Day 1 (continued)
After we landed in MB, I went to the Budget rental car kiosk and got into the Fastbreak line. (For your folks who rent from Budget, this lane allows the renter to get immediate attention. This feature is really handy and well worth the few minutes it takes to join.) The agent offered me a Ford Crown Victoria or a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. Because I really didn’t want an older Ford and I have a 2011 Sonata at home, I opted for the Sonata.
After loading our three large suitcases and our carry-on bags in the rental, we headed off to get lunch. The ladies mentioned Chik-Fil-A and I knew that there was one at the Coastal Grand Mall so we headed over there. I dropped the ladies off at the mall entrance and went to park the car. Walking back to the entrance, I saw walking toward me an absolutely stunning lady, wearing very short shorts and a rather revealing top. The funny thing was that a guy driving past me also saw her. He seemed to be so impressed that he circled the parking lot and stopped by her to ask for directions the second time around. Very interesting he didn’t ask the first time he saw her. . .
We ordered our meals and sat in the food court. It appeared that many of the folks eating there were locals. (I write this because many of them did not sport tans and were better dressed that the usual beachgoers). When I finished my meal, I called over to the HI&S to see if our room was ready. I was told that we could check-in as soon as we arrived, and off to the HI&S we went.
At the HI&S, I approached the front desk. I asked if we had arrived too early. The gal at the desk looked at me funny and asked what I meant. I explained that being 10 years veterans of staying at the HI&S, I expected at least a small celebration. She smiled and told me that the staff was still getting dressed. . . The guy who did not do very well checking us in last year was very efficient this year. Good job.
Our room was in the “old” building, but was very nice. But as we initially unpacked our stuff, we noticed that the folks next door were extremely loud. A woman was talking very loudly as were her children. My first thought was that this was going to be a very long vacation if the woman and her kids continued to be this loud. And if they were like this at 3 P.M., what would they be like later at night? I was not very happy that our room was next to such loud people.
Emily and I were lying down on the beds and ended up falling asleep http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a1d60 ... /ry%3D400/
for a couple of hours, while my wife unpacked the stuff and put it away in the drawers. When we woke up, we decided to get dinner at our old favorite – Abuleo’s. After we arrived, we only waited for a few minutes before we were seated. Our server, Chris, was a blonde haired surfer dude, who had recently moved to MB with his girl friend who was working at a local hospital. Chris was very efficient and pleasant. When asked, he said that he was from the Philly area. He said that he really enjoyed MB so far. Our meals came very quickly. We got an assortment of Mexican meals. They were fresh and hot. Once again, Abuelo’s met our expectations. We graded the meal an A-/B+ overall and would surely come again.
Because it was early, we took a ride to Market Commons to look around and then headed down to Murrells Inlet. On the way back, noticed this sign http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a1d60 ... /ry%3D400/
and a few minutes later we stopped at the Lazy Gator gift shop. We bought a few small things. On the way out, we noticed that there was a 4-foot alligator in a small pond at the front of the store. We bought some “alligator food” and Emily threw some of it close to the little alligator. It was fun to watch it move toward the food. It is interesting to note that the larger restaurants in Murrells Inlet were very busy. They were so busy that even the overflow lots were filled. With the economy doing as poorly as it is (and many of us losing a bunch of money in investments and 401Ks recently), it is amazing that places are as busy as they are.
On our way back to HI&S, we stopped at Wal-Mart to get our weekly supplies. The first thing I noticed when I got in the store was the many different languages being spoken. There were customers speaking French, Spanish and many eastern European languages. And there were a bunch of American accents. MB is becoming very cosmopolitan! It was like being at the United Nations.
After we finished our shopping, we waited in a very long checkout line that seemed to take forever to get through. I had parked pretty close to the store’s front entrance/exit and when I looked at our rental car, I noticed that one of the rear doors was open! As we got close to the car, a lady drove up to us and said that she was relieved that we finally returned to the car. She said that she had been driven from the Home Depot lot to the Wal-Mart lot (she works at Home Depot) to retrieve her car, when she saw our door open the first time. She said that she reported it to Wal-Mart security. After she shopped at Wal-Mart, she drove by again and reported it again. She was just leaving the lot for the last time when she came upon us. I asked Emily is anything was missing and she said that her Coach wristlet and an IPOD cable were still there. The things that we bought at the Lazy Gator were still in the front seat. Nothing appeared to be taken. The whole incident seemed strange.
Back to the HI&S, it was now time to carry up our supplies to the room. The individual bundles were easy to carry, but the 35 pack of water was not "loads" of fun. But being the old pack horse that I am, I carried it to our room. (It should be noted that we only drank about a dozen bottles of water at the conclusion of our vacation).
When we returned, I was expecting to hear the “loud family”, but to our pleasant surprise there was no noise coming from our neighbors. But my relief turned to concern when I realized that it was only 10 PM and most likely they would come rolling in at midnight or later to wake us up with their loud voices.
To be continued with photos. . .