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 Post subject: Breakers - Sept 2014
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 3:10 pm 
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And we're off….. Like a herd of turtles. Friday afternoon traffic leaving the DC area was insane as expected, even on the side roads I take to avoid 95. Took 2.5 hrs to go the first 75 miles, but picked up once we hit Virginia and made it to my mother's house in Richmond at 5:30. Dinner with Mom, brother and sister-in-law, then got Daisy the pooch settled in to her home for the next week. Daisy gets so paranoid we are leaving that she is on my heels everywhere I go. She even crawls into our suitcases so she doesn't get left behind….

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What is crazy is Daisy loves it at my mothers…. Fenced yard so she can run to her heart's content and my mother treats her like a princess. When we left the next morning, she wouldn't even look at me…. Guess dogs are pretty smart at figuring things out ;-)

Took a side-trip Saturday over to New Bern, NC which I've read a lot about as a potential retirement spot. Cute little town with some fun restaurants, but not sure it had enough "life" to consider living there full-time.

After Sunday breakfast, I plugged in a Zac Brown CD and started the nice country drive down Rte 17… going though quaint NC towns and villages was a welcome break from the bustle of I-95 traffic. Contemplated stopping in Wilmington for lunch, but still stuffed from breakfast…. And once I started seeing signs for Myrtle Beach, there was no way I was stopping ! Ok, actually we did stop at our favorite Exxon station just south of Wilmington. This station/mini-mart has a tropical vibe and is exactly 400 miles from our house. Our van makes it there on one tank of gas, so was our fill-up spot on previous trips. We didn’t need gas, but decided to make a restroom break and pick up sodas to keep the tradition alive…. I looked over at the grassy yard where I took Daisy for her restroom breaks and started to miss that crazy pooch.

Arrived at the Breakers around 3:30pm and check-in was a bit hectic as the Ocean Drive traffic was crazy and I'm not yet used to its single-lane configuration. Fortunately Jan made quick work at the desk and found an assistant with a cart who brought everything up to the room. Well worth the gratuity. This is our first trip to the Breakers as we usually stay at the Caribbean. Have an Oceanfront suite similar to the rooms in the Caribbean's Dominican Tower, it even has the same furniture. Kitchen is a bit smaller, but the bath/shower looks brand new. The ceilings are about a foot higher and really give the room a large feel. We are on the third-floor which provides a nice view through some palm trees to the beach and ocean.

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So psyched to have finally arrived ! It's amazing how the stress immediately releases once the balcony slider is opened :nanner:

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Last edited by KirkG on Fri Jul 31, 2015 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Breakers - Sept 2014
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 3:11 pm 
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After unpacking and a quick cocktail (ongoing stress-relief-therapy), we headed off to Biminis. As expected, the place was loud and packed. We found a couple spots at the bar to wait until a table was available, and ended up just staying there when the pager went off. Ordered up some beers and oyster shooters to start the night on the right note. I haven't been eating much spicy food lately, so the jalapeno kicked in perfectly for a nice lift. Jan ordered up the steamed pot of Alaskan crab legs and I had blackened mahi. Was nice to finally have hush-puppies again, but they weren't as good as Drunken Jacks ! After dinner and another oyster shooter, Jan remembered how good the calamari was, so we had an appetizer after we finished dinner…. We can be a bit odd :lol: The calamari preparation is interesting in they do not serve the tentacles and the tails are cut lengthwise, not in rings…. Big chunks of tailmeat with very light breading, highly recommended considering I didn't want to order them, yet ended up eating over half.

After Biminis we stopped in at Food Lion for some supplies and chilled in the room listening to the waves…. Perfect ending to a perfect day !

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 Post subject: Re: Breakers - Sept 2014
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 3:18 pm 
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Monday woke up a little late at 8am and slid open the door to what I've been waiting for….. The sounds of kids running, waves breaking, palm trees rustling. Pure bliss. Finding it very hard to motivate and bring the chairs/umbrella down the beach…. Nothing wrong with coffee on the balcony for now !

Once Jan arose (she works nights so sleeps late), we walked around the expanse of the Breakers… geez, 6 buildings is a huge complex ! I can see why so many families love it here. Headed up to the Sea Captain's House for a late lunch. First time seeing the new bar area and agree with Ichiban… it just doesn't seem to fit in. When I saw the Facebook updates, I thought the bar would be in the side dining hall to the right of the entrance. Having it in the center of the narrow dining area just seems odd. Since it was about 1:30pm, we missed the lunch-crowd and got seated at a great table looking out at the beach. Service was a little slow, but the food was excellent (Ron, no crab cakes were ordered….) Jan had the avacado/shrimp/crab salad and I went against my better judgment and had shrimp and grits. Shrimp, onions, bacon and cheese mixed into grits with a perfect consistency. I knew it would taste awesome, but was pretty heavy for a lunch…. Especially since the slow service caused me to fill-up on the complementary hush puppies ! Tab with 2 iced teas and the ever-present Myrtle taxes brought the bill to about $27.

During lunch we discussed what our plans would be and decided we still had a few minor things to pickup at either Sams or Walhlgreens…… so we ignored that list and headed to BATB. Jan made it in about 2 stores and noticed Fresh Produce was having a sale, so I left her to shop and headed to Klig's kites to replenish my boat decorations. Unfortunately they didn't have the exact replacements of the wind socks I bought last time, but bought a larger one to make up for it….. Size over quantity when it comes to decorations is always my motto. Jan was only about a 1/4 through the store, so used this time as an opportunity to walk off the grits. For whatever reason, I never realized how many T-shirt shops are in BATB. Stores that state "Outdoor Sporting Gear" were 90% stocked with T-shirts…. whatever. The Man-Cave store caught my attention for a bit… neat concept. Unfortunately we are in the down-sizing phase of our lives, so no trinkets today.

Jan finished her shopping around 4:15, and right in front of us was Liberty's Happy Hour ! I was still stuffed from lunch, but $2.75 micro-brew pints cannot be missed. And what's this on the menu…. Boiled Peanut Hummus ? Sounds so bizarre it might actually be good. And why not some wings in case we don't like the Hummus….. My belly is groaning. The wings were average, but the hummus was actually pretty tasty. Jan harassed the server into asking the chef for the recipe, which obviously wasn't complete (cumin, peanuts, green onions and garlic salt. No way… gotta be more. Jan asked about Tahini paste (what the heck is that ?) and the server begrudgingly said yes, that too but I wasn't supposed to tell you. Gotta keep some secrets.

After this fun, I officially had what our daughter Kelly, describes as a "food baby"… where do these kids come up with this stuff ? I felt like someone strapped a beach ball filled with sand onto my belly. And of course we still had to have our official "dinner"…..

After seeing all the fun Patrish, Ron, Anne and company had at Nacho Hippos, this was on my "to do" list. Unfortunately the night of Labor Day is kind of like a restaurant hangover…. The employees seem to be a bit slower than normal and no one seemed overly exuberant. Tried the combo-salsa appetizer and decided the fire-roasted salsa was the winner with the peach-salsa coming second. Even though I make decent chili with tomatillos, the green salsa just didn’t raise our hackles. Jan ordered the chicken sandwich with a side of roasted salsa and I got the Carolina and Korean tacos. Immediately after the waitress walked away, Jan said "I don’t think you like kimchi, why did you order Korean ?". Gee, thanks honey….. I do like Korean beef, but so true on the kimchi so I picked that taco apart. The Carolina taco was good, but I guess I should have stuck to a Mexican theme since BBQ in a tortilla just seemed an off-theme to me. Jan's chicken sandwich was not very appealing… seemed like the grill had not been cleaned recently, or perhaps the breast was cooked previously and merely re-heated. The waitress graciously ordered another one which was so much better. Juicy and what we expected.

After waddling yet again back to the car, I was ready to crash…. Fortunately Jan had the good sense to force me into a bathing suit and a couple trips round the lazy river, hot tub and pool. The activity was much better than letting that food-baby fester in my belly.

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 Post subject: Re: Breakers - Sept 2014
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2015 10:12 am 
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Tuesday was a beach-day…. Perfect weather, some decent waves, warm water… the typical Myrtle-paradise. Walked the long 25 steps to Bummz for lunch with some trepidation. We had been to Bummz only once before many years ago and found the service insanely bad…. When we walked in and the bartender looked at us and walked away without even a "hello", I thought we were in for the same ride. Fortunately Alaysa found us, told us to sit anywhere and was a great server. We sat out back on an empty deck overlooking the beach…. Jan had the blackened grouper sandwich and I had blackened grouper salad (food-baby's were banned for me today). Cooked perfectly and all was well in the world. Alaysa even gave us 2 ice teas in to-go cups. Sounds trivial, but these little extra touches mean a lot to some folks. Bummz redeemed itself ! And now back to the beach….

About 3p we headed back to the room for pre-happy hour fun. I fired up the blender and made Miami Vices (Pina Colada and Strawberry Daiquiris layered in the same glass). After getting seriously Happy in the spirit of The Phrogster, we walked down Ocean Drive where the only vehicle we had to race was a golf cart…. Amazing how desolated Ocean Blvd is after the Labor Day crowds have cleared out.

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Once we got to the Boardwalk, we took the self-obliging Selfie with our Miami Vice…. (note to self: Folks over 25 should not do selfies).

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Headed right to Dirty Dons on the Boardwalk for some blackened oysters. Not sure what is going on with the oyster supply in SC, but the oysters are seriously tiny. We also had small oysters at Biminis which I forgot to mention above. The blackened taste was great, but charging a buck+ per oyster for something smaller than a dime is disheartening. Fortunately we had some great conversation with the bartender who was from Boston (where I originally am from). He definitely made up for the oysters as we discussed his upcoming trip to Sandwich, MA where our best friends just moved to.

We then meandered up to Banditos for some apps, had some good queso and a great artichoke dip on the outside deck overlooking the beach. Seriously good ambiance and will return on a future trip. Stumbled on up to 21st Ave and into bed. Another great day !

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 Post subject: Re: Breakers - Sept 2014
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2015 10:13 am 
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Wednesday: After last night's fun, I thought we would be slow moving today….. Lasted about 5 minutes until Jan decided the Sea Captain's breakfast was in order. The Captain met us at the door

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and off I went to the buffet…..


Got George's kitchen-sink omelet (contained everything except the kitchen sink) and was as good as I remembered. Balanced it out with biscuits and gravy with another side of corn beef hash. The corn-beef was good, but this new recipe has more potatoes than corned beef, and the corned beef is now shredded instead of chopped…. I prefer the old recipe. Still a great buffet. Jan ordered a seafood omelet off the menu which she really enjoyed. Shrimp and crabmeat which tasted fresh…. I didn't have to warn her about Ron's experience with the crabcakes.

After leaving Sea Captains, we decided to do a drive-by down Ocean Blvd and aimlessly down some side streets. Ended up by the airport and decided to find the infamous Myrtle Manor. What a hoot…. It's trashier (yet fun) in real life than it is on TV ! With Myrtle Beach being so slow elsewhere, we were surprised there was a decent line of cars doing the " Manor tour". Feel kind of sorry for the residents who live there and are not part of the show for putting up with all the car and foot traffic. Next stop was to drop Jan off for some shopping at a "beach housewares" store across from Mammys. I had one quick work emergency to take care of… ARGH, so the timing worked well. By 1p we were ready for some outdoor fun, so loaded up the lotion, books and cooler and found 2 lounge chairs underneath some palms which provided a little shade.

Around 3:30 we headed back to the room to cleanup, then over to Liberty to meet an old friend for a Happy Hour brew. He's from NJ, but lived in Calabash the past 12 years, and now pondering a move to DE to be close to some ailing family. Really nice guy and I'll be playing golf with him on Friday. Yet another warning about Liberty…. Do not order the Cheese soup ! It tastes good, but if you order a bowl, that only means that a 1/2 cup is poured into a bowl… it doesn't mean you receive a bowl-ful of soup. Commented to the server, and all she said was "most people can't finish it". Say what ? It's an ounce of soup !

After a light happy hour, we headed down to the Villa Romana meet-up ! Please see the comments and the fun pic links in the Meetup Forum.

viewtopic.php?f=90&t=15246

If anyone is ever hesitant to join a meet-up.. Just do it ! You will meet great people. This board is beyond amazing !

Back to the condo after a big time, but I couldn't convince Jan to do a late-night lazy river run… boooo.

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 Post subject: Re: Breakers - Sept 2014
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2015 10:14 am 
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Thursday: Woke up to serious cloudiness due to some towering cells. Don't appear to be producing rain, but looking a bit ominous …. Praying they move on as the day progresses. Made coffee, updated my trip report notes and am off to the driving range before embarrassing myself on the Meadowlands course tomorrow. I actually hit pretty well at the range, which means my game Friday will be horrible… golf is like that ;)

After a crisis with our daughter's tuition (our college plan only paid half of the allotted amount), we had to make some calls. Dealing with the government always brings the stress level up a bit. We decided to chillax and head to Mr Fish for lunch… that will help bring us back to the beach-vibe.

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Gotta say, Mr Fish was a bit of a disappointment. We loved the small-time dive atmosphere of the original location even though it was pretty tight quarters. The new place is very nice with a low-key tropical/nautical theme to it, and still has local artist's work on display which we love.

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The service was casual, yet timely and pleasant (though our waiter had a booming voice). The problem is the prices have gone up drastically since our last trip, by 30-40% and more. And there is no lunch menu. I ordered a pint of local porter draft beer which was $8 (the drink prices were not on the menu… they really need to warn people). Jan ordered the scallop platter which was $18 and had about 6 small scallops. The scallops were cooked excellent, but it was hardly a substantial meal. I ordered the grouper sandwich for $11 which was the better deal. 2 good size filets cooked perfectly on a soft sub roll with 2 sides. Ordered the cole slaw (again a small portion) and the home-made chips which was more than enough. The cole slaw was a bit soupy and sweet while the chips were very good. They would have been over the top if they were served warm. Jan's sides were the veggie of the day which was cucumber, tomatoes and onions marinated in some sort of vinegar concoction. It was good, but Jan thought it too sweet so I ate most of it ;)

So… our verdict on Mr Fish is 2.5 out of 5 stars because of the portion size for the price. If we return, we'll only consider going for a sandwich and be wary of the drink prices.

Back to the condo, loaded up the chairs and umbrella and hit the beach for some mid-afternoon fun of relaxing and people-watching (maybe a beer snuck-in). Headed back in around 6:30 and blended up another round of Miami Vices for a late happy-hour. Then off to Carolina Roadhouse for our long-awaited Prime Rib ! After the disappointment of Mr Fish we needed redemption… and it came big time ! We arrived at 8pm just as the hostess said the wait list had cleared… Immediately seated in a booth with a great waitress. Quickly ordered 2 King-cut Prime Ribs praying they were just as we remembered. First the salads came which were awesome as usual along with the killer croissants ! Then out came the Prime Rib…. Better than we ever remember it ! I swear people must have thought we were up to mischief in the booth with the ecstatic groans we were making. Took a substantial amount home with some horseradish and it made a great app for the next night. After that meat-fest, we quickly dozed off early…. Again, no late night lazy river.

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 Post subject: Re: Breakers - Sept 2014
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2015 10:18 am 
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Friday - the last day…..ARGH ! I woke up early to play golf up in Calabash and planned on Jan sleeping in (she does that so well….) Weather started off nice, except for a bit of heat with no breeze. Played pretty awful, even by my lowly standards, but had a few good putts… it's always those few good shots which keep you coming back to this stupid game. Ever wonder why they call it golf ? Because all the other 4-letter words were taken ;) As we finished the 7th hole, a deluge encompassed us. This was no 15-minute summer downpour, but rather a steady, hard rain which didn't change much in intensity. We waited it out for about 30 minutes under some trees, but decided to call it a day and get a raincheck for the final 9 holes. I guess we now know why it's called a raincheck !

Made it back to the condo and perfect weather in Myrtle ! Just in time to walk down to LandShark for lunch. Fun place, what ambience ! Jan had the Seafood salad which she loved. Plenty of shrimp, crabmeat and calamari. I had the Chicken Pannini which was good, but could have used more balsamic seasoning as the chicken was a little too "normal". Service was great and the view even better !

Back to the condo for a few final hours in the sun by the pool…. Perfect weather compared to how things were this morning up in NC. Then back to the room to pack some of the big stuff away (sniff, sniff), and off to say a quick goodbye to Patrish and Wally. Hopefully they couldn't tell how depressed we were. Initially planned to head down to Murell's Inlet for dinner, but decided to drive around a bit and stay local and eat at Dirty Don's. Arrived just before 10, which is when the kitchen closes, so were a little rushed but could understand the staff needing to close up. Jan had Alaskan crablegs again, and I had blackened grouper again…. Great stuff !

Awoke Saturday to some serious rain…. I guess that's a sign we need to go pick up the Daisy-pooch and head home. Kelly drove down to my mother's from her college, so we are looking forward to seeing her again ! (and I have a feeling Daisy will be in overdrive when she sees Kelly). Traffic was really light, another big advantage of going in early September.

Thanks for riding along, I have really missed Myrtle Beach… both the beach and the people, these past few years. I have to admit Jan was surprised I wanted to come back since we can travel freely now that we are empty-nesters with Kelly in college. Took Jan 5 minutes of sitting on the balcony to realize she missed Myrtle Beach as much as I had !

Final Comments on the Breakers:

Great location, within easy walking distance to the boardwalk. Big expanse of 5 or 6 properties, each with their own pools, so you can usually find some privacy at some of the smaller pools when the main Paradise features are crowded. Compared with the Caribbean, the Caribbean is slightly more upscale than the Paradise tower, but each have their advantages. Smaller counterspace at the Breakers may make it difficult for those wishing to prepare meals. Breakers has a central AC unit, which is MUCH quieter than having a unit on the balcony and also in the bedroom. This is a huge advantage in that there is no noise or hot air blowing on the balcony, plus it adds a few square feet to its size. The Pirate ship is great for small kids, they all seem to have a blast in there. Week after Labor Day is a great time to visit since most families have toddlers and pre-schoolers. Not many hectic teenagers running around.

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 Post subject: Re: Breakers - Sept 2014
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2015 5:30 pm 
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This just came up as a new thread and I read the first post. I saw Daisy in the suitcase and I thought I remember this poor puppy doing this last year. I said to myself "What a shame this poor dog misses them so much she wants to hide in their cases." "Goodness what a loyal pet."

As I read on things were seeming more and more familiar; yup last years report :oops: :oops:

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Hugs, Emmy


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 Post subject: Re: Breakers - Sept 2014
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2015 10:52 pm 
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Loved reading your report again :nanner: They never get old to me.

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Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think. ~Robert Henri


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