The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘South Carolina Vacation 2023’

South Carolina Vacation: Garden City Beach SC to Warren PA

Sunrise from 10th floor balcony at One Ocean Place

On Sunday, March 5, we left One Ocean Place at 7:30 am, en route home.  

We stopped for breakfast in Rockingham NC at Waffle House.   I ordered the the All-Star Special (two scrambled eggs, with Toast & Jelly; Hashbrowns, a Waffle and 3 Slices of Bacon).  Bob ordered the Breakfast Hashbrown Bowl (Double Hashbrowns, Two Slices of Melted American Cheese, Two Scrambled Eggs and 3 Slices of Crumbled Bacon).   I gave Bob one of my eggs, my toast and one slice of bacon.  In addition to our main entrees we ordered coffee / tea and orange juice.  It didn’t take long to place our order, to have our food delivered, or to eat our food.  We were in and out of Waffle House fairly quickly.  

Another stop was at the Pilot Mountain Scenic Overlook in Pinnacle NC along US 52 /Interstate 74.  The overlook was a great place to stretch our legs and to take a picture.

Pilot Mountain, as seen from the Pilot Mountain Scenic Overlook

Bob decided to leave the interstate approximately 23 miles from the overlook.  We hopped onto NC-89 towards Mount Airy and followed that route into Galax VA.  From Galax we drove to Comfort Suites in Wytheville VA.  Again, we avoided interstate travel, using routes US-58 and US-21.  It was nice not to be driving on the interstate and to see different scenery.

We arrived in Wytheville VA around 2:30 pm and checked into Comfort Suites.

We went to dinner around 4:30 pm.  Instead of eating at Cracker Barrel, our go-to restaurant when in Wytheville, we ate somewhere different.  We ate dinner at Shoney’s Restaurant.  There are no Shoney’s near Warren PA.

We left Wytheville at 7:00 am on Monday, March 6, after a skimpy breakfast at the hotel.  Breakfast was not up to standards, the first time we have experienced subpar service.  No eggs; pancake machine not operational; no coffee.  A breakfast of sausage and hash browns was not appealing.  Breakfast commenced at 6:30 am, and we were there at 6:40 am. Unsatisfactory!

We stopped for lunch in Portersville PA at Brown’s Country Kitchen.   Bob ordered a burger with French fries.  I ordered a chicken salad croissant sandwich with a fruit cup.  We decided to stay off the interstate and take back roads rest of the way home.

We returned home at 3:55 pm.  We left sunny skies to come home to a winter storm advisory.

South Carolina Vacation: Taste of the MarshWalk

Saturday, March 4, I got up around 6:00 am.  I watched for the sun to rise.  It was overcast, so there wasn’t much of a sunrise. 

The sun did come out eventually, though,
bright and shiny peeking through the clouds.

Late morning Marge, Neil, Bob and I went to the 9th annual Taste of the MarshWalk at Murrells Inlet.  Being able to attend this event is why Marge and Neil invited us to stay with them for two nights.  We are so happy that we stayed.  What a great event… good food, drinks, live music and vendors.

Shortly after returning to the condo from Murrells Inlet, Bob and I walked over to the next building (south tower) of One Ocean Place. We met my cousin and his wife for the first time. I have been working on my ancestry for a few years. Tom and I are Ancestry DNA matches. We share a grandfather. My maternal third great grandfather is Tom’s maternal second great grandfather. Tom’s daughter took a DNA test as well. I found Wendy on Facebook. Soon she and I became Facebook friends. Tom messaged me to ask if I had any photographs of his grandmother. I didn’t have any pictures but told him that another cousin might have a picture. I contacted Carolyn, whose mother is Tom’s grandmother’s sister. Carolyn was able to share a couple pictures with Tom of his grandmother. Tom, Carolyn and I are now Facebook friends. Unplanned, Tom and his wife Geri spent the same vacation time in the Surfside Beach / Garden City Beach area as did Bob and I. We had a good visit. It is nice to make the acquaintance of a new cousin. I hope to one day meet Tom and Geri’s two daughters and grandchildren.

Around 4:00 pm I noticed how clear it was on the beach. The lighting was great too.

The beach seen from 10th floor balcony at One Ocean Place
Clearly visible are Myrtle Beach in the background
and the Surfside Pier (under construction) in the foreground.

Later I noticed the moon shining brightly over the ocean.

The moon above the ocean
Isn’t the moon beautiful?

The sun set magnificently around 6:15 pm.

Sunset from the 10th floor of One Ocean Place in Garden City Beach

Marge, Neil, Bob and I ate dinner at Pizza Hyena in Surfside Beach. 

Bob, Marge, Neil and I at Pizza Hyena

We waited an hour for our pizza.  The pizza was good and worth the hour wait.  There are three restaurants near each other–Pizza Hyena and across the street the Gracious Pig Smokehouse and the Chimichanga Llama Cantina.  All three restaurants are members of the Dining & Design team of restaurants founded by Nate Anderson in 2017. It is a lively part of town near these three restaurants.  The cantina had live music that could be heard throughout the area.  

Do you see Jupiter and Venus aligned in the night sky?
(look just to the left of the umbrella)

This was our last night in South Carolina. The next day we began our drive back home.

South Carolina Vacation: The Marshwalk

On Friday, March 3, after we had packed up the car, we went to breakfast at a nearby Eggs Up Grill.  Bob ordered steak and eggs with a fruit cup and garlic toast.  I ordered a Red, White and Blue Waffle with bacon.  My waffle came with strawberries, bananas and blueberries with whipped topping.  Breakfast was delicious.

After breakfast we drove to Murrells Inlet and walked the MarshWalk.  I photographed several feathered friends.

A cormorant
A cormorant sitting pretty
A cormorant drying its wings
Pelican Sitting Pretty
Pelican in Flight
An American Oystercatcher

From Murrells Inlet we drove to One Ocean Place in Garden City Beach.  We are staying two nights with our friends Marge and Neil in their oceanfront condo on the 10th floor.  We spent the remainder of the morning and afternoon conversing amongst ourselves, reading, napping and, in general, just enjoying each others’ company. Bob and Neil also played music together for a little while.

Bob and Neil at One Ocean Place on balcony of 10th floor condo

We also went for a walk on the beach.

Bob, Marge and Neil on the beach
Marge and I on the beach

We walked to The Conch Cafe for dinner.  Marge and I ordered open-faced tuna salad melts.  I had a cup of seafood chowder with my tuna salad.  Bob ordered a crab cake sandwich.  Neil ordered a grilled mahi sandwich.

In the evening we watched a movie on Netflix starring Meryl Streep called “The Laundromat”.  The movie is based on a real-life story about insurance fraud.

South Carolina Vacation: Two River Walks and a Walk on the Beach

Conway is located a little less than 20 miles from Surfside Beach, and we had not been there before. We decided to visit Conway the morning of Wednesday, March 1.

En route Conway, we ate breakfast at The Breakfast House in Socastee.  Bob had an omelette with hash browns and rye toast.  I had a Belgian Waffle with blueberries, one egg and bacon.  The Breakfast House is a great little place with very good food and a friendly staff.

We arrived in Conway shortly before 9:00 am. I had read on the Internet that the Conway Riverwalk was a historic walking trail and that it is the oldest thoroughfare in Conway. The Riverwalk was our destination.

We accessed the Riverwalk from 2nd Avenue, just off US 501.
The trail started out on a paved walkway.
Soon a boardwalk replaced the paved trail.
The Riverwalk follows alongside
the meandering Waccamaw River.

The Waccamaw River is a blackwater river. Blackwater rivers are usually slow-moving and found around the swamplands of the southern U.S. Blackwater rivers are stained by the decaying plant matter in the water.

On the right of the boardwalk is what remains of an old warehouse
that was used by steamboats in the 1880s, I believe.
Looking back toward the warehouse
Looking back at Waccamaw River

According to information read on the Internet, the Riverwalk is about 1.5 miles round trip. We left the trail at Laurel Street. We didn’t see any directional signs telling us where to go to continue the Riverwalk. So we turned right and walked into downtown Conway. Conway is an 18th-century town. Much of the area is listed in the National Registry of Historic Places. The town features mostly small brick buildings, some dating back to the early 1820s.

Laurel Street Fountain
We turned right at this fountain and walked to downtown Conway.

As we got our feel for where we were in relationship to where we had parked our car, we stumbled upon City Hall.

Conway City Hall

We returned to our car about 9:30 am. We had thought our visit to Conway would be longer than 30 minutes. We decided at this time to drive to Georgetown, which was located approximately 40 miles south of Conway.

We arrived in Georgetown an hour later. We parked along Front Street and walked the Harborwalk from the Kaminski House Museum to the Rice Museum/Town Clock. The waterfront 10-foot-wide and four-block-long boardwalk is alongside the Sampit River.

This is one entry point for the Harborwalk.
I took this picture of the Harborwalk near its entry point at the Rice Museum/Town Clock.

We visited Georgetown last year, too, and walked the Harborwalk. If you click on the “last year” link, you will see pictures that I took last year. All along the Harborwalk are signs to not feed the alligators. As we did last year, we looked for alligators. We didn’t see any alligators again this year.

We did see a few turtles.

We spent about 30 minutes in Georgetown. Again, we thought our visit to Georgetown would be longer. I want a do-over for both Conway and Georgetown. Next year we plan to return to both Conway and Georgetown, but later in the day. Both towns have restaurants that we would like to try. We would also like to tour the Kaminski House Museum and the Rice Museum in Georgetown as well. And, yes, you heard right … NEXT YEAR. Our reservation for “Nanny & Pops” is already on the books!

Leaving Georgetown we took U.S. 17 north to Murrells Inlet, where we ate lunch at Judy Boone’s Traditions Family Kitchen. Lunch was an all-you-can-eat buffet.  Neither of us eat as heartily as we used to do.  The buffet was $10.99 each, which was reasonable.  We got our money’s worth.  After lunch we returned to “Nanny & Pops”, our Airbnb rental.

Around 4:15 pm we went for a walk on “our beach”.  It was high tide.  We walked from “Nanny & Pops” to the 1st Ave public beach access and on the beach to Melondy Lane public beach access, a distance of approximately 1.1 miles.

1st Ave public beach access
Approaching Melondy Lane public beach access
The tall building is One Ocean Place, the location of our friends Marge and Neil’s condo that they were renting.

My knee was hurting, and I didn’t think I would be able to walk back to “Nanny & Pops”.  Bob walked back to the rental, via the roadway not the beach.  He got the car and came after me. While I was waiting for Bob’s return, I messaged Marge.  She saw me from her balcony at One Ocean Place.  We waved at each other.

South Carolina Vacation: Topgolf and Dining Out

We spent the morning and early afternoon of Tuesday, February 28, with our friends Neil and Marge.

We played 2 hours (10:00 am-12:00 pm) at Topgolf Myrtle Beach and then went to lunch at Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen. 

It was the first time any of us had played at Topgolf.  Bob, Neil and Marge had experience playing on a golf course. I had not played golf before. A bay host helped set up our game and create profiles for each player.  We chose Topgolf Practice, which was similar to golfing at a driving range. In this beginners game, players score points by hitting golf balls into any target. The more accurate your shot and the farther the distance, the more points you earn. Using Topgolf’s complimentary clubs, we took aim at the giant outfield targets and the high-tech balls scored themselves. I created a short video of the four of us hitting a golf ball into “the green”.

The SLO-MO option on an iPhone was used to capture each hit.

At the end of our golf game, a scoreboard displayed our individual scores.

Bob was top scorer.
Not surprisingly, I was the low scorer.

We chose the golf day well.  Tuesday was a 1/2 price day.  Our golf bay rental cost $30 for 2 hours. Topgolf was a great new experience for all four of us!

After Topgolf, we had a delicious lunch at Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen.  Both Topgolf and Paula Deen’s were located at Broadway at the Beach complex. This was the menu at Paula Deen’s.

We chose “The Savannah” Family Style Dining selection.  The three down home dishes we chose were: Best Ever Southern Fried Chicken, Georgia Fried Catfish and Jambalaya.  We chose Green Beans, Creamed Potatoes, Fresh Candied Yams and Baked Macaroni and Cheese for our sides.  For dessert Marge and I chose Peach Cobbler; Neil and Bob chose Ooey Gooey Butter Cake.  Lunch was delicious.

After lunch we returned to our our Airbnb rental.  Neil and Marge hopped into their car and drove the short distance to their condo. It was a very nice day spent with friends.

South Carolina Vacation: Broadway on the Beach

On the morning of Monday, February 27, we drove to Broadway at the Beach, located less than 15 miles from our Surfside Beach Airbnb rental “Nannie & Pops”. Broadway at the Beach is a shopping center and entertainment complex located in Myrtle Beach. It sits on 350 acres in the heart of Myrtle Beach and features three theaters, over 20 restaurants and over 100 specialty shops as well as attractions, clubs for the night, and hotels, all surrounding the 23-acre Lake Broadway.

When we arrived at Broadway at the Beach, very few, if any, of the shops, restaurants or attractions were open. This fact was fine with us, as we came to walk, not to eat or shop. And walk we did! We walked all around Lake Broadway, which is at least a 2 mile walk.  I took lots of pictures during our walk, which I share with you in the slideshow that follows. 

The morning was foggy and cool.  At 12:00 noon the fog still had not lifted.  The temperature was only 58 degrees.  Once the fog lifted, the sun came out. It warmed up to about 65 degrees.

Late in the afternoon we went for a walk on “our beach”. 

We went for a walk at Surfside Beach.
I love the light at the beach, as the sun is setting behind me.

South Carolina Vacation: Brookgreen Gardens Third Visit, Part Three

We visited Brookgreen Gardens for the third time on Sunday, February 26. Our first stop was in the Rosen Galleries, in which is featured an exhibition of some of Auguste Rodin’s best-known sculptures. Leaving the Rosen Galleries, we meandered through the gardens admiring the outdoor sculptures, flowers, and flowering shrubs and trees. I shared a number of pictures of flowers, trees and sculptures in my previous blog post. This blog post will complete our visit to Brookgreen Gardens.

“Pegasus” by Laura Gardin Fraser

“Pegasus” is the largest sculpture at Brookgreen Gardens.

“Pegasus” and me
“Joy” by Karl Heinrich Gruppe
“Triton on Dolphin” by Benjamin Franklin Hawkins
“Lioness and Cub” by Hope Yanell
“Actaeon” by Paul Howard Manship
“The Tortoise Train” by W. Stanley Proctor

We obtained directions from a helpful garden steward to the Grainger McCoy Exhibit. Apparently, we walked right by the exhibit a couple times!

“Wilson’s Snipe” by Grainger McCoy
”Two Mallards” by Grainger McCoy
“Clapper Rails” by Grainger McCoy

I took only a few pictures, as the bird sculptures were behind glass and difficult to photograph without reflections destroying the beauty of the sculptures.

“The Guardian” by Sahl Swarz
“Len Ganeway” by Derek Wernher

This was the last day that we visited Brookgreen Gardens. Our tickets were still good for 2 days. Later in the day we stopped at our friends Marge and Neil’s condo and dropped off two tickets to the gardens. Marge and Neil planned to visit Brookgreen Gardens the next day.

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