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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:17 pm 
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Hey, folks. I'm trying to find the time on starting this report. It's probably coming in bits and pieces so please be patient.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 1:52 pm 
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We planned this trip at the end of December last year. The last trip we took to myrtle was in august of 2015. A trip that was frowned upon by my boss because he was gone from work at the same time due to a business trip. As it turned out, the same issue would come into play so we were forced to plan this a week earlier than we like. Unfortunately, the cost of our accommodations were significantly more. It's part of the reason we stayed only 5 days instead of 7. The other factor in that decision was our 2 year old. Having never traveled with a small child, my wife and I were leery of the trip's potential outcome.

About 4 months after we made our reservation, my wife requested her friend be allowed to join us. Her friend is a single mom of a 3 year old girl. I was hesitant in that we booked a 2 bedroom condo and there wouldn't be enough room. Kristi called the resort and had us upgraded to a 3 bedroom version and all was well. We simply requested her friend pay for the difference in price between the 2 and 3 bedroom. She was happy to oblige.

So it was all settled... or so I thought. 3 weeks before departure, Kristi requested yet another guest to our trip. Our 13 year old apparently needed a friend to tag along. So we now have 8 total people for the 3 bedroom condo. My generosity knows no bounds apparently.

We packed up the truck and the friend's car on the 16th. Kristi and her friend with the young girls in the car, myself, my sister in law and the 2 boys in the truck. We were on the road shortly before 7AM much to my delight.

We made a few stops for bathroom breaks, food, gas, etc. Nothing out of the ordinary especially with that many people. We made reservations at the Comfort Inn in archdale, north Carolina. It's a quaint motel with everything you need for a night's rest. It's clean and quiet with a decent sized outdoor pool for the kids.

In winston salem, the rain started coming down like crazy. We were pushing along at 35mph on a 60mph road. Visibility was less than 50 feet and possibly even less than that in short intervals. So bad was it that I mistakenly took exit 107B instead of 107A thus taking us west on I-40 instead of East. I didn't realize it until 10 minutes down the road. It was disappointing to say the least.

Once we were checked in, we dressed the kids for the pool and I made a walk to the gas station for a 6 pack of shandy. We sat pool side in the after rain humidity while the kids played. We ordered Dominos for dinner and just chilled.

The scariest moment of my life happened just then. While eating pizza, we removed the little girls' puddle jumpers. With my back to the pool, Elizabeth jumped in the water without her floatation device. Fortunately, Devin, our 13 year old, was alert and jumped in to save her. All of us adults quickly learned a valuable lesson forshadowing the rest of our vacation. It happens quick, folks. It happens VERY quick. Blink of an eye. I'm still upset with myself. It could been tragic.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:47 pm 
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Cant believe your trip is already over. They sure don't last long. Looking forward to reading more.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:38 pm 
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Location: Hamilton, ON
Quick trip. We've all had them. Test run for a longer trip next time. Thank goodness for Devin being so quick and alert. You've taught him well :nanner:

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:56 am 
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Not exactly the same situation, but close. We were at the Towers of NMB for a night at the pool, which go evacuated and our 3 year old walked away with the crowd thinking it was use behind her. It only lasted 10 seconds, but scary as hell.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:45 am 
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Location: Folly Beach, SC
Thanks for the report (and the scare !). So glad all worked out...

Also interested to see what you think of the Chelsea House (which is associated with the Caribbean Resort). Hopefully you had access to the pools and other amenities at the Caribbean.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 11:11 am 
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A lot more coming, folks. Please be patient. That was only day one.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:01 am 
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>...My generosity knows no bounds apparently.
LMAO

Love your review. So sorry about the scary incident.
>...I'm still upset with myself.
Don't be hard on yourself. Similar things happen more than you might expect.

We "lost" the teen son of friends who were visiting when he wandered off as we were securing an umbrella. We split up and walked the beach both ways. It didn't take long to find him (he had forgotten the landmarks we pointed out.) But when this happens, time stands still and everyone's imagination runs rampant.

Looking forward to more.....

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 5:48 am 
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After all the excitement of watching my daughter nearly drown, we turned in hoping for an early start Sunday morning. Turns out that my sister in law was suffering a migraine upon waking. Poor girl couldn't even keep water down. The rest of us consumed the typical motel free breakfast coupled with much needed coffee. I was chosen to sleep with Elizabeth so my night wasn't exactly stellar.

We finally got on the road at 745: about 45 minutes later than I'd hoped for. But, kids will do that to you I guess. Having heard how terrible Johnsons peaches has been this year, we skipped our traditional stop and pushed on to the beach.

Somehow, our caravan became separated once we got on 74 in Rockingham. I didn't think much of it because they had gps and I couldn't fathom it taking them any other way. Oddly, it did just that. But, while we got caught up in a bit of traffic on 501, they beat us by 10 minutes to the resort.

Ah! Sultry myrtle Beach air!!! Check in was swift and we were soon touching the sand with our toes. The room wasn't ready yet, unsurprisingly. It was shortly before noon so no worries. They said closer to 4 by the time we could get in.

At 5 o clock, with no indication that our room was ready and two cranky sleep deprived toddlers, my patience was wearing thin. Kristi was at the main resort inquiring about the holdup while I was starting to come unglued. After making my displeasure apparent, we received a $200 discount and we got into our room at 530. Perhaps my suggestion of leaving the toddlers with the staff responsible for our room expedited the process. Their busiest week of the summer with 300 check-ins that day. Not. My. Problem.

Our room was on the south east corner of the third floor. There is no elevator so trudging up the steps with luggage was certainly a chore. Oh, and let me mention that the air conditioning in the room was 78 degrees. Turns out that it was like that all week. 72 at night and pushing 80 during the day. The Chelsea villas are quaint but old and fairly outdated. The bathrooms were totally decent but the rest of the room was lost in 1985. We had a spatula in the kitchen. A frying pan. A Dutch oven. That is all. Pretty hard to cut up a watermelon with a steak knife.

After "settling in" it was after 7 and there was zero chance of going out to dinner. After fighting amongst ourselves, we settled on river city cafe for take out. Kristi and Sarah (my sister in law) walked to pick it up while the rest of us kept the young ones entertained. We sat on the balcony drinking beer and laughing while eating our dinner. The view for the week was totally decent. We could see and hear the waves crashing despite being on the other side of ocean blvd.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:36 pm 
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What's up with hotels not being able to get rooms ready? Our condo offered some sort of measly comp. if we checked in after 7 pm. I said "no thanks", I'm not donating you a 1/2 day of the start of my vacation".

Then the day before we left there was a message on the hotel phone offering us four free breakfast if we leave before 7 am.

I assume these places have just cut their labor to increase profit on their end. I don't like the trend. I come into MB pretty tired after a long drive and would enjoy being able to rest a few hours before enjoying the first evening at the beach. Can't get into the rooms to do that now days.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 1:39 pm 
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Monday morning, I'm up just before sunrise and brewing coffee for 4 adults in a 4 cup coffee maker. I was all alone for a little while so I sat on the ocean blvd side balcony and watched myrtle Beach wake up. Surprisingly, I slept decent. The Chelsea villas sits next to a couple of low rent apartment buildings consisting of foreigners who work local jobs for the season. The one building was very quiet and the residents seemed to keep to themselves. However, the rear building was full of a lovely bunch who played loud music into the wee hours of the morning. It echoed off the other balcony areas of our room and kept everyone else awake. Plus, the Chelsea has its own little pool nestled between the separate buildings. It's pretty serene during the day but at night, it got really busy. It contributed to the noise coming from the low rent place.

Everyone slowly made their way out to the living area which meant I needed to start breakfast. Keep in mind, we had one frying pan. Oh, and we had a toaster that fit one English muffin at a time. Took me almost an hour to make a pound of bacon and some eggs. The lack of dish soap was an inconvenience as well.

We packed up the cooler and headed to the beach. It was an overcast day which was kind of nice. It made the day be less sweltering.

The little girls played in the sand and complained about it. They had to run to the surf to rinse off their hands every couple of minutes. Neither really cared for the beach as it turns out. I totally expected this though. Sand and salt water is an acquired taste. I too hated it when I was a young lad.

Overall, the day was uneventful but certainly acceptable. I stayed on the beach later than the others but did eventually end up napping with my daughter in the room. I woke to a downpour. Perfect time for another beer. I mean honestly, when isn't there a good time for a beer?

We decided on nacho hippo for dinner at the market common. We walked into a rather dead atmosphere which was perfect for the toddlers. The were able to move around and entertain themselves without interrupting other diners. The food and service were terrific! I stuffed myself with nachos and a taco. I had a bud light lime which is now $3 instead of $2 from previous years.

After dinner, the women hit a couple of shops while I watched the girls at the little playground. Kristi, Elizabeth and I stopped at a Walmart neighborhood market for a few things. I'd already polished off a case of beer so had to replenish the fridge.

The evening tapered off gradually and peacefully. Our first full day came to a close just right.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:40 am 
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Awesome, I wish I kept a tally as to how many beers I drank while in MB.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 8:49 am 
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Another laugh out loud moment: "Perhaps my suggestion of leaving the toddlers with the staff responsible for our room expedited the process."

phroggy, this trip review is amazingly well written. Your sense of humor shines throughout all the Chelsea episodes, from the lack of kitchen equipment to the pool. I can almost see you with one eyebrow raised and a stoic grimace on your face. You are a hero...master of your fate!

But when you see the beach, hear the waves and enjoy a beer (or 2) on the balcony, all the stress disappears and you know how to tell us about that too!

Thank you for taking the time to put all this together for us!

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:32 pm 
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Enjoying the story. I'm glad to read others fight amongst themselves on vacation, not just us!!

Nothing major though. A lot of people act like they have the perfect time, maybe they do, but we usually get into a little argument about something.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 11:10 am 
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So Tuesday... a day that will live in infamy. It started out as any normal day at the beach but certainly didn't end that way. As I already mentioned, I'd replenished my beer supply after only a day and a half. Not that I was completely out, but the stock was low enough to grant purchasing more. Well, for whatever reason, I felt the need to have a few beers at breakfast. Well by 11AM, I was feeling just spectacular. So much so that I was busting a move with the DJ the resort had hired for the day. I don't dance, folks. But, beer likes a good rythm so this fat old man unashamingly let the beer do the work.

Fast forward a few hours to me sitting on the beach unable to string together a complete thought as I stared into the infinite horizon. It required every ounce of effort to pack up my belongings and find our room across the street. I'm not going to lie, I haven't the slightest idea how I didn't fall up the steps.

Back at the room, I made the executive decision to have another beer. By this time, I vaguely remember the conversations between myself and the other adults. I do know that our plans for dinner involved the grumpy monk at Broadway. I opened yet another beer which was swiftly removed from my hand by my wife. I couldn't do it anyway. There'd have been serious repercussions.

As I laid on the couch watching the room spin, it hit me that there was no way I was going to dinner. I needed to sleep off the hell I'd put myself in. So everyone left and I hit the shower. Miraculously, the shower helped immensely. I text my wife that I'd be joining them via my own two feet. The walk to Broadway is a straight shot down 29th ave where our resort is located. Not a big deal for me even in my state of being.

I plopped down at the table on the patio with the rest of my party about 30 minutes after my shower. I was coherent enough to order water instead of beer. I didn't want to start all over. At was at this time that my wife decided to inform me that she had damaged my truck while pulling out of the hotel parking lot. Nothing kills a buzz quicker, folks. I went from happy go lucky to flat out depressed.

After the mediocre dinner, we trudged through batb for a little bit. I was in no mood for this endeavor but I suffered through. We made it to my truck and I did a quick look at it finding yellow paint and a dent on the rear passenger door. Also, the step bar was scraped with yellow paint as well. Use caution, folks. Those yellow posts in parking lots just randomly jump in front of you if you're not careful.

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