Back in the day (you know, January), driving 500 miles was no big thing for us. However, this time to drive from Orlando to Myrtle Beach we made it a 2 stop trip. The first stop was Pecan Park RV Resort
in Jacksonville and the next stop was a farm in Johns Island, SC (part of the Harvest Hosts
system). Overall, it was nice to break up the drive and the farm was pretty awesome.
|The drive to the farm|
Getting to Pecan Park was a little exciting. We left Thousand Trails Orlando
after I worked and we had dinner. We figured that we would get a jump on the drive and had overnighted at Pecan Park before. First, my family was hungry for a "snacks" (aka, second dinner) and we stopped at Chick-fil-a
. Pretty unusual for me, but I took a bite out of a curb pulling into the shopping center. No damage and slow speed, but I was still mad at myself for it.
But the real coup de grace came a little bit later. With Logan doing the potty training thing, when he announces that he has to pee- we rush to find somewhere to pull over. It's nice having the camper because there's always a bathroom 30' away, but I still have to find somewhere to park safely. I took an exit and pulled over on the entrance ramp. There was a big rig already parked like that and we pulled over ahead of it. To get off of the road, I had to get uncomfortably close to a line of reflectors (metal reflectors on metal posts). I took Logan back to do his thing, got us back in the truck, and started back onto the road. The problem is tail swing
- when you turn left, the tail of your trailer goes to the right. And while I knew this and tried to gently pull onto the road, I was just too close to the reflectors. One caught my rear passenger-side slide. So now I have another war wound and a story to tell.
|The mark of a tailswing kiss|
Oh well, stuff happens.
We continued the fun when we opened a slide and found that something gouged the floor. Better yet, that something was a screw. That screw was one that I added when I was fixing up some drawer hardware.
|I love when it's my fault.|
Oh well, stuff happens.
Pulling out of Pecan Park was surprisingly tricky with an ill-placed light pole. To get passed it, the tail swing would have put the back corner of the camper into the concrete bench at the concrete table at the site. The bench was a bear to move- heavy and it came apart on me! At least we knew to watch for it and didn't make contact.
|Our site at Pecan Park|
|I'm betting I can go back through pictures|
of past years and find the kids sitting
on this same "chair".
We headed on towards Mrytle Beach and stopped the night at a farm. The farm participates in the Harvest Hosts program
(which we love
). Because of that, I can't tell you the name. Rules are for losers. What I can tell you is that it is a farm in Johns Island, SC. We sat and talked with sisters who are some of the family who run the farm for quite a while. They had a little playground and the parking area was a nice wide open field/space. They do a rent-a-chick exchange program where people can rent a baby chicken for 2 weeks. This lets people see them in their cute and cuddly state before they turn into big ugly chickens. In exchange, they get a voucher for a free dozen eggs in the fall once the hens grow up. The sisters told us that a lot of teachers get them, but so do many families. We got to see the transformation that the chicks make in 2 weeks - it's pretty remarkable!
|Their first looks at the chicks|
|He loved the little playground|
|Logan did good, nice and gentle|
|Paige wanted one, of course|
|They were so fluffy!|
|Very nice, level and quiet at night|
While we were there, the alone-ness and curiosity got the best of us. We tried some emergency exits from the camper. What we found is pretty alarming- it's WAY harder to exit than we ever would have guessed. We have lots of work ahead of us there AND need to get a better setup/handle on smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and whatnot. Videos: Kid #1
, Kid #2
, Me #1
, Me #2
, Me #3
The next morning, we said goodbye to our new friends and headed for Ocean Lakes in Mrytle Beach
. We stayed for a long weekend, getting there on Saturday and heading out on Tuesday. The weather was cool but not incredibly cold. While we were only there for a short time, we packed a lot of stuff in.
First, parking. All of the spots are pull throughs, but the roads are snug and the spots aren't super deep. Our site was right about 45' long- which meant the camper fit tip to tail and the truck had to be parked in the grass. Fortunately our site was pretty wide. It's a beach campground, what can you do?
It's nice having a helper with my stabilizers. The kids are starting to learn the steps to setting up.
|She does good!|
A walk on the beach found a crap-ton of jellyfish washed up. But it was windy and the sand stingy, so our total beach time lasted about 20 minutes for our days there. Funny because I picked a site that was as close as possible to the beach!
|Such a cutie|
|Not many people were out|
|Nasty foot for size reference|
|Seeing them triggered his, "poke it with a stick" response|
|It was THAT windy|
Being cheap, we opted not to pay for mini-golf, but we did go for a walk through the arcade and on the mini-golf course.
|Preparing for the Ride For Kids since we'll be in Baltimore for it|
|Lots of water hazards|
|This boy takes the difficult, but fun, path|
|We might even have turned the machine on|
The campground cleared out a LOT on Sunday and by Monday morning, we actually had an ocean view site.. but only for a short while.
|And then a little later, someone pulled in and blocked most of it again|
Breakfast was farm fresh meat and eggs from Johns Island. We coupled it with the homemade jam from the Grandma at Clerbrook
And then we went exploring. Our first stop was Myrtle Beach State Park
. It's a really nice park with a campground feel to it. After driving the campground, we did some geocaching and found 2 caches near the store there.
|We way over thought one and ended up checking|
under the pier.
|It ended up being out front and "easy" to find.|
|OMG! It's a shark!|
Next up was one of those "we have everything" gift shops. We don't ever buy much of anything at these and they're all alike, but I do enjoy wandering through them. Here we checked out some of the wares:
|He's ready to shred some waves!|
|She's still a Maryland Girl.|
We ended our day walking around at Broadway At The Beach
which is a shopping plaza around a lake. We were mostly just window shopping and going for a walk. They did have a Ridemakerz store
- which is much like Build-a-bear
, only with R/C cars. You spend a whole lot of money, but you get to build a car. We first found Ridemakerz in Branson and now have been to all 3 locations
(Branson, Disneyland, and this one in MB). We didn't get anything, though the kids REALLY tried! We did learn some tips to keep our car in it tip-top shape.
|What can I say? They're strict on the rules|
and we're a couple of badasses.
|We saw one fish and thought it was weird that it bobbed|
with its head above the water.
|My little shopper.|
Our last day there was a work day for me. It was chilly, but I made use of this pavilion that overlooked the beach. Pretty uncomfortable, but quite beautiful to work and look out over the ocean.
|I won't lie, it was fairly uncomfortable. But worth it.|
It was cut short by a call from Mandie telling me that something was wrong with Logan and I needed to come back right away. Turns out, he caused himself nursemaid's elbow
. We headed for an Urgent Care just down the street. We experienced nursemaid's elbow with Paige and were sort of familiar with it. We also knew that the moment it popped back into place, they're instantly pain free and there's nothing else to be done. Fortunately, as I was getting Logan out of his carseat at the urgent care, it popped back into place. We didn't realize it until after we signed in but fortunately did before registering and giving insurance information. Once we knew it was back into place, we rolled out of there and celebrated with some McDonald's.
We ended the night with me taking the kids to the arcade at the campground while Momma did laundry. I spent way too much money on some Army men and random other trinkets of junk. But, the kids and I had fun. And... Mom, well, I like to believe she got some peace and quiet to herself. That's a thing, right? That's good enough to not have help for laundry, right?
|Flying ping pong balls of glory|
|Maybe it was a little big for him|
|Whack a shark!|
The next morning, we got up and made our way up the road to Mike and Ginny's house. I'll cover that next time. (cough) hopefully not in 2 months (cough)
As usual, Flickr is filled with these photos and more