Charleston to Mt. Pleasant, and it's a beautiful bridge! It's part of the view from the Aquarium too. That afternoon Mat took Braeden down to the battery to see the boats and play in the park down there. There were a number of gazebos (or rainbow houses as Braeden calls them) for them to play in and statues to climb on. When I got back from the conference late that afternoon they were playing in Marion Park just across the street from our hotel.
Friday morning Mat and Braeden went back to the battery to play in the park while I finished up the conference. Much to Braeden's utter delight, Mat took him to lunch at Moe's two days in a row!