Sorry for the delay in trying to get this put up. I need a vacation on catching up from my work that got held up while on vacation.
I took 7/8 off from work to prepare for our trip down though the night/early morning on 7/9. After getting some work done around the house, we went to my inlaws to pickup my nephews who would be riding with my wife, my daughters and I. This was in all honesty a vacation I wasn't looking forward to in a way, but much needed also. We were going as a family trip, with my family, my mother-in-law and father-in-law and their camper, my sister-in-law and my nephews, and my wife's cousin. The nephews and wife's cousin are 13,12, and 12. I had a feeling I might be bald by the time the week would be over going into it.
My father-in-law had to go in and work a little while Friday night, but got home around 10pm, and said we would be ready to pull out and meet them around 11:30. Sure enough, timing is pretty good as we meet at an intersection between our houses right around 11:30 and we are off. It was a pretty uneventful and easy drive to the beach thankfully. After a couple of fuel stops, and one rest stop, we hit Marion, and McDonalds for breakfast at just after 6 AM I believe, which was making pretty good time from SWVA. We then ventured onto Wal-Mart on 544 to stock up on some groceries for the next few days. After helping get a few things, we were walking to the checkout when I run into a guy I know from home, and officiating and coaching little league programs together/against each other. We both kind of a done a double take and in sleep deprivation lost track of each others names for a moment. Come to find out, we were both staying in Pirateland! He and his family had drove down Friday afternoon and slept in the parking lot at Wal-Mart before getting groceries and heading on to the campsite also.
We drive onto Pirateland and get checked in promptedly. After a few times backing up and recorrecting, we got the camper setup, and it was time for a nap. I am not a happy camper too often after being awake 25 hours. The ladies and kids went to Wings, and Bargain Beachwear for some new bathing suits while the us two guys caught a little shut eye. Once we got up around 3 or so, I found Mark and his family were parked with their camper about 20 yards away just across the road from us. It gave us a good chance to catch up some during the week after not seeing each other much the past couple of years as his daughter is now a college volleyball player, and out of the little league scene.
I must say, with this many people in attendance in a camper, luckily my sister-in-law and her boys wanted to stay outside and thankfully they did. Helping them erect a tent eased the cramped quarters qutie a bit. I probably wish I had stayed in it, because they seemed much happier with the temps come nighttime than we didnt inside with a finicky AC unit. As a whole though, Saturday evening was pure recovery time. After fixing some hot dogs and sides, not much was done, other than a quick trip to Dicks for some new rods and reels for surf fishing for the father-in-law and myself.
Sunday, fun day, beach day. Lobster time here I come. Everyone loaded up after a hearty breakfast and hit the beach. It was hot! Well, everyday that week was hot, but I stayed under the tent to guard the things we had taken to the beach (or to really keep from being the first to bake). Mark's family setup their tent beside of ours while my almost 2 year old was getting cranky and needed her nap. He and I talked while she finally fell asleep on me. A couple of others needed a break from the sun also, so while they took refuge in the shade, my father-in-law, nephews and I took to the ocean to catch some waves. It was a pretty relaxing day to stand out in the ocean with a boogie board, and occasionally let a wave drag you into shore. As a result, yes, burning of the flesh did occur and I paid for it the next day, but fun was had by all. We retreated to the camper that afternoon and the mother in law fixed some BBQ pork from some freezer kit from Wal-Mart. It pales in comparison to fresh smoked Q, but it hit the spot with a lot less fuss than actually fixing something.
Monday became a day of rest with a trip to the pool, and lot less sun exposure. I think everyone had overdone it on Sunday. I fixed lemon pepper chicken, pasta salad, and baked beans for our dinner, and then we did go to the beach as the sun was setting. After the wife found a shark's tooth, it turned into a week of finding teeth that poor little sharkies were missing up and down the coast.
After fixing some french toast and pancakes for everyone, we decided Tuesday would be a prime opportunity to go to the Garden City flea market. Theres almost always something to be had, especially in the kitchen offerings. My wife also made me buy a University of Tennessee lawn decoration so she wasn't leaving there with only cheap bracelets. The female species all decided to go back to the camper for some beach time, while the guys decided to tour around the local bait shops, with Perry's being the main target. They are always the best people to talk about the fishing scene around the MB area. I believe Jessica is the ladies name who was working, and she was a great help. Bought a few new rigs, and finger mullet and sand fleas for bait. We ventured back with the wives wondering where we were for so long. When we got back, I got the new rods and reels out and lined them up to see if the advice was going to put us on fish. The sister-in-law fixed spaghetti and salad and off to the beach we went. Unfortunately, the fishing bite wasn't too great. The ladies/kids found more sharks teeth than fish we caught. I landed one shark right at dark, and after the father-in-law caught 2.
As for Wednesday, we had previously decided to hold my daughter Morgan a birthday party for her 2nd birthday since we were at the beach with one side of the family, but her birthday wasn't until the 17th. My wife had made a stop on Tuesday and got a posterboard, and some markers. They thought it would be a good idea to see if they could get people from the campground to sign it, and low and behold, we probably should have gotten more posterboard. I went to Wal-mart around lunch time to pickup some hamburger and all the fixins to have burgers at the party. I had also went to Dairy Queen on Monday to have them make an ice cream cake for the party. By the time I got back, the posterboard was basically covered with names and greetings from people stopping by on their way to and from the beach. It really makes for a neat keepsake for Morgan, and I appreciate everyone who signed it. One girl who signed it showed back up shortly after I returned with a funnel cake for Morgan as well. Her father runs a little food stand near the beach inside Pirateland serving funnel cakes, hot dogs and other such items. Unfortunately when we went to the beach that evening after the party, the rip currents were pretty strong. We didn't let the kids venture out too far and fishing was pretty much useless.
Thursday morning presented a quick breakfast and a day away from the beach. We headed to Broadway for shopping and fun. It was nice seeing some of the new additions. I do know I wanted the guys job running the boat inside Broadways lake! We didn't ride it, but it looked like fun. We grabbed lunch at Johnny Rockets at the mother-in-laws request. The burger and fries were good, but after having a burger the day before, I would have preferred to had something else that costs as much. We hit the old Pavillion rides with the kids, well other than Morgan, she needed to nap on me again for a bit so we found a chair in a little bit of shade and she snoozed while everyone else rode the old rides. Our last stop in Broadway was Build a Bear as promised to my daughters. We take them each trip we are down and they both chose matching Hello Kittys. Luckily we talked them into different outfits to help tell them apart.
We then ventured on to Giant Crab for dinner. After a short wait for our party of 10 to be a seated, the attack of the buffet commenced. Unfortunately, it didn't seem quite as good as last year, but overall it was still a positive for an AYCEB. We then went to ride the SkyWheel. It was just before dark and only provided a slight wait. It provided a nice seat for viewing the area surrounding it, and something I would recommend to others, as a one time thing. Thats just my personal feelings though. The in-laws then decided to head back to the camper, while my wife and I took everyone else out to play mini-golf. After having a hard time deciding where we were going to play, we stopped at one I cant remember the name of sadly (Pirates Watch maybe). We played the easier set of 18, and it needs a little TLC on a few holes, but overall not terrible.
Friday became a day of rest for me, but a day of soaking up what ever you could before we headed back to home sweet home early Saturday morning. We headed to the pool and lazy river which I tend to enjoy. Its hard not to enjoy something with the word lazy in it I have found. After doing a little of this, and that, trying to munch on leftovers from throughout the week to help clean out the fridge, it was time to finally take that one thing that always signals the end of a trip for my family. My wife, daughters and I took our last walk of the beach to end our vacation. Rip tides were posted again, and the tide had came as far up the beach as I ever remember seeing, outside of an upcoming hurricane.
Saturday morning at 3AM we pulled out of Pirateland bidding the warm Atlantic and Myrtle Beach adieu. We hope to see it soon again. We arrived home safely around 11AM to good ol SW Virginia.