Literally the only state in the Southeastern United States that I had never lived in or visited until recently was South Carolina. However, this summer W- invited me to come with him as part of a larger group to Myrtle Beach, staying in a beach-front condo. The last time I had a beach vacation was so many years ago that I honestly can’t recall any details, although it must have been in Florida since that was my family’s beach destination of choice as a child. After confirming that there weren’t any scheduling conflicts, I eagerly accepted the invitation, excited of the possibilities.
After work, W- and I drove to Knoxville, TN, where we spent the night at his grandmother’s house. The next morning we got up early and drove the additional 8+ hours, through the mountains and down to the coast. The city of Myrtle Beach was best described to me by someone in our group as “Pigeon Forge, but at the ocean.” For anyone who doesn’t get that reference, Pigeon Forge (and Myrtle Beach) is full of tourist-trap like stores and attractions: souvenir shops where everything costs $9.99 or less, strip malls on every corner, dinner shows featuring knights and pirates, etc. For the record, I have nothing against those types of cities. Sure, some things are hokey and overpriced, but I enjoy indulging in mini golf and fruity drinks with umbrellas occasionally while relaxing on vacation.
The beach itself was heaven! We slept in almost every morning and then whenever we got up, headed to the beach right in front of the condo. With beach umbrellas and chairs, Yetis full of cold drinks, and plenty of sunscreen, we spent the majority of the day by the water reading trashy beach reads, lounging, walking, and splashing around in the ocean. At night, we would wash off the sand and go out on the town, usually for dinner with plenty of delicious seafood, but occasionally to explore the city, including walking down Apache Pier, which is the longest wooden fishing pier on the East Coast.
I can honestly say I haven’t felt that relaxed in years 🙂