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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:12 pm 
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Location: Maryland
Monday September 25th
My parents and I planned to leave around 7am. My dad had severe pain around 2 in the morning and went to the emergency room. He also made doctor's appointment later in the morning just to make sure everything was okay. To make a long story short, he's a-okay! We left our house in MD around 2pm, which was probably the latest we've ever left for a MB trip. A couple hours later, we stopped at the Varina Exxon & Convenience Store + DQ for gas and bathroom break. DQ was tempting, but we were hungry and wanted something more than ice cream and hot dogs. We decided on the Cracker Barrel in Emporia, VA for dinner. We were seated immediately. We came in just before the dinner rush, which was nice. Our server was so polite and friendly. Dad ordered the Meatloaf (thick slice of Meatloaf made with tomatoes, onions, green peppers) with cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, mixed green salad with Italian dressing, and corn muffins as his sides. Mom ordered Haddock (North Atlantic boneless whitefish, dusted in cornmeal and flour mix and grilled) with fried apples, fresh steamed broccoli, macaroni and cheese, and buttermilk biscuits. I ordered the Fried Chicken Tenderloins (six fried tenderloins with Honey Mustard) with a mixed green salad with bleu cheese, homestyle fries, fresh seasonal fruit, and buttermilk biscuits. The food was fresh, hot, and good. It definitely hit the spot. There was plenty of food left to eat for lunch the next day. After dinner, we perused through the shop. There is truly something for everyone in their store. They had toys and games, candy, old fashioned sodas, clothing, Christmas and Halloween merchandise, VA Tech and Marine/Army/Air Force merchandise - the list goes on and on. We got back on the road around 6:15pm. Traffic wasn't too bad. There was a bit of rain for a while, but nothing too heavy. Around 10:45pm we pulled in front of the Carolina Winds office to get our keys and internet info. I felt like going up to the condo and crawling into bed, but we had to unload the car. I wish the car could unload itself! As I've written here before, my parents used to own a condo in the Carolina Winds building. That's where we've stayed for the past 7 years or so, but my parents sold it late last year. We ended up finding a condo in the same building exactly two floors up! The condo was decent. It could have been a little cleaner. The owners upgraded the kitchen counters (which were beautiful) but everything else was very dated. Part of the popcorn ceiling near the balcony in the living room is peeling off. Every room needs a fresh coat of paint. The beds aren't too bad (thank goodness!) and the furniture is pretty comfy. We probably wouldn't stay in this particular unit again, but it meets our needs for the time we're here. We all crashed pretty early this night!

Tuesday September 26th
Dad and I must have been tired because we both slept in! Mom woke up early, of course. Mom and dad had a hot dog and chips we brought from home for lunch. I had my left over chicken tenders and fries from Cracker Barrel. I spent the rest of the day settling in and unpacking. Mom and dad sat out on the balcony for a while taking in the breeze. The outdoor pool of the main building was crowded! I can't believe how full the parking lot is at Carolina Winds this time of year. There were a lot of people in the main outdoor pool.

For dinner, we decided on Hook and Barrel, which is right down the street from us. You can read my review and see photos of what we ordered here.

After dinner, we drove around for a while. I'm a Yelper, and I noticed a lot of people reviewing an ice cream place called Melt. I wanted to check it out and I'm glad we did! You can read my review and see photos of what we ordered here.

Our bellies were more than full and it was time to head back to the condo to for some TV time and relaxation.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:23 pm 
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Wednesday September 27th
Mom and Dad woke up early for a walk on the beach. I was going to join them, but I had a horrible migraine, so I tried to sleep it off. Dad made tuna for lunch. Mom and I had our leftovers from Hook & Barrel. The next couple of hours were spent relaxing in the condo. I read for a bit and then sat out on the balcony for a while and people watched.

Dinner tonight was at Mellow Mushroom. You can read my review and see photos here.

After dinner, we took a drive along the beach. It's amazing how many condos and houses are being built. A majority of the condo buildings we passed had no vacancy! That surprised us because it's usually not crowded at this time of year.

Thursday September 28th
I woke up around 8am. My dad and I went to Chick-Fil-A so I could get my free food from their app since it was due to expire at the end of the month. Headed back to the condo and we all had breakfast. We hit the beach around 9am. We rented one chair and two umbrellas. Mom and I brought our own beach chairs. The ones you rent are too low for me. There were quite a few people on the beach. 20 minutes into our beach time, a couple comes out and plops down right beside us! It was pretty humid outside. The flies were out of control. I had to wrap a beach towel around my legs to keep them from biting me. I listened to my iPod for a while. Mom read and dad "rested his eyes" (aka slept!) for a while. Dad took a walk on the beach while I walked down to the water. Nothing prepares me for how cold the water is when it first hits your feet. It takes your breath away! I stood on the beach with my feet in the water for a few minutes. I spotted someone paddle boarding way out into the distance. They're braver than I am. We stayed out on the beach for a couple of hours and headed up for some lunch.

Dinner tonight was at The Flamingo Grill. You can read my review and see photos here.

After dinner, we took another drive on the other end of the strand to see the condos and what had changed. We hit up DQ for dessert. The mini blizzard is the perfect size for someone who doesn't want that much ice cream. I got a mini Salted Caramel Truffle blizzard, mom got a chocolate dipped cone, and dad got chocolate ice cream. We finished our ice cream and headed home for some TV watching and bed.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:52 am 
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Thanks for taking the time to share. I always love reading trip reports!

I know what you mean about the water feeling cold. Even when it's warm, it feels cold, at least for awhile!

I hope your dad is felling better after getting a rocky start on your vacation!

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:17 am 
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Great report - thanks for incorporating the restaurant review links !

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:17 am 
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Location: AZ & VA
September storms, October golf, still warm temps, cheaper in Oct., ...

All reasons why more folks in MB.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:51 am 
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THANK YOU!! Such a nice report and I loved your restaurant links! I will have to check out Melt! Looks great!

So glad your Dad is okay too!

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:15 am 
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Location: Maryland
Thanks for the kind words everyone!

Friday September 29th
We started out the morning with breakfast in the condo. We hit the beach a little after 9am. The flies were horrible this day! I ended up with so many bites on my legs. I'm not sure if they were from the flies or sand fleas, but I had about 10-15 bites on both legs, mostly around my ankles. They itched like crazy. We headed up to the condo at 12pm for lunch. I took a nap, mom and dad relaxed, we all got showers and headed out the door for dinner.

Tonight, we went to Joe's Bar and Grill with some family friends of ours. They're a lovely married couple who have lived in MB for years. They lived next door to the condo my parents used to own. They looked out for our place when we weren't there. Every year, we take them out to dinner. You can read my review and see photos here.

We took a short drive after dinner and went back to the condo. I did some reading and my parents watched TV.


Saturday September 30th
The morning started out with a quick breakfast in the condo and headed to the beach around 9:30am. The beach wasn't too crowded. There was a group of about 10 people taking wedding pictures on the beach. Mom read, I listened to my iPod and my dad dozed off for a while. I took my camera out and got a few photos of the beach (and tried not to fall down in the sand during the process!) We stayed at the beach a bit past 12 and headed up to the condo for lunch. Mom and Dad got BBQ sandwiches at 3 Little Pigs. I've been wanting to the try to Mediterranean Bistro next door. You can read my review and see photos of The Mediterranean Bistro here. My parents got a BBQ sandwich and fries from 3 Little Pigs. You can't go wrong with their BBQ. After lunch, my parents went to Food Lion across the street for groceries and filled the car up with gas. It was back to the condo for relaxation and showers.

We decided on Brother Shucker's for dinner, thanks to golfforetom's dinner review during his trip report. You can read my review and see photos here.

After dinner we headed home to relax. I read for a while before I finally dozed off.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:36 am 
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Sounds like a wonderful vacation! Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:58 am 
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Location: Sardis, Ohio
Love reading trip reports...especially since we will not be back until next August...that is way to long to wait!

Thank you!

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:12 pm 
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Sunday October 1st
Brookgreen Gardens day! Groupon had a deal for admission for two for $19! It was a great deal. We paid for my mom's ticket at the booth and she qualified for a senior discount, so her ticket was even less than we thought. We arrived around 10:30am and we pretty much had the place to ourselves for a while. It was cool this morning. Normally when we come, we're sweating to death in the heat, so it was nice to be chilly for once.

We took the shuttle to the Butterfly House. We were the only people in there for about 20 minutes before another family came in. The butterflies weren't too active as they normally were because it was still cool outside. The guide was very knowledgeable and polite. She explained what each butterfly we saw was called and gave us other butterfly facts. You have 30 minutes inside the pavilion, but the guides don't rush you at all.

After the Butterfly House, we walked across the street to the Floyd Domestic Animals of the Plantation to see some of the farm animals. They were way out in the paddocks. We took the shuttle back to the Welcome Center where our car was and decided to drive around to the different locations that had their own parking lots. That way, we could take our time and didn't have to wait for the shuttle to arrive.

We drove to the Lowcountry Center and walked the Lowcountry Trail. The tour goes along the Ricefield Overlook and the rice fields. There are 11 stopping points where you can read about the plantation at that time and press a button to hear a story about the slaves on the plantation. There are stainless steel figures placed through out the trail representing the plantation owner, overseer, enslaved African male and an enslaved African female. There are also remains of the overseer's residence and dependency. It's definitely worth checking out. It's about a 30-40 minute activity. The trail takes you from the Lowcountry Center to the Floyd Domestic Animals of the Plantation.

My mom wasn't feeling too well (she was dealing with gout) and it was starting to get painful for her to walk, so we decided to head home. We caught the shuttle bus near the farm. We were about to take off when an older gentleman alerted the driver to a dog locked in a van. It was starting to get warm outside and the windows weren't even cracked. She called security and got off the bus to take a photo of the dog and photos of their license plate. Dogs aren't allowed on the property (except for service dogs). Security was called, the bus driver returned and we were on our way back to our car.

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"Fillies Playing" by Anna Hyatt Huntington 1956

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"Ode to the West Wind II" by Rod Zullo 2010

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"Diving Eagle" by Albino Manca 1963

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Lumpkin Ricefield overlook

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We were hungry after our morning of walking and lunch time was approaching. My dad saw an advertisement for a restaurant called The Claw House in Murrells Inlet earlier in the week and wanted to stop by for lunch. You can read my review and see photos here.

After lunch, we took a little drive to sight see. A lot of the restaurants were packed with bikers. Mom and dad stopped off at Books A Million while I waited in the car. We came home around 4pm and crashed. We were tired! I took a small nap, mom read outside on the balcony and Dad read the local papers. We had leftovers for dinner.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:25 pm 
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Great report. We went to a butterfly exhibit at a zoo once and the lady said we got lucky because the sun popped out. First time it had been out all day. She said they get active in sunlight, don't know how temp might change that.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:50 pm 
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Location: Maryland
Monday October 2nd
My dad went to Croissants Bakery (the N Kings HWY location) and got my mom and I croissants and a chocolate salted brownie for himself.

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The croissants were great. They were flaky, fresh, and had a decent amount of chocolate inside. My dad loved the brownie. It was rich and was a delicious treat.

After our breakfast, we hit the beach. It was nice and breezy and there was no humidity. It was perfect. We stayed there for a couple of hours and headed up to the condo for lunch. I went up to the Mediterranean Bistro again for a gyro and lemon chicken orzo soup. It was divine. When I came back, mom and dad went to look at condos in the main Carolina Winds building. We're not sure if we want to stay here next year or try Sea Winds again. They wanted to check out possible rentals for next year. We weren't too pleased with the cleanliness of the condo we stayed in, so they like to see the furniture, the view, how clean everything is, etc. When you book through Carolina Winds, you're not able to see what the particular room you're renting looks like. You're able to view a layout of your room and they have photos of what one room looks like, but you don't know which room it is. With Sea Winds, all you do is plug in your dates into the calendar and you have a whole list of what's available and what every room looks like. After their condo viewings, they went down to Fuddrucker's for hot dogs.

Dinner tonight was at Abuelo's. You can read my review and see photos here.

Once we finished dinner, Mom and I went to Ulta (right behind Abuelo's) to look around while dad waited in the car. Mom found some stuff in no time and we were on our way back to the condo.


Tuesday October 3rd
Another breakfast and beach day! At the beach around 9am, in by 12pm for lunch. We are creatures of habit for sure! There were a lot of fishers out today. At one point, there was a large crowd surrounding a man cheering and getting photos taken. He must have caught something good!

It was back to the condo for lunch. Dad made tuna sandwiches and I ate my leftovers from Abuelo's. Mom and I sat on the balcony and read for a while. Dad took a trip to the grocery store for bottled water and a few other things.

My dad chose Chuck's for dinner tonight. You can read my review and see photos here.

After dinner, we took a drive down to Melt. I could go there every night if I could! The ice cream was great, as always. It's definitely worth checking out. After ice cream, we took a little drive and headed back to the condo.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:42 am 
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Wednesday October 4th
Our last day at the beach :cry: Dad stopped by Croissants for chocolate croissants. We ate them and walked down to the beach one last time. We stayed a couple of hours before we headed back up. It was leftovers for lunch. Time to clean out what's left in the fridge! I had the rest of my cheeseburger from Chuck's and falafel from Mediterranean Bistro. The rest of the afternoon was spent packing and showering.

Dinner tonight was at Villa Romana. You can read my review and see photos here.

We stopped off at the Dollar Street across the street from Villa Romana after dinner. We bought containers for our dinner leftovers so they'd fit in our cooler. We got gas, went back to the condo and it was time to watch Jeopardy! The rest of the night was spent packing up our things to leave in the morning.


Thursday October 5th
Boy, does vacation time fly! My parents were up by 5am. I slept until 6am and finished packing up. We were out of the condo a little after 7:30am.

We ate breakfast at Blueberry's Grill, which was right across the street. You can read my review and see photos here.

We got on the road a little after 8:30am. I fell asleep almost instantly. About 3.5 hours into our drive, maintenance messages began to pop up on the dashboard of our Highlander. My mom got out the manual and tried to fix the problem, but it wasn't working. We pulled into a little podunk town gas station and they referred us to a body shop up the street. We had to wait a little while to be seen. A mechanic hooked up his computer to the car and ran a diagnostic test. He told us we should have our mechanic take a look at it when we get home, but it was completely safe to drive. Thank goodness! We headed back out on the road for two more hours before we stopped off at the Varina Dairy Queen in Richmond, VA. Dad got chocolate in a cup, mom got a vanilla chocolate dipped cone, and I chose a Strawberry Kiwi slushie. It hit the spot! We hit heavy traffic in La Plata and Waldorf the last 1.5 hour of the drive. We got home a little before 6pm. Dad went to get me a sub from Jersey Mike's while mom and I unpacked the car and got clothes in the wash. Mom and dad ate their Villa Romana leftovers for dinner while we watched Jeopardy. We crashed a couple hours later. There's something about driving all day in a car that really takes it out of you!

And that concludes my trip report. It was another great MB trip. My aunt and uncle are hoping to make it up with us next year.

Here are some photos of the beach I took

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:56 am 
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Your review was so much fun to read! You are articulate and detailed...just a pleasure! I loved each and every restaurant review as well. The pictures were great! We don't get to Murrells Inlet often but your review of the Lobster Roll at the Claw House may warrant it!

Thanks again for taking the time to share. You relayed a wonderful trip to us all!

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:48 am 
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I love reading your reports. So detailed and I love your inclusion of pictures. It adds so much. I always appreciate restaurant reviews. Thanks for taking the time and for sharing your trip.

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