Monday, October 31, 2011
A few days ago after a leisurely breakfast of coffee and breakfast tacos, we read about Charleston on the internet and began to plan our day. Parking was free along Battery Park and we found a parking place with ease. After exploring the park we followed our plan to walk the neighborhoods between Battery Park and Broad Street. What a treat it was to see the old, restored well-kept homes and read the history on their historical markers. We also saw that most of the homeowners created an oasis in their small yards and entry ways. It gave us opportunities for many a fascinating peek into Charleston City Life.
Broad Street was bustling with shoppers. A Carnival Cruise ship was docked so tourists were browsing wares at the Central Market such as locally hand woven sweet-grass baskets and other artisan wares. Along the side streets were ice cream and gelato stores, seafood restaurants and other lures for the masses. It had a very happy and busy vibe. The walk back through the neighborhoods offered the sight of preschool children in their purple uniforms lining up to cross the street and a family dog peering longingly outside through the fence. We had the best time losing ourselves through the neighborhood sidewalks and alley ways.
We enjoy touring colleges so since the Citadel was close by we ventured over to take a look. Immediately we noticed that we had stumbled upon an event as the main quad was sectioned off with cones and guards. We circled around looking for a parking spot and chuckled when we saw a warning in one lot that it floods sometimes in High Tides. We elected not to park in that lot! After parking in a place near the quad, we asked a fellow walker what was happening and he explained that every Friday is Parade Day for the cadets. He explained that even “way back when” he was a student, they marched every Friday all four years he attended there. He also said that as a result often the spectators enjoy it so much more than do the cadets!
The Citadel band marched out first. What a treat it was to see the band led by bagpipers in kilts as well as the two showy drum majors exaggerating each movement in sync with one another. The band marched across the length of the field to the far left hand corner of the parade field while playing military march tunes. In turn thereafter each and every cadet marched in from the middle and corners of the parade field led by flag bearers marking their particular battalion. The female cadets wore their hair in buns so they blended in with the male cadets quite well. There were also cadet uniforms adorned with sashes of different colors. We did not know what the colors signified but it made for an interesting look. The marching tunes gave a patriotic feel and we were more than glad we happened there on parade day.
The architecture of the school is castle-like and crisp creamy white especially against the blue sunny sky. Flags flew atop every building and many of the flagpoles sported a golden eagle adornment. The practice fields and athletic venues looked great. We noticed there would be a football game the next day (Saturday) at 1pm against VMI. We toyed with the idea of purchasing a ticket but our beloved Texas A&M Aggies were to play at the same time and we already planned to watch that game against Missouri at home on our computer.
We had such a great time in Savannah that we kind of overlooked Charleston the last time we were in the area. We are so glad we decided to take a closer look at Charming Charleston and would not hesitate to visit again one day. Maybe next time we will even catch a sporting event at the Citadel!
Note: Sharon also wrote this blog as can be told by her distinctly different style of prose. Today was a travel day as we headed further south to the state of Georgia…