This is the first of what will likely be several vacation recap posts. It’s also the least photo-filled, but you’ll understand why as you read. The good pictures are coming later!
Though all our information said vacation started Friday, it technically started Thursday night for us. We left the house around 8:00 to make sure we had time for a quick Target stop, parking, and checking in for our 1:00 a.m. flight. Yeah, that part was rough… but it saved us a significant amount of money, so whatever.
After a night of fitful (i.e. nonexistant) airplane sleeping, we landed in Charlotte for a 2.5-hour layover (in hindsight, we should have just driven from Charlotte. Next time, we will know), during which I was super classy and stretched out on the airport floor for a catnap. A short flight later, we landed in Myrtle Beach (I love landing at airports that make you feel like you’re landing in the ocean. Is that weird?), grabbed our rental car, and vacation truly began!
It was too early to check in to our resort, so we instead found some lunch (with an ocean view, of course), then checked out the shopping center near our resort. It was built over a lake, and in that lake lived a ton of turtles.
There were dispensers all around in which you could drop 50 cents to get a handful of turtle food. Feeding those turtles was seriously one of the highlights of the trip for me. We may have stopped here almost every day to feed them. They’re just so cute and turtly!
Anyway, I eventually had to stop feeding turtles so we could go buy some groceries and check into our condo. We really like to stay in condos or cabins with kitchens when we travel. That way, we can save money on breakfast and lunch, then have a nicer dinner out… which we did that night, at the House of Blues. There was no live music that night, but it was still fun!
The next morning, we slept in a little to make up for the sleepless plane night; then I got up and went for a run. I was a little sad that we weren’t staying near the beach, but running along the Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway each morning was nothing to complain about!
When I got back, J and I whipped up some eggs and ate them on our patio, where we discovered that there were more turtles living in the pond outside our condo, along with some rather aggressive ducks. This one bit J’s toe when we wouldn’t share our breakfast.
Once we finished breakfast, we were ready to hit the beach! But first we had to hit a local farmer’s market, where we were pretty excited to buy some fresh strawberries and cantaloupe (which we won’t have here for another couple of months). We then smothered ourselves with sunscreen and cruised down to Myrtle Beach State Park, where we spent the next several hours enjoying some long-awaited ocean time.
Once the sun got a little too powerful for my uber-pastiness, we decided to head back up and see the boardwalk. Yeah, bad choice. Turns out, it was “Bike Week,” which meant that thousands of crazy motorcyclists were swarming Myrtle Beach, weaving in and out of cars, creating all sorts of stressful traffic. It took us three hours to get from the south end to the north end of town, and we didn’t even try to go to the boardwalk. It was nuts, and definitely the least-fun part of the whole trip.
By the time we got back to our resort area, we were just happy to get out of the car and move around … and when we saw a wine shop advertising tastings, that sounded like exactly what we needed, so in we went. As we tasted, we talked to the proprietor, who explained that by Monday (Memorial Day) afternoon, all the bikers would be gone, and getting around would be much easier. She suggested that the next day (Sunday) we head up to North Carolina instead of fighting to get back down to the Myrtle Beach stuff.
After leaving the wine shop, we had a delicious fish dinner at Flying Fish Market (my goal for this trip was to eat fresh seafood every night. I’m proud to say I met that goal), then headed back and crashed hard — the sleeplessness and the long drive caught up with us, at last!
The next day, we took the wine lady’s advice. We had a great time in North Carolina on Sunday… but I’ll tell you about it tomorrow, as this post is getting pretty long.