Our last day in Myrtle so we are trying to cram in as much as possible. We got started to the beach bright and early, largely because the early morning heat isn't as rough on Hollys MS. Another reason is that they were doing an alligator walk and any opportunity to see alligators! Holly camped on the beach and we went on the walk. We saw some gators hiding in the brush and a couple walked across the path after we passed. There was a bunny right next to the trail and I was hoping the gator would eat it; that would be a great nature experience for the kids! When it got too hot, we went back to our place, cleaned up and went to Ripleys Aquarium since we got free tickets. Some of it was cool but would have been disappointed had we paid for the tix. Leaving tomorrow and stopping in Charlotte to visit some friends before heading home on Thurs.
28 June 2015
Sunday was one of our Beach days. We are big fans of State Parks so we headed to Huntington SP, south of Myrtle. Typical southern sandy pine forest gives way to a tidal marsh populated by herons, egrets, terns (and tons of other birds) and alligators. Go a little further past the campgrounds and the sounds of the ocean creep up past the rising dunes. We played all day and Colin was a trooper, battling pounding surf for hours! Right off the beach is a ruined structure and of course I had to check it out! Never leave a ruin or historical site uninvestigated! It was the winter home for the Huntingtons (not sure their claim to fame) in the early 1900s. Pretty cool! Everybody was beat and I think I was asleep before the sun was down!
We arrived in Myrtle on Friday in the late afternoon. We stepped out of the car to a 105 degree heat index. You know it is hot when the locals are complaining! In my experience in the South, I have always found it helpful to embrace the oppressiveness of the heat; own it because you can't fight it! Our resort is not on the beach but we have the Intercoastal Highway behind us. Very cool; a highway of water that runs along the whole Eastern Seaboard! There are some pretty awesome private properties along the waterway! So of course the kids had to jump in their suits and go swimming for the rest of the night!
27 June 2015
Saturday was a 'lay low by the pool' day. Part of being in a vacation club is listening to the sales pitch to try and get you to up your membership. They always make it worth your while, with free dinners, tickets, etc. we always intend to say no and meant to again. Because of recent corporate restructuring, we essentially had to increase or lose what value we had. In the end it will be worth it; gives us more travel options, can sell points back and will pass on to the kids. Pops would approve using some of the $ he earned to continue traditions with his grandkids he started. So, Holly was busy doing that while I hung out with the kids. In the evening, we went out for a nice dinner at a brewery.
26 June 2015
This is how we imagine our retirement; a cabin in the mountains!
Our first night Holly and I were sitting on the porch watching the sunset. As the stars came out, Colin came out on the porch in his PJs. He couldn't sleep (Hannah was crashed) so we sat with him, looked at the stars and talked. It was nice to have him to ourselves as he sometimes gets lost in the sibling mix since his sister can be a bit dominating at times. It was a very special moment that I hope he will remember forever; I know I will!
25 June 2015
Hannah and Colin earned their National Park Junior Ranger Blue Ridge Parkway Badge and Certificate!
One of the things I love about traveling is one never knows what will happen or people one may encounter. We noticed many people gathering at the Music Center and we found out that they were having a memorial concert for the founder of the Center, Joe Wilson. More memorializing than music but it was a great vibe and heard some awesome stories about a cool human being!
We were looking for some hiking opportunities and saw that we were only a few miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway. So we parked at the Blue Ridge Music Center and started off. The hike lasted 2 hours and covered 4 miles. The kids were absolute troopers! Went through mountain meadows and woods lush with rhododendrons. Got a bit panicked when we came to a trail junction and weren't sure which way to go (I forgot the trail map in the car!). Everything turned out OK; lesson learned, don't mess around with nature!!
24 June 2015
Stopped by a small church cemetery after dinner for a little history lesson. The South has a direct connection to the past that the North doesn't. It is palpable, one can feel it. The cemetery consisted of a few families. Guarantee, these soldiers have living kin within 10 miles of this cemetery. I appreciate the living history and honoring the dead but that flag is right where it should stay, in a cemetery.
Morning reveals fog covering rolling pastures and cornfields. Kids didn't sleep as expected so an afternoon nap may be in order. The best thing about road tripping is the day holds infinite possibilities of experiences!