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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:56 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:49 pm
Posts: 390
Alas, my friends and family, it is time to tell the tale of our second Myrtle Beach expedition of 2012!! Grab yourself a beer, glass of wine or other tasty yet satisfying cocktail and settle into a comfy chair. I aim to entertain as well as inform. If you've read my previous reports, you know well of my sarcasm, my delight for the beach and my love of beer. This will be no exception to my theme of life.

We booked this vacation through VRBO way back in November of 2011. It was Thanksgiving weekend and I was bored out of my mind. My thoughts had drifted to Myrtle Beach as they so often do. I did not hesitate to peruse VRBO and make some inquiries. I received a reply almost instantly from a condo owner with several units at the Coral Beach Resort. It's #2 on my list of favorite places to stay in Myrtle Beach. The Caribbean Resort has recently become my #1.

The condo owner made me an offer I couldn't refuse. It was so good that we later booked with him for the trip we took in May (you can read that report as well if you haven't already done so).

Our Myrtle Beach trips vary depending on time we have as well as cash flow. I'm not a rich man by any means. Sometimes, I have to sacrifice comfort for time. Our trip in May left us no choice but to drive straight through from Ohio. This trip, however, we were fortunate enough to have a little extra cash. We decided to once again take my truck rather than the crossover. We also decided to break the driving up into 2 days. We booked a room in Winston-Salem, NC for friday night at the Quality Inn-Coliseum. It's located at exit 112 off Route 52 south on Akron Drive. A little piece of advice, folks: DO NOT STAY THERE!!!!!

Two things bothered me about this run-down, older-than-dirt, hotel:
1.) It was 95 degrees when we arrived. Our room was located on the west side of the building which means the sun was punishing it all afternoon. It was 90 in the room. The A/C was working great but could not cool the room fast enough. We all tried to sleep in this sauna of a unit. When we asked for a fan or two to help alleviate the sweat, we were given a desktop 6" diameter fan for 4 people. We were not even offered to be moved to a different room, which probably wouldn't have helped anyway.
2.) There were bullet holes in the hallway windows. Yes. Bullet holes. It was not in the best section of town to say the least.

We left the hotel early Saturday morning just shortly before 7AM. We headed down route 52 to I-40. We decided to take the exit for route 311 toward High Point. It's the future corridor for I-73. That time of day on a Saturday was perfect! There was almost no traffic on the 65mph highway. The highway isn't finished yet but they are working on it. You must exit and take a two lane road for maybe 10 miles until you get to route 220/I-74 south. It was foggy that morning and traffic really started to get heavy south of Asheboro.

Readers of my previous reports know perfectly well that I loathe the mere mention of route 501 heading into Myrtle Beach. The nightmares I've heard from people being stranded on there for hours were enough for me to find an alternative route for the last ten years. Yes, in ten years, I have NEVER used 501. But, this being so early in the day, I decided to give it a shot. I WAS IMPRESSED!!!! It cut off about an hour from my personal route. Traffic was moderate coming down 38 through Bennettsville. It didn't get heavy until we were south of Conway and then it got bumper to bumper and a bit slow going. Four hours from Winston-Salem to King's Highway!!! A new personal best!! We were at the resort and swimming by 11:30!! That's like a whole extra day for us!!!

I parked the truck in the parking garage and made my way toward the lobby while the rest of my party headed toward the restrooms to change to swimming attire. We were not going to let the sunny, humid weather go to waste. "Check-in" was handled swiftly and I took the parking tag back to the garage. I soon joined the rest of the gang poolside for some relaxation! The next thing we knew, our bellies were growling! Keep in mind, I hadn't had a single drop of beer yet... but that changed soon enough!! Of course, as Phroggs do, I meandered my way to the oceanfront bar and ordered my preferred cold, carbonated, alcoholic beverage: Coor's Light. It's the single most refreshing beer on such a gloriously sultry day. I can still taste it rolling its way to my liver. *Shivers* We all ordered lunch from the grill and sat in the sun basking in its Carolina glory. It smiled at us. I know it did!

The Coral Beach Resort has plenty of amenities for its guests. On site there are, of course, plenty of water features, the oceanfront bar and grill, bowling alley, arcade, general store, fitness center (joke that it is) and comedy club. Earlier this summer, the Coral Beach Resort Management (CBRM) decided to screw over the individual condo owners who choose not to allow CBRM to handle their unit bookings for them. As I mentioned, we booked through the private owner via CBRM charges roughly 40% more than the owners do. So, in order to punish the owners, CBRM now hands out wrist bands which allow full access to all the amenities the resort offers. People such as us are given a different colored band which is supposed to deny us access to EVERYTHING other than the pools. No bar, no general store, bowling, etc etc. But, we learned that the employees really didn't care due to our money being as green as everyone else's. CBRM: epic fail!!!!

While chilling at the pool after our light lunch, we met some folks from Boston, MA who had booked through CBRM. They had the "total access" wrist bands so we asked if we could have them to which they agreed if we would exchange our condo owner's information with them. Of course we obliged!! So, they were flying home that night and asked us to meet them at the pool to exchange our items. When we arrived, they had 6 beers, a full bottle of wine, half a bottle of vodka, two pool rafts and a bunch of food. They couldn't take any of the stuff on the plane with them so they offered it to us. A phrogg pass up free alcohol?

Our room was ready by one that afternoon. Turtles and I hurried to the parking garage and gathered our luggage. We were located on the 7th floor directly in the middle of the resort. The view was gorgeous!! Overall, the room was adequate and served its purpose for the four of us. Granted, my 6'3" frame trying to sleep in a double bed (even alone) was certainly a task, but for the price, like I said before, sometimes sacrifices must be made!!

The owner of the condo actually owns three units at the Coral Beach Resort. He is slowly making improvements to the severely outdated rooms and we appreciate his efforts in doing so. This spring, he had all new mattresses put in and has installed a euro style washer and dryer in each unit as well. New bathroom vanities and TV's were also upgrades. In one unit, he has now refinished the kitchen with a modern microwave, new refrigerator, counter tops, cabinets and has even put in a small dishwasher. The guy cares.

Turtles and I unpacked our clothes, toiletries and minor food staples. We headed back down to the pool for a bit more "vacation" time before collecting our thoughts about dinner ideas. We do not cook dinner while on vacation. It's useless to us to do so. A few reasons help make up our minds about it. First, IT'S VACATION!! Who the hell wants to be stuck inside whipping up dinner? I love to cook and I'm pretty decent at it, but still, it'd feel like a job to me while I'm trying to enjoy life. Secondly, the units we choose to stay in have limited cooking and dining supplies. All the staples are there such as pots, pans, some cheap utensils, etc etc. But, it's not MY stuff. I like MY stuff!!! Plus, the dining atmosphere of restaurants are unique at most places in the Myrtle Beach area. It's not just the restaurants themselves, but also the clientele. We love people watching!!!

So it's a late Saturday afternoon and we're pretty hungry from the light lunch. The snack foods we brought just aren't quenching our hunger. We decided that Nacho Hippo at the Market Common was what the doctor ordered. If you've never been, I highly recommend it. I'd go so far as to say it's probably my favorite restaurant right now in Myrtle. It's owned by the Divine Dining Group who also commands Ultimate Cali. Pizza, River City Cafe' and various other establishments along the Grand Strand. Nacho Hippo is just fabulous!! All the ingredients are fresh. In particular, the jalapenos on the mountainous pile of nachos are straight from the plant. They're not the limp little pickled slices you get in the jar at the grocery store. They're picked, washed and sliced. That is it. And they are scorching hot!!! But, the $2 everyday, all day Bud Light Lime soothes the palate. $3 margaritas (also very tasty and welcome to the wallet) are on the all day, everyday menu as well. If you're not a fan of nachos, they also feature some great tacos and burritos. Be sure to try the grilled corn on the cob for a delightful experience. Rest assured, the nachos can easily feed 2-3 people. We had a coupon for a BOGO taco which we took advantage of and enjoyed. My mouth is watering!!!

Afterward, we had to hit up the grocery store for our weekly items. As I mentioned, we don't cook dinner but breakfast and lunch are almost necessary. We headed over to the Wally World on Seaboard Street. It's less busy than the King's Road location but not by much. We shopped for our bagels, lunch meat, buns and of course beer. This year, I chose Coor's Light. I'm usually a Bud Select guy on vacation but Coor's Light just refreshes me better when it's hot and humid. We checked out and hurried to get the frozen pizzas and ice cream to the truck so as to avoid thawing in the 90+ heat. Upon turning onto 501 to head back to the resort, we discovered that we were missing several items that we paid for. For some reason, it just irritated the living hell out of me. I sped back to Wally World to get our stuff. Thankfully, it was sitting at the customer service desk waiting for us. Grrrr!!!!

Our first evening was finally winding down but not without a trip back to the pool and ocean. I was getting pretty tired but still didn't want to miss a thing. It was near 10 when we finally settled down and crawled into our beds. Only six more days of relaxation lied ahead.

I'm normally an early riser but the previous day left me hungry for some shut eye. I'm not necessarily an insomniac but I don't sleep well. A normal amount of sleep for me is around 6 hours with several "awake" periods during the night. As previously noted, I struggled for comfort in the double bed. My feet hang off the end by a good six inches. Still, I was able to rest peacefully with the air conditioner humming its calming song. I crawled out of bed around 7 that morning and proceeded to manifest my much needed morning coffee. By 7:30, I had my first beer of the day. The other members of my party woke shortly after and moped around until breakfast was consumed. Turtles and Sarah decided to take advantage of the tax free weekend for shopping. They took the truck to the Tanger outlets on King's Rd while Devin and I took our time around the condo watching TV, drinking beer (me, not him) and relaxing a bit. He and I eventually hit the pool around 11 and tried to make the best of the day with just us. His ideas and mine do not meet eye to eye, you see. I wanted nothing more than to sleep in the sun and soak it up while he wanted to work on his cannonballs. We tried to please each others' desires for a few hours until the others returned.

Turtles and Sarah came back mid afternoon having not eaten lunch. We cleaned ourselves up and headed out to an early dinner. We chose River City Cafe' on 21st avenue north. The sky was darkening a bit but we decided to sit on the deck anyway. Halfway through our meal, it began raining lightly leaving us to seek shelter under one of the umbrellas. Our meals were wonderful as always and the service was on par with our expectations.

On our way back to the resort from dinner, we thumbed through the local vacation guides in search of coupons for some miniature golf action. Myrtle Beach harbors tons of courses but no new ones have opened in years. The cost is ridiculous for a round of 18 as most places charge $9 per person. Yes, the courses are themed well but not a single one of them is taken care of. They look great from the road but up close, they're filthy, run down and old! We chose Mount Atlanticus this time around. It's the gigantic course at the corner of 501 and King's Highway. It wasn't hot out but the humidity could have been cut with a knife. Usually, I'm pretty decent at putt putt but Turtles took the crown that night. We ended up playing 36 holes as the second round was only half price. Still, it was over $50 for the four of us to smack a ball into a hole.

Monday was family picture day. Turtles scheduled this debacle way back in February with a local talented photographer. August T. Michael Photography does some outstanding work. Our morning was semi typical of another day at the beach. I woke around 5 and hit the street for a nice morning jog along Ocean Blvd. The humidity almost killed me but I was able to hit about 2.5 miles though in a much longer time than I'm used to. The air was heavy and my lungs didn't like it. Turtles and I grabbed some coffee and sat on the sun deck while the other two slept. We admired the fat old ladies waiting patiently with their 12 beach towels a piece. They sat next to the chain with the sign that tells you the pool is closed until 8:30. When the chain drops, they run to the pool chairs and "reserve" their families' spots for the day. We do the same thing except we actually use the chairs. See, these selfish folks would drape their towels and leave. Some days, they wouldn't come back until early afternoon. So for 5 hours, no one could use these empty chairs.

Up to this point, we had all enjoyed our time in the warm ocean waters. Sarah and I were chilling in the surf with our beach chairs while Devin and Turtles were boogie boarding. Then the jellyfish showed up and stung them. If you've never been stung, it scares the hell out of you. It doesn't hurt. It's not like a bee sting. It's more like being bit by a mosquito 50 times at once. Well, I was in my own little world, relaxed from the surf tickling my toes. People scream and carry on at the beach. Why would I pay attention to Turtles and Devin doing the same? So, with that being said, I was the a**hole for not "helping" them. Help them do what, I'm not sure. There's not much remedy for a jellyfish sting. I've been stung a number of times myself. Still, I was screamed at for no apparent reason other than frustration that this event occurred. I guess I'll just need to kill all the jellyfish in the world.

We gathered ourselves around 2 that afternoon so that we could doll ourselves up for the photo session. We were to meet Mr. Michael at 6:30 near Atalaya in Huntington Beach State Park. We had never been there so we left around 5 because it's south of Murrell's Inlet and traffic has been hell all week. We arrived about 40 minutes early and were greeted by a gentleman at the entrance gate to whom we payed $3 a piece to enter the park. We crossed the causeway and were able to see an alligator in the wild!!!!! I was just floored!! I had always wanted to see one and this was the first time in all my years going to Myrtle Beach. We drove back to Atalaya and parked the truck. We tossed the football around for a little while until we had to get ourselves squared away for the pictures. We waited. And waited. And waited. Other people showed up and met their photographers. And we waited. We tried calling him. We tried texting him. No replies.

Another photographer asked us if we were waiting for someone. We told her what was up and she said she'd try calling him and his assistant. She was unable to get through either. She offered to do the shoot for us if her family didn't show up that she was originally supposed to do. We agreed and went with her. The weather was stormy inland but the beach was gorgeous. It went well but mine and Devin's patience was spent. We said our "cheese" and did what we were told. After about an hour, we called it enough.

Of course this was all set up by August T. Michael. He sent this other photographer there because he got a better offer from someone else's photo session. She didn't have another family to shoot. August was there at the park because he checked in via Facebook. He later deleted that check-in... because we're stupid, right? We chose him months in advance for his fabulous work. We wanted him for ourselves. He is a farce. He is a liar. He is a greedy SOB. It has been over two weeks and we still have not received an apology from HIM. We've received several from his assistant but that's not good enough for me. We were very disappointed and will spread the word to not use him.

It was after 8 when we climbed back into the truck to get dinner. We stopped in Murrell's Inlet for some Marshwalk activity. We'd been to Drunken Jack's several times and were seeking something new. Parking was atrocious as always but we were able to find a few spots. We walked to Creek Ratz and put in our names for the 20 minute wait. For the hell of it, we walked down to Dead Dog Saloon and checked the wait time there. We were seated right away at Dead Dog. The place was fairly busy. If you don't know, this place burned to the ground in mid spring. It was supposed to be rebuilt and opened in July. They ended up opening in May as the builders really worked hard. It's nice on the inside; nothing special. Live music was blaring from the outside and they were nice enough to wire his microphone to the indoor speakers. I could almost hear Turtles scream our conversation. I like live music but not while I'm at dinner. Turn that crap down. We were all tired and annoyed with the evening but famished none the less. I took advantage of the local seafood and ordered some butter and herb grilled grouper. I guess I expected more for $25. It was good but not even close on a great value. It was our second most expensive meal for the week and we all agreed that if we never went back to Dead Dog Saloon, we wouldn't shed a tear.

Tuesday brought us a significant amount of rain. A stationary front sat right along the coast soaking the earth as well as our hearts. What were we to do? We sat around doing a lot of nothing hoping that the coast would clear up enough for us to get some beach time in. After a couple of hours, we gave up and decided to check out Barefoot Landing for some light shopping and dining. I thought I'd be smart and take 3rd avenue south to 501 then jump on the by-pass. Apparently, a lot of other people thought that'd be smart too. It was slow going for 15 minutes or so. The by-pass isn't much faster than King's Highway these days. There are about as many traffic lights as the business route and obviously, people forget how to drive once the road becomes wet.

We arrived to Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach around 1:00. By then, the rain had tapered off and the sun was starting to steam up the place. We ducked in and out of the occasional drizzle but enjoyed the time none the less. By 2:30, we were starting to appreciate the wonderful aromas brushing our olfactory nerves. For some time, I had wanted to try Bully's Pub. Any joint that has 30 beers on tap has my attention! We walked in and walked right back out. It was busier than we thought it would be and there was nowhere to sit. Nuts!!

We shuffled over to Fire Island Grill and were seated promptly. One look at the menu and we got up and left. Nothing looked appetizing!! We had eaten there before and enjoyed the ambiance as well as the meal. However, it was late lunch/early dinner this time. It just wasn't hitting the spot. So we wandered back across the lake to T-Bonz. This used to be my favorite restaurant in Myrtle Beach... until I learned that I'm a much better cook than most restaurants. I had no intention of ordering a steak as they're just not that good. Instead, I ordered a salad while Turtles had a pulled pork sandwich. We each took half our meals and traded with the other. I also had the she-crab soup which is heavenly. Oh, and of course, I had a beer.

Wednesday was shaping up to be a lot like Tuesday. has a "future cast" which projects rain or snow (gasp!) up to 6 hours in advance. The afternoon was supposed to clear up for us so we had to find something to do again to kill the morning. Turtles forced me to head back to Barefoot Landing so we could visit Alligator Adventure. I wanted to go, but I thought it was pricey and didn't want to spend the money. I'd rather drink.... imagine that!!

Alligator Adventure was a lot of fun!!! I got to touch a real live alligator!!!!! I was stoked!!! We showed up in time to watch them feed the beasts then we sat and waited for the presentation of animals. An employee brought out a warthog followed by a tortoise then finally an alligator. I learned a lot and just enjoyed strolling through the sanctuary full of over 2000 gators!! But alas, we were getting hungry. We left there and headed once again to Bully's Pub. Score!! Not too many people inside!! We soon figured out why though. A waitress was sitting at the entrance explaining to potential customers that they had run out of food. Seriously? How do you run out of food? Like all of it? Not even a bowl of pretzels or a bag of lettuce or anything? Kind of odd, wouldn't you agree? I guess maybe I'm not meant to go to Bully's. We settled on Wild Wing Cafe and enjoyed our meal even though the service was pretty bad. When we left, the sun was back with a vengeance! We hurried back to the resort and changed to swimming attire.

We decided to spend the evening on site and watch morons do karaoke. We brought the cooler down to the pool and I consumed massive amounts of beer. Turtles, Sarah and Devin all swam in the pool while I just chilled in a chair sipping my cold, carbonated, alcoholic beverages. The music was actually relaxing. Devin needed to use the restroom so I took him. When he and I returned, Turtles' cell phone and sunglasses had been stolen. We reported it immediately but to no avail. I KNOW who it was but of course, I couldn't prove it. I never even saw the bastard again the rest of the week. My contention is that he was a democrat. Yeah, I worked my butt off for some Oakleys and an HTC Evo 3D and he didn't. I guess I'm supposed to share my achievements with the less fortunate: you know, the people who are too lazy to earn stuff themselves. I hate people.

We didn't let the thief get the best of us and continued the night as if nothing even happened. It was fireworks night at the pier!! It wasn't a great show but still, nothing beats fireworks on the beach while on vacation. I wasn't drunk but at one point, I noticed that I was drinking a beer on the beach. If you don't already know, that's illegal. I felt like such a rebel!!! I doubt they'd do much to me anyway. Mainly, they're looking for the idiots who can't control themselves. Alcohol should be allowed on the beach.

Thursday was a hot and sunny day. The stationary front was no longer stationary and it scooted off the coast allowing pure blue skies and bright, hot sunshine to bless us. There was a halo of clouds offshore and onshore but the coast was unscathed. We took advantage of the beauty and basked in the ever glowing eternal warming star above us. Since we hadn't been yet this trip, we decided that Broadway at the Beach was our destination that evening. We arrived late afternoon hoping to follow our noses for dinner. We snooped around various stores as we weren't quite hungry yet. Candy stores, sunglass boutiques and surf shops had all fancied our interests. Finally, we decided it was time to eat. The Tilted Kilt was where we decided to try. If you've never been, it's along the lines of Hooters only the girls at the Tilted Kilt wear school girl outfits. Yes, it's Irish cuisine served to you by short kilt, big breasted women. The difference between Hooters and the Tilted Kilt is that Hooters actually has good food worth the price. If I never went back to the Tilted Kilt, I wouldn't shed a tear. One kids meal, a beer, a mixed drink and three sandwiches... with tip.... $72. Probably our worst dining experience of the week. Not that it was bad, mind you. It just wasn't what we thought it should be.

After dinner, we walked the complex some more. By then, it was getting insanely busy. We were hoping to catch the fireworks there but I guess the rest of Myrtle Beach was as well. We decided to leave and just call it a night.

Friday: our last day in Myrtle Beach. I was out of beer by then and really didn't feel like buying any more. I woke Turtles up around 6 so we could head to downtown for sunrise picture taking. She and I didn't get much alone time for the week and this was a great opportunity. We stopped at Dunkin Donuts for a dozen as well as some coffee. We parked right next to the boardwalk and Turtles grabbed her SLR camera. She and I strolled along admiring the serenity of Myrtle Beach at dawn. It was so quiet and calm that you'd never even know the chaos that ensues every night from Memorial Day until Labor Day. We had been downtown one evening for the games and people watching. One could go easily insane from the bedlam.

There were storms way out over the ocean producing some great lightning. It was of course super humid and very breezy. I called my sister and told her to log on to and click on the Myrtle Beach cam. Turtles and I stood there and waved to her and my two nephews from 1800 miles away. They thought that was pretty cool. We continued our morning walk along the boardwalk to the Sky Wheel and beyond to the boardwalk's terminal. It was nearing 8AM and we decided to get the donuts back to the rest of our crew.

The morning went smoothly and we stopped our swimming and escapades early for some lunch. Our afternoon was cut short once again by rain but this time it was a pretty wicked storm. Lightning and thunder crashed all around us. The elevators were jam packed with people trying to escape. I sat under an overhang and watched the storm roll by. The wind kicked up and tossed 16 pool chairs into the pool!! The storm didn't last but maybe a half hour. It was then that I realized how tired I was. I couldn't swim anymore. I was swam out!!! I took a shower and lay on the bed to catch a few z's.

Turtles woke me and we headed to River City Cafe once again. We all love that place. I wasn't hungry for once so I settled on a liquid diet. The rest of the gang ate their burgers while I just chilled. The service was really bad this time. I don't believe in not tipping but this guy really pushed it. I think we left him $3. It may not have been his fault but he sure didn't show any signs of caring. Not once did he explain what was going on or anything. We had to repeatedly ask to get our drinks refilled, etc etc.

Our night slowly drifted to an unwanted ending. Everything ends badly, otherwise, it wouldn't end. Words to live by. I settled down while everybody else got their last swim in. They all slept in the bedroom while I slept in the living area with the balcony door open listening to God's symphony of cymbals crashing rhythmically upon the sandy shore below. The humidity swept over me like a soothing blanket begging me to stay. In Myrtle Beach, every night is magical, but none can touch your soul as much as the last.

That wraps it up, folks. I hope I haven't bore you to death. At the very least, this post will be here for me to read whenever I'm planning my next trip to Myrtle. It's great to read past adventures. Cheers!!

Adios y via con dios.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:11 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2006 2:08 pm
Posts: 929
phroggy wrote:
We also decided to break the driving up into 2 days. We booked a room in Winston-Salem, NC for friday night at the Quality Inn-Coliseum. It's located at exit 112 off Route 52 south on Akron Drive. A little piece of advice, folks: DO NOT STAY THERE!!!!!

I've pretty much quit even trying to stay overnight unless the trip is 10+ hours. (MB is about 7 for me, so luckily I don't stop anymore). Some of these older chain hotels are in such horrible shape right now that you can't take a chance on them. You used to be able to stay at a brand name and pretty much be assured of a clean room and safe stay. Those times are over. I'm a the point now that if it's not somewhere like a hyatt place (where each of them is pretty much exactly the same) then I'm not staying.

When we went on a short trip last month with my family, my dad decided to book a Red Roof in Columbia for a stop over (his choice not mine). Didn't want to break the bank with a place considering we were going to be arriving late. It ended up being a place that we just hoped to make through the night and get the heck out. I noticed random cars repeatedly circling the parking lot numerous times before eventually pulling in and the occupants getting out and walking the premises looking for a party I assume. To make matters worse, we had a fully loaded soft cargo top on the SUV that could be emptied in a matter of minutes and stolen if someone wanted to. It was around midnight when we arrived and the last thing I wanted to do was to take luggage off the top and repack the next morning. I ended up parking the vehicle right outside the front door and asked the clerk to please keep and eye on it and to call the room if ANYONE was around it. He told me that he always parked his car where he could see it and that he didn't blame me for wanting it watched. Nice to be reassured by the clerk that vehicles at this place needed to be under constant surviellance. :ohnoes: If we had it to do over, we would have just gotten up 4 hours earlier and made it a one day drive. Paying $100 + for two bad rooms is just not worth it. Better off getting a good nights sleep in my own bed and using that money for vacation fun.

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