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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:33 pm 
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Sorry I didn't check in while there, I actually completely went off the grid save for a couple of Facebook posts. We made it home today around 1 and are slowly decompressing. We had an amazing time and even "survived" a hurricane! Ate some great food, spent like 5 hours a day in the ocean, and had some much needed relaxation. The kids decided by day 2 that we need to move to NC so we could then come to the beach all the time. I'll start a full report tomorrow, but just wanted to say how much fun we had. I was a bit worried about how the crowds would be, but was pleasantly surprised.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:46 pm 
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A pic of the kiddos on the 4th before the fireworks. Image


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:51 pm 
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So happy to hear that you had a good time, and are home safely. LOVE THE PHOTO! Looking forward to your trip report!

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:03 pm 
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LOVE Cherry Grove trip reports!! Can't wait :hello: :cheerleader: !

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:37 am 
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Day 1: We'd stopped in Winston-Salem after 11 hours of driving on Saturday. After a quick drive around showing my kids where I grew up, we were on our way! Made a longer than expected stop in Rockingham to see some family, but hard to pass them up when we drive right through there. We didn't leave "The Rock" until almost 1, but there was ZERO traffic on the way to the beach. It was really hard to not jam the pedal down and break some speed records. Since 74 was so empty, I decided to just stay on it all the way to Whiteville, where I picked up 701 over to Tabor City. Again, hardly any other cars. By the time I hit 9, the excitement was building. I told the kids that every time I've ever gotten to that point in the trip, even at nearly 45 years of age, I get goosebumps. THE BEACH IS NEAR! I can feel it, smell it, taste it. I started pointing out landmarks right and left and could tell I was driving my wife crazy, but did I care? Heck no, THE BEACH IS NEAR! :rastanana:
Pulled into CG around 3 and made sure all windows were down for the first trip down Ocean Blvd so the kids could drink it all in. Now they were almost as excited as I was. The condo we were renting from a college buddy's mom is called A Place at the Beach, between 42nd and 43rd. Pretty sure this was built in the early 70's and she's had it since it was new.
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It's across the street from the beach, but still a perfect location. Certainly could have paid much more for ocean-front, but having stayed here many times in college, I knew it was all we needed. From the door to the sand is like a min walk. I'll take it!
We unpacked the SUV in record time and my son was in his swimsuit before I'd even sat down. Got the rest of us suited up and hit the beach running! Topped the dune and there was like 75 yards of open space in front of us. 3:30 on a Sunday, and we had no problem finding a spot. Both kids immediately sprinted to the surf, so I joined them. It was a bit rough unfortunately, with a current pulling hard to the south. Like if you just floated, you'd end up 10 houses away in no time. But...who cares?? WE ARE FINALLY AT THE BEACH! Since I'd been coming to NMB for my entire life, I'd pretty much experienced every type of conditions imaginable, so I gave the kids a bit of a safety lesson. Suppose it was a good thing for it to be so rough right away. We spent a full hour being battered around and loving every single second of it. We stayed on the beach until about 7 and headed back to decide where to eat. I'd heard so much about Basil's, and couldn't believe I've never eaten there. So, order placed! Drove down and picked it up. The place was packed, but order was ready as soon as I hit the counter. Got back to the condo, and within 3 bites, my daughter exclaimed it was the best pizza she'd ever had. We live in Chicago, this was hard to hear. But at the time, I had to agree with her. We took down a large pizza in less than 15 minutes.

After dinner, we headed back out to the beach around 9 and strolled down to the pier. Not super crowded, so we could take a nice, leisurely walk and check out the fishermen. Not too many catches, but saw 4-5 small sharks, which excited the kids. Strangely, this was the only time we hit the pier the entire week. Walked down to it several times during the day, but never back on. Stayed out on the beach about an hour and decided it was time to hit the hay. Exciting and exhausting first day!

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:53 am 
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Location: North Carolina
Great to hear a trip report from Cherry Grove! Even though we go to the beach every single year, I am just like you in pointing out the different landmarks and billboards. There is nothing like traveling across the big bridge over the Intracoastal waterway. That is when you know you have arrived. And I knew exactly where A Place at the Beach was before you told the street number. Even though I have never stayed at many of these places, I always remember the names and where they are from looking through realty books.
Looking forward to hearing more about the trip.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:03 am 
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How could I forget about the the first trip across the bridge?? It's been a family tradition for as long as I can remember that we have to hold our breath for the length of the bridge. I have passed this along to the kids and we did it every time across.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:12 am 
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Love your report and your excitement! I always say I can smell the beach from and hour away. The sky even looks different to me. You obviously had a great trip! Thanks again!

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:28 am 
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Tarheel92 wrote:
Since 74 was so empty, I decided to just stay on it all the way to Whiteville, where I picked up 701 over to Tabor City. Again, hardly any other cars. By the time I hit 9, the excitement was building.


That is the exact same way we go!! You passed right in front of our house on Hgwy. 9 :cheerleader: :cheerleader: ! So glad you enjoyed Basil's! It's one of our faves!! Can't wait to live vicariously through you for the next couple of posts :wink: !!

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:16 pm 
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You passed right in front of our house on Hgwy. 9


You need to put a flag in your front yard so everyone can honk as we drive by ! (even if you're not home !)

Great report !

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:10 pm 
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Day 2: woke up about 7, everyone else still asleep. The kids wanted to sleep on the pullout, so I tip-toed into the room to find this
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They must have gotten cold in the night because both grabbed large beach towels at some point. They looked pretty comfy so I didn't dare wake them. I had to grind my coffee beans in the bathroom with the fan and water going so I didn't disturb. What a great dad/husband. :wink:

Got some coffee and walked out to the beach, spectacular morning, mostly deserted beach, water like glass. After finally waking everyone and having breakfast, we headed out to the beach for the day. Brought lunch with us, so we stayed out until about 5. Did I mention the kids were loving the beach? Since the water was so calm, it was actually quite clear too. Surprisingly large waves started rolling in, so the art of body surfing was taught and mastered. Oh, I didn't mention that I am the undisputed body surfing king? Kids didn't believe that I could ride them until I was totally beached in the sand. Well, I showed them! Helps to have been a competitive swimmer growing up, I can hold my breath awhile.

After coming back and cleaning up, we decided we were going to avoid the dinner crowds and do some shopping during normal dinner hours. Headed down the Ocean Blvd to Main St and hit a few stores. Duffy St was looking quite appetizing, except for the long line. Back in the car and headed further south to show them the areas I frequented as a kid. Didn't recognize much of Crescent beach as I thought I would since it had been probably 30 years since I was there. I had a treat in store for my son though, one of my old haunts, Bert's Surf Shop! As a "skater", back in the day, Bert's was our hangout. When my parents weren't driving my friends and I, we often skated out there. Hard to believe it's still open. Since my son is into skating and BMX, I thought he'd find some cool stickers or a shirt or two. However....woah. This place has gone downhill. The outside looks exactly how I remember it, just a bit weathered. But man, the inside was just sad. What used to be hundreds of skate and surf boards was just a few of each. Giant cases of stickers were down to a maybe a dozen. So disappointed. When we left, my 9 year old son hit me with this in the car. "Dad, in your head, I'll bet you were expecting a bit more." :cry: Oh well...

Hit a couple of more places and then started to get hungry. It was about 8:30 and we couldn't make up our minds on where to go, so we ventured up to Little River to hit Crab Catchers! One would think 9PM would be the optimal time for dining when you're starving? Place was slammed! But, we'd committed at that point, so we waited the 30 min. Prices have certainly gone up since my dad first "discovered" CC's about 6-7 years ago, but still so good. Deep fried corn slathered in butter? Yes, please. No complaints from either kid or my wife and all left stuffed. Albeit 10:30! I'd promised my son mini-golf, so guess where we had to stop on the way home? Yep, The Black Pearl on Sea Mtn at 11PM. 3 groups in front of us, but no one behind, so we played each hole 2-3 times. All 4 of us got at least one hole-in-one, so there was only a little taunting going on. :wink:

And I think this may be the only pic of me from the whole trip.
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So, the first full day came to a close with much needed sleep.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:16 pm 
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Location: Pigeon Forge, TN
Scott, enjoying your trip report a whole lot. Thank you for sharing your good times with us. You have a beautiful family. Looking forward to the next installment.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:54 am 
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Day 3 - Starting to watch the Weather Channel a whole lot! My Mid-Western wife, who'd never been through a TS/Hurricane, was starting to get a bit worried. I tried to calm her by pointing out that no one from the Weather Channel was broadcasting from the Myrtle area. If you're on the beach and run into Jim Cantore, it's time to start worrying. He and his cronies were all in NC, so we're all good!

After a late start (remember 11 PM mini-golf??) we hit the beach. Another beautiful day and tons of open beach space. We didn't even get down there until 11 and still had our choice of spots. Is the 43rd Ave access just the best spot on the beach? Quite possibly. The beach narrows a bit a couple of hundred yards in each direction, but plenty of space even at high tide here. It also helped that the house right beside the access that sleeps 28 had a group of college baseball players from TX staying there that seemed to sleep all day and rarely even used the beach.

Nothing too memorable about the day other than the beautiful weather and calm, warm water. Again stayed out there until at least 4 before heading in. Simple spaghetti dinner and then the girls went shopping. The boy and I threw the football around for about an hour on the beach before just vegging in front of the TV for the night. Pretty boring day, right? Not a chance!

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:39 pm 
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Day 4: more fun in the sun!

My dad and stepmom came over around 11 and we headed to the beach, still had no problem finding a spot for 2 umbrellas and 6 chairs within feet of the access point. More sandcastles, body surfing, general merriment! It was nice to sit and have a few brews with my dad and just catch up. :beerchug: The girls went on a long walk while the boys chilled.

Headed back in around 5 to shower and get ready for dinner. We met @ Captain Poo's in Little River. Another hole-in-the-wall joint similar to Crab Catchers. Certainly nothing much to look at, but food and service was great. Spotted something awesome in the parking lot.
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And got a great shot with my dad.
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After dinner, we headed up to Calabash and the dreaded/exalted Callahan's. Holy moly, was it crowded. Even lines to use the restroom. The boy and I could only take about 45 min in there, so we headed across the street for some ice cream and chilled in some rocking chairs until the girls were done. I knew that taking my 9 year old into the Christmas shop would not be a good idea since he seems to want to touch everything. So ice cream bribery did the trick. Back to CG around 10 and a little TV and bed. I had no problem sleeping on this trip. 4-5 hours in the sun each day surely saps the energy.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:49 pm 
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GO HEELS!!! Image

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