I took a very needed break from working, PTA, Girl Scouts, cooking, laundry, cleaning and running kids around in my mommy taxi. We all need a break. We all need a vacation. The main thing I learned this vacation was that I need more of them. You need and deserve a vacation. If you haven’t had one recently, plan one. If you just went on one, I still advise you to plan the next one!
My kids just had Spring break and I really wanted to take them to Florida. I am very good at getting things done but I don’t always plan ahead. My husband told me that he had found good plane tickets and that I didn’t jump on it. Oops! That does sound like me. Months later when I brought it up again the plane ticket prices had gone way up. Seth wasn’t amused with me but the wonderful man that he is, he totally went to book them anyway. I asked him to look for seats before he booked them and there was no way that we were sitting together. Forget it! Flying is not going to happen. We needed to get in our car and go South. I am always up for a car adventure. I have even driven to Florida several times. I knew my family wasn’t going to be willing to drive to Florida, so it was time for Plan B.
Do you ever just want to get in your car and drive somewhere? I do all the time. I love it for so many reasons. I love that I can leave and go home on my terms and that I don’t have to catch a flight. I love that I can stuff my car with whatever I want, and I don’t have to pack for a plane. I love that I don’t have to deal with delays and cancelations, and I love that I then have my car wherever we travel to.
My husband does not agree with me. He wants to fly everywhere. I get it. He wants to sit and relax and enjoy his book and let the pilot do the work. He wants to fly for one hour vs. drive for X number of hours. I truly understand. I knew Seth wanted to sit and relax and read. I knew I could put a podcast in my ear, be happy, and drive. I drove as much as I could. I could have driven more.
Marriage is all about compromise. Seth knows I love a driving adventure, so he humors me. I know he would rather fly so I am sure flying is in our future. It’s a give and take and I am happy to do both. So where could we drive to down South? All I wanted was warmer weather. I would like to tell you that it is freezing outside right now in Buffalo, NY. Yesterday on April 18th it snowed. I got a pedicure with my daughter and was wearing open toed shoes in the snow! You see why I wanted to go South. Anywhere South!
I started to look up places to go in North Carolina and South Carolina. We hear so many people complain about Facebook, but I want to give you some tips. Let other parents do the research for you. I have seen all the vacations that people take. I love all their pictures and I look at it as research. If you are jealous of anything on Facebook, I advise you to put it on your list. If my friend is on vacation and I’m drooling, then that means that I better book that vacation.
Hilton Head, Outer banks and Myrtle beach were all places I had seen friend’s vacation to. I knew I couldn’t go wrong going to any of those places. When you see your friend vacation somewhere, message them and ask questions! I got a lot of questions this trip. I had moms messaging me and asking me questions about Myrtle beach! We can learn from other families who travel and find out where to go and where to stay and even what to do while we are there!
I am not a good travel agent! My husband and my friends are, so I use my resources. I am not good at traveling because I don’t do it a lot. We get better at things, and we learn as we go and experience it. If I don’t travel a lot, then it’s hard to be good at it. I am happy to learn and grow and get better at this. My friend is a very good travel agent. I have teased her that she can just plan my vacations and I’ll pay her to do it. She was headed to Myrtle beach and asked us to go. Why not! Let’s do it. It’s a 13 hour drive that Seth, Ella and Lillie were already complaining about. Max and I see nothing wrong with a long car ride and we were all in!
The car ride was long, but it was so worth it, and I would do it again! If you can break it up that is probably a better idea. I told my husband we could go check out DC or visit my brother and his family on the way down next time. He wasn’t amused. “You mean we will fly next time,” Seth stated loudly! It didn’t help that the airport was right next to our hotel! Oops! My advice is to break it up but if we can do 13 hours then so can you. Our kids are ages 15, 13 and 9 so car trips are getting easier. If your kids are younger, it may be more challenging, but movies and snacks are all the rage!
I decided I needed the sun and warm weather and that we were driving to Myrtle beach. My fabulous husband then used his travel agent skills (add it to his amazing resume) and looked through over 100 places for us to stay. He booked Compass Cove and we absolutely loved it. He gets better and better at booking places to stay. Our spoiled children don’t want to sleep together. I get it. They sleep better alone. Seth rented us a place with four beds, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen and a balcony overlooking the ocean. It sounds perfect right? When Seth showed me what he booked, I told him I wanted North Myrtle beach not South Myrtle beach. Oops! I didn’t specify that. He was totally going to look into North Myrtle beach when Max came running down the stairs all excited. “I have friends staying at the Compass Cove. Please don’t change it.” No way! Ok, meant to be. Not only did we stay at the same hotel as Max’s friends, but they also ended up being the floor right under us. We couldn’t believe it and we did love South Myrtle beach. It seemed a little quieter than North Myrtle beach, but they are both awesome. We did notice our beach was a lot less crowded than North Myrtle beach.
My review is that I absolutely loved Myrtle beach and loved the hotel we stayed at. Let me do the research for you! You won’t be guaranteed hot weather like Florida. In the sun it was warm and in the shade it was cold. You don’t necessarily know what kind of weather you will get in Myrtle beach during April. I am relieved we didn’t go to Florida because my kids were complaining about the heat in South Carolina! We knew we were guaranteed better weather than Buffalo, NY and that’s all that mattered. In fact, the people there knew we were from the North. One family from Georgia was telling us how cold they were. It was a heat wave to us!
I’m going to make a list of stuff to do in Myrtle beach for you and for me because I will be back! Huge shout out to Nikki for helping me with this list and for helping me plan our vacation. I also want to shout out to Kristin for calling me with tips and to everyone else who gave me Myrtle beach travel tips! Use your village! People like to help you!
- We loved Broadway at the beach! Shops and rides and lots of fun. Especially the first day when it was chilly! This was first on our list of what we wanted to do!
- We also loved Ripley’s Aquarium that was right at Broadway at the beach. A perfect fun indoor activity on a chilly day.
- My kids loved The Medieval dinner. It was dark and chilly inside, and I was wishing I was at the pool but all three of my kids loved it. My kids needed a break from the heat, and this was perfect for them.
- We really wanted to go to the Polynesian dinner and the Murder Mystery dinner. It didn’t work with the nights we were there so I would plan ahead for these next time. The Pirate dinner was very recommended, but my kids weren’t interested.
- Barefoot landing wasn’t a hit, and I lost their sweatshirts there. I put them down on the bench and forgot about them. Oops! Definitely good shopping and good restaurants. I would have done this before Broadway at the beach because Broadway at the beach was better and this didn’t compare. Lots of good places to eat. We loved the Crooked Hammock for lunch. The House of Blues and Alabama theater are also there. My friend suggested Coastal Winery and Blueberry Grill at Barefoot Landing. Seth and Max did hunt down two out of three sweatshirts that I lost. What an ordeal!
- It’s mini golf central there. I really wanted to play but we didn’t get to it. Next time. Mini golf at every corner!
- The Market Common was another place I wanted to go to, and they had mason jar milkshakes that I was dreaming of. Next time.
- The Boardwalk was fun, but it was too hot for my kids. They loved the slushie in a pineapple.
- The Family Kingdom amusement park looked fun if you love amusement parks, but we weren’t interested.
- Alligator Adventure was also recommended if you think alligators are cool. I don’t really like alligators. I try to avoid them!
- Things we didn’t do that I really wanted to get to: Shark Wake Park an awesome inflatable obstacle course on the water. Race cars, jet skis and a pontoon boat were all on the list we didn’t get to.
- We ventured to Murrells inlet for seafood but that wasn’t necessary. There were a ton of restaurants right at the Boardwalk near where we were staying that I would have loved to have gone to. Our restaurant did overlook the swamp which was cool.
- We didn’t get to Nacho Hippo or Cheeseburger in Paradise, so I am putting them on the list. Pier 14 at the Boardwalk looked awesome too.
- Breakfast places on every corner. Ella was in French toast and pancake heaven.
- Kristin recommended the Dolphin Screamer and that looked awesome. A boat takes you out to go try and see dolphins. It was on the list, but we didn’t get to it! So much you can do!
If you want to get up and do something there is a lot to go and do. I was happy at the pool and the beach. Sometimes my kids were happy with that too. My advice to Seth and I is to mix it up with doing stuff and going to the pool and the beach because the kids don’t last as long! We need a mix. We didn’t get to a lot of the things I wanted to try with them because the pool and beach were calling me. Just give me a good drink by the pool and I am so happy. We had an amazing drink stand right next to our pool. I’m dreaming of being back in Myrtle beach! People were right when they told me pool, beach, eat and repeat! Works for me!
Some vacation lessons to wrap it up:
- Apply sunscreen often. Mistake number one was that Max got sunburned when it was chilly out. You can still get sunburned in the cold. We probably would have still burned with multiple layers of sunscreen, but I can try better next time. Sunburns do not equal happy children. The whining was a lot! Whinypaluza!
- Seth suggested we start with something like Shark Wake Park when we first get there. The kids will have a lot of energy and be excited to go to an inflatable obstacle course on the water. When they are sunburned, they don’t want to go do stuff like this.
- Remember that kids don’t tend to lay at the pool and beach all day. Mix it up! Having friends or cousins with you would help but they still won’t want to do this every day all day if you ask me. At one point I was laying by the pool and Max was laying in his bed in the hotel room. Maybe your kids like the pool and beach all day.
- Plan ahead. This is one of my greatest lessons in life. The more I plan ahead and prepare the happier we are. Next time I will plan for things like the Polynesian dinner before we go. At least to know what nights it is offered. We can even book it before we head there.
- Stay longer! It’s honestly hard to tear my husband away from work. We didn’t communicate well. Seth has a marketing business and a financial planning business. He also has a publishing company. This is not a good time for an accountant or a financial planner to travel. He definitely worked while we were away. He came back to long days to catch up and help families with tax day and college decision day. I so wanted to stay longer, and Seth said he couldn’t. I think we needed a couple more days. Hopefully next time!
- Seth would say fly vs drive!
- Take the vacation! You need it. I need it. We deserve it! Driving 13 hours. All that packing and work. Booking and paying for a pet sitter. All worth it! Take the vacation!
- If this has taught me anything it has taught me that I loved our vacation and would like to take more! We didn’t travel for a long time because of Covid, and many families missed out on making special travel memories.
- Forget the things and go make travel memories!
I am so thankful for our vacation. I’m thankful that we made memories. I’m thankful to my husband for finding the perfect hotel. I’m thankful to Nikki for suggesting Myrtle beach. I’m thankful it all worked out and that my pets were well cared for while we were away. I can’t enjoy my vacation if my pets aren’t well cared for.
I hope that this was helpful! Especially if you head to Myrtle beach! Go plan your vacation and then tell me about it! I want to hear! Tell me where your favorite vacation was! Share and learn from your friends and family and let them do the research for you!
Laughing, Learning, Loving,
P.S. Song of the trip – Cake by the Ocean. Next trip I want to eat cake by the ocean!
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