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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:19 am 
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Location: Bath, NY
I can't believe the day has finally arrived! I know the MB part of this trip report won't start until we arrive tomorrow, and until I can get some time to write it up (probably Friday morning), but for those of us that think "the trip down is just as much a part of the vacation" as the visit there, I will officially start my trip report as I often do - at lunch from work on the day of departure. Besides, I know some of you are eager for another trip report!

Usually, I have the car packed and parked in our school parking lot (once, with a flat tire if you recall), but we are doing things differently this time. We won't leave until 8 or 9pm, as my son wants us to do the "all-nighter" thing. If you look at my signature, we began coming regularly in 2001, when my oldest Jack was 4 years old, and Griffin was 2. Well, this is the first year that Jack can help drive down! And he said he wants the fun of helping take a turn or two on a drive-through-the-night trip. So, we will start later than usual, and not stay in a hotel on the way down. My anticipated stops include:

- leave Bath, NY at 9:00pm
- 11:30 - rest break at Sheetz in Shamokin Dam, PA area- Dawn's neighborhood!
- 1:45am - gas up before the beltway of Washington, DC - in Frederick, MD
- 3:30ish - rest break near Fredericksburg, VA
- 6:00am - witness the new day breaking with our regular stop at the NC rest area just over the VA/NC border
- at that point, I plan to do something different. I want to get off the interstate. I think I will get on 301 and then work my way across NC via Tarboro, Kinston, Jacksonville, and Wilmington. Breakfast will happen somewhere along that route, as people wake.
- hopefully arrive around 11am at the Hampton Inn on the beach near 18th South. Sometimes the rooms are ready, even at that hour, but if not, we will park, change into pool/beach attire, and hopefully I am on my back, in a lounge chair, thawing my deeply frozen bones by noon!

We'll see !?!?!?!?

I'll let you know in the next report just where things went off course! The next report could be Thursday evening, but more likely I will be up early Friday morning letting you know about the trip, and our first day in Myrtle Beach, 2014!

_________________
1978 MBSP
1979 Captain's Quarters
1981 Polynesian
1993 Beach Cove
2001 Compass Cove
2002 Coral Beach
2003 Sand Dunes
2004 Long Bay
2005 Long Bay
2007 Ocean Reef
2008 Long Bay
2009 Island Vista
2010 Island Vista
2012 Paradise Resort
2014 Hampton Inn


Last edited by Rick on Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 12:10 pm 
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Location: Richfield, MN
awesome! The exciting leading up to leaving is really part of the trip and frankly one of my favorites! :nanner:

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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 Apr 09, 2014 1:20 pm 
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Location: North Carolina
Rick,
You have made my day!!! After doing the jobs of two people the past week, I am ready to relax and enjoy a great trip report. Thanks for taking the time to let us in on your vacation.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:10 pm 
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Ahhh...you are a planner. I love it :nanner: I just looked at the clock and you are 9 minutes into your trip :wav: . Safe travels and I CAN'T WAIT to read your report.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:43 am 
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Hope you had a safe trip Rick! If everything went according to plan, you should be laying on the beach right now! :drinkin:


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:43 pm 
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Glad you started the trip report before you pulled out. I'm one of those people that thinks that the first part of vacation begins with the packing of the vehicle and preparing for the trip down. Nothing like the feeling of pulling out of the driveway, knowing that you are heading to the beach. I don't mind the drive home, but the trip down just has a whole different feeling. Looking forward to reading how your trip goes. Enjoy.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 6:11 pm 
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Location: Annapolis, MD
Hitting the DC beltway at 2am is a great call - hoping you arrived safely !

Looking forward to the report, thanks for starting early !

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 7:14 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:54 am
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Location: Bath, NY
Welp, we made it! Not exactly as planned, but close enough!

The Trip Down

We actually ended up leaving about 8:30 Wednesday evening, which, was really what I have come to expect from how things go. My son Jack would take the first leg of the trip, and for the first time in 35 years, I found myself sitting in the back seat of a car going south for spring break! It was a nice change - until we were only 15 minutes into the drive, and Jack said he was pulling off to get a drink. :BandHead: I then informed him that we wanted to get to MB sometime before Easter, and he said he understood.

The event went down as pretty much expected, with small exceptions like taking longer breaks than maybe I had counted on originally. Yes Kirk, the beltway was a breeze at that time, loved it! In Virginia, northern I-95 is still a construction mess, but after Fredericksburg, it is really nice now. My son's request to be part of the driving team to pull the "all-nighter", turned out to be me driving, and him sleeping. I think the last time I saw his open eyeballs was as I gassed up in Frederick, MD.

I would pull over for quick 20 minute cat-naps a couple of times, and the next thing you know the sky in the east was turning orange - somewhere around Petersburg, VA. (As it is right now as I write this - looking out my balcony on this beautiful morning in MB!)

Got off I-95 at Wilson, but stayed a bit longer than usual and took some roads less taken across NC to Wilmington. Really enjoyed seeing some country, playing some soul music, and having a leisurely breakfast in Snow Hill. It got us off our track of time, but loved it anyway.

Pulled into MB about 12:45. Our room was ready for us at the Hampton Inn Oceanside, with easy parking. Unloaded things out of our bags, and into closets and drawers, swim suit on, sun tan lotion on, and the next thing I knew I was on my back, smelling coconut lotion, hearing waves splashing, and looking at palm trees! :cool:

Thursday in MB

We got enough glorious sun to thaw the bones a bit, and give us a base tan for tomorrow - just enough to feel it later! We hadn't had lunch, so we decided on an early dinner. We didn't feel like driving too far, obviously, and we all agreed we wanted something new, and would hit up a couple of traditional favorites later in the week. We headed out to BATB, to check on something that my wife and I vaguely recalled from the last time we were down here, two years ago. We had thought that something new had taken the place of the German style restaurant, near where the Wonder Works attraction was. When we got there, we found out it was called Capriz. What we recalled was that they served food differently, so we asked what it was all about. They then explained that it is basically a two course serving: step one being a buffet bar - and step two being one where waiters come to your table with a dish, explaining what the dish is, and you can indicate to them that you would, or would not care to try it. The reason we did not try Capriz two years ago was because we were with another family with little kids. But with our teen boys, we decided to try it this time.

Loved it! The buffet bar is great - with mostly cold salads, and a few warm items - but everything was really tasty. Really tasty! I think we each went back for 2 or 3 visits to just the buffet. Great stuff. Then, the waiters start coming by - I think I tried the Balsamic Steak, some really moist and tender pork roast, a fantastic stuffed ravioli, even the pizza slices were outstanding. The great thing about this place, is that for each course, you can try just a little of something, to "try" it, and if you really like it - have more! The price was $19.95 for each of us. You get as much as you want, so if you leave here hungry, it's your fault!

Our waiter, Chris, was very personable, and extremely helpful in getting us to feel comfortable trying something new. After some fun joking with each other, I mentioned how I was going to give the restaurant a good review, and he asked what I meant. I explained about funbeaches.com and he said he would check it out - so, if you are reading this now Chris - thanks for the great dinner!

After stuffing ourselves, we of course needed to walk it off, and it was great to be back at BATB! What was really great, was feeling comfortable in shorts, shirt, and sandals once again! We did the usual, and the boys were glad to see that the Klugs Kites guy was back in front of the store, doing his usual hilarious shtick. My youngest son, Griffin, is a huge fan. He wasn't there the entire week we were down two years ago, so it was good to see him back!

Our boys must be growing up. They usually leave BATB with a bag of candy from somewhere, but they noticed how expensive it is there, and that a trip to Walgreens would probably be a better deal. Hmmm, maturity!

We were all pretty tired from the long night trip, so we had a few things to get at the Walgreens on business 17 near 3rd south. We drove all the way down 17 to the airport, just to see if there was anything new on the strip, and then cut back up Ocean Drive, pointing out to the boys where a few of their friends would be staying this week (we are the first to arrive!) - Regency Towers, Compass Cove, Paradise Resort, Grand Atlantic. Amy and the boys did a hot tub, but I crashed early....listening to the waves from my open bedroom balcony door!

I will copy and paste some of above under the Capriz thread under the Restaurants category. And, after we have been here a few days, I will write up something for a report on the Hampton Inn.

It's nice to see that many of you enjoy hearing about the trip down, as much as the stay. And, I am glad to be able to contribute to your enjoyment with a trip report finally! I really have no idea what today will bring - but that's the sign of a great vacation. Am I right?

The sun is now above the horizon, and it looks to be another beautiful day in paradise! I think I'll go for a walk first!

Rick :cool:

_________________
1978 MBSP
1979 Captain's Quarters
1981 Polynesian
1993 Beach Cove
2001 Compass Cove
2002 Coral Beach
2003 Sand Dunes
2004 Long Bay
2005 Long Bay
2007 Ocean Reef
2008 Long Bay
2009 Island Vista
2010 Island Vista
2012 Paradise Resort
2014 Hampton Inn


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:27 am 
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Location: "Southern" New York
YAY!! So glad you are there safely! Thanks for keeping us posted. So wonderful to read about the warm weather :sunny: ! Enjoy and keep the updates coming...PLEASE!

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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: Fri Apr 11, 2014 9:33 am 
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So glad you arrived safely! We start our drive down in 20 hours and 30 minutes so your report is getting me to finish my packing! Have a wonderful day, cant wait to read the next post!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 1:05 pm 
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Location: Hagerstown, MD
Fantastic report so far!!! I love reading about the day of departure and trip down just as much as the rest of the trip!! Sounds like you are having a great time so far!!! :nanner:

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 3:03 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:49 am
Posts: 71
Location: Somerset, PA
A great report so far. I be we took your same route through North Carolina when we came down in January. We had just got off 295 in Petersburg and was on 95 and traffic was backed up so bad we got off on the next exit and headed east. My gps on my phone had no service and my regular gps was having problems but we figured just head east or south and we will eventually hit a major road and find our way. We eventually made our way and gps started working and we got on 17 south and took that down till we got a bit lost west of Wilmington but got on 40 east then on to 17 again. Anyway yes the weather is join ally glorious and warm for the next couple days give and take a day or two of rain early next week. We have 4 maybe 5 weeks left in this fantastic rental in Myrtle Beach then we head back up to PA. If you happen to try any restaurants like Johnny D's Waffle House on 33 ave north let me know I am staying right there on 33 ave and we can have a meet-up. Anyway I defiantly recommend Johnny D's for breakfast. It is a notch above most waffle and pancake houses around MB the owners are great, service is awesome, and food is really good.

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Oct 2005 Blue Water Resort
October 2006 Compass Cove
October 2007 Landmark Resort
Oct 4-11 2008 Bay Watch Resort
September 26 - October 3 2009 Breakers Resort
September 25 - October 2 2010 Bay Watch Resort
September 3 -10 2011 Myrtle Beach Resort
January 12 - May ? 2014 A rented apartment on 33 ave. N, Myrtle Beach


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:32 pm 
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Location: Ontario
Wow Lauren, you still have a lot of time left. Enjoy every minute!

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 6:42 am 
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Location: Myrtle Beach
Loved your report, and looking forward to more. Today and Sunday are supposed to be sunny and warm, so you should really enjoy your beach time.

Glad you made it safely to MB.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:32 am 
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Location: Bath, NY
Day 2 - Friday

As usual, was up before sunrise, and I got right to writing the first trip report as the sun came up over the Atlantic. After doing my computer business, I headed out for a short walk on the beach, but never got there.

I never got past the lobby. That is because this lobby is the best lobby I have ever seen in a hotel. I will write more on this later, in my hotel report. But let's just say the lobby at the Hampton Inn Oceanside is.......comfy! And with free breakfast, I didn't end up going anywhere else at that point. In fact, the lobby is so enjoyable, I passed up the living room in my suite, to come down to it and write this report right now!

I came back down with Amy later, and sat with her as she ate her breakfast, and we took some things back up for the boys to enjoy later. Though we wanted to head right to the pools for some of yesterday's marvelous sun, we reluctantly decided to try to make a fast run to Food Lion, as the alternative was to go later in the day - and everyone knows you don't go to Food Lion late on a Friday in MB. One of the great things about our hotel, is the aforementioned free breakfast, what a savings this was on our food shopping! We got some snacks, drinks, and lunch things, and headed back.

Finally got to really settle in and enjoy some intense sun baking, really thawing out a long winter from our bones. In the early afternoon, a few clouds would pop up, making the breeze a little cool, but the sun would be back seconds later. The boys made arrangements to meet friends who were just arriving for the week.

We met back up to the room about 3:00. Watched a little coverage of The Masters golf tournament, and then Amy and I and Griff headed down for a hot tub soaking. On the way back up to the room, we passed through the lobby, for the daily 4:00 cookies - fresh and soft and delicious!

After watching more of The Masters, we had a pow-wow of where to go for dinner. Predictably, we headed out for Barefoot Landing, having already visited BATB last night. We let Jack drive, and we took the slow parade up Ocean Boulevard looking at all of the hotels, and boardwalk area, etc. We took a nostalgic drive past places we stayed at when the boys were younger (Island Vista, Ocean Reef, and The Long Bay), and it was so enjoyable to hear the boys and their reactions like "I remember this place!", and the re-telling of memories. I firmly believe that making memories is the reason why Amy and I make such an effort to take meaningful vacations. We could be socking some of this money away in our retirement accounts, but we, and more important, the boys, will have these memories for a lifetime!

Jack got to experience the joys of driving along Restaurant Row at dinner time on a Friday in MB, complete with construction in the center median. We finally made it to BL, and of course, Amy and Griff headed right for Black Market Minerals. I have decided to take off drinking alcohol for a year (just a change of habits thing!), so my regular visit to Bulley's was put off, and Jack and I just walked around looking at places. We all got back together, and strolled around looking and not really shopping, and, again, predictably, ended up at California Pizza for a great dinner.

We let Jack drive back, in the dark, and it was....interesting! None of it was really his fault, well, one was. But it was mostly other drivers really causing havoc for him. Let's just say there were some teachable moments.

We headed to the hot tubs for a late wind-down. Amy and I got a "calming" tea from the lobby, and headed back up.

I fell asleep reading one of the local real estate advertising pamphlets - looking at the pics, seeing which style I would enjoy, and then looking at the prices and thinking..."maybe if I work a little harder!"

Good things to dream about!

_________________
1978 MBSP
1979 Captain's Quarters
1981 Polynesian
1993 Beach Cove
2001 Compass Cove
2002 Coral Beach
2003 Sand Dunes
2004 Long Bay
2005 Long Bay
2007 Ocean Reef
2008 Long Bay
2009 Island Vista
2010 Island Vista
2012 Paradise Resort
2014 Hampton Inn


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