Weekend in Myrtle Beach {with dad’s family!}

Earlier this summer, I got an email from my Aunt Kay (my dad’s sister) that they were heading to Myrtle Beach for a week with my cousin John and his family. John lives in Connecticut and Myrtle Beach has been a good meeting place for them – this is the third time they’ve made this trip! Anyways, we are now just 170 miles from Myrtle Beach (compared to the 1100 miles from Aunt Kay & Uncle Mc in Texas!) so we made plans to see them while they were here and so close.

Since they were doing a Sunday-Thursday trip, we decided to go down on a Sunday and Monday and spend 2 days with them. As luck would have it, we were able to head down Saturday and make a little 2 night mid-summer getaway for us as well as a chance to see family!

We went to Myrtle in November and let me tell you… this time it was a completely different experience! For one, I could actually WALK in sand so I got to enjoy the beach. But the people… it’s CRAZY busy, all the shops and restaurants were open and full, and hotel prices were 5x what they were in November. It was SO much fun.

This was the view from our balcony:

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And the view from the living room chair LOL:

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Saturday night, we were on our own so we decided to go out to dinner at a place we’d dined at last time – Chesapeake House. When we went in November the restaurant was mostly empty, the service was good, and the food was tasty. This time, though, was a different experience. They were busy but we were seated immediately. It took a good 10 minutes before being greeted but after that, the waiter was as attentive as he could be with 10 tables assigned to you. The food was very disappointing, though… flavorless, actually. I had broiled fish and shrimp and neither had any seasoning. Jason got the fried version and said his was flavorless, too. They’ve been in Myrtle a long time, and obviously people like it, but it was a definite low point in our meals there.

After dinner, we went to Carolina Improv for a show!

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The show we saw was 18+ and called “Who’s Night Out Is It Anyways?” They also do family friendly shows but ours was definitely not. The theater itself is a bit odd… it’s called Uptown Theater but it’s actually a retail space inside Carolina Mall (near the Bass Pro Shop & Bath and Body Works). Literally inside the mall. It’s a small space with just 4 rows of seats.

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The night we were there, they had a cast of about 8. It was very funny, and they did many of our favorite “skits” from Who’s Line Is It Anyways?” The show lasts about 90 minutes with a short intermission. Great, inexpensive way to spend a rainy Saturday night!

On Sunday, Jason hit the golf course (surprised?) and I hit the beach. We’re really great at vacationing together ๐Ÿ™‚

We had lunch atย Flying Fish Market & Grill, located at Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach and it was SO good. When you’re seated, you’re brought crackers and a Mahi Mahi Smoked Dip that we just about inhaled. Their prices – esp at lunch – are very reasonable and the restaurant itself is beautiful. It overlooks a waterway and has a large outdoor seating area on the backside.

This is the view from our table:

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Truth be told… we ate here twice! It goes completely against my travel and dining rules but it was so good, and close to our place, that we found ourselves eating lunch there two days in a row. AND we figured out a way to bring home some of that Mahi dip! (they have a seafood counter and sell raw fish that you can take back to your home).

Good service, seated immediately at lunch, great menu, easy to get to. They also have $5 lunch specials during the week that can’t be beat!

Sunday night we met up with our family who were finally all gathered and checked into their hotel. We ate dinner at Carolina Roadhouse. Large menu, good food, and good service but the place was CRAMMED (even with call ahead!) and we were stuffed into a round booth which made it a bit less comfortable.

After dinner, we went to their hotel to hang out. They were staying at The Dunes Village Resort, which is a super nice beachfront hotel that has an indoor/outdoor water park area. And of course the kids were more interested in the waterpark and not the beach! It was very family friendly.

This was the view from their room (which was the penthouse level!)

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I’ve decided that I’m moving into that second house – the one with the white rooftop.

 

On Monday, Jason (again) hit the golf course and I hit the beach. That afternoon, we went back over The Dunes to hang out with family before we had to leave. For the very first time, Jason stepped foot on the beach AND went for a swim inside the waterpark area! I was beginning to wonder why he packed his swimsuit…

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Uncle Mc (in the raft next to Jason) has a bizarre lazy river strategy…

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This is my cousin John’s daughter – LOVED getting to know her!

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And his son, a total sweetheart!

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And the ONLY darn picture we took of the group the entire time! Having too much fun, I guess ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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And the only picture we took together – which was a fail. He’s too tall!

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We said our goodbyes and started for home. *sad face*

On the way home, we stopped at Sparky’s – aka, the strangest gas station we’ve ever been to.

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Y’all, when we first stopped there last fall we were sorta expecting something similar to Bucee’s, in the Houston area.

It’s not.

And it’s really hard to describe.

So I took pics.

First of all, when we stopped and went in I was thrilled to see it was nearly empty so I could actually look around better. Except we were told that they would be closing in a few minutes. Darn. So we hurried through to get what we wanted (cough*candy*cough).

The first area is a food/boots/western wear/fudge/BBQ/ice cream/dining area. This is only a partial pic of the space:

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The next room is a porcelain doll/jewelry/nic nacks/stuffed alligators/souvenirs/etc. It’s a really big space full of stuff- overwhelming!

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THEN you head into a room of seashells and other beach souvenirs, which I did not get a picture of.

And then a huge room of fireworks. This is HALF the space, y’all:

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The last room is the only we shop at – the food. Canned stuff, spices, bulk candy, chocolate, etc. This is just a portion of it:

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My dad loves sassafras candy and it’s hard to find in TX but you can find it here in the south! I picked up a bunch more to ship his way ๐Ÿ™‚

The place is a bit creepy, and it sorta smells, but it’s the stuff of travel gold.

Our weekend was a whirlwind but totally worth the effort getting away for a couple of days and spending time with family!

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