July 11 - Our trip from Chester, VA to Myrtle Beach, SC was one of our best yet - about 320 miles covered in just over 7 hours. A quick lunch at Subway helped keep us moving. Kallie's driving stint took place between Fayetteville and Lumberton, NC. She got off the road just in time as the next "turn" was an on ramp. US 74 in North Carolina is setting up to become I-74.
I told the girls that Myrtle Beach was like Pigeon Forge with sand--a collection of tacky amusements and shops. I don't think I missed it by much. It hasn't changed much since we were here on vacation in the '90s.
The Holiday South hotel in Myrtle Beach is no jewel of hospitality, but it does have its good points--a balcony with an ocean view, a beautiful pool, and access to the beach after less than a 50 yard walk. Our room has a fridge, microwave and stovetop, but two days just isn't enough time to set up for housekeeping. Otherwise it's a typical older beach motel with mildewed rugs and peeling paint. Kallie was put out that both the ceiling and the walls were spackled. Decoration is not a value here. Neither is Internet access or cell phone coverage. The building is a concrete bunker of sorts, which appears to interfere with cell phone signals - kind of like living in an elevator shaft. They don't offer wireless Internet either (or wired for that matter), but the desk clerk did tell me that I could probably get a signal at the picnic tables outside, which is where I am right now. I have become enough of a fixture here for people to comment on their way in.
The girls are upstairs watching "Nancy Grace Weekend" on CNN Headline News. They've become big fans of the feisty former prosecutor/now TV host's exposes on lurid crimes. I find her a little too intense, which I suspect is mostly for our entertainment. They also saw her playing herself in the Will Smith movie "Hancock". Erin came back insisting that every movie would be better if Nancy Grace appeared in it.
Kay insisted on eating a seafood dinner in a non-buffet restaurant, a bit of a trick in Myrtle Beach. We drove about 10 miles to nearby Murrell's Inlet before we found such a place, the Inlet Crab House. We tried sitting outside on the patio to enjoy the beautiful weather and live music (a one-man band--singer, guitar and laptop accompaniment), but South Carolina's famous gnats drove us indoors as they swarmed around Kallie's crab leg dinner. Back at the hotel we crashed early. Tomorrow should be a nice relaxing day around the beach and pool.