The Wind on Myrtle Beach


sand-windWe’ve had so many “lookers” at our last post about the Horses On Myrtle Beach, thought we’d also talk a bit about the wind and more.  Especially, since early this morning, we were wakened up to wind gusts to 32 mph! The wind is not the friend of recreational vehicles.

What beach doesn’t have the wind? Actually, it’s a good thing as it keeps the mosquitoes away, for the most part. It helps with a cool breeze on those really hot, sunny days. But for our four times now in Myrtle Beach, granted, during the fall and winter, the wind has kept us from actually sitting on the beach and reading a book.

After our first time here, the post is located here, Bill actually considered settling down here in Myrtle Beach when the time comes to move back into the brick and sticks lifestyle. In fact, we know a couple from our former church in New Jersey who bought their “retirement” home here. The wife is still working, but they bring their children and grandchildren here from time to time on their vacations and holidays. The husband comes from periodically alone, and we met up with him on once such time. He gave us an inside view of living here from a retiree’s perspective.

What we have liked: for the most part, moderate temperatures; walking on the pristine, white sandy beach (we can easily do five miles a day); the Brookgreen Gardens and state parks; the professionalism and helpfulness of various businesses we have interacted with such as bank tellers, clerks at Walmart (sorry, but us full-time RVers have no choice but to be faithful Walmart shoppers….), twice we had to visit a “doc in the box” which gave excellent service, and most recently, Camping World really stepped up to the plate for us! But even more importantly, we have really liked the various churches we have attended.

What we have not liked: As our most recent post says, the 1,200 horses on the beach over a five day period. They post the dates they will be here in January. We will make sure we don’t stay here during that event.  While it isn’t all that annoying, the constant helicopters riding along the beach for only $20/ride and the airport.  But our friends love having the airport here, it’s just that occasionally, the planes fly low. I can never get my camera up in time when a low one flys overhead during our walks. But here is the best I could get:

Flying out of Myrtle Beach Airport

Flying out of Myrtle Beach Airport. This is actually a positive as we do like to be near airports. But maybe not this close….

And another thing we aren’t so keen on are the weather extremes! Granted, we’ve only been here in the fall and winter, so what should we expect? Maybe not such high highs then low lows! We’ve been here twice in October, once in January and once in March. I decided to take a historical look at just THIS month, our current stay. What is cool is this website will let you look at any dates, months, years or customize it. Granted, there is NO snowfall in this, but remember, we are home based out of Florida. That means we don’t like snow….

Averages for October 7 to Nov 8, 2015

Averages for October 7 to Nov 8, 2015. NOTE: Maximum wind gusts of 32 mph!

We were awakened at 4 am this morning, which made me want to write this post. Bill had to go outside to put in our little window awnings (we only have two). I checked the weather app at that time and it said the wind was 22 mph from the north. But see what the averages were:

This was from this morning

This was the averages from this morning. NOTE: that’s when it hit at 32 mph.

We were actually delayed in arriving here for this current stay. We wanted to be here a few days earlier than October 7, but we had to wait for the remnants of Hurricane Joaquin to settle down. Our neighbors here arrived the day before the rain started. They were then rained in for six days. When they checked the “flooding” outside their camper door, it was 10″ deep. But that was an unusual weather event. What location doesn’t have those?

So to be fair, let’s compare this same month to our favorite beach location when we lived in Florida, Vero Beach. And note, the highest wind gusts were 37 mph! YIKES!

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So I guess, all in all, we don’t have THAT much to complain about. We have decided this is NOT where we will settle down, however. Why? We’re too far from the reason we now do what we do….

Horses on Myrtle Beach!


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The very thought that I could ride my horse on the pristine white sand beaches along the gently rolling surf gave me goose bumps. I snapped this picture Thursday morning.

Ah, that sounds so romantic, doesn’t it? There is an allure to beaches and horses. When we went on our second honeymoon in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, we decided to go horseback riding. But decided against the beach ride for some reason.  Instead, we ended up on the side of a mountain on a very narrow path. But that’s not related to this post….

Honeymoon in Ocho Rios

Honeymoon in Ocho Rios

Did you know 1,200 horses take over the beach for five days to raise funds for the American Heart Association Beach Ride? We didn’t either, but we did know there was some horseback riding on the beach. This is the 34th year of this fundraiser. And allegedly, they have raised over $3 million dollars. There is no question, this is a worthy cause. Who hasn’t been affected by a family member or friend who has suffered from heart disease? I know we have lost a very dear relative to an early death due to a heart attack.

In the promotional information for this fundraiser, a woman shares her “testimony” in the left-hand column, “A Rider’s Perspective” in part when she first heard of the event:

The very thought that I could ride my horse on the pristine white sand beaches along the gently rolling surf gave me goose bumps.

We wanted to stay in Lakewood Family RV Campground this year. We visited it last time we were here and learned they have a nightly price of $25 if we stayed 30 days or longer. This is for full hookup (water, electricity, sewer and WiFi). While that is a bit higher than our desired per night price, to be on the beach, you expect it pay more $$$.  We generally don’t make reservations until the day before or day of our arrival. We are pretty astute about “prime time” and we know October is considered off season here.  So what a shock when we were told they were booked solid over the last weekend we wanted to be here.   Little did we know what a HUGE blessing it was that we were not able to get that reservation! We don’t want to be negative about this event, but there are a few problems.

We are actually “next door” to Lakewood, staying in PirateLand RV Campground. As it turns out, they also have the same price for 28 days or more.  And then we quickly learned this campground is actually better for our needs. For one, the campsites are bigger. And that is important now that we have a 40′ motorhome! But even better, the beach is so much wider and flatter.  We’ve walked up this beach for 2 1/2 miles, then back for a 5-mile walk nearly every morning. And this is worth paying a bit more per night!

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This is at the very end of PirateLand’s ocean front.

The horses began to arrive on Wednesday, a very rainy and dreary day. But Thursday morning, it was a glorious day as you can see from the above picture! We didn’t really think about walking with horses when we got on the beach, but realized quickly, we were glad we were there early – only because we are watching high tide.  And not many horses were, yet. You can see the horses do affect the beach. For a few horses, it wasn’t bad, until you begin to see horse manure! And they do like to poop on the beach….So the romance was over….But who can blame them? Doesn’t this look like fun?

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This was on our way back Thursday. The sun disappeared. Doesn’t this look like fun?

We stopped and talked to two women at one point. They were from New York and were appalled that the riders didn’t have to clean up the manure. Or that the horses didn’t wear bun-bags! They have to in New York apparently. And then they weren’t the only ones who were concerned. Other people we saw said it didn’t seem right dog owners are fined if they don’t pick up after their dogs.

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This was interesting to see on the beach! Can you see all the trampling caused by the horses now? The beach is really affected.

So now you may have guessed, all these horses can cause a bit of a disturbance to non-horse back riders. So aside from the trampling, which really impacted our ability to walk comfortably on the beach, and dodging all the manure, there were a few other issues. So much for the “pristine white sand.” We loved her thoughts for us as we walked barefoot on the beach….

If you read the info on the AHA website, they tell the riders a few things to do to make this a good experience for everyone. For one, they HAVE to clean up the manure at their campground sites…but not on the beach. Interesting.

Then they are told to not “cowboy” on the beach. Which means running the horses, etc. And as groups approach people on the beach, to all go to one side of them, not to put the people in the middle. The horses may not know how to properly react in this new situation. So we had a few “confrontations.”

Beach Walking

These riders were our first “scare” as they were at a slow gallop and a bit too close for comfort.

Not being horse people, it was unnerving. The first day, we heard the sound of galloping approaching us and one of the horses neighing. While there were only two riders this time, they were a bit too close for our comfort. So now we are being cautious. We managed ok until our 4th mile. And then we hear galloping again, but this almost sounded like a stampede! There were more than two and I glanced behind to see them heading right towards us! So I tried to jump out of the way (I am a bit of a jumpy person anyway) but in the soft, trampled sand, I couldn’t. I actually “fell” into Bill.  I was glad he could handle all my weight! Then the horse back riders nearly come to a stop right in front of us! What’s going on????  This was very upsetting. But the last straw was the cowboying.  One rider, as you can see below, was running his horse in “circles.”  We were trying to stay in one path, but the horse, seemed to want to get in our path, so we moved, then he followed….Are you getting the picture?

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Cowboying!

Ok, we’re not happy campers. In the beginning, we were very friendly, but by the time we finished our five miles, we didn’t even want to look at these riders. So we vowed the next morning to get out earlier and not have to share the beach. So today, we did better, got out before the herd…and it was better.

We talked to a neighbor of ours as we came off the beach. He said he was in Lakewood last year during the event. He said it was so crowded, he couldn’t leave the campground to get groceries. And even worse, he couldn’t even walk around the campground for five days! He told a few other stories about what a nightmare it was to be there and not be a horse person.

We don’t want to be negative about this event, but think about it! When they started this 34 years ago, Myrtle Beach in 1981 was a little-known destination. It wasn’t until the 1990’s that it began to grow. However, according to the Myrtle Beach Tourism website,

The Myrtle Beach Metropolitan Statistical Area was listed as the ninth-fastest growing area in the nation, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics released in March 2011. The area has grown 37 percent over the past decade.

We’ve decided that 1,200 horses on a little beach area and all us beach goers don’t really mix very well. And we aren’t even addressing the potential ecological problems of all the manure and urine. One person said he wouldn’t go in this water for at least 6 months!

We hope and pray common sense begins to reign and this event is moved to a more remote location. So our recommendation, do your research if you are not a horse person. Don’t be here during this event! We’ll plan to not be here next year if they are at the same time….

If you are a horse person and want to attend, please read the literature and follow the instructions!

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This is their day two, beautiful weather. High tide was coming in at 4:00 pm so we thought no horses would be on the beach. So we are in beach chairs as this group ride by….

The scoop on Myrtle Beach!


We took our grandson to Brookgreen Gardens

We took our oldest grandson to Brookgreen Gardens in October 2015

There is more to Myrtle Beach than the beach! But it’s taken us a while to figure that out. For us, the beach is the main attraction.  If it wasn’t too far from Fredericksburg, VA, this is a location we would consider living in once we get off the road. But as far as I am concerned (Debbie), that (getting off the road) won’t happen anytime soon!

We’d love to hear your thoughts about Myrtle Beach. Have you been? What did you like besides the beach? If you haven’t been, what have you heard about it, or what do you imagine it is like?

This is our fourth stay in Myrtle Beach in an RV (recreational vehicle). We wrote one post about our first time here, and two short posts here and most recently, here. Although we have mentioned it in a few other posts, we have never really shared more about the essence of this town.

Usually, where ever we go, we love to learn about the history of the area. For some reason, Myrtle Beach is one area we initially didn’t after a quick search of Trip Advisor for Myrtle Beach didn’t show any cultural museums of interest to us. Little did we realize we could have expanded the search to surrounding communities.  But we were focused on the beach as it is amazing!

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What an eye opener when we decided to learn more about the area to write this blog. I’m not sure why we didn’t discover this website before.  Here’s a summary from the website, but do be sure and visit it and watch the five-minute video of a quick history of the area.

Early History. The area’s first inhabitants were the Waccamaw and Winyah Indians, who named the region Chicora, meaning “the land.” Kings Highway – a major thoroughfare through the Myrtle Beach area – began as an Indian trail long before Europeans settled along the Grand Strand. Later, this trail became the route from the northern states to Charleston and Savannah. These first inhabitants are the subject of the oldest and perhaps most elusive stories. While much has been written about Native Americans, documented facts about local tribes in the Myrtle Beach area are scarce. Physical evidence of their existence and way of life has been more forthcoming, however, as arrowheads, pottery, and other artifacts continue to turn up.

Spanish Settlement. Early attempts by European explorers to settle the Grand Strand were disastrous. Spaniard Lucas Vasques de Allyon founded the first colony in North America here in 1526, but the settlement was ravaged by disease, and the inhabitants perished within a year.

English Settlement & Colonial History. A new chapter in the area’s history and lore was introduced after English colonists settled in the area. Suddenly, goods and supplies needed to be imported and exported across the ocean. By the 1700s, scores of pirates had taken to the high seas to intercept cargo vessels and make off with the goods. The South Carolina coastal waters were especially productive for pirates – and the coves and inlets along the Grand Strand provided great hiding places for these marauders. Pirates who became local legends include Edward Teach, called Blackbeard because of his coal-black beard, and Drunken Jack, who was left behind on an island with a huge stash of stolen rum – and was rumored to have died with a smile on his face. Meanwhile, English colonists formed Prince George Parish and laid out plans for Georgetown, the state’s third oldest city, in 1730. Surrounded by rivers and marshlands, Georgetown became the center of America’s colonial rice empire.

Initial Development. Until the 1900s, the beaches of Horry County were virtually uninhabited due to the county’s geographical inaccessibility and poor economy. Near the turn of the century, the Burroughs & Collins Company – a timber / turpentine firm with extensive beachfront holdings – began developing the Myrtle Beach area as a resort. In 1901, the company built the beach’s first hotel, the Seaside Inn. At that time, oceanfront lots sold for $25, and buyers received an extra lot if they built a house valued at $500 or more. Previously known as Long Bay, Withers, or Withers Big Swamp, the fledgling beach community was simply called “New Town” – until the Horry Herald sponsored a contest to officially name the area. Mrs. F.E. Burroughs – wife of the founder of Burroughs & Collins – won with the name “Myrtle Beach,” which she chose for the many wax myrtle trees growing wild along the shore.

Further Development & Expansion. In the 1920s, a group of businessmen began building an upscale resort called Arcady, at the north end of the community. Arcady featured the present Pine Lakes International Country Club — home of the Strand’s first golf club and birthplace of the magazine Sports Illustrated — as well as the legendary Ocean Forest Hotel. Several major developments took place along the Grand Strand during the 1930s and 1940s. In 1936 the Intracoastal Waterway was opened to pleasure boats and commercial shipping. During the 1940s, an Air Force base was established and used for training and coastal patrols during World War II. The base was closed in 1993. The Myrtle Beach Pavilion was built in 1949, and the historic band organ and carousel were installed in 1954. Myrtle Beach was incorporated in 1938 and became a city in 1957.

Hurricane Hazel & Reconstruction. In 1954, Hurricane Hazel demolished buildings and trees along the Grand Strand, clearing the way for new hotels and homes. During the rebuilding phase of the 1960s, a golf boom began, with new courses being built each year. The number of golf courses along the Grand Strand now totals around 115.

Modern History & Development. The Myrtle Beach Convention Center, which houses the official South Carolina Hall of Fame, opened in 1970. During the 1970s, new construction in the area topped $75 million, and the permanent population tripled. In the 1970s and 1980s, construction of attractions, homes, retail shops and other amenities increased steadily, paving the way for another boom in the early 1990s. The Grand Strand currently attracts over 14 million visitors and thousands of new residents to the area, each year. The Myrtle Beach Metropolitan Statistical Area was listed as the ninth-fastest growing area in the nation, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics released in March 2011. The area has grown 37 percent over the past decade.

It took a few days when it just wasn’t “beach” weather to finally research the area and discovered there is much more in the surrounding areas. So far, we have really only explored four areas:

  1.  We visited historic Georgetown  when we were here in March 2014. We arrived in summer clothes, coming from Florida, so quickly had to bundle up. We were excited to discover there was the Georgetown County Museum (our favorite type).  We drove the nearly 30 miles.  It was a very brisk and cold day. We parked a bit far from it, imaging limited parking. Not smart as we had to fight the cold wind, trekking our way there….only to learn, it was closed on Mondays. And so are most county museums.  Fortunately, we remembered there was another even smaller museum which gave us tours of three historic houses as well. The main thing we learned was the history of the rice plantations. We didn’t know that this area was the rice capital of the US until after the Civil War. We enjoyed strolling around town and waterfront as the wind didn’t seem as strong by the time we were visiting the other locations. This is a very small town and historic district. We did enjoy it but haven’t ventured back to the county museum. Click here if you would like to see a photo album of our pictures.

2.  We do love gardens and Brookgreen Gardens doesn’t disappoint. If you don’t mind a few nude statues mixed in.  The initial cost may seem high, $15, but that is good for seven days. And we recommend visiting it over a few days. We spent two leisurely days here twice when we were in the area. Our grandson was oblivious to the statutes but loved the open green spaces, water fountains and the zoo. The gardens are also known as a public sculpture garden which displays  the figurative sculpture works of American sculptors, including many pieces by Anne Hyatt Huntington.

Registered as a National Historic Landmark, Brookgreen Gardens is a wonder of native flora, fauna, and American sculpture. Considered by many to be the jewel of the Grand Strand, Brookgreen Gardens has been delighting visitors since its creation (and donated land) in 1931 by Anne and Archer Huntington. Located off Highway 17 in Murrells Inlet, the entrance is conveniently marked by a larger-than-life statue of a horse and rider.

Among the nine-thousand lush acres of South Carolina history and lowcountry landscapes you will find the most significant collection of outdoor figurative sculpture by American artists in the world. At Brookgreen Gardens you will learn about the rice plantations of the 1800s and the Gullah culture of the enslaved Africans who worked them. Guests are able to see animals in scenic enclosures that respect the animals and the surrounding environment at the Lowcountry Zoo and Native Animal Habitat. The little ones will love the Butterfly House and the Peace Garden Room for Children along with the fountains, reflecting pools, and hidden pathways. There are plenty of open, green spaces to enjoy a picnic or lay back and watch the clouds go by at Brookgreen Gardens. Guests can explore all Brookgreen Gardens has to offer on foot, by boat tour or by the Trekker tour vehicle.

3.  Across from the gardens, on the beach side of Kings Highway, is Huntington Beach State Park. The Huntington’s donated this land as well and helped to create Brookgreen Gardens. A portion of Brookgreen Gardens is a nature reserve, and another section is leased to the state for Huntington Beach State Park. The gardens, historic plantation sites, and their adjacent residence ‘Atalaya Castle‘ are a National Historic Landmark, and on the National Register of Historic Places. Sadly, it was a dreary day when we visited and we don’t have any pictures. But this is a lovely and quaint place to explore the lives of the Huntington’s. They were kind and generous people.

4.  We explored the area by driving around. Looking at condos and villa’s for sale (we really like the area), drove around North Myrtle Beach and to the Boardwalk and Flywheel.

Myrtle Beach FlywheelWe’ve only been here in off season, October, January, and March. We can’t imagine what it must be like during the summer season. There is very little traffic except at some shopping and highway intersections.  After looking all around, we really like staying in the area we have stayed the most, Pirateland. We are between Surfside Beach and  Myrtle Beach State Park. There is also a nice hike in the State Park.  The beach is just wonderful, but we do have to watch the times we go walking. The beach does “shrink” during high tide.

Since we are here in the off-season, many restaurants and activities are closed. We aren’t golfers. But did you know this area started the “golfing packages?” Hotel stay plus golfing? It’s also a fisherman’s paradise. And now we have learned there is kayaking, so we do hope to try that next time.

The biggest disappointment to us, as non-foodies, are the restaurants. We don’t eat out much, but when we do, we would like a good meal. That has been lacking here. Except we did have to eat breakfast out when we took our motorhome in to have our washing machine installed. We ate at the Omega Restuarant and it was superb! It is open for breakfast and lunch.

One other distractions are the $20 helicopter rides along the beach and being near the airport. We do hear the helicopters and jets flying over when we are out on the beach. Our grandson loves to shout and point AIRPLANE, so we noticed them more when he was here.

Grandson pointing and shouting, AIRPLANE!

At Brookgreen Gardens, our grandson pointing and shouting AIRPLANE!

Finally, we have enjoyed the church services we have attended here. Last winter, we met up with a man we attended church with in New Jersey. We attended his church and had lunch. We did like that restaurant but can’t recall the name of it.  We really do feel close to the Lord here because we are outside and on the go most of the time here. We love hearing the ocean slapping the beach!

Psalm 96:11-13 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy; they will sing before the LORD, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his truth.

We’re in Myrtle Beach!


Matthew 11 28

MATTHEW 11:28

We’re on “vacation” or are full-time RVers ever on vacation? Isn’t our life one big vacation now?  No matter, this place is one of our favorite places to rejuvenate. We thought you might enjoy some pictures and a video of the ocean. We haven’t had a chance to see the fall foliage at Brook Green Gardens. But we will. All we’ve done so far is organize our motorhome, get our washing machine installed, washed clothes, and taken long walks every day. More to come!

Ocean Lakes Campground, Myrtle Beach, SC, 10/7-10/2013


Myrtle BeachWe weren’t sure about camping in Myrtle Beach, but Bill selected it  because we could camp on the beach!  We had vacationed there in 2000, taking our daughter and two of her friends.  We rented a condo on the beach and to put it kindly, we weren’t impressed!  Maybe because we had three wild and crazy high school graduates!
But after this stay, I can tell you that we ended up falling in love with it! Because we were right on the beach and we do love the beach. We discovered this is the best beach to walk on that we’ve seen in all of our years of visiting beaches. Bill’s parents told us it was their favorite beach as well-and for that very reason.

This is a picture of the walk way from our campsite to the beach.  We were able to walk on it twice a day, except one night when it did get too cold and windy.

We really liked the campground, but the sites were a bit too close and was more expensive than we would have preferred!  BUT, we were right on the beach.

We had brought own prepared dinner, baked ziti, but ran out the last night.  So we had to decide what to buy for dinner.  And this is why we decided we didn’t like Myrtle Beach the first time, we weren’t impressed with the restaurants.  So we decided just to get a pizza since we had lots of fresh salad.  Can you believe we couldn’t get a decent pizza?  So we have to make sure we plan our home made meals better next time!

We were more or less under time constraints to get to our daughters to take care of our new grandson.  Plus we were really just learning how to camp and travel with our new RV.  She had two months off and he was going into daycare.  I thought it best to keep him out another month, so that was really what the push was for us to buy and RV!  I needed a place to live for a month.  Our daughter had converted the guest bedroom into the nursery.

We really didn’t do much and found out you can’t in three day and two nights.  So other than checking out the campground, walking on the beach, and finding no decent pizza, we went to Camping World when it rained one of the two days we were there!

We decided we would return and come for a longer time next time.  But we decided we would try the other large campground next time, for comparison purposes.

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We are continuing to praise and thank God for His many blessings!  In spite of the not so great weather for a beach visit, we had a great time! We continue to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (ESV)

Here is the latest picture of Colin, sent to us the day we were heading to see him!  Look at that great smile!

Colin is ready for his grandparents visits!

Colin is ready for his grandparents visits!