Monday, June 06, 2016

Myrtle beach vacation 2016

My daily activity.
Jane and I spent last week in Myrtle Beach, SC. We think this is the fourth time we've been there, and the third time we stayed at the conveniently located Holiday Inn At the Pavilion hotel. We didn't do much other than lay on the beach under an umbrella, read books, and laze around. Our idea of the perfect vacation.

We left home last Saturday morning. We had to drive this year. I much prefer flying, because I hate driving, and especially so through the hills of West Virginia, but it wasn't terrible. The first night we made it to Winston-Salem, NC and spent the night there. It took a little over 9 hours. Sunday we just had about a 3 1/2 hour drive the rest of the way to Myrtle Beach. It was almost exactly 750 miles.

When we arrived it was still 'Black Bike Week.' This was the second time we've been here while this was going on. This time we were at least aware of it. It ended on Monday - Memorial Day - so we didn't mind at all. I actually kind of liked looking at all the motorcycles and other vehicles driving up and down The Strand in front of our hotel all night long.

Our first night there we went to one of our favorite restaurants along the boardwalk, and they were doing everything they could to discourage people from being there. Apparently they couldn't close, but they didn't want any bikers, or possibly black people, eating there. They closed the kitchen, except to us, and had all the doors and windows mostly closed and the air conditioning off. It was awkward when a group of black people came in and they refused to serve them any food. So we finished quickly and decided we no longer liked that place. OFBG.

Monday morning we made our way to the beach and rented an umbrella and chairs for the week. It was $35 per day, but since we paid in advance for Monday-Thursday it was only $100. Sure, there are cheaper routes to take, but it's nice having everything set up and tore down for us each day, and we generally get our moneys worth.

Our daily routine was basically to get up around 8 or 9 am, get the hotel's complimentary breakfast, have a beer, and head down to the beach around 11 or so. We bought food to make sandwiches, so at some point in the afternoon we would make ourselves a sandwich. Otherwise we sat on the beach under our umbrella, read books and watched the ocean tide. We would get in the water at some point and walk the beach a bit. Around mid-late afternoon we then headed back to our room. I usually took a nap either on the beach or when we got back to the room. Then we would take a shower and go somewhere along the beach for supper. After eating we would stroll along the boardwalk or the main drag there, watch people, and eventually head back to the room and fall asleep watching TV. I guess we usually did get one mixed drink at the pool bar at our hotel each day. That's pretty much what we did Monday-Thursday.

I read two books. Both were by John Steinbeck. First was 'The Pearl,' which was good, but somewhat sad. The second was his WWII propaganda contribution 'The Moon Is Down.' I really liked both of them, as I do all of his books I've read so far. I really had to pace myself to not finish too early. I was done reading Thursday afternoon. Jane finished Michael Frost's 'Surprise the World: The Five Habits of Highly Missional People' and 'City of Thieves,' and then started on 'The Pearl.'

We like this particular hotel mostly because of its location. It is right on the main drag, as well as the boardwalk on the beach side. It's also right across from the big bungy ride and next to the giant ferris wheel. It's a great place for people watching. They also have a free breakfast. The rooms are generally okay. The only real negative was the smell in the stairway. We were lucky in that we had a suite which was right on the end (room 201?). So while we had a balcony that looked out onto the beach, we also had a balcony out front where we could sit and watch people drive/walk up and down the street.

Weather-wise it wasn't the best week. It rained just about every day, but as with most places in the south, we were still able to enjoy plenty of sunshine each day. There was only one day where it poured most of the afternoon, otherwise it didn't really bother us too much.

We ended up leaving Friday morning around 10-ish. We briefly thought about trying to drive straight through to get home, but around Chillicothe, Ohio I was about ready to pass out, so we pulled over and spent the night at a Holiday Inn Express. The next morning we just had a 3+ hour drive, so we arrived back home early afternoon on Saturday.

All in all it was a pretty nice vacation. I could have done without seeing someone needing rescued from drowning the one day. It took three lifeguards to pull them to shore. My back was also plenty sore from driving, but it was nice not having to worry about what all we packed. Even though I guess I basically only wore t-shirts and gym shorts or swim trunks all week. It was nice to get away, and now it's nice to be back home. The cat was mighty happy to see us too.

The view from our 2nd floor room.