I think I need a vacation from my vacation.
Colby & I went to Myrtle Beach, S.C., a couple of weekends ago for some relaxation and fun in the sun. It has been 14 years since I’ve been at the beach, and I was unprepared for how much the ocean would affect me.
Within 15 minutes of arriving at the oceanfront hotel Friday evening, my toes were buried in the sand and I was giggling like a small child. I was already in love with the water, just watching the waves come and go, hearing the ocean.
Walking on a pier later on Friday night, I was entranced by the waves, and by the division between humanity and nature. On one side were lines of hotels, cars, and lights, and on the other side was pure darkness for as far as the eye could see. It made me realize how small humanity really is, how we have conquered the land but the ocean still eludes us.
Civilizations will come and go, buildings will rise and fall, but the ocean will always remain the same, dark, mysterious, chaotic.
I loved watching our fellow beachgoers, the young, the old, the playful, the relaxing.
Saturday was a whirlwind. We woke up early, grabbed breakfast at one of the many pancake houses near the oceanfront, and went to Barefoot Landing to go exploring. We arrived about an hour before anything opened, and it felt like we were on the set of a zombie movie, the only sounds we heard were the ducks and fish.
We went to Ripley’s Aquarium and it was amazing! I dared to pet a stingray, small shark and some sort of crab thing. Watching the sharks swim around was awe-inspiring. They are so majestic, so regal, in the water.
Afterwards, we wandered into the Pepper Palace, a store full of BBQ sauce, hot sauce and salsa. Now, I love spicy food; growing up in Texas, I got quite used to it. I tried their Death by Salsa, their hottest salsa, on a whim, thinking I could handle it. Not so much. 30 minutes later, and my tongue was still tingling.
If you ever go to Myrtle Beach, go to WonderWorks. It’s aimed for children, but there are a ton of activities for adults, I particularly enjoyed the hurricane winds exhibit and lying on a bed of nails. We spent hours wandering around, playing with different exhibits, laughing and joking around. There was a virtual rollercoaster ride that took you upside down, I wasn’t too happy about that one, and neither was my hair. The Ex Unit loved it, though. No surprise.
I love talking to random people when I’m out and about, I’m a bit odd. Whether it’s complaining about the weather, or laughing while going through a haunted house, I love people. They are so varied, so many different life experiences, so many different adventures they want to go on.
Now, I’m scared of heights. Really scared of heights; I have problems with ladders and stepstools. So I was a little surprised at myself when I suggested we go on the Skywheel, a 187-foot tall enclosed Ferris wheel on Myrtle Beach. About a minute into the ride, I nearly hit the red panic button, I was so scared.
Oh, and I did threaten Colby that if he shook our cab, I was going to kill him. Slowly and painfully.
Saturday evening, we ventured into North Myrtle Beach for some barbecue and miniature golf. I love mini golf, I’m not that great at it, but it’s so much fun! Even though I lost.
Sunday was our last day in Myrtle Beach, and we headed back to North Myrtle Beach to visit Alligator Adventure, an alligator preserve smack dab in the middle of a busy shopping area. There were more than 500 different alligators and crocodiles at Alligator Adventure, ranging from lots of little baby alligators, to a 2,000 lb. crocodile named Utan, to some albino alligators. It was honestly a lot of fun.
I really enjoyed the alligator feedings, and the reptile show; I got to pet a two-headed turtle, baby alligator and a corn snake! Totally made my day.
Oh, and I can’t forget my favorite part – the ocean itself! We splashed around in the ocean for a few hours, I jumped through waves, bobbed in the water and threw sand at Colby. And I can’t forget getting my daily salt intake by inhaling a bunch of seawater. Bleh!
Though I had a lot of fun sightseeing, relaxing on the beach was my favorite part of the trip. It was so nice to lie back and listen to the waves crash upon the shore, to listen to the children laugh and play, and the seagulls squawk to each other. I can see why the ocean has entranced so many over the ages. It makes you forget about your troubles, lost in the waves, and be at peace.