Anyone who knows me, knows that I love the beach, the ocean, sea shells, palm trees, sea life, etc. I love everything about the ocean and the life that is in it and the life that surrounds it. About a week and a half ago, my husband and I had the awesome privilege of taking a quick road trip to Myrtle Beach, SC. With our schedules and future travel plans we don’t know when we will get to see the Atlantic Ocean next. So we had this small window of opportunity, and decided to hit the road and the beach!
Hubby finished up his last shift of evenings on the morning of April 6, so I got up at the time he was getting off (4am!) and threw on some travel clothes. We packed pretty much everything we could the two days before, so we just had to load our bags. We were on the road by a little after 5am, which was a little later than we wanted to be, but we had to stop and get some ice for the cooler and we grabbed some beverages for the road. We had some low carb snacks for the road (mostly) and some caffeinated drinks loaded in the cooler. Our plan was to stop as little as possible so that we could make good time to our destination.
We started out with half a tank of gas, and didn’t get gas again until we reached southern Michigan. Not bad for my little Dodge Caliber. With Hubby just getting off night shift, he drove the first few hours until he got sleepy. I tried to sleep those first few hours, and did doze off a couple of times (as evidenced by my snoring), so that I could take over driving when Hubby got sleepy. I think we ended up stopping maybe a total of 6 times for gas, food and bathroom breaks. Not too shabby for us “older” folks in our 50s! Haha.
When we left Gaylord, it was freezing rain, and by the time we were about 1/2 hour south, it was snowing hard. Like hyper-space snowing hard. (Reference: Star Wars). The visibility was horrendous and we could only go about 50mph. About 3 hours south, around the Flint area, we finally drove out of the snow. The rest of the way was mostly cloudy with a few rain showers here and there. So overall, the weather only sucked in Northern Michigan, which is typical.
We reached our destination, Myrtle Beach SC, about 10:30pm. The original time on our GPS was about 9:30pm without stops, so we didn’t do too bad. The one bad thing that happened, was I caught a cold the day or two before we left, so I coughed all the down. Ugh. It was so annoying!
Our first day in Myrtle Beach, we slept till about 9am. I hate sleeping the day away, but with my cold and Hubby just coming off nights, it felt nice to sleep in a little. We got up and decided to go out for breakfast. Usually we buy some groceries since our timeshare has a full kitchen, but I just didn’t have it in me to shop the night we arrived. So we drove down Ocean Blvd and stopped at a Friendly’s. It was okay. Actually, it wasn’t that great. Hubby ordered an Original burger (by the time we got up and around it was more like lunch time) but their patty melt was delivered instead. He ate it, though we should have complained. I just didn’t have it in me. I had the grilled cheese and tomato basil soup which was alright. Nothing to brag home about. The service was slow though and the men’s restroom was nasty. So, we will never go there again.
After we ate, we decided to go to the Boardwalk. I wanted to find two things: inexpensive beach chairs (you know Northern Michigan doesn’t have beach chairs for sale yet in April…..there could still be snow on the ground!) and shelling bags. So, we found a parking lot, paid for parking and hit a couple of stores on the Boardwalk. The first one we stopped at we bought hoodies because it was slightly chilly that day (only in the low to mid 60s), and we found beach chairs. The hard part was finding shelling bags, but after we went through about 4 stores, we finally found some.
After finding the items we needed, we took our chairs and went and sat on the beach. Well, Hubby sat and took video and pictures while I looked for shells. Shelling is my newest hobby! I love shells and am learning lots about shelling and the different types of shells. Myrtle Beach doesn’t have a lot of different types of shells, mostly scallops and oysters and some clams.
After we spent a few hours on the beach, we went back to our resort and were contemplating what to do for dinner. I was not feeling well at all, so Hubby called Damon’s, one of our favorite spots to eat because it’s good food and right on the ocean, and got take out. I ordered some French Onion Soup, even though I was not hungry. He ordered a steak, which was really good! I had a few bites. Then we just laid around in our room because I had no energy to do anything, which sucked.
The next day though I was feeling better, which is good because we had booked a boat tour to South Island out of Georgetown. It was amazing! We got on the boat at 10:30am. The air was a little chilly, but they had blankets, so it was much more bearable. During the ride to South Island, Judd gave us lots of history and information about the area. I learned what an estuary is. Don’t laugh. And go look it up if you don’t know. 🙂
South Island is an uninhabited island, so there are no houses, no roads, no people, except for boat tours like ours. After the boat was beached, we began walking around the island along the beach. I was so overwhelmed with shells, it was crazy!!!! Like I said, I’m new to shelling as a hobby, although I’ve loved sea shells as long as I can remember. I wanted to scoop them all up!!!! I tried to be choosy on which ones I picked up, but still ended up getting a lot of scallops and some oysters if they were interesting to me. Hubby found the first big whelk up near the drift wood area. Then I found one in the mucky area, lol.
When we finally reached the jetty, a little boy around 12 years old was exclaiming he found a starfish! It was alive and attached to the bottom of the jetty rocks. Hubby got video of it I think.
We crossed over the jetty, and Hubby took video and pictures while I searched for shells. Some of the guys on the tour rescued a horseshoe crab and I got some video of that. I will try to post Hubby’s final video once he gets it put together and edited.
We walked around and found some more shells, a couple more whelks, and then everyone was heading back to the boat. Of course I was the last one to board the boat! It was a great time and I can’t wait to go back. Below are the pictures I found on the Facebook page of the boat tour. And my hubby just informed me my picture was their profile picture last week. How cool is that?
The next day, we drove up the coast to Wrightsville Beach, NC. It was the nicest day of all, and as you can see in the pictures below, the weather was almost exactly the same in Myrtle Beach as it was in Gaylord. But there is no ocean in Gaylord, so there’s that. Ha.
We stopped for brunch at Denny’s along the way. It was pretty good, a lot of food though that I couldn’t finish. When we finally got to the beach, we had to find parking, and by the time we did all that and got our stuff out, we had to use the restroom. We had to walk to the next public access area for restrooms, which seemed like the longest walk of my life!!! LOL. And all I wanted to do was look for shells! LOL. Which I did end up finding a whelk along the way. 🙂
We set up our beach chairs, facing the sun, but of course I couldn’t just sit. I had to look for shells. Once again, I found a lot of scallops, a lot of mini’s and some unusual pieces of rock, maybe some coral and Hubby found some sea sponge for me. Again he took lots of video and pictures, so once he gets it edited, I will try to remember to post it.
On the way back to Myrtle Beach, we stopped at the Battleship North Carolina…..which Hubby had to inform me that all battleships are named after states. I learned something new there too!!! 🙂 They were already closed for tours so we just took pics from the side lines. We were both a little disappointed we didn’t get to tour it. It was enormous!
The next morning we had to get up by 4 so we could be on the road by 5am again. This time we did a little bit better meeting our goal. By this time, Hubby had caught my cold, so he was the one coughing now. He drove the first few hours again, and I took over and drove for about 4 or 5 hours? The ride back was beautiful and the snow was melted by the time we got home. We arrived about 10pm and I we both had to work the next day. It was a short, but fun little trip, despite being sick.
We are always on the look out for short little trips we can take to get out of the frozen tundra of Northern Michigan, and hope to live near the ocean someday! I hope you enjoy the photos below that I took along the way.