So last week was our amazing trip to Myrtle Beach. We had talked and talked about where to go on vacation this year, but really, nowhere else would do. I have heard California calling my name for some time now—I am dying to go out there—but ultimately we decided on a relaxing week at the beach.
I could go into great detail about everything that we did and the places we went and the grand debacle of the people we went with, but there’s no point. Because what you need to know about my experience in South Carolina is this:
It makes me feel alive.
The minute we hit Myrtle Beach’s city limits, I felt a bubbling, childlike excitement stirring within me. I couldn’t wait to take my child on the beach and take her pictures. I couldn’t wait to go beachcombing for shells. I couldn’t wait to check into the condo and get settled and hear the ocean while I slept. There were a million things I wanted to do and we did them and more.
Life at the beach agrees with me. I eat less, I exercise more, I sleep better. There was only one night when the rains really descended that I didn’t walk for more than an hour on the beach. Leah really blossomed in the sun and sand and fresh air. Michael was able to lounge by the pool and relax. We started seriously talking about him finding a job in Charleston, about retiring to the beach, about how much both of us miss the water. Even the amount of stress we were under from things not going well with “friends” and Michael’s carpool situation being unresolved, that stress was far more manageable than I would have found it otherwise.
We had a wonderful time reliving old memories too. We went up to Calabash, where we had stayed several years ago with Brian and Lara, and I did a little souvenir shopping and reminiscing. We went to the Sea Captain’s House for lunch—we never go to MB without stopping there. We drove past the places we’d stayed before, and talked a lot about the things we had done before. I’ve now been to MB 7 times, Michael’s been there 6, and it’s funny how all the visits and all the stuff we did blends together after a while and we couldn’t remember what we did with whom. We also met some other wonderful families staying at the same complex as we were—notably people from Saratoga Springs, NY and another family from North Carolina. There was also a group from Canada of 20 or more, all from the Toronto area, and did those folks ever know how to party! Leah totally fell in love with them and one of the little ones they had with them, Jacob. All she had to do was flash him a sweet smile, and he’d feed her goldfish. It was a good deal.
We also made new memories, most notably the dolphin cruise, which I would do again in a heartbeat. Apart from taking a cruise with my family in the 90’s, I had never been out on the high seas and certainly never in a “small” boat like that (it sat 150 comfortably). The crew was amazing—they let us pre-board and helped us on and off the boat no problem. It was a fun day full of laughter and dolphins and the ocean!
I’m also pleased to say that the new outlets are pretty nice. I went into the Crocs outlet store and got two pairs for $23!!!! How amazing is that?! My last pair alone cost $30. I practically haven’t taken off the one pair since I bought them. I love the Croc-y goodness.
The only surprising thing that I was not able to do was that I did not read one single page of one single book. I was too busy! I didn’t really get much down time—travel with Michael has always meant a little bit of extra work on my part, but traveling with Leah was a whole new ballgame. Suddenly I had to haul toys and snacks and sunscreen and hats and drinks and, and, and! The stroller didn’t make it in the soft sand, so I’m thinking we need to get a wagon or something for our next trip, but how we’d haul it, I do not know!
The night before we left, I literally sat down and cried. Neither one of us wanted to go. Maybe we’ll be able to squeeze in another weekend somewhere, but I doubt it. Fortunately it’s close, and as my mom reminded me, “Myrtle Beach ain’t going anywhere!” So we are marking time until we can go back—hopefully next spring sometime. Until then, I am attempting to keep that peaceful feeling in my heart despite whatever curveballs life throws my way. And I’ve got an “I *heart* Myrtle Beach” keychain and an MB magnet on the car as little reminders of oneof my favorite places on Eart. :-)