Saturday, 25 May 2013

McClellanville and Myrtle Beach


Sorry this has been so long coming, I have been throwing myself into Uni work since coming back from the coast.  I think I will start this there.

The house
We left on thursday morning, had a nice leisurely  drive down.  Stopped for some lunch at Wendy's.  It would appear we have a regular stopping area around Orangeburg, which is full of fast food restaurants.  It is about half way from here to the coast, so that worked well for us. We were staying in a small fishing village called McClellanville, about an hour up the coast from Charleston.  It was very picturesque and small, with very few houses, many of which were holiday homes.  We arrived just after 3, the boys got settled in and awaited out friends who we were sharing the house with.  Whilst we were settling in, we took a walk down to the end of the garden, onto our dock.  As I looked down the sides, I thought I could see lots of big bugs.  On closer inspection, they turned out to be crabs, and there was hundreds of them.  We got to the end of the dock and were just debating the likelihood of there being dolphins in the water when, literally 20 feet in front of us, the backs of 2 dolphins appeared.  Magical.  They were swimming up the water, and we saw them again.  It is so amazing to be able to see dolphins so close in the wild.  It is something I think I will never get used to seeing on the coast here.

The dock
Our friends arrived just after 6, so we fired up the barbie.  The boys (there were 5 boys aging from 1 to 6 in the house, thank goodness out nearest neighbors were a good distance away)  ate dinner well, and continued to play while we cracked on with the beer.  Got all the children in bed by 9, and settled onto the screened porch to enjoy some adult time, and compare plans for the next day.  Prior to booking this trip, my friend had expressed a very keen interest on taking a trip to Bulls Island.  Initially I thought it was a great idea for us too.  At the last minute we decided not to do it.  We did not think the boys would enjoy it, and would moan the whole time.  Also the price of the ferry for a family of 5 was pretty steep.  They were very organized, and lucky in the fact their children are still young enough to be carried.  I could not imagine Oliver's stamina.... It would have been a nightmare.  We discussed lots of interesting topics, always nice to find out peoples view points and history, especially if you have not known them long.  We all turned in fairly early.

Ferris wheel as Myrtle Beach
Instead of doing Bulls Island, we decided to do Myrtle Beach.  This has been described to us as a redneck version of Blackpool.  We were already aware that there was a biker convention going on in the town.  We left the house about 9.30, and headed up that way (it was 60 miles away).  About 30 miles from Myrtle Beach, we became aware of the numbers of bikers on the road, and this increased proportional as we approached the destination.  The best way I can think of to describe Myrtle Beach???  At first glance in reminded me of a very small version of Miami.  If I had to describe a British coastal town that it is like, I think I would say Southend-on-Sea.  We drove through it first.  Loads of big hotels, some slightly better quality than others.... Obviously there was the bikers to factor in, the place had a busy vibe, despite the big amusement and water parks not being open yet (that happens this weekend).  We decided to look for somewhere to park, and went with the most convenient (definitely not the cheapest) option of parking right under the ferris wheel, practically on the beach.  We took a little stroll down the broad walk, man it was HOT.  We turned back to the car, and Paul went and grabbed the beach stuff.  The beach was lovely, though the sand quite grainy.  I later discovered, if you dig down about half a foot, you reach a layer of shells.  The sea was refreshing after the heat, with all 3 boys going in at some point.  Oliver loved the water, as did Seb.  Isaac, not so keen.  We managed to persuade him.  The tide was coming in by then, so we had to move up the beach. The sand near the broad walk was baking, too hot, lunchtime.

the beach
Paul chucked all the beach stuff back in the car, while we waited, in the shade on the broad walk (trust me, it was HOT).  We went to Landshark on the beach for lunch, I will not say too much, as I hope to blog about it fairly soon.  This was just under the ferris wheel.  After lunch we decide to try and walk to one of the piers, but we walked on the street front, until we found an arcade.  The boys were ever so keen, so we took them in.  Of all the games I had the change for, they decided to play an old fashioned levers and pull back baseball game.  Isaac was awesome, though he was just pulling levers and pressing buttons.  Think Oliver is too used to working out a strategy, so he went through quarters very quickly. Once my coins had run out, we exited on to the broad walk, and continued to the pier.  It was a fair distance. We got about half way there when we realized it was too hot, the boys would never make it, and neither would we.  We decided to turn back towards the other one.  En route, I stopped in a souvenir shop, hoping for my usual magnet and mug combo.  This place was full of shells.  So many shells.  There were a few  I liked, but the shear volume put me off..... I felt a bit funny.  I know people take from the sea all the time, it has been going on as long as humans have been on this planet, but this felt extreme.  Its almost like I got an attack of the conscious.  I know these items have already been taken from the sea, but I didn't like the magnitude of the destruction for pure commercial gain.  I left the store quite quickly, and we continued our merry walk past the ferris wheel to the other pier.  It was nice to see the hotels from the beach side.  Most of them had good pools, and a few even had beach bars.  And they were all pretty busy.  We reached the next pier.  Of course you had to enter through the gift shop, then pay a dollar for the privilege of going on the pier.  As my cash was all gone, we had to skip it.  But the boys were greta, very understanding.  I think by then they were all wilting in the heat, as were Paul and I.  We had seen quite a few mini golf courses on the way in.  So with the promise of mini golf, we were able to get them in the car, and leave Myrtle Beach.

I will say now, I really like Myrtle Beach.  I would like to go back there again before our time here is up.  I want to stay in one of the beach front hotels with an awesome pool, and chill, catch some rays and let the boys play.  I would not want to do it for more than 3 nights, I think we would all be bored by then.  It would be nice to park the car in a hotel car park and walk everywhere for a few days.

We stopped at mini golf for the boys, they enjoyed it.  Oliver has a good swing, Isaac's needs work.  He is so left handed it is unreal, but tries to swing like a right handed person would.  We don't keep score, neither of them are good enough for it (yet...).  They really enjoy it.  We passed more bikers on the way out.

We arrived back at the house, where Liene had ice cream waiting for the kids.  They sure were grateful.    We took ours to the local park, a 10 minute walk from the house.  This was next to McClellanville museum, which was closed, but looked very interesting.  There was a big look out tower nearby, and we took a little wander on to the community dock.  By now the boys were in need of dinner, so we took them back to the house, just as our friends were getting back from their walk down our dock.  We fed them, bathed them (they were covered in sand) and got them into bed as quick as we could.

1 comment:

  1. The house worked out perfectly, and although just watching all five boys together is exhausting, the weekend was TONS of fun... Thanks for joining us!