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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:03 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:57 pm
Posts: 159
Location: Richfield, MN
Hopefully I don't get too scolded for not writing in like 6 months! :oops: Life really has been crazy and time just got away from me. Now that's it's been so long, I'm sure my trip report won't be very detailed like it normally is, but I can at least give some info from this trip. As many of you know, this was our 5th year going, but 1st with our 1 year old, Nolan. We also stayed in a different report than we normally would. Here it goes!

Resort: We have always stayed at the Patricia Grand, however they really increased their prices this last year and even as a returning guest of 5 years, they didn't offer any discounts! So, that combined with the fact that there weren't many kid options there either, we opted to stay elsewhere. We have also heard a lot about booking directly through a the owner, which is how we found the condo we stayed in. We rented a 1 "bedroom" (more on the quotes later) at the Meridian Plaza. My Dad had stayed there once and liked it so we gave it a try. The owner (his name is not coming to me right now though) was wonderful. He did quote the wrong price to begin with and when he figured it out, we both bet each other in the middle so that was nice. The room itself was gorgeous. It had paint on the walls, tastefully decorated and had nice upgrades. The 1 "bedroom" really not true as there is no door... it just is seperated by a hallway. We weren't pleased with that as we had to be very quiet then when our son napped. The bed was very comfortable though (king size). I really didn't like how the bedroom was what you walked into from the condo though, it was SO LOUD out in the hall and elevators. I didn't get much sleep to be honest. We really thought it was a nice touch that the oner had some items there for us to use (umbrellas etc). Other than that we really liked the condo, it was small though. The views were AMAZING. Unobstructed view to the south and almost fully north too. The balconies are close to they are only private in the sense that they aren't physically combined. The resort doesn't have a restuarant or really main area at all. We didn't like that about it. They did have a small indoor and outdoor pool and some hot tubs. (We used the indoor pool a lot). They did have a nice lawn area though, but unfortunately no kid friendly things. We did like that the elevator was not connected with the lobby as that can be a pain. The parking garage across the street what typical, but nothing we worried about. The front desk was accommodating and friendly as well.

Activities: We unfortunately had the worst weather we have ever had this visit! (Had to happen some time right?) we always have at least one rainy day, and usually it's not even the whole day. This year we had like 3.5 rainy days in a row!!!!! That obsiously put a damper into our plans. We went to the Children's Museum one day. It was nice to get out of the sun and to let Nolan play with little kids. It was a little hard to find as it's not really advertised on the outside very much but it was literally a few blocks away. It was CROWDED, which I'm sure was due to the weather.. we didn't care though, it was fun! There is a lot of hands on activities for kids and it's a nice way for them to blow off steam. It's nothing too fancy, but something definitely fun for the kids. We really like how there was a little section for really little kids like Nolan's age. That way they can get away from the stampede of older kids for a while and play with books, puzzles and music instruments. We also went to Ripley's aquarium which we went to on our Honeymoon. Nolan loves to watch the fish and really enjoyed himself there. We do think that place is worth the money, even though some beg to differ. Of course we used coupons for almost eveyrthing too! They also had a dinosaur exhibit there, which was a nice added bonus. On another rainy day we still opted to walk around Barefoot landing and go to Alligator Adventure. AA is definitely expensive, so find a coupon. Nolan did enjoy it though and we watch the feeding.. thank goodness it was sprinkling most of the time. Nolan got SUCH A KICK out of the ducks and fish you feed at BATB and BL! It was so memorable. We also went on the Skywheel. Even though we knew some people said it was overpriced, we knew we wanted to try it. WE LOVED IT! The views were priceless.. there's nothing like it! I can't get over how gorgeous it is up there and for everyone's reference it's a decide long ride (a few times around). I filmed a portion of it and got some fantasic pictures. We were apprehensive on Nolan going on it, but he also loved it! I have one of my favorite pictures from our trip taken on there. He's looking out the glass floor to ceiling window at the beautiful ocean. It was a nice bright sunny day for that, which made it all the better. We recommend you do that even once. Another thing we did this year was go to the Coastal Grand Mall. In all of these years we had never been! It was again something nice to do when it was kind of rainy out. Nolan went on a couple little kiddie rides there and we bought a few things. It's a mall, so it's nothing too special, but we appreciated it, and it was nice to finally check it out after always hearing about it. We also did the usual things: Broadway at the Beach, Barefoot Landing, souvenier shopping etc. It was nice to try some new things for sure though. Oh and we did our grocery shopping at a Piggly Wigley this time since it was much closer... we will take the hike to the Food Lion next time like in the pervious years - not impressed. At least I can say I have been to a Pigly Wigley.

Food: One of the best things about Myrtle Beach!!! THE FOOD! We did our usual places, I can't remember where Nolan ate free, but it was either free or really inexpensive most places: Angelo's for dinner the first night - fantastic as always! Villa Romana the last night for dinner - fantastic as always however they did make the wrong thing for me but I liked it. Nolan loved the accordian player and was dancing in his highchair! Pizza a la Roma take out for a lazy night at the hotel - yummy, Wild Wings cafe - we have always had bad service there, but the food is always soooo delicious. This year the service was stellar which we really appreciated. Their wings are so good! We went to Duffy's sea food shack again this year, which was better than last year actually - we recommend them if you want seafood. We went to the ol' Golden Corral of course, which was average as always. We go there when we can't decide what we want, since they have a large selection. Is it "amazing" of course not, but it's a nice hot meal. We also tried the Sea Captain's house again - if you recall, we weren't that impressed last time we tried it, however it was very delicious this time. That place really is one of a kind. The history, food, views and service are fabulous. A new place we tried was Texas Roashouse Grill - we see the advertisements all the time up north here, but they don't have them so we wanted to give it a try! It was good, nothing special. We would go there again, but will probably opt for trying another similar place next time to explore more options. I can't rememember what other places we ate at.. must not have been too much to remember!

Misc. Details: We were obviously a little anixous about the plane rides with a 1 year old. We ended up very lucky on the way there, we had one of the front rows which had twice the amount of leg room!! there was a portion of time that I just sat on the ground and Nolan sat on the seat alone which he thought was amusing and entertaining (hey anything to keep him from screaming!). There was also another little boy his age that he was playing with. We had a connecting flight as there still is no direct flight to MB from MN. The connecting time was actually nice. Let his run around and be crazy and eat something easier. He slept almost the whole first flight and played the 2nd one.. however towards the 2nd one he was ready to be done! We were impressed with how well he did though. On the way back he didn't sleept quite as much, but the first flight is not even an hour so it wasn't bad. During our connection he ran around and we actually sat down and ate breakfast which was nice. We had SEVERAL people tell us on the way there and back that he did well and some didn't even know he was on the flight! That was relieving! On the way back the man behind us had the WORST body odor though... that was special. Getting our stroller checked and things like that also went smoothe. Nolan loved the water... mostly the pool to be exact. It was on our last full day there when Nolan finally decided he loved the ocean. I'm so glad we got to see his face light up from it! he really liked playing in the sand and running around the beach though. I can see how the waves are intimidating for a 1 year old! The beach part of the trip was one of the most different aspects of bringing a child (and little one at that). you can't just go in the water, play frisbee and goof around or relax and tan.. you are running after a kid so that was different, but fun and rewarding. Seeing Nolan so excited and happy was so worth everything and the best time of my life - being in the place I love with the people I love most was perfect no matter what. Nolan also really liked the balcony.. he loved watching the water from there and must have thought it was quite cool. We also could see the sunrise AND fireworks from the balcony. We have never had the fireworks from the balcony which was great.

We captured a lot of great pictures of wonderful memories... I will never forget my son's first frip to MB.. and I look forward to watching him grow up visiting there as our second home. I ordered a calendar using all of our pictures from the beach this trip for 2013. Can wait to see it.

Myrtle Beach with a child is much different than MB as a couple.. you can't do some things you normally did, but you also get to experience new things too! It was such a great experience and I can't wait to do it again this summer! We are already looking at places to stay! I believe our tentative dates are June 5-15 (sat-sat). We are kind of eyeballing the Caravelle since they offer a lot for kids and the price is more reasonable.

I don't have time to go back and spell check, so I apologize for any errors!

Off to the real world again :)
Thanks for taking the time to read, and I have a warm fuzzy feeling being back on the board!

_________________
~ Ash ~

Patricia Grand: 2007 (Honeymoon), 2008, 2009 & 2010
No 2011 MB visit - Son Nolan born 4/20/11!
Meridian Plaza: 2012
Caravelle: Spring 2013 - Daughter Morgan born 8/7/13!
Bluewater Resort: 2014


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:39 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:57 pm
Posts: 159
Location: Richfield, MN
I already remembered a few things I missed!

- we ate at Bummz Beach Cafe like always and it was good as usual. We ate indoors since it was windy, but it's always a fun place to eat. We ate lunch there so it wasn't nearly as busy. That place is really fun if you aren't with kids and it's later for dinner and drinks as well.
- we travelled to Murrel's Inlet for the first time! It was a nice change of pace. We plan to go there again this summer but do a little more exploring. We ate at the Dead Dog Saloon. It was good food with a good view and would recommend it.

_________________
~ Ash ~

Patricia Grand: 2007 (Honeymoon), 2008, 2009 & 2010
No 2011 MB visit - Son Nolan born 4/20/11!
Meridian Plaza: 2012
Caravelle: Spring 2013 - Daughter Morgan born 8/7/13!
Bluewater Resort: 2014


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:50 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:57 pm
Posts: 159
Location: Richfield, MN
a couple more things :roll: :

- I FINALLY found a shark's tooth this year after 5 years of searching! I have protexted it with my life getting back to MN.
- Good shells were MUCH MORE scarce than previous years.
- I also saw a little crab on the beach for the first time as well. He was pretty cute, not that I wanted him near me though!

_________________
~ Ash ~

Patricia Grand: 2007 (Honeymoon), 2008, 2009 & 2010
No 2011 MB visit - Son Nolan born 4/20/11!
Meridian Plaza: 2012
Caravelle: Spring 2013 - Daughter Morgan born 8/7/13!
Bluewater Resort: 2014


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:47 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 8:41 pm
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Location: Ontario
It sounds like a nice family vacation. Great memories. I had to laugh though at the fact that kids seem to be all the same. Nolan loved the pool, beach, ducks and fish. Isn't that usually the case even with all there is to do in Myrtle Beach? I am glad you had such a good holiday.

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A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Winston Churchill.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:01 pm 
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Location: Myrtle Beach
Ash, thanks so much for your trip review. They can never be too long or too late. I loved following you around, and I can just imagine Nolan having fun at the beach.

I know it's not easy to sit down and write a trip report, but we all appreciate it so very much!

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:09 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:59 pm
Posts: 161
Location: Myrtle Beach, SC from NY
we used to stay alot at the Caravelle resort it is quiet and in a nice area
and they will give you a better rate than most I used to email them and say
oh we can do better than your rate and they would say ok how about $$ per
night and we would book it....Alot of those units are owned and rented out
on VRBO now so look there too....And enjoy your beach time with the baby
they are precious to see their faces down on the beach..... :sunny:


Dwight


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:12 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:44 pm
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Thanks for the great report! A late report is better than no report! I would def reccommend Caravelle. We have stayed there the last 2 years and really liked it. We have 2 boys, 5 and 6, and they loved it too. The kids activities directors are great. Lots for them to do and they included the little ones too. Pools are all in one compact area, so not as much chasing to do!! Would def suggest looking at VRBO. We got great deals both years. First year was in a one bedroom, it was WONDERFUL. Cleanest room we've ever had and spacious. (We stayed in it with my mother and didn't feel cramped). Last year we stayed in a studio that had a HUGE balcony. I loved it, it was small, but hubby hated the balcony, no privacy. The kids loved it though, lots of room to spread out and they could take their toys out there and play.
It is definately different once you take the kids, but like you said, it is priceless! Sounds like you made lots of great memories!!

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Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain!


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:42 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2006 7:52 pm
Posts: 228
Location: Upstate SC... just a little south of Charlotte, NC
Ash, thanks for posting your report! I've been wondering how Nolan did on his first beach trip. So happy for y'all that it turned out so well! :sunny: I'm sure it is just the beginning of many more happy trips to come! :lol:

Karen in Upstate SC

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:38 pm 
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I agree on the part about a trip with kids is so much different than a trip alone. The beach part of the trip is really hard when they are that little. It does get better though (although we started over and now have a 2 year old to go along with our older kids). At least the older kids can pretty much go out and enjoy the water without you being right beside them. Makes it nice to be able to sit down and enjoy the beach without having to run after them. You can sit and watch them from the beach chair and enjoy a cold beverage :beerchug: . The little ones are hard since you have to be right beside them the entire time and makes seat time pretty much non-existent.


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