Columbia, South Carolina

The South Carolina Capitol or State House in Columbia (pics) had a difficult beginning.  Construction began in 1851 but the architect was dismissed for fraud and the structure was largely dismantled.  A new architect restarted construction in 1855 but had to be halted in 1865 due to the Civil War.  The unfinished building was damaged by artillery shells when Sherman’s army occupied the city.  Construction was finally completed in 1907.

SC State House

When we visited the State House we were able to have a guided tour.  The tour guide was a good representative for his state.  He was able to point out the many accomplishments of South Carolina’s residents as well as many significant unique aspects of the state’s culture.  He seemed to exhibit a little chip on his shoulder like he wanted us to know that South Carolina has a lot to offer and has played a large role in our history.

Our one night stop in Columbia didn’t allow us to see much more than the State Capitol and the Riverfront Park.  Columbia sits at a point where the Broad River and the Saludo River combine to form the Congaree River.

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Charlotte, North Carolina

North Carolina’s largest city, Charlotte (pics) has certainly put itself on the map in the past few years.  With the headquarters for Bank of America and the east coast operations for Wells Fargo, it is the second largest financial center by assets following New York City.  In 2012 Charlotte played host to the Democratic National Convention.

The Green, Signpost to other Charlottes

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Raleigh, North Carolina

Our first stop in North Carolina was the capital city of Raleigh (pics).  In keeping with our practice of visiting state Capitol buildings we encounter, we began our tour of Raleigh at the North Carolina State Capitol.  Completed in 1840 and built in a Greek Revival style, this Capitol has become mostly ceremonial and historical in nature.  While the Governor’s office remains here, in the early 1960’s the legislature moved to a newly constructed State Legislative Building.

North Carolina Capitol

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Virginia State Capitol

Sadly, we didn’t allocate much time to tour the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond.  It is perhaps the most historic in the US.  Not only was this building started shortly after the conclusion of the Revolutionary War but it was designed by Thomas Jefferson and for 3 years during the Civil War it also served as the home for the Confederate House of Representatives.

Virginia State Seal

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Morita Christmas 2013

Valerie and her sisters had not all been together for Christmas (pics) in several years.  This year they all managed to meet in Maryland at Cyndie’s home.  In addition, Mom made the trip to the East coast to spend Christmas with Jenni and Cyndie so the whole family was together.

Morita Christmas breakfast

We started the day with a hearty Christmas breakfast and finished with a great dinner and a game of left, center, right.  We really appreciate the effort Cyndie and Jenni put into making a nice Christmas breakfast and dinner.