Sunday, May 30, 2010

Charlestowne Landing


It's Memorial Day weekend!  Growing up in Charleston has given Gary the unique opportunity to be completely surrounded by rich American history.  He's a history buff and he can actually rattle off dates and places of battles, as well as some bizarre off the wall facts that most people wouldn't know.  If I wasn't taught to completely block the American Revolution from English history, I would probably be more interested.  Unfortunately, I'm slowly coming out of the denial that any of it ever happened.  Luckily for the other side of me, I can claim to have invented many things.  *I* invented gunpowder, paper, pottery, noodles and printing.  So, even though I don't always care  remember in which century the civil war was fought, I can take pride in knowing that I invented the wheel.  Okay, that perhaps wasn't the Chinese.  I guess we'll give you that one. 

So who thought of this as appropriate punishment?  Gary, Lydia and I went to Charlestowne Landing last weekend.  There's quite a lot to see out there including animals, gardens and information about the original settlers (you know, the ones that claimed the land from the natives).  SO here's the Sonia scoop on what happened, which is what I remember, which may or may not actually be true.  If you want to poke holes in my historical knowledge, go right ahead.  I won't be embarrassed if you feel the need to correct me.  Matter of fact, you should probably go straight to a more reliable source as soon as you're done here.

Apparently King Charles II, gracious guy that he is, gave 'Carolina' to eight of his BFFs aka Lord Proprietors.  Who cares if there were already people living there, he figured it was his to give away.  Arrogant stinkbombhead.  I mean, God Save the King.  So these guys (and a few other peeps) get on 3 boats to come over to Carolina.  They stop over in Bermuda to see how slavery plantations work.  Despite the atrocious conditions, they decide that the slavery plantation system is rather efficient and effective (Pah, lives lost, people treated like dogs...it's just another day in the 1600s).

I guess they didn't have doppler radar and hurricane tracking back then, because only 1 ship made it to the Carolina coast and the other 2 are destroyed in hurricane conditions.    The Lord Proprietors decided that it would be a good idea to try to grow sugar cane and some other stuff that, well, didn't end up growing at all.  Deary me, that wasn't so smart. 

So Charleston...Charles Towne...get it?  God Save the King.  That's the only hint you get.

I also learnt that 'bucks', the colloquial term used for dollars, comes from trading deerskins (buckskins!) with the Native Americans.  So you would trade 2 'bucks' for...bloomers?  What did we have to trade back then?

Anyhoozle, that's about all I can give you as far as the history of Charleston.  Well of course that's not all that Charleston's about.  That's just a small part of what I learnt at Charlestowne Landing.  They did have a full-size replica of a 17th century cargo ship there.  The park ranger was dressed in period clothing, making some sort of twine and rope thingy.  He was showing us how they lugged the anchor or cows into the hold.  I would give you a full explanation but my cell phone kept going off, playing, 'these are the hands we're given' rock style and I had to answer because it was work.  Yes, I was on a replica 17th century boat using obnoxious 21st century technology.  I then missed pieces of the presentation that were rather important if I were to try to explain it here.  The park ranger's name was CJ by the way, and he was pretty dang good at his job.  Go visit him if you can.

I leave you with a brilliant picture of Lydia in the Hundred Acre Wood.  We were at Barnes and Noble getting a drink and noseying around the children's book section.  They had a little stage set up for storytime during the week.  I love Winnie the Pooh and now that Lydia's in the story too...well, doesn't that make it perfect?  You might notice another bear in the pic too if you look closely.

I uploaded another video.  I took it last weekend, after our history lesson outing and walk in the Hundred Acre Wood. 

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