This is my first stab at writing a trip report. I can't really recall the day to day things, so I'll categorize the trip. On past trips to MB we have gone to shows, gone deep sea fishing, etc. This time we decided to forego those things. We didn't want to live by a schedule, we wanted to take things as they came, so this report may be pretty boring because we did pretty much nothing but relax.
We flew from Phoenix to Houston, then on to Charleston, rented a car and drove up from there. We flew into Charleston because it was about $100 per person cheaper than flying into MB. We would have rented a car in MB, so that wasn't an extra expense. Nothing to report on the flights. We flew Continental, all legs going and coming were on time or early, no problems. The worst part was getting up at 2:00 AM on Saturday to catch our 5:00 AM flight out of Phoenix, which got us into Charleston at 2:00 PM (11 AM Phoenix time).
We stayed at the Ocean Reef. On our previous 5 trips to MB we had always stayed on the south end - Coral Beach, Ocean Park, etc. This was the first time we had stayed so far north, and we loved it up there. Much quieter, less traffic, less crowded than on the southern end. Lots of restaurant options in that area, a very short drive to restaurant row and Barefoot Landing, and driving just a few blocks inland got us to Hwy 17 and a quick drive to Broadway at the Beach.
The staff at Ocean Reef is great in every way. Everyone is very courteous and friendly, check in and check out was very quick. The people there know what they are doing. We had a king parlor room on the 15th floor and loved it. It's a corner room with 2 sets of sliding glass doors leading to a balcony over-looking the beach, and another set of sliding glass doors leading to a balcony on the other side of the room over-looking the pool. We could open all those doors and get an incredible cross breeze through the room, which most times eliminated the need to run the air conditioning. Believe me, when you live in Phoenix, having a cool cross breeze instead of air conditioning is a major bonus. The room also had a full sized refrigerator and a microwave. We have nothing negative to say about the Ocean Reef and we plan on staying there again on our next visit.
Phoenix is not the world's epicenter for seafood, and my wife and I both love seafood, so you can guess what we spent a lot of time eating.
Captain George's - Greeat place! The cost is $31 per person, but on Sundays from noon-4PM they take $5 off per person, which is when we ate there. I'd rate this place a 5 out of 5. It was our first time eating there, but we will stop there every time we return to MB from now on.
Original Benjamin's - Another place we would rate as 5 out of 5. Cost is $30 per person, but there are many coupons available to cut down on that price. We will definitely eat here again too.
Giant Crab - Nothing wrong with the place, but in our opinion it's not quite as good as the first two places I've mentioned. Cost is $26 each, but again, there are numerous coupons available to reduce the price. Our rating would be 4 out of 5.
Cheeseburger in Paradise ( a guy can't eat seafood for EVERY meal!) - It's an OK place, above average. Good burger, nothing spectacular. It cost the two of us a total of $27. We'd rate it 3 out of 5.
Fiesta Mexicana - A big disappointment. My wife's chicken was so over cooked that if they'd cooked it for another minute it would have turned to ash and blown away. Think of mildly chicken flavored cardboard. My enchiladas were OK, certainly nothing memorable. I'll be generous and rate it 1.5 out of 5. This place gets some pretty good reviews, so maybe they were having a bad day, or maybe we were.
K & W Cafeteria - I think we've eaten here on every MB trip we've ever taken. Solid food at good prices. We spent a total of $17 for the 2 of us. rated 3.5 out of 5. A good place to eat to save some money in the food budget.
Ultimate California Pizza - A very pleasant surprise. It was excellent pizza, even if a bit over-priced.
On our first trip to MB back in 1987 we discovered the MB mini golf courses. We had never seen anything like them, certainly nothing like the flat, boring courses we were used to. We have played every time we come to MB, and we enjoy it very much. Most of the courses are now charging $9 a head now, which can get a bit pricy if you play very much.
There aren't a lot of beaches in Phoenix, so you can guess where we spent a lot of our time. Sitting on the beach, walking through the surf, hunting shells, sitting on the balcony over-looking the beach----wow, what a way to live! The beach is always the highlight of our trip. And I'll add this opinion, which my wife and I both share. We've been on the beaches in Hawaii, we've been on the California beaches, and to us, Myrtle Beach has the best beaches you can find anywhere.
We had forgotten what humidity was all about. WOW! In Phoenix the temp may hit 115, but the hunidity is 6%. You are sweating, but you don't know it because it evaporates off your skin right away. Don't get me wrong, the heat here is miserable in the summer, and it's like a physical force that smacks you in the face when you step outside. But the 88% humidity in MB just about got us. Along the ocean the breezes kept things nice, but get a block or two away from the ocean and my clothes were soaked! But, we know that's just part of being in MB and we accepted it as part of the package.
We have been married for 42 years and have traveled to most parts of the country, both with our kids when they were young and without them once they were all grown and gone. Our favorite place has always been Myrtle Beach, and this trip did nothing to change that. We will continue to return whenever we get the chance. We brought our kids here twice, but our grandkids have never been here, and we hope that some day we can change that.