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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 11:30 am 
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After a stressful family reunion in Edisto last week, Jan and I needed a "vacation from the vacation" on our way home….. This past week was the rain-week in all of South Carolina due to hurricane Joaquin funneling rain northwest, but even a drenching in Myrtle Beach is more fun than what we just experienced. So… we packed up a day early and braved the rains up Rte 17. While I drove, Jan frantically searched for hotels and Daisy napped in the backseat, kind of grumpy from being in the car so long this vacation:

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Pulled into MB in an insane downpour and parked behind Dirty Dons on 21st Ave N so Jan could continue negotiating a rate with the new Hilton, Ocean 22. I got fried oysters and shrimp to-go with fries and onion rings. Ate in the car while poor Daisy licked her chops in the backseat still. Both shrimp and oysters were lightly breaded and excellent and the cocktail sauce had a very nice horseradish kick. Fries and onion rings were home-made and also delicious. Just what we needed. The waitress (Aja) who helped me out was outstanding and showed incredible care for a to-go order, I'll remember to ask for her during our follow-up visits.

We finally got the Hilton Ocean 22 down to a rate comparable with the Caribbean, Patricia Grand, etc and pulled in. VERY nice place…. Of course it's brand new, but WOW. Unfortunately the parking lot is across the street and 2 blocks up, but what the heck… even in a downpour. (valet is available for $15, but I'm el-cheapo). Got a king-bed suite on the 24th floor with a side view. Even though it wasn't oceanfront, it still has an amazing view:

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High-end appliances and hard-wood floors throughout are a very nice touch.

The major drawback is the timeshare pressure is everywhere (but not overbearing). Seems 90% of the realtors in Horry County must work here. Fortunately a valet gave me a "Hilton Vacations" umbrella when he saw me walking to the garage. I think this world's-ugliest-umbrella is part of the "prize package" as someone on the elevator commented on the umbrella and said "wasn't that presentation obnoxious ?". None of the sales people approached me as long as I carried this loud, lime-green umbrella with me.

We unpacked quickly, and Jan went down to the pool bar to get some happy-hour beers for the room while I fed Daisy. After a calming beverage we headed into the deluge up to Flying Fish happy hour (which is from 4-8pm Labor Day - March 30th) What a find ! With the weather so bad, the bar had plenty of seats and the servers were phenomenal. I think we tried everything at least once…. Oysters on the half-shell were small, but delicious and clean. Tuna sushi was also excellent (ended up with 2 orders). Cheese shrimp dip with freshly fried tortilla chips is also a winner with plenty of whole shrimp which are small enough to easily fit on a chip. The ribs were fall-off-the-bone tender with a solid BBQ sauce on the side. Fried Green tomatoes topped with grits and shrimp were also over the top. (though the menu said the shrimp were blackened, they weren't…. But didn't make any difference). I had 2 beers which were I think $3 for local pints. Jan had a Long Island iced tea which I wouldn't recommend since it is made from a pre-made mix versus combining all the liquors. Jan also tried a sip of Sangria and said it was too sweet.

Definitely 5 star happy hour.

At about 7:30, the servers started to pack up and we were told the kitchen was closing at 8p due to flooding (felt sorry for a barmaid who was called by a neighbor stating her house was flooded). So we paid up and walked into a mess… I can only describe it as a river falling from the sky. There were no rain-drops, just a solid sheet of water falling onto us… and it was cold. Crawled down Rte 17 at 15mph and back to the Hilton with no major issues. Kicked myself for being so cheap on the valet parking, but that lime-green-umbrella-machine actually worked ok under the pressure.

Got to the room only to have the rain let up in time for Daisy's last walk of the day. Almost went onto the beach, but the wind had kicked up so we just meandered around a few of the neighboring properties with my doggy-bag in hand (classy guy). It was pretty darn cold, windy and wet so not many pedestrians.

Back to the room where the effect of so much happy-hour food hit me hard and I napped on the couch while watching a Vincent Price movie (House on Haunted Hill maybe…). I forgot what a great actor he was in these old horror movies. What a classic !

Woke up long enough for Jan to tell me I could stay on the couch since I was snoring….. But of course I crawled into bed (which was insanely comfortable). I must have stopped snoring since I didn't wake up until 730a and Jan didn't kick me out. We were so beat from sleeping in 20 yr old musty, beach-house beds the past week it didn't matter who was snoring.

Woke up to some windy, rainy weather. The ocean in it's fury:

Image

Quick video at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/27581633@ ... 4802744630

(let me know if the link doesn't work.... the BB doesn't seem to allow embedded video links)


We shall see what today brings…… definitely no sunburns !

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 4:12 pm 
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Your video worked well. Wow! The wind! The flooding has been awful and it seems things aren't over yet :(

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 4:54 pm 
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Loverd you photos, Kirk. So sorry we won't get to see you this trip. Thanks for the review. and I hope it will clear up for you tomorrow,

Wally took me to Edisto two years ago for Mother's Day since neither of us had visited before. Plus, our State Park passes are good at any State Patk in S.C. so we thought we'd heck it out. We had a delicious fresh seafood meal, but other than that we were not impressed with the beach or the State Park.

Thanks again for checking in with us and for those wonderful photos. (I love Daisy!)

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 8:14 pm 
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Great report and great view. Enjoy!

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 10:06 pm 
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Glad you got to make a quick stop despite the downpours!

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 9:12 am 
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Location: Annapolis, MD
Patrish - so sorry we couldn't meet up with you and Wally. We have a friend delivering a boat from Maryland to Florida and he is stuck in Myrtle Beach waiting for the weather to turn.... so we met up to drive him around for provisions and a decent dinner. He is at Osprey Marina in Socastee, way off the beaten path with no car.

Woke up Saturday and had a slow-churn to cruising altitude.... no sense rushing anything. While the breeze remained strong, the day wasn't half-bad considering what was happening 50+ miles to the south. After taking care of Daisy, I took a walk around the "resort" and it is interesting. One thing I didn't notice during check-in is that there is no "beach vibe" to the place.... All modern material, lots of glass, stainless steel, black accents, etc. Very stylish, but..... The building is very tall at 23 stories but is VERY narrow. Probably only 175 feet of beachfront. 2 small pools (one covered) and a decent sized hot tub. No lazy river. There is a small pool-front bar, but no kid-oriented play area. The second floor is check-in, office space for the sales people another bar which faces Ocean Blvd with no view of the ocean. Also a small shop for sundries, coffee, etc. All appear more oriented towards business functions than family beach fun. There is a calendar with kids activities, but everything was cancelled due to weather.

Need to check-out and beat the "atmospheric river" coming into Myrtle Beach, so will post more when we get home.

Cheers !

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 9:31 am 
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Hope you are safely home now. I googled the resort and spent some time looking at the photos. It's beautiful. Definitely more Times Square than Myrtle Beach. Probably caters to golf groups, conventions, honeymoon/weddings, adults wanting a beach experience without kids. Maybe we need something like that here. I dunno. Time will tell.

Thanks o much for the details and photos. Hope your boater friend got out of here yesterday. He's not going anywhere today.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:45 am 
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Sounds like a decent short trip! All the food sounds amazing !

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:13 am 
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Thanks Patrish - the drive home was crazy, but fortunately uneventful. Lots of heavy pockets of rain through the Carolinas and Virginia, but didn't affect the flow of traffic too much (if this was high season, I can't imagine how I-95 would be.....). I'm glad I put Rain-X on before the trip... really helped keep the windshield and side windows clear. Never had to put the wipers on their high setting, even in the brutal downpours.

My friend is planning on continuing his trip South down the InterCoastal Waterway today, hopefully he has shoved off by now !

Our Sunday was pretty typical cloudy activity... shopping, happy hour and eating ! Before we picked Dave up, Jan wanted oysters and we found Shuckers had an Oyster Roast during the NFL games.... so she ate a few dozen while I had the blackened grouper sandwich. Shuckers on Kings Highway is pretty much biker-bar ambiance and hasn't changed in years. But the food is consistently good and their oysters and chicken wings are excellent. We haven't been there in years, and did notice some prices had gone up considerably... an extra side order of fries was over $4 !

After eating, we still needed to kill an hour, and fortunately the weather was holding with just some clouds and breezy conditions. So we headed up to Broadway so Jan could visit her favorite store, Fresh Produce.... which was....closed. Argh.... decided to walk around Broadway just to burn off lunch and imagine what Broadway will look like after all the just-announced closings of some major restaurants. There are already a lot of vacant store-fronts and to think B&C is ending more leases is bizarre. Picked up our friend and headed out to find a Happy Hour and catch up with Dave, who we hadn't seen in a couple years since he and his wife moved from Maryland to Florida. We planned on dinner at Carolina Roadhouse, so wanted to find a local happy hour and stopped in at Aspen Grille. Since Dave has been living on a small sailboat for 3+ weeks (similar to living in an RV that floats), he wasn't "dressed for success", but we were able to slip into the back bar :lol:

Aspen's happy hour is limited to a few Apps and some domestic beer specials and $2 off wines. Yeungling and Coors Light are $1.75 (great price), but even at $2 off, a glass of house Merlot was still $6. Since the weather was threatening, we had one round, then decided to get inside at Carolina Roadhouse. Carolina Roadhouse (as usual) was outstanding. Hostess was prompt, service quick and cheerful (Angelique was a superb server), and food unbelievable. Ordered three 18-oz prime ribs and Angelique told us about a hidden offering of 22 oz cuts..... so after deliberating for 10 seconds we all upgraded our orders. Lots of take-home meat for Dave to cook-up on his boat while he stays stuck in the marina. The prime ribs were all cooked perfectly, the salads were delicious, just as in every other review of Carolina Roadhouse. Amazing how this eatery consistently hits it out of the park for years on end :cool:

Dropped Dave off, then back to the Hilton to stare at the Weather Channel and watch the carnage down in Charleston (where we had visited earlier in the week) :BandHead:

Very quick trip, but reinforces my belief that even a stormy weekend in Myrtle Beach is better than being at home !

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:12 pm 
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You got more done in 2 days than I get done in a month! Glad you enjoyed your short stay and were able to help your boater friend. Thanks for reporting in and sharing your experience with us.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 3:21 pm 
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I agree with Patrish. You sure worked a lot in and your friend was fortunate you were there. Wow! What a lot of rain though. Some of the pictures and videos I have seen are unreal. Thanks for posting.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 10:37 pm 
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What was your wife's secret to negotiating with the Hilton? Also how much did you end up paying per night? I don't need anything fancy but each hotel I stay at, I seem to have the luck of getting a bad room.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 9:38 am 
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Jan works in the travel industry, so she is a bulldog when asking for discounts. Normally she bypasses the 800#'s and finds that negotiating directly with the front desk of resorts usually gets the best results. She always asks "is there any other cheaper organizational rates", or "are there any other discounts which are not widely publicized ?". Amazing the answers she sometimes gets.

With Hilton, she actually found an online AAA rate of $95.00 (plus the usual resort fees and such), but it "disappeared" a few minutes later..... she theorizes as more rooms got booked, they raised the rates. Jan called the front desk and they couldn't match the $95 rate, so she called back into the general booking # and finally got someone (in India) that found the 95 deal, but it had "expired". After a "pretty please" and other assorted pleasantries, Jan somehow got the rate.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 7:20 pm 
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Wow - that is a great view! I enjoyed your report!


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