2008 Jun 21 | Savannah, Charlotte

I read almost no magazines now because they always have the same information every time and most of it you can find on the internet anyway. Or else the articles areblindingly obvious, like this paintball magazine: the three pro skills are hide, move, and shoot? Doesn't that basically cover everything you would ever do in paintball?

Self checkout and 20+ individual Gatorade bottles is not a good combination.

Either they originally intended to have a door here or else they wanted to have the option of adding one later. It's still weird, though.

In Florida, they sell the electronic toll passes in the grocery stores, which is nice. In California and Texas you had to have them mailed to you.

This house was right off a bridge alongside the Highway 1 bridge. It's nice because it's secluded (it's the only thing on that bridge), but you would have to pay attention because you only have about 50 feet after the driveway before you run out of bridge.

You can eat much healthier while driving by grabbing individual items at a grocery store rather than at a fast food restaurant, and it's usually about the same price if you look for things on sale.

This was quite a mess; having a giant tow truck facing you on the side of your lane while driving is rather scary, too.

Savannah, GA's riverwalk has a bunch of shops along the river and obviously a tram of some sort runs along it, too.

These allow you to go up to the next street parallel to the Riverwalk, but since the road going up is around the corner, I didn't know you could get to the other road except at the ends of the Riverwalk; I thought these were just parking areas until I walked through one of them.

Fog above a field. I got up before anything was open, so I ended up just driving around a bit.

Fort Jackson was neat to see, even though it was never really used in any major battles. Then again, if you scare people away and prevent them from attacking you, that's even better than fighting.

Cannons facing the river.

There was also a moat around it that had tons of tiny crabs. They should have trained them as attack crabs.

I filled up with gas at a BP but this pump terrified me. In my mind, green on a gas station is reserved for diesel, and this pump had green all over it, even though it was unleaded. I kept double-checking the price, the octane, and looked all over for signs saying "diesel" before I filled up. I almost went somewhere else instead just in case.

Charlotte, NC has a tram that goes to the uptown area, which is pretty nice, especially because there is a stop near Monica's.

I've always liked the little patios on top of buildings. You've got all that space, so you might as well use it for something.

Our family members can be such nerds. Dad, Mom, Monica, and I went to the Discovery Place. Here we are looking at soap bubbles.

This station had blocks you were supposed to put together so that none of them moved. There were lots of other stations with pulleys and things, too.

They also had rat basketball, although it was a little disappointing. I was imagining teams of five rats each throwing the ball around, and it was just one-on-one where a rat got a treat every time went through the hoop with the ball. Also, the rats basically just went back and forth with the scoring and grabbed the ball when the other one was eating its treat; they never tried to fight for the ball or anything.

The pink apartments, which are pretty hard to miss.

Three tall buildings in uptown Charlotte.

This was my favorite one because it bends out at the top.

We played goofy golf at a few places, and the course at Zuma was pretty good. Monica, are you sure you're only rolling that out six inches?

We also went up to Lake Norman, which is huge.

The water had lots of golden flecks in it which would stick to you and make you all sparkly after you got out.

These ducks went around to everyone trying to get food.

A really big church.

Luigi's restaurant has an upside-down sign. I don't know if it was a mistake at first or not, but I'm sure they've kept it that way to attract attention.

Maria's was a new Mexican restaurant that had good food and huge drinks.

North Carolina drivers seem to be jerks. I thought Texans were bad, but while they are really aggressive and don't always think ahead enough, they usually leave lanes open for turning vehicles. For example, if the guy in front of me was in the left lane, everyone else could turn right, and almost nobody in Texas would stop where he is so others could get by. People here, though, will block things like this even if there's only one or two cars in the other lane.

They also all park horribly.

I wanted a battery-operated fan, and there were three boxes left. One box was empty, one had the AC adapter missing, and the other one was an opened box. Thankfully, I didn't need the AC adapter, so it worked out fine; I took the one that was missing it and left the box with the AC adapter for someone who might want it.

Monica's place has a lot of trees around it, which makes it really pretty.

The pool is neat because it is actually four separate pools at different levels.

They apparently have problems with non-residents using the pool, though. Every once in a while they come out to see which apartment everyone is with. Also, the pool key says, "do not duplicate," although the mail key doesn't, which seems rather backwards to me.

Thursday night we went to Alive After Five, which is in uptown. There is a band and beer and tons of people.

There is another event just like it on a roof of the EpiCenter, too.

Monica had box tickets to The Cure through her work, so we went to that. You'd think they would be sick of singing some of the songs by now, though.

We also went to the Universoul Circus. We got box tickets to this, too, because when we were standing in line a woman found out two of her kids didn't want to come and sold them to us at a discount. The seats were right in front, which was a nice surprise.

We only saw one other white person there, and she appeared to be married to a black man, so they should expand their advertising a bit. Maybe have a "Whitey gets in for half price" night or something. It was really fun, though, and there was a lot of audience participation, from keeping giant beach balls in the air to dance contests.