We were going to head straight from the Charlotte area to Charleston.
But then, as we were assessing the map for our route, we noticed Myrtle Beach hanging around – neither of us have ever been. So, we tinkered around with possible parks to stay in Myrtle Beach and Jake found a ‘snow bird special’ rate at the State Park. We love deals. We got very excited and called the nice park host lady and they had openings in the back of the park. The deal was for a month stay, which we weren’t convinced we wanted to commit to. But, paying for a month was a good bit cheaper than paying for just 2 weeks – this is actually a pretty typical thing in the RV park reservation world. We figured we’d just vacate when we were ready, and still be on the winning side of the financial situation. However – by the time we booked, the deal turned out to be a bit of a trick. Better than we had been paying, but not as ‘yellow tag’ as we were inclined to believe initially. On top of the base rate price, Myrtle Beach State Park adds State tax, local tax, some tax that pertains to children playing in the park, and then a $2/day booking fee through Reserve America – without the option to reserve through any method other than Reserve America (what is this?!) We sucked it up and took the not so deal ‘deal‘ anyways.
We ended up staying for more than a month. We thoroughly enjoyed Myrtle Beach State Park, even with the stipulation of a space in the back with 30A and without sewer hook-ups. At least being in the back without much in the way of hook-ups meant quiet most of the time.
30A for us basically means that if I want to bake a pie I can’t also blow dry my hair (which I rarely do anyways). Or if I want to make coffee (which I do want to do – everyday), I can’t also enjoy the heat of our electric space heater. The space heater thing usually is not an issue – we would just use our AquaHot heating situation. Except that Jake stole part of the system’s guts and put it in a box with copious amounts of bubble wrap and sent it cross-country to an AquaHot magician. AquaHots are mad cool – they heat your water and your house on wheels quickly and efficiently, but, if you have an AquaHot, it is important to have an AquaHot magician in your life. They are freaking expensive to repair – especially if you have an older unit. Jake can do pretty much everything, and he probably could have coaxed the AquaHot into being regular again, but sometimes AquaHot magician magic is just easier. Since we weren’t anticipating it to be cold in Myrtle Beach most of time, we figured now was the time to get our AquaHot situation (weird noises, slow transitions) taken care of. And, truth be told, it didn’t even get that cold in Myrtle Beach while we were there – it’s just that we’ve grown into giant cold weather wusses and need heat sources if it drops below 55º. Shame.
Not having sewer hook-ups meant that I became really great buddies with our waste water tote tank. This kinda nasty device allows us to wheels our dirty water (and poo water) across the campground in a contained receptacle. So, once our on board dirty water (grey) or poo (black) tanks get full, I hook up the waste water tote and empty our nasty tank water into it. Then I wheel our waste water tote down the road to the dump station, where I transfer the nasty into its final resting place. I repeat this 3-5x until our tanks are almost empty. It’s super great. Jake was pretty nice to me and installed a tow-hitch on the back of the Dude (Jeep) a few stops ago so that I didn’t have to walk waste water tote on foot (“walk of shame- walk of shame!”). Instead, I can drive the tote across the campground, which somehow feels a bit less shameful. Either way, I’m still wheeling our nasty dirty/poo water across the campground for all to see. Shame.
When I wasn’t rotating what electric devices could be turned on or wheeling our poo water across the campground, we spent a lot of time enjoying the campground/State Park itself. The campground was set back in a wooded area, but if you walked 1/4 mile, you could reach the beach. And we ‘reached the beach’ a lot. Being we stayed during the ‘off-season’, we often found ourselves decently alone along the beach, especially when we made it out in time for sunrise. I love sunrise.
Jake also worked on his first RV home brew while we were in Myrtle. Without sewer hookups. This beer better be damned good, because I made at least 6 extra sewer tote trips because of it. (I kid… kind of.) Jake (and Scott) decided to brew some ‘Mexican Jake’ (thanks for the name Scott!), a ‘Mexican Cake’ clone. Mostly because we are well aware that we might never get our paws on another glass of Mexican Cake again (scarcity tactics – ugh). And now, we wait.
After about a day in Myrtle, we kinda figured we’d be staying longer than we had anticipated, so Jake got the great idea to join a local Crossfit gym (you have to shout the word Crossfit in a very deep voice whenever you say it). It had been almost 2 years since we last touched a barbell, or a wall ball or any of the other demonic devices used in a Crossfit box. The first 2 weeks of our new Crossfit (don’t forget to shout) game felt very sore. We used that as an excuse to take many recovery walks along the beach.
I also counteracted the sore of Crossfit by joining a yoga studio for a month. This conveniently tied into my New Year’s goal for this year, which was to do yoga at least once a month. Ok, kind of pathetic, I know, but gotta start somewhere, right?
Being in one place for a month definitely has some perks. In all honesty, it is doubtful that we’ll be able to Crossfit (!!!) if we aren’t staying somewhere for at least around a month – it’s just too damned expensive to pay for drop-ins or the ‘2 week rate’ that some boxes offer (lame).
When we weren’t Crossfitting (!?!?!) or bending around all stealth like in a yoga class, we walked the boardwalk and played tourist, explored nearby towns like Murrell’s Inlet, and ate bagels from literally every bagel shop within a 15 mile radius (poor Jake – I went on a bagel kick).
Jake turned 27 while we were in Myrtle, so we celebrated by ditching Myrtle for the day and heading to Wilmington. We walked about the USS North Carolina for several hours, drank some beer, walked around downtown, ate some seafood, then returned to Myrtle with an additional year of life between the two of us.
Our friend Liz Fox (ok, she used to just be my friend, but now she is also Jake & Lucy’s friend) drove 3 hours down from the Charlotte area to spend an evening with us in Dyna – which was mad cool. She also brought Jake a birthday bottle of Rum – also mad cool. Clearly, we pulled out all the stops. And by that, I mean we pulled out the sofa bed, lit a campfire, and drank a few beers. In the morning before she had to return to Charlotte (important Nascar party to host the next day, apparently), we filled our bellies with delicious non-tourist food at Croissants. We highly recommend Croissants Restaurant/Bakery if you ever find yourself in Myrtle – it was recommended to us, so we’re passing on that gift. We may or may have eaten there at least 3 times during our stay -including for Jake’s very important birthday breakfast meal. The lemon bars are pretty dank.
Before Liz left us, she tried to win us some Pokémon stuffed animals from a crane game down on the boardwalk. Apparently she lies about her crane-game talent because we came home empty handed. Or maybe the games are just rigged. Anyways, we really enjoyed our less than 24 hours with Liz on board – even if she didn’t win us a Pokémon (“Gotta catch most of em’!”)
Conveniently, Jake’s friend and co-worker, Cameron, and his wife Alissa, live in Myrtle Beach. They have a cat named Ollie and he is so cool. We got to hang with Cam & Alissa a little bit, and also with Ollie who is a cool cat. Really – he’s super cool. He gives high-fives and does spin moves on command. Our cat doesn’t do cool tricks, so instead we tried to wow Cam & Alissa with our campfire skills. We ended up back in the rig anyways, because that is where Lucy was hanging out, and well, even if she doesn’t do tricks, she is also a cool cat. Cam & Alissa are fellow cat people, so clearly we spent most of our time bragging about, hanging out with, and discussing the deep, meaningful relationships we have with our cats. (#catlife) We didn’t always just ‘hang out with out cats’. Cam & Alissa invited us to join them at a Bloody Mary festival (awesome, right?!), where we drank many varieties of Bloody Marys – and then bought our cats new catnip toys. Hey, it’s not our fault there was a cat nip toy selling stand at the Bloody Mary Fest.
One sad thing about Myrtle Beach: there is only 1 micro-brewery in the nearby radius. Not that there weren’t a few places to get decent beers on tap, but, there is something about visiting the brewery that really gets us.
One happy thing about Myrtle Beach is they have all you can eat seafood buffets. A LOT of them. I grew up on buffets – I love buffets. Jake, well, he doesn’t. I found out that Myrtle Beach was going to be hosting their marathon a few days before they did, so I signed up. Secretly, I knew that Jake would never deny me a post marathon buffet – what better reason is there to run a marathon on little to no training? He didn’t fail. We went to an awesome seafood buffet after I struggle bussed my way through 26.2 miles of Myrtle Beach. We ate so many crab legs. So many crab legs.
So, it’s been a few paragraphs since I have mentioned cats… Let me fix that.
Our cat, Lucy, was a full-time indoor cat until she became a full-time RV cat. Then, we felt guilty about cooping her up in a 40×10′ space all the time. I mean, it’s cool that she had a giant window (windshield) to look at ever changing scenery but, also, she started getting fat(ter). So, we initially tried ‘walking’ her. She didn’t buy into it at first. So, when we found ourselves in unpopulated, un trafficked places, we started letting her roam about with her leash still attached. We noticed she kept a pretty consistent 50-100m radius path of prowl around Dyna, and would come inside to check on us within an hour of us letting her out. So, it has become out pattern to assess the situation of population (both people and other cats) and traffic when we arrive somewhere new, to see if it is Lucy appropriate. If it isn’t, she is forced to settle for walking on a leash (embarrassing for both of us). Lucky for Lucy, weekdays in February at Myrtle Beach State Park were pretty chill, so she was allowed free reign. We do have to ‘mark her’ with a harness and a name tag, because she tends to find new human friends and ask to be picked up. We don’t want them to ‘accidentally’ take her home.
Anyways, on one of her free-roaming days, Jake heard a bit more commotion outside than normal. As any over-protective cat dad would, he hustled outside to see what was up, just as Lucy was hustling inside with a newly fat face and drool spewing from her tiny cat mouth. We don’t mess around with Lucy. I might fall off the roof of the RV, and we would ‘wait it out’ to see if I need to go to the doctor (hypothetical – hasn’t happened -yet), Lucy gets immediate action. 2 hours and a $225 vet bill later, Lucy was diagnosed with a ‘bee sting’ and prescribed cat Benadryl. She was also banished to the inside of the rig for the remainder of our time in Myrtle Beach – Jake doesn’t mess around with his baby cat.
Lucy and I got to finish up our stay in Myrtle Beach girl party style – Jake had to head up to DC for an all hands work meeting for the final week of our stay. He and Cam drove up together in the Dude and left me with Cam’s MiniCooper. I felt so super fly driving that MiniCooper – I felt like BatBoy. Lucy and I partied super hard – utilizing our unlimited data plan thoroughly while catching up on our chick-flicks. Also, we watched history stuff because she likes to learn about things.
I felt a bigger pang of sadness at leaving a place than usual when we pulled out of Myrtle Beach. Not a big enough pang to stay – I mean, I’ve heard Charleston is pretty rad. And that’s our next stop, so… onward ho!