Sorry, forgot to adjust the font size. I'll get back into the swing of this, somehow.
At any rate, once we got settled in and Jim had a nice, long nap, we went for a walk on the beach. After all, you can't have a vacation on the beach and not walk on the sand when you get there, right? So away we went. And let me tell you, it was beautiful. I haven't been to very many beaches, but so far, Myrtle Beach is my favorite. The sand is soft and clean and fine, and the water is so clear and so green and so warm. I hardly knew what to do with myself. Once we'd had a nice stroll, we ate dinner somewhere truly exotic and fascinatingly new--Friendly's. Yeah, let me tell you how Friendly's is a national chain, and we have one all of five minutes from Jim's place up here in Jersey. Still, it was close to our condo, and we knew the food would be good. And besides, we were thoroughly tired, and really just wanted dinner and bed.
A few words about the condo: it was pretty neat. Other than that, I can tell you that it was definitely decorated by a woman, as there were sprays of fake flowers everywhere. At least they were fairly tasteful. There was a master bedroom and a smaller one, each with its own bathroom. We slept in the master bedroom, and basically ignored the second one. I wish we'd been able to convince some friends to come down, too, but I have to say, it was nice to have time just for Jim and me. Soon enough, we'll be sharing an apartment with a friend and trying to make that work without killing each other. So, yeah. This was wonderful. We were on the sixth floor, with a fairly nice view. You could see the ocean, but there were some other hotels between us and the water. The condo building is about a block and a half from the beach, not a long walk at all. The only downside I can really point out is that the kitchen was really terribly stocked. Obviously, there was no food (it is a rental area, we weren't expecting any), and there were lots of dishes--plates, cups, etc. But the pans and pots and spoons and such for actual cookery were just...sad. I guess Jim and I are weird, but we like to cook together. And when you're on vacation, it's nice to be waited on, but it's also pretty cool to cook dinner and eat something you've made. Ah, well.
Most of our time was spend relaxing; we really didn't do much. Don't get me wrong, that's certainly not a problem. We didn't have too many adventures, but the ones we did were pretty great. On our fourth day, we went parasailing. Basically, you get dragged out to a boat on a raft, hooked up to a huge parachute with a couple of feet of straps and some carabiners, and then they let you go. It was awesome to be up in the air, I've always loved being up high. We could see so much of the water, and so far inland. It was rather pleasant, and lots of fun. And yet, my stomach just didn't approve. Let's just say that there was some gastric unpleasantness, and that the crew on the boat brought us in and had us on our way back to the beach and some anti-nausea stuff pretty quickly.
Our other big adventure was mini-golfing. Sure, it doesn't sound very exciting, but the courses down there are so elaborate, so huge, it's always an adventure. We picked one with a silly name and a huge complex, called "Mt. Atlanticus Minotaur Goff" because, well, we're suckers for silly stuff like that. Jim, being somewhat coordinated, likes to play and be competetive. Me, having just enough coordination to walk, and sometimes run (but only in life-or-death situations), I just thwack the ball around til it makes it into the hole. Aim? Nah. I just thwack it. I don't even let it come to rest before I thwack it again, sometimes. Once I even toed it into the hole, when I thought Jim wasn't looking. It's not cheating if we're not keeping score, right?
Other than that, there was a fantastic dinner at a local restaurant called the Aspen Grille. It was definitely a "nice" restaurant, and not one we could normall afford to patronize. But hell, this was vacation, right? The waiter was nice without being obsequious, and the food was phenomenal. We started with a bruschetta which was tasty, and just a bit sweeter than we were used to, then Jim enjoyed his NY strip steak mightily. I opted for the surf'n'turf, and I enjoyed every bite of that filet and the lobster (surf and turf is a smallish filet mignon and a lobster tail, along with some sides and some pretty garnish-y things). The presentation was gorgeous, I almost felt bad taking it apart to eat it. And yet, it went down pretty easy. We split some bananas foster for dessert (bananas sauteed with butter, brown sugar, banana liquer, and grand mariner, then served with ice cream), and feeling stuffed, headed back to the condo to change and take a stroll on the beach.
I feel not at all guilty about the food we ate down there (not what one would normally consider healthy, balanced meals--we had cheese fries and ice cream for lunch at least once), because we did a lot of walking on the beach and on the strand. We stayed up late watching movies, slept in every morning, and then took naps. We wandered on the beach, we wandered in the town. We used copious amounts of sunblock. All in all, it was a fantastic week, and I have no regrets, nothing I would've changed. Okay, I lied. I would totally have gotten Momolla something made of shells, or maybe a hanging thing with lots of dangly shells. Except, of course, that Jim wouldn't let me, as we've been informed that such a gift would actually be considered an act of war, and met with extreme retaliation. At any rate, it was a fantastic trip, but it's good to be home now, where there's an internet connection. Oh, and my family and friends. Them, too.