A perfect day.
Saturday, September 13, 2008 - as perfect a day as one could imagine at the beach. Blue skies, 90+ degrees, light breezes, 86*+ water temps - and very few tourists! We went out to the beach around 9:30 am; got in the warm water, and didn't get out for nearly four hours. There was a sand bar near the shore, so we went out about 50 yards and the waves were warm, light and not so close together that you couldn't recover your balance between them. As I said, it was perfect. The only thing that could have made it better was someone waiting on the shore to dispense free cold drinks of our choice.
Our party consisted of my daughter and four of my grandkids (her nieces and nephews), ranging in age from almost 9 to 14. One downside was that the two boys refused sunblock and lived to regret it; especially since one of them was infected with poison ivy. Areas of poison ivy rash topped off with sunburn does not make a happy kid, especially when he has to apply gel on the rash. I used sunblock, but apparently I forgot my ears and my chest, which are currently the color of ripe watermelon (but not nearly so juicy, thank Heaven!) I am sure they will be when the blisters burst out, though. The other downside was that we drove down there in my mini-van, which is not really large enough for six people and all the luggage for them, plus chairs, a sleeping bag, a cooler and a blanket. Next time we will need to rent an RV or pile the luggage on top of the car!
When my kids were younger, we went on a vacation and used a car-top carrier to pack most of our luggage. Mr. kenju didn't anchor it properly atop our then full-sized van, and every time we went over a bump, or the wind was strong, the carrier lifted and dropped down on the car with a loud thump. Finally we stopped on the side of a highway and discovered that he had fastened the straps over the luggage rack, instead of under. Once we re-positioned it, it worked well. You might want to file away that little tip for future trips.
I was every bit as impressed with Marriott's Grand Dunes (at Myrtle Beach) this time, as I was when we were there back in June. They gave us a "handicapped" room, which was larger than the ones we had before and very spacious, especially the bathroom. The only quarrel I would have with them is the fact that they put chocolate chips and whipped cream on their breakfast buffet. Children do not often make good food choices, and ours were no exception since their parents were not there to hold the reins. My admonitions to take no more than you can reasonably eat at one sitting fell on deaf ears. I felt responsible, and therefore I had to eat more than I normally would (bacon, fruit and muffins) just to keep them from going to waste. I drew the line on the chocolate chips, though, as they are not in my breakfast menu, ever! What about you?