Monday, July 23, 2012


     I have been back from the beach for almost 24 hours now and reintegration is tough. I was so tired when I got home yesterday that all I really got accomplished was unloading the car . Nothing but food items and bathroom stuff got put away. I started my morning by going out to the garden to pick beans and tomatos. A far cry from drinking my cup of coffee sitting on a balcony watching and listening to waves crash on the shore. My poor garden ! A week's worth of neglect shows. Next was cutting the beans , washing the beans, and putting a pot of beans on for supper later. The rest of my day so far has been about unpacking and putting things away.
     Hear my heart...I loved snuggling up to my husband that I had missed all week and sleeping in my own bed. I loved the excitement of two little dogs that had missed their mommy all week. I AM happy to be home, I really am. I just really miss my happy place. All of my laundry was washed, dried , and folded before we even came home so I resorted to sticking my head into the beach bag this morning in an attempt to catch a whiff of saltiness that can only be found oceanfront. I miss the roar of the ocean. I miss the sight of waves crashing on the sand. I miss not having anything better to do than lounging at the pool or sitting in the sand looking for shells.I miss not seeing my mom's smiling face because for 7 days there were no worries. I miss the banter between my neice and her boyfriend. I miss the chats on the balcony with my brother. I miss baby Caden . I miss watching my brother enjoying his new wife and baby. I miss everything about last week !
     I do this everytime I leave . It takes about a week for my brain to accept that I am home , vacation is over, and now its all just a memory. Memories...I made a ton of them . I can't thank my brother Chris and his wife Candy enough for having the idea for a family vacation and making it happen. Until last week, it had been 2 summers since I had spent time at a beach. Hopefully it will not be another 2 years before I see my happy place again.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

My love/hate relationship with Myrtle Beach

     I realize that that most of you LOVE Myrtle Beach so I am probably getting ready to ruffle a few feathers. A couple of months ago my brother, Chris, had a brilliant idea to plan a gigantic family beach vacation. Him, his wife, and brand new baby, his older daughter, her boyfriend , and my crew, 7 days at Myrtle Beach. Carolina Beach has been my beach of choice for many years but I was all for it if it meant spending that much time with members of my family that I don't get to spend alot of time with. I had not been to Myrtle for 20 years or so and didn't quite know what to expect. Well, crowded much?
     I am not sure what the draw is. Everywhere you go and everything you do is way overpriced. Yet, thousands of people swarm there like its the only beach on the east coast. And when I say thousands, I believe that all of those thousands were staying within a quarter mile of us. By 7 am the beach in front of the condo complex was full, each person claiming their stake of property for the day like it was the wild west. I don't mean a towel , beachbag, and a chair. I mean huge canopies that had to be staked in the ground and a days worth of towels, chairs, drinks, toys, and God only knows what else as if the condo was a mile up the beach . By 8 am you were hard pressed to find an unpopulated spot of sand big enough to build a sand castle. It would stay that way until at least after 6 pm and I think it must have been supper time and they were afraid they wouldn't get back before 8pm when all canapoies had to be taken down.
     The pool and lazy river weren't much better. Both opened at 9 am and by 9:05 all beach chairs had towels in them even though there was a sign at each claming that towels wouldn't reserve a chair and would be removed if you weren't in the pool area. That was a big fat lie. So here is how it worked, Go to the beach at 7 am and set up your canopy, hurry back to claim your spot at the pool and spend your day going back and forth between the two without having to give up a spot and therefore leaving some to not have a pool chair even though you were down on the beach .
     So, I apparently don't like crowds. Can you tell? I have another beef . For two months I looked forward to strolling down to the beach a couple of mornings and watch the sunrise. Ha ! Jokes on me. The sun did rise, every morning it did, just not the picture perfect sunrise I expected. I am used to watching the sun come up against the back drop of the ocean. Imagine my disappointment when it came up behind the many high rise buildings at the end of the beach. What?
     I guess you can say I am not a Myrtle beach fan. I hate the roads you have to drive to get there. I hate the traffic. I hate the crowds. I hate the prices. Give me Carolina, Wrightsville, or Kure beach any day. Straight shot down 40 , cleaner and less populated beaches, more reasonable prices, and a  more family friendly astmosphere. Oh and a sun that rises over the ocean. Having said all of that, I loved my vacation. I was with my family and family is very important to me. I loved just sitting around and chatting with my new sister in law and getting to know her better. Chris and I spent time on the balcony every day laughing as we watched people chase their canopies, umbrellas, and boogie boards down the beach, especially three days last week when the wind was so stupid that it would sting your legs if you were crazy enough to go down there. I got some baby Caden time, love that little guy. I enjoyed meeting my niece's boyfriend and spending time with her. It had been way too long. I cherished countless hours with my mom even shopping with her for 4 hours one afternoon. Eric was originally scheduled to come down on Wednesday because he couldn't take the whole week off and ended up having to work instead. So I missed having him there but had many hours of play time with my children.
     I worked just as much there as I do at home. I cooked, cleaned, and did laundry almost every day but the difference is that when the chores were finished I got to sit on the balcony and watch the waves crash on the shore or sit in the sand and dig for shells. That was my down time and I spent hours doing both. The condo was nice, big, comfortable, and because we had a washer and dryer I only brought home 6 articles of dirty laundry. We had an incredible view of the beach. I would not choose Myrtle as my favorite beach but I did cry as I watched Cara stand on the shore this morning with her feet in the water. I cried again as I locked the condo door behind me this morning for the last time. I fought tears as we drove away from Ocean Drive. It wasn't that I didn't want to come home. I just didn't want to leave. And yes there is a difference.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Lesson learned

     Last Friday me and my gang headed to Great Wolf Lodge for some family time . We booked this trip months ago before I had beach plans of any kind. I thought about cancelling after I made beach plans but Eric isn't going to be able to go with us for the whole week so I kept the Lodge plans. This is the second time we have been to the Great Wolf Lodge and this trip was a little different. The last time we were there it was a Sunday in October. Lesson learned, note to not go in the summer or on a Friday. It was WAY too crowded for my taste. Here is what happens in crowds.Not only are there long lines for everything you want to do, some people seem to think they are the only ones there. You know the type, why should they have to wait in line, after all they are special.Then there are the ones that stand in front of a door chatting with a friend, well excuse me, I need to go through that door.
     Another thing I noticed was that the 84 degrees climate controlled water park feels a whole lot more comfortable in October than when it is 100 degrees outside. I am not sure who came up with the idea that 84 degrees is comfortable in a place that holds 380,000 gallons of water at one time but I guess the word "humidity" didn't cross their minds.I personally think that any temp over about 75 degrees is hot but nobody asked me. Sweat was definitely an issue this weekend.
     I realized this weekend that I am either getting old or out of shape. All those steps to the water slides have just about killed my knees. I had to take more sitting rests than last time. All that sitting gave me plenty time to people watch. I love to people watch especially at the pool. I am continually amazed at what some people consider appropriate public swimwear attire. I wrote about this one time already  ( refer to my Facebook note ) so I won't get into it but I will say this...I thorougly enjoyed watching this one woman in particular get sopping wet because she didn't realize that the clanging noise meant that 1000 gallons of water was getting ready to fall from the sky just above her. That cute flippy hair, perfectly made up face, and $120 swimsuit with the fashionable scarf didn't stand a chance.
    Despite the crowds, heat, and numerous disrespectful people, I enjoyed spending time with the 3 people I love most on this earth.The kids are already asking when we can go again. I am thinking a Monday perhaps in November. Lession learned.