Thursday, October 27, 2011

Back to the Midwest for Andy's Wedding

We are presently in Columbus, Ohio for Friday might's wedding of Gary’s son, Andy.  We drove the car up and left the motor home behind in Myrtle Beach.  Lakewood campground is only charging us $5 a day for the days we are gone.  What a great park they are!

Driving from South Carolina to Ohio at this time of year we saw all kinds of beautiful foliage.  The colors were especially beautiful in the mountains where it is peak color season.

We took Alley with us.  Just look at our kitty lying on a pillow on my lap as we were driving along.  Poor thing barely got any sleep during the entire trip and especially for one used to sleeping 18 hours a day.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day Trip to Wilmington, NC

This past Saturday we made the small journey up the coast to Wilmington.  We talked about going there every time we had ever been to Myrtle Beach, and this time we finally did it.  What a vibrant water front area.  There were restaurants, shops, tours, boats and ships on the Cape Fear River, a river walk, and tons of people.  The river was obviously the hub of entertainment activity for this city.

But it made us think of how Detroit has never really been able to capitalize on its riverfront.  Mayor Archer tried to anchor an entertainment district by trying to buy riverfront land for the permanent sites for the three casinos, but that failed when the courts ruled that the city would have to pay for the land at prices that it would be worth with the casinos already there.   So, it didn’t happen and now the land is worth less than ever.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Class of 2011

In prior blog posts, we have mentioned Escapees, the premier organization of full time RVers.  One of their services is an internet forum covering a wide range of subject areas ranging from beginning RVing to internet access on the road to RV housekeeping.  One woman posts yummy recipe after recipe all of which she has made in her fifth wheel kitchen.

Gary has spent many hours on these forums researching the multitude of the things we needed to know and to decide in going full time.  Our cell phone and internet technology and our satellite system are almost fully based on information gleaned from this site.

One of the forums is “graduating to full timing”.  Each year there is a “class” of the people who are going to launch as full timers in that year.  We are members of the “Class of 2011”.  Many other people who have and will become full timers in 2011 post in this thread.  There is a certain kinship with those who are launching with you.  We have noticed that people keep posting in their class threads years after they have launched and sometimes arrange get togethers with class mates and meet up on the road and at rallies.

This past week, we met our first set of classmates – heyduke.  We met at a Myrtle Beach Sports CafĂ© and played as a team in their weekly live trivia competition.  We had lots to talk about and questions for each other.  We were very glad that we decided to get together and may well meet up again sometime and somewhere in Florida this winter.  And we will hope to meet some of our other classmates in various locations in the future.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Family Visitors

We received a surprise email that Gary’s sister and brother in law would be passing through Myrtle Beach on a driving vacation.  They were taking in a few destinations in the southeast and Myrtle Beach was one of them.  Monday evening they came over to the campground and saw our motor home that they hadn’t seen before.  Then we all went out to our favorite Myrtle Beach BBQ – Sticky Fingers for dinner.  It was very nice to have family visitors.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Go Back In The Water

After the Lions disappointing first loss of the season, we went down for a walk on the beach and much to our dismay the water line was littered with....................JELLYFISH

We saw probably a hundred of them in a half mile walk or so.  Can't chance the sting from one of these so no ocean until they are gone.

A Man and His Kite

Not a whole lot to report but with this posting title and picture, the weather clearly has taken a turn back to the good after a bout with a subtropical storm that hit us with sheets of rain and wind.

We will be in Myrtle Beach for another week, before heading north in the car to attend the wedding of Gary’s son, Andy, in Columbus, Ohio.  When we return to Myrtle Beach we will spend one more week here at the beach.   Our Par 3 golfing could use a bit more work and we may even step up to an executive length course.

After years of our hobby of attending garage and estate sales on weekends, we couldn’t take not going any longer and yesterday hit the Myrtle Beach garage sale scene.  Gary snared a new putter and a $3 beach umbrella.  I found a small cooler to replace one we apparently lost in the storm winds.  We had said our garage sale days were over now that we are living in a motor home, but old habits die hard.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Myrtle Beach Campgrounds

Gary here for this post.  After our last post, Heyduke50 asked for our input on Myrtle Beach campgrounds. 

We are staying at Lakewood Camping Resort (the second time we have stayed here) which is a bit south of the city.  It is what I would consider one of the big four campgrounds here with the others being Ocean Lakes and Pirateland very near to Lakewood, and Myrtle Beach Travel Park (we stayed there once) which is north of the city.

These four campgrounds are all located at the beach.  They are massive and have loads of amenities.    They all have permanent residents in addition to the transients.  In the summertime, they command $60 to $70 a night.  This time of year they are more in the $45 to $50 a night range, but we chose Lakewood because they gave us what we considered a fantastic rate of $25 a night when we prepaid a 30 night stay (with all the taxes, fees, etc., it is more like $30 a night).  We had a slight preference for Myrtle Beach Travel Park, but they wouldn’t even consider matching the rate.  Their best was 7 nights for the price of six which still would have made it over $40 a night plus taxes and fees.

There are a few other options.  Apache is also on the beach, but I just don’t have the impression it measures up to the “Big 4”.  There are also the KOA and Briarcliffe, but they are off the beach  (Briarcliffe is Passport America affiliated).  And there are also two state parks – Myrtle Beach (without any sewer hookups) and Huntington Beach in Murrell’s Inlet which does have some full hookups and could be a very viable option if you are not staying a month and you can get it (seems to be very popular offseason).

Here is the link for RVParkReviews for Myrtle Beach.  We use this site a lot for user reviews on camp grounds.  And we need to start contributing to it as well.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Ah, The Beach, Myrtle Beach That Is

Wow, we have been at Myrtle Beach for a week already.  Time flies when you are sitting at the beach in 80 degree weather (well, at least it was in the 80s last week).

Our campground is right at the Atlantic Ocean.  Our campsite is about a hundred yards from the water.

There is so much to do in Myrtle Beach – shopping, eating, entertainment, activities, etc.  We have gotten the golf clubs out of the cargo carrier for the first time during the trip.  We have played some golf at a nearby par 3 course.  And for the first time playing this year, we have played reasonably well, for us at least.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Smokey Mountains

On our way to Myrtle Beach, we stopped for a few days in the Smokey Mountains.    On the road through the National Park, we actually caught brief glimpses of a black bear foraging along the side of the road. 

After visiting the park we decided to take a shortcut back to our campsite.  The road was very winding with switchbacks every 100 feet or so.  At one point, the pavement ended and we were driving on a dirt one-lane road not knowing where we would end up.  Finally, we reached pavement again and were relieved to be back in civilization.

We enjoyed Asheville a lot.  It is a very vibrant city.  We passed on visiting the Biltmore as it costs $55 each for admission.  Advanced purchase of tickets could have lowered it to $45, but for our budget would have felt better at about $30.   And then we could well pass through there again sometime.