Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Keeping up traditions

Okay, this is the last beach post.

There's a souvenir shop that has been in Myrtle Beach as long as I've been alive. Longer, actually. The store opened in 1946 and claims to be "the nation's largest gift shop." It has 26,000 square feet of ... stuff. The stock includes novelty gifts, such as brushes for bald men or whoopy cushions, an Elvis corner, tons of sea shells and things made out of sea shells, ocean-themed home decor and of course postcards and toys. 

The front door is on the Grand Strand, and the back door opens onto a boardwalk just across the dunes from the ocean. The store is built on all kinds of levels. They're not really floors or stories, but sort of half-story platforms - each one about eight steps up or down from each other.

I got my fill of the store when I was a kid, but since Jeff has only been there one time, it's still quite the novelty for him. And of course, he wanted to share this kitschy goodness with his parents.

Biscuit and I walked around for a while, then we met up with my mother-in-law. All three of us were ready to wrap up our tour of the store, so we walked out the back door onto the boardwalk.

Jeff and his dad wandered around for quite a while, but Biscuit, Grandma and I just enjoyed the nice ocean view.

Biscuit looked down onto the beach and started calling me, "Mom! Mom!" he shouted. "Come look! It's a wedding!"

I went over and looked and saw a bunch of bridesmaids and groomsmen being arranged by a photographer.

"I see her! I see her!" Biscuit yelled.

I knew who he was talking about, but of course I had to play along.

"Who do you see?" I asked.

"The bride, Mom!" he said. 

"How do you know she's the bride?" I asked him.

"Moooooom," he said. "She's the one wearing the white dress."

"Oh yeah," I said. "Of course."

"I don't see the groom, though." he said. "All the boys are wearing the same color suits. I think the groom should have to wear a different color like the bride does."

"That's a good idea," I told him. "You'll have to remember that when you get married one day."

"Yeah," he said, "because you just can't tell which one of those guys she married. ... Of course, I guess she'll just latch on to one of them."

I wish I had thought to ask him to explain what he meant by that comment, but I realized that if the photographer was taking pictures toward the sunset using a flash, that I might get a good picture of Biscuit in the same light.

I think I've said it before, but Biscuit doesn't offer tooth smiles much anymore. He thinks his teeth look weird. He's crazy, of course, but I don't want to push him if he's feeling self-conscious.

I said something that made him smile and snapped away. And I got this cute shot. The thing is, he smiles and laughs the majority of the time, but I just haven't been able to capture that in pictures a lot lately.

And then, as he usually does, he found a way to be a daredevil!

When I was making our Christmas card this year, I spent a lot of time looking for a picture of Jeff, Biscuit and me together. The only ones I could find were selfies with all three of our faces squished up. So this year, I vowed that we would have some real pictures of the three of us together.

Grandpa got us in focus and everything.

The sun was going down and so was the temperature, so we took a quick stroll farther down the boardwalk and headed back to the car. Then off to dinner.

We had a really good trip, despite some clouds and rain. Like they say, a rainy day at the beach is better than a sunny day at home!

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