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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Myrtle Beach- part 7 On the way home

Jack getting caffeined up for the drive home.

We loaded up to head back home.  Just look at our cart!  We had trash bags hanging off the top with leftover food in them, the canopy, and Jack's huge bear chillin' with the luggage.  Even Alice, Halle's all time favorite cat, was wedged in there.  That is talent!  Way to go Master Packer Brian. We rolled this bad boy all the way from the 16th floor, across the street and into the parking garage.  

Our 18 hour drive home consisted of more Yellow Car, eating as much of the leftover cold stuff as possible (yogurts, lunch meat, milk, lime-a-ritas for me :) and desensitizing our noses to the smell in the car.  (The day we got to Myrtle Beach, one of the kids knocked over and spilled a cup of coffee in my car.  It smelled horrible!  Each day the smell grew stronger.  What was funny was that everyone had a different idea of what it smelled like.  Arden thought it smelled like blueberry muffins (nuh-uh) which is good that she LIKED the smell since she has a weak stomach.  I thought it smelled like rancid hazelnut.  Halle said it smelled like rotten mushrooms with a side of bleu cheese.  Brian agreed with Halle.)  

I read a James Patterson book on the way home while Arden mastered Subway Surfers.

We stopped in Mobile, Alabama for the night.  It was unbelievable how nice of an inn we stayed in Mobile compared to the one in Atlanta.  The differences were like night and day, and they were the same price!
Arden going for a spin on the cart.  By the end of the trip she was a pro at working the elevator and driving these things.

 We stopped at Chick fil a for dinner.  I've been holding out on Jack with condiments.  He has been just fine eating all of his past chicken nuggets dry and boring.  He didn't know the difference of how dreamy ketchup or barbecue sauce of Chick-fil-a sauce could make a nugget.  I mean, what he doesn't know won't hurt him.  I've resisted introducing it to him because frankly, it's one less mess I have to clean up!  If he had ketchup then there would be ketchup everywhere!  
I should have let Brian in on my anti-sauce agenda, but I didn't.  See, it wasn't one of those things that I was cognitively aware I was doing.  Until, "Noooooooooo!  Don't give it to him!" came out of my mouth at Chick-fil-a.  Too late.  Jack had his first taste of ketchup heaven and the lure of double dipping before him.  So now the ketchup barrier is broken and is a must-have for Jack.  And salsa.  And ranch.  And anything else that he can dip into.  :)

Well that was our trip to Myrtle Beach!  We had a fantastic week!  There were a few mishaps, but overall it was an excellent vacation.  I wouldn't change a thing, from the horrible motel in Atlanta to the rainy family photos.  The whole vacation gave us lots of fun AND funny memories; and I'm glad I have a blog to look back and laugh at it.

Myrtle Beach- Part 6 Food and Fotos

Food and Photos

Food:  We ate most of our meals in our hotel room.  We had a kitchen so we stocked up at Walmart when we first arrived.
This made me laugh.  Instead of there being a McDonalds inside their Walmart there was a Blimpie sandwich shop.

One of the few meals we ate out was at Mammy's.  It was known to have the best breakfast buffet.  They were right.  Great buffet!  Bacon cooked just right, lots of fresh fruit, and every breakfast item in between.

Arden enjoying watermelon

"This is better than that turkey bacon crap Mama gives me."

ready to chow down.

And he's done!

On every corner of Myrtle beach was a waffle house.  And then you had the NHOP.

We wanted (and by "we" I mean "I") to get some family pictures on the beach.  We needed to wake up early and get down to the beach around 6 am because we (again "I") wanted to get the sunrise in the background.  Also the beach was not crowded that early in the morning.  So we got up and decked out in our finest beach wear.  After an hour of primping ourselves we started to head out.  We stepped onto the balcony to get our first shots.  And it was raining!!!!  We didn't check the weather.  Turned out it would be raining for the next few days.  Ughhhh.  So we shedded our clothes and went back to bed.  

The next day: knowing that we wouldn't get any sunrise shots with the overcast sky I decided my family would be ready for pictures ALL day.  When there was a clearing (I was tracking the hour by hour rain percentanges on my phone) we would stop what we were doing and get some quick shots on the beach.  So during the afternoon there was a small window of opportunity.  We're in the car and I'm rushing Brian to get to the closest beach access.  Jack is asleep in the car and is cranky when I wake him up.  We grab the best shots we can in the misting, windy weather.  I'm aggravated that the situation is not perfect and now my hair is horrible.  Arden isn't cooperating and we are just one big mess.  

I then ask Halle to get some shots of Brian and I together on the beach.  You know, the romantic-couple-on-the-beach kind of pictures.  Brian is annoyed that I'm making him kiss me over and over on the beach because people are walking by and staring.  Halle snaps about twenty pictures.  It's starting to pour again and we rush to the car, me trying to protect my camera, and Brian trying to get the sandy kids in.  I go to review my pictures.... and there's NONE of Brian and me.  Halle wasn't holding down the button long enough for the picture to take.  Ahhhhhhh!  I'm so irritated at this point.  I'm mad at her for not taking it right and frustrated at myself for not clearly explaining it to her.  And I'm just really irritated at the whole situation.  I'm seriously feeling like the Griswolds at this point, but at least the guy that offered to take our picture didn't run off with our camera.  (But the first one he snapped was at the exact time that a huge wave hit us.) Hahaha!


About an hour later the rain died down again and we scrambled out of the car (again) so Halle could grab some shots of Brian and me.  
Not quite the shot I was going for.  The hotels weren't supposed to be in the background and Brian was supposed to look like he was madly in love.  :)

My poor family has to deal with my quirky photo-shoot persistence and perfectionism (and I wonder where Arden gets her persistence from :).  AND to top it off my computer crashed so I lost my Photoshop.  Oh well.  We got some decent shots out of it all.  Here's a sampling.   


Myrtle Waves- Part 5C Nostalgia Park

Nostalgia Park:

Nostalgia park was nestled in another Boardwalk area.  This Boardwalk was more like Kemah.  It had lots of restaurants to choose from,  a speedboat you could take a ride on, Ripley's Aquarium, and other atractions.    We had fun just walking around.

Wonderworks which is a place designed to mess with your sense of balance and equilibrium.  The outside looks like an upside down building.   We didn't go here because we had the Littles, but it looked like a fun place for older kids Halle's age.

My favorite ride at Nostalgia park.  The swings.  Brian was too worried around his swing breaking off so he only rode once (and almost had a heart attack.)  Halle and I rode it multiple times.

Balloon hats 

There were carp under the boardwalk just waiting for you to give them some of the fish food available for purchase.  Brian is teasing them by waving his hand out to them.  That's why their mouths are all open.  

Enjoying a classic carousel ride

Jack riding the carousel
posing for a picture on the boardwalk

this looked really fun.  You could get inside one of these inflatables and roll around the water

Jack tasting cotton candy for the first time. 
Brian, Arden, and Halle's favorite ride.  The centrifugal force made the inside riders squish the outside riders.  Arden and Halle thought this was super funny.

"Daddy, you need to wear the balloon hat.  Please!!!!"

Myrtle Beach - Part 5B Myrtle Waves Waterpark

Myrtle Waves Waterpark:
We lucked out on our waterpark day.  It was overcast enough to scare off most waterpark visitors so the park was practically empty.

I was proud of Arden for riding some of the bigger slides.  She's over 42 inches which means she's tall enough to go on most.  She's an adrenaline junky in the making.  Or at least I'm trying to make her become one.  

Jack did NOT like having a life jacket on.  Here he's letting me know all about it.

There were lots of kid splash areas for the Littles to play in

Once Jack realized how fun the slides were he wanted to ride over and over and over.  We rode the yellow slide together about ten times.  Then it was Brian's turn to ride over and over and over with him.

Jack and Brian floating the lazy river

While Halle and Brian were riding some of the bigger slides Arden made some friends.  Arden, "those are my new best friends!  I love them!"  Me, "Oh yeah, what are their names?"  Arden, "I don't know."

Monday, September 16, 2013

Myrtle Beach- Part 5 Nascar Park

We bought a three-park-pass for our family.  The three parks were the Nascar Speedpark, Myrtle Waves Waterpark, and a carnival type park called Nostalgia park.

Nascar Park:  This had seven different go-kart tracks, rides, and a gameroom.

What I loved about this park is that there was a go-kart track for Arden's age!  It was so stinkin cute to watch her try to drive all by herself!  The first time she rode she was the only one on the track....which was good because she was TERRIBLE!  She barely touched the gas so the go-kart went about 0.5 miles an hour.  And she kept running into the side.  I felt sorry for the poor worker because he kept having to run over and pull her kart away from the wall.  It was hilarious.  The second time she was much better and only got stuck once.  She absolutely loved it.  She wore a little helmet and concentrated really hard on her driving.  It was super cute to watch my four year old drive.
Had there been a yellow car available she would have chosen it.
Halle was also able to drive by herself, and was even tall enough to drive a double-kart.  She was really good.  Her Mario Kart skills really paid off.  Not as good as her mama, but close!

Halle put her rock climbing skills to use on the rock wall
There was a Big Boy track too.  Brian did this one.  It required a helmet and you did it individually.  You were also timed.
Brian getting into the little bitty "stock car"
and he's off!

My adrenaline junky daughter had a ticket to ride the Sky Coaster.  I talked the worker into giving us a two for one deal so I got to ride with her!  This is a major achievement for me because I NEVER sweet talk my way out of anything or into getting anything free.  Some people like my friend, Nik, has a gift for that. I don't.  I was very proud of myself!

There were a lot of kiddie rides suited for Arden.  Since we had wristbands, the rides were unlimited.  At one point while we were waiting for Halle and Brian, Arden rode this ride about twenty times without getting off.  There was no one else in line so the worker let them stay on for a really long time.  Naturally my talkative kid made a friend while on there.
Arden chatting it up with her new friend.

 Anytime there was a yellow car available to ride, you better believe Arden was going to pick it.

I had to add this one of Brian riding on the Car-ousel (see what I did right there? :)  Instead of horses they had motorcycles and instead of carriage seats they had cars
And finally, Jack did some racing of his own.  He was being a booger toward the end of the day, so this was the only thing that would keep him happy.

Myrtle Beach - Part 4 Boardwalk

The boardwalk:
the skywheel seen from our hotel.

One evening the girls and I took a walk around Myrtle Beach toward the Sky-wheel.  Jack was napping so Brian stayed behind.  We could easily see the Skywheel from our hotel so we decided to just head that way and ride it....and see if there was anything else fun to do while there.  It was about a fifteen minute walk from our hotel.  Once we got there I realized it was a boardwalk area packed with tourist-y shops, rides, ziplines, carnival type food joints, a haunted house, Ripleys Believe it or Not, and free shows.  I checked the price of the Skywheel and it was $13 per person.  Ummmm, no.  Unless it came with a meal I wasn't going to spend $40+ for a glorified ferris wheel ride.  So we just took pictures by it instead.  :)

Our trip to the sky wheel wasn't wasted, though, because there were moonwalks set up for kids to play on and a juggling act.  The boardwalk is sponsored by all of the surrounding restaurants and businesses to attract tourists, so the show was free.  And it was an impressive thirty minute show!  The guys were funny and it was entertaining to watch.
The jugglers were called the Blue Tie Guys, I think.  They were so fun!

As we walked around we saw these teeny rental cars.  Halle really wanted us to get one.  Arden wanted it because it was yellow.
you can see that it's smaller than a golf cart. 

We also walked around the "I Love Sugar" candy shop nearby.
Halle posing with a Five Pound Gummy Bear.  They had all sorts of oversized sweets.

Every song they played was candy related.  "I love candy," "Lollipop" etc.
We returned with Brian a couple of days later.  This is when Halle and I rode the Slingshot!  I haven't done the slingshot since a trip to Destin Beach in highschool.  It's my favorite ride.  I absolutely love that Halle is a thrill seeker, too, and rode it with me.

The Slingshot is a ride that bungees you 300 feet into the air at 100 miles per hour.
that little black dot at the top of the pic is the seat after it's bungeed into the air
  The last night we returned to the boardwalk for dinner.  Arden wanted a hotdog.  We ordered her the adult meal because it was only $1 more than the kids meal.  I really wish I could have captured her face when the waitress set the hot dog down in front of her.  She eats very little, so she was worried about having to eat the whole thing.  No worries because her brother (who eats double to triple the amount of food) helped her with it.