Myrtle Beach 2020 Trip

March 19, 2020

Greetings all,
First personal type post in a while. As I start a 2-week self-isolation period I figure it’s a great time to write (I will do a COVID-19 post at another time, when it’s over). I’ll say first that we were supposed to be gone for 3 weeks, in 2 different condos and have 2 friends come down and join us for the last week but of course, Coronavirus made that impossible (or more accurately just a terrible idea). In the end, we gone for just 11 days (3 of those days being travel) and only spent 8 full days there, not nearly enough time for me.
We stayed at a nice condo on North Ocean Boulevard.  I had forgotten what it was like to stay in a condo and not a house. Basically we had to buy a load of things to that we needed that just weren’t there, things like a kettle, clothes drying wrack, toilet paper, paper towels, pizza pan, garbage bags, recycling bags and of course water (I have a hard time with water in other places due to my IBS). While I think he should have had at least a few of those things, I suppose I couldn’t expect them all. 
Waking up the first morning we were there and being able to look out and see the beach and the sun instantly put a big smile on my face. I dearly hate everything about winter and getting away from the snow, ice and dreary weather means a great deal to me. I love to look at moving things, like water and fire. Just looking at the waves coming in and out and hearing the steady flow of it makes me calmer and puts me in a better mood. Sleeping with the patio door slightly ajar and listening to the steady sounds of the waves helped me get to sleep and was there when I awoke. Suffice to say when we retire I will be getting a condo right on a beach somewhere.
Back on topic, after we got groceries we went to a bike shop. I love to ride a bike outside and I rented one (he gave me a deal too!) at a local bike shop. It’s called a Fat Bike, (see pic below) due to the larger tires. The only one he’d let me drive on the beach. Thus my new routine was to ride my bike on the beach every day and listen to some music or an audiobook.
I was immediately impressed by how friendly everyone was in Myrtle Beach. To compliments on my t-shirts, to ones on my bike, people just wishing you a good day, I even got into a spirited discussion on Trump, the US election and Coronavirus (and yes he hated Trump, I am careful about letting the other person say that first).
My wife was impressed by the shopping and yes I’ll say they do have some interesting/unique shopping areas. I usually enjoy restaurants more in the US than in Canada, they are cheaper and have faster/better service. Yes, I’m aware that people in the US make less per hour than in Canada. I always leave a tip and at one place (Ultimate California Pizza) I left a tip of almost 100% to really make the server’s night. In terms of new places we also went to BurgerFi (which I was at once in Key West but never Myrtle Beach) and P.F. Chang’s.
While the temperature wasn’t as high as in Florida, there were certainly fewer crowds and it was certainly easier to get around (including a shorter distance to a smaller airport). Crowds really make a difference for things like a rental car. I have been in line in Florida for a rental car for almost 2 hours, in Myrtle Beach, it was less than 10 minutes. Everything we wanted to do was a half-hour away or less, so that is also a big plus.
I did miss playing poker (only gambling in Myrtle Beach is a go on a gambling cruise, they suck and I won’t do one again) and the comic book store I went to had almost none of the issues I was looking for but they did buy a comic from me at least. I also found riding on the beach quite hard with a Fat Bike and would have preferred to get a regular bike and go on a trail (lesson learned). When we go back I would get a condo that was closer to a park with a bike trail.
We went to an aquarium (which I enjoyed more than I thought I would) and a Ripley's Believe It or Not attraction (which was disappointing but we didn’t pay much for it). There was a park, Brookgreen Gardens Park that had lots of interesting sculptures, lovely scenery, and rescued animals, that we went to twice. As usual, we did also take in a movie ("The Invisible Man", you can see my review Movie Review: The Invisible Man) and I had to say I was impressed with the theatre. Aside from serving alcohol (which NL still does not allow at Cineplex because we are restrictive on that one thing for some reason), it had a full lazy-boy type chair for every seat, very comfy!
As you can see I was impressed and enjoyed myself in Myrtle Beach. It was hard to get down there (took over 14 hours) but hopefully next time we can figure out better flights. Also as I said earlier I really don’t think we had the full experience, so next year hopefully a full 3 weeks. I’m not stopping our usual visits to Florida but this could end up being a year we don’t make it down at all. Overall a lovely trip that was cut too short, have no fear Myrtle Beach, we’ll be back.