Tag Archives: beach

Notes and Photos to and from Myrtle Beach 2017

Atlanta Typical I-20 trafficTrip with family to Myrtle Beach SC from Arab, Alabama was fun, but every trip we take has some “adventure” to it as well.

(1) Getting through Atlanta is always a challenge no matter what vehicle you are driving.  But add 41 ft + a tow car is even more “adventurous”.

(2) Who Knew there are TWO Myrtle Beaches in South Carolina.  North Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach.  Both have a 5th Ave, but only one of those 5th Ave addresses has a KOA…  Turning around in a small store parking lot was not for the faint of heart.

(3) Diesel Pumps at car fuel stations is not designed for 41 ft with a tow car.

We left on a Monday night after work in hopes of getting through Atlanta after “rush hour”.   At 10:00 pm, we were successful in that only about a million cars were on the road with us, which is low volume for Atlanta.  We stopped 1/2 way at a Pilot / Flying J and had most of the parking spaces to ourselves.   It was close to 11:00 pm when we arrived at the Pilot to sleep for a while.  We slept well, and got up around 5:00 am to eat at the restaurant and get on the road again.

Arrived at Myrtle Beach KOAThere was confusion in the address I told my wife and she was navigating with our cell phone using Google maps.  It successfully got us to 5th Ave North Myrtle Beach.   Which is not the same as 5th Ave North Myrtle Beach !   What ???    It depends on where you put the comma.  Before North, or after North.   Anyway, we called the KOA number and the nice lady was very patient with us and obviously knew every landmark in both Myrtle Beaches.   She even said “you wouldn’t believe how many times this happens”  😉  made me feel some better.

Pirate Adventure Dinner and Show

We got to the correct address and checked in at the KOA.  got hooked up, and went our to see the sites with our kids and grand-kids.  Which was well worth all the excitement of the drive.  We ate at some wonderful places, but the most memorable was the Pirates Voyage Dinner and Show.  The food was good but wasn’t the best part of the evening.  Our grand-kids normally are good for about 30 seconds of quiet time during a meal, like most 2 and 3 year olds.  However, at this show they didn’t move a muscle for about 2 hours.   The show was very good with talented young folks singing, gymnastics, animal tricks, and diving and swimming with lots of animatronics and special effects.

We also rode a sea pontoon boat out to an unpopulated island where the kids found a bunch of nice large shells and sand dollars in tact.  The boat didn’t have a way to depart without stepping into the water for a few steps to reach the beach.  It was a nice sunny day for a boat ride, but a bit cool for getting wet.  But the kids had a blast.

On the boat ride we also saw a large school of dolphins swimming and jumping in and out of the water.  We got a few good shots, but was really hard to do since by the time someone sees them and points it out, they are back in the water.

Before we left the fun filled and packed full of fun adventure to head home, we rode the Sky Wheel, Dolphin Tour ocean cruise, Pirates Voyage Dinner and Show, Boardwalk Shopping (Including build-a-car),  Zoo,  Aquarium,  Beach photos, Several Playgrounds for grand-kids energy burn-off,  ate at Italian Amici’s, Mexican Abuelo’s,  Captain George’s Seafood buffet, Wahlburgers, and Sweet Carolina’s BBQ.

For my camping friends, it took us 10 hours of steering wheel time (not counting rest stops)  which is 20% longer than Goggle Maps predicted.  We Spent the first night at a Flying J on Generator and had the place to ourselves pretty much.   When driving back we had the entire trip in one day so we took our time, and stopped for several breaks, dreading the return through Atlanta in mid day Saturday traffic, but it ended up being slow and painful due to road construction.  KOA at Myrtle Beach was nice, but had construction going on with bull-dozers, and back-hoe running all day with beeping backup-warnings making naps less enjoyable, but that will be temporary so I won’t hold that against them for a return trip.   It was easy to get to and convenient to everything.

When driving I ALWAYS try to maintain a football field distance from the vehicle in front of me.   I also use the lines as a guide, looking at them far away brings them closer together and it seems to keep me straighter and prevents drifting left and right.  I do use my backup camera just as a reference to what is directly behind me even though I read that some states have a law against that for some reason.  I fully depend on my side mirrors as to what is coming around me on either side.  I used an empty parking lot and had my wife walk to key points on my left and right and down below so I could adjust my mirrors to reduce blind spots as much as possible.

We are sharing a few photos from our trip showing our KOA campground setup,  parking lot camping at Flying J, and a lot of Myrtle Beach things to do, and our grand-kids ( which was the highlight of our trip ).

 

 

The Check List

2016 Adventure Route
2016 Adventure Route

There were a lot of items on our “bucket list” for this and future trips, and this checked off a bunch of items.  One of the major items was to pick up 8 of the states we had never set foot into together.   Maine, Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont.  I have worked in Boston before but Norma and I have never seen the state from a tourist viewpoint.

New England WHALES

We have had a wonderful time so far, but there is lots more that we want to do.

Next on our check list is a whale watching tour.  We went to the wharf and bought tickets for Captain John Whale Watching tours which was to last around three hours.

We rode on the boat for about an hour when they sited a school of dolphins following the boat.  The captain slowed the boat so we could watch them.  The dolphins put on a show for about 15 minutes, and we then continued on out to sea.

Shortly after this we started seeing spray blow up out of the ocean.  Some would just slowing swim along side the boat, some would come straight out of the water catching lots of fish as they came up through the ocean waters.   When they arched their backs and their tales came out of the water that meant they were diving down to catch more food.  It was kind of funny, but we would be on one side of the boat watching the whales and someone would see one on the other side, so everyone was running from one side of the boat to the other.  It was a large boat, so thank goodness we couldn’t flip it over.  We watched them for probably about 45 minutes put on a magnificent show.

We then had to head back to shore which was sad.  I could have stayed out there for hours watching them.

LIGHTHOUSES

We saw some beautiful lighthouses while we were staying in the New England area.  We saw Nauset Lighthouse, Cape Cod Lighthouse, and the Portland Headlight.

We were able to drive to all of these, but there were many more that were only available by hike or boat.  They were all situated on the cliffs next to the ocean.  Some have had to be moved because the ocean is forcefully taking the beaches and cliffs away.  To think that years ago this was the only indication to weary sailors that there was land ahead.

There was one we saw while on the whale watch cruise that a man and his wife lived in -YIKES- it was small and about 5 miles from shore.  Now they have been replaced by solar panels and electronics.

COG RAILWAY

We got to the Cog Railway on Mount Washington about 30 minutes before time to board.  We went to pick up our tickets and found out that it was snowing on top of Mount Washington, so we would only get to go up about half way.

It was a little scary because the train was pulled with cogs up the mountain, and part of the grade was 50 percent.   It went a whole 5 miles per hour.  We saw a little red fox going up the mountain.  When we got about half way up the mountain it started snowing. There was already some snow on the ground.  They stopped long enough for us to take some pictures and then we made our decent back down the mountain.

We wished we could go all the way to the top, but we had a lot of fun anyway.

MAINE WILDLIFE PARK

We have wanted to see a real moose since we have been here.  There are moose crossing signs everywhere, but no moose can be found.  We decided we would just go see the Maine Wildlife Park instead.

There are many Moose Watching tours, but they are expensive and do not guarantee that you will see a moose.

The animals that live at this park have been injured or someone tried to raise them and they became to much to handle so they ended up here.

We were able to see moose, bears, cougars, deer (including a white one), woodchucks (including a white one), a badger, eagles, hawks, owls, and turtles.

This is a very nice place, and they are doing a very good work.

BEACHES

We have driven out to see quite a few beaches since we have been here.  Some have been around the lighthouses and have been closed because of all the beach erosion.   They are either very rocky or a gray sand, not like our white sandy beaches along the gulf.

Up until today the beaches have been very empty, but the temperature decided to go into the 80’s today which brought a lot of people out of hibernation.

We visited Old Orchard Beach in Maine today.  They have  a really neat pier, which holds shops and restaurants.