A Week in Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is one of the places I’ve always wanted to visit. I’d heard people mention how wonderful it is there, yet I’d never seen it for myself.

Ken and I try to take a nice summer vacation every year. Three years ago, we took short trips to California and Florida. Two years ago, we went to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. Last year we didn’t go anywhere, because I got a job in Baltimore after graduating college and we were focused on moving and settling in. So this was the year for Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

(I hope we can visit Florida and Georgia next year; I would love to see Florida’s beaches and the Kangaroo Conservation Center in Georgia.)

We drove through the outer edge of Hurricane Irene on Saturday morning, but luckily it wasn’t any worse than a windy, rainy day in rural Delaware. And once Ken took over at the wheel, I managed to get some cool pictures of the edge of the storm.

Hurricane clouds.

Once we passed through the hurricane, the weather for perfect. The condo we rented was right across the street from the beach, which was where we spent most of our vacation. Myrtle Beach feels so much cleaner than the beaches I’ve been to in Maryland, New Jersey, and Delaware. The water was warm, the sand was soft, and you could walk out during high tide and the waves never came above your shoulders. But low tide was my favorite – the water receded at least 50 feet, as far as your could walk out during high tide, and the waves rolled in over our ankles. We walked around in the warm, shallow water, watching small fish swimming and small clams digging back into the sand.

Low tide in the morning.

Low tide in the evening.

And the pelicans! I have no idea why, but I love pelicans, more than any other sea bird. There aren’t many in Delaware, but the Carolinas are full of them. On our last day in Myrtle Beach, I was lucky enough to get a picture of a flock flying overhead.

Flock of pelicans.

We also visited a family-owned zoo, watched fireworks on the beach by the boardwalk (we didn’t take a ride in the Sky Wheel, the ferris wheel in the background, but I’ve been promised a return visit for that), went horseback riding on the beach, took a helicopter ride, and explored the town.

Yes, we are very sunburnt!

The Waccatee Zoo was pretty much a giant petting zoo. Except for the lions, tigers, and bears… All the animals seemed fat and happy (probably because visitors can purchase bags of feed at the entrance for them).

Herd of bison.

Gandalf the lion. Fun fact: Lions are inactive for roughly 20 hours a day.

Taking a dust bath!

Clyde the camel. He was very sweet.

Some of the animals, particularly the donkeys and miniature horses, and one very adorable llama, had this trick of tilting their heads back and opening their mouths so you could pour the feed into their mouths.

Lazy… or smart?

I dubbed the donkey in the middle Mullet.

Horseback riding on the beach was something I’d always wanted to do. We went to a stable about 45 minutes north of Myrtle Beach called Inlet Point Plantation.

I’m a bit nervous when it comes to horses I don’t personally know, but I rode a small gray gelding named Ace, who was sure-footed and unflappable. He plodded along, much slower than the other horses, but I was just happy he was calm and quiet.

Over the bridge.

Looking out on the marsh.

Ken and Sugar.

Over the dunes.

We were so slow Ken and Sugar passed us.

They had a photographer who met us on the beach in her four-wheeler and took hundreds of pictures, which we purchased after the ride. She took some of Ken and I separately, and together.

Our group on the beach.

Ken and I.

We were told we photograph well together.

Ken and Sugar again. She’s such a pretty girl.

Apparently Ace does this to everyone!

The helicopter ride was also a blast. I’d never ridden in a helicopter before and was a little nervous. (I hate planes.) But I loved it and wish we could’ve taken a longer flight. It was a nice way to end our vacation.

Myrtle Beach from above.

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