Monday, May 18, 2015

Family Vacation to North Myrtle Beach

Last week, our family had the pleasure of going on vacation to North Myrtle Beach along with my mom and sister. The drive down to South Carolina from our home (outside of Rochester, NY) took us about 15 hours including stops. Even though I was a terrified of the trip down with little ones, it wasn't as bad as I had imagined it would be. We spent a relaxing week by the beach, sight seeing and making memories.
I know that generally, people find it boring to look at other people's vacation photos, but I like to do posts like these, more for myself, to have a collection of our photos of the trip to look back on and remember the times we spent together as a family. I am not a scrapbooker, and I must confess, I rarely get a photograph printed, so blogging is sort of my "memory keeping" method. I hope you aren't too bored today if you click through to read about our trip. I tried my best to make the photos pretty for you to help keep you from yawning :)

My sister got an awesome deal for the Ocean Creek Resort (where we stayed) on Groupon, which is how we ended up going here. I had never been to Myrtle Beach before (or SC for that matter), but my mom had when my grandfather had taken her growing up. I thought that was pretty special since we just lost him this year. I am still grieving for him, so I love feeling any connection to him that I can.

We knew we were going to be met with inclement weather before we arrived. Tropical Storm Ana apparently got to our vacation spot before we did but she left fairly quickly, thank goodness. The skies cleared enough for us to take a walk down to the beach the first day we arrived. It was too cool to swim, but we enjoyed the view.

The next day was hot, so we headed back to the beach where the kids played in the sand, Josh and I jumped in the waves, and we all enjoyed the peacefulness of the ocean. North Myrtle Beach was a pleasant surprise as it didn't feel as "touristy" as I imagined Myrtle Beach to be.
We went across the street from our resort to a place called Barefoot Landing that had shops, restaurants and even some rides for the kids. They had to go on their favorite...the carousel...of course.
There were lots of turtle everywhere we went (and signs for alligators but only my mom and sister saw one).
We even found this little guy (or girl) in a shoe store! The kids named him (or her) Myrtle.
When it was too cool in the ocean for us, we headed to the pool. There was a small 1 1/2 foot deep pool next to this one that Hazel and Owen wanted to live in.
Above the pool was what they called the beach club where we got some drinks and food, with an amazing view.
Myrtle Beach was about a fifteen minute drive from us. We drove down one night to take a ride on the SkyWheel. I am a bit claustrophobic, so I kind of couldn't wait for it to be over, but both kids loved it. It was especially exciting for them to see it change colors in the night sky.
We walked along the boardwalk for a bit and went in some cool gift shops. I had to get a seashell wind chime!
I really wanted the one with the coral colored shells but it was $90. My mom ended up finding an alternative that was only $30 (that my husband liked better because it wasn't pink), so we went with that one. Will share it soon. It definitely fits with my whole boho style.

We also went to Ripley's Aquarium one day where my kids had to find "Nemo" right away. Thankfully, it wasn't hard...we found him pretty quickly.
Hazel and Owen were not fans of the shark tunnel, but the rest of us thought it was pretty cool.
Hazel did enjoy seeing the mermaids. Yes, you read that correctly. It was Ripley's after all and what good is an aquarium without mermaids? See her tail there...
One of my first memories as a little girl is watching the moving Splash. I was smitten from then on with these creatures and I guess the fascination passed along to my daughter.
We did some more shopping, enjoyed the hot tub at the indoor pool, played games together in the hotel lodge late at night, my mom enjoyed some crab legs, my sister perfected her tan and got to spend time with the kiddos, and Josh and I even got a night out alone together. It was a very relaxing time. Definitely felt good to unwind and leave the cares of home behind.

Now, it's back to real life, but we made a lot of great memories and I love watching my children discover new things for the first time, like making sand castles and collecting shells along the shore. Watching Owen enjoy the waves and squeal with pure joy as each one came towards him. Seeing Hazel's eyes wide with wonderment at the "mermaids" and other creatures we saw. Family vacations can be a bit of work, but they do bond you together in a new and exciting way. And of course...there is nothing so special as coming back home.

Till next time...
~Alice W.

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