Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Myrtle Beach, SC ~ July 2011

It’s never easy getting family together. Weddings and funerals seem to be the time, and over the past six years, that’s been exactly the trend in both mine and Stephen’s family. The last time my parents and all of their kids were together was just prior to my grandpa passing nearly two years ago…before that, it was our wedding five years ago. When you factor in five in-laws and seven grandkids, then the elapsed time seems to get farther apart. Happily, we will ALL meet again next month when Sean and Alex tie the knot.

As for Stephen’s family, during the past six years, they’ve all been together three times…Gretchen & Scott’s wedding in 2005, Stephen & Shannon’s wedding in 2006 and Karen & Andrew’s wedding in 2008. When Lorelei was born last year, Stephen and I spent a mere 24 hours in New England when we saw everyone, but not all together. Distance matters, but work (mostly), travel, and home projects keep families apart.
It’s unfortunate.

Anyway, Karen made the suggestion that we all attempt a vacation in Myrtle Beach this summer hoping that everyone’s time could overlap for at least a few days. The planning began several months ago and last week it all came to fruition! Paul, Sue, Gretchen, Scott, Stephen, Shannon, Karen, Andrew and Lorelei would all meet for Schur/Leming/Horan family vacation in Myrtle Beach.

Steve and I left Cleveland at 3:45 on Friday afternoon and made our way South. Getting an early start is rare, so we decided to try to attempt the 11 hour drive without stopping at a hotel on the way. If you’re really smart, you’ll figure that puts our arrival time at 2:45 am, pending any traffic problems, etc. Lucky for us, Steve’s parents had arrived in MB earlier in the week so they had a room waiting for us. Gretchen and Scott were also making their way down and arriving the same night.

We arrived on time and slept soundly for about six hours before rising to meet Paul, Sue, Gretchen and Scott for breakfast. Shortly thereafter, Steve, Scott, Gretchen and I moved into another condo then parted ways. We went to the Sport & Health Club (our one and only visit during this stay!) then to the pool for a few hours before showering, grocery shopping and heading off to dinner at The Office.

Although Karen, Andrew & Lorelei were expected to arrive late Saturday night, they encountered a few hiccups and finally arrived on Sunday afternoon. Sunday consisted mostly of beach time, then dinner back at South Hampton. Stephen and I had made some Swedish fish-infused vodka and after dinner, we all shared it as part of a welcoming toast!

On Monday, Steve and I were at the pool for much of day (tough life) while others ventured in and out of the beach, pool, naps, etc.

Eventually, we all got together for an early Happy Hour dinner at Greg Norman’s.

Since it was the 4th of July, we all met at South Hampton to watch a really wonderful fireworks display from the balcony.

Once again, Stephen and I spent a large part of Tuesday morning at the pool then went off to enjoy what we call “the best lunch ever!” California Dreaming is one of our favorite “go-to” places in Myrtle Beach. It’s consistently good and their house salad is outstanding! We like to split an order of wings with a side salad of our own. Yum.

After lunch we had a drink at the The Anchor Café at the Grand Dunes Marina before meeting the rest of the group at South Hampton for pizza.

Unfortunately, Andrew had to be at work on Wednesday morning so he had to catch a flight Tuesday night…another precarious flight issue, which had him running barefoot to his gate. Thankfully he made it, thanks to a persistent Paul Schur.

As you can see, Steve and I have an established routine in Myrtle Beach. We go to the pool/beach, grab a snack for lunch, have a few drinks, and then we eat dinner. As to not mess with our routine, we spent much of Wednesday morning at the pool, went grocery shopping and then headed to happy hour with Scott and Gretchen. First we stopped in at the Anchor Café again. Since Scott loves to sail, we knew he would enjoy seeing all the boats and sitting on the Intercoastal Waterway.

We also walked to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse for some great happy hour appetizers and cocktails. It was a beautifully quiet setting and a nice place to relax.

As we roamed around the grounds at the Marina Inn, we found a ping pong table and bocce ball set. We acted like we belonged and played until after the sun set and we couldn’t see anymore. It was a fun time and for the record…Steve and I did win at Bocce! We figure next time we’ll bring our swimsuits and swim in their pool :)

We spent a few hours at the pool on Thursday morning then met Scott, Gretchen and Paul for a tour of the New South Brewery.

Immediately following the tour, we were met by Karen, Sue and Lorelei for dinner at Windsor Court. Scott and Gretchen shucked some oysters and seared some Ahi tuna…all served with champagne, while Steve and I made pretzels and Philly cheesesteaks (with your choice of provolone or whiz), served with a Brown Ale purchased earlier in the day at New South Brewery. For dessert? A peanut butter pie!


Friday was my BIRTHDAY!! Unfortunately, we woke up to rain but were determined not to let it get in our way. Steve and I walked to Finn McCools where were enjoyed a delicious breakfast and I had a celebratory mimosa.

We did a little shopping, then returned back to Windsor Court to attempt the pool. The thunder returned and we left! Within the next hour, the skies cleared up and we were able to enjoy an hour of sun. For dinner, Gretchen, Scott, Karen, Stephen and I went to California Dreaming while Paul and Sue stayed back to watch Lorelei.

We had quite a feast and then returned to South Hampton for some brownie and pistachio ice cream parfaits. So so so good.

After dessert, we went to Finn McCool's for a birthday car bomb and shot.

Then it was time to head over to Topper's at the Pointe for karaoke with Lee McDonald. Lee McDonald has had a slight man crush on Steve for many years and it was evident once again! I guess his voice tends to serenade us all :) Once it was time to call it a night, Steve and I trekked back on the beach with Gretchen and Scott. It was a really good time.

Saturday was another rainy and lazy day and we were far from productive! Karen and Lorelei left early in the morning while Gretchen, Scott, Steve and I treated Paul and Sue to dinner at Flying Fish. We all had some spectacular meals.

Scott & Gretchen ordered the Flying Fish Specialty - A fish market feast!

 I ordered their shrimp and cheddar grits. Simply divine.

Steve ordered the Grouper with a fresh herb cream sauce.

 On Sunday morning we rose early to get a head start on the road. We stopped in at Paul & Sue's where they had a smorgasbord of leftovers for breakfast. Shortly thereafter, we were on the road. It was the end of another fantastic trip :(

For as long as I can remember, birthdays, anniversaries and vacations have been our theme in July and this year is no different! For our FIVE-YEAR anniversary, we will be heading to Cancun, Mexico and staying at the all-inclusive, adults only, Live Aqua Cancun. We depart Saturday (7/16) for a week and cannot wait!

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