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 Post subject: June 7-14, Dayton House
PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:55 am 
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OK, so here I am. My trip report. I get a bit winded with writing these out, or at least I did last time. It's fun to write though as it's sort of like a bit of a story.


First off, we will start with a bit of background.

Back in 2011 we came down to Myrtle Beach. I haven't been here since I was a kid and this was the 2nd vacation we took since creating our own family. We drove a packed to the gills Mazda Tribute (Ford Escape clone.) This past winter, Heather my wife rolled the Mazda on it's roof (no one injured) in a freak 40 degree road freeze. We replaced the Mazda with a 2 year old Toyota Rav4, the vehicle I wanted to buy new when we bought the Mazda but couldn't afford it new so settled for the Mazda. I'll never buy a new car again, a waste of money. I ended up paying about the same amount for this 2 year old Rav4 that I paid for the Mazda and now have 10 times the vehicle, but I digress...

So, anyways, the Toyota I believe is a good bit smaller in exterior dimensions than the Mazda. The Rav4 is based on the Camry platform, the Tribute/Escape on the Ford Fusion platform. What the Rav4 lacks dimensionally in exterior makes up for interior size though. I can only describe it as cavernous, as in like a cavern (read that like Jas Robertson from Duck Dynasty would, the kids love it when I talk like Jas or Phil, LOL.) Anyways, the kids have a TON of room in the back seat. I realized that when I was cleaning out the back and climbed in kneeling on the floor completely in the car and fit just fine (and I'm not exactly small in the horizontal dimensions.) The rear cargo space I am amazed at compared to the Tribute. With the spare tire hanging on the door, there is a large compartment under the cargo floor. I just about put everything in there. 2 laptops, camera bag with all our charging equipment since the kids each an iPod and a Nintendo DS, 2 cameras, and we all have a cell phone. Shoved 6 thick beach towels, paper plates, plastic cups, shoes, just about everything that I would have shoved in all the holes between suitcases. The only thing I put in the cargo space after closing up the compartment was 2 suitcases, the beach chairs, and a small bag filled with the bathroom stuff. It was so nice not having a pile of stuff on top of the suitcases above the seat backs filling my rear view mirror view.

More stuff from traveling with the new-to-us car. 269 HP and 0-60 in 6.1 seconds, oh yeah baby! Yup, the marketing they use bragging about the awesome acceleration of this soccermom compact SUV family wagon is definitely not hype. This thing will run. Most people don't care. Most people wonder why with today's gas crisis. Well, for 2 trips now we drove through West Virginia. Our poor Mazda could barely make it on the hills in West Virgina. I was running flat on the floor up the hills and could barely hold 50 mph in the Mazda. I couldn't wait to drive the Toyota through there. Well, it was uneventful. I even commented to Heather about how we struggled forever to get up the hills and we didn't even realize where the spot was that we struggled. It seemed to go on forever as other cars flew past us while our poor Mazda hunted between 2nd and 3rd gear trying to make it. It must not have been as long as an uphill battle as I though, just seemed to be a long time because we struggled to climb up.

Oh, and as for the gas crisis, well the V6 EPA highway rating is 26 mpg while the "economical" 4 cylinder (of which I felt all the varous 4 cyl small SUV equivalents I tested were not enough power) is rated at 27 mpg. Living out in the middle of nowhere, all of our driving is basically highway driving as in we are running 60 mph or so for at least half an hour without stopping. Our city driving probably is 99% just going through the parking lots at work. My wife is averaging 26 mpg in her daily commute, better I think than she would get with the 4 cylinder because of the up/down hills we encounter here in western PA. I'm pretty happy with her averaging 26 mpg on a daily basis and still having an SUV for vacation travel or hauling some of the stuff I would haul by having a truck if we didn't have the small SUV.



Ok, moving on to the actual trip report. It all started out on a cold and dreary day....

Er, no, never mind, it's not a novel, I'm not going to start out like a novel. Well, actually id did start out on a cold and dreary day since it was nothing but rain from the moment I left work early on Thursday...


So, on Thursday I am getting ready for my last day of work when I see on the news Tropical Storm Andrea that is down in Florida. They say it is going to head up the coast hitting South Carolina early in the afternoon on Friday. Just great. Forecast for Myrtle Beach is 100% chance of rain.

We are getting nailed with a big thunderstorm surge up here as well. I had to clean out the garage project to fit the car so I can load up on Thursday afternoon. 3:30 am on Friday and we depart the ole homestead. It is raining as we leave. It is raining as we get to the interstate. It is raining as we enter WV. It is raining as we want to stop at a picnic table and have some breakfast we brought. As we get into North Carolina, it is really coming down. I think we hit the tropical storm. It pretty much rained our entire way down. There were only a few moments that I could turn the wipers from on to intermitten for 12 and a half hours.

As we were getting close to Conway, the sky up ahead started to look brighter, perhaps it isn't raining up ahead any more. Yup, it was starting to look promising. Then as we are heading through Conway, the sky turns black and it just dumps on us yet again. All hopes are off now. We can barely see other cars on the road. Well, at least they say the storm was going to move fast and the rain will taper off on Saturday sometime.

As we leave Conway and get into the final stretch coming in on the 501, traffic starts to build. Rain or not, we had absolutely no traffic coming the entire way down. Now we are in stop and go traffic. Wait, what is that I see up ahead? The sky looks brighter again. We travel further, the rain stops. We are now at about 10 minutes to Myrtle Beach and we, though a very very small, patch of blue showing through the cloud cover. As we get closer and closer, the GPS continues to tell us we are minutes away while the clock counts off 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes as we crawl feet at a time towards our destination, the cloud cover is breaking up, more blue sky is showing. Finally we are here and as we pull in to park, it is absolutely glorious out.

I can't believe it. We just drove 12 and a half hours of literal non-stop rain and an hour after checking in, checking out the balcony, unpacking while pizza dinner is delivered, I am on the beach and it looks like this:

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:37 am 
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Ok, so far, I've gathered that the Mazda was a hunk of garbage and rain was an issue for your drive. Got it.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:04 am 
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Location: "Southern" New York
YAY!! So glad you arrived safely to amazing blue skies! Good ole Carolina always comes through doesn't she :sunny:

Can't wait to hear about your adventures. We will be leaving on the 16th to head down again. Save some of the blue sky for us :hello:

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Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air... Ralph Waldo Emerson
Hugs, Emmy


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:51 am 
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Sun n' Fun wrote:
Save some of the blue sky for us :hello:



Can I borrow some of that blue sky, or should I say can I share some of that blue sky? :nanner:

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:37 am 
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Location: "Southern" New York
A little Allman Bros. for your Sat. morning...BLUE SKY

Good ole' Sunday morning bells are ringing everywhere
Going to Carolina won't be long and I'll be there...

http://youtu.be/G1jpQu6qR1E

**Now, back to our regularly scheduled trip report!

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Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air... Ralph Waldo Emerson
Hugs, Emmy


Last edited by Sun n' Fun on Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:38 am 
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Joined: Thu May 25, 2006 9:52 pm
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Location: Charleston, WV
Like most people heading to the beach I'm sure you couldn't wait to hit the road. We're the same way.
Knowing what we know now you would have been better off waiting just a few hours and had better drive. Weather was good here all day Friday. Little cool but the rain had passed.

Also.....Saw a post on T/A. The last stretch of 311 in NC opened at 10:00am Friday. Might look for new signs on your way home next week. Should be new exit around Asheboro. Bypasses Greensboro and shave off a few miles.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:39 am 
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Location: CT
Please, please please tell me how you posted that beautiful picture. I want to post them in my trip report but am not having luck. Give directions in english if you have time LOL. Thank you so much. and glad you made it. Yes i too am amazed at the changeable weather. Makes for exciting plans!

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 11:09 am 
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Glad the weather thing worked out for you. Not good to be heading to vacation with a tropical storm in the forecast. At least it was a fast moving storm. Hate driving to a vacation with it raining. One thing I take pride in is having a perfectly clean vehicle for the trip down and rain messes that up. Thanks for the report. Look forward to reading more.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 11:26 am 
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Hockeymom wrote:
Please, please please tell me how you posted that beautiful picture.



Do you have a site where you share your photos? A place like ipernity, Flickr or photobucket? I have my photos on ipernity http://www.ipernity.com. You pick which photo you want to share on here, probably a medium to small size so you don't use up Patrish's bandwidth.

Directions from ipernity, using firefox browser.

1. Choose your photo. On the right hand side there's a more options arrow. Choose "view all sizes"
2. Choose 500 which is a size of (500 x 375)
3. Right click on photo, and scroll down to where it says "view image info"
4. This might be tricky here. You should see a line like this
Code:
http://u1.ipernity.com/30/90/17/20679017.5a81c241.500.jpg?r1
It is the 4th one from the bottom. You click it and if your picture shows up on the screen you got the right link.
5. Copy that link and come to the message board to paste it in between

Code:
[img]http://u1.ipernity.com/30/90/17/20679017.5a81c241.500.jpg?r1[/img]
This is what my link looks like in between the image symbols.

Then hit submit, and it should work.


Image



Let me know what photo sharing site you are using and I'll let you know how it works from there, they might work differently from each.

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Ron



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:52 pm 
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Location: Hillsborough, NC
I like trip reports like this one. I feel like Im in the car with you. I have never put photos in my reports. I should learn to do that too.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 3:57 pm 
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Location: Hagerstown, MD
Isn't it lovely when the weather works like this? The beach was READY for you to get there! How awesome!

Glad your trip is off to a great start! :nanner:

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1993,94,02,08,09,10,11,12,13 & 17!!!!


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:05 pm 
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myrtlebeachbum, I remembered i had some pics on flicker so i put a few up there. tried to figure it out on posting like you wrote but no go.. if you can walk me through flicker sharing, i would appreciate it...TY

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:21 pm 
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The wifi isn't all that great, so now I'm on my phone. Had more than just the drive but lost it when I couldn't get wifi back on the laptop.

Now I'm just sitting at the pool letting the kids swim. If you let me know you're looking at the webcam I'll wave to ya, lol.

To continue from yesterday, again we are amazed at the water temperature. It is walk right in warm. Then again, we are from PA and judging by the southern folks on the pool forum, they all seem to say they won't get in their pools until.close to 90. Well, my kids were swimming as soon as I opened in early May with 68° water temperature, brrrrr....

So, yesterday upon our 4:15 arrival, we ordered pizza from Michael's Pizza down the road. I saw it in the food review section. It is what pizza should be in my opinion, crust thin and floppy where you almost have to fold the slice in half to eat.

Pretty much we waded out in the water and walked the beach. Pretty wore out though from the drive.

More later since I just got the girly eyes asking me to swim with them, lol.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:59 pm 
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Nice, I love the first dip. didnt go to the beach today. Was it rough like it was a few days ago from the storm? And i agree, water here is quite warm. Being from CT, our warmest ocean water is colder than what it is down here now so pretty comfortable. :wink:

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:46 pm 
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This is being typed up and posted a day late because of, well, I'd rather be in the ocean than typing, LOL. That and the spotty wifi with the laptop. Phones and iPods are working great on the wifi.

SATURDAY
So it's another early morning while everyone sleeps. I don't fit with all the rest. I can't sleep more than 6 hours. The girls all sleep forever. At least I can watch the sunrise over the water every morning.

Saturday was the first full day. We have to get to the grocery store sometime today for lunch stuff, but it won't be until later this evening. We went to bed pretty early last night since we were all exhausted from the drive. After strolling around the beach after dark and a quick dip for the girls in the pool, we sat on the balcony a bit and all were in bed by 10.

I wake up in the morning and glance at the clock. Like clockwork, 6 hours of sleep. Fell asleep about 10:30, up at 4:30. I laid there for a few minutes, nope, I'm not going to fall back asleep. So, I head out on the balcony to catch the sunrise. I have a picture, but unfortunately, my card reader is broken on the laptop and the cord I have to plug the camera in is the wrong cord. I need the other camera which I keep forgetting back in the bedroom where they are all still sleeping.

Hey, yea! I fixed the card reader on the laptop. Now I can get some pictures off the camera this week. Got the needed sunrise shot.

Image

So, we pretty much beached all day. Again, water amazingly warm. This year there are a ton of shells in the surf. You can barely stand to walk out. Once you get a bit out though, the bottom smooths out. Last trip all I read about was shark teeth and I spent all week hunting for a shark tooth. It wasn't until the end of the week I finally spotted one. Now I know what I am looking for. I can't hardly look down without spotting shark teeth. A few from today just hanging out at the edge while watching the kids in the water.

Image

Water was pretty rough today, I imagine from the tropical storm as it rolled up the coast. It was really pulling me up to the north while I was in. The kids just played around in the surf rolling in. Waves were too big for them today.

We haven't gotten to the grocery store yet, so we didn't have anything in the room for lunch. Decided to just call and order something from Uncle John's Restaurant (Facebook page) which is right across the road from The Dayton House on 24th Ave North. Lauren (the oldest) and I grabbed a hamburger and fries, Heather had a grilled chicken wrap, and Emma the youngest had..... chicken fingers, same as she always gets, LOL. Have to say, it was darn excellent! It was a bit much though for lunch. Too heavy of a lunch. Tonight is grocery getting time. Need some lighter lunch grub.

So after lunch it was back on the beach. It was low tide, the waves were down a bit from this morning and the girls were getting braver and heading out a little bit more rather than hanging out at the edge. Lauren still isn't ready to come out beyond the breakers.

It's amazing how slow time is while down on the beach. We walked looking for shells and shark teeth for a bit. Spent some time in the water. I spent most of my time in the water. Figured we were down there long enough and wanted to give them a bit of time in the pool. There were too many in the pool so we headed up to the room for showers. Turns out, it was only around 2:30. It felt like we were down on the beach after lunch for hours and it was only an hour and a half.

So after showers, plans are to go eat and get to the grocery store. I'm following my unofficial plan and hitting some of the places I read about on the "where the locals eat" thread that popped up a few weeks ago. Needing a shrimp basket, we picked Dagwoods in Surfside Beach. Have to say it was quite good. Heather and I both had the shrimp basket, nice large shrimp. We can't get them like that at home. It was good, but was a bit heavy on the breading and frying than I would have liked. Especially since we had such a heavy lunch, it was too much to finish off with fried shrimp.

Lauren wasn't real hungry, but then decided to get the hamburger sliders. 3 sliders and she said they were pretty good. She didn't get them all down though, I think she ate 2 of them. Emma, well, if you read my 2011 trip report, you can guess what she got. Chicken fingers. Said they were excellent. I think she will eat chicken fingers/tenders all week and will always say they were excellent no matter what.

Three drinks and a water along with the waitress talking us into a chocolate chip cookie for the kids and Heather and I splitting a cookie and the total before tip tallied up to $45. That is pretty darn awesome for 2 shrimp dinners, another adult sandwich dinner, and a kid's meal with drinks. Even a cheap dessert added (I think the cookies were $0.85 each.) We just ate a $70 at home eat-out meal for $45.

After dinner was the much needed grocery shop. Ended up just at Walmart and grabbed some turkey lunchmeat for lunches, some snack foods, and the kids needed some boogie boards. It was absolutely packed in there. It's really cool to see all the beach stuff since we don't see that at home. This time we stayed away from the alcohol, another thing we don't see at home. Last time we ended up buying a bunch and we don't even drink. I think it was just the novelty of being able to buy alcohol in a grocery store that got us. So, we hauled it all up to the room, walked the beach for a bit, and gave the girls some after dark swim time in the pool of which is when I posted my last post from my phone. I think we headed to bed around 11:30 to start it all over again in the morning.


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