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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:34 am 
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Location: Pigeon Forge, TN
I vote that you do it. Did not realize you lived so close to Pigeon Forge. We live 5 minutes from the Parkway so we are pretty close to the center of the activity. Fortunately that five minutes takes us away from things into a peaceful, secluded neighborhood. My choice between PF and Myrtle Beach would be the beach every time.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:17 am 
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beachlady wrote:
I vote that you do it. Did not realize you lived so close to Pigeon Forge. We live 5 minutes from the Parkway so we are pretty close to the center of the activity. Fortunately that five minutes takes us away from things into a peaceful, secluded neighborhood. My choice between PF and Myrtle Beach would be the beach every time.


We are not too far from Middlesboro and the Cumberland Gap Tunnel that crosses into Tennessee. Going through Morristown and hitting I-81 and I-40 is our quickest way to the Pigeon Forge area. We will actually be going through Morristown on Saturday heading to the beach. I'm hoping to be hitting the I-40 exit about 5:00 a.m. I've always said that Pigeon Forge and MB are a lot alike outside of the beach and fewer golf courses. On a side note, it's just not right to put a Margaritaville in Gatlinburg. Jimmy Buffet should only be about beaches and sunshine. I refuse to go to one located in the mountains.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:31 pm 
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Location: Pigeon Forge, TN
Margaritaville is in Pigeon Forge at the Island. This is a true story. I went prior to the actual opening to a complimentary lunch there. In the hour and a half we were there we only heard one Jimmy Buffett song. Another fact is that at least one of the bands that played for the Grand Opening night was Bluegrass. I told my friends at lunch that if they played Rocky Top I was leaving. Inside joke as you cannot go to anything in this area without hearing Rocky Top. Food was OK but prices were very high if we would of had to pay. You are correct Margaritaville in the Smoky Mountains just does not feel right!!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 5:55 am 
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Margaritaville used to be our opening meal for lunch when we arrived. The atmosphere just seemed right to start out the beach week, but one year I started comparing the costs of our weekly meals. The lunch we had a Margaritaville which consisted of one beer, one margarita, and sandwichs for everyone ended up being one of our more expensive meals of the week. For the quality of food it is just not worth the cost.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 7:37 am 
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Location: Harrisburg, PA
Same here. This is actually the second time we gave up on Margaritaville.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 10:25 am 
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Location: Selinsgrove, PA
We hadn't had a real vacation for four years. Four years ago we went to Mystic, CT because we didn't have a whole week to spend. Five years ago was our last trip to MB. This year, we had the time and money to go somewhere. We took a family vote between Mystic and MB. MB won 5-0. While we were there (just last week), Sarah told me that she likes MB more than Mystic because Mystic is more of a "looking at things" kind of place, whereas MB is a "doing things" kind of place. I think that sums it up pretty well. There is just SO much to do in MB that there's no way you can get it all done in a week, or even a month!

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 11:08 am 
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Location: Harrisburg, PA
Indeed there are so many things to do in MB. The more I go there though, the less I do, and the better I eat. Slowly but surely we have avoided all the touristy traps. We still do hit up Broadway and Barefoot, but its not like a big night out for us anymore.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 7:13 pm 
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The first year we came to MB was August 2005. We looked at the beaches in NJ (very close to us), Ocena City, MD and Virginia Beach that year. Every was so expensive! On a whim we looked into MB and it was actually much cheaper to drive 12 hours vs. 1 hr., 5 hrs., or 6 hrs. to these other locations! So MB it was. We fell in love with MB and have been back every summer since!

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 7:20 pm 
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Location: AZ & VA
The beach.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:24 pm 
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I haven't posted here? I haven't been on the board much this year since we didn't go anywhere on vacation.

When I was 3, my parents took my on my first vacation to Ocean City. I don't remember it. The earliest I remember was when my brother was 3, so I would have been 6. A childhood friend of my Dad married a girl from Baltimore. My mother and this girl shared a room after my birth. I believe I was born first and they had a girl a few hours later, Jennifer. They eventually moved back to the area she was from and moved to Salisbury. Every year as far back as I can remember, which I said was 6 YO, we drove to Salisbury, spent the night with them, and all went to Ocean City the following day. They were half an hour away and this was the only time they went to the beach.

I remember hanging out with Jennifer while we were at their place. I remember swimming in the pool together. The 2nd day when we all went to OC for the day, we always stopped at Shantytown just outside of OC to explore the shops. We would take a trip up to, what was it called? Oh yeah, I think Frontier Land. I remember taking the stagecoach ride where my brother (Steve) had the satchel of gold underneath his seat and we were robbed by outlaws on horseback. I remember both Steve and Jennifer crying scared to death because they thought it was real, LOL.

We stayed at The Beachmark every year, which was not beachfront but on the beach side of the road. I remember chasing Steve around the pool and slipping and sliding along the cement probably when I was about 7 or 8. I had a scar on my ankle and my arm the whole way up through adulthood from that slide across the cement. It is faded away now, but I still remember how big the scars were.

Sadly, I don't remember at what age, but Jennifer had complications and passed. This would have been before the teenage years, maybe 10 years old. I'll have to ask my mother.

The best part of Ocean City was eating Thrashers French Fries on the boardwalk. So good!

1983 we didn't go on vacation. My parents bought a new car that year instead. 1985 we didn't go either. We bought a small boat instead.

We continued going to Salisbury to stay with them every year and on to Ocean City for a week the next day. When I was 15 in 1987, my mother stated we should try somewhere else. They looked into Myrtle Beach and thus that year we went to Myrtle. Se stayed at the Sea Crest. My parents fell in love with Myrtle Beach. Water was so much warmer and cleaner. There was so much more to do with shopping and eating.

I remember my mother saying several times looking at the hotel next to us, "we should stay there." as she pointed up at the higher rise hotel. At this point, my brother and I were able to just head off on our own. After the beach all day, we would get something like $25 each and they would head to Murrells Inlet for dinner and shopping while Steve and I would head straight to the cheapest food we could find and spend the rest of the night at the Pavillion.

The next year at 16, we went back to Myrtle and stayed at that hotel right next to the previous year, The Captains Quarters. I had just gotten my license that spring. I wish I could have driven down there, but my Dad had a company car by then and he was allowed to take it, so that's what we had. I remember my Dad commenting on the kids in cars cruising the strip blasting music, so he put all the windows down and did the same thing. Not too much fun in a 1987 Chevy Celebrity station wagon with a junk stock AC Delco radio, LOL. My father did a lot of nutty things like that to get a laugh out of us.

So, again Steve and I are walking down the strip on the very first day there and run into a friend, Dave, who lived on the other side of the neighborhood from us. Now that was an awesome vacation! Not only did we run into Dave, but he says he saw Curt, another really good friend of mine. Dave was meeting Curt at the Pavilion that evening so the 4 of us got to hang out all week every night.

That was my last vacation with the family. The following 2 years I stayed home while my parents and Steve went. I think my parents went 1 more year after Steve stopped with the family vacations. By then I was in college and was also going to classes in the summer and working every evening and weekend.



So now we fast forward to 2010. I've got 2 girls of my own. Things are different these days. You can't have Mom stay home and raise the kids and make it comfortably. We waited 9 years until my wife went back to work when the youngest started 1st grade to be able to take our first vacation. My wife (Heather) wanted to take the girls to Disneyworld. I didn't want to go to Disneyworld, I figured it would be too expensive. I looked back into my childhood and longed to go to the beach. She won and we went to Disney for a week right after school let out.

Towards the end of August, Heather was bummed out about summer ending. She was off on a Sunday and joked how she had 4 days over the next weekend off and we should go to the beach. I got home on Monday and told her to get everything ready, we are leaving 3am on Thursday morning for 3 nights. Time was limited and I would have rather gone to Myrtle, but I booked the weekend in what ended up a real dump at Ocean City. I hadn't been there in 24 years, but when we arrived, it was exactly as I remembered. The only thing that was missing and I was really disappointed about was Shantytown. It was demolished by a hurricane a while ago. Heather and the girls would have loved that.

We were on the other side of the main drag on 17th street which is the very beginning of the boardwalk. As a kid at the Beachmark, I think it was somewhere around 78th street. It was nice to be right there at the start of the boardwalk. I warned Heather, "We'll just walk the boardwalk and get something to eat for dinner. You guys can get whatever you want along there, but I'm eating Thrashers French Fries every night!" LOL. And so I did, walked up at noon and ate Thrashers. Walked back up in the evening and ate Thrashers. Every day.

The kids loved the beach. We had no pool at the hotel. I told them, if you love it here, you'll really love Myrtle Beach. That is when I found this forum. I started to research a reasonable place to stay. Parrothead here on the forum (now I don't remember your first name, sorry Parrothead!) mentioned the Dayton House. The Captians Quarters was first to go on my list as that is what I remember as a kid. I looked up The Dayton House and it was similarly priced and looked decent as well. The other place I came up with was the Monterrey Bay Suites. They all looked similar and was similarly prices and I went with the Dayton House. Wasn't disappointed at all. Loved it so much that we stayed there last year as well.


When we went to Ocean City for that long weekend, upon arriving I felt like I had arrived home. Everything as I said was exactly as I remembered. But, perhaps because Myrtle Beach was where my brother and I finally could stray away from the parents on our own, when I took the family to Myrtle Beach in 2010, it felt even more like home, even with the Pavilion gone which I spent every night at for 2 trips. Either Ocean City or Myrtle Beach brings back nastalgia for me, but there is no comparison to the 2 places. Myrtle has so much more. You have to drive more, but since we live out in the country and running to the store 45 minutes away is like most people walking to the corner store, the driving in Myrtle doesn't affect us at all. I always chuckle at posts where the driving around to Murrells Inlet or Pawleys Island is mentioned because I'm thinking, sheesh, it's only half an hour down the road.

We talk about trying out other places. Heck, we've only been on 3 vacations and 1 mini vacation, but thinking of going back down to Florida or hitting Tybee Island or the Outer Banks, my thoughts always come back to Myrtle Beach. Back after 23 years and only having been there twice as a kid, I feel like I know the area so well. We love the piers and especially the fact that we can walk to the 2nd Avenue Pier from the Dayton House and have a fantastic meal. That was the only place we ate at both trips and we haven't yet had a bad meal anywhere we ate. It is so inexpensive to eat at Myrtle never spending more than $50/meal for the 4 of us where we are accustomed to eating out costing at least $70 unless we want fast food. Myrtle holds dear in my heart and I really don't want to try anywhere else. I am afraid of being disappointed and wishing we had gone to Myrtle. About the only thing I would rather do is to try out some all-inclusive resort type place in Mexico or the Carribean or such.

So, that's my story. Hope you enjoyed it.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:53 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2006 10:39 pm
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Location: Pigeon Forge, TN
I love stories, so I especially enjoyed yours. It is always interesting to hear about other peoples lives. Your daughters will have great beach memories as they grow up also.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 8:51 am 
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Location: Myrtle Beach; previously Vermont; originally Québec
I really enjoyed your story, mrodgers. You have very good writing skills, because it felt like I was there with you.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 11:35 am 
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Location: Myrtle Beach
Mike, thanks for telling your excellent story. You need to check in with the board now and then. You know, just to tell a story, or share a joke or whatever...so we know you're doing OK.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 11:54 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 7:58 pm
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patrish wrote:
Mike, thanks for telling your excellent story. You need to check in with the board now and then. You know, just to tell a story, or share a joke or whatever...so we know you're doing OK.

Yeah, I pop in now and then. And don't worry, I may have not gone on vacation this year, but I am preparing a "trip report" for you folks to read. It will be a bit lengthy, lots of pictures, and I may post closer to winter when not much is going on.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:38 am 
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Location: AZ & VA
Great story. Why? Written from the heart.


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