Monday, January 11, 2016

Happy New Year at the beach

For the past few years, we've taken Jeff's parents to the beach for the weekend closest to New Year's. We usually go to the beach where we got married. And I love that beach. It's quiet and peaceful and not too commercial.

But my dear husband decided that his parents needed to experience Myrtle Beach.

I grew up going to Myrtle. It was 2 1/2 hours from my parents' house, and that was THE go-to beach for everyone in our town. The biggest employer in the area was the mill, which included a textile plant where they made towels, comforters, sheets, etc., a bleachery, a shipping operation and more. And the mill actually owned a stretch of land and beach at south end of Myrtle Beach. If you worked at the mill, you could get a discount on the rooms there. I have the best memories of that place.

But Myrtle Beach is not like it used to be. It's all built up and commercial now. You can ride down stretches of the Grand Strand (the road that runs parallel to the ocean) without being able to actually see the ocean. It's wall-to-wall hotels.

But hey, it was January, so it wasn't too terribly crowded. And they do have an ocean there, so you can't go wrong with that.

We went to my parent's house the day after Christmas, then came home Sunday. But we left Biscuit down there. Our plan was to detour on our way to the beach and pick him up. But then my brother said he was taking his family to the same beach. They were going Wednesday, and he said they would just take Biscuit with them, then we could pick him up Thursday (New Year's Eve) when we got checked in.

I wasn't prepared for Biscuit to go to the beach, so he didn't have any shorts or a bathing suit. Now, the temperature here has been in the 30s and low 40s here this week, but the Wednesday before New Year's, the high temperature was close to 80 degrees!

So when I called to check in with Biscuit that Wednesday evening and asked him what he did that day, he was all excited to tell me. 

"Mom!" he said. "We went to the beach and played in the sand. Then we came back and went to the indoor heated pool. ... And then we went swimming."

My sister-in-law had already told me that there weren't many people at the pool, so she let Biscuit swim in his underwear.

So I said, "Wait a minute. How did you go swimming when you didn't have a bathing suit?"

"Mom!" Biscuit said. And then he started whispering. "I went swimming in my underwear."

"You did what?!" I asked. And he giggled and giggled.

The hotel I picked for us was just across a creek from where we stayed when I was a kid. That creek was always a border for us. We could walk under the pier and as far as the creek, but that was the border of how far we could go. It felt really weird being on the other side of the creek!

The reason I picked the hotel was because they had an indoor waterpark that's open all year round. So that sounded right up Biscuit's alley.

I'll share a bunch of beach pictures (just like I always do), but for today, here are some pictures of Jeff and Biscuit playing in the water.

Biscuit is getting braver and braver in the pool. Good
thing he started swimming lessons this week.

"Stay right there, Dad," Biscuit yelled just before he jumped.

Biscuit came flying down the slide. I think there was more
water than he was expecting, so it took him a minute to recover.

Then Jeff talked Biscuit into going down the
big slide.Biscuit said he enjoyed it, but he quickly said
he didn't want to go back down again.

You could see Jeff immediately. I was thinking Jeff might have
dropped the boy off somewhere along the way. And I have
to add that I was standing on a platform to take pictures when
they made it to the bottom. And when they crash-landed at
the bottom, a small tidal wave traveled down this canal, right
over the platform and right onto my pants, socks
and shoes. I was soaked from the knees down!

THERE'S Biscuit!

"Get me out, Dad!" Biscuit said.

Yeah, you can tell he really loved it!

And I think Jeff is just a little bit wetter than he planned to be.

The water slide starts inside. They walked up the stairs and started in that turret with
the blue glass. Jeff and Biscuit rode the red and yellow tube. Then they
ended back inside the building. And did I mention that the water was heated?

ALL of this is our hotel. It's HUGE! From left to right is Tower 3,
Tower 2 and Tower 1. We were on the ninth floor in Tower 1.

Biscuit made it to the bottom of the slide in the kids' area
and took a break to watch all the water raining down.

There was water coming from everywhere. Do you see the green buckets on
the very top of the platform? Well, when those thing fill with water, they tip over
and dump a huge splash of water down that runs off of every side of that thing.

Biscuit resisted a little bit, but I made him take a nap that afternoon. He said, "I'm not
sleepy." And then he slept for two hours, and I had to wake him up. But he wasn't tired.

Biscuit enjoyed the second day better because we got him a pair of goggles.

The only thing that kept me from getting shot
was the fact that I was holding our camera!

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